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Take an 360° Interactive Tour Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza

in Architecture , History | July 31st, 2020 1 Comment

You can’t take it with you if you’ve got noth­ing to take with you.

Once upon a time, the now-emp­ty  Great Pyra­mid of Giza  was sump­tu­ous­ly appoint­ed inside and out, to ensure that Pharaoh Khu­fu, or Cheops as he was known to the Ancient Greeks, would be well received in the after­life.

Bling was a seri­ous thing.

Thou­sand of years fur­ther on, cin­e­mat­ic por­tray­als have us con­vinced that tomb raiders were greedy 19th- and 20th-cen­tu­ry cura­tors, eager­ly fill­ing their vit­rines with stolen arti­facts.

There’s some truth to that, but mod­ern Egyp­tol­o­gists are fair­ly con­vinced that Khufu’s pyra­mid was loot­ed short­ly after his reign, by oppor­tunists look­ing to grab some good­ies for their jour­ney to the after­life.

At any rate, it’s been picked clean.

Per­haps one day, we 21st-cen­tu­ry cit­i­zens can opt in to a pyra­mid expe­ri­ence akin to  Rome Reborn , a dig­i­tal crutch for our fee­ble imag­i­na­tion to help us past the emp­ty sar­coph­a­gus and bare walls that have defined the world’s old­est tourist attraction’s inte­ri­ors for … well, not quite ever, but cer­tain­ly for  Flaubert ,  Mark Twain , and 12th-cen­tu­ry schol­ar  Abd al-Latif .

Fast for­ward­ing to 2017, the  BBC’s Rajan Datar  host­ed “ Secrets of the Great Pyra­mid ,” a pod­cast episode fea­tur­ing Egyp­tol­o­gist  Sal­i­ma Ikram , space archae­ol­o­gist  Dr Sarah Par­cak , and archae­ol­o­gist, Dr  Joyce Tyldes­ley .

The experts were keen to clear up a major mis­con­cep­tion that the 4600-year-old pyra­mid was built by aliens or enslaved labor­ers, rather than a per­ma­nent staff of archi­tects and engi­neers, aid­ed by Egypt­ian civil­ians eager to barter their labor for meat, fish, beer, and tax abate­ment.

Datar’s ques­tion about a scan­ning project that would bring fur­ther insight into the Pyra­mid of Giza­’s con­struc­tion and lay­out was met with excite­ment.

This attrac­tion, old as it is, has plen­ty of new secrets to be dis­cov­ered.

We’re hap­py to share with you, read­ers, that 3 years after that episode was taped, the future is here.

The scan­ning is com­plete.

Wit­ness the BBC’s 360° tour inside the Great Pyra­mid of Giza.

Use your mouse to crane your neck, if you like.

As of this writ­ing, you  could   tour the pyra­mid in per­son , should you wish—the usu­al touris­tic hoards are def­i­nite­ly dialed down.

But, giv­en the con­ta­gion, per­haps bet­ter to tour the King’s Cham­ber, the Queen’s Cham­ber, and the Grand Gallery vir­tu­al­ly, above.

(An inter­est­ing tid­bit: the pyra­mid was more dis­tant to the ancient Romans than the Colos­se­um is to us.)

Lis­ten to the BBC’s “Secrets of the Great Pyra­mid” episode  here .

Tour the Great Pyra­mid of Giza  here .

Relat­ed Con­tent:

What the Great Pyra­mid of Giza Would’ve Looked Like When First Built: It Was Gleam­ing, Reflec­tive White

How the Egypt­ian Pyra­mids Were Built: A New The­o­ry in 3D Ani­ma­tion

The Met Dig­i­tal­ly Restores the Col­ors of an Ancient Egypt­ian Tem­ple, Using Pro­jec­tion Map­ping Tech­nol­o­gy

Ayun Hal­l­i­day  is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of  the East Vil­lage Inky  zine.  Fol­low her  @AyunHalliday .

by Ayun Halliday | Permalink | Comments (1) |

great pyramid tour online

Related posts:

Comments (1), 1 comment so far.

Absolute­ly love this. I hope to see a video of the Great Pyra­mid as it was when it was com­plete­ly whole.

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Great Pyramid of Giza

Discover the secrets of Egypt’s Great Pyramid on this new virtual tour

A new tool gives you access to the inside chambers of one of the Ancient Wonders of the World

Ed Cunningham

Always wanted have a look around an Egyptian pyramid but never quite managed to go all the way to Giza? Here’s your chance for a sneak peek. You can now take a free virtual tour of the Great Pyramid of Giza – and, even online, it’s pretty spectacular.

On a website called Giza.Mused , the tour gives viewers a comprehensive look into one of Egypt’s most famous pyramids. It renders the ‘entire interior’ in digital 3-D form, taking virtual tour attendees through the king’s chamber at the top, the queen’s chamber in the middle and a subterranean chamber, which is cut into the bedrock beneath. 

