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 the 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 are 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 center 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 center of Athens.
Read also: Top 5 museums in Athens
The New Acropolis Museum was established in 2009 and is housed in a modern building right opposite the Acropolis. The items displayed were all found on excavations on the Acropolis. The most famous display is the frieze of the Parthenon, even though some parts are missing since they are exhibited in the British Museum.
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest and most important museum in Greece, and its exhibits are among 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 and it is a sight to not miss.
The glorious Stoa of Attalos in Ancient Agora hosts a museum with a very interesting and diverse collection. It includes findings from the wells, deposits, burials, workshops, and sanctuaries of the area.
The National Gallery of Athens is located right next to the (ex) Hilton Hotel, within walking distance from Evangelismos Station and Syntagma Square. It hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions showcasing the works of revered Greek artists.
The museum was founded in 1914 and 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 other objects.
This museum is a private collection of Cycladic Αrt and Ancient Greek art of great importance, housed in a beautiful house. The Cycladic collection is a marvel of over 350 objects from the central Aegean Area, like marble sculptures and figurines or pottery, all dated between 3200 and 2000 BC. The Ancient Greek Art Collection includes artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Roman times.
Benaki Museum houses the private collection of Antonis Benakis, composed of 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.
The National Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in the Fix Building on Kallirrois Avenue. It welcomes loyal guests and new visitors alike to dive into the seductive world of contemporary art.
The Goulandris Museum in Athens opened its doors to the public in 2019. Established by the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation, its rich collection includes rare creations of the most important artists of the European avant-garde.
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.
Benizelou Mansion in Athens is the oldest house and the last surviving konak. It is considered to be one of the few examples of such mansions.
Since October 2010, the Municipal Gallery of Athens has been housed in a Neoclassical building in Metaxourgio. It has about 3,000 pieces, most of them painted by Greek artists.
The Historical Museum is housed in a beautiful Neoclassical building that used to house the Parliament until 1932. It is the oldest museum of its kind and exhibits collections that date from the 15th century until World War II.
The Museum of Islamic Art is a department of the Benaki Museum that opened in July 2004. It is housed in a Neoclassical building and hosts about 10,000 items that date from the 7th to the 19th century.
This amazing museum houses around 60,000 coins, from the ancient Greek world until 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, its history, seals and archaeology.
The Museum of Illusions, after its international success, has now opened in Athens. It allows visitors to be creative and play.
The Planetarium of Athens is one of the best planetariums in the world and was established with the testament of Eugene Eugenides, a Greek benefactor. It boasts a large-scale cinema projection system, which displays images over an area that is ten times bigger than a regular cinema room.
The Jewish Museum of Greece is located close to Syntagma. It was established in 1979 and it is dedicated to the life of the Jewish community that flourished in Greece for centuries.
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.
The Benaki Toy Museum opened to the public in 2017. Its exhibits are based on Maria Argyriadi's collection, which is considered to be among the top 10 of its kind in Europe.
The Museum of the City of Athens houses the personal collection of the art collector Lambros Eutaxias. Sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs of Athens and even furniture of the 19th-century Athenian aristocracy are exhibited in the museum.
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.
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.
The Athens Olympic Museum features a large collection of items and exciting exhibitions that focus on showcasing the spirit of the Olympic Games and their deeply rooted connection with Greece.
The Museum of Folk Art and Tradition Angeliki Hatzimichali is located today in the house of the great folklorist Angeliki Hatzimichali (1895-1965) on a quiet street in Plaka
The Hellenic Motor Museum hosts the personal collection of Theodoros Haragionis. It is located on Patission Avenue, 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.
This museum is dedicated to Greek folklore music and it has an amazing collection of about 1,200 Greek popular musical instruments, including toumberlekia (pottery drums), daoulia (drums), defia (tambourines), laouta (long-necked lutes) and outia (short-necked lutes).
