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Saqqara Necropolis, the vast city of the dead, lies 30 km south of Cairo. Dating to 3100 BC, this ancient cemetery served as the burial ground for Memphis for over 3,000 years. Walking its monuments transports you to the time of pharaohs. Here stands the revolutionary stepped Pyramid of Djoser, the first pyramid ever built. Saqqara offers a breathtaking window into ancient Egyptian civilisation, from splendid pyramids to the haunting nobles’ tombs with vibrant art. The sheer grandeur of this sprawling cemetery, from the Serapeum’s underground galleries to exquisitely carved hieroglyphs, showcases Egypt’s architectural prowess and sacred rituals at their apex.

Top 6 Places To Visit In Saqqara Necropolis

Explore the ancient wonders of Saqqara Necropolis with these must-visit sites, each offering insights into Egypt’s fascinating history and culture:

1. The Step Pyramid Of Djoser

The Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara Necropolis Egypt.

Image Credit: Jorge Láscar for Wikimedia Commons

Standing tall in the Saqqara Necropolis of Egypt, built around the 27th century BC, it is the very first pyramid ever constructed. Designed by Imhotep, a revered architect and physician, the Step Pyramid started as a mastaba (a flat-roofed tomb). It evolved into a six-tiered giant, reaching 204 feet. This architectural wonder is the centrepiece of a vast mortuary complex, showcasing the ingenuity of the Old Kingdom Egyptians. As a tourist, you can marvel at its architecture and explore the surrounding chapels and courtyards. You can also explore the Mortuary Temple on the eastern side of the pyramid, which was used for the rituals associated with Djoser’s afterlife. The temple is decorated with hieroglyphs and reliefs depicting scenes from Djoser’s reign, making it a popular destination.

Location: Pyramid of Djoser, Badrshein, Giza Governorate 3352001, Egypt
Distance From Saqqara Necropolis: 26.0 m
Travel Time From Saqqara Necropolis: 1 minute
Entry Fees: Free
Best Time to Visit: November to February

Must Read: Hanging Church In Egypt

2. The Museum Of Imhotep

Explore history the ancient history of Museum of Imhotep

Image Credit: Olaf Tausch for Wikipedia Commons

Located close to Memphis in Lower Egypt, at the base of the Saqqara necropolis complex, lies the Imhotep Museum, an archaeological museum. Opened in 2006, the museum is named after Imhotep, the ancient Egyptian architect credited with designing the first monumental structure out of stone: the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which is located at Saqqara. It has six halls displaying various artefacts excavated from the Saqqara necropolis. Some of the highlights include a reconstructed tomb with a mummy, a wooden coffin, funerary furniture, and a hall dedicated to the architect Jean-Philippe Lauer, who played a significant role in restoring the Djoser pyramid complex.

Location: V6CF+4XH, Pyramid of Djoser Rd, Abusir, Badrshein, Giza Governorate 3352001, Egypt
Distance From Saqqara Necropolis: 1.7 Km
Travel Time From Saqqara Necropolis: 5 minutes
Entry Fees: Adult: EGP 30 and Student: EGP 10
Best Time to Visit: October to April

3. The Serapeum

Interior of the Seapeum in the Saqqara Necropolis Egypt

Image Credit: Carole Raddato for Wikimedia Commons

The Serapeum was the ancient Egyptian burial place for sacred bulls associated with the god Ptah. These bulls, known as Apis bulls, were believed to be incarnations of Ptah. When an Apis bull died, it was mummified with great ceremony and then buried in a massive underground tomb within the Serapeum. The Serapeum is a vast complex with tunnels and chambers carved into the bedrock. The Serapeum is a maze of underground tunnels stretching hundreds of meters. Visitors should explore these tunnels, which will allow you to get up close to the massive sarcophagi of the Apis bulls, which are decorated with elaborate carvings and hieroglyphs.

Location: V6G6+C4C, Badrshein, Giza Governorate 3352001, Egypt
Distance From Saqqara Necropolis: 1.7 Km
Travel Time From Saqqara Necropolis: 6 min
Entry Fees: 80EGP
Best Time to Visit: October to March

Suggested Read: Abu Simbel Temples

4. The Mastaba Of Mereruka

Explore the Mastaba of Mereruka in Saqqara Necropolis Egypt

Image Credit: Wknight94 for Wikimedia Commons

The Mastaba of Mereruka is an ancient Egyptian tomb. Built for the powerful vizier Mereruka during the 6th Dynasty (around 2686-2181 BCE), it boasts the title of the largest non-royal tomb in Saqqara. The tom comprises 31 well-decorated chambers. These walls depict scenes from Mereruka’s life, offering a fascinating glimpse into daily activities, religious beliefs, and the art of the Old Kingdom. Visitors should also see the life-size statue of Mereruka himself. The Mastaba of Mereruka is thus a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those looking to learn more about ancient Egyptian culture.

