Museum magic: What are the best Egyptian museums in London? 

Have you ever dreamt of walking in the footsteps of pharaohs and uncovering the secrets of ancient hieroglyphs, all without leaving London? Well, you’re in luck! We’re making that dream a reality today. 

Join us as we delve into the best Egyptian spots and museums in the capital, showcasing awe-inspiring treasures that have stood the test of millennia. These spots will have you feeling like you’re suddenly on warm sands, among people who saw their pharaohs as gods, and in a place where the pyramids are fixtures on the horizon.

Museums solely focus on Egyptian antiquities

The British Museum

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Location: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7323 8299

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Website

The British Museum houses an awe-inspiring collection of Egyptian artefacts that spans over 6,000 years of history. From monumental sculptures to jewellery, it’s a veritable treasure trove that encapsulates the essence of ancient Egypt.

This museum even houses one of the world’s most famous historical artefacts – the Rosetta Stone. This legendary slab of stone played a pivotal role in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, enabling us to unlock the secrets of their civilisation.

Oh, and this is also one of the best free museums in London. It offers free admission, making it accessible to all, and also has facilities for visitors with disabilities. 

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

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Location: Malet Pl, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3108 9000

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday  to Friday – 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday – 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Website

The Petrie Museum owes its name to Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, the renowned archaeologist often dubbed the “Father of Egyptian Archaeology”. 

This museum is not just a repository of artefacts but a living tribute to the man who helped pioneer the field. The collection boasts over 80,000 items, including artefacts from Petrie’s excavations in Egypt.

One of the crown jewels of the museum is its Amarna collection. Named after the ancient city of Akhetaten, this collection showcases artefacts from the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. 

Museums with dedicated Egyptian sections

Horniman Museum 

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Location: 100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8699 1872

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Website

While the Horniman Museum is celebrated for its diverse range of artefacts and natural history collections, it houses a lesser-known but impressive Egyptian collection. 

Unlike some of London’s larger museums, the Horniman offers an intimate and accessible experience. You won’t find overwhelming crowds or endless corridors here. Instead, you can explore the Egyptian exhibits without feeling rushed.

One of the unexpected delights of the Horniman Museum is its stunning gardens. With panoramic views of the city, beautifully landscaped gardens, and even a charming Victorian conservatory, it’s the perfect place to relax and reflect on your Egyptian discoveries.

The Wellcome Collection

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Location: 183 Euston Rd., London NW1 2BE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7611 2222

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

The Wellcome Collection is a museum like no other. It seamlessly blends the history of medicine, science, and art with its Egyptian exhibits. 

One of the key draws of The Wellcome Collection is its extensive collection of medical and scientific artefacts. As you wander through its Egyptian galleries, you’ll encounter a treasure trove of objects related to ancient Egyptian medicine and healing practices. 

From surgical instruments to mummies with meticulously preserved internal organs, this museum provides a fascinating insight into the medical world of ancient Egypt.

Other places to see ancient Egypt in London

Apart from museums, there are numerous places in London where you can experience the essence of Egypt.

Cleopatra’s Needle

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Location: London WC2N 6NU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7611 2222

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Website

This obelisk was originally crafted around 1450 BC during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III and was later inscribed with the names of Pharaoh Ramses II. 

Upon close examination, Cleopatra’s Needle reveals intricate hieroglyphic inscriptions that tell stories of Egyptian history, culture, and beliefs. These enigmatic carvings are like ancient messages etched in stone, waiting for curious minds to decode their secrets. 

Standing before this towering monument, you can’t help but wonder about the people and events it witnessed in its long journey through time.

Sotheby’s

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Location:  34-35 New Bond St, London W1A 2AA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7293 5000

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Website

Over the entrance to Sotheby’s on New Bond Street, your eyes will undoubtedly be drawn to the majestic bust of Sekhmet. However, what’s truly astonishing is that this isn’t a replica, it’s the real deal, hailing from 1320 BC! 

Sekhmet, the lioness warrior goddess, is a formidable figure in Egyptian mythology. She was believed to be both a protector and a destroyer, capable of unleashing her wrath on the enemies of Egypt. 

Carreras Cigarette Factory

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Location: Greater London House 180 Hampstead Road, London NW1 7AW, United Kingdom

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Built in the 1920s, the factory’s facade is adorned with stunning Egyptian motifs, including hieroglyphs, lotus flowers, and pharaohs. As you stand before this grand structure, you can’t help but feel like you’re standing at the entrance to an ancient Egyptian temple.

One of the reasons the Carreras Cigarette Factory is still a treasure today is its dedication to its preservation and restoration. While the factory itself is no longer in operation, it has found a new lease on life as an office and residential space. 

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