Upriver along the Nile corniche from the Conrad Cairo, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities houses some 160,000 objects covering more than five millennia of Egyptian history. Where to begin? We suggest you focus your hour on the King Tut mother lode, which occupies half of the second floor. Tour buses tend to arrive in time for the museum’s opening at 9 a.m., and guides devote 15 minutes to an introductory talk in the ground-floor lobby. Leave the hotel in time to arrive at a little before 9 and, after buying your ticket just inside the front gate, head straight for the gold mask room to have the museum’s most famous artifact to yourself. After gazing at all Tut’s gilded chairs, parasols, beds, chariots, toenail covers, and sarcophagi, dip around a corner into the gallery containing the hauntingly naturalistic El Faiyum mummy portraits, many thought to be the work of a single artist who left pharaonic iconography sometime after 250 B.C. If you still have a few minutes, the animal mummy room—linen-wrapped dogs, baboons, falcons, horses, cows, and several huge crocodiles—is more interesting than the rooms containing mummies of Egyptian pharaohs and their queens, where entrance requires a surcharge.