The Museum of Islamic Art is a real Cairo hidden gem with an incredible collection from across the Islamic world.
The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the world’s best for artifacts from across the Islamic world – from rare woodwork and plaster to wonderful ceramics and textiles.
The museum boasts a beautiful neo-Mamluk facade with elaborate designs.
Inside, there are thousands of artifacts from across Egypt and North Africa. The collection also has pieces from across the Islamic world including Andalusia, India, China, the Arabian Peninsula and Iran, dating from the 7th to 19th centuries.
The right wing of the museum has Egyptian objects arranged by period from Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayubid, Mamluk to Ottoman. The left wing has thematic exhibits with objects from the Islamic world on topics like science, astronomy, calligraphy and coins.
Don’t miss a Mamluk-era key to the Kaaba in Mecca and a textile with the world’s oldest Kufic inscription.
There are also ornaments from old Cairo mosques, decorated Persian manuscripts and a gorgeous collection of Turkish and Moroccan carpets. Another highlight are the rare manuscripts of the Quran with decorated borders and calligraphy in silver ink.
The museum is well-labelled and never gets too crowded.