Abdeen Palace used to be one of the royal residences in Egypt and now is an official residence and workspace for the President. It is in Downtown and houses 5 museums for the public. It’s an easy place to visit and the arms museum in particular was excellent. I explored on my own, but it would be an easy spot for families to visit, particularly if the kids like weapons.
The palace was built in 1872 by Khedive Ismail. The ground floor was for ruling while the floor above was his private residence. King Fouad and King Farouk built the Arms Museum and Medals and Decorations Museums in the 1920s.
After getting my ticket and going through fairly extensive security, I made my way through a pretty outside area to the first museum: the Hunting Museum. It was just one small room but had some fascinating objects in it. I really liked the flask made from a giant crab’s claw, the massive multipurpose knife, and the massive water canteen.
The palace is really well organized and you follow a clear path to go from one place to another. The next stop was the Arms Museum, which is very large and has an extensive collection of weapons of all types. I enjoyed the decorative swords the most as some were very ornate. Excellent labels and well done displays.
Next was the Medals and Decorations Room which was least interesting to me, but had some pretty displays.
The Presidential Gifts Museum had some fascinating gifts from foreign countries and dignitaries. Some were very ornate.
From there you go to the Silver Plate Museum, which had tons of table settings, silver and china. Some of the designs were so pretty. I also really liked the exhibit of vases they had from Emil Galle.
Overall it was a lovely palace to see. The museums only will take you about 1-1.5 hours to go through depending on how much you read the labels.
What is it? Historic Cairo palace from 1863 onward and a current official residence of the President of Egypt. Contains numerous small museums, including an impressive arms collection
Location? Downtown. The entrance to the museum is at the back. If you enter “Abdeen Palace” into Googlemaps, it will take you to the front of the building. You want to enter from the back on the road labeled “mosque” on Googlemaps. It is a one way road heading north.
Cost? 100le adults. The ticket booth is not at the entrance, but just down the street to the south on the opposite side in a parking lot.
Camera Fee? 10le
Toilets? Yes, pass the entrance to go into the main building. Behind the columns is an open door. Inside is a small room and through that room are male and female bathrooms. Bring your own TP.
Food/Drinks Allowed? Sold? There is a cafe, though I’m not sure of hours. I had water and snacks in my bag without issue.
Stroller Friendly? Yes, there are wheelchair ramps and everything is ground floor
Parking? Street parking in the general area
Notes: It is a very well run museum complex with a lot of security guards and a thorough bag check. No knives of any size or other weapons allowed. There is plenty of signage and a clear route you follow through the museums. Signs are in English and Arabic and it’s easy to go through on your own. It only takes about an hour to see everything unless you look at every single weapon!