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Museums in Athens: where do I start?

Frustrating, isn't it?

 

You book the flights, the hotel and then ask yourself that very question. Big cities do have a lot of museums and for those who are not exactly history buffs, it's difficult to know which ones to choose and which ones to leave for the next time. 

 

I quite follow the same process simply by asking myself what do I like? I know it is interesting - lots of things are - but if I have let's say 4 days to enjoy in Athens, would I really fancy going to the War Museum? The answer for me is no, but for you might be yes! When it comes to museums you have the iconic ones, the absolute must-sees (think Louvre) and then there are smaller ones, that can actually be fascinating.

 

DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT LEAVING THE BIG NAMES OUT AND OPT FOR THE SMALLER ONES INSTEAD 

It's your trip after all, you call the shots!

 

As per Athens, here's our top museum list! Ask yourself the question and trust your gut! 

 

THE ACROPOLIS MUSEUM 

This one falls into the must category. Arguably, the best museum in the city, the Acropolis museum is ultra-sleek and modern on the outside and super ancient on the inside. Artifacts there date way back in time, most found at the Acropolis region and some that have found their way back home from other museums, such as the Vatican. The second floor is dedicated to the Parthenon. The glass floor reveals wonders and there's a certain grandeur to be found everywhere. 

travel12 tip: Have lunch at the Acropolis museum! Views are amazing! You can also use the metro to reach the museum as it's just outside the Acropolis station. 

 

THE MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART 

A neoclassical mansion with wooden floors and refined aesthetics by Ernest Ziller, has been transformed into an exquisite museum, courtesy of the Goulandris family. There are two different interconnecting buildings, one for the permanent exhibitions and one for the periodical ones. Inside you can find Greek, Cycladic and Cypriot artifacts. The jewelry alone will entice you

travel12 tip: the Cycladic cafe is an absolute must watering hole!

 

THE BENAKI MUSEUM

Nestled within an amazing neoclassical building that will make architecture buffs exited, the Benaki museum is a beacon of culture for Greece. You will experience the entire Greek history as told through art.

photo courtesy of: www.fortunegreece.com

 

It's latest addition, namely the Toy Museum, will bring back all your childhood memories.

photo courtesy of: www.elculture.gr

 

travel12 tip: Don't pass on the museum's cafe. It has amazing surroundings that make an excellent spot for quick lunch or a cup of coffee. 

 

HELLENIC MOTOR MUSEUM 

A trip back in time! Polished, shiny cars dating back in time will transfer you in another era. The collection today approaches about 300 cars, ranging from Veteran to Vintage, post-Vintage, Classic, Post-classic and modern. 

 

EMST | NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART 

Located within the the former Fix brewery on Syngrou Ave., EMST is the latest addition in the Athenian Museum list. The Museum’s collection is formed around a very important nucleus of works by Greek and foreign artists, such as Stephen Antonakos, Constantin (Dikos) Byzantios, Vlassis Caniaris, Chryssa, Mona Hatoun, Gary Hill, Emily Jacir, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Nikos Kessanlis, Jannis Kounellis and many more!

travel12 tip: finish the day with a wine tasting course at nearby BoBo, an Art Deco style winebar in-the-know! You can go by metro, just hop off at Syggrou-Fix station. 

 

BYZANTINE AND CHRISTIAN MUSEUM 

If you are interested in religion meets culture exhibitions, that's the one for you. The Museum is a veritable treasury of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art and culture with about 25,000 artifacts in its possession.

 

ILIAS LALAOUNIS JEWELRY MUSEUM 

photo courtesy of: www.lalaounis-jewelrymuseum.gr

 

Located just a breath away from the Acropolis, in a neoclassical building from the 30s' this museum is like nothing you have ever seen. Entirely dedicated to the Greek jewelry design and decorative arts that inspire designers up until today due to elegance and timeless patterns, the museum is perfect for all regardless of age. 

travel12 tip: You can do your own piece of jewelry!

 

PLATO'S DIGITAL MUSEUM

A lesser known museum, located where the Academy of Plato used to be. It is a new digital, interactive multimedia museum that highlights the historical and archaeological evidence of the Academy and approaches philosophy and ideas using the latest technologies.

Are you ready to enter the world of ideas? 

 

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