Athens Museums

Athens museums
Guide to 48 museums in Athens

In Athens, the capital of Greece, visitors have the chance to see selected museums which represent the wealth of Greek culture in all aspects, from the prehistoric and ancient years to modern era. The historical town boasts some of the most important museums, like the newly-established Acropolis Museum which opened its doors in 2009 in a great architectural marvel, just opposite the Holy Rock of the Acropolis. The most famous exhibits in the museum is the frieze from the Parthenon Temple and the Kayatides Statues.

Of major interest in Athens is also the National Archaeological Museum, the largest museum in Greece, with an extraordinary collection that includes sculptures, pots and excellent works of art. It is also worth mentioning the Benaki Museum, hosted in the Neoclassical building in the centre of Athens, just opposite the Byzantine Museum and the War Museum.

In a walking distance from Syntagma Square lies the Historical Museum, in a beautiful Neoclassical building that used to house the Parliament of Greece till the 1930s. The Cycladic Art Museum carries a fascinating collection from the Cyclades highlighting the ancient Greek Art. In the Ancient Agora is the Stoa of Attalos Museum, a chance to admire dozens of exhibits from the antiquity. In Athens, there is also a great list of art galleries to visit, such as the National Art Gallery, the Museum of Children's Art and other museums in the centre of Athens.

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List with the most interesting museums

Location: Acropolis
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The New Acropolis Museum was inaugurated in June 2009 and it is housed in a modern building right opposite the site of the Acropolis. The items displayed in the New Acropolis Museum were all found on excavations on the Acropolis. The most famous display is the frieze of Parthenon Temple. The unfortunate thing is that pieces of this frieze are missing, as they are housed in the British Museum in London.

Location: Patission Ave
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The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest and most important museum in Greece, and its exhibits are between the finest collections of prehistoric items, sculptures, pottery and minor art, bronzes and Egyptian art, everything followed by detailed explanations in English. It is located near Omonoia square.

Location: Vasilissis Sofias Ave
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This museum houses the private collection of Antonis Benakis, composed by Bronze Age findings, works of El Greco, ecclesiastical furniture and many other collections. It is housed in a wonderful neoclassical house close to Syntagma square.

Location: Syntagma
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The Historical Museum is housed in a beautiful Neoclassical building that used to be the Parliament House till 1932. This is the oldest museum of its kind and houses collections that date from the 15th century till the Second World War. The museum is found along Stadiou Ave, 10 min walk from Syntagma.

Location: Thissio
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This archaeological museum is located in Ancient Agora, inside the famous Stoa of Attalos. The collection of the museum is very interesting and diverse. It includes findings from the wells, deposits, burials, workshops and sanctuaries of the area.

Location: Syntagma
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This museum is a private collection of Cycladic art and Ancient Greek art of great importance, housed in a beautiful house. The Cycladic collection is a marvel of over 350 objects of the central Aegean Area, like marble sculpture and figurines or pottery, all dated between 3200 and 2000 B.C. The Ancient Greek Art Collection includes artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Roman times: pottery, terracotta figurines, sculpture, metal and glass ware and jewellery.

Location: Vasilissis Sofias Ave

This museum was founded in 1914 and it houses an important collection of Greek ecclesiastical art dating from the 4th to the 19th century: Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, sculpture, manuscripts, wall paintings, mosaics, wood carvings and many objects (cloth, coins, pottery). The Museum is located close to Syntagma sq.

Archaeological Museum of Keramikos
Location: Kerameikos
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The archaeological museum is located right next to the ancient site of Keramikos, the cemetery of ancient Athens. It houses findings from the site, such as funeral columns, vases and statues.

Location: Panepistimiou Ave

This amazing museum houses some 60,000 coins, from the ancient Greek world till the modern times as well as weights, lead stamps, medals and precious stones. There are also ten thousand volumes devoted to the special field of numismatics, to its history, the seals and to archaeology.

Location: Vasilissis Sofias Ave

The War Museum of Athens was founded in 1975 and it is dedicated to the army and the Naval Forces of Greece. It is located between the metro stations of Syntagma and Evangelismos.

Museum of the City of Athens
Location: Panepistimiou Ave

The Museum of the City of Athens houses the personal collection of the art collector Lambros Eutaxias. It includes sculptors, paintings, drawings, photographs of Athens and even furniture of the 19th century Athenian aristocracy.

Location: Hilton Area

The National Gallery of Athens is located right next to Hilton Hotel, in a walking distance from Syntagma. It hosts permanent and periodical exhibitions.

