Benaki Toy Museum

Benaki Toy Museum: A Journey Through Childhood


Nestled in the scenic district of Palaio Faliro, the Benaki Toy Museum is a treasure trove dedicated to the whimsical world of toys, games, and the essence of childhood. This enchanting museum, housed in the historic Kouloura Building, is a must-visit for families, toy enthusiasts, and anyone curious about the evolution of playthings across cultures and eras.

The Heart of the Collection: Maria Argyriadi’s Donation

The Benaki Toy Museum’s extensive collection is built around the generous donation from Maria Argyriadi. Established in 1991, the museum’s Department of Childhood, Toys, and Games features over 20,000 items. These artifacts span from antiquity to the 1970s, originating from Greece and the broader Greek world, as well as from Europe, America, Africa, and the East.

Exploring the Collection

Greek Toys and Games

The museum’s Greek section offers a fascinating journey through time. It includes:

  • Ancient Toys: Infants’ and children’s toys from the classical, Roman, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine periods.
  • Traditional Toys: Handmade toys from the 18th to the 20th century, showcasing the creativity and craftsmanship of Greek artisans.
  • Festival Items: Articles from various country festivals, adding a festive flair to the collection.
  • Commercial Products: 20th-century commercial toys, reflecting the industrialization of toy production.
  • Team and Board Games: A variety of games that highlight social and recreational activities in Greek culture.
  • Seasonal Games: Items associated with traditional Greek festivities and holidays.

Additionally, the collection includes reconstructions of popular toys from the early 20th century, created by members of the K.A.P.I. (Centres for the Open Protection of the Aged), offering a nostalgic glimpse into the past.

European and Global Toys

The European segment of the collection features:

  • Urban and Rural Dolls and Games: Artifacts from the 17th to the 20th century, primarily from England, France, and Germany.
  • Regional Costume Dolls: 19th and 20th-century European dolls dressed in traditional costumes from different regions of Greece.

This section highlights the diversity and richness of toy-making traditions across Europe, providing a comparative look at childhood and play in various cultural contexts.

A Hub for Learning and Research

The museum is not just a place for display but also a center for research and education. It boasts a specialist library with over 3,000 books and studies related to children, toys, and games. The library includes:

  • Archival Sources: Documents and photographs that provide historical context and insights into the production and use of toys.
  • Information on Greek Manufacturers: Details about the history and evolution of toy manufacturing in Greece.
  • Children’s Literature and Education: A collection of works that explore the role of toys and games in children’s literature and educational practices.
  • General Reference Works: Resources that support broader research into the themes of childhood and play.

Visiting the Benaki Toy Museum

The Benaki Toy Museum offers an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Here’s what you need to know before planning your visit:

  • Location: 14 Poseidonos & 1 Tritonos St, 175 61 Palaio Faliro
  • Opening Hours:
    • Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00
    • Closed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and during August.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the official ticketing page.


The Benaki Toy Museum is more than just a collection of toys; it is a celebration of childhood and the universal joy of play. Whether you are a historian, a parent, or simply someone with a love for toys, this museum offers a delightful and informative journey through the world of toys and games. Plan your visit and rediscover the magic of your childhood today.

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