Where Are the Egyptian Pyramids?

By Edward | Updated Nov. 1, 2022

Geographically, the pyramids most people know about are located on the outskirts of modern-day Cairo, at Giza on the west bank of the Nile River. To be specific, they are 17 km (25 mi) southwest from the west edge of Cairo. They are about a 16-minute drive outside Cairo.

There are other groups of pyramids in Egypt. Another pyramid complex as old as the famed Great Pyramid of Egypt is located in Dahshur about 40 km (25 mi) south of Cairo. The Saqqara Pyramid is about closer to Cairo, and it is generally believed to be the oldest pyramid in Egypt, but some people say that the Great Pyramid is much more ancient. More about the Dahshur pyramids and the Saqqara Pyramid is described below.

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Location of Egyptian Pyramids

Why Was the Giza Selected for Building the Pyramids?

the Giza PyramidsThe Pyramids of Giza in the sun

The three most famous pyramids are built on the Giza Plateau. The plateau is composed of layers of limestone, so it is a firm, stable base for the massive heavy structures. If they were built on sand, they would have disintegrated.

There might be other more mysterious reasons that they were built on the plateau. There are about 100 shafts that were cut into the limestone plateau. It is not clear what the shafts were used for. It is thought that at least some of the shafts were used to bring in water from the Nile River. Four thousand years ago, the Nile River ran closer to the plateau than it does now. Now the Nile is about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) away. So, the proximity to the Nile as a water source might have been thought important too.

Sundown side: It is thought that the location of the plateau on the west bank of the Nile was important also for its use as a burial place because of ancient beliefs. The ancient Egyptians built all their pyramids on the West Bank of the Nile according to their view of life and death. The west bank of the Nile is where the sun appeared to set for ancient Egyptians living by the Nile, and sundown represented the end of earthly life and the start of heavenly life in their culture.

Suggested reading: How to Plan a 2-Week Egypt Itinerary: 4 Itinerary Ideas

The Giza, Dahshur, and Saqqara Pyramids Are Close to the Cairo Airport

the Pyramids of GizaCamels rest near the Giza Pyramids

For people wanting to visit the Egyptian pyramids, the three main pyramid sites people usually go to are conveniently close to Cairo International Airport. Many international direct flights arrive at Cairo International Airport (CAI) from around the world. So, you could start touring the pyramids straight from your flight.

  • The Giza pyramids are only about 33 minutes away from the airport by vehicle.
  • The Saqqara pyramid is about 50 minutes away.
  • The Dahshur complex is about 57 minutes away by vehicle.

Suggested reading: Top Places to Visit in Cairo

Transportation to the Giza Great Pyramids

Caravane passing giza pyramids in egyptCaravane passing Giza Pyramids in Egypt

From Martyrs Station, Ramses Square, and Egyptian National Railways: Take metro line 2 (ticket price about 1 USD), get off at Cairo University, and then take a taxi for about 11 minutes (about 2 USD) to the site. This trip might take only about 16 to 20 minutes and cost only about 3 USD total.

From Zamalek, Cairo: There is no metro transport to the pyramids, but you could take a taxi for 19 minutes to the pyramids of Giza.

Or choose our hassle-free private tours to visit the pyramids to maximize your time.

Distance and Driving Hours from Major Sites in Egypt to the Giza Pyramids

Transportation Driving Distance Travel Time
From Cairo 17 km (11 mi) 16 minutes
From Cairo International Airport 31 km (19 mi) 33 minutes
From Cairo Ramses Railway Station 14 km (9 mi) 13 minutes
From City of the Dead 17.7 km (11 mi) 17 minutes (1 hour to walk)
From Alexandria 215 km (134 mi) 2 hours and 4 minutes
From Dahshur Pyramids 32 km (20 mi) 37 minutes
From Saqqara Pyramid 22 km (14 mi) 23 minutes

Transportation to the Dahshur Pyramids

the Dahshur PyramidsThe Dahshur Pyramids are easy to get to from Cario
  • Top sights: The Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid
  • Recommended visiting duration: 1 day

Dahshur is a small village approximately 40 kilometers (25 mi) south of Cairo. There ares some lesser-known and smaller pyramids there. There are fewer tourists there. Dahshur was part of the ancient necropolis of Memphis, and it is thought that the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid also worked on two of the pyramids there.

  • From Cairo International Airport: The best and quickest way to go to the Dahshur pyramids from the Cairo airport is to simply go by vehicle. It would take about 57 minutes to travel. A taxi ride might cost 6 or 8 USD.
  • From the Giza Pyramids: Going by vehicle is the quickest way, and it would take 37 minutes to make the trip. A taxi ride might be 4 or 5 USD.
  • From Zamalek, Cairo: Going by vehicle is the quickest way. A taxi ride takes about 37 minutes and costs about 4 to 7 USD.

Tour recommendation: Contact us to include Dahshur in your own private tour

Transportation to the Saqqara Pyramid

the Saqqara PyramidThe Saqqara Pyramid is an ancicent pyramid in Egypt
  • Recommended visiting duration: half a day

The Saqqara complexincludes the first pyramid of Egypt, shrines, and a temple. It was built for Djoser who ruled from about 2640 to 2611 BC.

For more information, read:

  • From Cairo International Airport: Going by vehicle is the quickest way, and it is also relatively economical. Taxis take 49 minutes and cost about 6 to 8 USD.
  • From the Giza Pyramids: Going by vehicle is the quickest way, and it would take 30 minutes for the trip. A taxi ride might be 3 or 5 USD.
  • From Zamalek, Cairo: Going by vehicle is the quickest way. A taxi ride takes about 37 minutes and costs about 4 to 7 USD.

Tour recommendation: Contact us to include Saqqara in your own private tour.

Tour recommendations: 8-Day Egypt Essence with Nile Cruise Tour or 10-Day Egypt Tour with Red Sea and Nile Cruise

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