The famous Ancient Egyptian cat statue inside the Gayer-Anderson museum in Cairo stands in the foreground, with a mummy and wood paneling in the background,
|

The Gayer-Anderson Museum: An Ultimate Guide

The Gayer-Anderson Museum is packed with Ancient Egyptian antiquities, Islamic furniture and curiosities from the collection of an English officer who once called it home.

It’s one of my favorite hidden gems in Cairo – and right next to the historic Ibn Tulun Mosque (which you can both easily visit in one trip).

The museum is one of the best-preserved 17th-century homes in Cairo. Its many rooms, breezy courtyard and vast collection of carpets, artwork and antiquities are a real treat for art lovers and history buffs.

It was once the home of eccentric Irish Egyptologist Gayer-Anderson Pasha, who lived there in the 1930s and 40s.

Gayer-Anderson lived in the house after he struck a deal with the Egyptian government. The self-described Orientalist promised to restore the house and fill it with an art collection in exchange for being allowed to live in the historic gem.

gayer anderson museum

The museum is an all-encompassing step back in time and a fascinating look at domestic life and architecture dating back to the Mamluk period (1631 A.D).

There are dozens of rooms and curio to explore, from a haram room (used by the wives and children of the house) to a secret chamber used as a hiding place (for people or things).

And don’t miss the famous bronze Ancient Egyptian cat and the breezy courtyard.

The roof garden with its elaborate mashrabiyas was featured in the James Bond classic The Spy Who Loved Me. The rooftop also offers great views of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun next door, another less-visited gem with a spiral minaret.

Insider’s tip: The museum has fans but no air conditioning. If you’re visiting in the summer, then visit in the early morning and pack a thermos of iced water.

Must-see highlights

Gayer-Anderson Museum

The museum is a labyrinth of breezy balconies and rooms named according to the origin of their artifacts, including Persian, Byzantine, Syrian and Indian.

  • The roof garden has beautiful mashrabiyas and views of a nearby minaret.
  • The Ancient Egyptian Room boasts a map of Egypt engraved on an ostrich egg, a gold mummy case and the famous bronze Ancient Egyptian cat.
  • And check out the museum’s stranger gems – like a sketch of the Sphinx with Gayer-Anderson’s head, and a musical instrument shaped like a crocodile.

Need to know:

gayer anderson cairo

gayer anderson museum cairo

tickets: 60 EGP | open 9am to 5pm | on the map

How to get there: Take an Uber to the Mosque of Ibn Tulun – most drivers aren’t very familiar with this neighborhood, but the mosque is easy to find with GPS. The museum is pretty obscure so head to the mosque and Gayer-Anderson is right next door.

Within walking distance: The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is adjacent to the museum and makes a great companion destination to round off an afternoon of sightseeing. Aside from that, the museum is in the working-class neighborhood of Sayida Zeinab where you’ll find many workshops, tall apartment blocks and bustling cafes. It’s a slice of real Egyptian life.

Nearby: The Mosque of Sultan Hassan is a short walk away, while the Khayameya market is within tuk-tuk distance.