Museuems of Cairo



Description:

The Museums of Cairo trip is designed for the culture-vultures amongst you. Cairo plays host to loads of museums, covering all periods of history. Museums of Cairo includes all the most important museums, organising them by area. You will visit well known museums such as the chaotic grandeur of the Egyptian Museum, the serene Coptic Museum, and the breathtaking Museum of Islamic Art. Museums of Cairo also includes less well known museums, such as the bizarre Manyal Palace Hunting Museum, the Gayer Anderson Museum, and the Museum of Islamic Ceramics. Museums of Cairo does not include any of the famous Pharaonic sights of Cairo, though there is time on day 4 to branch out and do a bit of extra sightseeing. Or you could stay another day or two, and check out some of the other sights listed on NileGuide!

Author: Nicholas Rowlands


Day 1 - Cairo


You are going to be doing quite a lot of walking today, so make sure you have on decent shoes, and carry plenty of water. Start your trip by visiting the timeless exhibits of the Egyptian Museum, in Midan Tahrir. The collection of pharaonic artefacts here is incredible, though not very well organised, so you might consider hiring a guide for the morning, to help you navigate all that history! However you do it, don’t miss the diorite statue of Chephren and the bizarre Amarna art on the ground floor, and of course Tutankhamen’s treasures on the first floor. The spooky mummy room costs extra to enter, but is well worth it. After the Egyptian museum, head to Talaat Harb street and grab a bite to eat at Felfela. You can get shwarma, falafel or even koshary, to stay or to go. Once you’ve eaten, go up to Midan Talaat Harb and turn right on to Sabri Abu Alam street. Keep going until you reach Mohammed Naguib metro station: just past here is the end of al-Gumhiraya street, and Abdeen Palace is to your right. Spend an hour or so exploring the restored palace and its extensive collection of weapons, before taking Hasan al-Akbar street (just north of the palace) to Bab al-Khalq. Here you will find the world-renowned Museum of Islamic art – known around the world for its beautiful collection of ceramics, glassware and textiles from all periods of Islamic history. It’s particularly famous for the beautiful, rare mashrabia wood panelling that is on display. Once you have seen your fill, either hop a taxi or walk back down to Downtown, or your hotel. Relax for a while before heading to Estoril (just off Talaat Harb) for dinner and a drink.


2

Felfela

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Location:

Talaat Harb Street
11111 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 (0)2 2392 2833


3

Abdeen Palace Museum

Location:

Moustafa Abdel Raziq Street
off Abdeen Square
11728 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 391 0042


4

Museum of Islamic Art

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Location:

Port Said Street
Port Saied Street
11211 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 390 9930


5

Estoril

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Location:

12 Talaat Harb Street
11111 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 (0)2 25743102


Day 2 - Cairo


Today you are going to explore the posh island of Zamalek, home to expats, embassies and boutique shopping! Start by heading to the south tip of Zamalek (more correctly known as Gazira). You can grab a taxi, walk, or even take the metro to Opera Station. Here you will find the Mahmoud Mukhtar sculpture museum, which houses works in bronze and different types of stone from the man considered to be one of Egypt’s greatest ever sculptors. The nearby planetarium is also worth a quick look, before heading around the corner to the Cairo Opera House. This is the home of the National Cultural Centre, and here you will find the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art. After browsing the revolving exhibitions here, you might want to ascend the nearby Cairo Tower, for spectacular views of Cairo. More importantly, this is the only place in the area that you can get some lunch: so either eat here, or wait until you get to the north of the island. Last museum stop of the day is the Museum of Islamic Ceramics, north of the exclusive Gazira club, on al-Gazira street. To get here from the Cairo Tower / Opera House, walk up the road on the east of the island, that runs parallel to the Nile. Go under 6th October bridge, and walk behind the Tunisian embassy when you reach it. The Islamic world was famous for its decorated ceramic work, and the pieces in the Ceramic Museum are, quite simply, stunning. Spend the rest of the day exploring the north of the island – the area that is more properly known as Zamalek. Here you will find numerous craft stores and boutique shops, as well as western style cafes. It’s worth popping in to al-Sawy Cultural Centre at the west end of 26th July Street, to see what temporary exhibitions they have going on. A good place to have dinner is the atmospheric Aboul Sid restaurant: traditional Egyptian cuisine in splendid old-school surrounds. Note that the restaurant gets busy, so it’s advisable to book in advance.


