Egypt’s Museums There are more than 34 major museums all across Egypt which are worth a visit from all those interested in the rich history and culture of the nation. These include:

– The Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities

The Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities is considered to be one of the oldest, most famous, and largest museums in the world. The Egyptian Museum has a long history that dates back to the year 1825 when Mohamed Ali Pasha, the ruler of Egypt at the time, issued a decree to establish a museum for the precious antiquities of Egypt. The first location of the museum was in front of Azabakeya Lake, between the squares ofEgyptia museum Opera and Atabba today.

The Ruler of Egypt at this period didn’t fully realize the true value of the antiquities and ancient historical finds of Egypt and for a time, they gave them to various European tourists who visited Egypt during the middle of the 19th century.

Eventually, the rest of the antiquities, that were kept near the Azabakeya Lake, were taken to an abandoned room in the citadel. The Austrian Archduke, Maximilian, visited the citadel and was quite taken by the amazing belongings of this room.

Suprisingly, Khedive Abbas, the ruler of Egypt at the time, gave the Archduke all the items that were kept in the room. Afterward, Maximilian took theses treasures with him to Austria, where they remain today.

After years of attempts and hard work, the great Egyptologist, Auguste Mariette, was paramount in the opening Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities, located in the famous Tahrir Square, when it opened to public on the November 15th, 1902.

The sections of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

  • The Narmer Plate
  • The Displays of the Old Kingdom
  • The Displays of the Middle Kingdom
  • The Displays of the New Kingdom
  • The Treasures of Tut Ankh Amun

– National Museum Of Alexandria

The National Museum Of Alexandria is located in the Horeya Street and is the former the residence of a prominent timber trading businessman, Asa’ad Basily. He constructed his villa in the Italian style.and it stretches over an area of 3,480 meters. The palace was a popular gathering place for many of high-level people in the past century, particularly in the 1930s and 1940s.

Basily lived in this house until 1953 and then he sold it to the American embassy for 53,000 Egyptian pounds. In 1996 Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities bought it for 13 million pounds and converted it into a museum by the beginning of the 2000s.

The museum was first opened to the public in September of 2002 and displays more than 1,800 items from different eras including the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic (which flourished greatly in Alexandria), Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic.

The sections of the Museum of Alexandria

  • The first floor of the museum contains the Pharaonic items
  • The middle floor of the museum contains the antiquities of the Greco-Roman period.
  • The last floor of the museum displays items belonging to the Coptic and Islamic civilizations

The most interesting section in the Alexandria National Museum is the section that displays antiquities that were found under the sea in Alexandria. The museum also displays live pictures of how these items were pulled out of the sea. This section includes a black bronze statue of Isis, some portraits, and statues of Greek gods which includes an interesting statue of the head of Alexander the Great and another for Venus, the goddess of love.

– Luxor Museum

The museum opened for the public for the first time in 1975. However, at the time, it didn’t compare to the Egyptian antiquities museum in Cairo, but as time passed, the Egyptian supreme council of antiquities started adding more and more items and displays to the Luxor Museum to increase the number of tourists.

A garden in the museum contains a number of interesting displays combining a big open-air museum. There are many sculptures from the pharos era, especially the new kingdom located in the garden of the Luxor Museum.

Visitors, after viewing the displays in the garden, enter the museum through a large glass door. The main hall of the museum consists of two levels with spiral corridors linking the levels together and giving the museum a dynamic atmosphere different from other old traditional museums.

The most important items on display in the Luxor museum:

