This stunning new museum on Athens’ ancient hill has become one of the city’s most visited attractions.
The new Acropolis Museum houses one of the world’s finest collections of artefacts from classical antiquity in an award-winning building representing the pinnacle of modern architectural imagination and creativity.
The museum is built on the historic site of Makryginnia to the south east of the Parthenon and was finally completed in 2007 after three decades of planning and construction. It offers over 14,000 square metres of space, around ten times more than its predecessor, and houses some 4,000 exhibits tracing life on Athens’ “sacred rock” from prehistoric times to the middle ages.
The museum is entered from the pedestrian street of Dionysios Areopagitou which links it with the Acropolis itself. Get your bearings first by making for the Parthenon Gallery at the top level, which offers a 360-degree panorama of the ancient monuments of the Acropolis and the modern city of Athens beyond, before heading down to explore the rest of the museum more thoroughly. The permanent collection offers a fascinating overview of Athenian art and culture, while a varied programme of temporary exhibitions focuses on different aspects of ancient Greek history.
On the first floor you can peer down into a real archaeological excavation, with ruins dating from the 4th to 7th centuries spread out beneath your feet. The second floor houses a cafe where you can enjoy magnificent views of the Acropolis while sampling a traditional Greek breakfast or lunch in between admiring the exhibits. On Friday evenings the restaurant serves a special gourmet menu until midnight.
The Acropolis Museum is open every day except Mondays and some major holidays and there is a small admission fee. It is well served by public transport to the Acropolis. You should plan to spend several hours here to get the most from your visit.