Best art museums in Athens: discovering the city's artistic wonders

From ancient Cycladic figurines to avant-garde installations, the best art museums in Athens serve a visual feast for every taste and interest.

Athens is a city known for its iconic art that transcends time, drawing inspiration from its deep historical roots and thriving in contemporary expressions. This list of 10 of the best art museums in Athens will set you on a journey through a fascinating mix of ancient, Byzantine, folk, modern, and contemporary art.

Delve deep into minimalist marble figures at the Museum of Cycladic Art, marvel at Byzantine masterpieces at the Byzantine and Christian Museums, discover the world of contemporary European painting, and prepare to see provocative works up close. Whether you are an art lover or just an observer, these museums promise to surprise and inspire you with their diverse collections of art in Athens.


1. Museum of Greek Culture

The Museum of Greek Culture is a great place to learn about the rich history and culture of Greece. This branch of the Benaki Museum offers a comprehensive overview of Greek culture from prehistoric times to the present day. Visitors can embark on a journey through the vibrant tapestry of Greek history and tradition by exploring the museum's many exhibits.


Explore an extensive collection showcasing historical artifacts, traditional costumes, folk art, and more with a combo ticket pass for museums with hop-on, hop-off bus.

Address and opening hours:

Koumpari 1, Athina 106 74, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Open 10:00 AM-11:30 PM on Thursdays. Open 10:00 AM-4:00 PM on Sundays.


2. Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art

The Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art is a hub for modern artistic expression, housing a collection that spans the 20th century. A ticket to the Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art gets you into the museum that is the brainchild of the Goulandris family, renowned patrons of the arts.


Marvel at the works of giants like Picasso, Kandinsky, and Warhol, as well as the impressive roster of contemporary Greek artists.

Address and opening hours:

Eratosthenous 13, Athina 116 35, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Wednesday-Monday.


3. Museum of Cycladic Art

Dive into the ancient Cycladic culture at this unique museum, showcasing an impressive collection of marble figurines and artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age.


Take full advantage of your Museum of Cycladic Art ticket and take in the minimalistic Cycladic figurines, which have influenced a number of modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore.

Address and opening hours:

Neofitou Douka 4, Athina 106 74, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday-Saturday with the exception of Tuesday when it is closed. Open 11:00 AM-5:00 PM on Sundays.


4. Byzantine and Christian Museum

Visit the Byzantine and Christian Museum to see the artistic wonders of the Byzantine era, which features religious artifacts, iconography, and liturgical items from the 3rd to the 20th century.


Marvel at the rich collection of Byzantine icons on a 7-day grand tour of Greece, along with many other attractions.

Address and opening hours:

Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 22, Athina 106 75, Greece. Open 8:00 AM-8:00 PM except Tuesdays when it is open 1:00 PM-8:00 PM.


5. Museum of Islamic Art

The Museum of Islamic Art, a branch of the Benaki Museum, is an extraordinary display of Islamic culture, with artifacts dating from the 8th to the 19th century.


Admire the collection of ceramics, textiles, miniatures, and an exceptional array of metallic arts, particularly the Iznik ceramics and the well-preserved woodwork from Egypt, all making the price of admission to The Museum of Islamic Art well worth it.

Address and opening hours:

Αγ. Ασωμάτων 22 &, Dipilou 12, Athina 105 53, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Thursday-Sunday.


6. The Benaki Museum

Experience Greek culture through the ages at The Benaki Museum, one of the oldest and most beloved institutions in Greece. Its vast collection covers a wide spectrum, from antiquity to modern times, all covered by your ticket to The Benaki Museum.


Marvel at the extensive collection of Greek art, including icons, sculptures, ceramics, and paintings, and visit the impressive temporary exhibitions featuring international artists.

Address and opening hours:

Koumpari 1, Athina 106 74, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Open 10:00 AM-4:00 PM Sundays. Open 10:00 AM-11:30 PM Thursdays. Closed Tuesdays.


7. Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum

Dedicated to the art of jewelry and decorative arts, the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum offers a glittering display of over 4,000 pieces designed by the museum's founder, Ilias Lalaounis.


Stop by the museum as part of the combo ticket pass for museums and hop-on hop-off bus.

Address and opening hours:

Kallisperi 12, Athina 117 42, Greece. Open 9:00 AM-3:00 PM Monday-Saturday.


8. The Ghika Gallery

Part of the Benaki Museum, The Ghika Gallery is one of many art galleries in Athens. It is dedicated to showcasing the work of Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, one of Greece's most eminent 20th-century artists. It is also another museum included in the combo ticket pass for museums and hop-on hop-off bus. Housed in the artist's former residence, it is a unique testament to his multifaceted talent.


Experience the rich variety of Ghika's oeuvre, including paintings, sculptures, engravings, and architectural designs. The beautifully preserved home itself is a highlight, providing insight into the artist's daily life.

Address and opening hours:

Kriezotou 3, Athina 106 71, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Fridays and Saturdays.


9. Toy Museum

A fascinating journey through childhood nostalgia awaits at the Benaki Toy Museum. Housed in a beautiful fairy-tale-like mansion, the museum displays a vast collection of toys, games, and childhood items from around the world. The museum also hosts educational programs and workshops for kids.


Relive the joy of childhood as you explore toys from different eras and cultures, including rare antique dolls, whimsical wooden toys, and vintage board games.

Address and opening hours:

Λεωφ. Ποσειδώνος 14 &, Tritonos 1, Paleo Faliro 175 61, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Thursday-Sunday.


10. Museum of Illusions

Step into a world where nothing is as it seems at the Museum of Illusions. This unique space offers interactive exhibits that challenge perception and engage the mind through the world of illusions.


Explore fun and mind-boggling exhibits like the Vortex Tunnel, Infinity Room, and Anti-Gravity Room. For the price of a ticket to Athens Museum of Illusions, this museum is a perfect place for all ages to enjoy, making it a family favorite.

Address and opening hours:

Ermou 119 Entrance from, Astiggos 12, Athina 105 55, Greece. Open daily 10:00 AM-10:00 PM, stays open an hour later on weekends.


Are there any free-entry days for art museums in Athens?

Many art museums in Athens offer free admission on certain days, typically once a week or on national holidays. For example, the Museum of Cycladic Art offers free admission every Wednesday. However, these days can change, so it is recommended to check the museum's website for the most up-to-date information.

What are some unique and lesser-known art museums worth visiting in Athens?

In addition to its renowned art museums, Athens is also home to a number of unique and lesser-known gems that are worth visiting. The Museum of Greek Folk Art provides fascinating insights into traditional Greek culture, while The Breeder offers a platform for contemporary artists to showcase their cutting-edge work. The Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, meanwhile, reveals the artistry behind jewelry making.

Which art museums in Athens have works by famous artists?

Athens has several art museums that exhibit works by famous Greek and international artists. The National Gallery, Alexandros Soutzos Museum, has pieces by renowned Greek artists, such as El Greco and Nikos Engonopoulos. The Benaki Museum houses work by European masters like Picasso and Rodin, while the Frissiras Museum displays creations by acclaimed contemporary European painters.

Are the art museums in Athens wheelchair accessible?

Most art museums in Athens are committed to being accessible to all visitors and provide wheelchair access. Facilities can vary, however, so it's advisable to check the specific accessibility options on the museum's website or contact them directly if you have particular needs.

Are there any art museums in Athens that are suitable for children and families?

Many art museums in Athens are suitable for families and offer activities and exhibitions that are tailored to younger audiences. For example, the Benaki Museum frequently organizes educational programs and workshops for children, while the Museum of Cycladic Art offers a family-friendly interactive guide.