- Type: Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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While the Giza Pyramids steal most of the limelight, travelers looking to experience ancient Egypt without competing with crowds head to Dahshur. Located about 23 miles south of central Cairo, this archaeological site contains five pyramids dating back as far as 2575 B.C. There are three pyramids that stand out: the North, Bent, and Black pyramids. The North Pyramid (also known as the Red Pyramid) can be recognized by its pinkish hue. Although it's much smaller than the Great Pyramid in Giza, the North Pyramid is just as significant because it was the Egyptian's first attempt at building a true pyramid. The Bent Pyramid earned its name from its unique shape, which demonstrates the transition from the old-fashioned step-style pyramid to a true pyramid. The Black Pyramid was created several hundred years after its neighbors with mud brick and limestone. Long after its construction, the limestone was plundered and repurposed, leaving only the dark-colored façade that gave the Black Pyramid its name.
Although you can only enter the North Pyramid, recent visitors strongly recommend making the roughly 30-minute trip (by car) to Dahshur. "Do yourself a favor and go see these pyramids," writes one TripAdvisor user. "[There are] hardly any other tourists and you can go inside and explore the pyramid without a million other people."
You can reach Dahshur by taxi from the city; to learn more about transportation, visit our guide to Getting Around Cairo. The site is open every day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is 30 EGP (around $5 USD) and includes entry to the Red Pyramid. To find out more about the Red Pyramid, visit the Egyptian Tourism Authority's website.