The Egyptian Museum in Cairo ranks as the most stunning museum I’ve ever visited. Glittering halls offer priceless Egyptian antiquities from the gold death mask of Tutankhamun to the largest pharaonic collection worldwide. Certainly many gasps and “oh my gosh” passed from my lips as I wandered around in a trancelike euphoria. To prepare yourself for an exciting adventure back in time, below please find my complete guide to the top 8 things to see in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Top 8 Things to See in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – A Complete Travel Guide
Quick Links to the Top 8 Things to See in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
Top 8 Things to See in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
This past September as part of our Viking Cruise down the Nile, we spent a half day traversing the venerable Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Over 120,000 antiquities gracefully form part of this colossal collection. By far, it’s the most complete and dazzling assemblage of Egyptian treasures of anywhere on the planet.
Between mummies, sarcophagi, pottery, jewelry and King Tutankhamen’s treasures, seeing everything can take at minimum an entire day. Take your time as the dazzling display can overwhelm. In fact, after only a half day wandering the glorious gallery, I left with a headache due to over cerebral stimulation.
1 – Gold Death Mask of King Tut
King Tutankhamun, the “boy king”, may have ruled for only nine short years. However, he became the most famous pharaoh when Howard Carter discovered his tomb mostly intact in 1925. And according to experts, the mask serves as “not only the quintessential image from Tutankhamun’s tomb, it is perhaps the best-known object from ancient Egypt itself.”
The funerary mask represents one of the most acclaimed pieces of art globally. It’s made from 11kg (24lbs) of pure gold, and is encrusted with semi-precious stones.
2 – Golden Throne of King Tut
Many consider King Tut’s golden throne to be the most prestigious in the ancient world. Made of sold wood, gold leaf and silver cover the entire surface. Reminiscent of the Byzantine mosaic, colorful plates of quartz line the seat.
3 – Narmer Palette
The Narmer Palette is an ancient tablet dating from 3100 BC. It contains some of the oldest hieroglyphics ever discovered. However, experts can’t agree on whether or not the drawings on the stone represent real events or mythology.
4 – Statues of Rahotep and Nofret
The limestone statues of Prince Rahotep and his wife, Nofret, date to approximately 2,500 BC. With inlaid glass eyes and life-size proportions, Rahotep and Nofret represent the best preserved and life-like figures in the entire museum.
5 – Figurine of Khufu
Pharaoh Khufu built the stunning Great Pyramid. Ironically, the only remaining memorial to him is a miniature ivory statue. In reality you almost need a magnifying glass to see it.
6 – The Grave Mask of King Amenemope
King Amenemope ruled ancient Egypt until 992 BC. His golden funeral mask entranced me with its contemplative facial expression and boyish features.
7 – Funeral Mask of Psusennes I
The mummy mask of Psusennes I is thought to be “one of the masterpieces of the treasures of Tanis”. It’s made of gold and lapis lazuli and is inlaid with black and white glass eyes and eyebrows.
8 – Innermost Coffin of Yuya
Yuya commanded the charioteers in the Army during the reign of Amenhotep III. He and his wife Tuya were both honored by being buried in the company of pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. Yuya’s coffin is entirely covered in gold leaf and adorned with glass paste inlays on the exterior. The interior of the lid and the lower casket are adorned with a sheet of silver on which an image of the goddess Nut is inscribed.
Admission Details to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
Hours of Operation:
Open daily, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
9:00 AM-5:00 PM during Ramadan
Egyptian: LE 4 (LE 2, students)
Foreign: LE 60 (LE 30, students)
Royal Mummies Room:
Egyptian: LE 10 (LE 5, students)
Foreign: LE 100 (LE 50, students)
Egyptian: LE 2 (LE 1, students)
Foreign: LE 10 (LE 5, students)
Location: Midan al-Tahrir, Downtown Cairo
By metro: Sadat Station, follow signs to Egyptian Museum exit and walk straight along the street.
By car or taxi: Ask for “al-met-haf al-masri”
By bus: Ask for “abdel minem-ryad”
Phone: (02) 5794596
Fax: (02) 5794596