In this city, archaeological research and collective works never cease. Treasures from bygone eras are continually coming to light and we gain a wider understanding of the historical evolution of Attica region with every new discovery. Athens is loaded with archaeological sites, museums, Byzantine churches, urban sculptures and libraries, and important buildings that tell a different story about this unique land. At the same time, you can get acquainted with the Greek modern and contemporary art browsing in the area’s small galleries and art spaces: A vibrant reflection of contemporary Greek life.
The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece and one of the most important in the world. It was originally built to secure all the 19th century excavations, mainly from the region of Attica, but also from other parts of the country. It gradually became the main national archaeological Museum and was enriched with finds from various periods of Greek history. Its rich collections, listing more than 11,000 exhibits, offer visitors an inside view of the ancient Greek Civilisation dating back from the beginnings of prehistoric times to the late antiquity. The museum is housed in an imposing neoclassical building, built in the late 19th century with plans by L. Lange. However, it was finally remodelled by Ernst Ziller.
Listed in the world’s top 20, the new Acropolis Museum is home to unique masterpieces, mainly from the Archaic and Classical periods. All exhibits are directly connected to the Acropolis and offer panoramic views of the monument from the museum’s halls. The exhibits once decorated the buildings that were constructed during the Acropolis’ various historical periods. Unfortunately, not all the exhibits are original. Various sculptures from Greece are now scattered around Europe,
in museums such as the British Museum and the Louvre.
Founded by Antonis Benakis in 1930 and subsequently donated to the Greek Estate in 1931, the Benaki Museum is housed in the Benakis family mansion in downtown Athens. It is best described as the museum of Greek Civilization in all its manifestations and it presents historical and cultural development of Hellenism within its geographical and evolutionary context, from prehistory to the present. Its priceless collections depict masterpieces from the Neolithic Age, the Antiquity and the Roman Era to the Byzantine Age, and from the fall of Constantinople, the period of Frankish rule and the Ottoman Occupation, to the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. The collections also include works of art from the time of the formation of the Modern Greek State until the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922. Nestling in the family’s three storey home, its exhibits include pieces from the prehistoric to the modern period and cover representative works of all eras of Greek history. Benaki Museum Pireos
Dedicated to studying and promoting the Aegean’s and Cyprus’ ancient cultures, the Cycladic Art Museum was founded in 1986.It’s initial purpose was to house Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris’ private collection. The museum’s highlight is without doubt the Cycladic art exhibits, dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. Nowadays, the museum focuses on three major subjects: Cycladic Art, Ancient Greek Art and Ancient Cypriot Art. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop, where you will find books and interesting exhibition volumes. Crowds tend to meet for coffee at the museum’s coffee shop
The Greek Car Museum nestles in downtown Athens in the Capitol Mall and offers 3 floors of transportation vehicles. Visitors can admire a collection of 72 masterpieces from the global automobile industry, from 300 BC to the late 20th century. But this museum’s highlight is, without a doubt, the F1 driving simulator. Visitors can step into this accelerator without worrying about being caught in a traffic jam. They are also given the opportunity to see an old garage. No visit can be complete here without dropping into the coffee shop and gift shop
The Benaki Museum of Islamic Art is the only museum of its kind in Greece, featuring a unique collection of world-renowned artifacts, one of the top-ten collections worldwide. Visitors can follow the development of Islamic art up to the 19th century through over 8,000 samples of pottery, metalwork, jewellery, weaving, woodcarving, glass, bone objects, inscribed tombstones, weapons and the interior of a marble reception of a 17th cent. Cairo mansion.
The building at 3 Kriezotou Street belonged to the reknowned Greek artist Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, who donated it to the Benaki Museum, in 1991. The Ghika Gallery attests to the exceptional intellectual and artistic output of Greece, throughout a particularly critical era. The exhibition presents the work of an outstanding generation, projecting the inter-connections between its representatives and their relations with the European avant-garde of the time.
The Museum of the City of Athens – part of the Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation – is housed in two historic buildings. Its main theme is no other than the City of Athens. The museum houses the original 1842 template of the modern city of Athens, as well as paintings, prints, sculptures, historic furniture and other objects, carpets, musical instruments, photographs, historical documents, rare books and memorabilia.
The Kerameikos is an ancient cemetery. Thus, the museum almost exclusively houses funeral exhibits. The excavations were carried out by the German Archaeological Institute and though the museum is simple and small, it is home to many important items.