The Museum of Alex Mylona opened in March 2004 and it was donated to the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in 2017. It exhibits works from the multi-year career of the sculptor Alex Mylona.
The Archaeological Museum of Piraeus is located within a 10-minute walking distance from the E9 Gate of the port of Piraeus. It mostly exhibits findings from excavations that date back to the Mycenaean until the Roman times.
The Hellenic Maritime Museum is located in Piraeus, close to Marina Zeas. It hosts interesting pieces that depict the rich nautical history of Greece. Outside the museum, visitors can admire a copy of the historical submarine "Papanikolis".
Established in 1994, the Museum of Greek Children's Art aims to promote art expression 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.
The Museum of Traditional 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.
The Archaeological Museum of Brauron is located in the south-eastern region of Attica, in the region fo Markopoulo. It was built in the late 1960s in order to host a variety of findings that were unearned from the excavations.
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 northern Athens.
Vorres Museum is a large, lovely multivenue in eastern Athens, with two main sections - a section of Contemporary Greek Art and a section of Folk Art. It consists of two buildings and gardens that cover over 10,000 square meters.
The Epigraphical Museum displays an interesting collection of inscriptions from the region of Attica and other parts of Greece. It is housed in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Averof was a battleship that is intertwined with Greek history, as it took part in the First and Second Balkan Wars, WW I, and WW II. Today it has been restored and turned into a naval war museum. It is located in Paleo Faliro, near Flisvos Marina.
The museum of highly-acclaimed Greek painter Alekos Fassianos in Athens presents a plethora of his works throughout the years, alongside some of his unique personal artifacts, as well as children’s programs.
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.
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 Panepistimio and Syntagma.
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.
This private museum is a center for international jewelry studies. It exhibits the beautiful creations of Ilias Lalaounis, a famous Athenian jeweler and goldsmith, elected member of the French Academy des Beaux-Arts.
Established in 1986, this museum hosts various minerals extracted from the region of Lavrion, on the southern side of Attica and close to Sounion. The subsoil of the area was largely exploited for its minerals in ancient times and its exploitation started again in the 19th century.
The Archaeological Museum of Marathon is a small but rather interesting museum that is situated near the Tumulus of Marathon. It is mainly focused on presenting the history of the region.
This is one of the 5 tactual museums in the world, specially made for blind people. People can actually touch the exhibits, which are copies of famous works of art.
This is a unique interactive museum that uses various exhibits, toys and fairy tales in order to help children understand emotions. It frequently organizes seminars, workshops and drama performances. It is located in proximity to the Akropoli and Sygrou-Fix Metro Stations.
Established in 1957, the Municipal Gallery of Piraeus has moved many times since then. Nowadays, it is housed in the building of the old post office of Piraeus. It owns a large collection, featuring artworks of Lytras, Maleas, Christofis, and others.
The Museum of Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos is housed in a neoclassical building in Plaka. It houses the private collection of the Canellopoulos family, with more than 6,000 items and art pieces from prehistoric until modern times.
Giorgos Gounaropoulos (G.Gounaro) was a renowned Greek artist who lived from 1890 to 1977. With international exhibitions and a unique personal technique, he was among the artists who formed modern Greek art. His atelier in the area of Ano Ilissia has been turned into a museum that hosts a large part of his work.
The Marathon Run Museum is located in the town of Marathon, northeastern Attica. This museum is dedicated to the modern history of the Marathon Race and includes rare exhibits and metals of Greek Marathon runners.
The Museum of Telecommunications, a unique of its kind in Greece, opened its doors in 1990. It hosts an impressive collection of telecommunications material from antiquity to this day.
The Children's Museum is located in Kolonaki and aims to offer an enjoyable and educational experience to children through creative play. Adults can accompany the children.
The Wine Museum in Pallini opened in 2005 and was created by a family occupied with wine for 4 generations. The museum is located under an old vineyard and exhibits old tools and a rich collection of photos.