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National Museum of Egyptian Civilization


Page update - Sep 1, 2023

What is interesting about the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo? What is the first thing to see there? Where is it located and how to get there? What is the price of the entrance ticket? Read the answers on this page.

Prices, hours, and all other information on this page were updated in September 2023. Note. The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is also called NMEC as it's shorter. Later on this page we will use NMEC abbreviation in most.

About the museum in brief

The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) opened in 2017. At the time of its opening, it was clearly not a TOP-attraction, and few tourists knew about it and visited it.

Only the museum building, topped with a small pyramid, turned out to be interesting. See the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge to full screen. But the main thing is not the building of the museum, but the content.

The real glory came to the museum on April 3, 2021. The permanent exhibition of 22 mummies of pharaohs and queens was transferred to NMEC from the Cairo Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square. This was a loud event called "Pharaohs' Golden Parade". The mummies became the highlight of the museum and made it one of the TOP-attractions in Cairo and the whole of Egypt.

We will tell you in detail about the mummies and exhibits in the second part of our review. Let's start with the important technical points.

Where is it located and how to get there

The museum is located in Fustat, south of downtown Cairo. Once upon a time (in the 7th-10th centuries) Fustat was the capital of Egypt. But with the arrival of the Fatimids (10th century) the newly built Cairo became the capital. Now Fustat is just a southern suburb of Cairo.

A cab is the easiest way to get there. Egypt has one of the cheapest cabs in the world. See our detailed review "Taxis in Egypt" for the current fares of different types of cabs.

Approximate prices for a white cab or Uber: from Tahrir Square - 30-35 Egyptian pounds, from Giza - 40-45 pounds, from Cairo airport - 80-90 pounds, from Zamalek area (Gezira Island) - 35-40 pounds.

See the current exchange rates of the Egyptian pound in our review "Money in Egypt".

You can save some money by taking the Cairo subway to Mar Girgis station on the first (red) line. The cab ride from the metro station to the museum will cost 15-20 pounds. For the map and fares on the Cairo subway, see our review "Cairo Metro".

Hours of operation

Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (from 9-00 to 17-00). Cash desk closes at 4 pm (16-00).

On Friday, the museum works extra hours: from 6 pm to 9 pm (from 18-00 to 21-00).

Ticket price

For adults: 240 Egyptian pounds.

For students: 120 Egyptian pounds.

For children: free.

Photo permit: 50 pounds.

Smartphone camera photography: free of charge.

For the current exchange rates of the Egyptian pound, see our review "Money in Egypt". As the tickets look like, see the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge to full screen.

An important clarification!

Unfortunately, there is no clear age limit on the attractions of Cairo. But usually, by "children" they mean children under 6 years old. By "students" they usually mean children from 6 to 12 (inclusive). By "adults" they usually mean those 13 years and older.

If you go to a museum in Cairo (any museum) with children, show the children to the person at the ticket counter and say their exact age. The ticket person will tell you exactly what ticket is needed for that age. Egyptians love kids and will not cheat.

A concrete example. The editor-in-chief of our website just recently visited this museum with his two children. The first child, 3 years old, went everywhere for free. The second child, 7 years old, went everywhere for half price. Only at Cairo Tower he was charged full price for a 7 year old child.

Some tourists take the word "students" in the price list literally as "students of college or university" and go to buy full tickets for the children. This is not the way to do it! Do not waste your money!

How much time to plan

One hour will be enough. The Mummies Halls can be passed in 10 minutes, and the upper exposition can be seen in 15 minutes. The museum is small, it will not take much time.

Important to know before you visit

It is forbidden to take pictures in the Mummies Halls. And it is forbidden even with a purchased photo ticket (costs 50 pounds). Photos with a smartphone camera are also forbidden.

AND! The security there does make sure that visitors don't take out their cameras or even smartphones. There is a security guard in every room who is watching, not sitting in a corner on a chair with his smartphone in his hand. Usually, guards in Egyptian museums laze, but the guards in NMEC are really wide-awake.

The museum consists of two parts

The first part is the Mummies Halls

On April 3, 2021, the "Pharaohs' Golden Parade" ("Parade of the Mummies") took place in Cairo. 22 mummies of pharaohs and queens were solemnly transferred from the Cairo Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

These mummies are now on display there on the underground floor. They are mummies of rulers of the New Kingdom era - these are the 18th, 19th, 20th dynasties. Presently (September 2023), only 20 of the 22 mummies are on display. Where are the other two? The museum administration is silent.

