Results 1-10of 30 Reviews
Gravesend, United Kingdom
September 24, 2009
From journal The Ancient Delights of the Middle East
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
October 5, 2008
From journal Pyramids, Popes and Parallel Worlds
Cary, North Carolina
June 6, 2006
From journal Cairo: We're Literally in BFE!
Charlotte, North Carolina
July 6, 2004
I saved my last afternoon in Cairo and allowed about two hours for my visit. I wish I had allowed about two more hours. Friends of mine spent over five hours in the museum. It costs about $6 to visit, plus you should get a guide. The guides are lounging around near the ticket booth and won’t be shy about asking you to hire them for two hours. This costs another $20 for two hours, but it is essential to really understanding what you are seeing in the museum. These guides steer you toward the most important items and are extremely knowledgeable. My guide was full of facts, and he had a pretty good sense of humor as well.
As for the highlights, I really enjoyed Room 53 (mummified animals and birds). Everything from crocodiles to monkeys was mummified, and I learned a lot about the mummification process. I also thought the display was very well done. For a mummy add-on, you can go into the Mummy Room. This room has around eleven royal mummies. It costs an extra $10 to see the Mummy Room, but I didn’t mind, despite the fact that I thought it was a bit underwhelming. For me, it was worth seeing the human mummies to get some perspective on how small some of these people were back then. Plus, it was strangely interesting to see humans preserved from thousands of years ago.
I also enjoyed the Tutankhamen (King Tut) rooms. Tutankhamen’s tomb is the most complete (un-robbed) tomb discovered in modern times. Tutankhamen was not a particularly important pharaoh, but the tombs of the other pharaohs had been robbed long before Howard Carter uncovered King Tut’s tomb. The amount of treasure is simply amazing, and much of it is on display. One can only surmise how much treasure must have been in the tomb of a more important pharaoh. I really liked the gold room, which had many of the things people see most (i.e., the funerary masks). It was also neat to see more simple things like the games and other normal things that the ancient Egyptians would need to live in the afterlife.
In summary, allow enough time to see this wonderful museum. Although I particularly enjoyed some of the highlights, the totality of the experience and the thousands of artifacts guarantee that everyone will find something they enjoy.
From journal A Hectic Week in Cairo
February 28, 2002
Mohammed, our guide from the pyramids, convinced us to hire him for the museum, which I regretted from the start. Save your money and time. Explore what you want to see. We never made it past the Old Kingdom with our guide. In my opinion, guides aren't necessary for the museum. Most exhibits are explained in English, and excellent reference books, such as the Blue Guide, explain the antiquities in detail. But official guides are available at the museum if desired for a fraction of the cost, $10 US verses the $40 US that we paid. Both give the same memorized presentation complete with pointer stick, and neither are allowed in special exhibits.
We only had two hours to explore the museum (don't ask). After an hour we were still in the first room, learning about the symbolism of every shape, creature, ornament, design, color and texture of different busts from the Old Kingdom. It takes supposedly nine months to see everything if you spend just one minute at each exhibit, yet our guide was selfishly spending ten minutes or more on a single exhibit, clearly zeroing in on his interests, not ours. I couldn't hide my impatience, knowing how little time we had to explore this magnificent museum, and finally drifted off to read and absorb exhibits that interested me. But we both missed over half the halls on the main floor.
With less than an hour left, I convinced David to head upstairs to see the special exhibits. WOW. King Tut's treasures were truly spectacular, but the highlight for me was the Mummy Room. Eleven mummies are on display in the only air-conditioned part of the museum. A guard enforces the "no talking" rule while you stare into the preserved faces of pharaohs who lived and ruled thousands, I repeat, thousands of years ago. Unbelievable! The great and mighty Ramses II, now reduced to a small, shrunken old man, still had a golden lock of hair visible behind his ear touching his shoulder. His arm bones looked to be only three fingers wide. Such a powerful king, yet surprisingly small in stature.
The most intriguing mummy to me was Merenptah, the 13th son of Ramses II, who ruled after his father died. Controversy exists about whether or not he was ruling during the Biblical exodus when Moses fled Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. In Exodus, it states that the Pharaoh and his chariots drowned in the sea chasing Moses. Indeed, the mummy of Mernatapah is noticeably whitened, with half-eaten toes and fingers, and it's speculated that he died by drowning. Hmmmm...
Hours are 9-5pm. Admission is $10 US. Special exhibits upstairs include King Tut's Treasures ($10 US) and the Mummy Room ($20 US), which close at 4:15pm. Don't miss them!
From journal Honeymoon in Cairo
May 19, 2002
A babel of voices.
Guides forcing their voices into a higher pitch so that all in the group can hear. But do they want to hear? The eager ones stand in front position and ask ‘intelligent’ questions. Those at the back look utterly bored.
I usually don’t like museums because the curator has decided what to exhibit so in other words he decides for me what I should see and what I should admire.
But The Egyptian museum is a gem. The interior hasn’t changed since the day they put the exhibits on display. There are clumsily typewritten labels telling you what is on display. We did not hire a guide as they often recite dull facts. You can join a group for some time to get some snippets.
We came for Tut. It is not difficult to find the right section: follow the din. Even though I had seen innumerable pictures, Tutankhamun’s life size gold mask, the real thing was even more beautiful than I had thought.
In surrounding glass cases there is a collection of wonderful jewellery, exquisite workmanship.
Tutankhamum was not a very famous pharao, he ruled only for 9 years during 14th BC. The incredible contents of his tomb made me wonder what wealth had been looted from the tombs of the greater pharaos.
