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Seven Wonders of the World without the Wait

by Isabel Sterne and Dana Fraser

The Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

Crowd source: Though crowds thinned in the aftermath of Egypt's political upheaval in early 2011, tourism at the pyramids of Giza is on the rebound and looks set to return to prerevolution levels in the not-too-distant future. So, we hope you're not claustrophobic. Just think about all of those bodies crawling through subterranean tombs with low light and high heat. Kind of makes you want your mummy, eh?

The shortcut: Because only 300 people are allowed into the Great Pyramid per day (150 in the morning, and another 150 in the afternoon), "timing is key," says long-time Egypt resident Susan Hack. To compete with morning tour buses, you'll have to charge the ticket booth the moment it opens (8 am in summer, 9 am in winter). But instead, we suggest being there at 1 pm to get tickets for the less-trafficked afternoon session. Avoid Fridays, when Egyptian tourists add to the mayhem. And pack in as much as possible from noon to 2 pm, when most tour groups break for lunch, by hiring a taxi to take you between sites. Hack advises visitors to lock the taxi doors when riding. Overeager tour guides and hawkers are known to jump into moving cabs to get a sale. Now that's what we call a pyramid scheme.

Next: The art of standing in line in Italy >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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