national museum of egyptian civilization
Egypt,  Travel

An Ultimate Guide To The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization

The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization has an incredible collection that includes mummies and treasures from across Egyptian history.

This new state-of-the-art museum boasts 20 royal mummies and a vast collection of artifacts from Ancient Egypt through the modern day – all in a megalithic building overlooking a lake.

NMEC’s collection tells the story of Egyptian civilizations from pre-historic to Ancient Egyptian, through the Greco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic periods.

It does not replace the museum in Tahrir, which still holds the world’s largest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts.

But it’s very much worth seeing for an overview of Egyptian culture through the ages

national museum of egyptian civilization

Photo: Roland Unger, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll find an array of treasures from the alabaster vessels of Ancient Egypt and the glass lamps of medieval mosques to 19th-century busts of Khedive Ismail, who inaugurated the Suez Canal.

The collections:

The Main Hall has a diverse array of objects from Egypt’s history, including some stunning Ancient Egyptian statues and jewelry. There’s also colorful pottery, woodwork and traditional Bedouin dresses. The collection is well curated, bright and airy – and a pleasure to browse through.

The Mummies Hall is the museum’s crown jewel and contains 20 royal mummies of ancient kings and queens. The hall is below ground and dimly lit to preserve the mummies.

The collection includes Hatshepsut and Ramses – some so well preserved that you can make out their hairs. And they’re all showcased in an interactive display that sheds light on the rituals of mummification with videos, narration and imagery.

Don’t miss the Dye House – a 1st-century archaeological find that’s the only well-preserved example of a Cairo dye house. It tells the story of Ancient Egyptians’ use of coloring agents and natural resources to permanently dye fabrics.

There are also curiosities like the life-like prosthetic toe dating back to Ancient Egypt.

This timeline gives an excellent overview of all the Egyptian historic epochs covered in the museum – it’s good to browse through before your visit to give you a basic idea of the collections.

The museum is easy to navigate and labelled well. There’s also audio tours available (for 30 EGP), so you don’t really need a tour guide.

There’s also a cafe and a museum shop. But unfortunately the outdoor areas and grassy lawns surrounding the lake are off limits.

Need to know:

Tickets: 200 EGP per adult, and an additional 50 EGP if you’re bringing a camera. Note that photography isn’t allowed in the Mummies Hall.

Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Also open Friday evenings from 6 pm to 9 pm.

On Google Maps: 265X+78

How to get there: Take an Uber to the museum.

Nearby: Coptic Cairo and all its attractions are about a 15-minute taxi away.

Read 25 Best Things To Do In Cairo (A Local’s Guide!) for my ultimate guide to plan your itinerary. 

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