So what’s so special about the Great Pyramid of Giza – despite, obviously, it being ‘great’ and all? Well, it’s the biggest pyramid in Egypt and stands at just over 138 metres tall. Built about 4,600 years ago, it houses the tomb of fourth dynasty pharaoh Khufu and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and the only Ancient Wonder still standing).

In other words, it’s a pretty sweet place to get a virtual tour of. Giza.Mused doubles up as a fascinating history lesson, with facts about everything from its construction and location to the current entrance, which was apparently dug by robbers in the ninth century.

You can do the tour for yourself here – and get fantasising about just how incredible it would be to see the pyramids IRL.

Stay in the loop: sign up to our   free Time Out Travel newsletter   for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.

  • Ed Cunningham News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London

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Visit the Pyramids of Giza Without Even Leaving Your Couch

By ellen gutoskey | apr 15, 2021.

The Great Sphinx with the Pyramids of Giza in the distance.

If going to the Giza Plateau in person is the ultimate way to experience the ancient Pyramids of Giza, Harvard University’s Digital Giza is at least the next best thing.

As Nerdist reports , Digital Giza is an offshoot of Harvard’s Giza Project , an international endeavor to catalog and consolidate archives and information about the Giza Plateau from all over the world. Researchers have used this data to create a digital platform with 3D models, virtual walking tours, and other free interactive resources to help people explore the region from afar.

You can, for example, amble around the largest of the three pyramids, commissioned by King Khufu around 2550 BCE and also known as the Great Pyramid . Not only is it the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it’s also the only one that still exists (That said, historians aren’t sure that some of them ever existed at all—hard evidence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes, for example, has proven difficult to find.) The other two pyramids that tower over the rest of the plateau are the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, built by (and named for) Khufu’s son and grandson, respectively.

Digital Giza offers plenty of sites to explore beyond those three edifices. The Great Sphinx , thought to have been built during Khafre’s reign, is also a must-see. While it’s currently the same sandy color as the rest of the plateau, pigment residue suggests that it might’ve once been painted red, blue, yellow, and perhaps other vibrant hues. The platform also has virtual tours of several extravagant tombs, complete with details about the art and sculptures you see inside.

If you’re interested in an immersive (and educational) virtual vacation, you can explore Digital Giza here .

[h/t Nerdist ]

Ancient Origins

360° Tour inside the Great Pyramid of Giza (Video)

  • Read Later  

The BBC's 360° tour through the Great Pyramid of Giza , one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, provides viewers with an immersive virtual reality experience. The video tour starts in the heart of the pyramid, the ceremonial passage known as the Grand Gallery, and continues to the King's Chamber . The precision and architectural brilliance of the pyramid become evident as the viewers navigate through the narrow, low-roofed passages of this over 4,500-year-old edifice.

The video also explores the mysterious subterranean chamber, a feature of the pyramid normally closed off to the public. This enigmatic section is hewn out of the bedrock below ground level and, unlike the smooth surfaces found elsewhere in the pyramid, has rough and irregular walls. The purpose of this chamber and its unusual features, including a strange deep shaft and a short tunnel that ends abruptly, remain a mystery. Despite the enduring secrets it holds, the Great Pyramid , thanks to technological advances in virtual reality, now also shines as a marvel in the virtual world, giving us an unprecedented look into its fascinating interiors.

  • Great White Pyramid: Did You know Giza’s Great Pyramid Was Once Dazzling White?
  • The Hidden Message in Khafre’s Pyramid: What Were the Builders Trying to Tell Us?

Top image: Stairway inside the Great Pyramid, Egypt. Source:  witthaya / Adobe Stock.

By Joanna Gillan

Joanna Gillan's picture

Joanna Gillan is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. 

Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree in Australia and published research in the field of Educational Psychology. She has a rich and varied career, ranging from teaching... Read More

Related Articles on Ancient-Origins

great pyramid tour online

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Tour Inside The Great Pyramid

great pyramid tour online

Discover the ancient mysteries of the Great Pyramid of Giza with our exclusive Tour Inside The Great Pyramid. Step into the heart of this iconic wonder, explore hidden chambers, and unravel the enigma of the pharaohs. Book your tour today for an extraordinary experience that will leave you in awe of Egypt’s ancient past.

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey as you venture inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the last surviving wonder of the ancient world. Our Tour Inside The Great Pyramid offers a rare opportunity to explore the inner chambers and corridors of this architectural marvel. Walk in the footsteps of pharaohs and immerse yourself in the rich history and mystique that surrounds this extraordinary monument.

