National Archaeological Museum in Athens

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Updated: August 9, 2022
By Santorini Dave

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Bronze sculpture of a man throwing a spear in the middle of a room of other Greek sculpture

The National Archaeological Museum is one of the only must-see Athens attractions that lies outside of the main tourist area. It’s well worth the quick trip to get there.

Tickets: (With audio tour and free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.)

In 1829, after the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman Empire, the National Archaeological Museum was the first museum established to house and protect antiquities from all over the country. Today it is the largest and still the best archaeological museum in Greece. Their vast permanent collection displays more than 11,000 exhibits of Ancient Greek art and artifacts, ranging from the Neolithic period to late antiquity. Permanent exhibits include Neolithic, Egyptian, Mycenean, and Cycladic antiquities, as well as impressive sculpture and metalwork collections. Most visitors spend a few hours here, but there’s a convenient (and lovely) garden cafe located right outside the main entrance that’s a perfect place for day-long visitors to refuel and rest weary legs. Fantastic gift shop, too.

It’s easy to visit on your own, but a private tour guide can help save time and enhance your experience. Located in central Athens’ Exarcheia neighborhood next to Athens Polytechnic University, the Archaeological Museum is one of the few top attractions in Athens that isn’t very near the Plaka/Acropolis area, so visitors will need to take a taxi (5 minutes), metro (10 minutes), or walk about 25 minutes from Plaka or Syntagma Square.

National Archaeological Museum Hours and Information

  • Hours: 8:30am – 13:30pm Wednesday to Monday, 1pm – 8pm Tuesdays (November through March); 8am – 8pm Wednesday to Monday, 1pm – 8pm Tuesdays (April through October). Closed December 25-26, January 1, March 25, Orthodox Easter Sunday, May 1.
  • Website:
  • Location: 28is Oktovriou 44
  • Telephone: +30 213 214 4800
  • Admission Fee: 12€ April through October; 6€ November through March. A 3-day 15€ museum pass is available that includes admission for the National Archaeological Museum, Epigraphic Museum, Numismatic Museum, and Byzantine and Christian Museum.
  • Free Entry: March 6, April 18, May 18, the last weekend of September, October 28, and the first Sunday of each month from November 1st until March 31st.
  • Parking: Street parking, nearby pay lots
  • Nearest Metro: Omonia or Victoria

National Archaeological Museum

Large peach neoclassical building with white pillars, flying a Greek flag

Entrance to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, located in the Exarcheia neighborhood.

Room of sculptures, centered around a bronze sculpture of a man throwing a spear

The museum’s best-known artifacts are this Artemision Bronze sculpture meant to represent Zeus (or possibly Poseidon) …

A man paints a sculptiure of a young boy riding a horse

… and the bronze Jockey of Artemision.

Ancient terra cotta vase with decoration

Display cases of ancient metalwork

Display cases with ancient jewelry and artifacts

A man looks at marble sculptures in a museum

Marble sculptures displayed in a museum

Marble sculpture of a man on a horse, missing a head

Room of sculptures in a museum

Marble sculptures in a museum

Marble sculptures in a museum

Marble sculptures in a museum

Displays of ancient decorated pots and jars

Displays of ancient artifacts in a museum

An ancient fresco displayed in a museum

Escalator leading down to the Omonia underground metro station in Athens.

The National Archaeological Museum is easy to reach from Plaka or Syntagma Square via metro (Omonia or Victoria Station).

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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio. Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loved Greece, travel, and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers on a mission to deliver the most helpful travel content on the internet. We specialize in Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece and recommend the best hotels, best neighborhoods, and best family hotels in top destinations around the world. We also make hotel maps and travel videos. I can be contacted at