10 Museums You Didn’t Know Existed in Athens

Metric gauge Couillet 0-6-0 steam locomotive A5 Messolongi of the Northwestern Greece Railways (1888). Preserved in Athens Railway Museum | © Copyright © 1988-2009 K. Krallis SV1XV/WikiCommons
Metric gauge Couillet 0-6-0 steam locomotive A5 Messolongi of the Northwestern Greece Railways (1888). Preserved in Athens Railway Museum | © Copyright © 1988-2009 K. Krallis SV1XV/WikiCommons
Photo of Ethel Dilouambaka
16 January 2018

You are probably familiar with the Acropolis Museum or the National Archaeological Museum. Maybe even you know the Museum of Cycladic Art or the Benaki Museum. Well, we’ve got news for you: there are more museums to discover! Here are 10 museums you probably didn’t know existed in Athens – because not everything in Greece has to do with archaeology and ancient ruins.

Bank of Greece Museum

Eclipsed by the more popular Numismatic Museum, the Bank of Greece Museum was set up to present Greece’s modern monetary and economic history. Starting from the introduction of the modern Greek monetary system in 1828 to the country’s accession to the European single currency, the museum presents a collection of drachma coins and banknotes, including the first specimens, the road to the Euro, as well as Euro coins and notes and the process of creating banknotes. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and uses extensive multimedia applications, making the learning and discovering process interesting even for young visitors.

1973 Greek 1 drachma coin | © John Alan Elson/WikiCommons

Athens Railway Museum

Founded in 1979, the Athens Railway Museum is the largest museum of the sort in Greece. Consisting of two buildings, the museum spans around half a dozen of rooms where the museum’s collection is on display. From photos to steam locomotives, passenger vehicles, uniforms and machinery, visitors will get to explore the world of rail transport in Greece. On sunny days, younger visitors can discover the recreational outdoor train.

Digital Museum of Plato

Plato's Academy Museum, Athina
Plato's Academy Museum, Athina
Located in central Athens, the Digital Museum of Plato is a stunning, state-of-the-art digital museum of philosophy dedicated to Plato and his work. The box-like museum is totally interactive and is located near the academy created by the great philosopher in ancient times. The museum’s exhibit recreates the philosopher’s life and work, as well as his influence on modern thought. The history and role of the academy he founded is also exhibited. Through audio-visual material, video projections and interactive applications, you will learn all there is to know about one of the most reflective minds of antiquity.

Criminology Museum

Did you know that Athens is also home to a museum focusing on criminology? Well, now you know. If you are a CSI fan or enjoy playing detective on a day-to-day basis, then this one is for you. The Criminology Museum is housed in the Laboratory of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology on the grounds of the Faculty of Medicine of the National and Kapodestrian University of Athens. Featuring a collection of artifacts, including human remains, toxicological substances, weapons and firearms and records of the history of crime in Greece, collected by forensic medicine professors, the museum serves as a centre for training and informing students as well as the larger public. We are sure you will understand why children are not admitted.

Criminology Museum, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Athens, 75 Mikras Asias, Goudi, Athens, Greece, +30 210 746 2406

Museum of Paleontology and Geology

Another museum of the University of Athens, rather unknown from the public, is the Museum of Paleontology and Geology. Located in the Department of Geology and Geoenvironment in the university campus in Zografou, the museum hosts a collection of paleontological treasures from Greece and abroad. They include plant and animal fossils, most of which were excavated in the nearby site of Pikermi, also dubbed the Acropolis of Paleontology, as well as reconstructions of endemic animals, such as the dwarf elephant of Tilos, the dwarf hippopotamuses of Crete and Cyprus or the giant mice of Crete.

Museum of Palaeontology and Geology, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, Panepistimiopolis, Oulof Palme, Zografou, Athens, Greece, +30 210 7274 086

OTE Group Telecommunications Museum

Located in the northern suburb of Kifissia, the OTE Group Telecommunications Museum is a too-often overlooked museum where visitors can go back in time and explore a wide collection of photographs, follow the evolution of telephony, from early telephone models to contemporary smartphones and (re)discover the fascinating world of cryptic telegrams. The museum has a series of educational programs and is the perfect day trip for families with children, with interesting workshops and tech labs where the little ones can create their own movies or become a linesman for a day.

Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum

Did you know that less than three minutes from the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum stands another museum that takes you through the ages of time? The Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum is a unique spot dedicated to contemporary jewelry, decorative arts and ancient Greek goldsmithery. But don’t expect to only see ancient jewelry inside as the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety of subjects. Discover the passion of one of the greatest Greek jewelry maker’s works and legacy.

Hellenic Motor Museum

Hellenic Motor Museum, Athina
Hellenic Motor Museum, Athina | Courtesy of Hellenic Motor Museum
Located in downtown Athens, a few minutes from the National Archaeological Museum, the Hellenic Motor Museum is a paradise for car lovers. Owned by the Theodore & Joanna Charagionis Foundation, the museum showcases some of Charagionis’ private collection and includes historic and modern cars. Split into three levels, the 4,000-square-metre museum features models of car manufacturers that no longer exist, such as Adler, Allard, Packard or Siata and contemporary brands.

Hellenic Maritime Museum

If you are passionate about all things nautical or love boats and ships, you must visit the Hellenic Maritime Museum in Piraeus. Established in 1949, the museum is located in the Marina Zea and is home to a wide collection of artifacts, displayed to recreate Greek maritime history. It features paintings, nautical instruments as well as old and modern ships. The museum also has a library where visitors can scroll through a wide collection of books, old world maps and vintage photographs.

Hellenic Maritime Museum, 26 Akti Themistokleous, Piraeus, Greece, +30 210 4516264 or 210 428 6959

Goulandris Natural History Museum

Goulandris Natural History Museum, Kifisia
Goulandris Natural History Museum, Kifisia | Courtesy of the Goulandris Natural History Museum
Founded by Angelos Goulandris and Niki Goulandris, a philanthropist couple, in 1965, the Goulandris Natural History Museum is located in Kifissia. Established to encourage interest in natural sciences, and raise the awareness of the public to the need to protect the country’s natural wildlife habitats and near-extinct or in danger of extinction species, the museum includes a vast collection of birds, reptiles, insects, rocks and fossils collected across Greek soil. The museum is active in research and its educational mission is illustrated through rich and varied programs for schools and educational institutions.

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