Highlights :

  • Entrance to the Great Pyramid: Gain exclusive access to the interior of the Great Pyramid, one of the most iconic and enigmatic structures ever built. Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship and learn about the pyramid’s construction.
  • King’s Chamber: Explore the innermost chamber of the pyramid, known as the King’s Chamber. Admire the massive granite sarcophagus and learn about its significance in ancient Egyptian beliefs and rituals.
  • Queen’s Chamber: Visit the Queen’s Chamber, a smaller but equally fascinating chamber within the pyramid. Discover its purpose and speculate on its mysteries.

Advantages:

  • Limited Group Size: Enjoy an intimate and immersive experience with a limited group size, ensuring a more personal and meaningful exploration of the Great Pyramid.
  • Expert Egyptologist Guide: Our knowledgeable Egyptologist guide will provide in-depth insights into the pyramid’s history, construction, and significance, enriching your understanding of this ancient wonder.
  • Convenience and Flexibility: Benefit from convenient hotel pickup and drop-off, and the flexibility to customize the tour to suit your needs, including changing the pickup time.
  • 8:00 AM: Hotel pickup in Cairo or Giza
  • Transfer to the Giza Plateau
  • Enter the Great Pyramid and begin the guided exploration of its interior
  • Visit the King’s Chamber and learn about its significance
  • Explore the Queen’s Chamber and unravel its mysteries
  • Return to the entrance of the pyramid and conclude the tour
  • Transfer back to your hotel

Inclusions:

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Professional Egyptologist guide
  • Entrance fees to the Great Pyramid

Exclusions:

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Personal expenses

Tips and Advice for Travelers:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for walking and climbing narrow passages inside the pyramid.
  • Bring a flashlight or use the flashlight feature on your phone for better visibility inside the chambers.
  • Respect the ancient site by following the instructions of your guide and refraining from touching or damaging the pyramid’s walls.
  • Photography is allowed inside the pyramid, but using flash may be prohibited, so be prepared for low-light conditions.

Trip Notes:

  • The tour operates on select days and is subject to availability.
  • Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours.
  • This tour is not recommended for claustrophobic individuals or those with mobility issues, as it involves walking on uneven surfaces and navigating narrow passages.
  • The tour may be subject to changes or cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances, such as weather conditions or site closures. In such cases, an alternative itinerary will be provided.

Q: Can I book the tour on the same day? A: Due to limited availability, we recommend booking in advance to secure your spot for the Tour Inside The Great Pyramid. However, same-day bookings may be possible, subject to availability.

Q: Can children join the tour? A: Children aged 6 and above are welcome to join the tour. Please note that infants and young children under the age of 6 are not permitted inside the pyramid due to safety regulations.

Q: Can I customize the tour? A: Yes, we offer customization options to suit your needs. If you require any changes to the pickup time or have specific preferences, please contact our customer support team to discuss the possibilities.

Virtual Travel

A Smithsonian magazine special report

Take a Free Virtual Tour of Five Egyptian Heritage Sites

The sites include the 5,000-year-old tomb of Meresankh III, the Red Monastery and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq

Theresa Machemer

Correspondent

Red Monastery VR tour

Earlier this month, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the release of five new virtual tours of historic sites, adding to the range of online adventures that you can now embark on from home.

The tours explore the tomb of Meresankh III , the tomb of Menna , the Ben Ezra Synagogue , the Red Monastery and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq . Each virtual experience features detailed 3-D imagery through which users can “walk” by clicking hotspots along the structures’ floors.

As James Stewart reports for the Guardian , the tours boast “beefed up” 3-D modeling made by experts with Harvard University’s Giza Project . Unlike their real counterparts, most of which charge a small entry fee, the virtual renderings are free to all.

“The virtual tours target both [international] tourists and Egyptians, a ministry spokesperson tells Al-Monitor ’s Amira Sayed Ahmed. “They serve the double purpose of promoting Egyptian tourism nationwide and increasing Egyptians' awareness of their own civilization.”

Two of the tours—the tombs of Meresankh III and elite Egyptian official Menna —include background information accessible by clicking circles overlaid atop specific features. The former’s tomb, dated to some 5,000 years ago, is the oldest of the Egyptian sites available as a virtual walkthrough. Meresankh, a queen wed to King Khafre, was the daughter of Prince Kawab and Hetepheres II of the fourth dynasty, and the granddaughter of Great Pyramid builder Cheops, also known as Khufu.

Harvard archaeologist George Andrew Reisner discovered the queen’s tomb in 1927. He later stated that “None of us had ever seen anything like it.” Today, the burial place’s paintings and carvings remain well-preserved, showcasing hunters catching water birds, bakers making triangular loaves of bread and servants holding offerings.

In the northern chamber, along the wall furthest from the virtual tour’s starting point, ten statues of women stand shoulder to shoulder—an unusual sight among Gaza tombs. The statues “serve to emphasize Meresankh’s position among her queenly relatives,” the tour explains. Along the path to the 16-foot-deep burial shaft, users pass a pair of statues depicting Meresankh and her mother, Hetepheres II, with their arms around each other.