The halls resemble the royal tombs in Luxor - the same narrow passages and halls. But there are no frescoes or bas-reliefs on the walls. Maybe they will do it in the future for better entourage.

From the 18th Dynasty (Thutmosids), you can see the mummies of Thutmose IV (he dug up the Great Sphinx), Amenhotep III (he built the Colossi of Memnon), and Hatshepsut - the most important female ruler in Egyptian history.

But the most famous pharaoh of the 18th dynasty is not in NMEC. It so happened that the most famous for ordinary people is Tutankhamun, who in fact did not even rule, did not build anything significant, and did not win any military victories.

Tutankhamun became famous thanks to his untouched tomb, which is the only one that had not been plundered in antiquity, and which has reached modern archaeologists. The mummy of Tutankhamun now lies in his tomb KV62 in the Valley of the Kings.

Also, the mummy of Ahmose I is not in NMEC. He was the great general, defeater of the Hyksos, and founder of the 18th dynasty and the New Kingdom. His mummy is stored in the Luxor Museum.

From the 19th dynasty you will see the mummy of Seti I, who was famous for his magnificent tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the largest tomb of his era.

And naturally, the mummy of Ramses II is on display. He lived almost 90 years, of which he ruled almost 70. The number of his sons and daughters has not been accurately calculated, but they are certainly more than 100. By the way, the number of his wives and concubines is also not counted precisely, but there are more than 20 of them.

From the 20th dynasty (Ramessids), see the mummies of most pharaohs with the name Ramesses. Unfortunately, almost all of them are not famous for anything. Only Ramses III, who made three successful military campaigns and built the temple of Medinet Abu, is worth mentioning.

The second part is the Main (Upper) Hall

The upper floor displays artifacts from all eras of Egyptian history, from the Neolithic Age (Stone Age) to the present time. The exhibits are displayed in a circle, which allows you to trace the history of Egyptian civilization.

Let's say at once that there are no very significant artifacts. The exhibition was collected in 2016-2017 from other museums in the country on the principle of "give what you can". It turned out quite well, though without any remarkable exhibits.

The hall is small. It has a square about 400x400 feet (120x120 meters). It will be interesting to watch, and for sure you will not get tired.

Perhaps that is the main advantage of the NMEC - it is not boring. This is in contrast to the Cairo Museum in Tahrir Square, where many tourists simply do not have the patience to see all the exhibits.

To get a visual idea of the exposition, see a small selection of photos below, click on the photos to enlarge to full screen.

What else to see - projectors

There is a large "well" in the center of the main hall. Images of mummies, temples, episodes of Egyptian history are projected on the bottom and walls of this well. A very interesting installation. Do not miss it.

The bottom of the well is at the entrance to the Mummies Halls. But it's not as interesting to look from below. It's better to look from above. As it looks, see the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge.

What else to see - Ain el-Sirah Lake and Park

There is a large lake Ain al-Sirah and a beautiful park around this lake to the east of the museum building.

At the moment (September 2023) tourists are not allowed near the lake. You can only watch from a special platform. You can get to this platform from the museum building.

After seeing the museum, where to go next?

After exiting the museum, you will find yourself on Al Fustat Street. It's a very busy street, and it's easy to get a cab there. From there, go wherever you like.

There are no stores, no cafes, no restaurants near the museum. Not even a place to buy water. You can find all this on the opposite side of the street, but Cairo roads are risky to cross. Don't waste time, take a cab.

Important and useful to know

- It is better to come to the museum on weekdays, because there are a lot of people from the locals on holidays and weekends, as well as school tour groups. Recall that the weekends in Egypt are Friday and Saturday. Read more in the review "Friday and weekends in Egypt". For holidays calendar, see our review "National holidays in Egypt";

- If vacationing in resorts and want to go to Cairo, read our reviews "From Hurghada to Cairo" and "From Sharm El-Sheikh to Cairo";

- You can buy tickets at the official websites egymonuments.com and nmec.gov.eg . However, there is no point in this;

- The ticket offices accept only Egyptian pounds. Where and how it is convenient and profitable to change currency, read in our review "Money Exchange in Egypt".

We wish you a pleasant viewing of mummies and artifacts, and read our interesting and useful for tourists pages about Egypt (see the list of the pages below).

TIPS FOR TOURISTS

What Don't Do in Egypt

Cheats of Tourists in Egypt

What to Take to Egypt

Sharks in Egypt

To Egypt With Kids

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