Giza Necropolis

Giza Necropolis | The Site of the Pyramids of Giza

The Giza Necropolis is one of the most popular attractions in Egypt, with millions of visitors each year. Home to the Pyramids of Giza and many other ancient monuments, it is also a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Before you plan a visit, read on to find out more about what you will find at the Giza Necropolis.

What is the Giza Necropolis?

Giza Necropolis

When was the Giza Necropolis Built?

The oldest of the pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built during the reign of the Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, between 2550 and 2560 BC. That makes it about 4,500 years old. The second pyramid to be built, the Pyramid of Khafre, was completed in 2570 BC, and the last pyramid to be built was that of Menkaure between 2510 and 2500 BC.

Many of the tombs and cemeteries at the Giza Complex were added to after the construction of the pyramids, even during the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties (c. 2500 - 2180 BC).

Who Built the Giza Necropolis?

Giza Necropolis

The Pyramids of Giza were built as royal tombs for three pharaohs from Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty (which lasted from 2575–2465 BCE). The northernmost and oldest pyramid was built for Khufu, who was the second king of this dynasty of rulers. 

The middle pyramid was built for Khafre, one of Khufu’s sons, and the fourth king of this dynasty. Finally, the southernmost and last pyramid was built by Khafre’s son and successor, Menkaure. 

Around these three main pyramids are a number of smaller subsidiary pyramids belonging to various royal women, including Khufu’s mother Hetepheres, and his wife Henutsen, as well as Khentkaus, daughter of Menkaure.

History of the Giza Necropolis in a Nutshell

c. 2600–2500 BC

The Giza Necropolis was once situated near the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. During the Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, beginning with the Pharaoh Khufu, a series of rulers, their families, and courtiers began to build tombs there. 

The ancient Egyptians believed that when a pharaoh died, they would live on in the afterlife as gods. However, first, their spirit needed to be able to reunite with their body. And to ensure this, they built enormous pyramids so that their spirits would be able to find them again. They also served as a place to store all the luxuries they wanted to use in the next world.

A number of pyramids were constructed before the mighty Pyramids of Giza. Early Egyptian rulers were buried in flat mounds known as mastabas. The mounds gradually grew taller and taller. Eventually, the Pharaoh Djoser built a Step Pyramid at Saqqara around 2670 BC. Around 2630 BC the Pharaoh Snefru, father of Khufu (who built the Great Pyramid) built the first true pyramid, the Red Pyramid at Dashur. 

Inspired by this, Khufu, and later his son Khafre, and grandson Menkaure, built the three largest pyramids at the Giza Necropolis.

Pyramids of Giza History >

Giza Necropolis Location

Giza Necropolis Attractions

The Giza Necropolis, or the Giza Complex, includes many ancient wonders, including the three Pyramids of Giza, temples, burial tombs, and more.

Giza Necropolis

Pyramid of Khufu

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu and dates back to 2600 BCE. When it was completed, it was the tallest building in the world at a height of 449 feet. And, it remained so for the next 3800 years.

Giza Necropolis

Pyramid of Khafre

The Pyramid of Khafre is slightly smaller than the Great Pyramid. As the second-largest pyramid, it sits at 448 feet high. It was built for Khafre, the son of Pharaoh Khufu in 2570 BC. Unfortunately, its treasures were plundered in ancient and medieval times.

Giza Necropolis

Pyramid of Menkaure

The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the Giza Pyramids. It was completed around 2510 BC. Its north face was damaged during the middle ages, and the sarcophagus of the pharaoh was lost at sea during a voyage in 1838.

Giza Necropolis

Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx is a colossal statue that sits in front of the Pyramid of Khafre. It depicts a mythical creature with the head of a man, and the body of a lion. It’s said that the human face of the Great Sphinx was modeled after Pharaoh Khafre.

Giza Necropolis

Queen’s Pyramids

Near the Pyramids of the three Pharaohs, there are smaller pyramids belonging to the pharaohs’ wives, mothers, and daughters. Important ones are the tombs of Queen Khentkaus I, and Queen Hetepheres.

Giza Necropolis

Valley Temples

Every pyramid has a valley temple connected to it by a causeway. This was where the bodies of the pharaohs were prepared for burial and mummified. Today you can still see those of Khafre and Menkaure.

Giza Necropolis

Mortuary Temple

Attached to each pyramid is a mortuary temple, or a funerary temple. This was where priests performed daily funerary rites to worship the deceased pharaohs, and priests presented offerings of food and other items to them.