The path leads down a spiraling staircase into the burial shaft, where Meresankh’s black granite sarcophagus—originally created for her mother but re-engraved upon the queen’s death in 2532 B.C., according to the History Blog —was originally found. The tour includes a reconstructed image of the chamber with the sarcophagus in place, but the actual coffin is now kept at the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo.

The tomb of Menna, dated to the 18th dynasty (about 1549 B.C to 1292 B.C.), is “one of the most visited and best preserved” from the era, the ministry writes in a statement quoted by Live Science ’s Laura Geggel. The tomb’s decorations suggest the elite official was a scribe in charge of the pharaoh’s fields and the temple of sun god Amun-Re.

Menna’s tomb also includes informational blurbs highlighting such features as paintings of the scribe’s family, including his wife Henuttawy and their five children. Curiously, all of the paintings of Menna have been defaced.

“The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul of a person inhabited paintings of them and destroying the face would ‘deactivate’ the image,” the tour notes. “Why would someone want to destroy the memory of Menna?”

The tomb also served as a point of communication with the dead. It once featured life-size statues of Menna and Henuttawy that family members could make offerings to, ask for favors or visit during festivals.

The other three tours do not offer information blurbs at this time, but they still have plenty of detailed 3-D imagery for virtual visitors to explore. The Red Monastery , a Coptic church in Upper Egypt, features ornate frescoes, while the 14th-century Mosque-Madrassa is known for its immense size and innovative architecture. The Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo is alleged to be the site where baby Moses was found.

“Experience Egypt from home,” says the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on Facebook . “Stay home. Stay safe.”

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Theresa Machemer | READ MORE

Theresa Machemer is a freelance writer based in Washington DC. Her work has also appeared in National Geographic and SciShow. Website: tkmach.com

Egypt Tours Plus

Giza Pyramids Tours – An Unforgettable Egyptian Experience

Giza Pyramids Tours bring you face to face with the most famous and most popular tourist attractions in Egypt . It presents you with an ideal opportunity to visit and explore some of the most treasured ancient attractions in the world, and the last remaining one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As one would expect, a visit to these amazing pyramids is included in almost all of our Egypt tour packages and Nile cruise holidays .

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Giza and Saqqara Day Tour

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Giza Pyramids and Egyptian Museum Tour

Camel Ride at the Giza Pyramids

Camel Ride at the Pyramids of Giza

Cairo Stopover Transit Tour

Cairo Stopover Transit Tour: Giza Pyramids, Egyptian Museum & Khan El Khalili

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Pyramid Day Tour Including Lunch at Cafelluca

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Quad Bike at Giza Pyramids

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Giza Pyramids Half Day Tour from Cairo

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Pyramids Sound and Light Show

Tour the pyramids of giza.

The Pyramids of Giza   consist of the most amazing and world-renowned features in all of Egypt. The sites you will see in Giza are so revered that that they are downright iconic of Egyptian culture. Giza is not actually a city, but instead, it’s the western district of Cairo. Giza has also become increasingly popular as a commercial area, especially along Pyramids Road.

What to See?

Egypt Pyramids Tours

Aerial view of the Giza Plateau in Cairo.

What can you expect to see in Giza and on all the best tours of Cairo , Egypt?   First and foremost, you have the Ancient Pyramids of Giza. Any guided Egypt tours that are worth a penny will tour the Pyramids of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It might surprise you to discover that the Egyptian Pyramids, while still intact internally and externally, are surrounded by urban development. While visitors may come expecting to find the Pyramids in an isolated desert, what they will actually see is this natural attraction standing adjacent to businesses like McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

What can you expect when you actually visit the Ancient Pyramids? Expect the insides of the Pyramids to be hot, humid and perhaps even a bit scary, especially if you have claustrophobia. Once you’re inside though, you will be delighted by the miraculous achievement of these millennium-old creations – all the more impressive considering they were built by human hands, and contrary to what some people believe, they were not built using slave labor.

Pyramids to look for by name include Khufu (at nearly five hundred feet high), Khafre and Menkaure. In short, any and all travel to Egypt should include a visit to the pyramids.

The Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx, Giza Plateau

The Great Sphinx, Giza Plateau.

Besides the Pyramids, another iconic feature of Giza Pyramids tours is the Sphinx and the Temple of the Sphinx. This human headed lion was originally built in honor of the sun god Re-Horakhty. Is your curiosity piqued by the Sphinx’s missing nose? No, the ancient Egyptians didn’t have a sense of humor. What is believed to be the cause of the missing nose is that bored soldiers once used the Sphinx as target practice. The culprits have been suggested to be anyone from World War I British troops, to Napoleon’s army, to even Turks of the old era.

Please Note!

Giza Pyramids Tours - An Absolute Must

Camels in front of the big 3 pyramids.

