village in Giza Governorate, Egypt

Saqqara is the name given both to a village 32 km to the south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo and (more particularly) to the extensive ancient necropolis on the plateau above the Nile Valley, the location of tombs and pyramids dating to the Predynastic, Old Kingdom, New Kingdom and Late Periods of ancient Egyptian history.

Understand edit

The Step Pyramid

The desert plateau above the modern village of Saqqara formed one of the main cemeteries of the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis for thousands of years. As such, it attracted a large number of royal and high prestige burials, the remains of which can be seen in pyramids and decorated tombs scattered across the area. The site of Saqqara is quite extensive, stretching 6 km north-south and 1.5 km across at its widest point.

Get in edit

By taxi edit

Taxis can be hired from central Cairo to visit Saqqara. Negotiate with your driver for a daily rate.

By bus edit

Travelers may be told there is no bus to Saqqara. This is not true. Bus services do exist to Saqqara from central Cairo, but may entail a more lengthy journey and a potentially a long walk from the village up to the plateau.

Either way, it is possible to reach the plateau by taking a microbus from the Giza metro station. It should be expected to transfer to multiple microbuses as there is no direct microbus. Tell the driver you want to go to "Marishay and then Saqqara" and he should indicate where to transfer. Prices vary based on where the transfer points are LE3-5 Once in Saqqara village, take a tuk-tuk for a few pounds to the site.

Another possibility to get to Saqqara by public transport: From El Monib metro station (Line 2, the last station) take a microbus to El Badrasheen and there catch a tuk-tuk to Saqqara Archeological site & Imhoteb museum. The ride takes 25-30 min in microbus and 20 min in tuk-tuk, depending on the traffic. The microbus costs LE4-5, and tuk-tuk regular prices around LE15-30.

By train edit

There are local trains from central Cairo. The future east-west high-speed line will have two stops close to Saqqara.

  • 1 El-Badrasheen railway station.
  • 2 October Gardens railway station (محطة حدائق اكتوبر المركزية). Planned stop on the high-speed railway line.

Get around edit

Map of Saqqara

See edit

Saqqara complex. Opening hours: 9AM-5PM, and till 4PM in winter. Entrance fees (as of Dec 2018), students are entitled to 50% discount:

  • General admission to the complex and Imhotep Museum: LE180 (March 2022)
  • Tomb of Mereruka: LE80
  • Tombs at the Unas Causeway ("Saqqara New Tombs"): LE60
  • Temple Tombs of the New Kingdom (Tomb of Horemheb): LE50
  • Serapeum: LE150
  • Step Pyramid of Djoser: LE100
  • Inclusive ticket: LE440

Tickets are sold at 1 the ticket booth near the entrance.

  • 1 Step Pyramid of Djoser. This structure marks the transition between the bench-like mastaba style of burial and the true pyramid shape (first seen at Dahshur).    
  • 2 Pyramid of Teti I and Teti Period Cemetery. The pyramid tomb of the first ruler of the 6th Dynasty, the Pyramid of Teti was quickly surrounded by the tombs of his nobles and officials upon its completion.    
  • 3 Pyramid of Pepi I.    
  • 4 Pyramid of Pepi II (هرم بيبي الثاني).    
  • 5 Pyramid of Djedkare Isesi.    
  • 6 Tomb of Mereruka.  
  • Tomb of Kagemni.
  • Tomb of Ankhmahor.
  • 7 Mastabat al-Fir'aun.    
  • 8 Serapeum.    
  • 9 Mastaba of Ti. A 'classic' Old Kingdom tomb of a high noble and one of the richest sources of information about life during that period, the mastaba tomb of Ti is one of the grandest and best-decorated examples of funerary architecture in Egypt.  
  • Unas Causeway. Leading to the Pyramid of Unas
  • 10 Imhotep Museum, +2 (02) 3818-3095.    
  • 11 Tomb of Akhethetep.    
  • 12 Mit Rahina Museum (المتحف المفتوح بميت رهينة).  

Do edit

Buy edit

Eat edit

  • Sakkara Palm Club Restaurant (Sakkara Tourist Road), +201222152200. Good quality Egyptian restaurant, buffet style.

Drink edit

Sleep edit

  • 1 Saqqara Palm Club (سقارة بالم كلوب). A small resort located close to the entrance to the main pyramid complex.

Go next edit

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