Athens has some of the most important museums in the world, such as the brand new Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. As Athens is the capital of Greece, it is fortunate to have a number of unique museums that display the best of Greek culture in all its dimensions from prehistoric times and antiquity until today.
Visiting hours for museums and archaeological sites in Athens
The new visiting hours for museums and archaeological sites during the tourist season have been announced by the Ministry of Culture for the current tourist season. It should be denoted that the Acropolis of Athens, which is anyway one of the sights you should not miss in Athens, will remain open from 8am to 7pm all year long.
1. Acropolis of Athens – Archaeological Site (8.00-19.00)
2. Byzantine Culture Museum of Thessaloniki (8.00-20.00, Monday 13.30-20.00)
3. Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum (8.00-20.00)
Athens Museum Map
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Athens Museums Guide
The Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean civilizations, with special emphasis on Cycladic art of the 3rd millennium BC millennium. Founded in 1986, originally it was the home of the collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris and it gradually expanded to accommodate other important collections-donations.
The most modern museum in Europe; it opened its doors to the public on June 2009. The Acropolis Museum houses items from the wider temple area of Acropolis and findings that were returned to Greece from museums and private collections abroad. The most convenient way to visit the museum is by metro or, alternatively, by bus. Visitors should avoid going by car because parking is difficult to find in the historic center.
The Museum exhibits finds from Piraeus and the surrounding municipalities, from Salamis and the beach to Varkiza. Items come from donations from the private collections of Meletopoulos, Nomidou, Geroulanou,etc. The Museum's Exhibition is spread over two floors and ten rooms with thematic sections and chronological order of exhibits, while the visit continues to the small Hellenistic theater of Zea and the outdoor sculpture exhibition.
It is one of the world's biggest and finest collections of Greek antiquities, covering almost 3000 years of Greek civilization. You will see the famous "kouros", statues of nude youths, impressive for their vigor and perfect anatomy. Famous statues found in the museum include the bronze statue of Poseidon of Artemision, the Youth of Marathon, the Kouros of Milos and the Ephebos of Antikythira.
Angelos Goulandris, founder and president of the Museum of Natural History for 32 years, comes from an old naval family of Andros. In 1964, he founded the Natural History Museum, to promote scientific research of the Greek natural environment and environmental education. The Natural History Museum engages in multiple areas: exhibition, education and research.
The oldest museum in Greece, operating as a Foundation under Private Law, and one of the most popular museums in the country. Housed in one of the most beautiful neoclassical buildings in Athens, it indeed has a quite privileged position in the historic city center, just opposite the green lungs of the National Gardens and the garden of the Presidential Palace.
It safeguards 13,510, mostly Greek, inscriptions, which cover the period from early historical times to the Late Roman period, primarily in Greece. Only the courtyards, lobby and four rooms are open to the public; the other premises are accessible only to researchers and staff. a digital catalog of the inscriptions is currently under construction so that the collection can be accessed digitally to future visitors.
The military history of Greece: old aircrafts, uniforms, swords, weapons, armor, etc. The War Museum was opened in July 1975 and it still operates today. Its mission is to collect and preserve war relics as well as to exhibit, study and promote the Greek fight for freedom from antiquity until today, in order to stimulate the national memory and display historical continuity and unity of Hellenism.
The Hellenic Motor Museum is situated on the top three floors of the Athenian Capitola shopping mall and welcomes both young and old lovers of cars. It is one of the youngest museums in Athens–it opened in March 2011–and certainly made the best of impressions. Based on the architectural standards of the Guggenheim Museum of New York's distinctive spiral ramp, the museum has become a magnet for car and art lovers. Its collection comprises a total of 310 cars (the collection of the Theodore & Gianna Charagionis Foundation).
The Jewish Museum of Greece was established by Nicholas Stavroulakis in 1977 to preserve the material culture of the Greek Jews. In a small, privately owned building, just at the edge of Athen’s old Plaka district, all that is left of Greece’s Jewish heritage is displayed: artifacts that have been collected and restored since the 1970s by tireless museum curators and volunteers as well as a variety of material on the daily and religious life and historical course of the Greek Jews. Now, this museum ranks among the top Jewish Museums in Europe.
The Frissiras Museum of modern European painting was established in 2000 by the family of Vlassis Frissiras. Its collection consists of sculptures, paintings, drawings and engravings of European artists, through which an attempt is made to record the trends, people and philosophy of anthropocentric European painting after 1940. The Museum is equipped with audiovisual material and, in addition to the exhibition rooms, it includes a Centre of Research and Documentation, a space for Educational Practice and Cultural Events as well as a specialized Library.