Location: Paleo Faliro
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Averof is actually a warship that has played a great role in the Greek history. Today it has been restored and turned into a naval war museum. It is located in Trocadero Marina, Paleo Faliro.

Archaeological Museum of Piraeus
Location: Piraeus
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The Archaeological Museum of Piraeus is located between Zea and Pasalimani, two lovely quarters of Piraeus. It mostly exhibits findings from excavations that date from the Mycenaean till the Roman times.

Location: Piraeus

The Nautical Museum is located in Marina Zeas, Piraeus. It hosts interesting pieces that depict the rich nautical history of Greece. Outside the museum, there is a copy of the historical submarine Papanikolis.

Archaeological Museum of Marathon
Location: Marathon
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This small but interesting museum completes the archaeological site of Marathon. It has nice exhibits, such as a collection of small Cycladic items and impressive Egyptian statues.

Epigraphical Museum
Location: Patission Ave

The museum is displaying an interesting collection of inscriptions from the region of Attica and from other parts of Greece. It is housed in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

Archaeological Museum of Vravrona
Location: Vravrona
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This small museum is located about 500 metres from the ancient site of Vravrona. It houses findings from this site and from excavations in the wide regions and sanctuaries of Attica.

Frissiras Museum
Location: Plaka

The Frissiras Museum is the only museum of modern European art in Greece. It was inaugurated in June 2000 and it is housed in two Neoclassical buildings in Plaka. The first building houses a permanent collection with 3,000 pieces of art and the second building hosts periodical exhibitions.

Herakleidon Museum
Location: Thissio

The Herakleidon Museum of Visual Arts is a private space that opened in summer 2004. Housed in a Neoclassical building in the heart of Thission, under the Acropolis, the museum hosts exhibitions of artists who have played an important role in the evolution of art. It also frequently organizes seminars and workshops.

Location: Syntagma

The Jewish Museum of Greece is located near Syntagma square. It was founded in 1979 and it is dedicated to the life of the vast Jewish community that flourished in Greece along centuries.

Location: Metaxourgio
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Since October 2010, the Municipal Gallery of Athens is housed in a Neoclassical building in Avdi Square, Metaxourgio. It owns about 3,000 pieces, most of them painted by 19th and 20th century Greek artists.

Location: Thissio

The Museum of Alex Mylona opened in March 2004 and in 2007 it was donated to the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, which is based in Thessaloniki. It exhibits works from the 50-year career of the sculptor Alex Mylona, including her beautiful works on marble, copper, iron and bronze.

Museum of Islamic Art
Location: Kerameikos

The Museum of Islamic Art is a department of the Benaki Museum and opened in July 2004. It is housed in a Neoclassical building and hosts about 10,000 items that date from the 7th till the 19th century.

Location: Singrou Ave

It is one of the best planetariums in the world and was established with the testament of Eugene Eugenidis, a Greek ship owner and benefactor, who wanted to create an institution that would educate Greek young people in the sections of technology and science. The Athens Digital Planetarium counts on a large scale cinema projection system, which displays images over an area that is ten times bigger than a regular cinema room.

Atelie of Spyros Vassiliou
Location: Acropolis

The home and studio of Spyros Vassiliou (1902-1985) is now open to the public as a museum and archive. The Atelier recomposes the artistic progression of one of the most acclaimed, reputed and prolific exponents of contemporary Greek art, displaying a large number of his works in a wonderful setting just across the Herodus Atticus Odeon, under the Acropolis.

Canellopoulos Museum
Location: Plaka

The Museum of Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos is housed in a Neoclassical built in Plaka. It houses the private collection of the Canellopoulos, with more than 6,000 items and art pieces from the prehistoric till the modern times.

Location: Plaka

The Children Museum is found in Plaka, the oldest neighbourhood of Athens, and its aim is to offer an enjoyable and educational experience to our children. Parents and grandparents can accompany the children. There the children will have the opportunity to play and learn together.

Location: Acropolis

This private museum is a centre for international jewelry studies. It exhibits the beautiful creations of Ilias Lalaounis, a famous Athenian jeweller and goldsmith, elected member to the French Academy des Beaux-Arts.

Marathon Run Museum
Location: Marathon

The Marathon Run Museum is located in the town of Marathon, north eastern Attica. This museum is dedicated to the modern history of the Marathon Race and includes rare exhibits and metals of Greek Marathon runners.

Museum of Modern Pottery
Location: Kerameikos

The Museum of Modern Pottery is housed in a Neoclassical building of 1875, next to the archaeological site of Kerameikos. The ceramics that are exhibited date from the prehistoric times till today.

