National Archaeological Museum, Athens

4.5
#2 of 539 in Museums in Greece
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. National Archaeological Museum is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Athens Edition.
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National Archaeological Museum Reviews
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4.6
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  • Excellent to visit if you are in Athens. We were speechless when you enter the halls where they house the masterpieces on display.
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  • This well maintained national museum offers a wonderful display of Greece's ancient history. We had a very knowledgeable guide, who led us through the impressive collections, all the way into the fasc...  more »
  • Live history of ancient and very young country. Amazing source of information, inspiration and better understanding of the roots of the civilization  more »
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  • It's a year since I visited and what I loved most was coming face to face with the hero's and villains I studied in ancient history. Seeing their personal possessions and weapons, most of all their humanity. The displays are well set out and have explanations in English and Greek. There are lifts within the museum but they are not obvious. If you need to use the elevators phone ahead and make sure they are all operating. There is a lovely cafe in a courtyard downstairs surrounded by enormous statues found in the Antikythera wreck and a magical garden. The main toilets are there as well as an interesting gift shop. I found the staff very helpful. Approaching staff with a smile and politeness helps. Hope you will enjoy your visit as much as I did, can't wait to go back!
  • Extensive and we'll presented collection of finds from the whole of ancient Greece including the Black Sea area and present day Turkey. Many are very well preserved some have been skilfully brought back to life. Most have captions in Greek and English.
  • Compliments a visit to Mycenea or the Acropolis. If you are blind they will arrange a free guide who will allow you to touch some of the artifacts. Incredible statues and artifacts.
  • A rich history. Ruins and archaeological things from various places like Mycenae. A great section on Egypt. What the museum lacks is someone explaining in detail about these things.
  • Nice museum. Amazing to see how well preserved all the relics are. Spent about an hour and a half and never ran out of things to read.

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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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