1

Zamalek

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Location:

Northern tip of Gezira island
Cairo, Egypt


2

Mahmoud Mukhtar Museum

Location:

Al-Tahrir Street
Dokki
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 735 2519


3

Cairo Opera House Performances

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Location:

El Borg Gezira
(Next to Kasr el-Nil Bridge)
Cairo,

Contact:

tel: 20 2 737 0601
fax: 20 2 737 0599


4

Cairo Tower

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Location:

Next to Al-Ahli Sporting Club
Cairo, Egypt


5

Museum of Islamic Ceramics

Location:

16 Gezira St
(Behind Marriott Hotel)
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 736 8672


6

Al-Sawy Cultural Centre

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Location:

26 July St.
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 (0)2 27366178


7

Abou el Sid

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Location:

157, 26th of July Street, just down from Diwan book store
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 (0)2 2735 9640 / +20 (0)10 100 8500
fax: +20 (0)2 3748 8109


Day 3 - Cairo


Start by heading to Coptic Cairo. You can either take a taxi there, or go by metro to Mar Girgis station. This is the old Christian area of Cairo, and there are a number of gorgeous religious monuments to explore here in the Religion Compound. Start your visit at the Coptic Museum, and trace the evolution of Christianity within Egypt. You should also check out some of the churches in the area, such as the Hanging Church and the Church of St George. The oldest mosque in Cairo is also near by, as is the beautiful Ben Ezra Synagogue. Coptic Cairo is a very charming place to simply wander around – it has a very different vibe to the rest of Cairo. For lunch, take a taxi across to al-Manyal Island, and eat at El Mundo restaurant on the Nile Lily boat (70 al-Malik Abd al-Aziz al-Su’ud street). They offer gorgeous food from around the world, and an unsurpassed Nile side view. After this, it’s a short walk to get to the Manyal Palace Hunting Museum. This crazy place is not for the faint-hearted, since it displays all the hunting trophies of King Farouk and his predecessors. If you like your museums surreal and a little bit bewildering, you will love it! Finish up by again hopping a taxi, this time to the west bank of the Nile. Head down to Ahmed Shawki street, next to the Mexican embassy on the Cornice. The Museum of Ahmed Shawki is the beautiful old home of this well-loved Egyptian poet. Full of antique furniture and examples of his work, and set in gorgeous gardens, this is the perfect way to spend a serene hour or so. In the evening, why not head to the Greek Club for dinner. You can eat in their fine open air courtyard, whilst sipping some of the cheapest beer in Downtown Cairo!


1

The Religion Compound

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Location:

Mari Girgis Street
Old Cairo
11728 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 285 4509 (Tourist Information)
fax: +20 2 285 4363 (Tourist Information)


2

The Coptic Museum

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Location:

Mar Guirguis Street
In the center of Old Cairo, across from the exit from the Mar Girgis Metro stop
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 362 8766 / + 20 2 363 9742


3

Manyal Palace Museum

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Location:

1 Saray Street
Manyal
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 368 7495


4

Museum of Ahmed Shawki

Location:

6 Ahmed Shawki Street
12561 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 572 9479


5

Greek Club (The)

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Location:

21 Mahmoud Bassyouni Street
Midan Talat Harb
11111 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 (0)2 2575 0822


Day 4 - Cairo


Start your day early by heading to the Gayer-Anderson Museum, next to Ibn Tulun Mosque. There is no metro station near by, so it’s best to take a taxi. The museum is actually two old houses linked together, that used to belong to a British army general. They contain Gayer-Anderson’s private collection of all things oriental, as well as his own pharaonic collection. It’s a charming place to spend a few hours. If you have time, make sure to check out Ibn Tulun Mosque afterwards – one of the most spectacular in Cairo. After this, walk or take a taxi to the Citadel. As well as containing three fascinating mosques from different periods of Cairo’s history, the Citadel also plays host to four museums! It’s worth taking the time to explore all of the mosques and the museums, and don’t forget to check out the fantastic view over Cairo from the Citadel walls. Once you have finished at the Citadel, you are free! You have by no means seen all of the museums of Cairo, but you have seen a good selection of them. Why not head to Khan al-Khalili bazaar, have lunch at the Egyptian Pancake House, and indulge in a bit of souvenir shopping? You can easily get to the Khan by taxi from the Citadel, or – if you are feeling adventurous – you can walk up one of Cairo’s most historic streets, Darb al-Ahmar. It brings you out at the medieval south gate, and it’s a short walk north of here to reach the main bazaar. On the other hand, if this doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s always those Pyramids …


1

The Citadel

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Location:

Salah Salem Highway
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 512 9619


2

Citadel: Al-Gawhara (Jewel) Palace Museum

Location:

Citadel Historic Area
11211 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 511 6187


3

Citadel: Military Museum

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Location:

Citadel Historic Area
11211 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 512 9619


4

Citadel: Carriage Museum

Location:

Salah Salem Highway
Citadel Historic Complex
11211 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 (0)2 391 3454 (Tourist Information)


5

Citadel: Police Museum

Location:

Salah Salem Highway
The Citadel
11211 Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 (0)2 391 3454 (Tourist Information)


6

Gayer-Anderson Museum

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Location:

4 Maydan Ibn Tulun
Ibn Tulun Street
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: +20 2 364 7822


7

Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

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Location:

Off Hussein Square
(Across from El Azhar Mosque)
11211 Cairo, Egypt


8

Egyptian pancake house

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Location:

Midan Hussein
Cairo, Egypt

Contact:

tel: 2024505871


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