Located a couple of minutes' walk from the Cairo Marriott in a nicely restored palace, the Islamic Ceramics Museum contains a stunning collection of ceramic pots, plates, and bowls from the 9th to the 18th centuries. It is also worth visiting simply for the building, which was originally a small palace for Prince Amr Ibrahim in the 19th century and was seized by the government in 1953. Designed by a Turkish architect, it is a graceful and balanced building, especially in contrast to some of the old colonial piles you'll see if you take the time to stroll around Zamalek or Garden City.
The documentation is uninformative, but most of the pieces in the museum speak for themselves. The atmosphere of the usually half-deserted old palace still makes it a great place to relax after a hectic day in Islamic Cairo. Note: Non-flash photography is permitted free of charge, but officially you need to get permission from the (rarely present) director. In practice, just ask at the door, and there'll usually be no problem.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010