Museum of Folk Instruments
Location: Plaka

This museum is dedicated to the Greek folklore music and it has an amazing collection of about 1,200 Greek popular musical instruments dating from the 18th century up to the present day. The museum exhibits traditional Greek instruments like toumberlekia (pottery drums), daoulia (drums), defia (tambourines), laghouta (long-necked lutes), outia (short-necked lutes) and many more.

Location: Kallithea

This is one of the 5 tactual museums of the world, especially made for blind people. People can actually touch the exhibits, which are copies of famous works of art.

Location: Kolonaki

Inaugurated in 1988, the museum is dedicated to the study of the Greek traditional costume. It is located in Kolonaki, between the metro stations of Panepistimiou and Syntagma.

Location: Votanikos

The Pierides Museum of Ancient Cypriot Art is dedicated to the presentation of the Cypriot culture and its connection to Greece. It is housed in the Cultural Venue Athinais, between Votanikos and Keramikos.

Gounaropoulos Museum
Location: Ilissia

Giorgos Gounaropoulos (G.Gounaro) was a renowned Greek artist who lived from 1890 to 1977. With international exhibitions and a personal technique, he was among the few artists who formed modern Greek art. His atelie in the area of Ano Ilissia has turned into a museum that hosts a large part of his work.

Municipal Gallery of Piraeus
Location: Piraeus

Established in 1957, the Municipal Gallery of Piraeus has changed many buildings since then. Τoday it is housed in the building of the old post office of Piraeus. It owns a large collection of artists, among whom Lytras, Axelos, Volanakis and Christofis.

Vorres Museum
Location: Peania

Vorres Museum is located in Peania, on the north eastern side of Athens, and has two sections: a section of Contemporary Greek Art and a section of Folk Art. Its large collection presents 2,000 years of Greek history. The museum consists of two buildings and gardens that cover 12,000 sq.m.

Karagiozis Museum
Location: Marousi

Karagiozis, the most characteristic figure of the Greek shadow theatre, has a unique museum created by the shadow-player Eugene Spatharis. The museum is housed in a Neoclassical building in Marousi, northern Athens.

Emotions Museum of Childhood
Location: Acropolis

This is a unique interactive museum that uses various exhibits, toys and fairy tales in order to help children understand the world of emotions. It frequently organizes seminars, workshops and drama performances. It is found in a walking distance from the metro stations of Acropolis and Syggrou-Fix.

Location: Plaka

This interesting museum houses rich collections of objects representing all branches of folk art from 1650 till today. Exhibits include embroidery, weaving, costumes and more.

Location: Lavrion

Established in 1986, this museum hosts various minerals from the region of Lavrion, on the southern side of Attica and close to Sounion. The subsoil of the area was largely exploited fot its minerals in the ancient times and its exploitation started again in the 19th century.

Museum of Childrens Art
Location: Plaka

Established in 1994, the Museum of Greek Children's Art aims to promote art expession in young age. For this reason, it regularly organizes seminars and workshops for children, teachers and parents. Its exhibitions change frequently and include mostly works of children.

Art Collection of National Bank
Location: Panepistimiou Ave

The Art Collection of the National Bank of Greece was formed in 1841, right after the establishment of the bank itself. The collection includes 1,300 original works of leading 19th and 20th century artists. It is located on Eolou st, between Omonoia and Panepistimiou metro station.

Hellenic Motor Museum
Location: Patission Ave

The Hellenic Motor Museum hosts the personal collection of Theodoros Haragionis. It is housed in the three last floors of Athenian Capitol in Patission Ave, very close to the National Archaeological Museum. The museum hosts 110 cars permanently, while the rest 190 of the collection are exhibited from time to time.

Museum Of Wine
Location: Pallini

The Wine Museum in Pallini, north eastern Athens, opened in 2005 and it was created by a family that occupies with wine for 4 generations. The museum is located under an old vineyard and exhibits old tools and a rich collection of photos.

Cartoon Museum
Location: Metaxourgio

The Cartoon Museum operates since 1994 and houses the works of famous Greek cartoonists. There is a large collection of political cartoons, advertising material and newspaper comics. The museum also includes an archive and a library. It is found in a walking distance from the metro station of Metaxourgio, on Liossion st.

Museum of Telecommunications
Location: Kifisia

The Museum of Telecommunications, unique of its kind in Greece, opened its doors in 1990. It hosts an impressive collection of telecommunications material from the antiquity till today.

Photos of museums in Athens (15)
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