Where can you even begin with all the history and culture the Greek capital has to offer? We've already done the legwork by researching 20 of the top museums in Athens, so you can choose which ones to add to your bucket list. and let you in on a few secrets you probably would not have known otherwise.
15 Dionysiou Areopagitou St
With good reason, the first museum on your list of the top museums in Athens. A visit to the Parthenon is complete with going to the Acropolis Museum (right next door). The 14,000 m2 display area is exquisitely designed, bringing ancient Athens to life via sculptures and artifacts and reproductions of structures on Acropolis Hill, such as the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. This is especially true during the 5th-century Golden Period of Pericles. The Parthenon Gallery on the top level is a must-see, including authentic and imitation marbles that recreate the whole Parthenon frieze.
National Archaeological Museum
44 28th October St, Exarhia
This is the museum to visit if you want to learn why Greece is regarded as the birthplace of western civilization. With sculptures, miniatures, gravestones, tools, weapons, and daily objects, Greece's entire history—including the Neolithic, Cycladic, Mycenaean, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman, and Modern periods—is represented. It is the biggest museum in Athens and features a sizable public library. The Epigraphic Museum, which is located in the southern wing and has a separate entrance, has more than 14,000 inscriptions that show the astounding level of detail in ancient Greek record-keeping.
Museum of Cycladic Art
4 Neophytou Douka St, Kolonaki
Some of Greece's earliest artifacts are assembled intriguingly. The smooth and graceful marble figurines of men and women from the Early Cycladic Period, which are the museum's signature artifacts, are on display alongside other relics dating back as far as 5,000 years from Greece's Cycladic islands, including Andros, Naxos, Antiparos, Amorgos, and Thera (Santorini). The Stathatos House, one of architect Ernst Ziller's best creations and a stunning specimen of neoclassical architecture in Athens, serves as the museum's home.
50 Vassileos Konstantinou Ave, Pangrati
A must-see for all art enthusiasts, with pieces by some of Greece's most well-known artists and European masterpieces (like Rembrandt and Picasso) in a freshly renovated structure that is as striking as some of the artwork on show. The National Gallery's main draw, however, is its collection of more than 1,000 pieces of art, which chronicles all the significant events in modern Greek history, from the post-Byzantine period through the revolt against the Ottomans and the founding of the modern Greek state. There isn't a more lovely history lesson out there.
Benaki Museum of Greek Culture
1 Koumbari St, Kolonaki
One of the most well-known private museums, with artwork and collectibles dating from the sixth millennium BC to the twentieth century. The museum now features an even more extensive collection of jewelry, ceramics, marble portraits, manuscripts, religious icons, household utensils, costumes, and textiles from all periods of Greek history thanks to the generosity of prominent art collector Antonis Benakis, who also donated his stunning collection and stunning neoclassical family mansion.
National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens
Kallirrois Ave & Amvr. Frantzi St, Koukaki
A treasure for art enthusiasts in the vibrant Koukaki neighborhood's totally renovated old FIX brewery, one of Athens' most recognizable structures. Exhibitions exploring both timeless topics like democracy, identity, and exclusion - as well as modern ones like the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and racial prejudice - may be found in the 18,142 m2 of minimalist, well lighted gallery space.
Goulandris Museum of Modern Art
13 Eratosthenous St, Pangrati
It is astounding to consider that the 180 or so works, primarily by 19th and 20th-century masterpieces (such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, El Greco, Gaugin, and Pollock), were originally part of a couple's private collection in Athens.
Museum of the Ancient Agora
24 Adrianou St, Monastiraki
The restored Stoa of Attalos, a structure that King Attalus II of Pergamon gave to the Athenians in the second century BC, is home to the Museum of the Ancient Agora. Because the building once contained covered stalls for vendors to sell their wares, it has been compared to the first shopping arcade in ancient Athens. It exhibits artifacts discovered during the excavation of the Ancient Agora, ranging from commonplace objects like identification tags, a clay water clock, and official bronze voting ballots to portrait busts from the Roman era.
Byzantine and Christian Museum
22 Vassilissis Sofias Ave
A collection of about 2,500 items from the Byzantine and Christian eras in Greece, extending from the third century AD to the present. The Water Path, Woman, Peculiar Objects, Walking Beyond, and Gold are five broad "thematic routes" along which icons, wall paintings, manuscripts, ceramics, textiles, mosaics, and other objects are chronologically arranged. These routes provide glimpses into their eras' material culture and spiritual life.
National Historical Museum
13 Stadiou St, Syntagma
The Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece's artifacts is kept in the National Historical Museum, the country's first institution (founded in 1882). It was once housed at the National Technical College of Athens before being moved to the Old Parliament House, which housed the Hellenic Parliament from 1875 until 1935. From the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 until the Second World War, it comprises artifacts like weaponry, manuscripts, and a sizable collection of traditional costumes, focusing on Greece's 1821 War of Independence.
So, which museums are notable? You probably don't need much persuading to go to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens or the Acropolis Museum. Yet those exclusive museums housed in neoclassical structures seem rather unique, don't they? How about all that contemporary art? I bet you didn't anticipate that!
How to get to Athens
Travel to Athens, Greece: There are several methods to get there all year long, whether from somewhere else in Greece or overseas, as Athens is the capital and largest city in the entire country. Moreover, Athens serves as a transportation hub for the whole nation since, in many circumstances, getting to your final destination requires first traveling to Athens. You may learn more about all the different ways you can travel and see this fantastic city.
Remember to arrange your trip to your hotel or any other location in town by learning about your alternatives for local transportation!
Spata, 30 kilometers from the city center, is where you'll find the international airport. It gets several domestic and international flights daily. It has a consistent link to the Athens city center, Piraeus port, and Rafina port twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It provides year-round domestic flights to the Greek islands and international flights. The 40–60 minute flight from Athens to an island is a quick trip.
Three ports are located near Athens. The busiest port is Piraeus, which offers ferries to most Greek islands, Crete, and a few Peloponnese ports.
The nearest port to the airport is Rafina, which lies on the northeastern edge of Athens and services boats to southern Evia and the Cyclades islands.
At Cape Sounion, the port of Lavrion offers year-round ferries to Kea and Lemnos and summer ferries to a few Cyclades islands.
Across Greece, KTEL (suburban) buses link towns and suburbs. About all communities around the nation may be reached by bus from Athens. Kifissos KTEL Station and Liossion KTEL Station are Athens's two primary bus stations. Most buses leave from Kifissos Station, whereas a few buses to central Greece and certain places in northern Greece, such as Pieria, stop at Liossion Station.
Most trains leave from Larissis Train Station, which is near Athens's city center. The cheapest mode of transportation to Greece is via rail. However, trains often move slowly because they stop frequently. A significant portion of Greece's mainland is covered by its 2,500 km long railway network, which also connects it to Turkey and central Europe. There are slow and fast trains from Athens to Thessaloniki, with the slow train continuing on to Alexandroupoli.