National Archaeological Museum

National Archaeological Museum

Discover the National Archaeological Museum of Athens: A Treasure Trove of Greek History

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is not only the largest museum in Greece but also one of the world’s premier museums, offering a comprehensive overview of Greek civilization from prehistoric times to late antiquity. Originally established to house artifacts from 19th-century excavations in and around Athens, the museum has since grown to include finds from all over Greece, making it a central repository of the nation’s archaeological heritage.

An Architectural Marvel

The museum itself is an architectural gem, housed in a grand neoclassical building designed by L. Lange and later remodeled by Ernst Ziller. This imposing structure, completed in the late 19th century, provides a fitting backdrop for the treasures it contains. The vast exhibition space, totaling 8,000 square meters, is spread across numerous galleries on multiple floors, creating a labyrinthine journey through the ages of Greek history.

Vast and Diverse Collections

The museum’s extensive collections boast over 20,000 exhibits, showcasing the richness and diversity of Greek art and culture. These collections are divided into five main categories:

  1. Prehistoric Collection: This collection includes artifacts from the great civilizations that developed in the Aegean from the sixth millennium BC to 1050 BC. Highlights include Neolithic artifacts, Cycladic figurines, Mycenaean treasures, and finds from the prehistoric settlement at Thera.

  2. Sculpture Collection: Here, visitors can trace the evolution of ancient Greek sculpture from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC. The collection features unique masterpieces that exemplify the skill and creativity of ancient Greek sculptors.

  3. Vase and Minor Objects Collection: This collection presents a wide array of ancient Greek pottery from the 11th century BC to the Roman period. It includes the renowned Stathatos Collection, which encompasses minor objects from various periods.

  4. Metallurgy Collection: This collection contains fundamental statues, figurines, and smaller objects crafted from metal, illustrating the technological advancements and artistic achievements of ancient Greek metalworkers.

  5. Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection: The only collection of its kind in Greece, this section includes artifacts from the pre-dynastic period (5000 BC) to the Roman conquest, offering a fascinating glimpse into the ancient civilizations of Egypt and the Near East.

Educational and Research Facilities

Beyond its impressive displays, the National Archaeological Museum serves as a vital research center. It houses a rich photographic archive and a library filled with rare publications, both of which support the work of its research staff and visiting scholars. The museum is also equipped with state-of-the-art conservation laboratories for metal, pottery, stone, and organic materials, ensuring the preservation of its priceless artifacts.

Additionally, the museum features temporary exhibition spaces, a lecture hall for archaeological lectures, and one of the largest shops of the Archaeological Receipts Fund, offering visitors a chance to purchase replicas and souvenirs.

Visitor Information

Opening Hours:

  • November 1st – March 31st:
    • Tuesday: 13:00 – 20:00
    • Wednesday to Monday: 08:30 – 15:30
  • April 1st – May 13th:
    • Tuesday: 13:00 – 20:00
    • Wednesday to Monday: 09:00 – 16:00
  • May 14th – October 31st:
    • Tuesday: 13:00 – 20:00
    • Wednesday to Monday: 08:00 – 20:00

Closed On:

  • December 25th – 26th
  • January 1st
  • March 25th
  • May 1st
  • Orthodox Easter Sunday

Admission Fees:

  • April 1st – October 31st: €12
  • November 1st – March 31st: €6

Contact Information:

  • Phone: +30 213 214 4800, +30 213 214 4856

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased here.


The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Greece. Its vast collections, educational resources, and stunning architecture offer an unparalleled glimpse into the ancient world. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a student of archaeology, or simply a curious traveler, the museum provides a rich and rewarding experience that will deepen your appreciation of Greece’s enduring legacy.

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