Can you climb the Pyramids?   No, though at one time it was allowed. Fortunately climbing these amazing structures is no longer allowed, though some claim that guards in less frequented areas can be bribed to allow some climbing activity.

Last but not least, expect to be offered a camel ride on these Giza Pyramids tours. We generally do NOT recommend a camel ride at the Giza Pyramids if visiting the area without a guide (which is also not recommended). If you should choose to go for a ride expect to haggle and expect to be cheated, both before and after the ride. Nevertheless, you have to sample Giza in order to say you have truly seen the grandeur of Ancient Egypt! In other words: Giza Pyramids tours are an absolute must when visiting Cairo .

Discover the Magic of Giza Pyramids Tours

Cruise the Nile, explore the Pyramids and dive the Red Sea. Contact us today to find out more about our Egypt tour packages and our Nile River cruises , or to book your dream vacation right now. Our Egypt tour packages are private and fully customizable . You can have your Giza Pyramids tour your way when you travel to this ancient land with Egypt Tours Plus.

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Explore Egypt your way by selecting only the attractions you want to visit

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8-Day Egypt Holiday Tour – Cairo and Nile Cruise [By Train]

FAQ: Visiting the Giza Pyramids

Can I Visit the Pyramids in Egypt?

Tourist are welcome to visit all of Egypt’s famous pyramids, including the legendary Giza Pyramids near Cairo, the Red Pyramid and Bent Pyramid at Dashur, and the famous Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

Are the Pyramids in Egypt Safe to Visit?

Being Egypt’s most visited attractions, the Giza Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaura are perfectly safe to visit. Egypt’s other pyramids at Dashur and Saqqara are also safe to visit.

How Much To Visit Pyramids In Egypt?

As of the time of writing, a ticket for the site where the Giza Pyramids are located cost EGP 200. To go inside the Great Pyramid cost an additional EGP 400, and EGP 100 for each of the other two.

What Is the Best Time to Visit Egypt Pyramids?

The best time to visit the pyramids is from mid-October to February when the weather is neither too warm nor too cool. Try to visit before 09h00 if you want to avoid large crowds of tourists.

Egypt Travel Information

Full Safety Guide - Is It Safe to Travel to Egypt

Full Safety Guide: Is It Safe to Travel to Egypt?

What are the Must Visit Places in Egypt

What are the Must Visit Places in Egypt?

Egypt Travel Tips - This You Need to Know

Egypt Travel Tips: This You Need to Know

How to Plan a Trip to Egypt – A to Z Guide

How to Plan a Trip to Egypt – Start Here!

Best Time to Visit Egypt and When to Book

Best Time to Visit Egypt and When to Book!

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What to Pack for Egypt (Simple Packing List)

Last Updated on March 25, 2024

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You Can Take A Virtual Tour Of The Great Pyramids Of Giza From Your Living Room

Jack Saddler

Take on the last standing Wonder of the Ancient World.

As we’re all stuck indoors, we may as well take a marvel at a great landmark. Thanks to Google Street View, you can take in the stunning Pyramids Of Giza. [ Featured Image: Unsplash ]

Among the Giza pyramids complex, you will get to potter around like a royal as you check out four great pyramids. First, of course, you’ll be able to view the stunning Great Pyramid. It was built by King Khufu and stood tall as the highest structure on Earth when it was first unveiled.

great pyramid tour online

Then, it’ll be time to visit the Pyramid of Khafre, which was created second. This was built by King Khufu’s son, Khafre, and is slightly smaller than the Great Pyramid.

After this, you can ramble along the desert to be bowled over by the Great Sphinx Sculpture. The stunning sphinx resembles a lion with the head of a man, and is said to have been built by King Khafre.

great pyramid tour online

Finally, to top off the tour, the Pyramid of Menkaure awaits you. This was the final structure to appear, courtesy of Menkaure, Khafre’s son. It is half the height of the Great Pyramid.

So, as we’re all living through online experiences, this is a brilliant option. You can always combine a tour of this great wonder with a virtual Tutankhamun exhibition , an online tour of Tutankhamun’s treasures currently at London’s Saatchi Gallery. When lockdown ends, you’ll be an expert on Ancient Egypt.

Experience the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World here .

Featured image: Shutterstock

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What You Need To Know About The Three Chambers Of The Great Pyramid (& What You Can See On A Tour)

  • The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing today and is a popular tourist destination.
  • The pyramids were sealed off to protect their secrets and treasures, but tourists can now see some of the chambers and passageways.
  • The Great Pyramid was built as a mausoleum for the Pharaoh Khufu and took around 27 years to construct. Visitors can explore the King's Chamber and other hidden passageways.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing today and it has long captured the imagination of the many generations that have seen it (from the Greeks to the Romans to the modern era). During the Roman era, the pyramids were among the tourist destinations of Rome . The Great Pyramid has a number of chambers and some of these can be seen by tourists today.