Giza Necropolis

Cemeteries

When the pyramids were built, many lesser royals and nobles chose the Giza plateau as their final resting place. Today you can see hundreds of tombs and mastabas arranged along near rows and avenues.

Giza Necropolis

Worker’s Village

The thousands of workers who spent years building the pyramids also built a small community for themselves. Here you will find their barracks, as well as bakeries, breweries, kitchens, and even a rudimentary hospital.

Giza Necropolis

Solar Boat Museum

Near the Great Pyramid of Khufu is the Solar Boat Museum. Also known as “Khufu's Boat Museum,” it houses a reconstruction of the pharaoh’s solar barque, the ship buried with the king to use on his journey across the heavens.

Plan Your Visit to the Giza Necropolis

Pre-book Your Tickets
Opening Hours
Getting There
Accessibility
Facilities
Visitor Tips & Rules
giza necropolis
Giza Necropolis
Giza Necropolis
Giza Necropolis

Toilets: There are several public toilets at the Pyramids of Giza, available for a small fee. Look near the two ticket booths near the entrance to the Pyramid Complex. 

Baby Changing facilities: While there are no baby changing facilities inside the Pyramids of Giza complex, you will find several options near the attraction. 

Shopping: Visitors can purchase gifts and souvenirs from the shops located near  the Pyramids of Giza.

Guided Tours: While it is possible to find guides at the entrance to the pyramids, it is better to plan in advance and opt for a guided tour, or engage a registered guide.

Giza Necropolis
  • You cannot climb on any of the pyramids as it is both forbidden and dangerous.
  • Egypt can get very hot during the summer months, so ensure that you carry plenty of water with you. 
  • To protect yourself from the harsh sun, wear sunscreen, and carry sunglasses or a hat. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you will have to do a lot of walking.
  • If you’re planning to explore inside the pyramids, the passageways and galleries inside the pyramids are very narrow, especially if you suffer from claustrophobia.
  • If you have purchased discounted tickets, please carry your valid photo ID for verification.
Buy Giza Necropolis Tickets & Tours
Entry to the Giza Necropolis includes the entrance to the Giza Complex and the three Pyramids of Giza.

Half Day Tour of Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx

Free Cancellation
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Mobile Ticket
5 hr.
Guided Tour
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Guided Tour of the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids & the Bazaar

Free Cancellation
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Mobile Ticket
8 hr.
Guided Tour
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Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Saqqara, Memphis Tour from Cairo

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8 hr.
Guided Tour
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From $53$47.70

Quad Biking Tour of the Pyramids with Optional Camel Ride

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Mobile Ticket
2 hr. - 4 hr.
Hotel Pickup
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From $55$49.50

Pyramids, Bazaar and Citadel Tour with Photographer

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Mobile Ticket
6 hr.
Guided Tour
More details +
From $72$64.80

Frequently Asked Questions About the Giza Necropolis

Q. Where is the Giza Necropolis located?

A. The Giza Necropolis is situated in the Sahara Desert, in the Giza Governorate, to the west of the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

Q. Why is the Giza Necropolis important?

A. The Giza Necropolis was the final resting place of many kings and queens of ancient Egypt.

Q. Why was the Giza Necropolis built?

A. The Giza Necropolis and the three Pyramids of Giza were built as tombs, where the dead pharaohs who ruled over Ancient Egypt were buried along with the various items they would need in the afterlife.

Q. Who was the Giza Necropolis built for?

A. The Giza Necropolis was built by pharaohs of the Fourth Dynasty to house their magnificent pyramids, as well as the tombs of their queens and nobles.

Q. How old is the Giza Necropolis?

A. The Giza Necropolis started being built around 4,600 years ago. The oldest building on the Giza Plateau is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, which dates back to c.2600 BC.

Q. How many pyramids are there at the Giza Necropolis?

A. There are three big pyramids of the pharaohs at the Giza Necropolis, as well as around 7 smaller subsidiary pyramids of queens and other royal women.

Q. What is inside the Pyramids of Giza?

A. The pyramids are the tombs of the Pharaohs. They are filled with are many chambers including the King's Chamber where you will find the sarcophagus.

Q. Can you go inside the Pyramids at the Giza Necropolis?

A. Yes, you can enter all the three Pyramids of Giza, as well as a number of the Queen’s Pyramids.

Q. When is the Giza Necropolis opened to tourists?

A. The pyramids are open seven days a week from 8 AM - 5 PM in the summer and 8 AM - 4 PM in the winter.

Q. Can I buy tickets to visit the Giza Necropolis?

A. Yes. Tickets to the Pyramids of Giza are available here.