The Acropolis Museum houses some of the most important and volatile artefacts from the Acropolis hill. This state-of-art museum is located just 280 meters southeast of the Parthenon and carpets over 14,000 square meters of exhibition space. It assembles around 4,250 works of statues, statuettes and sculptures from 2400 years ago.
A visit to the Acropolis Museum is absolutely recommended after touring the Acropolis of Athens to understand the level of craftsmanship and zeal the ancient Greek artisans had for their creation.
Why Visit Acropolis Museum Athens?
Opened to the public on 20 June 2009, the Acropolis Museum showcases the most amazing and intriguing mementoes of the Acropolis. It is the largest modern structure built in such close proximity to a historic site. The museum was designed by Bernard Tschumi and bagged several awards such as the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW), AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture, Keck Award and ranked 6th in the TripAdvisor's Travellers Choice Awards of the 25 Best Museums for 2018.
The contents of the museum are as amusing as its design. The most interesting of them are "Calf-Bearer", a Metal sheet depicting Gorgon; a mythical monster with eyes wide open, the Statuette of Athena Promachos, and the gorgeous head of Alexander the Great. You can find the history and bibliography of each of the 4250 artefacts giving you a deeper insight into the time, material, and emotion connected to them.
Dionysios Areopagitou pedestrian street connects the Acropolis Museum to Acropolis and the other important sites of Athens. This makes the museum easily accessible wherever you are and leaves no room for excuses to not visit it.
The Old Acropolis Museum vs New Acropolis Museum
The old Acropolis Museum is an archaeological site beneath the Acropolis hilltop, which makes most of it invisible to visitors. It was constructed in 1865 and was home to ancient Greek relics. It used to house some of the famous artefacts such as Parthenon Frieze, Blond Kouros's Head of the Acropolis, Nike Adjusting Her Sandal, and Temple of Athena Nike frieze. The old museum has been closed since 2007 and the antiquities have been moved to the new one.
Fun fact: It is said that the drainage pipes of the Old Museum are what caused the delay of Acropolis.
Athens Acropolis Museum Architecture
The 14000 square meters of the museum is designed to whisper stories of art from 2400 years ago from the sites of Acropolis and its surrounding, including the antiques from the Old Museum. Inside the museum is an archaeological excavation which is visible from the first floor. The excavation houses ruins from the 4th to 7th century AD and are left untouched.
The museum is designed as a minimalistic ally to put the artefacts in the spotlight. Light plays an important role in the design allowing as much natural light as possible for us to see the sculptures in their most natural form. Another striking innovation you will notice is the role of circulation. All the items are placed chronologically and in a three-dimensional loop.
Top Highlights of Acropolis Museum Athens
Among the 4250 pieces of art, here are some that stand out.
Dating back to 570 BC is the 5 feet tall sculpture of a boy, carrying his calf around his shoulders made of marble and limestone. It was found in the year 1864 by chance, on the construction site of the old museum. An inscription below the sculpture reads that it was dedicated by Rhombos, son of Palos.
Located on the first floor of the museum is the large architectural sculpture of a maiden made during the classical period of 420-415 BC. Carved from marble, it was used to decorate the south porch of the Erechtheion, replacing the high columns with female statues and are called Korai.
This one-foot bronze statuette of Goddess Athena was found near the Erechtheion in the year 1887. You can see the Goddess in full rage and ready to strike her opponent with a spear in one hand and gripping a shield in another. On her head is a helmet shaped like a swan. This beautiful and sturdy piece of art dates back to 475-470 BC.
Head to the north of the first floor to see this phenomenal portrayal of Alexander the Great’s head. The rich curls, deep eyes glancing upwards, and half-open lips precisely mimic the King of Macedonia. It is regarded as one of the most impeccable works of art in history.
Scoring Acropolis Museum Tickets
Like any other world-famous museum, Acropolis museum has also monetised visitation (Check the tips section for the list of days you can enter for free). And like any paid museum visit, the waiting lines are enormously long. To make sure you visit this amazing museum that takes you back two millennia, get your timed Acropolis museum tickets. There are a couple of these options you should know about.
These tickets help you skip the line and explore the museum at your own pace. You can couple it with an audio guide if you want your space, yet need some guiding.
Acropolis Museum Tour
You can choose a tour of the museum and be guided by a local who will spill the tea about the museum-like no one else. A tour of the museum can also be combined with the Acropolis of Athens city tour, giving you the best of both worlds at a steal.
Visiting Acropolis Museum Athens
By Bus: The nearest bus stop is Makrigianni. From the stop, walk left for 200 meters and you will find the entrance.
By Metro: The nearest metro station is Akropoli which drops you just outside the museum.
By Tram: Leoforos Vouliagmenis is the closest tram stop and is a 10-minute walk to the museum.
By Car:Both car rentals and parking lots can be found in plenty along Leof. Andrea Siggrou 40-42 road.
Acropolis Museum Athens Opening Hours
The winter season runs from November 1st to March 31st. The museum is open during the following hours. Please note that the last entry is 30 minutes before the closing time.
Monday to Thursday: 9 am - 5 pm
Friday: 9 am - 10 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9 am - 8 pm
Athens experiences summer from April 1st to October 31st. On account of the hot season, the museum opens and closes sooner. The last entry is timed 30 minutes from the closing time.
Monday: 8 am - 4 pm
Tuesday - Sunday: 8 am - 8 pm
Friday: 8 am - 10 pm
Best time to visit Acropolis Museum Athens
The crowds are large, especially for the museum. This demands you to be at the gates 15 minutes before the opening hours if you want to explore the museum without the flock of tourists storming the floors.
Duration of your visit
Since the museum offers plenty to see, it is safe to say you would need to spend at least 2 hours at the museum. If you also want to tour the archaeological sites of Athens, set aside an entire day for your visit and rest.
- Take a peek at the excavation below ground level when you are at it since it will give you an idea of what happens during archaeological excavations. You can take a look at the glass panel on the first floor.
- Every year on International Museum Day (May 18), you can access the museum for free. It will be open post-closing hours, too, where many fun activities will be held for visitors.
- As a tradition, the museum can be accessed for free during full moon nights in August and concerts take place in the courtyard of the museum.
- Don’t miss out on seeing the historic Silver Cup that was awarded to Marathon Winner Spyros Louis at the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896.
- Wear comfortable shoes, carry a hat, a bottle of water and sunscreen before your visit to make sure you are also prepared to see the rest of Athens.
- You can dine at the Acropolis Museum Restaurant which serves amazing continental cuisine with a view of the Acropolis as you feast.
Is the Acropolis Museum worth it?
Visiting the Acropolis Museum is absolutely worth it. You will get to see and hear about the art that was made 2400 years ago and how it is taken care of. Moreover, it is ranked 11th best museum in the world and 8th in Europe.
Why is the Acropolis Museum famous?
The museum is devoted to housing the precious artefacts that were excavated from around Acropolis and the Parthenon. Most of the statues date back to at least 2000 years ago, which are some of the oldest cultural artworks found on earth.
How many artefacts are in the Acropolis Museum?
There are around 4250 works of statues, statuettes and sculptures found in the museum.
Where is the Acropolis Museum located?
The Acropolis Museum is located in Athens, Greece.
Does the Acropolis ticket include a Museum?
If you are purchasing entry Acropolis tickets, it only gives you access to enter the Acropolis and not the museum. You would additionally need to purchase Acropolis Museum tickets to enter the museum. Nevertheless, you can take Acropolis and Acropolis Museum Tours to get the best of both at a minimum price.
How much does it cost to get into the Acropolis Museum?
Skip-the-line Acropolis Museum tickets cost €12.
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