Yes, one day is enough to comfortably visit multiple Egyptian pyramids and the ancient city of Memphis.
How Much Time Do You Need To See The Pyramids Of Egypt?
Even in the early spring, Cairo was warm and the idea of spending a full day or multiple days out in the sun did not suit me. So we consolidated our tour of the pyramids into one afternoon. Was it fast-paced? Sure. Was it too much? Not at all.
We began at 1:00 pm driving to Memphis, which houses the colossus of Rameses II and other ancient artifacts.
Next, we drove to the Pyramid of Djoser, also known simply as the Step Pyramid. My first time in Egypt, over a decade ago, my brother and I spent a lot of time here taking pictures but again, it was enough to see. While it would have been interesting to wander through the miles of labyrinth inside the pyramid, that is not allowed: you must enjoy it from the outside.
Following the Pyramid of Djoser came the main attraction, the Great Pyramid of Giza. There is something so majestic about these pyramids and the fact that they are the oldest so-called “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” I find it amazing that these pyramids were constructed around 2570 BC (4,500 years ago) and continue to stand.
Isn’t it interesting that only this week a new corridor was found? What an enigma! 10 years ago, I did go inside but this time I did not.
We then hired a camel to take us on a trek to the Great Sphinx of Giza, also over 4,000 years old. To be precise, our Egyptian guide (from the Four Seasons Cairo) hired him. Far better to let an Egyptian negotiate with an Egyptian over pricing than to get the tourist price. It cost about $50 for each of us to have our own camel for about 45 minutes, including stopping whenever we wanted for pictures.
We ended at the Sphinx, where an enterprising young man grabbed my camera and took about two dozen “pose” shots for a couple of bucks. I’m not big on these type of photos, but I guess this is what the Instagrammers want?
I felt over four hours we accomplished a great deal and also learned about the history of these ancient places while driving from site to site. While I appreciated the extra time in Petra, Jordan I thought one afternoon was enough to explore the pyramids of Cairo. I do recommend the camel ride (if your ethics permit it) across the desert…you get a great view of the pyramids.
Egypt is building a massive new visitors center and museum. Once that is done, I suspect a full day or longer will be warranted.