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National Archaeological Museum, Athens

4.6
#2 of 354 in Museums in Greece
Art Museum History Museum
The largest of Athens' many museums, National Archaeological Museum houses a vast collection of ancient artifacts unearthed from a variety of excavation sites around Greece. The museum's world-famous Mycenaean collection includes the 19th century finds by archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, featuring golden funerary masks, relief stelae, alabaster tools, ivory carvings, and jewelry. The museum also displays a staggering array of ancient figurines, frescoes from the volcanic island of Santorini, and the oldest known mechanical computer, designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. There's so much to see here, it may take you several visits to absorb it all. Make your trip through ancient history a bit more comprehensible by arranging for a guided tour of the museum's most representative exhibits. Use our Athens vacation planner to add National Archaeological Museum and other attractions to your Athens vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
5,389 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • In a city with so much history and so many artefacts, this place is overflowing with exhibits. Only so much you can take in at once. We enjoyed several hours here but could easily have repeated visits...  more »
  • Not my kind cqe I saw few visitors is a great place coolness in sultry heat greco
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  • I had visited 30 years ago, it has changed little, but remains a must visit place for all lovers of history and archaeology. Upon entry to the Museum is the centerpiece of the place, says "Aggamenon" mask, but this isn't the only mask or object in gold to see. The muse is well structured. Very nice restaurant with garden in the basement.
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Google
  • This museum should be the stop of any tourist who wants to get a more in-depth view of the ancient history of Greece. A lot of the pieces you will see there have detailed explanations and all rooms presenting different periods include maps and a brief historical background. One of the most impressive things during my visit was a temporary exhibition on the story and myth of Odyssey. It was a very modern combinations of lights, sound, story and only a small number of very well selected items.
  • Classic historical museum with lots of white rooms and items arranged around them. If you're a fan of Greek history, there are some very exciting artifacts, but if you come with little foreknowledge, this will probably not pique your curiosity. Could be more engagingly presented. New exhibition on Odysseus is very well done.
  • Great museum showcasing the long history of Athens. I particularly enjoyed the sculpture section. There are som incredible treasures here. All signs are in English and Greek so everything can be clearly understood. A great place to go in the middle of the day to escape the heat of Athens.
  • Best museum for ancient Greece. Much better than British museum. Has some ancient Egypt items as well.
  • Such an incredible museum. Artifacts from all over Greece (except Crete) covering all the historic periods of Greek history, from prehistorical period through Roman

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Where to stay in Athens

If you come to Athens for its ancient history, stay in Plaka, a lively neighborhood located within walking distance of the city's major archaeological sites. Although relatively expensive, hotels in this part of town offer spacious rooms, private swimming pools, and rooftop cocktail bars. For less expensive but equally comfortable lodgings, consider boutique hotels and family-run inns in the quiet residential neighborhoods just a short drive south of Plaka. Good rooms fill up early in the season, so plan ahead and book in advance.
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