This modern museum is labor of love that has taken decades to complete and accommodates millions of visitors each year.
The new Acropolis Museum stands in the historic area of Makrygianni just to the south-east of the Parthenon. Construction was finally completed in 2007 - more than 30 years after it was originally conceived. Architects from around the world competed to design this modern structure with over 150,000 square feet (14,000 square meters) of exhibit space. That’s ten times more space than was in the old museum on the hill of the Acropolis.
Plan on spending a few hours or an entire afternoon in this fascinating museum, especially during the hot summer months. It’s easy to lose track of time exploring the art, culture and customs of the people who inhabited the Acropolis from pre-historic times through to the beginning of the middle ages.
Enter the Acropolis Museum from the Dionysios Areopagitou pedestrian street, which links the building to the Acropolis and other major archeological sites. You may want to start at the top in the Parthenon Gallery, which offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the Acropolis surrounded by modern downtown Athens.
Another option is to start on first floor, where you can view an archeological excavation. Gaze down on ruins from the 4th through 7th centuries A.D. which in places are visible through the floor you’re standing on. There are hundreds of artifacts, artworks and stories to explore from throughout Greek history in the permanent collections. Check the schedule for the temporary exhibitions.
Come early to beat the crowds, and eat a traditional Greek breakfast at the café on the second floor. On Friday nights, the restaurant is open until midnight, offering special gourmet dishes and enchanting views of the Acropolis lit up on the hillside.
The Acropolis Museum is located in the city center, on the Acropolis, and is accessible by public transportation. It’s open daily except Mondays, and some major holidays. There is a small admission fee.