Athens is famous for her ancient history and there are many interesting archeological sites to visit in and around the city. Walking through the center of the city, inside the ancient walls of Athens, areas like Plaka, Keramikos and Thission, visitors can see parts of excavations of various periods. The many museums however, offer an in depth experience of the fascinating and multifaceted history of Greece.
The Acropolis Museum , Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, is an absolute must see. Inside the modern exterior visitors can discover the ancient aesthetic wisdom of the Acropolis and feel the atmosphere of ancient Athens. The Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, the Archaic Gallery and the Parthenon Gallery display sculptures, inscriptions, finds from sanctuaries, as well as objects used in everyday life. Visitors can also watch conservators working, speak to an archeologist host and acquire small souvenirs from the museum shop. The restaurant on the second floor offers a breath taking view of the Acropolis. www.theacropolismuseum.gr t. 210 9000900
The National Archeological Museum, Patision 44, the largest museum in Greece with more than 11.000 exhibits, offers a panoramic experience of Greek civilization from prehistory to late antiquity. Numerous galleries house five permanent collections, amongst which the sculpture collection with unique masterpieces. The Bronze Collection and the Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities offer a wide insight about these old and magnificent civilizations, with statues, figurines and minor objects. www.namuseum.gr t. 210 8217724
The Museum of Cycladic Art, Neofytou Douka 4, Kolonaki, is an exquisite location dedicated to the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus with Cycladic Art as the focus. Founded in 1986 it houses the collections of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris and since then has expanded to include new acquisitions, amongst which the collection of Cypriot antiquities, one of the largest in the world. Exhibitions of modern art also take place at the Cycladic museum. The museum shop offers a wide selection of exclusive gifts and the cafe is ideal for a light snack or coffee. www.cycladic.gr t. 210 7228323
The Benaki Museum, actually consists of three separate museums, each specializing in certain subjects and each with its own unique personality. Visit the oldest and main building on Koubari 1, right opposite the National Park, for the prehistoric, ancient Greek and Roman Art, historic heirlooms, Coptic, Chinese and pre-columbian art. The new building at 138 Pireos str houses the neohellenic architectural archives and many modern art exhibitions are held here. The Islamic art collections can be seen at the building in the Kerameikos district, Agion Asomaton 22, and include objects collected by Antonis Benakis himself in Egypt during the first decades of the 20th century. www.benaki.gr t. 210 3671000
At the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Vasilissis Sofias Ave, 22, religious artefacts of the Byzantine and later periods are exhibited, from all over Greece and regions where Greek civilization was present from the 3rd century AD up to recent times. The collections include icons, sculptures, ceramics, manuscripts, paintings and mosaics, divided into two sections, devoted to the earlier and the more recent periods. Situated in the elegant and atmospheric Villa Ilissia, built in 1840, which was the winter palace of the Duchess of Plaisance, Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, the Museum is an essential cultural reference point in Athens. www.byzantinemuseum.gr t. 213 2139572