The pyramids were sealed off and no one was meant to enter them to see (and loot) their secrets and treasures. The pyramids of Giza were encased with smooth white limestone and were part of a complex with satellite pyramids, temples, causeways, and more. The pyramids looked very different when they were first built , but visitors can glimpse them today. Here's what to know about touring the Great Pyramid.

Size & Purpose Of The Great Pyramid Of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest pyramid in Egypt (only a little larger than the Pyramid of Khafre) and was built as a mausoleum for the Pharaoh Khufu. It should be noted that the Ancient Egyptians did not see the pyramids as 'tombs' or their pharaohs as 'dead.' Instead, the pyramids were part of a larger complex designed to take the pharaoh to the afterlife.

  • Built: 26th Century BC
  • Height: 481 feet (original); 454 feet (today)

The Great Pyramid was built in the early 26th century BC and took around 27 years to construct. For some 3,800 years, the Great Pyramid was the tallest building in the world (originally 146.6 meters or 481 feet tall, now 138.5 meters or 454.4 feet tall).

The Great Pyramid is the most famous monument of the Giza Necropolis or Giza Pyramid Complex .

Related: The Great Sphinx Was Likely Part Of This Pyramid Complex

The Three Known Chambers Inside The Great Pyramid Of Giza

The Great Pyramid is awe-inspiring from the outside but somewhat underwhelming on the inside. There are three main known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. Additionally, there is the Grand Gallery and various corridors and shafts.

There are more secrets of the Great Pyramid still waiting to be discovered. A new passageway or hidden corridor was announced to have been discovered in March 2023 that measures some 9 meters or 30 feet long and 2 meters or 6 feet wide. It was found with non-invasive scans near the main entrance.

Subterranean Chamber

One of these chambers is not even in the pyramid per se , instead, the Subterranean Chamber (or 'Pit') was cut into the bedrock beneath the pyramid. This chamber remains unfinished and is located 89 feet or 27 meters below the base level. This room measures 27.5 feet by 46.4 feet and has a height of 13 feet.

The access to the Subterranean Chamber is through the Descending Passage, and it has been suggested that this may have been intended as the burial place for the pharaoh. This plan was changed later in favor of the King's Chamber higher in the pyramid.

This chamber was rediscovered in 1817.

Queen's Chamber

The Queen's Chamber is linked to the Grand Gallery by the Horizontal Passage. Despite its name, it is unlikely that a queen was buried there. Instead, it seems more probable that it once housed a life-size statue of the pharaoh.

The floor is rough, almost as though it's unfinished. The room measures 17 feet by 19 feet and the ceiling is 20.6 feet at the apex. The room is completely void of any contents with anything placed in the chamber removed long ago.

King's Chamber

The King's Chamber is the highest of the three main chambers and is completely faced with granite. This was the burial chamber of the Great Pyramid. Above the chamber are five compartments that were separated by huge horizontal granite slabs; these were likely meant to divert the massive weight of the pyramid above.

The chamber measures 34.4 feet by 17.2 feet and its ceiling is 19 feet high.

The only object still remaining in the chamber is the sarcophagus which is made out of a single granite block. The King's Chamber was rediscovered in the Early Middle Ages and it was quickly plundered for anything that was stored in the chamber.

Related: Pyramid of Cestius: See The Ancient Roman Pyramid That Was Inspired By Egypt's Ancient Pyramids

Tour Inside The Great Pyramid While In Giza

Visitors can go inside the Great Pyramid (as well as the neighboring Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure). It is a separate ticket to go in each of the pyramids in addition to admission to the archeological site.

  • Entry Fee Giza Pyramids Site: 240 Egyptian Pounds ($8 USD)
  • Entry Fee Great Pyramid: 440 Egyptian Pounds ($14 USD)
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Visitors need to walk through narrow passageways (having to stoop down in places). Tourists see the King's Chamber and some of the other hidden passageways. It is perhaps surprising that the largest building in the world for thousands of years is actually cramped inside.

While in Giza, take the time to see the other Ancient Egyptian necropolises and see the other impressive pyramids of Egypt .

What You Need To Know About The Three Chambers Of The Great Pyramid (& What You Can See On A Tour)

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People on exercise mats stand and stretch in front of large statues in a museum.

The Great Read Paris Dispatch

Dancing Past the Venus de Milo

The Louvre is joining in the celebration for the Olympics by opening up for dance and exercise classes early in the morning. Tickets sold out in a flash.

Exercising in the Louvre before the crowds arrive this month. Credit...

Supported by

By Catherine Porter

Photographs and Video by Dmitry Kostyukov

Reporting from Paris and dancing through the Louvre

  • May 16, 2024

I fell in love with the Louvre one morning while doing disco moves to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” in the Salle des Cariatides .