  • Mud brick walls of the Temple of Akhenaton
  • A statue of Thutmose III, the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
  • A statue of Amenhotep III that was brought from Madinat Habu in the west bank of Luxor.
  • A statue called “Oshabty”, or the “answerer” in the hydrographic language.
  • A cartoon mummy cover that was found in one of the tombs of the west bank of Luxor.
  • Some displays from the collection of the Tut Ankh Amun tomb in the valley of the kings in the west bank.
  • The royal mummies of Ahmose I and Ramsis I that were added to the museum in 2004.
  • The museum features a collection of Coptic antiquities including a white and black colored pottery dish found in the 5th century AD.
  • A tall Pillar of King Sesostris I made out of colored limestone
  • A huge head of a statue of Akhenaton wearing a double crown
  • Islamic items as well as the collection of small bowls that belong to the Mamluk era going back to the 14th century AD.
  • A calcite statue of Amenhotep III and the crocodile god Sobek.
  • Part of a wall from the Temple of Akhenaton at Karnak.
  • Collection of 26 well preserved New Kingdom sculptures found buried in a near the Luxor Temple in 1989.
  • A statue of Horemheb was the last king of the 18th Dynasty with the god Atom.
  • A black granite statue of the famous goddess Hathour, the goddess of beauty.
  • A statue of the goddess Inet, the wife of the god Monto, from the reign of Imhotep III.
  • A granite statue of The goddess Mot together with the famous god Amun, the statue goes back to the reign of Ramsis II.
  • A canopy head of queen Toya from the reign of Seti the first.
  • A wax statue of Ramsis the 11th accompanied by the god Ma’at that was discovered in 1978 in the west bank.

– Coptic Museum

The Coptic Museum in Cairo is located inside the ruins of the Roman Fort of Babylon. The museum is in the Maser El Qadema neighborhood in central Cairo, an area which is full of Coptic Churches and chapels such as the famous hanging Church and the Church of St Barbara.

The founder of the Museum in modern times is Smeka Pasha who requested the items in the museum to be added to the Egyptian Committee for Preserving Antiquities and Art. Pasha exerted huge efforts to start the building of the museum that is present right now and it was opened to the public in 1901 with Pasha designated as its first director.

The Coptic Museum today consists mainly of two major sections: the old section established by Pasha and the new the section that consists of two floors which was opened for the public in 2006 after a huge renovation and restoration period. The repair cost reached more than 30 million pounds because the museum was affected badly by the earthquake that struck Egypt in 1992.

– Museum Of Islamic Art

The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo is considered to be one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. The museum hosts more than 104,000 displays reflecting the greatness of the Islamic civilization in Egypt and the whole Islamic world and showing how it has flourished and changed throughout history.

The Museum of Islamic Art has many different types of displays including metal and wooden works, carpets, rare copies of the Qur’an, coins, Minbars, and many other exhibits that amaze the visitors of the museum coming from all over the world.

The idea of establishing the museum of Islamic art goes back to 1880, when Egyptian authorities collected all the precious pieces of Islamic art from several mosques, other structures, and buildings and stored them in the eastern section of Al Hakem Mosque on Al Mui’z Street in Cairo.

The number of displays at the Museum of Islamic Art has been increased and multiplied many times since its establishment. The museum had only around 7,000 displays when it first opened in 1903 but that number increased to 78,000 in 1978, 96,000 in the recent past and over 100,000 pieces today.

The displays of the Museum of Islamic Art were gathered from many different locations around Egypt. This includes the ruins of the cities of Fustat and Askar, the first Islamic capitals of Egypt before the establishment of Cairo. Some other displays were brought from Aswan, Tanis in the Nile Delta, Rashid, and Luxor. This is in addition to many other displays that were sold or donated to the museum by individuals from all over the world.

Today the Museum of Islamic Art displays some of the rarest exhibits including pottery, pieces of cloth, rocks with Islamic writings, colored windows, and many other displays. There is also the collection of Persian and Turkish pottery that the museum bought in 1945.

– Nubian Museum

The museum was designed by Mahmoud Al-Hakim who succeeded in creating a museum in harmony with the surrounding setting of huge rocks, small mountains, and the shining sun of Aswan. The new Nubian Museum was opened in 1997 and the beautiful lines of its architecture alone make it well worth seeing. Nestled into the hillside at Aswan, it covers 50,000 square metres and includes landscaped gardens and buildings which are divided up into many different sections.

The museum is considered to be a gateway to the history of Nubia that enables visitors to understand the complex history of this unique area. Each exhibit has a description note underneath it written in Arabic and as well in English. The first place that attracts the attention of the visitor is the garden of the museum which hosts more than eighty historical statues and historical rocks, some of which are dedicated to the gods of ancient Nubia. There are also some artificial lakes and waterfalls that serve as a demonstration of the river Nile and its flow into the lands of Nubia.

