in Athens

Three thousand years old cultural riches are housed in approximately 50 national and private museums scattered throughout Athens, featuring from Neolithic settlement finds to examples of modern art. The archaeological museums of Athens offer a journey into antiquity going back to the birth of ancient Greek art. Nevertheless, hidden treasures housed in smaller museums present great interest also. The Byzantine Museum houses splendid icons collections, marble sections of early Christian churches, fine samples of sacerdotal vestments, silver and gold church vessels, as well as a wealth of mosaics and manuscripts. The Monastery of St. Loukas near Delphi is well worth a visit.

The Folk Art Museums offer hospitality to creations of popular culture crafted by simple folk since the 18th century. Artworks of jewelry, wood-carving, needlework and weaving are often exhibited along with traditional costumes, wooden farming tools, folk art paintings and items of daily use. A fine example is the Benaki Museum in Athens housing a significant collection of folk art. The relics of modern Greek history are exhibited in a multitude of small or large History Museums exhibiting substantial collections of arms used during the Independence War against the Turks, accessories of the uniforms worn by the Freedom Fighters, banners, flags and paintings inspired by that struggle.

The long affair of the Greeks with the sea, dating back to the arrival of the first Greek tribes in the region, is better understood through the exhibits at the Maritime Museums. Other museum categories operating in Athens include the Natural History Museums, Science and Technology Museums, Art Workshops and Cultural Centres.
The city’s major ancient sites are linked in a vast pedestrian network, a modern Panathenaic Way closed to all vehicles but public transport, starting at the site of the new Acropolis Museum and eventually reaching the ruins of ancient Eleusis 22 kilometres away. A 1.7 kilometre stretch of tarmac from the Roman Arch of Hadrian to the classical Dipylon Gate, paved in Cycladic marble and stone, is the walkway in the heart of a web extending from the site of the first modern Olympics to the overgrown foundation of Plato’s Academy, four kilometres to the west.

Walkways link the Temple of Olympian Zeus with the Acropolis, the Philopappos Hill, the ancient and Roman Agoras, Hadrian’s Library and Kerameikos cemetery with all six sites spruced up, the ancient structures conserved and restored to a degree. No trip to Athens would be complete without a visit to the sacred rock of the Acropolis, an obvious choice for a fortress and sanctuary in ancient times.

Recently undergone extensive restoration, the new Acropolis Museum hopes eventually to display the collection of the 5th century BC Parthenon Marbles currently housed in London’s British Museum after they were removed from the Acropolis by Lord Elgin in early 19th century.

“Athens, OlympeionTemple of Olympian Zeus” by Y.Skoulas, courtesy of GNTO,
“Athens, OlympeionTemple of Olympian Zeus” by Y.Skoulas, courtesy of GNTO,

Museums in Athens

Acropolis Museum+30 210 900090015, Dionysiou Areopagitou str., 11742, Athens, Greece
Archaeological Museum of Piraeus+30 210 452159831, Charilaou Trikoupi str., 18536, Piraeus, Greece
Athens City Museum+30 210 32301682, Parnassou Str., 10561, Athens, Greece
Benaki Museum+30 210 36710001, Koubari str., 10674, Athens, Greece
Byzantine & Christian Museum+30 213 213951722, Vas. Sofias Ave, 10675, Athens, Greece
Centre For the Study of Traditional Pottery+30 210 33184914 Melidoni str., Keramikos, 10553, Athens, Greece
Childrens Art Museum+30 210 33126219, Kodrou str., Plaka, 10558, Athens, Greece
Eleftherios Venizelos Museum+30 210 7224238Vas. Sofias ave., 11528, Athens, Greece
Foundation of the Hellenic World+30 212 254 500038, Ilia Poulopoulou Str., 11851, Athens, Greece
Frissiras Museum+30 210 32346783 & 7, Monis Asteriou Str., 10558, Athens, Greece
Goulandris Natural History Museum+30 210 801587013 Levidou str., 14562, Kifissia, Athens, Greece
Hellenic Children'S Museum+30 210 331299514, Kidathineon str., 10558, Athens, Greece
Hellenic Maritime Museum+30 210 4516264Themistokleous Coast, 18537, Piraeus, Greece
Hellenic Motor Museum+30 210 881618733, Ioulianou Str., 10433, Athens, Greece
Herakleidon Museum+30 210 346198116, Herakleidon str., 11851, Thisio, Athens, Greece
Municipal Art Gallery of Piraeus+30 210 410140229, Filonos str., 18531, Piraeus, Greece
Municipal Gallery of Athens+30 210 5202420Leonidou & Myllerou Str., 10436, Athens, Greece
Museum of Cycladic Art+30 210 72283214, Neofytou Douka str., 10674, Athens, Greece
Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments+30 210 32501981, Diogenous Str., 10556, Athens, Greece
Museum of Keramikos+30 210 3463552148, Ermou str., 10553, Athens, Greece
Museum of the Ancient Agora+30 210 321482524, Adrianou str., 10505, Athens, Greece
Museum of the History of Greek Costume+30 210 36295137, Dimokritou str., 10671, Athens, Greece
National Archaeological Museum+30 213 214 480044, 28th of October Str., 10682, Athens, Greece
National Art Gallery+30 210 72359371, Michalakopoulou Str., 11601, Athens, Greece
National Art Gallery - Alexandros Sutsou Museum+30 210 7709855Army Park, Goudi, 11525, Athens, Greece
National Historical Museum+30 210 323761713, Stadiou str., 10561, Athens, Greece
National Museum of Contemporary Art+30 211 1019000Kallirrois Ave. & Amvr. Frantzi Str., 11743, Athens, Greece
Numismatic Museum of Athens+30 210 363205712, Eleftheriou Venizelou Str., 10671, Athens, Greece
Spathario Shadow theatre Museum+30 210 612724527, Voriou Ipirou Str., 15124, Marousi, Athens, Greece
Tactual Museum+30 210 9415222198, Doiranis , 17673, Athens, Greece
The Athens University History Museum+30 210 36895105, Tholou str., Plaka, 10556, Athens, Greece
The Jewish Museum of Greece+30 210 322558239, Nikis str., 10557, Athens, Greece
War Museum+30 210 72529742, Rizari str., 10676, Athens, Greece