Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part I (Self Guided), Cairo

Cairo's museums are home to some of the finest Islamic art in the world. Long the seat of great dynasties, whose progeny patronized works of art, Cairo's status as one of the wealthiest and most inhabited cities of the medieval world is reflected in the exquisite arts that make up its museum collections, collections which were expanded in the twentieth century through the purchase of private repositories. Check out the list of Cairo museums in the following tour.
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Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part I Map

Guide Name: Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part I
Guide Location: Egypt » Cairo (See other walking tours in Cairo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles
Author: felicity
The Postal Museum

1) The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum is a repository of communications through the delivery of mails in Egypt from the era of the pharaohs. It is located on the second floor of the Central Post Office in Cairo at the Al Ataba Square.

The Postal Museum in Cairo was established in 1934 to coincide with the opening of the tenth Universal Postal Conference held in the city. The event took place during the reign of King Fuad I. It was opened for public viewing from 1940. The museum today is the results of renovations and expansions made in the year 1989.

The Postal Museum has ten sections. The first section is dedicated to the history of postal communication in the country from the age of the Pharaohs, the second is dedicated to the many international postal conferences around the world, the third displays tools used in postal technology, another section displays the different uniforms used by postal personnel down the ages and there is a display of miniature models of postal buildings in Egypt. There are also displays dedicated to types of transportation used by the postal service, a philately section, an air mail section and a section displaying different aspects of postal mail around the world. An artistic display at the museum is a stamp mosaic made of 15,000 identical stamps.

Operation Hours: Sunday - Thursday: 10 am - 3 pm;
Museum of Islamic Art

2) Museum of Islamic Art

The Museum is a home for more than 102,000 objects. It is considered one of the largest in the world because of its extensive collection of rare woodwork, crystal, ceramic, plaster and textile from all over the Islamic world. The collection includes rare manuscripts of the Qur'an, with some calligraphy written in silver ink, on pages with elaborate borders. The exhibitions organized by the museum are regularly visited by tourists from all over the globe.

Operation hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Abdeen Palace

3) Abdeen Palace (must see)

The Abdeen Palace is a large ornate building that is one of the official residences and the main office of the President of Egypt. A portion of the palace is now a museum.

The Abdeen Palace was built on the ruins of an old house belonging to Abdeen Bay, a commander of Mohamed Ali Pasha the Wali of Egypt. In 1872, Khedive Ismail, the then ruler of Egypt moved to the palace from the citadel and made it his official residence. The present building was constructed between 1863 and 1874. It was designed by the French architect Rousseau and Egyptian, Turkish, French and Italian decorators worked on its ornate interiors. It was the scene of the Abdeen Palace incident of 1942 when King Farouk I was forced to abdicate by the British.

The Abdeen Palace has lavish interiors with sculpture, paintings and clocks decorated with pure gold in its parlors and wings. The first floor is now used for visiting foreign dignitaries and the lower floors have museums including the Arms Museum, the Royal Family Museum, the Historical Documents Museum that was recently inaugurated in 2005 and the Presidential Gifts Museum displaying gifts given to the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the few places in Cairo that are nicely maintained – fantastic for fans of historic and ornamental weapons.
The grounds of the compound are lovely. There are a few tables to relax with coffee/tea or a small snack.

The ticket counter is not at the entrance to the museum but across the street.
There is an additional fee if you want to take photos inside.

Opening Hours:
Sat-Thu: 9am-3pm
Ethnographic Museum

4) Ethnographic Museum

The Ethnographic Museum was set up in 1895 by Khedive Ismail and gives visitors the opportunity to learn about local traditions and heritage in "fancy Cairo". Displays include merchandise sold by vendors, conventional musical instruments and school instruments.

Operation Hours:
Monday - Thursday,Sunday: 9:00 am - 4:45 pm; Friday,Saturday-closed.
Egyptian Antiquities Museum

5) Egyptian Antiquities Museum (must see)

The Egyptian Antiquities Museum, popularly known as the Egyptian Museum is a repository of the largest collection of ancient Egyptian objects in the world. It is located to the north of Tahrir Square next to the Nile Hilton hotel.

