Greece Museums Guide
Sure, travelers have their personal tastes, but we can all agree that everyone is open to visiting a museum if there is one at their destination!
Greece is famous for both the number and variety of museums it has. From region to region, visitors have the opportunity to visit all types of museums, such as archaeological, art, natural history, folklore, and many others. Its long history has certainly helped in this regard, as you will find at least one archaeological or folklore museum in most areas of Greece in most areas of Greece.
At the same time, the Greeks' preoccupation with art since antiquity has contributed to the erection of places where pieces of art are displayed. Many modern museums are of major interest, too, mainly adorning the big cities. Last but not least, it is also worth noting how many mansions have been converted into museums, endowing the spaces with a unique panache.
But how many people know that there are days when you can enter Greek museums for free?
Or how many have never thought about the possibility of the museum they are interested in being closed due to a national holiday?
What about the differences between public and private museums?
All this (and more) will be covered below! That way, you will be fully informed before your next visit to a museum in Greece!
Before moving on to museum information, please keep in mind that:
1. Not all Greek museums belong to the Greek State - several are private.
You can find all the museums that belong to the Greek State here.
2. All dates corresponding to religious holidays are according to the calendar of the Greek Orthodox Church.
3. Most museums are open some days of the week - not all. That is dependent on each museum.
4. The hours of operation differ between the summer and the winter season. More specifically, the summer season is defined as the period from April 1 to October 31, while the winter period is from November 1 to March 31.
Entrance to all museums (plus archaeological/historical sites and monuments) owned by the Greek State is free of cost on:
• March 6 - Melina Mercouri Memorial Day
• April 18 - International Monuments Day
• May 18 - International Museum Day
• The last weekend of September - European Heritage Days
• October 28 - Ohi Day
• The first Sunday of each month (applicable from November 1 to March 31)
Some categories of individuals are eligible for free admission or reduced tickets, no matter the date of their visit, after presenting the respective documentation. Such categories include children up to 5 years old and individuals up to 25 from EU member-states.
You can find more information here.
At this point, we should mention that there are museums that are admission-free permanently and not only on fixed days.
Indicatively, some of these are:
- Gounaropoulos Museum in Athens
- Mentis - Antonopoulos Passementerie (branch of the Benaki Museum) in Athens
- Greek Pharmaceutical Museum in Thessaloniki
- Artistic Village Pottery Museum in Rhodes
- Sand Museum of Milos
- Ecclesiastical Museum of Amorgos
The museums that belong to the Greek State, on the other hand, are closed on:
• January 1
• March 25
• Easter Sunday
• May 1
• December 25 and 26
Private Museums are closed on more dates of national holidays than museums that belong to the Greek State. More specifically, most private museums are closed on:
• January 1 and 6
• Clean Monday
• March 25
• Easter Sunday and Easter Monday
• May 1
• Holy Spirit Day
• August 15
• October 28
• December 25 and 26
Clean Monday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, and Holy Spirit Day are moveable feasts.
Tip: Some museums may be closed on other days, too. These days include the feast days of patron saints or local holidays.
For example, March 7 is a holiday for the Dodecanese Islands since it is the day they were united with Greece. At the same time, December 6 is a holiday for Chania as it is the feast day of Saint Nicholas, the area’s patron saint.
For this reason, we encourage readers who plan on structuring a not-so-flexible holiday schedule to visit the museums' websites or call their offices a few days in advance.