The museum consists of two floors. The ground floor contains the main gates of the museum, exhibition halls, and visitors reception hall, while the first floor contains an information center, culture activities center, and another exhibition hall.

When the visitor first enters the building of the museum, he or she has to walk in a circle to the left to go to the starting point of his tour which starts with the antiquities found in Nubia around 3500 B.C. The most important exhibits in this section include a bone comb with two giraffes carved on the handle, a vessel made out of an ostrich egg and decorated with incisions and a paleolithic ax.

– Malawi Museum

The Malawi Monuments Museum houses a collection of artifacts from the nearby sites of Tuna El-Gebel and Hermopolis. Among the objects on display are a number of animal mummies and statues associated with the worship of the god Thoth.

Was established in 1963 to house finds from local excavations and held an important collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts until it was looted in August 2013. Over 1000 pieces were stolen or destroyed in the looting but around half of those have since been recovered.

– Tanta Museum

The Tanta Museum of Antiquities consists of five large floors. The first four floors are specified for displaying the collection of the museum while the fifth floor hosts the administration offices, a storage room, and a conference hall.

The first floor of the Tanta Museum hosts a large collection of Pharaonic displays, the second floor displays some exhibits dating back to the Greco Roman period, the third floor was specified for the Coptic and Islamic displays, the forth has a large library and a conference hall, and the fifth and last floor has administration offices. Like many other museums and historical sites around Egypt, the Tanta Museum needs some government official to rescue this important structure from neglect so it can once again become an important attraction for Egyptians and foreign visitors.

– Beni Suef Museum

Beni Suef Museum houses artifacts related to the history of the region, an important agricultural center known especially for textile production. Artifacts from nearby pharaonic sites such as Abusir and Heracleopolis Magna (Ihnasya el-Medina) are housed on the first floor, while the second floor is devoted to displays of Coptic and Islamic objects from the area.

– El Wadi El Gedid Museum

It is located in the New Valley in Egypt. The museum consists of three floors: a ground floor, and two upper floors. The ground floor has a large foyer that opens onto the second and third floors. The main foyer has two halls to the right and left hand sides that have the most important displays of the museum.

Due to the importance that El Wadi El Gedid held during the Pharaonic period of Egyptian history, the Museum of El Wadi El Gedid has some of the most remarkable displays dating back to then. The Pharaonic displays of El Wadi El Gedid Museum include a collection of knives and scarpers that date to the pre-dynastic period and a large collection of containers and vessels of several sizes, shapes, and uses that all date back to the Old Kingdom.

There is also a notable collection of red pottery that was famous during the Old Kingdom period in El Wadi El Gedid in general and in El Kharga in particular. Some portraits and motifs that were gathered from many Pharaonic Temples and historical sites from all around El Wadi El Gedid like from the Temple of Hibis, the Temple of Nadura, and the Temple of Ghweita. The Pharaonic displays of El Wadi El Gedid include wonderful graffiti that were transferred from historical sites from all around the governorate especially the one made of mortar portraying the life in an oasis in the ancient times that is painted in a remarkable dark red color.

– Ismailia Museum

The Ismailia Museum opened in 1932 in a building constructed in a style inspired by the Greco-Roman architecture of Egypt. The collection includes approximately 4,000 objects from the Pharaonic and Greco-Roman eras, including such outstanding pieces as a large and beautifully preserved Roman floor mosaic dating to the 3rd century B.C. A beautiful garden serves as an open-air gallery for statuary and Stella.

– Military Museum Of Port Said

The Port Said Museum was opened to the public in 1964, eight years after the December 23, 1956 victory of the people and army of Port Said over the invading armies of Israel, Britain and France.

The surface area of the Port Said Museum is 7,500 square meters and it is located about 300 meters away from the Shohada’ or the Martyrs Square and the main administration building of the governorate of Port Said. The Museum consists of one-floor building and it hosts some of the spoils the Egyptian forces were able to gather from Israelis in the War of the 6th of October. The Port Said Museum also hosts a large collection of military tools, equipment, Israeli tanks, canons, guns, and some parts and sections of military aircraft.

