The National Archeological Museum is one of the world’s greatest museums and the largest in Greece. Initially it was supposed to house all artifacts found in and around Athens during the 19th century, but gradually artifacts from all over Greece were displayed.
Currently it houses around 20,000 exhibits providing rich information about Greece, from the Prehistoric times to Late Antiquity.
The neo-classical building which houses the Museum was built between 1866 and 1889. Over the years, new wings were added.
Location and Tickets
The easiest way to get to the Museum is with the Athens metro. The Museum is located on Patission Avenue. It takes 5 minutes to walk from Viktoria Station or 10 minutes to walk from Omonoia Station.
The ticket costs € 7 for an adult. There isn’t any entrance fee for children up to 6 years old. The museum is opened on Mondays from 1 PM to 7:30 PM and from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 AM to 3 PM. Don’t miss visiting the gift shop to get your own reproduction of items displayed in the museum.
There are five permanent collections housed by the National Archeological Museum in Athens:
- The Prehistoric Collection: includes works from the great civilizations which developed in the Aegean -Neolithic, Cycladic, Mycenaean- as well as artifacts from the prehistoric settlement at Thera.
- The Sculptures Collection: includes ancient Greek sculptures which date from the 5th to 5th century BC.
- The Vase and Minor Objects Collection: includes Greek pottery from the 11th Century BC to the Roman period as well as the Stathatos Collection, a collection of small objects from all periods.
- The Metallurgy Collection: contains statues, figurines and other small objects.
- Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection: it’s a unique collection in Greece, which comprises works dating from 5000 BC to the Roman conquest.
The Museum has conservation laboratories for pottery, metal, stone and organic materials, a photographic laboratory and a chemistry laboratory. It also posses a rich photographic archive and a library which is constantly renewed. Annually, the Museum organizes archeological lectures in its own lecture hall. It also functions as a research center for scholars and scientists from all over the world. Temporary exhibitions are organized both in Greece and abroad.
Although the entire museum is stunning, when visiting make sure not to miss:
- The Mask of Agamemnon
- The Theseus Ring
- Aphrodite and Pan from Delos
- The Harp Player from Keros
- Nestor’s Cup
- The Poseidon of Cape Artemision
- The Youth from Antikythera
- Jockey of Artemision
- Antikythera mechanism (ancient mechanical calculator)
- The spring fresco from Santorini
- The Diadoumenos of Delos
- Marble Sirens
- Statue of the goddess Themis
>>read more about other Museums in Athens