It is well known that Athens is a city full of antiquities and archaeological sites. Over the years, excavation programs have brought thousands of findings to light. Today, many of them are hosted in museums. If you’d like to learn about the incredible history of Greece and of the city of Athens, we’ve got you covered. Here we list 5 must-see museums in Athens that will surely satisfy your craving for knowledge while at the same time offering up amazing views, gardens, and architecture.
The Acropolis Museum, built at the foot of the Acropolis, opened its doors to the public in 2009. It is focused on the findings uncovered on the Acropolis hill and the surrounding area. 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square meters.
The museum itself is an architectural masterpiece that houses many gems from throughout antiquity. You can admire many freestanding sculptures and the famous Caryatids, pillars in the shape of female figures that support the roof of the Erechteion, a temple on the north side of the Acropolis. The sculptural decorations of the Parthenon are exhibited on the top floor. This gallery has the exact same dimensions as the cella (inner chamber) of the temple, giving visitors the opportunity to comprehend its size. This level also offers a splendid panoramic view of the Acropolis.
If you want to relax after exploring the Acropolis, or if you just finished visiting the museum, take a coffee break in the museum’s lovely café, where you can enjoy this unique view. But remember, you’ll get the most of your visit to the museum if you also visit the Acropolis itself. We offer an Acropolis Tour in the Cultural Places App to make your exploration of this amazing hill a unique experience.
Museum of the Ancient Agora
The Museum of Ancient Agora is in the Stoa of Attalos, a Hellenistic building from the 2nd century BC that was restored to its real scale in 1956. It gives you the opportunity to get the most accurate picture of how the agora looked in ancient times.
The Agora Museum hosts a chronologically organized collection, all the way from the Neolithic to the Post-Byzantine and Ottoman periods, showing the evolution of the agora through time. Climbing up to the first floor, you will find a magnificent exhibition of sculptures and can admire a view of the ancient agora and its monuments. All of these are included to our Ancient and Roman Agora Tour, which unfolds stories from antiquity until today. You can download the tour in the Cultural Places App.
Byzantine and Christian Museum
The Byzantine and Christian Museum is located on one of the most famous streets in Athens, Vasilissis Sofias street. It contains religious artifacts from the Early Christian to later periods, including icons, sculptures, ceramics, and architectural elements such as wall paintings and mosaics. The museum’s central building is the impressive Villa Ilisia. This was the home This of the Duchess of Plaisance and was built in the middle of the 19th century.
Exploring this museum sends you on a journey back through time. The evolving timeline, interesting artifacts, and beautiful gardens make this museum a must-see for visitors to Athens. Don’t forget to download the Vasilissis Sofias Tour in our Cultural Places App. There, you can find more information on the museum and other interesting buildings along Vasilissis Sofias street.
Benaki Museum of Greek Culture
The Benaki Museum of Greek Culture is housed in a beautiful neoclassical-style mansion. It was converted into a museum in order to house the collections of Antonis Benakis, a son of one of the leading families of the Greek diaspora who was born in Alexandria in 1873.
The permanent exhibition is divided into three main areas: 1) artifacts from prehistoric times to the end of the Roman period, 2) a Byzantine collection linking the ancient Greek world to that of modern Greece, and 3) a collection of historical heirlooms recreating the history of modern Greece from the end of the 18th century onwards.
Be sure to visit the Benaki Museum and explore the long and colourful history of Greece. Download our Vasilissis Sofias Tour in the Cultural Places App to learn more about the history of this building and of others along this amazing street in Athens.
Museum of Cycladic Art
Even before entering this museum, one is struck by the splendour of the neoclassical building. Inside this impressive building lies a treasure trove of objects from Cycladic culture, which was active on the Cyclades, a cluster of islands in the central Aegean, between 3200 and 2000 BC.
The exhibit presents 350 objects representative of every phase and type of artifact from this civilization, such as the famous marble sculptures representing human figures—mostly female—with their arms folded above their bellies. You will also find a large collection of ancient Greek art, as well as artifacts from Cypriot culture.
The Museum of Cycladic Art also organizes very interesting temporary exhibitions.
If you want to learn more about this building, find the Vasilissis Sofias Tour in the Cultural Places App, put on your headphones, and soak up some history!
When in Athens. prepare yourself for non-stop cultural explorations. If you would like a personal guide, download the “Athens Tours” in the Cultural Places App. There you can find the Acropolis Tour, Ancient and Roman Agora Tour, and the Vasilissis Sofias Tour. A Plaka Tour will also be available soon. Have fun!