The Museum is divided into three halls. The first hall is called the “All Time” hall and it includes different types and forms of weapons and military equipment that date back to ancient Egypt and the Pharaonic times. The item that catches the eyes of the visitor as soon as he enters the second half of the Port Said are the various displays of items from the Tripartite Aggression on Portsaid after the former Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the nationalization of the Suez Canal.

– Mohamed Ali Basha Museum In Shoubra

The architecture of the Palace of Mohamed Ali in Shubra was designed following a new style that was not known in Egypt at the time. The wide piece of land that was used to construct the palace allowed for beautiful gardens as well, a style that was imported from Turkey, especially from the palaces erected on the shores of the Bosporus Strait and the Marmara Sea in the time of the Ottomans.

The architectural design of the palaces in Turkey consisted of a huge, beautiful garden surrounded by large defensive walls, with only a few entrance gates in order to monitor them in the best way possible. Many structures were built all over this garden and some of these had specific architectural characteristics. These were called Hans or Saraya in the Turkish language or kiosks in the English language, a word which was originally imported from the Latin language.

Among the most famous palaces in Istanbul which Mohamed Ali copied many architectural features from in his palace in Shubra is Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, which was the seat of the Ottoman Empire for a very long period of time.

The first structure that was constructed in the palace complex of Mohamed Ali in Shubra is a small villa that was built as a residence. It has a number of wooden buildings that served as offices for the employees and places for guards to stay. There was also an adjoined harbor structure for ships on the Nile to dock at. Unfortunately, however, the whole structure was actually removed in the ruling period of King Farouk (the last king of Egypt) in the 1930s to make way for the new Cairo-Alexandria Agricultural Road.

– Museum Of Royal Carriages At Boulak

The Museum of Royal Carriages is located on 26th of July Street just beside the historical mosque of Abu El Ellah, which was constructed in the middle of the 16th century. The museum was established during the reign of Khedive Ismail in the last quarter of the 20th century. He was the first one to think of founding a special building to show off the royal carriages and horses.

This building was originally called the “Department of the Khedive Carriages” when it was first established and then the name was modified to become the “Management of the Royal Stables” which was one of the three managements that used to follow the instructions of the “Department of the Khedive Carriages”. As many different periods of time went by, the building was transformed to become the “Museum of Royal Carriages” because it was used to host the carriages, horses, and even their ornaments that used to belong to the members of the royal family in Egypt.

The museum also hosted the horses of the Khedive and other horses that were owned by other past royal family members. Experts, doctors and veterinarians were brought from all over the world to take care of the horses. This is in addition to the skilled workers who used to maintain and restore the royal carriages for display. The “Department of the Khedive Carriages” didn’t only manage the horse carriages of the Khedive and his family, but also used to take care of the automobiles of the family that used to own valuable expensive cars from different world-class brands like Citroen, Ford, and Cadillac.

It consists of architectural portraits in the shape of horses’ heads and it was more than 15 meters high, forming a notable scene in one of the less touristic neighborhoods of Cairo. The museum has vertical geometrical trim and wonderful models of artificial horses that were used to explain the muscular anatomy of the horse.

– Royal Jewellery Museum In Alexandria

Located in Alexandria’s Zizenia neighborhood and is one of the largest museums in Egypt with a surface area of around 4,185 meters. Moreover, the Royal Jewelry Museum hosts the most valuable displays including the jewelry and the ornaments that the queens and the princesses of the last royal family of Egypt have worn for a considerable period of time.

The building of the museum itself is truly marvelous as the museum is housed in the palace of Princess Fatema El Zahraa, a rare gem of architectural excellence that was constructed in the 19th century.

Same of the displays of the Royal Jewelry Museum go back to the period when Mohamed Ali Pasha became the Khedive of Egypt in 1805. Pasha took control of the country making it independent from Ottoman rule and he established a dynasty that ruled Egypt for the next 147 years.

The grandson of Mohamed Ali, the Khedive Ismail, who ruled from 1863 to 1879, wanted to make Egypt part of modern Europe. This is why Khedive Ismail added electric lamps to the street of Egypt, dug the Suez Canal, and had many modern buildings and different structures constructed in Egypt that raised its development level. Moreover, the Khedive Ismail hired the most skillful Egyptian and foreign artists to create the golden jewelry of the royal family and the antiques that used to decorate their houses and palaces. This is the main reason why most of the displays of the Royal Jewelry Museum date back to his ruling period.

