Pyramids in Egypt | Egyptian Pyramids

The Pyramids in Egypt rank among the best known historic sites on the planet. Indeed, Egyptian pyramids are a draw for vast numbers of tourists every year and have become hugely popular attractions.

Dating back thousands of years, these massive monuments to the accomplishments of Ancient Egyptian civilisation are some of the most immense engineering achievements ever undertaken. Today, the majority of ancient pyramids in Egypt are set out in a handful of sites, each containing a number of Ancient Egyptian pyramids. The best known of these sites is probably Giza, just outside Cairo, but a number of other fascinating areas can also be visited.

Our list of Egyptian pyramids can be explored below – click on each pyramid site for more information on the individual pyramids located there. And if you’re thinking to yourself ‘exactly where are the Pyramids in Egypt’, you can navigate using our Pyramids of Ancient Egypt map above and you can also explore a more general list of Ancient Egyptian sites.

Pyramids in Egypt | Egyptian Pyramids: Site Index

Photo by a rancid amoeba (cc)

Abusir Pyramids

A site containing fourteen Ancient Egyptian pyramids, Abusir near Cairo dates back to the Fifth Dynasty. The site includes the Pyramid of Sahure, the Pyramid of Nyuserre Ini, and those of Neferefre and Neferirkare. However, Abusir’s pyramids are not as impressive as those at Giza.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Abusir Pyramids, near Cairo in Egypt are fourteen Ancient Egyptian pyramids. These were built by the pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including those of Sahure, Neferirkare and Nyuserre Ini and, like Saqqara’s pyramids, formed part of the ancient city of Memphis.

One or two of the Abusir Pyramids are relatively well preserved, notably that of Nyuserre Ini. However, overall Abusir’s pyramids are not as impressive, nor as large, as those in Giza, Saqqara and Dahshur. This is in part due to the inferior quality of the construction and stones used. Having said this, Abusir is a much quieter and less tourist-targeted site, which can be an advantage.

Photo by davehighbury (cc)

Dahshur

For those seeking to explore ancient pyramids in Egypt in peace and quiet, Dahshur is the place to go. Home to the impressive Bent Pyramid as well as the Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Dahshur is far less frequented by tourists than Giza. Also at Dahshur are the White Pyramid of Amenemhat II and the Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III.

DID YOU KNOW?

Dahshur was once home to eleven Ancient Egyptian pyramids, of which few have survived. However, for those wishing to view the Egypt’s pyramids in peace and quiet, Dahshur is the place to go.

Unlike the more popular Giza and Saqqara, Dahshur has not become a tourist hotspot, despite its ancient attractions, including the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid.

Built by the pharaoh Sneferu (reign circa 2613 BC-2589 BC), founder of the Fourth Dynasty and father of Khufu, the Red Pyramid is one of Dahshur's most famous residents and the second oldest pyramid ever built. In fact, it is thought that this was where Sneferu himself was buried.

Dahshur is also the place to find the ‘Bent Pyramid’, so called due to its unusual change of angle. Also built by Sneferu, the Bent Pyramid is atypical as it has two entrances.

Visitors to Dahshur can tour the Red Pyramid and the more recently opened Bent Pyramid as well.

Unsurprisingly, the Black Pyramid, also at Dahshur cannot be toured. In fact, this pyramid, built for the pharaoh Amenemhat III (reign circa 1831 BC-1786 BC) and originally 266 feet high, has deteriorated badly due to the unstable ground on which it sits and the mud brick used in its construction.

Photo by xiquinhosilva (cc)

Giza

Home to the most famous pyramids of Egypt, Giza contains Ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid, built by Pharoah Khufu, as well as the world famous Sphinx and the Pyramids of Khafra and Menkaure. Easily accessible on the edge of Cairo, these world famous pyramids are the most popular of all ancient pyramid sites in Egypt.

DID YOU KNOW?

Giza or ‘Al Giza’ is a tourist hotspot and the site of some of Ancient Egypt’s most famous landmarks, including the largest pyramid on Earth.

Giza is home to the pyramids of kings Khufu, Khafra and Menkaure. The largest pyramid in Giza, and in the world, belongs to the second king of the Fourth Dynasty, Khufu or “Cheop”.

