Giza is a few miles south of Cairo on the opposite bank of the Nile River, and it’s technically its own municipality. The town center itself is nondescript and would be of little interest to tourists if it weren’t the last stop before one of the world’s most celebrated monuments – the pyramids. Hotels in Giza let tourists take their time exploring these world-class attractions without fretting over the details of transportation.
The Pyramids of Giza sit at the end of Pyramid Road, about ten kilometers west of Giza. This area is known as the Giza Plateau, and it hosts the Great Pyramid of Khufu along with the Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaura. Tourists that can tolerate tight, crowded spaces can venture inside each of the pyramids. A separate ticket is required for each, and one of the pyramids is almost always closed for renovation.
The Sphinx is the other main attraction, and it’s probably as old as the pyramids. It was carved from one enormous block of sandstone and stands between the pyramids and the growing development of Giza. Local legends blame Napoleon for the Sphinx’s missing nose, but archeologists think it fell off a few hundred years before Napoleon ever arrived here. After dark, first-time visitors gather for the sound and light show, narrated by the Sphinx.
Beyond gazing at these 4,000 year-old sites, there are plenty of other activities for tourists who have booked accommodation in Giza. Local tour operators offer camel rides around the pyramids, but the best way to take in the Giza Plateau is on horseback. This was once the main way to approach the pyramids from Cairo, but Pyramid Road and Line 2 of the metro have simplified transportation from Cairo International Airport.