Egypt is a place of legends: the powerful River Nile, mighty temples for mythical gods, walls etched with once-cryptic hieroglyphics and tombs built for mummified kings. Its latest spectacle, the Grand Egyptian Museum, will complement them all – and has views of none other than the amazing Pyramids of Giza.
Expected to start opening from early 2019 with an official opening date in 2020, the new Grand Egyptian Museum’s cutting-edge billion-pound space will house some of Egypt’s most prized artefacts. It marks a new era for Egyptian history as we know it, one that ties together ancient treasures with new advancements in technology. Built on a flat between Cairo and the pyramids, the museum’s striking glass and concrete design will be worthy of the brilliant pyramid views and the priceless relics that will fill its rooms – most of the museum’s space will be dedicated to over 4500 objects belonging to the most famous pharaoh of all, King Tutankhamun.
Culture curious visitors in Egypt usually head for the Museum of Pharaonic Antiquities in Cairo, an impressive building with classic pillared rooms filled with over 120,000 items. But its overflowing collection has long outgrown the historic museum, most of which are thousands of years old and in need of more specialised care. A large conservation centre at the Grand Egyptian Museum will be dedicated to the care of ancient artefacts, and the new museum’s 90,000 square metres of floor space will mean enough room for exclusive objects that have never been on display before.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to pay homage to some of the country’s most important treasures. London’s British Museum received over 1.6 million visitors when King Tutankhamun’s famous gold and blue funerary mask was brought over as part of an exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of Tutankhamun’s tomb discovery by British archaeologist, Howard Carter. The boy king ruled when he was just eight or nine years old and is most famous for his tomb and remains, which were found in its entirety in 1922. Treasures including his royal chariots have been transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum from all over Egypt; it will reportedly be the largest museum dedicated to a single civilization, as well as the biggest archaeological museum.
In addition to seeing more than 100,000 artefacts on display, you can break up the day with the museum’s restaurants, café, gift shops and a library dedicated to Egyptology. A new airport, Cairo West Sphinx International Airport, will mean charter flights can land in Giza for a holiday that packs in the Pyramids of Giza and Grand Egyptian Museum in just one stop. Stay at Mena House or Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa and you can have practically uninterrupted views of the pyramids for your entire stay as you go from hotel to museum. If you have the time to savour Egypt at a slower pace, a cruise on the Nile is one of the best ways to see the most famous riverside ruins. Our 14-night Original Nile Cruise covers sites including Aswan’s High Dam, the Valley of the Kings, the Pyramids of Giza, and ends with a couple of days close to the pyramids for independent exploration. This gives you time at the Grand Egyptian Museum to round off your tour of one of the world’s most magnificent civilisations.