Cairo , Egypt

Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo

Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo: Exploring Egypt’s Rich Cultural Heritage

Discover the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, Egypt, and delve into the captivating world of Egypt’s rich cultural heritage. Explore masterpieces of Islamic art and architecture, from intricate calligraphy to exquisite ceramics and textiles. Immerse yourself in centuries of history at this renowned museum.


Nestled in the heart of Cairo, the Museum of Islamic Art stands as a testament to the magnificent artistic heritage of the Islamic world. With its vast collection of exquisite artifacts and masterpieces, the museum offers visitors a captivating journey through the Islamic civilization’s rich history and cultural legacy. In this blog post, we will explore intriguing facts, delve into the history of the Museum of Islamic Art, and answer frequently asked questions about this cultural gem.

Facts about the Museum of Islamic Art:

1. Historical Significance:

The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the most prominent institutions dedicated to Islamic art and culture. Established in 1881, it houses a comprehensive collection of over 100,000 artifacts that span 14 centuries and encompass various regions of the Islamic world.

2. Diverse Collection:

The museum showcases a wide range of artistic expressions, including ceramics, textiles, metalwork, woodwork, calligraphy, and illuminated manuscripts. Visitors can marvel at intricately designed rugs, exquisite ceramics, beautifully crafted jewelry, and stunning metalwork that highlight the expertise and creativity of Islamic artisans.

3. Masterpieces:

Among the museum’s prized possessions are masterpieces such as the famous wooden minbar (pulpit) of Sultan Qaitbey from the Mosque of Ibn Tulun and the stunning Mamluk glass mosque lamp, known for its intricate decorative patterns.

4. Architectural Beauty:

The museum building itself is a work of art, blending traditional Islamic architectural elements with modern design. Its grand halls, domes, and courtyards create a serene and contemplative atmosphere, enhancing the visitor experience.

History of the Museum of Islamic Art:

1. Founding and Early Years:

The museum was founded in 1881 by Khedive Tawfiq to preserve and showcase Egypt’s rich Islamic heritage. Initially, the collection was housed in the Dar al-Kutub (National Library) until a dedicated museum building was constructed in 1903.

2. Architectural Transformation:

In 2010, the museum underwent a major renovation led by renowned architect Aga Khan IV and his foundation. The restoration aimed to modernize the facilities and enhance the exhibition spaces while preserving the building’s historical charm.

3. Cultural Preservation:

The museum has played a vital role in preserving and promoting Islamic art and culture. It has organized numerous exhibitions, educational programs, and research projects to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Islamic world’s artistic achievements.


The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo stands as a testament to the beauty, diversity, and rich heritage of Islamic art and culture. Its extensive collection of masterpieces and artifacts spanning centuries offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the artistic achievements of the Islamic world. A visit to this remarkable museum is a journey that will deepen appreciation for the cultural legacy and artistic ingenuity of Islamic civilization.

Location on Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about the Museum of Islamic Art:

What are the museum's opening hours?

The Museum of Islamic Art is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily, except on Fridays, when it opens from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and then reopens from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM.

Is the museum accessible for people with disabilities?

Efforts have been made to improve accessibility within the museum, including ramps and elevators. However, visitors with specific accessibility needs are advised to contact the museum in advance for further assistance.

Can I take photographs inside the museum?

Photography is allowed in most areas of the museum. However, the use of flash and tripods may be restricted in certain sections to preserve the artifacts and maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

Are there any souvenir shops or cafés within the museum?

Yes, the museum houses a gift shop where visitors can purchase a variety of souvenirs, including books, replicas of artifacts, and traditional Islamic crafts. Additionally, there is a café where visitors can relax and enjoy refreshments.

How were the pyramids constructed?

The construction of the pyramids involved thousands of workers and intricate engineering techniques. The stones used to build the pyramids were mostly limestone, quarried locally and transported to the construction site. The exact methods used in the construction are still a subject of study and debate among archaeologists.

Attractions in Cairo, Egypt

Download Our Free Guidebook

Get to the heart of Egypt with one of our in-depth guidebooks, covering maps, itineraries, and expert guidance.

Proceed Booking

× Let's Talk