The 8 must see museums in Athens, Greece

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Are you traveling to Athens, Greece?  It is a wonderful city to visit, full of such amazing history and culture.

And one way to really understand this history and culture is by visiting one of the museums in Athens.  They have a lot of wonderful museums, and today I want to tell you about some of these museums.  These are museums that will really give you a sense of Greek culture and history.

I will tell you how you can skip the lines for some of these museums.  This will help you save time during your trip so you’ll be able to see everything you want.

After that, I’ll tell you how to save money on museum tickets.

1. Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum is like a history book but in a building form.  There are relics of the Temple of Athena Nike.  You can see Gigantomachy, the battle between the Gods of Olympus and the giants, depicted via sculptures.  There’s even an Acroplis built in LEGO bricks.

The Acropolis Museum has exhibits covering the period from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD featuring archaic statues.    You’ll learn so much about ancient Greek history.

You can purchase a skip-the-line ticket to the Acropolis Museum here.  By the way, there are a limited number of audioguides included in this ticket that are in English, so arrive early if you want to take advantage of them!

2. National Archaeology Museum

Learn about ancient Greek and Egyptian culture and explore a building full of priceless Greek heirlooms at the National Archaeology Museum.  The National Archaeology Museum actually features the world’s best collection of ancient Greek art.  It’s displayed chronologically from 7000 BC to 500 AD.

Once again you can skip the line with this National Archaeology Museum skip-the-line ticket.

3. Benaki Museum of Greek History & Culture

The Benaki Museum of Greek History & Culture features a delightful collection of artifacts from a great variety of periods.  You’ll see artifacts from ancient times (like ancient Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and Ottoman) to modern Greece.  An added bonus of visiting this museum is that it is located in one of Athens’ most beautiful neoclassical buildings.

Once again, you can get a skip-the-line ticket for the Benaki Museum of Greek History & Culture here.

4. Museum of Cycladic Art

The world’s largest collection of Cycladic Art can be found at the four stories of the Museum of Cycladic Art.  It’s a wonderful look into the Early Cycladic period and a great peak at the third millennium BC civilization on the islands of the central Aegean.  You’ll see bronze tools, weapons, pottery, and more.  You’ll also get to see artifacts from the Classic Hellenistic periods (5th to 1st centuries BC) with items centered on gods and heroes, weddings, athletics, warfare, and more.

You can get a skip-the-line ticket to the Museum of Cycladic Art here.

5. War Museum of Athens

At the War Museum of Athens, you’ll learn more about famous wars Greece has been part of starting with Alexander the Great as well as Greek military history.  They’ve got a very large collection of weapons from the Napoleonic Wars, the European Renaissance, and the Greek Revolution.  You can also great video clips from World War I and learn about Nazi occupation, resistance, and liberation during World War II.

You can book a skip-the-line ticket to the War Museum here.

6. Athens Olympic Museum

Did you know that the first modern Olympics was held in 1896 in Athens, Greece?  So it is only fitting that there is an Olympic Museum in Athens.  You’ll get to walk through the history of the Olympics, from the very first one to the contemporary period.  You’ll see significant items from the Olympic’s history as well as exhibits highlighting the people and athletes who made significant contributions to the Olympic Games.

You can get a Skip-The-Line Olympics Museum ticket here.

7. Benaki Museum of Islamic Art

You’ll find one of Europe’s most comprehensive collections of Islamic art at the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art.  This museum has pieces from Cairo, Mesopotamia, and Tiberias.  You’ll even be able to see eighth-century wooden doors from Mesopotamia.

And while it is not a skip-the-line ticket, you can find a Benaki Museum of Islamic Art ticket here.

8. The Jewish Museum of Greece

Many Jewish communities can trace their roots back to ancient Greece.  There were 78,000 Jewish people living in Greece before the Holocaust but tragically 85% of them died during the Holocaust.  This museum traces the history of Jewish people in Greece from the second century B.C. to present day.  You’ll see over 8,000 Jewish artifacts and displays on topics like Jewish holidays, Zionism, the Nazi Occupation and the Holocaust, traditional dress, and more.  They also have a replica synagogue with worship items.  You can find out more about the Jewish Museum of Greece here.

Athens Museum Pass

Visiting multiple museums?  One way to save money on this is with the Athens Museum Pass.  It gets you admission into the following museums:

  • Acropolis Museum – Skip the line
  • Museum of Cycladic Art
  • Athens Olympic Museum
  • Museum of Islamic Art
  • Athens War Museum
  • Museum of Ancient Greek Technology – Museum of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments
  • EUREKA Exhibition – Herakleidon Museum
  • Museum of Illusions Athens
  • The Ghika Gallery
  • Hellenic Motor Museum
  • Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum
  • Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation
  • Athens Toy Museum
  • Museum of Greek Culture

You also get admission to other Athens attractions as well:

  • Acropolis & Parthenon Entrance – Skip the Line
  • Temple of Zeus – Skip the Line
  • Kerameikos Ancient Cemetery – Skip the Line
  • Ancient Agora of Athens – Skip the Line
  • Panathenaic Stadium – Skip the Line
  • Athens Hop-on Hop-off Bus (2 Days)
  • Acropolis & Parthenon Audio Guide
  • Video and Audio Geolocated Self-Guided Tour

You can purchase the Athens Museum Pass here.

Additional Athens Travel Information

If you’re planning a trip to Athens, then I recommend consulting the book Rick Steves Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese, which you can find here.  I am a big fan of this book.  I consulted it to write this blog entry.  It could prove useful in planning for your trip, too.