This palace is considered to showcase an uniquely European architectural style but was designed by French, Italian, and Belgian architects, and artists. Furthermore, the palace was erected following the school of Michael Angelo using the calm style of coloring and decorations. The Palace of Fatema Al Zahraa, which was constructed over a surface area of 4185 square meters, consists of two large sections. The eastern section has two halls and a gallery with a bronze statue of a boy in the center of it. The walls of this section have rich colored windows decorations all over; the western section consists of two floors. Each has four large halls with three bathrooms that were coated with decorative colored ceramics.

An elegant foyer connects the two sections of the palace and has ten glass frames in the shape of ten doors with drawings representing European historical scenes and legendary stories such as Romeo and Juliet.

The Royal Jewelry Museum has more than 11,000 displays that include the collection of Prince Mohamed Ali Tawfik that consists of 12 cups that were made out of bronze and gold, 2,753 lobes of precious stones and diamonds, and a money bag made out of gold and other precious stones. Moreover, the priceless collection of Prince Mohamed Ali Tawfik has the marvelous Sultan pocket watch that was made out of pure gold and precious stones and a number of glass cups that are decorated with 977 lobes of diamonds. The Royal Jewelry Museum also displays the collection that dates back to the ruling period of Said Pasha that consists of some golden clocks and watches, Turkish, Egyptian, and European insignias decorated with gold and diamonds, and 4000 Roman, Persian, Byzantine, and Coptic coins.

– Police National Museum

The Police Museum in the Citadel was officially opened in the year 1984 and the building of the museum was actually the military prison of the citadel that was transformed into the police museum via a decree from former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

The most remarkable feature that attracts the eye of the guest, while he climbs the stairs to enter the Police National Museum in the Saladin Citadel in Cairo, is actually the large stone statue of a lion to the right-hand side seeming as if it guards the museum.

The first passageway of the Police Museum displays some portraits of the ministers of Interior that came throughout the modern Egyptian history. There are some photos of the ministers starting from the beginning of the 20th century till the recent people that were responsible for the interior affairs of the country.

The first hall of displays in the Police Museum hosts a number of weapons that were used by the Egyptian Police in different eras of the Egyptian history. This includes a large wooden stick that was used as a shield during the Pharaonic period.

The displays of this hall include a large collection of modern weapons like guns and pistols that were mainly manufactured by the British who used to import a lot of their products to Egypt during their occupation of the country at the beginning of the 20th century.

The next hall of the Police Museum illustrates the battles that took place in Ismailia in 1951 through many real photographs of the officers who participated in this battle, a number of paintings, and some of the weapons used in the battle.

Next, the guests enter the most interesting section of the Police Museum, located in the citadel in Cairo, which is the crime and criminals hall. This section includes the photos and the stories of a number of the most famous criminals in Egypt. The most notable exhibit of the Police Museum would be the photos of Reyya and Sakina, most probably the most well-known criminals in the modern history of Egypt. With more than three movies, a play, and a television series telling their story, these two sisters were among the sneakiest, worst murderers that Egypt ever witnessed.

– Gayer Anderson Museum

Beit El Kertlia or the Gayer Anderson Museum is located in a beautiful historical house in Cairo. It was built in 1631 by a wealthy man called Mohamed Ibn Hah Salem Ibn Gelmam. The house is considered to be one of the most marvelous historical structures in Egypt and the museum is a popular tourist attraction.

Beit El Kertlia is located near the famous Ahmed Ibn ‎Tulun Mosque in the Islamic area of Cairo. The museum consists of two historical houses ‎facing each other, both constructed during the Ottoman period.‎ The first house, the Kertlia House, was constructed in 1631 while the other one, ‎which was built by Abdel Kader El Haddad, was erected in 1540. The two houses are ‎connected together with a passageway.‎

The reason why this structure was named the Geyer Anderson Museum was that the ‎Egyptian authorities granted the British officer Gayer Anderson the two ‎houses as his residence to live in in 1935.‎ During the stay in this historical complex Anderson was able to collect a large ‎selection of furniture, carpets, and many other eastern and Egyptian handicrafts that are beautiful and interesting to tourists today. However, in 1942, Gayer Anderson had to leave Egypt because of an illness and the ‎Egyptian government allowed people to visit the house and view his collection, before eventually allowing the whole complex to simply become a museum.