The Technopolis is an industrial museum which opened its doors in 2013. It is one of the few and highly remarkable surviving examples of Greek industrial heritage. Located in the area of Technopolis in Gazi, it occupies the spot where the old gas factory, which provided energy and lighting in Athens for about 130 years, once was. The Technopolis is a major cultural venue and one of the most important industrial monuments. It upgrades a historic area of the capital and creates a more positive side to the cultural identity of Athens.
The Numismatic Museum, housed in a monumental building of the 19th-century residence of Heinrich Schliemann, in the heart of Athens, is among the oldest Greek cultural institutions. Its foundation dates back to 1834. The permanent collection, which is housed on the 1st and 2nd floor of the building, consists of coins, medals, lead bullae, gems, weights and talents dated from the 14th century BC until today.
The National Bank Historical Archive (IA / EIB) is the custodian of the National Bank's archives and collections. The Historical Archive of the National Bank of Greece was created to preserve and promote the historical archives of NBG, for which the Bank already showed special care since its inception. The Historical Archive files have captured the whole economic history of the modern Greek state and important aspects of political, cultural and social history.
The museum is housed in an old neoclassical building and it is a part of a cultural unit in “Eleftherias Park” of the Municipality of Athens. The exhibited material is presented on two floors of the museum building and includes personal relics and records of the events that took place during the period between the birth and the death of Eleftherios Venizelos, such as pamphlets, documents, photographs, lithographs, letter cards, portraits and representations of him in various materials.
Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum was created by the renowned Greek jewelry designer Ilias Lalaounis. The museum is the only museum of Modern Jewelry in Greece. It is comprised of 50 collections of a total of over 4,000 jewels and small ornaments dedicated to the history and art of jewelry making. Looking to the future, the Museum focuses its development on an international center promoting the history of jewelry, the art of goldsmithing, and the decorative and applied arts in general.
The maritime history of Greece from 3000 BC until today, has much to tell. The Hellenic Maritime Museum is located in the yacht harbor of Zea, where the boathouses of the Athenian navy were situated in ancient times. The exhibits include models of ancient and modern ships, paintings by some of the greatest Greek marine artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, guns, medals, and nautical instruments. The museum presents the maritime history of the Greeks from the prehistoric era to ancient years, the Byzantine period, the Balkan Wars, the two World Wars, until the present time.
The National Gallery-Museum of Alexander Suzhou, or the National Gallery, has been operating since 1976. , among which we find works by Caravaggio, Andreas Pavia, Stephanos Tsangarolo, Volanakis, and others. The National Gallery is a museum of fine arts, founded in 1900, located in Athens and covers the period of artistic creation in Greece from the post-Byzantine period to the present. Organically linked to the National Sculpture Library, it is the largest and most important collection of modern Greek art, with more than 15,000 works assembled.
One of the fifteen research centers of Athens Academy. The Folklore Archive was founded in 1918 by Nicolaos G. Politis, with Stilpon Kyriakidis as first Director. Today it is the National Documentation Center for Popular Culture with a rich archive of unpublished material on all aspects of popular life and a dedicated Library. It conducts field research, research programs, publications, conferences, exhibitions, events and supports scientific institutions in the Greek region and museums. It cooperates with similar institutions in Greece and abroad.
It was founded in 1987 by Betty Psaropoulou, with the core of the collection of objects and information she collected during her long research journey in Greece. The Center for the Study Neoteris Keramikis is a museum, research and educational organization dedicated to the research, preservation and promotion of Greek pottery of modern times, from the early 19th until today. It has a rich collection of about 5,000 useful objects which are representative samples of the production of almost all pottery centers of the mainland and Greek islands.
The Museum of Heracles has been serving art, education, and culture since 2004. The museum's inspirers and founders are Paul and Anna-Belinda Fyrou. Today the Museum of Heracles is transformed into an interactive center of science. With its basic philosophy the triptych "Science, Art and Mathematics", it continues to implement innovative educational programs for students, teachers and adults in its main building, as well as exhibitions of works of art and popular science.
The National Museum of Contemporary Art began operating in 2000. Its foundation came to fill a huge gap left by decades of lack of a similar institution for contemporary international art in Athens. The main focus of EMST's cultural policy is the training and enrichment of permanent collections of Greek and international character. The EMST includes major acquisitions and donations of works that cover both the historical and the contemporary axis of post-war visual creation.
