Giza - Pyramids
The Great Pyramids at Giza are among the world's largest buildings, and were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The complex includes three pyramids, the Sphinx, royal boat museum, and numerous royal tombs called mastabas.
Grand Egyptian Museum
– A new museum complex will have amazing Tutankhamun treasures (some artifacts never seen before), massive ancient Egyptian statues, mummies and more. Check for scheduled opening: Grand Egyptian Museum.
Inside the pyramids at Giza
- At Giza, kids will never forget going inside the pyramids of Khufu (Cheops), Khafre
(Chephren) and Mencerinus. The ramps leading down into the pyramid are kid size (an adult has to bend over). Inside, you emerge into the galleries, some with very high ceilings. The sensation of being inside these huge piles of stone is unforgettable.
Ride donkeys, camels or horses around the pyramids
- Rent horses (or donkeys) for an hour or two. Camels are also a popular option, if kids haven't hopped up on one before. On horseback you are less likely to be approached by all the souvenir sellers and self appointed "guides." The kids said, "It's the best way to see the Giza pyramids."
Sphinx Sound and Light show
- Your kids may not care about the narrative,
but lighting effects are amazing! Also, it begins early
in the evening and there is something wonderful about seeing the pyramids
in the dark.
Khufu's Boat Museum (Solar Boat Museum)
- In addition to all the stuff inside his great pyramid, Cheops funerary goodies included two full size "sun boats" to ferry the pharaoh through the afterworld or across the heavens. In the museum, you'll see an amazing reconstruction of one boat, re-assembled from over 1200 pieces.
Editor's note - Giza is a circus. Sometimes I wanted to make all the souvenir sellers and camel drivers just disappear. A sense of humor helps. When I'd been accosted for the gazillionth time, "Want to ride a camel?" and I'd replied, "We've ridden camels and they aren't comfortable," one guy wittily responded, "Want to buy a camel." The kids loved the idea.
Saqqara (Sakkara) - Saqqara is close to Cairo, but fewer tourists.
The Step Pyramid is impressive, the first stone pyramid, over 4,600 years old, is now open to explore inside, climb down to see the burial chamber of King Djoser, with huge stone sarcophagus. Kids will like low ceilings in the passageways, and reliefs on the walls.
Our favorite tombs were Prince Unas tomb and and Mastaba of Ti, with lovely painted reliefs, scenes of daily life. At the Mastaba of Ti we saw a live scarab beetle. Our guide caught it in a plastic bag and asked if we wanted to take it home.
Dashur - Dashur is just a little further than Saqqara, and worlds away from the flurry of Giza and Cairo. The Red Pyramid is as large as the Great Pyramid of (Cheops) at Giza and the interior rooms are very impressive. My son said, "We squeezed through a narrow stone doorway and came out into a room. Not just any room, but a huge stone room with vaulted ceilings that looked like it has upside down steps in it. I stared there for awhile with my nose and mouth hanging open, just staring."