– Manial Palace Museum

The Manial Palace is believed to have been constructed for Prince Mohamed Ali between 1899 to 1929. Ali was the first cousin of Egypt’s King Farouk and younger brother of Khedive Abbas II Hilmi. It is built in the Art Nouveau architectural style and hosts a wonderful museum enjoyed by many tourists each year.

The museum has six main buildings including a museum displaying Farouk’s hunting awards and Prince Ali’s mementos and belongings. In addition one can view a number of old artifacts such as clothing items, jewelry, crafts and old manuscripts, including a magnificent silver dining set and a table made of elephant ears. There are also lovely gardens surrounding the museum that tourists love to visit.

– Solar Boat Museum

The solar boats of ancient Egyptians were large ships that were made out of cedar wood. They were used in religious rituals during Pharaonic times. Historians and archeologists have had long debates about the exact historical name and the purpose of these boats. However, most likely these boats were manufactured to be used in the funerary rituals of the King and maybe some of his royal family members.

The Solar Boat that was put on display in the Solar Boat Museum next to the Great Pyramid of Cheops was constructed around the 1985. to house the boat that was placed in there when King Cheops passed away and his body was mummified, the priests placed his body in this solar boat to go on a journey to visit Heliopolis and other cities before they land in his royal necropolis in Giza. Afterward, the priests dissembled the solar boat into smaller pieces before they buried these pieces near the pyramids and titled it the Boat of Cheops.

The museum was constructed to contain three floors to enable the visitors to view the boat from three different levels. The solar boat was put on display in the center of the main hall of the museum on the first floor. The boat was placed on a base that was around 8 meters higher than the floor. In the ground or lower floor of the museum, the guests who come from all over the world to view this magnificent piece of ancient architectural art can view the bottom of the boat.

– Imhotep Museum

The Imhotep Museum was constructed in Saqqara to honour the memory of Imhotep, one of the most skilled architects of ancient Egypt, and credited with the idea of erecting the tombs of the kings and queens in the pyramid shape we see today.

Imhotep constructed the first pyramid in Egypt, the Step Pyramid of Djoser and a whole complex around the pyramid. The Step-Pyramid of Djoser is the oldest surviving stone building in the world.

The most astonishing achievement of Imhotep was his design and construction of the Djoser Step Pyramid in Saqqara that was built in the period from 2630 to 2611 BC.

Opened in 2006, the Museum of Imhotep is one of the newest museums to be opened in Egypt. The museum which is located near the Saqqara Pharaonic historical site and ancient royal necropolis hosts around 250 of the most valuable displays.

The Museum of Imhotep in Saqqara consists mainly of 6 large halls situated over a large corridor.

The first hall of the Imhotep Museum, located in front of main entrance of the museum, hosts the ancient base of one of the statues of King Djoser, and four exhibits illustrating the architectural style in ancient Egypt before and after Imhotep and how it evolved greatly because of him.

The second half of the Imhotep Museum in Saqqara is called the Missions Hall and it displays the results of excavations that were carried out in Saqqara over a very long period of time; Saqqara is considered to be among the most important archaeological sites in Egypt.

The Missions hall displays about 62 items that consist of a statue of the god Amun that was transferred from the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and a coffin in the shape of a mummy which is coated with gold.

There is also the Physician collection divided into two rows; the first has 21 bronze statues and the second has 20 offerings, tables and vessels, which are all made of pottery except three made of alabaster.

The most famous and important display in this hall is the statue of Ptah-Shepes designed in the shape of the reader and another statue of a man and his wife situated inside a sarcophagus.

Outside the museum there is a hall displaying a model of the Saqqara Complex, a cinema hall documenting the whole historical site of Saqqara, and some shops.

Behind the museum, there are two large storage rooms where displays are preserved for further study by students and researchers.