The English archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Tut’s tomb in 1922. It was below the ransacked tomb of Ramses VI. Looters and archaeologists were happy with what they had found and didn’t dig deeper.
Tut’s mummified body was found in three mummiform coffins in a stone sarcophagus, together with lots of funeral treasures. All this can be seen on the 1st floor in the Tutankhamun Gallery.
Entrance fee is 20 Egyptian pounds (5 euros). A photo permits sets you back another 10 Egyptian pounds. Tripod or flash is not allowed. Most object on display are well lit so it is not too difficult without a flash. Only the centre piece: Tut’s gold mask is dimly lit. I wonder if it is done on purpose.
Don’t think you can sneak in with your camera without a permit. On entering you will go through electronic gates. The alarm goes when you have a camera or any other metal on you. You will then have to show your camera ticket. If you haven’t got one you must hand in your camera..
If you want to see the mummy gallery you will have to pay another 40 Egyptian pounds. I did not do this because I think this is somehow taking advantage of tourists, just ask, they pay.
If you have never seen a mummy it might be a good idea to go to the mummy gallery, on the other hand if you plan to go to Saqqara , here there are also a few mummies. And anyway we can’t see the difference: a mummy is a mummy.
From journal Cairo: Love It or Hate It
January 16, 2002
From journal Cairo Chaos
September 2, 2005
From journal Discovering Ancient Memphis
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
October 29, 2004
Passing through the gatesAfter your hour-long queue during high season, you will have to go through a security check, passing your belongings through an x-ray scanner. Objectionable items need to be placed in the left-luggage, but this is not very safe, as there are no locks at the storage and any tourist can claim to own your item and walk out with it. So it’s best not to bring too many things with you on your visit. Only your valuables, like your cash and passport, will do.
If you'd like to bring your camera into the museum, you may, but you'd have to pay to purchase a permit for its use inside. This is in the form of a sticker, which needs to be placed on the camera to be used within its premises. Take note that photography is only allowed between the hours of 9am to 2pm. Flash photography is not allowed at any time. Costs for the permit range between EGP$10 for automatics to EGP$175 for pro SLRs. Video cameras cost EGP$100. EGP$10 is roughly equal to US$1.61. EGP$100 is equal to $16. (As of the end of Oct 2004).
There is a small souvenir shop to the right of the entrance offering reproductions of some of the more popular artifacts exhibited in the museum, including the blue fertility hippos made popular by the Metropolitan Museum store. You can also purchase cartouches spelling out your name in Egyptian hieroglyphics. But for these, you'd need to return after your visit for them. So if you're interested, place your order before you tour the place. There are other shops offering the same, but likely for a fraction less. Other collectibles popular with tourists are little lapis lazuli scarabs (as good-luck charms) and basalt Bastet cat statues.
It costs EGP$20 per person, with an extra charge of EGP$40 for the Royal Mummy Room; children are half price.
Phone: +20 (0)2 579 6974; Fax: +20 (0)2 579 4596.
The museum is found on Mariette Pasha Street, on the north side of Tahrir Square, right next to the Nile Hilton Hotel, whose sign is very prominently displayed as you come onto the roundabout.
Opening hours of the museum are 9am to 6:30pm daily, with the last admission at 6pm sharp. During Ramadan, it closes at 3pm.
From journal Phascinating Pharoahs
Outgrowing the two homes it was previously housed in, the museum then settled on its present, purpose-built premises in 1902. It has more than 120,000 items on display and is rumoured to have another 150,000 stored in the basement!
The pride of the museum is without doubt the collection of artifacts recovered from the tomb of Tut-ankh-amun. However, that is not all the musuem is famous for, as it also houses excellent pieces from every period of ancient Egyptian history, dating from as far back as the Narmer Palette (c. 3100 BC) through 2nd-century AD portraits of the Graeco-Roman era.
Located on two levels, the artifacts on the ground floor are organised in a somewhat chronological order, running clockwise from the entrance and atrium, while the first-floor collection is arranged by themes. The central hall houses a large monumental statuary. While not particularly large, the museum is densely packed with artifacts, seemingly displayed haphazardly, but there is a method to the madness. Anybody with more than a passing interest in ancient Egypt will need more than one visit to take in everything.
During peak tourist seasons, the museum is busy with long queues to enter, and on the inside, even longer waiting lines just to see Tut-ankh-amun's funeral mask. The life-sized gold mask is just one of 1,700 items retrieved from the tomb. To view the mask at some leisure, it is best to visit just as the museum opens or late in the afternoon and make straight for the boy king's galleries on the first floor, then visiting the rest afterward.
For main highlights besides the Tut-ankh-amun Galleries, be sure to see the Fayoum Potraits, which depict remarkably lifelike Egyptians from the Graeco-Roman period. There is also an exhibit of exquisite ancient Egyptian jewellery, with necklaces made with beads of gold and lapis lazuli from around the 11th century BC. Also, be sure to visit the Amarna Room, with exhibits from Akhenaten's rule. During the 15-year reign of this radical king, not only was the old religion abandoned, but also was its art. A new style developed in which figures were depicted with elongated heads and protruding bellies. If you follow a clockwise direction, you will finish the ground floor tour in the wing where you'll meet Prince Rahotep and his bride Nofret, two life-size limestone statues (c. 2620BC) which were found in their mastaba near the Meidum Pyramid in Fayoum. You will also see the statue of Ka-Aper, whose eyes seem to be glaring at you with their copper rims, corneas of clear rock crystal, and whites of opaque quartz, drilled and filled with black paste!