The museum, a former medieval fortress and then royal palace, had not yet opened, and I was following instructions to catwalk and hip bump and point in the grand room where Louis XIV once held plays and balls.

The sun cast warm light through long windows, striping the pink-and-white checkered floor and bathing the marble arms, heads and wings of the ancient Grecian statues around me.

“Point, and point, and point,” shouted Salim Bagayoko, a dance instructor. So I struck my best John Travolta poses and pointed around the room, my eyes landing on the delicate sandaled foot of Artemus, the wings of a Niobid and the stone penis of Apollo.

The woman beside me caught my eye. We giggled.

Over the years, I have felt many things in the world’s most-visited, and arguably most-famous, museum — irritation, exhaustion and some wonder, too.

This time, I felt joy.

People, largely cast in shadow, exercising.

With the Summer Olympics coming to Paris in a few months, museums and galleries across the country have been competing to put on Olympics-themed shows. One of the Louvre’s offerings is an hourlong dance-and-exercise circuit through the building, which museum officials call “Courez au Louvre” — meaning both run to and run in the Louvre.

The museum seemed a natural training gym, explained its performing arts director, Luc Bouniol-Laffont. It is so big that the staff wear running shoes to cover its 400 rooms, which, when stretched together, extend more than nine miles. And exercise would offer a different connection to some of the 33,000 works.

“It’s not the spirit looking,” he explained. “It’s the body.”

He offered Mehdi Kerkouche , a local choreographer, a tour with curators and gave him carte blanche to design the sessions — with one small request.

“Forget the Mona Lisa, for once,” Mr. Bouniol-Laffont said. “There are so many other things to see.”

The classes, priced at 38 euros, about $41, for adults, sold out within an hour of going live online. They last through the end of this month.

The biggest draw is the timing. The dancing begins an hour before the museum opens. Each morning, some 60 lucky people — divided into two groups of 30 — get to experience a private viewing normally enjoyed only by the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z .

No giant lines, no pressing crowds, no selfie-sticks: We had the Louvre to ourselves.

Here’s a secret: While the French are passionate gallery-goers, they aren’t huge into the Louvre. Some nine million people crowd its halls each year, but the vast majority aren’t French. The place is just too big and crowded. The experience of viewing the Mona Lisa is similar to squeezing into the subway at rush hour ; some 30,000 people press before it each day. Why suffer through that when there are more than 100 less-packed museums, full of marvelous things, scattered around the city?

Even Mr. Kerkouche admitted he hadn’t been inside the building since he was a child. “All the Parisians are the same,” he said. “I bike every day in front of it to go from one place to another in the city. But I just don’t look at it anymore.”

Arriving at the Louvre alone, before the crowds, gave me the space to really look at it. And boy, is it breathtaking.

In the center of the outer courtyard, I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid glowed purple-blue in the morning light. I stepped inside it and floated down the escalator into the museum’s modern foyer, the reflection of the building’s ornate stone facades, with its columns and statues, scattered around me.

I felt like a character in a Disney cartoon. It was magical.

Mr. Kerkouche’s idea was to have a four-part session, in four different rooms, tucked close to one another in two of the Louvre’s three wings. Otherwise, he said, the hour would be eaten up by commuting.

He asked four collaborators — three dancers and his gym coach — to help design a 15-minute class for each space. Each one was inspired, energetically, by the room.

Disco in the Salle des Cariatides, which once had held royal balls, was obvious — to him, disco was the modern version of ballroom dancing. “We have to give back the first purpose of this room,” he said.

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From there, my group stepped into the next room for some quick stretching beside the Venus de Milo and then ran down to the basement to the oldest part of the building. There, we did warrior training — lunges, squats and jumping jacks to the beats of the AC/DC song “Highway to Hell.”

The activity befit the Louvre’s origins as a fortress built around 1200 to protect the medieval city from the Normans while King Philippe Auguste was on a crusade. Over the centuries, it was converted into a royal palace and greatly expanded. In 1984, while doing a huge renovation of the building, archaeologists unearthed the base of the original rough limestone walls.

We did running races up and down the steps toward the Great Sphynx of Tanis , which guards the entrance to the Egyptian antiquities collection. I imagined its pouting lips smiling just slightly, and its huge stone tail flicking in mild feline amusement.

We whooped and hollered as we ran up the stairwell to the next class, the echoes washing over my body. The instructors played hide-and-seek during their first walk-through together, I was told. They maintained that sense of playfulness.

It was all so otherworldly and silly. I felt the sense of exhilaration and freedom I remember from summer camp when I was a kid.

We were instructed to dance into our next class, through a tunnel made of the massive bodies of two stone bulls with eagle wings and the heads of bearded men. Inside, we were greeted by a reconstructed 2,700-year-old courtyard of Khorsabad, a palace of King Sargon II, leader of the Assyrian empire. Abandoned soon after his death, the palace was unearthed in 1843 in modern-day Iraq by the French vice consul to Mosul. Parts were sent to the Louvre soon after for display.

