Historical Athens: 7 Interesting Museums & Exhibitions by Irene Cooper

Athens is a real city-museum.

Tourists who come to the metropolitan area of Attica, first of all, are interested in the Acropolis. In addition to the ancient hill with its famous Parthenon, there are still a huge number of other monuments and museums, which are known to a lesser extent.

Today we decided to focus on interesting museums and exhibitions, which you can visit even for free.


7 Museums to Visit in Athens

Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments

More than 1200 various musical instruments were collected by an avid Greek collector, researcher and musicologist – Fivos Anoyanakis. Here you can see old mandolins, lutes and cymbals, tambourines, bells and all kinds of drums. For these tools a three-stored mansion is specially allocated, which itself is an architectural landmark of Athens.


Museum of Maria Callas

Personal things, jewelry, concert costumes, photographs and portraits written by well-known artists of the last century, as well as audio and video recordings of the performances of the great opera diva – all this can be seen in the museum of Maria Callas, decorated and stylized as a theater.


Greek Children’s Museum

Located in the heart of Athens, this museum will be interesting for those who travel with children. Its exposition and game rooms are focused on kids from 3 to 12 years old. There is a “soap room” where you can have fun while experimenting with soap bubbles, or you can study geometric figures in the “Pythagoras room”. Many drawings and toys are made by children from different countries. Moreover, there is a unique store, where you can buy educational toys.


Museum of the History of the Greek Costume

The museum collection numbers more than 25 thousand items of national clothes and accessories of various ethnic groups from all regions of Greece. In addition, a very interesting copy of the costumes of the Minoan, Byzantine and Greek age are presented there. The pride of the museum are Chinese porcelain dolls from the collection of the Greek royal family, also dressed in national costumes.


Municipal Art Gallery

Presently, more than 2,5 thousand paintings, sculptures and engravings of the best Greek masters of the XIX-XX centuries have been collected in this museum. The main collection was formed by the city authorities in the 1930s-1940s, when works of art were purchased from private collectors, other art galleries and were simply received as a gift.


Postal & Philatelic Museum

This museum is a real godsend for philatelists, because Greek stamps are appreciated all over the world. The museum has a large collection of postage stamps, among which is the first Olympic ones, and other attributes of communication and connection. The crown-jewel of the collection is one of the rarest, and therefore very valuable stamp called “The Head of Hermes” – the first one, issued in Greece.


DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art

DESTE is the Foundation for Contemporary Art, created in Athens in 1983. This non-profit organization holds exhibitions of works by both famous and young artists who are just trying to make themselves known. Its main goal is to familiarize a wide audience with modern art by popularizing it, creating conditions for young artists for their self-realization and studying the connection between contemporary art and culture.

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