Khufu’s pyramid is Giza’s oldest and, at its great size of 145 metres, became known as “The Great Pyramid”. In fact, Khufu’s pyramid was once the tallest structure in the world as well as being one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The second largest pyramid in Giza belongs to Khufu’s son and fourth king of the Fourth Dynasty, Khafra (or Khephren). In fact, the elevation on which Khafra’s pyramid is built is deceptive, making it appear larger that his father’s.

The smallest of these three kings’ pyramids belongs to the sixth king of the Fourth Dynasty, Menkaure and is one tenth the size of Khafre’s.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Giza is also where one finds the Great Sphinx. Estimated to date back to 2528–2520 BC, some Egyptologists believe that this majestic half man, half lion is modeled on Khafra.

Several other tombs and Queens’ pyramids pepper Giza’s landscape, some of which are open to the public, most notably, the tomb of Seshem-nefer IV. This site also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Egypt.

Photo by pyramidtextsonline (cc)

Hawara Pyramid

The Hawara Pyramid in Egypt was built by Amenemhat III. Constructed between 1860BC and 1814BC, today the pyramid is sadly but a shadow of its former self, having been robbed and eroded by time. Amenemhat III also built the Black Pyramid at Dahshur.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Hawara Pyramid was erected by the Twelfth Dynasty pharaoh, Amenemhat III, ruler of Ancient Egypt from around 1860 BC to 1814 BC and who also built the Black Pyramid at Dahshur.

Once a formidable structure which was known as the “Labyrinth” for its elaborate security measures, the Hawara Pyramid was not built of stone, but rather mud-brick.

Today, having been robbed and eroded by time, the Hawara Pyramid is a shadow of its former grandeur and is no longer flanked by Amenemhat III’s burial temple, but is still clearly visible. The pyramid tomb of his daughter, Neferuptah, is also found nearby, 2 km south of her father’s Hawara Pyramid.

Saqqara

Saqqara is home to eleven major Egyptian pyramids sprawled over six miles built over three thousand years of Ancient Egyptian civilization. The site was the burial ground of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis and includes the pyramid of Teti and the Step Pyramid of Djoser.

DID YOU KNOW?

Saqqara was the burial place of the city of Memphis, the capital of Ancient Egypt founded in 3000 BC by Menes.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Saqqara is home to eleven major pyramids sprawled over six miles, including the first ever pyramid, known as the Step Pyramid and funerary complex of pharaoh Djoser (or Zoser), who reigned from c. 2630 to c. 2611 BC.

Saqqara’s pyramids and tombs were built across over three thousand years of Ancient Egyptian civilization, from the tombs of Fifth Dynasty kings such as Userkaf and the pyramid of Unas, with its walls filled with magical spells, to the incredibly well preserved Pyramid of Teti I, built by the first ruler of the Sixth Dynasty. Some believe that Teti I, whose queen is also buried at Saqqara, was assassinated by his bodyguard.

Saqqara is filled with historical treasures, not least of which is the Serapeum where the Egyptians buried the sacred bulls of Apis. The Egyptians believed these bulls were reincarnations of the deity, Ptah. The bulls are perfectly mummified and contained in enormous granite coffins.

Saqqara is a massive historic site and, for those short on time the best places to see are in the north, including the Serapeum, Djoser’s funerary complex and, in between these two, the Mastaba of Akhti-Hotep and Ptah-Hotep, the son and grandson of official Ptah-Hotep.

There are numerous ways to tour Saqqara, including camel, horse and donkey tours available around the Step Pyramid.

Photo by Pottery Fan (cc)

Zawyet el Aryan Pyramids

Among the less well known pyramids in Egypt, Zawyet el Aryan contains the remains of two Egyptian pyramids, the Layer Pyramid and the Unfinished Pyramid. It is believed they were both built from around 2700-2600BC.

DID YOU KNOW?

The town of Zawyet el Aryan, near Giza in north-eastern Egypt contains the remains of two relatively obscure Egyptian pyramids – known as the Layer Pyramid and the Unfinished Pyramid. It is thought they were both built during the Third Dynasty, therefore putting construction sometime around 2700-2600BC.

The Layer Pyramid is generally attributed to the Pharaoh Khaba while the Unfinished Pyramid is more of a mystery. The Layer Pyramid itself is a step-pyramid which sits atop an underground burial chamber. The Unfinished Pyramid is just that, and contains only the base of the construction.

Not an easy place to get to, it’s well off the established tourist trail – though some bespoke tour operators may offer guided visits.