Home of the ancient Pharaohs, Egypt is a destination famous for its iconic pyramids that continue to attract travelers from all over the world. Today they are one of the biggest tourist attractions in the entire country. There are more than 100 pyramids throughout Egypt, most of which are thousands of years old. So, if you plan on visiting these archeological wonders in Egypt, here are some of the top pyramids that you should add to your bucket list.
Around 100km south of Cairo, stands the pyramid of Medium, which was constructed for Pharaoh Huni during Egypt’s third dynasty. It was made in steps and had terraces to assist construction at each level. You can clearly tell that this pyramid was constructed well before the famous pyramid of Giza, at a time when people were still exploring different ways to construct pyramids. It doesn't have a smooth exterior and a steep, pointy apex, rather the stepped structure had an outer layer of sand, which likely led to its collapse.
The pyramid of medium was much bigger in its heyday, but today it only has three levels left and because of its unconventional design the locals call it el-heram el-kaddaab which means pseudo pyramid. You can enter the pyramid through the robber’s tunnel which leads you to the unfinished burial chamber.
The smallest of the Giza pyramids, the pyramid of Menkaure has a significant place in the layout of Giza. Built for Pharaoh Menkaure of the fourth Dynasty in 2150 BC, this Pyramid stands 213 feet tall which makes it roughly half the size of its surrounding pyramids. The pyramid was made using different materials including red granite and limestone. The red granite was used to strengthen the base whereas the structure itself is limestone-based. Some people during the 12th century tried to tear down the pyramid, which is why the pyramid is missing a vertical strip of stones on one side. Eventually they had to give up because it took way too much time and resources. This goes to show how strong and robust these structures were.
As you enter this pyramid, a staircase takes you to an antechamber that leads to the main series of chambers. From inside the chamber you will get to witness the vaulted apex of the pyramid, which makes for an incredible sight.
Built for the pharaoh Sneferu in 2600 BC, this pyramid is located in the heart of Dahshur. The pyramid is called bent because of its shape which makes it look like it is bent towards one side. The Pyramid rises from the desert at an angle of 53 degrees, but halfway through the angle changes to approximately 43 degrees which gives the pyramid a tilted look. It is also known as the pyramid of Sneferu.
Historians have come up with a number of different theories to explain the unprecedented shape of the pyramid. Some suggest that it might have been to prevent the structure from collapsing, others believe that it was just a mistake. Some historians have also suggested that it had to do with the deteriorating health of the pharaoh which forced the construction to be completed quickly.
One of the best things about visiting this pyramid is that it is never overcrowded and you get a chance to explore this archaeological structure in much more detail. However, make sure that you schedule a visit in advance if you want to explore the fascinating interior of the pyramid.
Built during the reign of Pharaoh Sneferu, the red pyramid is the third largest pyramid in all of Egypt. Standing 104 meters tall, the red pyramid was the first smooth-sided pyramid in Egypt and introduced the world to Giza-style pyramids. According to a number of inscriptions found inside the pyramid, it was built during the 22nd and 29th years of the Pharaoh’s reign and took a total of 17 years to build. The north-facing passageway takes you to a short corridor leading into the first of three chambers in the pyramid. The southern end of the first chamber leads into the second one which is around 12 meters high. The third chamber is built into the masonry and is around 15 meters in height.
The pyramid also houses a rare pyramidion that was put on display after being refurbished. However, chances are that it was never intended to be used for the red pyramid as its inclination angle is not the same as the pyramid.
Located in the center of Giza, the Pyramid of Khufu is the largest pyramid in all of Egypt. According to historians this pyramid was built roughly in 2560 and took around 15 to 20 years to complete. It was built for the fourth dynasty pharaoh Khufu and is believed to be his resting place. Standing 139 meters tall, the pyramid was built using more than two million blocks of limestone, mortar, and granite.
Being the biggest and most famous pyramid in Egypt, the pyramid of Khufu is really difficult to get into. A total of only 300 tickets are issued every day, but if you're lucky enough to score yourself a ticket then you are in for a treat. Visitors enter the pyramid from the northern face of the pyramid through a tunnel that leads into the interior chambers of the pyramid. The tour guide will take you through different chambers including the Queen’s Chamber, the King’s Chamber, and the Grand Gallery.