Top 8 Things To See in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – A Complete Travel Guide

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

Mummies on display in the halls of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. To mummify a body, Egyptians removed all moisture from a body. Then bodies were wrapped and treated for 70 days until the embalming process completed.
Mummies on display in the halls of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. To mummify a body, Egyptians removed all moisture from a body. Then bodies were wrapped and treated for 70 days until the embalming process completed.

Quick Links to the Top 8 Things to See in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

Map to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt
Map to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt

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.

The gold death mask of King Tut from 1323 BC in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. X-rays reveal it contains two alloys of gold: a lighter 18.4 karat shade for the face and neck, and 22.5 karat gold for the remainder.
The gold death mask of King Tut from 1323 BC in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. X-rays reveal it contains two alloys of gold: a lighter 18.4 karat shade for the face and neck, and 22.5 karat gold for the remainder.

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.

British archeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tut's golden throne in 1922.
British archeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s golden throne in 1922.

 

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.

The Narmer Palette in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  Some believe the tablet depicts the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under King Narmer.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com.
The Narmer Palette in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  Some believe the tablet depicts the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under King Narmer.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com.

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.

The Statues of Rahotep and Nofret measure 120cm (3.9 feet) high.  Albert Daninos discovered them in 1871.
The Statues of Rahotep and Nofret measure 120cm (3.9 feet) high.  Albert Daninos discovered them in 1871.

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.

The figurine of Khufu measures 7.9cm (3in) high. It was discovered headless in 1903 by Flinders Petrie at the Kom el-Sultan necropolis at Abydos. Petrie offered a reward to anyone who could find the head. Three weeks later it was discovered.
The figurine of Khufu measures 7.9cm (3in) high. It was discovered headless in 1903 by Flinders Petrie at the Kom el-Sultan necropolis at Abydos. Petrie offered a reward to anyone who could find the head. Three weeks later it was discovered.

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.

King Amenemope's tomb was discovered by French Egyptologists Pierre Montet and Georges Goyon in April 1940, just a month before the Nazi invasion of France.
King Amenemope’s tomb was discovered by French Egyptologists Pierre Montet and Georges Goyon in April 1940, just a month before the Nazi invasion of France.

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.  

The funeral mask of Psusennes I. He ruled from Tanis, Egypt between 1047–1001 BC.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com.
The funeral mask of Psusennes I. He ruled from Tanis, Egypt between 1047–1001 BC.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com.

 

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.

The coffin of Yuya dates back to the 18th century BC.
The coffin of Yuya dates back to the 18th century BC.

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

Ticket Cost:
General Admission:
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)

Centennial Gallery:
Egyptian: LE 2 (LE 1, students)
Foreign: LE 10 (LE 5, students)

Location:  Midan al-Tahrir, Downtown Cairo

Directions:
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”

Contact Information:
Phone: (02) 5794596
Fax: (02) 5794596
Email: egyptianmuseum@hotmail.com

Mummies in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Its was important for ancient Egyptians to preserve bodies in as much of a life-like format as possible. They were so good, three thousand years later the mummies still resemble their ancient counterparts.
Mummies in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Its was important for ancient Egyptians to preserve bodies in as much of a life-like format as possible. They were so good, three thousand years later the mummies still resemble their ancient counterparts.

 DID YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELFUL?  IF SO, READ MORE ABOUT EGYPT

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1 Comment

  1. Pradeep
    February 21, 2019 / 8:51 am

    wow Nice Photos useful information really it was an interesting post

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