This is the English version of my blog GDAMAS.COM (Portuguese language, online since 2010). I'm still working on it. English is not my native language. Please, feel free to correct me.
The name is Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, but people commonly know it as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo. The giant building shines as one of the key points to visit in Egypt.
Join me now on a virtual visit to the museum. In addition to many photos, you will see tips for YOUR exciting visit when finally in Cairo.
Have you taken your Indiana Jones hat and whip, or maybe your Lara Croft outfits?
No need to ask! Of course I have, Damas! Several minutes ago! I’m ready for this new adventure in Egypt!
Take my hand. And a deep breath.
The current and the new museum
The museum was open to the public in other buildings until the end of the 19th century. The current building houses the 120,000 items — not all in exhibition — since 1902.
Oh, wait, Damas. You said “since 1902.” But what about the new Museum of Cairo? It’s been on the news.
The new museum is a grandiose (or should I say pharaonic?) project, just like the Egyptian Antiquity deserves. And very modern, I must say. It’s in Giza, near the complex of The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. I could see the construction works one day and wow, I was impressed.
The inauguration has been postponed several times. It is now expected to happen in 2019. Incidentally, because of this new unit, you may not see some pieces in the current museum, during the coming months, because they will be gradually transferred to the new building.
The Egyptian Museum is just a few steps away from the Tahrir Square. You see two famous places at the same time — the square and the museum.
Do you want a precise location? Find the Egyptian Museum on Google Maps.
The Egyptian Museum opens daily from 9AM to 5PM. But pay attention: The box office closes at 4PM.
The schedule will be different if your visit happens during Ramadan. Local authorities determine the new and temporary opening times around one month before Ramadan, but I can say that usually the doors will be open from 9AM to 3PM.
It’s time to open your wallet!
Currently, the ticket costs 120 Egyptian pounds (US$ 6.70 / 5.80€ / 5.20£).
I believe you will spend a little more. Well, you should. First, there’s an extra ticket of 50 Egyptian pounds (US$2.80 / 2.44€ / 2.20£) to take photos inside the museum. Second, a 150 Egyptian pounds fee (US$8.40 / 7.30€ / 6.50£) to enter the Royal Mummies Room.
Oh, wooonderful, Damas! I was afraid of not being allowed to take photos inside the museum! So, I will pay for that extra ticket and take pictures of EVERYTHING! Plus 500 selfies in front of Tutankhamun’s Gold Mask! By the way, 1,000 more selfies next to the mummy of Tutankhamun!
Calm down. Even if you purchase that ticket, you can’t use your camera in the Royal Mummies Room, nor in the room that features Tutankhamun’s mask. And don’t try to take hidden photos. The rooms are well monitored.
Finally, a correction. The mummy of Tutankhamun is not in the Egyptian Museum. You can see him in his own tomb, in the enigmatic Valley of the Kings. I’ll show the mummy and the tomb in great details in this blog.
The exterior of the building
In all my trips, I try to use my camera to capture points of view not frequently seen by the public. In the case of the Egyptian Museum, we always see the beautiful façade with the main entrance, but rarely the other parts of the building and the area (garden) in front of it.
I invite you to see all of this right now with me. Get ready, because I have some interesting things to show. Have you ever seen papyrus (the plant) and the Lotus flower? Well, you will see them now!
Did you like it?
I’m loving all of this, Damas!
Great! And the photo above reminds you of what? It’s a queue…
I reminds me that it’s time to FINALLY enter the museum!
So… don’t make me wait more!
Let’s go! Follow me!
Inside the museum
Before our very first step into the museum, I warn you about something very important. There’s no bar in the museum. And no bar outside. So, go to the Egyptian Museum carrying a bottle of water. A small bottle, easy to carry during your visit. Believe me: Except if your visit occurs in Winter, you will want water. In Egypt, we want water, water, water, WATER all the time.
Finally, with our bottle of water, let’s start the best part of the day. This is the first sight inside the museum:
Wow! How exciting, Damas! This is only the first thing I see inside the museum, but my jaw is already dropping!
I can see that! And notice that there’s a security check right here. This is good.
Now, we start exploring the two main floors of the museum. Ready?
Ancient Egypt is right in front of your eyes. All of that for you to see, smell, maybe touch. It’s exciting, jaw-dropping, intoxicant. A hypnosis that enriches your culture. Even when I come back to the museum, I feel like first time. New ways to look at the same items, and, of course, I always discover new things.
This reminds me of three more warnings.
First: Don’t delude yourself thinking that you will see everything in the museum. With this expectation in mind, you will leave the museum feeling frustrated. Be a realist. Nobody can explore the totality of such a huge museum in just one visit. Remember the Louvre Museum. It’s impossible to see everything there in one day.
Consequently, here comes another warning: only with a good tour guide will you explore the Egyptian Museum properly. That thing is too complex. A spectacular historical richness. Visitors must be guided there. A tour guide knows where to go and make people understand what they see.
Oh, Damas! Very well! And one thing I will certainly see: The gold mask of Tutankhamun!
Of course! All visitors are always super-anxious to see the mask. I believe I can say that it is the greatest star in the museum. There are no words to express my feelings when I see it with just a few centimeters between us. I stay there, still… looking… and looking at it… A hypnosis that lasts for several minutes. This is beautiful, exciting, but brings to us one more warning: Don’t limit your visit to the area dedicated to Tutankhamun, especially to the room that houses the gold mask.
It happens in this area something similar to what we see in Paris: some tourists visit the Louvre with just the Mona Lisa in mind. They want to go to the great room with the painting, take some selfies and… goodbye. They miss most of the treasures in other parts of the museum. Don’t be like those people in the Egyptian Museum. Tutankhamun is certainly the most popular sector of the museum, and I always love to visit it. There’s more appeal there, I know. But explore the remaining of the museum and you will have HUGE surprises.
One of the greatest surprises is the Royal Mummies Room. You read this name when I was speaking about the tickets for the museum. You will need an extra ticket to enter this room, and photos are totally forbidden. But it’s worth the visit. Trust me. For instance, you will see there, face to face (!), the mummy of the powerful Ramesses II and the mummy of the great Hatshepsut.
One more thing. We sh—
Wait. Enough talking! How about some PHOTOS?
Oh, it’s about time, Damas! In the beginning of this post, you promised “lots of photos.” Right?
So… let’s move on!
So… what do you think of all this so far?
Amazing, Damas! But… until now… nothing about Tutankhamun!
Of course not. This is a clever strategy to keep your attention here.
But enough of torture. Let’s finally see the big area dedicated to Tut!
What now? Happy to see all of this?
Happy? Damas, I’m drooling!
I could notice that.
I hope you visit this museum. Tell me later how was your experience.
Wait! Don’t go now. Do you have more photos? OK, there’s a loooot of photos in this post, but the museum is huge, and maybe you have more photos to show.
Sure. I’m cute and cuddly, so here is the link for my Google Photos album created for one of my visits to the museum:
Almost 300 photos.
May the Egyptian gods inspire your thoughts! 😉