The National Archaeological Museum is the largest archaeological museum taking place in Greece. Established in 1829, the museum takes place on Patission Avenue in Athens.
It hosts many exhibits, collections, and findings some of which date back to antiquity. More than 11,000 exhibits exist in this Athens museum. Some of these exhibits date as far back as the Neolithic Period.
History of Athens National Archaeological Museum
The German architect Ernst ZillerIts designed the building, and it was completed in 1889.
At first, the museum aimed to exhibit the historical findings excavated in Athens. Later on, many other objects were added from throughout Greece.
There was a period when the museum’s building was closed during World War II. The country hid certain pieces against the plunder of German troops. In 1945, it was opened again at the end of the war.
The building covers an area of 8,000 square meters. On each floor, you’ll find several halls.
Exhibitions and Findings in Archeological Museum Athens
This National Archaeological Museum divides collections into certain categories. These include the Sculpture Collection, Prehistory Collection, and Metallurgy Collection. There’s also an art collection belonging to Ancient Egypt. This collection includes stone pots, mummies, jewelry, objects of marble and glass, and some ceramic objects.
The Prehistoric Antiquities Collection includes works from civilizations of the Neolithic, Cycladic, and Mycenaean. The Sculpture Collection displays sculptures from the 7th century B.C. until the 5th century A.D. The Metallurgical Works Collection exhibits miniature works, figurines, and statues that are unique.
Among these, there are some exhibitions that you must see when you come to the Archeological Museum Athens. Find the list below.
Zeus or Poseidon
This is a bronze statue from around 460 BC, found on the island of Euboea. Dates back to the Classical Period.
The Kore and Kouros
The Kore and Kouros are two statues discovered in 1972, created by Aristion of Paros around 550-540 BC. Kore is the young female and Kouros is the young male. The female statue is a completely intact one that belongs to the Archaic art.
Epinetra of Aphrodite
This one is the bust of a woman estimated to be Aphrodite. It dates back to 430-420 BC.
This is a piece made out of clay, supposed to be given as a wedding gift to a woman.
The Mask of Agamemnon
This one is a gold mask of Agamemnon, dating back to the Greek Bronze Age. The mask was discovered in 1876 in Mycenae.
The Antikythera Mechanism
The Antikythera Mechanism was found in 1901 on the coast of the Antikythera island. Before its discovery, it had been there under the sea for 2,000 years. The purpose of this mechanism is not clearly known yet. It has 30 mechanical gears.
Tombs of the Kerameikos
In the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos, skeletons were discovered following an excavation in 1891. There were two skeletons in good shape covered in mud. They date back to 460 BC. There are nine vases around this skeleton now in Athens National Archaeological Museum. The vases were traditional offerings in the era of Classical Athens.
The Horse and Jockey
The Horse and Jockey is another piece in completely good shape. The statue dates back to 140 BC. It was also discovered off the island of Euboea, like the statue of Zeus. It’s also surprising to see such a bronze item survive throughout the years. Because usually, people used to meet most of them back then.
The statue is 2.9 meters long and 2.1 meters high. One can see the goddess Nike’s image on the horse’s thigh.
Opening Hours of National Archeological Museum Athens
Greece National Archaeological Museum is open for seven days every week. Exceptions are the summer months and public holidays.
- On Monday: Open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Between Tuesday and Friday: Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- On Saturday and Sunday: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The museum is closed on
- Dec. 25 and 26,
- Jan. 1,
- March 25, and
- May 1.
The summer months are between April 1 and Oct. 31. Opening hours in the summer period are:
- On Monday: 8 a.m – 8 p.m.
- On Tuesday: 12.30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Between Wednesday and Sunday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The winter months are between Nov. 1 and Mar. 31. Opening hours in the winter period are:
- On Monday: 9 a.m – 4 p.m.
- On Tuesday: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Between Wednesday and Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The entrance fee for the National Archeological Museum Athens in the low season is €5. The low season is between November and March 31. The entrance fee in the high season is €10. The high season covers the period between April 1 and Oct. 31.
It’s also free to enter the museum for individuals under the age of 18.
You can reach the museum from various different locations in Athens.
The address of the museum is 44, 28th of October (Patission) Street.
You can reach the place from Omonoia or Victoria station on foot. The closest metro station is Victoria or Omonoia on the Green Line.
Places To See Near National Archaeological Museum
The following destinations are the nearby places to see when you’re around the museum:
- Lycabettus Hill: 1.3 km
- Numismatic Museum of Athens: 1.3 km
- Monastiraki: 1.5 km
- Kolonaki: 1.5 km
- Syntagma Square: 1.5 km