Athens is known for it’s sun-bleached, blue-domed buildings, of course, its landmarks: the Acropolis, Parthenon and Temple of Zeus. But what other sites are worth seeing? Take a look at our must-see list of landmarks and museums that are worth the trip from free to paid options.
Top Free Museums
- Museum of Greek Popular Instruments: Next to many of the exhibits are headphones so that you can hear the instruments. You’ll also learn about different styles of music from all over Greece.
- Epigraphical Museum Centre of Folk Art & Tradition: This has almost 1,200 folk instruments and musical performances are held in the garden in the summer.
- The Museum of the History of Greek Costume: Costumes which have been collected since 1911 are here and it contains over 25,000 costume-related items from all of Greece as well as Asia Minor and the Balkans.
- Hellenic Children’s Museum: Interactive exhibits help children understand the world around them in this unforgettable museum.
Top Free Landmarks
Not all landmarks are free in Greece, let alone Europe, but the following are and you’ll be glad you visited them!
- The National Gardens: Home to 7,000 trees, 40,000 bushes and other plants, making up 519 species and varieties
- Aristotle’s Lyceum: This used to be one of the three oldest gymnasia in ancient Athen.,
- Antonis Tritsis Park
- Syntagma Square: The most important square in Athens; it is constantly crowded with locals and tourists alike
- Hadrian’s Arch: This monument was erected in 131-132 A.D. in honor of Roman Emperor Hadrian, a benefactor of the city of Athens.
- Temple of Olympian Zeus: This temple was developed over several centuries starting in 174 BCE and completed by Hadrian in 131 CE. Its incredibly tall columns and vast layout made it one of the largest ever built in the ancient world.
- The Panathenaic Stadium: One of the most popular attractions in Athens and is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.
Museums in Athens with Free Admission Days
- National Historical and Ethnological Museum: Free Every Sunday: You’ll find weapons, personal belongings of historical personalities, historical paintings, manuscripts, and a major collection of traditional Greek costumes from various regions.
- National Museum of Contemporary Art: Free Every Thursday Evening 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.: This is the only national institution that is solely dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary Greek and international art in Athens.
Top Museums in Athens with Entrance Fees
- The Acropolis Museum: One of the most popular places to see in Athens! This museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes at the Acropolis, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies over the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens.
- National Archaeological Museum: Perfect for your inner Indian Jones, this museum includes some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity.
- Goulandris Natural History Museum: This museum has vast collections of insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, shells, rocks, minerals and fossils, from the rich natural wildlife of the Greek territory. The botanical collections alone have over 200k000 species of plants, among which there are 145 newly discovered ones. This is an excellent museum particularly for anyone but especially for kids.
- The Kanellopoulous Museum: The collection has over 6,000 items ranging from the prehistoric period to the nineteenth century. The museum’s highlights include Byzantine art pieces.
- The Benaki Museum of Greek Culture: If you come to Athens but don’t visit museum, you will be missing out! You’ll find Greek works of art from the prehistorical to the modern times, an extensive collection of Asian art, special exhibitions and a state-of-the-art restoration and conservation workshop.
- Museum of Cycladic Art: The ancient Cycladic culture flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea from c. 3300 to 1100 BCE. More than 3.000 objects of Cycladic, Ancient Greek and Cypriot art (dating from the 5th millennium BC to the 6th century AD) are displayed in the galleries of the four floors.
- Museum of Greek Folk Art: This musem is made up of four buildings that explain Greek culture and traditions throughout the centuries.
- Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum: This very special museum was created by the renowned Greek jewellery designer Ilias Lalaounishas and has 50 collections that include over 4,000 jewels and small ornaments. The goal is to share the history and art of jewelry making.