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

Cairo the city of a thousand minarets, known as Al Qahira, is one of the world's biggest urban conglomerates. Cairo is home not only to over 14 million people, but also to the Great Pyramids of Giza, ancient temples, and graves, mosques, churches and markets. In Cairo one can find an impressive number of museums each of them unique in its way, having a rich history and interesting items to display. Take the following walk to discover the most renowned and prominent museums in Cairo.
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Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part II Map

Guide Name: Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part II
Guide Location: Egypt » Cairo (See other walking tours in Cairo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.3 Km or 5.8 Miles
Author: felicity
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Railway Museum
  • Royal Carriage Museum
  • The National Geographic Society Museum
  • Gayer-Anderson Museum
  • National Military Museum
Railway Museum

1) Railway Museum

The Cairo Railway Museum is located on the right of the Misr Railway Station on Ramses Square. It has over 700 exhibits showing the history of railways in Egypt.

The Cairo Railway Museum was inaugurated in 1933 to celebrate the International Railway Conference that took place in Cairo that year. Historical and modern exhibits are displayed and it has become over the years the most important museum that collects and displays memorabilia, carriages and maps and documents about railways in the Middle East.

The Cairo Railway Museum has five sections. The first section traces the history of transport from the era of the Pharaohs until the evolution of the steam engine. There are wooden horse drawn carts from the Bronze Age in this section. The second section has early wagons to the modern trains that are used today. There is a section devoted to stations and models of stations all over Egypt. Another section is dedicated to railway bridges with models of well known Egyptian railway bridges. The last section has exhibits about air transport from the airplane developed by the Wright brothers to the present day. Interesting exhibits are the luxurious private salons of Muhammad Ali Pasha and the locomotive used by Empress Eugenie when she came to open the Suez Canal.

Operation hours: Monday - Thursday, Saturday-Sunday : 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, Friday-closed.
Royal Carriage Museum

2) Royal Carriage Museum

The Royal Carriage Museum is a small museum houses a small collection of 8 carriages used by the Royal Family of Egypt.

The Royal Carriage Museum is housed in a former mess used by the British army stationed in Cairo. It is a one storey building and there is a bust of a horse above each window. All the carriages are well maintained retaining their original color and mechanisms. They reflect an era in the city where elegant horse drawn carriages went along the streets.

The Royal Carriage Museum has a display of horse saddles and horse riding gear. The carriages on display include a golden carriage presented to Napoleon III by Khedive Ismail, the carriage used by Khedive Ismail when he inaugurated the Suez Canal, a large carriage sent by Khedive Ismail to welcome visiting royal families from Arabia and Europe and a black and gold carriage with red highlights. The museum also displays the personal carriage used by King Fouad Pasha, the last King of Egypt who was deposed by the revolution. There is also an old carriage that represents the type of carriage used by government officials during the reign of Khedive Ismail.
The National Geographic Society Museum

3) The National Geographic Society Museum

The National Geographic Museum is a museum complex in Cairo consisting of a small museum devoted to ethnography, a large library and a hall used for debates and lectures on geography related subjects.

The Cairo National Geographic Museum was commissioned by Khedive Ismail in 1875. He gave 600 acres of land to the museum to provide revenue for the museum. It was given the status of an independent institution and the revenue was to keep the institution independent. The purpose of the National Geographic Museum was to assist European explorers and missionaries who were exploring the source of the River Nile.

The Cairo National Geographic Museum has an ethnographic section devoted to exhibits about the lifestyles of the people of Egypt and Africa from the 19th Century. Objects reflect the habits and customs of people from different parts of Egypt. They consist of jewelry, ornaments, toys, musical instruments, public baths and objects used in wedding ceremonies. The large debating hall can seat an audience of 500 people. The 12th International Conference for Geography was held here and was chaired by King Fouad. There is also a vast research library with a large collection of books on Geography. Many of the books are about early explorations of Egypt and Africa by European explorers.
Gayer-Anderson Museum

4) Gayer-Anderson Museum (must see)

The Gayer-Anderson Museum in Cairo houses the immense collection of artifacts from Asia and North Africa by Orientalist, Gayer-Anderson. It was the venue of some scenes from the James Bond film, 'The Spy Who Loved Me'.

Gayer-Anderson was a British army physician who made Cairo his home between 1935 and 1942. He purchased two Ottoman houses adjacent to the Mosque of Ibn Tulun and created a museum to house his collection of art and sculpture. He joined the two Ottoman houses with a covered bridge and restored the twisting passageways, jasmine-scented courtyards, and floor cushions. He left Egypt in 1942 when his health started failing and gave the museum to the Egyptian Government.

The Gayer-Anderson Museum is filled with Egyptian artifacts from the age of the Pharaohs and from other parts of Asia. The theme of each room is the lifestyle of the part of Asia or Africa. The Damascus Room has objects from Syria and there is a room with statuettes and figures from China. The English style library has Anderson’s collection of books. The rooftop terrace with carved enclosed Mashabreya windows and a small sundial offers spectacular views of Cairo.

Why You Should Visit:
The best place to discover Cairo's houses built in Islamic style and so many other things you never knew existed.
Different from the major historical sights but the glimpse into the lifestyle is well worth the visit.

Make sure to check the hidden room and window (ask the guide) and take the time to appreciate the small details in the furniture.
Unfortunately, there are many stairs, making it difficult for people who have trouble ascending/descending multiple staircases.

Operation Hours:
Daily: 9am-4pm
National Military Museum

5) National Military Museum (must see)

The Military Museum in Cairo is dedicated to the military history of Egypt from the age of the Pharaohs. It is an interesting museum for history buffs and tells the story of the wars that shaped the country's history.

It is housed in a palace that was once the residence of Mohammed Ali Pasha, the founder of the dynasty that ruled Egypt between 1805 and 1952. Visitors are greeted by a statue of his son Ibrahim Pasha at the entrance. The museum was established in 1947 by the British and opened in 1949. In 1993, the museum was renovated with the help of experts from North Korea.

The Military Museum consists of three floors and three wings with several halls. The first floor has a royal carriage belonging to Khedive Ismail, a hall displaying medals, a weapon display and an artillery display. The second floor has collections of weaponry and military devices from the age of the Pharaohs. The Chariot of Tutankhamon and a man of war from the Bronze Age are interesting objects on display. The third floor has military displays relating to the Islamic armies of Egypt including paintings showing their exploits. There are over 250 busts of famous Egyptian historical military heroes at the museum.

Why You Should Visit:
Entry is free with the admission to the Citadel, so it's certainly no loss to visit if you have some time to spare.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-4:30pm

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