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The Illustrated Guide to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

This 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 all.

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.

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