Location: V6GC+8GP, Saqarah, Badrshein, Giza Governorate 3352001, Egypt
Distance From Saqqara Necropolis: 800 m
Travel Time From Saqqara Necropolis: 4 minutes
Entry Fees: Adults: EGP 20 and Students: EGP 5
Best Time to Visit: October to April

5. The Tomb Of Kagemni

Ancient wall carvings in the Tomb of Kagemni in Saqqara Necropolis Egypt

Image Credit: Prof. Mortel for Wikimedia Commons

Tucked away in Saqqara lies the Tomb of Kagemni, a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Old Kingdom. Dating back to 2340 BC, this colossal mastaba (rectangular, flat-topped tomb) is the largest in the Teti cemetery. Carved from massive limestone blocks, the tomb boasts a labyrinthine layout. After entering the tombs, visitors can see the scenes of daily life engraved on the walls of the grand hall. Beyond the halls lies a suite of rooms adorned with Kagemni overseeing his duties, storage chambers, and a hidden room (serdab), likely to contain a statue of the deceased. The burial chamber itself resides deep underground, accessible only through a shaft. For history buffs, the Tomb of Kagemni offers a captivating journey into Egyptian art, culture, and social hierarchy.

Location: V6GC+8JV, Pyramid of Djoser Rd, Saqarah, Badrshein, Giza Governorate 3352001, Egypt
Distance From Saqqara Necropolis: 800 m
Travel Time From Saqqara Necropolis: 4 minutes
Entry Fees: Free
Best Time to Visit: October to April

Suggested Read: Pyramid of Djoser

6. The Pyramid Of Unas

Visit the Pyramid of Unas in Egypt

Image Credit: Carole Raddato for Wikimedia Commons

The Pyramid of Unas is an important landmark from the 5th Dynasty of Egypt (24th century BC). Though the smallest pyramid from the Old Kingdom era, it holds immense significance for its groundbreaking inclusion of Pyramid Texts. These religious spells inscribed on the burial chamber walls illuminate ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife and mark a turning point in pyramid construction. Visitors can explore the pyramid complex, the valley temple, and a causeway, which offer glimpses into the elaborate processions that once occurred here. While the exterior may not be as grand as its more famous cousins at Giza, the Pyramid of Unas is still popular in Saqqara Necropolis.

Location: Badrshein, Giza Governorate 3352001, Egypt
Distance From Saqqara Necropolis: 0.0 Km
Travel Time From Saqqara Necropolis: 1 minute
Entry Fees: Adults: EGP 150 and Students: EGP 75
Best Time to Visit: October and March

How To Reach Saqqara Necropolis?

reach the exotic place Saqqara Necropolis through various.

Image Source: Pxhere

Saqqara Necropolis is located about 27 kilometres south of Cairo city centre. Some of the ways to reach this city are as follows:

By Air
The closest airport to Saqqara Necropolis is Cairo Global Airport (CAI). From the air terminal, you can take a taxi, ride-sharing service (e.g., Uber), or a pre-booked private vehicle to Saqqara Necropolis. The excursion takes around 1-90 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

By Road
You can reach Saqqara Necropolis by car, taxi, or ride-sharing service. If you’re driving from Cairo, take the highway towards Upper Egypt and exit at Saqqara.

By Rail
There is no direct train service to Saqqara Necropolis. However, you can take a train from Cairo to Memphis station, about 8 kilometres from Saqqara. You can take a taxi or ride-sharing service from Memphis station to the cemetery.

Further Read: Avenue Of Sphinx

Unlock the secrets of ancient Egypt, travel to the realm of the pharaohs, and experience an amazing journey. Book your trip to Egypt today and marvel at the magnificence of the Saqqara Necropolis. This extraordinary site will leave you spellbound and forever changed.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Saqqara Necropolis

What is special about Saqqara?

Saqqara hosts the Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest stone building complex, and countless mastaba tombs. Its cultural significance spans over 3000 years, serving as a necropolis beyond royal burials into the Ptolemaic and Roman eras. It is acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What is the complex of Saqqara?

Saqqara houses various monuments, including the Pyramid of Djoser, Mastaba tombs, and private funeral structures. It served as a burial ground for Egyptian royalty and officials for over 3000 years.

How long to spend in Saqqara?

To explore Saqqara thoroughly, plan for at least half a day. You can visit the Pyramid of Djoser, admire the ancient architecture, and explore the surrounding tombs and monuments.

Who built the Saqqara necropolis?

Saqqara was developed over centuries by different Egyptian kings. Sixteen pharaohs built pyramids here, and high Eqyptian officials contributed to the necropolis.

How big is Saqqara?

Saqqara covers an area of approximately 7 by 1.5 kilometres (4.3 by 0.9 miles) and lies about 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of modern-day Cairo.

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