The giant statues inspired Mr. Kerkouche to offer a class in dancehall, the Jamaican urban dance in which moves are rooted, powerful and sensual.

“We are living statues,” said Queensy Blazin’, the dance instructor who led us through rounds of twerking, stomping while scooping our arms and bouncing forward into squats while barking “ha” to the deep beats of Sean Paul’s “Get Busy.”

The joy was infectious and irresistible.

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Even the security guard was dancing at her post. She had never seen anything like it in her 34 years working here, she confided.

Beauty shouldn’t just be stared at, I realized. It should be enjoyed and celebrated.

Our last stop was in the part of the Louvre that was once a parking lot for the Ministry of Finance, which, for more than a century, had its offices in one wing of the building. As part of the 1984 renovation, the museum directors converted the space into a peaceful courtyard with potted trees, benches and Carrara marble statues from the royal gardens of the Marly palace. That was a former getaway spot for Louis XIV, where he’d come to relax in the stunning gardens, resplendent with waterfalls, groves and pools.

And so there we did yoga. The teacher led us through downward dogs and pigeon poses before giant statues of rearing horses and hunters — a homage to the king’s favorite pastimes.

I noticed sea gulls wheeling above the giant glass roof.

“Normally, yoga is very introspective,” Laure Dary, the instructor, explained to me later. “But this is a setting like no other. I have to tell them to open their eyes.”

She directed us to focus on one statue, and take it as a mental memento. I gazed into the stone eye of a marble boar being speared by a hunter in a tunic.

At the end, my fellow rosy-cheeked participants crowded around the teachers to thank them profusely. We were all high on endorphins.

“This was a life highlight,” beamed Benny Nemer, 50, a Canadian artist who has lived in Paris for four years.

My only criticism: 15 minutes was not enough time in each room. I need to go back and examine them all intimately, plus see some other ones I glimpsed while running by. Which was exactly the point, according to Mr. Bouniol-Laffont of the Louvre — to lure Parisians back into the building, and remind them of the place’s majesty.

Because once you fall in love with a place, you don’t want to be parted from it.

Catherine Porter is an international reporter for The Times, covering France. She is based in Paris. More about Catherine Porter

2024 Paris Summer Olympics

The summer olympic games in paris are expected to draw millions of spectators..

Olympic Flame Arrives in Marseille: The flame will be carried on a 79-day journey across France  and its territories, culminating in Paris with the start of the Olympic Games on July 26.

World Anti-Doping Agency: Ahead of the Olympics, the global agency tasked with policing doping in sports is facing a growing crisis  as it fends off allegations it helped cover up the positive tests of elite Chinese swimmers .

Friends Competing for Spots: Conner Mantz and Clayton Young had run side by side for more than 10,000 miles. Both vied for a place in the marathon at the Paris Games . Who would make it?

Fencing Rattled by Suspensions: Concerns about refereeing integrity and preferential treatment  for top saber competitors have cast a shadow over a sport decided by the finest of margins.

Did France Build the Olympics Safely: Undocumented workers played a larger and more dangerous role  in delivering the Games than the Macron administration acknowledges.

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    The Pyramids of Giza are one of Egypt's most iconic landmarks, but all many visitors see is the back of a large crowd as they follow their tour guide. Enjoy a bespoke experience during this private half-day excursion. Visit the Pyramid of Cheops, the Sphinx, and other important sites other alongside your own personal Egyptologist guide, with plenty of time to ask questions. Hotel transfers ...

  19. Explore Egypt's Great Pyramid With This New Virtual Tour

    Thanks to a new tool, you can tour the Great Pyramid of Giza from the comfort of your own home for the first time ever, cost-free. In case you're not familiar with it, the Great Pyramid of Giza is Egypt's biggest pyramid, standing at just over 481 feet tall. First constructed around 4,500 years ago during Egypt's Old Kingdom era, houses ...

  20. Virtual Tour of the Pyramid of Giza

    Explore a virtual tour of the Pyramid of Giza on the AVR Platform and marvel at the architecture and engineering expertise of our ancient forefathers in VR 360! ... The oldest and largest of the three pyramids at Giza, known as the Great Pyramid, is the only surviving structure out of the famed Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built ...

  21. Size & Purpose Of The Great Pyramid Of Giza

    It was found with non-invasive scans near the main entrance. per se. Entry Fee Giza Pyramids Site: 240 Egyptian Pounds ($8 USD) Entry Fee Great Pyramid: 440 Egyptian Pounds ($14 USD) Opening Hours ...

  22. Dancing Past the Venus de Milo

    The Great Read Paris Dispatch. ... a tour with curators and gave him carte blanche to design the sessions — with one small ... I.M. Pei's glass pyramid glowed purple-blue in the morning light ...