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“Outstanding historical achievement” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Step Pyramid of Djoser

Step Pyramid of Djoser
Sakkara, Cairo, Egypt
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Ranked #15 of 270 things to do in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Makati, Philippines
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
“Outstanding historical achievement”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

This was the first site I went to during my 10-day tour of Egypt c/o Habibi Tours. I thought it befitting that it was the first structure I saw, since it's known as the original pyramid, the first ever in history and the 'prototype' which all later pyramids in Egypt--including the ones in Giza--were to follow.

The temple-like entrance to the Step Pyramid complex alone was breathtaking. I was led by my guide through a long narrow hall of columns which led out into the courtyard of the pyramid complex. It really helps to have a guide explain the history of the place; my knowledge of the Step Pyramid was further enhanced by additional reading from my Egypt Lonely Planet guide.

The complex is vast; I could not see everything in the span of 2 hours. The pyramid was being renovated while I was there, so the scaffoldings could be seen in the pictures I took. No biggie though--at least efforts are being made to renovate it, since tourism and the natural elements can affect its condition over time. There is still a large number of tombs, temples and halls being excavated in this complex and in Saqqara in general; my guide pointed out to me some very deep areas (partly excavated) where people in ancient times must have gathered or gone about their daily duties while serving the pharaoh Djoser. Mindblowing stuff. Imhotep, the pharaoh's head architect and the creator of the first pyramid, is widely honoured throughout Egyptian history--and rightly so!

Go early in the morning (around 8:30 or 9 am) because you won't have to encounter any large tourist crowds at that time. I had the entire place practically to myself at that hour, and it felt great to have some peace and quiet while going around the complex.

When I return to Egypt, I plan to do another trip to Saqqara to this pyramid complex, because there's a lot more to see here. If you have some flexibility in your trip, and if you're into ancient history and exploring ruins, a day tour to the Step Pyramid is recommended.

Visited November 2012
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A breathtaking trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

For me this was a must do trip the first stone structure built the original pyramid. I wanted to see this since I was 7 and I wasn't disappointed even though it is being restored using authentic techniques it is a trip worth doing there is the temple and other nearby tombs. A great day

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Hook, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Incredible”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Really enjoyed visiting this sight and was amazed by how quiet it was. Really worth a visit! You are able to go into the tombs, and can have a camel ride but be aware if you have a picture taken on the camel they will require a payment.

Visited August 2012
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Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The very first Pyramid...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

There is so much to see here--I think Moses worked on this pyramid!
It is a "step-pyramid", like the ones you see at Chichen Itza and Tolum in the Yucatan--only older!

Visited October 2012
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Worthing, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“A feat of Engineering”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

On our visit at the end of September, parts of the structure were covered in scaffolding - due to restoration work. It is in the open desert, no shade - so take water with you and a sun hat. Otherwise a remarkable experience, you marvel at how they built it.

Visited September 2012
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