What to visit in Athens - Museums Edition

A city with a history lost in the centuries, Athens keeps the modern and archeological treasures of worldwide interest in its museums and cultural sites that characterize its special identity.

So here we have compiled a list of the 10 "must-see" museums of Athens. However, we urge you to not limit yourself and to further explore the wonders of Athens!

Funerary Table at the Acropolis Museum
Funerary Table at the Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

It opened its gates in June 2009 in Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, in a modern building designed by internationally renowned architect Bernard Tsumi overlooking the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis to house the 4,000 great finds of the Acropolis. The visit is a unique experience. On the first floor is the collection of archaic sculptures, including the kores, as well as exhibits from the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. On the second floor, there is a shop (as on the ground floor) and the museum restaurant overlooking the Acropolis, while the top floor of the building is dedicated to the sculptures of the Parthenon, originals, and copies of those abroad.


National Archaeological Museum

The largest archeological museum in the country and one of the most important in the world of its kind is located on Tositsa Street. More than 11,000 exhibits are included in his collections, among which stand out the bronze statue of Poseidon, the tombstone of Hegesus, and the objects from the excavations of Mycenae. It also has an important Egyptian collection, as well as a collection of Cypriot antiquities.


Museum of Cylcadic Art by Eirini Miari
Museum of Cylcadic Art by Eirini Miari

Museum of Cycladic Art

It was founded in 1986 to house the collection of Nikolaos and Dollis Goulandris and was gradually enriched with other donations. Today, its exhibits are divided into three major thematic units: Cycladic art (3200 - 2000 BC), ancient Greek art (2000 BC - 395 AD), and ancient Cypriot art (3900 BC - 6th century AD). Interesting periodic exhibitions, good shop, and a cute café-resto on a beautiful patio.


National History Museum

It has been housed since 1960 in the Old Parliament Building on Stadiou Street and has unique historical documents: paintings and engravings, weapons, flags, personal items of historical figures, documents and photographs, utensils, tools, traditional costumes, and works of modern Greek handicrafts from the Fall of Constantinople to the Greek-Italian war of 1940-41. In the store, you will find great ideas for gifts and souvenirs.


Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika - Garden of delights, 1986 by the Benaki Museum
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika - Garden of delights, 1986 by the Benaki Museum

Benaki Museum

One of the most popular private museums in Athens, which is located in the impressive neoclassical building of the Benaki family, opposite the National Garden, and has several annexes, such as the complex at 138 Piraeus Street and the Kerameikos building complex that houses Islamic art collections. The collections housed in the main building present the basic historical periods of Greece, from prehistoric times to the beginning of the 20th century. Do not forget to visit the big shop, but also the café-restaurant with the unique terrace overlooking the National Garden.


Museum of Illusions

A recent addition to the Athenian scene, the Museum of Illusions is a "fun" museum, part of the "Museum Family" brand, which originated in Croatia and is now expanding around the world. A sensory essence that moves in the logic of "art attraction". Its impressive exhibition collection is divided into thematic rooms, equipped with mirrors and geometric shapes that "bring to life" visual illusions, offering an interesting visual, physical, and educational experience with new, unexplored visual illusions and illusions!


Manouil A' Komninou (1143-1180) by the Numismatic Museum
Manouil A' Komninou (1143-1180) by the Numismatic Museum

Numismatic Museum

The only museum of its kind in the Balkans, housed in Ilios Melathron, a real jewel of Athens, the work of Ernest Ziller. On the first floor of the building on Panepistimiou Street, the history of the building and the coin in the ancient Greek world are presented, while on the second floor, among other things, Roman, Byzantine, and medieval coinage, but also the coin in the modern world and the new Greek state. There is a café in its beautiful courtyard.


Hellenic Motor Museum

An incredible collection of four wheels in the "heart" of Athens! In a building of unique design and aesthetics, you will find the first Greek Motor Museum created by the car collector, Theodoros N. Haragionis, to demonstrate the technology and the evolution of the four wheels. In a high-rise building of 5,000 square meters, visitors can admire rare and collectible works of art and models who starred in motion pictures. For the more adventurous, there is also a Formula 1 simulator!


Nature Collection by Ilias Lalaounis
Nature Collection by Ilias Lalaounis

Elias Lalaouni Jewelry Museum

The only museum for modern jewelry in Greece. It is located in a separate building of the early 20th century, in a passage of Dionysios Areopagitou, which was formerly the workshop of Elias Lalaounis. The permanent collections of the museum today include more than 4,000 pieces of jewelry and sculptures from 50 collections designed by its founder, from 1940 to 2000.


Jewish Museum

It was founded in 1977 in a neoclassical building in Plaka, near Syntagma, to exhibit the material remains of 2,300 years of Jewish life in Greece. His collection consists of 10,000 authentic objects, photographs, documents, and archives, interesting material from the daily and religious life of Greek Jews. Among them stand out the objects from the Holocaust.


Feature Image by the Acropolis Museum: Old Athena Temple. The Gigantomachy pediment

Related posts