Guide to the Benaki Museum: Overview, Exhibitions, Tickets
The Benaki Museum is the largest private museum in Greece. Along with the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, it is one of the top 3 museums in Athens.
In addition to the main building, which is dedicated to Greek culture with an extensive collection, there are other outbuildings in Athens and the surrounding area, which are also part of the Benaki Museum.
The main building of the Benaki Museum houses the renowned Benaki Museum of Greek Culture. A special feature is that it is the only museum in the country that guides you through all periods of Greek history and culture.
An equally impressive exhibition can also be found in the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art near the ancient Agora, which presents one of the world's most important collections of its kind.
The Toy Museum in the Athens suburb of Paleo Faliro is also part of the Benaki Museum. With over 20,000 exhibits ranging from traditional toys from antiquity to modern day dolls, the museum is not only an interesting sight for children.
Admission to the Benaki Museum museums is free for visitors with a disability and those under the age of 22. Tickets are available at the on-site ticket counters and the Benaki Museum online ticket portal and in our shop. There is also a combination ticket "The Benaki Museum Experience", which is valid for three months and allows you to visit all buildings of the Benaki Museum (except Leigh Fermor House and the Valadoros Collection).
To visit the Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor house on a guided tour, advance booking is required via the Benaki Museum official website. Many providers organize guided tours of the main building of the Benaki Museum.
The main building of the Benaki Museum, which houses the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, is located across from the National Garden in close proximity to Syntagma Square. Due to its central location, it can be easily reached by public transport.
The quickest way is to take metro lines 2 or 3 (stop “Syntagma”) or take the hop-on hop-off bus to station A7 “Benaki Museum”. In addition, numerous buses and trolleybus 3 serve the main house of the Benaki Museum.
Cruise passengers arriving from Piraeus 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. There you change to the M3 and travel one stop to "Syntagma". A 9-minute walk takes you to the Benaki Museum.
The Benaki Museum was founded in 1929. The wealthy art collector Adonis Benakis, who started collecting artworks in his youth, opened the museum in honor of his father. For this he had the former villa of the Benaki family converted into a museum building.
He donated it to the state along with his extensive collection of over 37,000 Byzantine and Islamic artifacts. Thanks to the donation of exhibits, several extensions to the museum building were necessary in 1965, 1968 and 1973.
In the years 1989 to 2000 the Benaki Museum was extensively renovated and the decision was made to divide the exhibits into several buildings. Since then, it has focused on the culture of Greece as the main building under the new name, Benaki Museum of Greek Culture. In the years that followed, parts of the collections and archives, such as the Benaki Museum for Islamic Art, moved to newly acquired buildings.
Today, the Benaki Museum, one of the top attractions in Athens, consists of seven museums open to the public, seven conservation laboratories and five active archives.
The main building of the Benaki Museum, named “Benaki Museum of Greek Culture”, is located in the former villa of the Benaki family in the heart of Athens. Visitors will find it opposite the National Garden near Syntagma Square and the Greek Parliament. The address is: 1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave., 106 74 Athens
The Benaki Museum includes the following museums and facilities:
The regular opening hours of the main building of the Benaki Museum are Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Benaki Museum of Greek Culture is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The current opening hours of all annex buildings can be found on the official website of the Benaki Museum.