#1 5-25-2017 4:39 AM

harbinger
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Dawn trip to the pyramids?

I have a forthcoming business trip to Egypt in mid June, and current planning gives me a horribly long layover in Cairo (arriving at about 02:15 and have an onward flight within Egypt which departs at 11:15).
I am not excited about the prospect of 9 hours in the airport, and am looking at alternatives.
Would it be feasible to hire a guide and take a dawn trip to the pyramids?

Last edited by harbinger (5-25-2017 4:42 AM)

 

#2 5-25-2017 5:28 AM

Apurva_N
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Re: Dawn trip to the pyramids?

I think yes, in fact a dawn trip to the pyramids is the done thing - people prefer it as it's less crowded and cooler at that time. I wouldn't know a specific company to recommend from the airport (I did my trip from the hotel) but I would think it's easy enough to get a cab to Giza from the airport, and they may well have tours going from there too along with a guide.

 

#3 5-25-2017 5:48 AM

harbinger
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Re: Dawn trip to the pyramids?

Apurva_N wrote:

I think yes, in fact a dawn trip to the pyramids is the done thing - people prefer it as it's less crowded and cooler at that time. I wouldn't know a specific company to recommend from the airport (I did my trip from the hotel) but I would think it's easy enough to get a cab to Giza from the airport, and they may well have tours going from there too along with a guide.

Thanks!  I think I would like to have a guide with their own car so that we can leave luggage in the vehicle.
Does anyone have a feel for the timing of logistics on the airport side (both arriving and checking in for a domestic flight)?  I presume it's possible to leave the airport in you're in transit (I have already checked and confirmed that I don't need a visa).

 

#4 5-27-2017 1:16 AM

DaveSwede
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Re: Dawn trip to the pyramids?

If you don't need visa, there is no reason that you cannot leave the transit lounges.  As long as you have boarding pass / ticket to return back to the airport, you are good to go.

If you are flying on a continuing ticket, your checked bags will be checked through to the destination automatically.  Then all you have to worry about is your carry on.  Unless things have changed since I last past through Cairo, the airport does not have a luggage storage, so you are correct to think you'll have to take with you in your tour/taxi.

I can't speak for a specific tour, but if it was me, I'd just hop in a taxi and make it an adventure.

The airport is on the NE of Cairo, Giza is on the SW of Cairo.  The distance is about 40km.  In the early morning hours, I would say that it would take you < 30 minutes to arrive at Giza.  I don't know what day of the week you are traveling, but rush hour on business days in Cairo can be horrible.  But if you already have boarding pass and checked bags taken care of, you do not need to be ~2hrs in advance.

 

#5 5-27-2017 4:57 AM

harbinger
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Re: Dawn trip to the pyramids?

Thanks Dave - that's good to know.

 

#6 5-27-2017 4:59 AM

kvom
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Re: Dawn trip to the pyramids?

According to Google Maps the typical drive time from the airport to the pyramids is about an hour at 5:00am, and up to 1:30 mid-afternoon.  Seems that  most of the route is the ring road, so you don't traverse the center of Cairo.  You may want to go as soon as you arrive and then wait for sunrise to ensure you get an early start on the return.  The site doesn't open until 7:00, so whether you can actually visit is a question.

 

#7 5-27-2017 9:48 PM

DaveSwede
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Re: Dawn trip to the pyramids?

kvom wrote:

According to Google Maps the typical drive time from the airport to the pyramids is about an hour at 5:00am, and up to 1:30 mid-afternoon.  Seems that  most of the route is the ring road, so you don't traverse the center of Cairo.  You may want to go as soon as you arrive and then wait for sunrise to ensure you get an early start on the return.  The site doesn't open until 7:00, so whether you can actually visit is a question.

Google quotes based off of posted speed limits and average traffic.  Rush hour starts early in Cairo, after all it is a city of 20+ million.

But before 5am, taxi drivers will take advantage of the open roads and will drive like race car drivers.  I still believe it could be 30~40 minutes, based on personal experience.  But yes, after business hours have started, the trip could easily take 1.5hr ~ 2hr.

 
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