Athens – National Archaeological Museum

I’ll limit myself in this post to just a brief few comments about the National Museum of Archaeology, as I have lots of photos of various exhibits I’ll post later on. The frontage of this museum looks spectacular and it has been in this building since 1889, although the museum has been in operation since 1829.

The staff member at the desk was welcoming, although visitors are given precisely no information such as a map. This museum is substantial and so an orientation map would have been useful, or just a guide to the main key items in the collection. I wasn’t even sure where I was going to get into the museum after I had obtained my ticket, so I followed some Germans. They seemed equally unsure, but they were more decisive than me, and they made a good judgement on where to go.

There is no set path around the museum, which again might have been at least partly useful, as everything seemed rather random. However, the size of the museum was something else, and it’s the largest museum of its type in Greece and it’s also of international importance.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen so many statues, but I suppose that if anywhere is going to have a substantial collection of Greek statues then it’d be here. There are also a large number of damaged statues with various parts having fallen off over the centuries, but that simply adds to their charm. Well, sometimes… There’s also a Roman collection as well though, and numerous other collections from the ancient period, as well as a prehistoric collection.

I walked around for nearly three hours until I decided that I’d had enough of statues and sculptures. There were elements of the museum that I didn’t really discover despite visiting for that length of time, and apparently the museum is planning an expansion in the future.

Some reviews indicated that the museum randomly closes part of their collections when they’re short staffed, but I didn’t notice that being a problem during my visit. Although given how much there was to see I’m not sure that I would have really noticed if they had closed some of it.

I was again fortunate to be visiting in late March, as the museums become more expensive from the beginning of April. The usual admission charge for this museum is €10, but for the winter period it was just €5. Given how much there was to see, I considered that more than satisfactory value for money.