The Egyptian Museum was established to prevent the removal of Egyptian treasures by foreigners in the 1830s. It first occupied a building in Bulaq on the banks of the River Nile in 1863. After many objects were damaged when the building was flooded, a new museum was built. The present building was designed by French architect, Marcel Dourgnon and inaugurated in 1902.

The Egyptian Museum has a collection of over 120,000 items. Notable exhibits are objects from Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb displayed on the second floor including a gold funerary mask and sarcophagus. The second floor also has a Mummy room with the mummified remains of 11 kings and queens. One room on the same floor displays mummified birds and animals found in royal tombs. The ground floor has a collection of papyrus and coins. The collection not only has papyrus and coins from the age of the Pharaohs but also from the Greek and Roman civilizations. There is also a collection of coins minted under Islamic rule. Other objects displayed on the ground floor are tablets, statues and coffins from the age of the Pharaohs.

Why You Should Visit:
Great location in the heart of the city and the place to visit for a unique and famous Egyptian antiquities collection.
You can get a lot closer to the exhibits than you'd expect and see some amazing history up close.

Try to visit with a professional guide, preferably a trained Egyptologist. Do not hire a random person outside.
If you can plan your visit on a day that they are open in the evening, you'll be rewarded with a smaller crowd of people.
Make sure you download/screenshot a map of each floor onto your device. Mark the items you don't want to miss before you go. A little research will save a lot of time!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 9am-5pm; Thu, Sun: 9am-9pm; Fri-Sat: 9am-4pm.
The Mukhtar Museum

6) The Mukhtar Museum

The Mahmoud Mukhtar Museum is dedicated to the works of Mahmoud Mukhtar, regarded as one of the finest sculptors in the country and the founder of the modern art movement in Egypt. It has over 85 sculptures in bronze, stone and plaster, painstakingly worked by Mukhtar.

Mahmoud Mukhtar was a world renowned Egyptian sculptor who wrought many modern landmark monuments of national importance in Egypt. He was born in 1891 in a small village called Nesha in the Nile delta. He moved to Cairo to study at the School of fine Arts and later went to the Ecole de Beaux Artes in Paris. He well known works are the statue called The Nahdet Misr, located in front of the Cairo university bridge and the two statues of Saad Zaghlul that are located in Cairo and Alexandria respectively.

The Mahmoud Mukhtar building was designed by Egyptian architect, Ramses, Wissa Wassef. It has two floors displaying some of his best works. Well known sculptures on display are the Sadness Statue, the Cataract Daughter, Return from the River, the Alkhmasin, To beloved, Secrets Keeper and Murmuring. The museum remained a neglected repository of the works of the famous sculptor until 2003 when it was renovated and opened to the public and international visitors.

Operation Hours.
Daily: 9:00 am- 1:00 pm
Khalil Museum

7) Khalil Museum

The Khalil Museum houses the collection of art and objects of Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil, a prominent Egyptian politician and his wife Emiline Lock. It consists of many valuable paintings and rivals many private European art collections.

The Mohamed Khalil palace that houses the Museum was built in 1920 in Giza, Cairo. It has an art deco style of architecture. The eastern part of the palace that overlooks the River Nile has an art nouveau style and includes a metal and glass skeleton above the main entrance. The building covers an area of 1400 square meters and has four floors. It became a museum in 1962. The collection was temporarily moved to another palace in the Zamaleck area of Cairo and returned once the Khalil palace was extensively renovated in 1971.

The Khalil Museum has a valuable collection of European painting by great masters including Paul Gaugin, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Vincent Van Gogh. The paintings, ‘Sun Flower’ by Vincent van Gogh and ‘Life and Death’ by Paul Gaugin are placed in individual rooms for visitors to marvel in private. There is also an impressive collection of vases from France, China, Japan, Iran and Egypt and a vast collection of Chinese miniature figures.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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