The Illustrated Guide to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
pictorial guide to the museum (printed in about a bazillion
languages and for sale in the lobby of the museum)
is a must-have for self-guided tours of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. There are simply
too many things in the museum to be able to look at
in one (or even three) visits.
The guide walks through each of the "rooms"
in the museum and highlights the most important pieces
with a brief history and the appropriate dates, etc.
The Egyptian Museum is not well organized, so a guide
or guidebook is really necessary if you want to know
anything about the statuary and other artifacts displayed. Most items in the
museum are poorly labeled, if there is a label at
While guides can be hired outside the museum for a
few dollars, I prefer to walk around myself and stare
at things (usually with my mouth hanging open in awe)
. So after a twenty minute wander without any guide,
we saw a few people with this guidebook and rushed
off to get a copy.
The Egyptian Museum is one of the few museums you can
take pictures in, but it's honestly not necessary;
the photos in the guide are fabulous. The guided tour
of the highlights is more than worth the $25 cost
of the book. We actually sat on a bench in the corner
and planned out what we wanted to see based on the
maps and suggestions included. Given that the estimate
is that if you took 1 minute to view every item in
the museum, it would take 9 months to go through it,
any plan is a good one.
If you are at all interested in the art and artifacts
of Egypt in the museum, pick up this book. If you make a hard left as soon as you pass security into the building itself, there is a pair of small, extremely crowded shops. The shop on the right has many copies of this book in dozens of languages. Buy one immediately and follow along as it guides you through the exhibits.