Memphis Egypt is one of those endlessly magical, history-soaked tourist attractions that abound in this beautiful country. The capital of the Ancient Kingdom of Egypt, which is located on history’s timeline around the 3000-2000 BC mark, Memphis is today a fascinating collection of scattered ruins and tranquil fields that hint to what stood upon them. Combine this with the nearby site of Saqqara, and you have the perfect ground for some truly memorable Egyptian exploration.
In truth, the highlights of Memphis Egypt itself are few and far between—but then, that’s all part of the charm and intrigue of the place as a tourist site. This was once the biggest city in the land, acting as a commercial and political hub for a large swath of Egypt. Today, most of the relics from the city’s ancient era are found around the village of Mit Rahina. Here you can see the remains of a temple dedicated to the pagan god Ptah and a four-meter (thirteen-foot) alabaster statue of Ramesses II. Another, larger statue (this time ten meters, or 32 feet, tall) to the same pharaoh can be seen in Memphis’ excellent open-air museum. The gardens here are also well worth exploring.
Two miles from Memphis Egypt lies the Saqqara, which once served as the city’s massive necropolis, or burial ground. Compellingly ancient Saqqara easily warrants as many hours of your time as the ruins of the city it once served, not least because Egypt’s iconic Step Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Djoser, is found here. Widely held to be the world’s largest stone structure, the Pyramid of Djoser is an awe-inspiring site that dates back to the time of King Djoser (around 2630 BC), who was entombed in the structure after his death. Quite simply, it’s one of the most astounding things you will see on your travels.
Saqqara offers a myriad of sites to visit aside from the Pyramid of Djoser. Covering four square miles, its dusty expanse is dotted with various pyramids built for the rich and famous of an era long past. Many of these are open to the public, and while tourists consequently flock here with their cameras and baseball caps, Saqqara somehow retains its mystique. The otherworldly magic of ancient Egypt is no better exemplified than at the ruins of Saqqara.
Memphis Egypt is located is located only a short drive (twelve miles) from Cairo, which puts it alongside the Pyramids of Giza and Dahshur as one of the many outstanding day trips you can do from the country’s modern capital. Cairo itself is, of course, any self-respecting traveler’s dream, and when you take into account such standout things to do such as the Khan el Khalili and the Citadel of Saladin, it’s easy to see how weeks if not months on end can be spent exploring this wondrous destination. Travelers will consequently be pleased to know that Cairo hotels rank up there with the very best in Egypt, meaning that finding accommodation to suit your budgetary and comfort needs should be no problem when planning a trip here.