Nestled in the heart of Greece, Athens stands as a testament to the endurance of human civilization. Historically, the City of Athens was considered the cradle of Western Civilization due to the birth of philosophy and democracy,

With a history that stretches back thousands of years, the city seamlessly blends ancient wonders with a dynamic modern spirit. From the iconic Acropolis to bustling the neighbourhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki, Athens is a destination that promises a journey through time.

Athens is a haven for culture & history enthusiasts. The city’s museums, such as the Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum, and the Benaki Museum, house artifacts that narrate the story of Greece from antiquity to the present. Meanwhile, contemporary art galleries, like the EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art, showcase the city’s creative pulse. Not mention the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, the most recent and biggest city park of the town that hosts also the National Opera and the National Library.

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Here are the 5 Best Museums in the city of Athens that every visitor should explore:

Acropolis Museum

Nestled at the foot of the Acropolis itself, the Acropolis Museum stands as a modern marvel, seamlessly blending contemporary architecture with ancient artifacts. This museum is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, housing sculptures, pottery, and other relics from the Acropolis of Athens. The transparent floors provide a unique perspective, allowing visitors to peer into ongoing excavations.

In 1975 is formed the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA), with a view to examining all the dangers of the Acropolis monuments and submitting studies. The first building that was taken care of by ESMA is the Erechtheion, from which the Caryatids were removed in 1979 to be saved from the relentless damage caused by outdoor exposure and they were transferred to the Museum on the Rock. The problem of insufficient space arose once again and the idea of constructing a new Acropolis Museum emerged – this time, however, not on the Sacred Rock.

The architectural competition was held in 2000, which led to the selection of the proposal by Bernard Tschumi and his Greek collaborator Michael Photiades. The new Acropolis Museum was constructed on the south side of the Acropolis at a distance of 300 metres from its monuments. The Museum’s foundations were completed on the 30th of January 2004 and its opening took place on the 20th of June 2009.

Opening Hours

Winter Season

1 November – 31 March >> Monday – Thursday: 09:00 – 17:00 / Last entry: 16:30 pm, Friday: 09:00 – 22:00/ Last entry: 21:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday: 09:00 – 20:00 / Last entry: 19:30

Summer season
1 April – 31 October >> Monday: 09:00 – 17:00 / Last entry: 16:30, Tuesday – Sunday: 09:00 – 20:00 / Last entry: 19:30, Friday: 09:00 – 22:00 / Last entry: 21:30

More info about visits & Tickets can be found here:

National Archaeological Museum

Located along Patission Street, the National Archaeological Museum is a sprawling repository of Greece’s archaeological wealth. From Mycenaean artifacts to classical sculptures, this museum spans millennia, offering a comprehensive view of Greek history. The museum’s carefully curated exhibits narrate the tales of gods, heroes, and everyday life in ancient Greece.

From the 1980s to the present day, the National Archaeological Museum has been carrying out thematic or longitudinal periodic exhibitions, with many interesting subjects. A number of the antiquities of the Museum’s periodicals travel as short-term loans to museums in Greece and abroad. Since the end of the 20th century, the National Archaeological Museum, in addition to its own multifaceted cultural and educational activity, has participated in numerous exhibitions of Greece and abroad.

Opening hours

Winter Season

November 1st – March 31st >> Tuesday: 13:00 – 20:00, Wednesday – Monday: 08:30 – 15:30

Summer Season

April 1st – October 31st >> Tuesday: 13:00 – 20:00, Wednesday to Monday: 08:00 – 20:00

More info about visits & Tickets can be found here:

Benaki Museum

The Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, situated near Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, is a testament to the diversity of Greek art and culture. Housed in an elegant mansion, the museum’s collections traverse various epochs, from Byzantine icons to contemporary art. It’s a cultural odyssey that reflects the evolution of Greece over centuries.

The Museum collection contains 47,388 objects, more than 70,000 books, 537 archival units with historical documents, 217,515 film negatives and 16,490 original prints, as well as 32 archival units related to modern Greek architecture. Up until 2006, 258 were working for the Benaki Museum.

Along with the Museum of Greek Culture, the Benaki Museum organisation hosts antiquities and exhibitions in several other locations across Athens like Pireos 138 (138 Pireos & Andronikou St., 11854), The Museum of Islamic Art (22 Ag. Asomaton & 12 Dipilou St., 10553), The Ghika Gallery (3 Kriezotou St., 10671), The Yiannis Pappas Studio (38 Anakreontos St, 15772, Zografou), The Delta House (38 Emm. Benaki & St. Delta St., 14561, Kifisia) etc.

More info about visits & Tickets can be found here:

Museum of Cycladic Art

For a deep dive into the ancient civilizations of the Aegean, the Museum of Cycladic Art on Neophytou Douka is a must-visit. Renowned for its stunning collection of Cycladic figurines, the museum transports visitors to the prehistoric world of the Cycladic islands.

The Museum of Cycladic Art holds one of the most complete collections of Cycladic Art in the world showcasing the famous marble figurines of the 3rd millennium BC that have influenced several twentieth and twenty-first century artists, such as Brancusi, Modigliani, Giacometti, Hepworth and Moore. The minimalist beauty of these ancient artifacts is a testament to the sophistication of early Aegean cultures.

Committed to inspiring and benefiting multiple communities, the Μuseum has made its mark in the city of Athens, within and beyond its walls.  The Museum of Cycladic Art is a non-profit legal entity under private law, supervised by the Ministry of Culture. It receives no state funding, and its collections belong to the Greek State.

The exhibitions, the Cycladic Shop and the Cycladic Café are open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10:00-17:00, Sunday 11:00-17:00, Thursday 10:00-20:00. Closed on Tuesday.

More info about visits & Tickets can be found here:

Basil & Elise Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art

The Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation and its associated museum, the Basil & Elise Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art, are recognized as significant contributors to Athens’ cultural scene.

The museum is known for its focus on modern and contemporary art, housing a collection of works by both Greek and international artists. The quality and significance of the collection, the museum’s exhibitions, and its impact on the cultural community are factors that contribute to its reputation.

The museum was designed from the onset to house the Collection of the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation. The collection focuses on modern and contemporary art by Greek and foreign artists, including rare works by masters of the European avant-garde such as Cézannevan GoghGauguinMonetDegasRodinToulouse-LautrecBonnardPicassoBraqueLégerMiróGiacomettiBalthus, as well as works by distinguished modern Greek painters including ParthenisBouzianisVassiliouHadjikyriakos-GhikaTsarouchisMoralisTetsis and others. 

The building is a total surface area of 7,250 sq.m. and consists of 11 floors, five of which are below ground. The exhibition areas cover a total of five floors; four above ground with a surface area of 1,124 sq.m. where the permanent collection is housed and one below ground with a surface area of 530 sq.m. which will host temporary exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists within the framework of the Foundation’s established exhibition policy which has pervaded its activities on Andros over the last forty years.

More info about visits & Tickets can be found here:

Athens, with its juxtaposition of ancient wonders and modern allure, invites travelers on an extraordinary journey through time. It’s a city where history breathes, culture thrives, and the spirit of Greece resonates through every cobblestone street. As you navigate its labyrinthine paths and embrace its vibrant energy, Athens leaves an indelible mark, forever etching its place in your heart.

You can always book a private tour with The Greek Taxi and go explore these historical marvels that are spread around Athens.

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