Athens is a city with many museums, such as the famous Acropolis Museum. An overview of the 12 best museums in Athens:
Athens, a city of museums
Athens is bursting with museums due to its rich history. During a trip to Athens you cannot visit all the museums and you will therefore have to make a few choices. The most popular museums are the Acropolis museum and the National Archaeological Museum. In this article, 10 other museums are further highlighted. The first four museums are located on the so-called ‘Museum Street’ or 'Vasilissis Sofias Avenue'. You can therefore easily combine a visit to these museums.
1. Byzantine Museum
This Byzantine and Christian Museum is one of the most important and best museums in the world on Byzantine art. Here you will find rare objects, statues, notebooks and paintings from the Byzantine era. These works of art do not only come from Greece, but come from all over the world. This museum was built in 1914, but was completely renovated in 2004. The museum is located in a large villa.
- Location: 22 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue Athens
- Admission: 4 euros
- Opening hours: Monday: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Tuesday: closed, Wednesday to Sunday: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
2. Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum is named after Emmanuel Benaki and was founded by his son. The 'Museum of Greek Culture' is located in one of the villas of the Benaki family. This is a unique museum as it exhibits art from prehistoric times to modern times. The museum therefore does not have a specific specialization. This location of the museum mainly focuses on Greek history. Other locations of the museum in Athens have a focus on, for example, the influence of Islamic art.
- Location: 1 Koumbari St. & Vasilissis Sofias Avenue Athens
- Admission: 12 euros (book your tickets)
- Opening hours: Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat 10am - 6pm, Closed Tuesday, Thursday 10am - 12pm and Sunday 10am - 4pm
3. Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art was established to exhibit the large collection of the Goulandris family. This collection mainly contains Cycladic art. This is art from the Cyclades, a group of islands. Characteristic of this art are the typical Cyclades idols. These are usually small statues depicting gods or idols. These were made of marble and have mainly feminine features. This art was made until 1100 BC, before the art form was displaced by other influences.
- Location: Neophytou Douka 4
- Admission: 8 euros (book your tickets)
- Opening hours: Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm and closed on Tuesdays
4. War Museum
The War Museum was established in 1975 to exhibit all kinds of objects from the war. This is the place in Athens to learn more about the Greek army and its various wars. You can find history of wars of all times in this museum. The museum also has a modern theater that regularly hosts lectures and presentations. The museum is dedicated to all those who fought in the Greek wars. The building has a modern appearance, with the second floor being larger and wider than the ground floor.
- Location: Vasilissis Sofias Avenue en Rizari St 2-4
- Admission: 6 euros
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
5. Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology
The Kotsanas museum is one of the newest museums in Athens. This museum is all about ancient technology in Greece. Here are both original objects and counterfeit objects. For example, you can find here a well-known click of Plato. You will also find a working replica of the well-known Antikythera mechanism. This is considered to be one of the oldest computers.
- Location: Pindarou 6 (near the parliament building on Syntagma Square)
- Admission: 5 euros (book your tickets)
- Opening hours: Winter: daily from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm and summer: daily from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
6. Museum of the Ancient Agora (Stoa of Attalus)
The Museum of the Ancient Agora can be found in the Stoa of Attalus. In ancient Greece, the Agora was the center of a city with markets and important buildings. The Stoa of Attalus is a colonnade that has been converted into a museum that opened in 1956. This museum mainly exhibits finds from the Agora. On the ground floor you will mainly find larger statues and remains of buildings.
- Location: Adrianou 24
- Admission: 10 euros or included in the combo ticket for 7 archaeological areas
- Opening hours: Winter 8:00 - 17:00 uur en zomer 8:00 - 18:00 uur
Tip: Are you going to visit several archaeological areas such as the Acropolis, the Roman Agora, Hadrian's Library or the Ancient Agora? Then make sure you have purchased the advantageous combo ticket for 7 archaeological areas or the popular Athens Pass in advance. This saves you a lot on your entrance tickets.
7. Museum of Illusions
Do you want a break from the many museums with ancient art? Then the Museum of Illusions is perfect. This museum is great fun for both children and adults. It is all about optical illusions. This is a form of optical illusion where your brain interprets something in a different way than it actually is. This makes weird and different experiences. In this museum, for example, there is an inverted room or a room with an infinite number of mirrors. It is a museum where you have a lot of interaction with the art.
- Location: Ermou 119 (this is the main shopping street of Monastiráki)
- Admission: Tickets 9 euros (book your tickets)
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
8. Hellenic Motor Museum
The true car enthusiast should definitely visit the Hellenic Motor Museum. This museum is all about cars. The museum exhibits about 100 cars at a time, but the collection changes regularly. The museum is located on the top floors of the Athenian Capitol shopping center. It is also close to the National Archaeological Museum. In this museum you can also take a seat in a Formula 1 simulation, where it looks like you are in a race car.
- Location: Ioulianou 33 (near Victoria tube station and the National Archaeological Museum)
- Admission: 10 euros (book your tickets)
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, Saturday/Sunday 11:00 am - 6:00 pm and closed on Mondays
9. Kerameikos Museum
The Kerameikos is a well-known site in the Kerameikos district. Here you can also find a small museum. Many excavations are being done around the cemetery where beautiful finds are unearthed. These are mainly figurines, vases and sculptures. These are on display in the museum. You can also visit the cemetery where excavations are still being done.
Tip: Are you going to visit several archaeological areas such as the Acropolis, the Roman Agora, Kerameikos or the Ancient Agora? Then make sure you have purchased the advantageous combo ticket for 7 archaeological areas or the popular Athens Pass in advance. This saves you a lot on your entrance tickets.
10. Numismatic Museum
The Numismatic Museum is a museum that focuses entirely on coins. This is one of the largest coin collections in the whole world. Here you will find coins from 1400 BC to the present day. In addition to coins, this museum also has collections of stamps and other precious metals. In total, this museum has more than half a million objects that you can view. Many of the coins are very rare and therefore very unique. The museum is located in the Iliou Melathron. This building from 1880 was considered one of the most impressive buildings in Athens at the time. The building is built in the Renaissance and Neoclassical style. That is why you see many paintings and mosaics on the walls in the building.
- Location: El. Venizelou 12 (near the Syntagma Square)
- Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 8:30 am - 3:30 pm