The Acropolis Museum, down the slope of the Acropolis, is one of the most important and most visited museums in Athens.
In this complete guide to the Acropolis Museum in Athens, you'll learn all about the exhibition, history, and helpful information about how to get there, tickets, and tours.
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What Can I Do in the Acropolis Museum?
The Acropolis Museum exclusively presents archaeological finds from the area around the Acropolis on an exhibition area of around 14,000 m². The exhibits cover a period from the archaic age to late antiquity.
You can discover the numerous treasures of the important temple complex spread over three floors and thus gain an insight into Ancient Greece. See here some highlights:
1. Gallery of the slopes of the Acropolis
On the ground floor the gallery of the slopes of the Acropolis awaits you. On display are a number of everyday objects that come from the settlements at the foot of the Acropolis, as well as finds from the sanctuaries built on the slopes of the Acropolis. A special feature is that the floor is partly made of glass, giving a view of the archaeological excavation site.
2. Archaic Gallery
The first floor, with the Archaic Gallery, is dedicated to the magnificent sculptures of the first major temples on the Acropolis, as well as votive offerings such as statues, figurines, marble reliefs and smaller bronze and clay objects. The highlight here are the "koren", ancient marble figures of girls, which once decorated the southern porch of the Erechteion on the Acropolis hill. Also on this floor is a gallery dedicated to the Propylaea, the Temple of Nike and the Erechtheum.
3. Parthenon Hall & Parthenon Frieze
The heart and absolute crowd puller of the Acropolis Museum is the Parthenon Hall with the world-famous Parthenon Frieze. You will find it on the 3rd floor of the museum, which, like the Parthenon temple itself, was designed as a glass cube just 300 meters from its place of origin.
The temple frieze illustrating the procession of the Panathenaea is presented in its original order in the center of the room. You can get an idea of the full splendor and grandeur of the 160-meter-long frieze that once adorned the Acropolis's Parthenon temple.
Around half of the marble pieces are the originals from the Parthenon temple in the Acropolis. The precious temple frieze was specially designed with concrete casts to replace the missing marble slabs, much of which is on display in the British Museum.
You can also take a look at the metopes. They are relief panels of the outer entablature with mythological depictions, as well as the sculptures of the gables.
Thanks to the glass walls, the exhibition rooms are always flooded with sunlight. A special impression is created when the Parthenon frieze is reflected by the black glass walls and is thus visually reunited with the real Acropolis.
4. Excavation Site Under the Museum
There is also an excavation site under the Acropolis Museum. Visitors can discover an ancient Athenian neighborhood by strolling through the excavation site. In this way it is possible to understand how life and activities from the 4th millennium B.C. to the 12th century AD.
5. Temporary Exhibition
The museum offer is regularly enriched by temporary exhibitions. A current overview and preview can be found here.
6. Museum Restaurant & Café
You can take a breather in the museum's café and enjoy the view of the archaeological site through the transparent glass floor. The café is on the ground floor and can also be visited without an entrance ticket.
In addition to its culinary offerings, the restaurant on the 2nd floor also offers a panoramic view of the Acropolis.
7. Museum Gift Shop
There are two museum shops in the museum, which offer a wide range of books, postcards, stationery, jewelry, useful everyday objects and various souvenirs for sale.
Admission, Tickets, Guided Tours & Hours
How Do I Get to the Acropolis Museum?
The Acropolis Museum is located in the central district of Makrijannis, about 300 meters south of the Acropolis. The easiest way to get to the museum is to take the Metro 2 to the “Acropolis” station or the Hop on Hop off bus tour to the A3 “Acropolis Museum” station.
Trolleybuses 1, 5 and 15 and several regular buses also go near the Acropolis Museum (stop: “Makriyianni”).
Visitors arriving from the Piraeus cruise port can go to the nearby Piraeus Metro Station and board the M1 line. A single ticket is sufficient for the journey to “Monastiraki” station. From there it is a 14-minute walk to the Acropolis Museum. It is even easier with the hop-on hop-off bus tour, which has stops directly at passenger terminals A (P1) and B (P2), and goes to station P5 “Acropolis Museum”.
The main entrance is at the beginning of the Dionysou Areopagitou pedestrian street.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The Acropolis Museum is located 300 meters south of the Acropolis in the central Makrijannis district. The main entrance to the museum is at the beginning of the Dionysou Areopagitou pedestrian street. The full address is: Acropolis Museum, Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, 11742 Athens
You can easily reach the Acropolis Museum by public transport. The easiest way is to take subway 2 to station “Acropolis” or take the hop-on hop-off bus tour to station A3 “Acropolis Museum”.
Alternatively, you can take trolleybuses 1, 5 and 15 as well as several regular buses (bus stop: “Makriyianni”).
Visitors arriving from the Piraeus cruise port can go to the nearby Piraeus Metro Station and board the M1 line. A single ticket is sufficient for the journey to “Monastiraki” station. From there it is a 14-minute walk to the Acropolis Museum. It's even easier with the hop-on hop-off bus tour, which has stops right at Passenger Terminal A (P1) and B (P2), and goes to stop P5 “Acropolis Museum”.
The regular opening hours of the Acropolis Museum differ depending on the season.
In summer (1 April – 31 October) the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
During the winter season (November 1 – March 31), the Acropolis Museum is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m open.
The current opening hours of the Acropolis Museum can be found on the museum's official website.
History of the Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is just 300 meters from the source of his finds.
The beginnings of the museum date back to 1863, when it was first decided to build an Acropolis Museum south-east of the Parthenon.
Two years later, construction work began on an 800 m² museum, which, however, quickly proved insufficient to exhibit the numerous finds.
The second museum was built in 1937 in a hollow on the rock of the Acropolis. As the number of visitors grew steadily over the following decades, the small museum could no longer cope with the masses of visitors.
For this reason there were increasing calls in the 1970s to build a new museum. After several competitions, the decision fell on the modern design by Bernard Tschumi. Construction began in 2002. After 7 years of construction, the "new Acropolis Museum", as it is still called today, was opened on June 20, 2009 at the foot of the Acropolis.
Today, with around 5 million visitors a year, the museum is not only one of the top 10 sights in Athens, but also one of the most important museums in the world.
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