Memphis Tours Egypt: 2 Day Trip to Cairo & Giza Pyramids

In Cairo, Egypt with Memphis! Pyramids and camels and Sphinx, oh my.

Day 1 of 2.

We did not book the shore excursion with our cruise ship. In fact, we did not book any shore excursions with our ship cruise for probably the same reasons you wouldn’t either.

Shore excursions are ridiculously expensive!

Egypt Pyramid of Khufu | Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Instead, we booked a private tour hoping to not just save a little money, but more important — in a city of millions possibly billions — we could visit the ancient city at our own pace, enjoy a bit of history without feeling rushed, or worse, mobbed or ripped off.

We reserved a private 2-day tour with Memphis Tours Egypt. The package includes:

  • Pick up services from Alexandria Port & return (by the cruise exit door)
  • All transfers by a private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation for a night at 5* deluxe, Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel
  • Breakfast at your Hotel
  • Private English Egyptologist guide
  • Entrance fees to all the mentioned sites
  • Mineral water on board the vehicle during the tour
  • Lunch meals at a local restaurant
  • Mineral water & cup of tea or coffee during lunch
  • Shopping tours in Cairo
  • All Service charges & taxes
Here are some highlights, our Like/ Dislike for Day 1. 

Like! Private air-conditioned van pick up at port — Check! The driving itself was questionable. Zig- zagging through 3-hours of traffic — apparently lane courtesy holds no meaning here in Egypt — made the entire ride a bit uncomfortable.

Egypt our guide | GQ on Pyramid of Khufu

Mix Feelings. Our guide is extremely friendly but speaks basic English at best. The mystery behind Egyptian history excites me. So it was a total history bust knowing I wasn’t going to get much out of our guide other than the “Look! Khufu.” and “Here.. Ramses the II” type statements. And when he did have more to say, it was so fast we couldn’t tell if he was still speaking English. Like talking to a 3 year old. But what he lacked in language, he delivered in great service.

Like! The plus side to a private guide is knowing we were not among the many being hustled by locals at the pyramids. It gets pretty dicey out there and even I had a moment of run ins but our guide was quick to deter the locals. Our personal body guard and photography in the one city I think you need it most.

Did I mention we were able to bypass the line and the hassle of buying tickets?!

Dodged a bullet: We found out after returning to the ship the next day, stories of taxi drivers only taking people half way and then asking for more money, souvenir sellers forcing you to buy products by placing items in your hands and other random locals literally taking the cameras off and around your neck! Phew.. close one.

Egypt inside one of the smaller pyramids

Like! After a short camel ride, our guide tells us we have the option to either pay more to wait to go inside the famous Pyramid of Khufu. Or, we can pay a little less and go inside a smaller pyramid. Khufu was about 100 EGP (about $16) but the line was ridiculous.

We opted to pay less to see the inside of a smaller pyramid. Our guide told us they are all one and the same since they no longer house tombs or mummies. I think this part is suppose to be free with your admission ticket, but by now I know they’ll do anything to nickle and dime you.

Dislike! Shopping without our consent. If you don’t speak up, you’re in for a ride. After the pyramids, shopping at a famous Bazaar anyone?! Key word here is “a” Bazaar, not “the” like the one you’re probably hoping to see. It’s just a local store selling souvenirs. But you could walk away with your very own cartouche as a souvenir. G did.

Egypt Ramses II | see the hunger in our eyes

By now it was near 3PM and we were starving. Next stop — Ramses II. As we walked the premises, I quickly reminded our guide, “When’s lunch?” and he assured me it was after. But not before some more shopping. We quickly declined most including tapestry but decided we should see Egyptian cotton. We are in Egypt after all. Needless to say, we left empty handed and insisted we go to lunch.

Egypt lunch at local restaurant

Dislike! Lunch was simple fares. Some beets and eggplants, tzatziki and hummus. A few skewered mystery meat and that is what most considered a good meal. Running ants were also plenty on the dining tables at this place. I on the other hand could not wait to check in to our hotel and order room service. It’s safe to say I won’t be craving Egyptian food back home any time soon.

G-Pyramid-Sphinx G and the Sphinx

Like! Now off to the see the Great Sphinx! We maneuvered through the crowd, mostly large group tours from cruise ship excursions — another reason why we avoided such thing — and made our way inside.

But our moment with the Sphinx was cut short when one visitor had a heart attack! Passed out right in front of us. His daughter performed CPR while on- lookers slowly cleared out for the paramedics to filter through. Luckily, the daughter was able to revive her father and for split second, a sigh of relief.

Don’t wait to cruise when you’re old and retired. Cruise while you’re still young. Visit the pyramids while you’re still young. A visit like this, under the desert sun in the blistering heat, is not for the faint of heart. Literally.

Egypt

Dislike. No reservations at Le Meridien. This we knew in advance. They were completely booked. So instead, they gave us the option to choose between a selected few in the nearby area. We chose Le Sphinx. You wouldn’t believe what happened next!

Even though Day 1 was much for most to handle, it’s still surreal to say we’re in Egypt! Day 2 awaits tomorrow!

