Whether you typically enjoy museums or not, when perusing your options for Cairo attractions, don't miss out on the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, more commonly known as simply the Egyptian Museum or Cairo Museum. This museum shelters treasures known throughout the world by students of history and laymen alike.
Established in 1835 in an attempt to control the looting of tombs as well as to centralize the collection of the antiquities, the Egyptian Museum is one of the finest museums in the world. Few other places offer such a fascinating collection centering around such a universally interesting culture.
The pinkish red building housing the collection in present times was built in 1900. Currently, the Egyptian Museum Cairo holds a staggering 120,000 objects ranging from prehistorical times until the Greek and Roman times, arranged inside the museum in chronological order. While some find the inside of the Egyptian Museum a bit chaotic, the treasures inside are worth searching through, and between the museum interior and the surrounding square, this could easily be a full day's worth of activity.
The highlights of the collection at the Egyptian Museum Cairo are the treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamun (King Tut), the collection of royal mummies, and the jewelry which is most often from royal tombs. From King Tut's tomb alone, the museum holds more than 3,500 items, approximately 1,700 of which are on display. The royal mummies include many pharaohs that a student of Egyptian history will recognize, most famously perhaps the mummy of Ramses II, the pharaoh who built the Abu Simbel Temple and is thought to be the pharaoh from the book of Exodus in the Bible. Many of the royal mummies located at the museum were formerly buried in the Valley of the Kings.
Getting to the Egyptian Museum Cairo is simple from anywhere in Cairo as it is one of the major tourist destinations. Located in Tahrir Square (also known as Midan Tahrir), the Egyptian Museum is in central Cairo. Tahrir Square contains several international hotels and is also the central hub of the Cairo Metro (Sadaat station). Many taxis gather here, and many buses stop through here as well. The square is relatively wide open and is one of the most fortified areas of Cairo because of the high tourist population, but also because of government offices, the American University in Cairo, and hotels here. However, also for these reasons, if there is unrest in the city, this might be a good area to avoid.
Over a million visitors from all over the world visit
the museum each year, not including the nearly half a
million Egyptians who also flock to see this astounding
collection. Take a day to wander among the artifacts and
explore the surrounding square - learn a bit about
Egyptian history and then venture out to the other Cairo
attractions - the Pyramids
of Giza or perhaps a cruise
on the Nile to see Karnak to the south!