Entrance & Tickets

The main entrance is at the end of Pyramids Rd (Sharia Al Haram), though if you come on a tour bus, you may enter through the gate below the Sphinx, in the village of Nazlet As Samaan.

Additional tickets are required for the Cheops Boat Museum, the Tomb of Meresankh III and the pyramid interiors. The Great Pyramid is always open, along with one of the other two (they alternate every year or so). Pyramid interior and Tomb of Meresankh III tickets can only be purchased at the main entrance ticket office. Secondary-pyramid tickets are sold all day. At peak times, Great Pyramid tickets (300 per day available in summer, 500 per day in winter) are sold in two lots, first thing in the morning and at 1pm. In winter, you may need to queue, especially on Wednesday and Thursday, when tour groups come from the Red Sea. These days, though, with fewer tourists in Egypt, tickets are usually available all day, without queues. If you exit the site to purchase additional tickets, let the guards know so there’s no trouble when you come back through.

Cameras are allowed all over the site, including in the museum (for a fee), but not inside pyramids and tombs. Guards will watch your camera at the pyramid entrances in exchange for LE5 or so baksheesh; some will also permit photos inside tombs for a tip.

Facilities & Food

Clean, well-maintained toilets are right beside the main entrance's ticket office (tip the attendant LE2 or so). On the plateau, there’s one decent one in the Cheops Boat Museum and a row of less nice options in a dodgy trailer near the Great Pyramid. At the base of the Sphinx, there's a decent toilet block (LE2 fee).

The open-air cafe (drinks LE20, sandwiches LE25 to LE65) at the base of the Sphinx wasn't operating when we were last here. For food, it’s grossly overpriced, and the waiters are easily ‘confused’ when making change. For the same amount, you can refresh at the nearby Pizza Hut or far lovelier Mena House, though this means a hike back up the hill to the main entrance gate. For cheap eats, from the Sphinx gate walk a bit northeast on the main road through Nazlet As Samaan, and you’ll pass various snack options.

Horses & Camels

Considering the pressure, it’s tempting to ignore the camel touts; however, the distance between the three pyramids is significant, so the service is a real one. ‘Official’ prices (LE50 per 30 minutes) exist, but, as one tourist police officer said with an apologetic shrug, ‘You’re still expected to bargain.' Realistically, you can’t ride an animal any distance for less than LE50, and LE20 is the minimum for a short trot and photo op.

Choose only healthy-looking animals: steer clear of obviously malnourished camels and horses, check the animal has no wounds or abrasions, and avoid operators who use whips.

If you’re asked to pay more than agreed before you’re let down, call over the nearest tourist police, or go to the tourist police office by Mena House and complain. For longer rides, hiring a horse from one of the village stables is a far better option than taking one from inside the Pyramids complex.