The Museum of Egyptian antiquities collection is incredibly diverse, and there is something for everyone to see. The Museum is also very well-organized, and the staff is always happy to help visitors find what they're looking for.
The Museum is located in the heart of Cairo's Tahrir Square. It is a one-of-a-kind structure designed to house the oldest Pharaonic art and monument collection, built on a 13,600-square-foot lot. It is a product of a competition launched by the Egyptian Government in 1895, with more than 100 exhibition halls. It is thus considered the Middle East's first national Museum.
The original collection, established in the late 1800s, was previously housed in a building in Bulaq. It was then moved to Ismail Pasha's palace in Giza until its final resting place was completed. Several design projects were submitted, but the one presented by French architect Marcel Dourgnon was selected as the winner.
The Middle Kingdom artefacts from the kings' and royal families' tombs discovered at Dahshur in 1894 are just a few of the important groups of the over 120,000 artifacts on display in this museum the contents of the tombs of Yuya and Thuya as well as the royal tombs of Tuthmosis III, Tuthmosis IV, Amenhotep III, and Horemheb. There are over 3,500 pieces of Tutankhamon's tomb's artefacts, 1,700 of which are on display in the museum (the rest are in storerooms).
We will cover history and artefacts in this guide. Additionally, it will attempt to respond to some of the most common questions about visiting the website, such as What is the best time to visit? What are the entrance fees? What are the safety recommendations? And more...
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is a world-renowned museum filled with priceless artefacts from ancient Egypt. If you're planning a visit to Cairo, visiting the museum is a must. Here's what you can expect to see during your visit
The Rosetta Stone
It is perhaps the most famous artefact in the Museum. The stone is a piece of granite with inscriptions in three different scripts--hieroglyphic, demotic, and Ancient Greek that helped scholars learn how to read hieroglyphs.
The King Tutankhamun Exhibit
It is one of the most popular exhibits in the Museum. The artefacts from the tomb of Tutankhamon, consisting of more than 3,500 Pieces, of which 1,700 objects are displayed in the museum (the rest are in storerooms).
The Mummies Room
One of the most popular rooms in the Museum is the Mummies Room, which houses over 25 mummies from different Pharaohs and periods of Ancient Egyptian history. The room's highlight is the mummy of King Tutankhamun, which is on display in a glass case. Visitors can also see the mummies of Queen Hatshepsut and Ramses II. The mummies room requires an additional ticket which can be bought at the entrance to the Museum.
The Papyrus Room
The Papyrus Room contains over 11,000 pieces of Papyrus, which is paper that was made from reeds that grew along the Nile River. Ancient Egyptians used Papyrus for writing and painting. Some of the papyrus scrolls in the museum date back more than 4,000 years ago!
The Statue Room
The Statue Room contains many statues and sculptures of pharaohs, gods, and goddesses. The statue of Ramses II is one of the most impressive pieces in the room. The figure is made from granite and stands more than 11 feet tall.
The Royal Mice Gallery
The Egyptian Museum is home to many unique and unusual items, but perhaps none more than the gallery of royal mice. These mice were found in tombs belonging to Queen Hetepheres I and Queen Hatshepsut, and they are thought to have been part of the burial ritual for those queens. The mummified mice are displayed in their little glass cases, along with other animals like snakes and cats found in royal tombs.
The Egyptian Museum is divided into several sections, each with its focus.
In terms of security, until 1996, the Museum's security consisted of simply locking the door at night. However, this was insufficient because thieves were able to gain access. As a result, the Museum's authorities installed some security alarms and detectors and improved the lighting system throughout the Museum.
During Egypt's 2011 revolution, thugs attacked the Museum, and some artefacts were stolen. Civilians reacted quickly and courageously at the time to prevent further theft. They formed a human chain around the Tahrir building to secure it and successfully protected the Museum.
If you've ever been to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, you know it's in dire need of an update. Fortunately, the authorities have finally realized this. They have unveiled plans for a massive new museum built on the outskirts of Cairo. The new Grand Egyptian Museum will be the largest archaeological Museum in the world!
Here's everything you need to know about the new Museum:
Construction began in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2023. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1 billion.
The new Museum is located 2 km from the Giza Pyramids and will cover a total area of just under 500,000 square meters. In comparison, the old Egyptian Museum only covers about 37,000 square meters.
The new Museum will have over 100,000 artefacts, compared to the 50,000 currently displayed at the old Museum.
There will also be a kids' Museum, a library, a conference centre, and a 3,500-seat auditorium for special events.
The new Museum is being designed by Heneghan Peng Architects, an internationally acclaimed firm based in Dublin, Ireland.
There is no denying the grandeur of the Grand Egyptian Museum. At nearly 500,000 sq. m it is the size of a large airport terminal. It is referred to as the "Fourth Pyramid" by Egypt's minister of antiquities and tourism, Khaled al-Anany, and it naturally offers a panoramic view of the ancient structures.
The 1902 building is slowly being cleaned up. Still, once everything has been moved to the GEM, a major renovation will be undertaken. The old Museum will still house a world-class collection of antiquities. Still, only students, scholars, and those of us with a more than passing interest in the wonders of this ancient land will likely visit it.
Taxis are plentiful in Cairo and are a relatively cheap and easy way to get around the city. To get to the Museum by taxi, hail a cab and tell the driver where you want to go. It is helpful to have the address of the Museum written down in Arabic, as most taxi drivers do not speak English. The fare should be around 10 EGP (Egyptian pounds).
Cairo has an extensive network of public buses that can take you anywhere in the city. To get to Tahrir Square from downtown Cairo, take bus #26 from Nasser Metro Station. The ride will take about 20 minutes and will cost 1.50 EGP. Once you arrive at Tahrir Square, the Egyptian Museum will be visible across the street.
January through March - These months are generally considered the best time to visit Egypt. The weather is cool and dry, with average highs ranging from 20-24 degrees celcius. January through March makes touring around much more pleasant than during hotter months. However, it should be noted that January is typically the busiest tourist month due to winter break vacations. So, if you want to avoid crowds, you may want to consider visiting during February or March instead.
April and May - While April is still a good time to visit Egypt weather-wise, temperatures start to rise by May. Average highs in May range from 25-29 degrees celcius. So, if you can't stand the heat, this may not be the best time of year for you to visit. However, many people don't mind touring in slightly warmer weather and find that prices for hotels and flights are lower during these months than during peak tourist season.
June through August - These are typically the hottest months in Cairo, with average highs ranging from 30-34 degrees celcius. If you choose to visit during these months, be sure to hydrate often and take plenty of breaks in air conditioning when touring ancient sites. Prices for hotels and flights are also typically higher during these months due to summer vacation travel.
September through December - By September, temperatures start cooling off again, making it a great time to visit if you want to avoid high prices and temperatures. Average highs during these months range from 26-30 degrees celcius. However, it's important to note that December is also a popular month for tourists due to winter break vacations. So, if you want to avoid crowds but still take advantage of lower prices, September or October may be your best bet.
The Egyptian Museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission prices are as follows:
*Prices are subject to change, so check the official website for up-to-date pricing information.
Due to its popularity, we recommend buying your tickets online in advance so you can skip the line at the ticket counter. You can also hire a private tour guide at the entrance of the Museum for an additional cost.
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