The world of Karagiozis comes to life in a unique museum. After a long and arduous effort by the famous artist Eugenios Spatharis, a separate venue was established in 1991 to revitalize the shadow theater, including carefully carved figures. Childish memories and the cultural heritage of the place are restored amid the thoughtful drawings of the legendary Karagiozis and the black and white figures of the shadow theater. The museum also offers courses and specialized programs for students and the general public.
Right across the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, there is the Byzantine and Christian Museum, giving off the impression of the imperial splendor of Byzantium. The museum includes over 30,000 objects dating from the 3rd to the 21st century AD: icons, frescoes, mosaics, incunabula, manuscripts, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, paintings, etc. Everything is sorted chronologically, by material and theme, and digitized by electronic recording systems.
There are two museums in Athens dedicated to the city's railway past and beyond: the OSE Rail Museum in Sepolia and the ISAP Museum in Piraeus. In both museums, admission to the public is free. The Athens Railway Museum in Sepolia is the largest railway museum in Greece. It was established in 1979 after a voluntary effort by OSE officials. Topographical instruments, steam locomotives, passenger cars, station equipment, and a workshop with construction machinery from the late 19th century unfold the history of Greek railways in the museum's six halls.
Museum of Greek Folk Instruments
The Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments-Ethnomusicology Centre was opened on June 6, 1991. It is based on a collection of 1200 popular Greek musical instruments from the 18th century to the present day. This collection of the instruments belonged to Fivos Anogarakis, who donated to the Greek state. Next, to every display case that holds an instrument, there are headphones so that visitors can listen to musical parts executed by the instrument in question. In this way, they can really appreciate the sound and the ingenuity of these instruments.
It is housed in a two-story building at 7 Dimokritou Street, built in the 1920s. It is a remarkable costume museum, which contains about 25,000 items in its collections, mainly authentic local costumes and jewels. The purpose of its existence is to collect, preserve, study and finally promote the history of Greek clothing. Its main activity is the organization of periodical thematic exhibitions on an annual basis. In addition to Greek local costumes and jewelry, copies of Minoan, Archaic and Byzantine costumes complement the collection.
The Institute of Greek Mills (ITEM) is a non-profit association with the main purpose of researching, recording, studying and protecting the historical forms of mills in Greece. The term "mills" means any of their forms, as they are classified in terms of the motive power (hand mills, man-mills, animal mills, windmills, water mills, etc.), in relation to the product produced (flour mills, rice mills, gunpowder mills, sugar mills, sugar mills, sugar mills). and their moving mechanism (crushing, peeling, sawing, grinding, friction, shredding, etc.)
The island of Ai Stratis (Agios Efstratios) is located in the North Aegean, 18 nautical miles, southwest of Limnos and has about 210 permanent residents. For a period of about 40 years (1926 - 1967), it was a place of exile for about 10,000 people. The Museum of Political Exiles is dedicated to preserving the memory and experience of these people. The museum exhibits are presented in thematic sections and setting up of camps, the struggle for survival, cultural activities, artistic creation, the formation of educational and political work.
The artistic activities of the Gallery are presented in the building of Metaxourgio (Leonidou and Mulleros), which is one of the oldest neoclassical works in Athens, a work of the Danish architect Christian Hansen. The building functioned as a silk factory until 1875 and its presence there also gave the name to the wider area. The Gallery contains in its collections 3,000 works of Greeks mainly - with few exceptions - by visual artists illustrating trends and foreign influences in the course of Greek art.
The National Observatory of Athens (ESA) is a Public Research Center (NGD). It was founded in 1842 by a donation from the National Benefactor G. Sina. Its scientific and research activities concern the interior and the crust of the Earth, the atmospheric environment, the outer space and the astrophysical universe. Basic and applied research is being conducted on these subjects, using terrestrial and satellite observations, and linking the results to entrepreneurship, culture, education and popularization.
The Children's Art Museum was founded in 1994. The exclusivity of its exhibits, paintings, and three-dimensional works, creations of children aged 4-14, accessible to a wide and international audience, provide a unique experience for all. Museum actions focus on rights, diversity, family, nutrition, sports, the environment, and more. The Museum, highlighting the uniqueness of Child Art, aims to develop each child's personal expression, to offer shared creative parenting and child hours, and to provide the opportunity to become acquainted and familiar with Art & Childhood artists.