There are so many amazing things to see when visiting Egypt and the famous Pyramids of Giza are probably the most famous. Everyone has seen pictures of the Great Pyramid with the enormous Sphinx statue, but there is more to see than just the pyramid complex of Giza. If you travel to Cairo, we’d highly recommend taking a tour that will take you to some of the lesser visited pyramids where you will have an opportunity to see some of these amazing archeological sites as if you had discovered them yourself.
The Pyramid of Djoser – Located in the Saqqara Necropolis, the Pyramid of Djoser, more commonly referred to as the Step Pyramid, is an ancient pyramid that uses a technique that predated the smooth sided pyramids that you find in Giza. The Step Pyramid was built around the 27th century BC and is considered the earliest large cut-stone in the world. We were able to descend down the tunnel that leads to an ancient tomb, which is just an empty chamber with hieroglyphs today, which was an amazing experience.
The Pyramids of Dahshur – Visiting Dahshur was probably one of our most interesting experiences during our time in Cairo. First of all, we were virtually by ourselves as we walked around the pyramids as there were less than a dozen total other visitors there during the time that we spent there. Also, since it is the site of the first smooth sided pyramids, one successful and a couple of others that weren’t successful, it is an interesting look into the learning that occurred by the ancient Egyptians to create what would later become the Great Pyramids. One of the pyramids is known as the Bent Pyramid as it curves as it nears the peak of the pyramid. Dahshur is located in a remote area of the desert, which was purposeful as they wanted the pyramids to be away from any well-traveled area. We were also able to climb down into the pyramid here as well, which is well worth the effort.
The Giza Pyramid Complex – If you visit the pyramids sequentially, starting with the Step Pyramid in Saqqara, then seeing the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur, and then making your way to the Giza Pyramid Complex, you will have a better understanding of the accomplishment of building these pyramids. Here, of course, you will be surrounded by tourists, vendors selling trinkets, and enjoying tourist activities like riding a camel. Having visited the other pyramids prior to visiting Giza made our entire experience better as we truly understood the history behind the pyramids.