Have you ever been to Egypt? What was your experience at the Pyramids like? Share your pyramid tips in the comments!

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  • http://superduperfantastic.com/ suki

    I always disliked going on tours because they force you to shop. :/ I mean, you don’t HAVE to shop, but they take you there anyway, and it’s a waste of your time if you are interested in other things.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Me too! Luckily we were firm with our NOs and our guide did not push further. He actually never tried to take us for a ride if you know what I mean. There are just some places where a guide is just the better, smarter option. Egypt is one of them. We were very pleased with our 2-Day Tour with Memphis. 🙂 Thanks for trippin’ by!

  • http://superduperfantastic.com/ suki

    I always disliked going on tours because they force you to shop. :/ I mean, you don’t HAVE to shop, but they take you there anyway, and it’s a waste of your time if you are interested in other things.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Me too! Luckily we were firm with our NOs and our guide did not push further. He actually never tried to take us for a ride if you know what I mean. There are just some places where a guide is just the better, smarter option. Egypt is one of them. We were very pleased with our 2-Day Tour with Memphis. 🙂 Thanks for trippin’ by!

  • Pingback: Memphis Tours Egypt: 2 Day Trip to Cairo & Giza Pyramids | GQ … - - worldhistory.vno.bz

  • Anonymous

    We want to visit Egypt so terribly bad. We don’t have a letter addressed there, but you best belieeeve we’re going anyway! Thanks for the likes and dislikes about your trip. All good things to know before we’re there.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah, don’t let not having a letter stop you guys! Gotta share the light & the shade with some of these tours.

  • CaptainandClark

    We want to visit Egypt so terribly bad. We don’t have a letter addressed there, but you best belieeeve we’re going anyway! Thanks for the likes and dislikes about your trip. All good things to know before we’re there.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah, don’t let not having a letter stop you guys! Gotta share the light & the shade with some of these tours.

  • Anonymous

    Trip looks amazing! Last time we were on a cruise, we got lazy and just booked shore excursions through the ship. But for our next crusie, we’re definitely going to plan ahead and try to book something separately like you did for Egypt!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      You save so much $$$ that way too!

  • idelish

    Trip looks amazing! Last time we were on a cruise, we got lazy and just booked shore excursions through the ship. But for our next crusie, we’re definitely going to plan ahead and try to book something separately like you did for Egypt!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      You save so much $$$ that way too!

  • http://www.bryansnider.com Bryan Snider

    Back in 2009 my wife and I spent 5 nights in Cairo. We had a blast but there are a few things I wish we did differently. I recommend going to your local library and reading up on the Pyramids before you go. Unfortunately for me, I read up after I got back and learned a lot of things about the Great Pyramid that would have pushed me into going into the Great Pyramid. Like you, my guide said there wasn’t much differences. However, after reading this book I realized their was a lot of construction differences that make it one of the original “Wonders of the World.”

    Like you, we hired a guide that spoke basic English. I’m not complaining about their English skills, because I’m not bilingual by any means. However, If I were to return (which we plan to this year) I would splurge a little and hire an American or British Egyptologist guide for the day. I would then spend my entire day or half day at the Pyramids and get a VIP tour of the site.

  • http://www.bryansnider.com Bryan Snider

    Back in 2009 my wife and I spent 5 nights in Cairo. We had a blast but there are a few things I wish we did differently. I recommend going to your local library and reading up on the Pyramids before you go. Unfortunately for me, I read up after I got back and learned a lot of things about the Great Pyramid that would have pushed me into going into the Great Pyramid. Like you, my guide said there wasn’t much differences. However, after reading this book I realized their was a lot of construction differences that make it one of the original “Wonders of the World.”

    Like you, we hired a guide that spoke basic English. I’m not complaining about their English skills, because I’m not bilingual by any means. However, If I were to return (which we plan to this year) I would splurge a little and hire an American or British Egyptologist guide for the day. I would then spend my entire day or half day at the Pyramids and get a VIP tour of the site.

  • Kelly Rogers

    I also want to see the pyramids and the sphinx and other sites found in Egypt. But I don’t want to be ripped off. However, I’m not sure if travel to Egypt is allowed by my country.

  • Kelly Rogers

    I also want to see the pyramids and the sphinx and other sites found in Egypt. But I don’t want to be ripped off. However, I’m not sure if travel to Egypt is allowed by my country.

  • http://www.egyptshoretrips.com/ Mariam Ahmed

    Memphis Tours is one of the leading travel agencies in Egypt

  • Alex

    that’s right but i travel with SaraTours.de and it is also was the best tour guide in Egypt wass through SaraTours

  • Khaled Reyad

    Very beautiful place for travel. If you want to visit this place contact me at +201145883329 or visit my website
    http://www.nileholiday.com/

  • http://www.lookategypttours.com/ Neith Jos

    Thanks for sharing your travel experience. The capital city of Egypt, Cairo is a busy metropolis. It is popular for cruises to Nile and excursions to Pyramids at Giza. Moreover, the world famous Egyptian Museum of Tahrir Square is situated here where visitors can have a view of the treasure of Tutankhamun, mummies and several other precious artifacts.

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