Athens Greece Guide
The Complete travel Guide to Athens and Greece


The National Archaeological Museum, Athens


The National Archaeological Museum

Artemisium Bronze
Artemisium Bronze is 2.09m high statue of either Zeus or Poseidon as it is missing either a thunderbolt or a trident. It was found in the sea just off Cape Artemisium in Eubea, it dates from 460 - 450 BC.

The National Archaeological Museum is considered one of the most important museums in the world having such an amazing collection of ancient artefacts.

History of the museum

The original museum was built on the Island of Aigina, in the Saronic gulf in 1829. After that it was moved around in exhibitions. It wasn't until 1889 that its present home a Neoclassical building in Exarhia (a district of central Athens) was constructed and the collections moved there. The artefacts have been here since that time except for a short period during WW11 when all the major items were buried in a secret place to prevent the Nazis from stealing them.

The boy jockey
The Boy Jockey is a life size (84cm tall) bronze statue of a boy on a horse it was discovered in a shipwreck near Artemesium and dates from 220BC.

The museum is split up into different collections

Prehistoric collection

The Prehistoric collection this collection display artefacts from the Neolithic era roughly between 6800-3000 BC, Early and mid-bronze age between 3000-1700 BC.

Cycladic art collection

The Cycladic art collection are finds such as marble figurines which have influenced modern art. These tiny sculptures date back to the 3rd millennium BC from cemeteries through out the Cyclades islands in the Aegean.

Mycenaen collection

The Mycenaean art collection is finds from the bronze age Mycenaean civilization which include gold death masks, stone stellars, bronze weapons, cups, rings, ivory and figurines. The artefacts come from all over Mycenaean sites through out Greece - Tiryns, Pylos, Mycenae etc.

Golden death mask
Golden death mask or Mask of Agamemnon, found by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 in Grave circle A, Mycenae. Dates from the 16th century BC

Some of the major finds like the death masks were discovered by Heinrich Schliemann at the Grave circle A in Mycenae.

Egyptian Collection

The Egyptian art Collectionis one of the best Egyptian collections in the world with donations from not only the Egyptian government but many private collectors. Out of over 6000 artefacts only 1100 are displayed to the public. The collection features mummies, jewels, tools, statues and even a half eaten loaf of bread dating back 3000 years ago.

Antikythera Ephebe
The Antikythera Ephebe is a bronze statue of a youth. It was discorvered in 1900 by sponge divers at a shipwreck off the coast of Anticathode.

Stathatos Collection

The Stathatos collection has about 1000 items of pottery, vases and jewels dating from the Bronze age up until post-Byzantine. The collection is named after the donors of the collection - Antonis and Eleni Stathatos.

Library of Archaeology

The Library of Archaeology is now named after Alexander Onassis after renovations funded by his foundation. The library contains 20,000 volumes of rare books including arts, religion, history and even diaries of archaeological excavations like that of Heinrich Schliemann.

Silver and Gold Rhyton, 16th century BC, Grave circle A, Mycenae. Silver and gold Rhyton

Antikythera mechanism, was found of the coast of Antikythera in 1900, and dates to 150-100 BC and is believed to be some type of calendar.

 mycenaen krater
Large Mycenaen Krater, depicting fully armoured warriors departing for battle. 12th century BC.

Information on the National Archaeological Museum in Athens

The National Archaeological Museum is must for anyone interested in history. The museum is one of the top five imortant museums in the world and is number one on finds from ancient Greece.

Opening hours: Monday: 13:30-20:00 Tuesday - Sunday: 08:00-20:00

Entrance fee: 7 Euros per person, 3 Euros for EU senior citizens (over 65) and students from outside the EU. Free for EU students and people under 19 years old.

Location: Patisson Avenue, Exarhia.

Nearest Metro Station: 5 minutes from Victoria and 10 minutes from Omonoia