Being at the same time a classical jewel and a vibrant modern country, Greece has a lot to offer the demanding traveler, the researcher and especially the art enthusiast. With a history that counts over 3000 years, the country is a museum itself.
So, let’s have some culture please!
It will start in Athens, take selfies in front of the Acropolis. In Heraklion – Crete, you will fall in love with the “Parisiennnes” of Knossos. Thessaloniki will enchant you with its Byzantine spirit and the Charioteer of Delphi will look straight into your soul. Then you can enjoy your wine along with the Knights of Rhodes. Don’t forget to swim into the seas of Modern Greek painters.
Museums & Galleries
The Acropolis Museum (Athens): Situated under the Acropolis Rock, this impressive five-story building handsomely displays the riches and the priceless artifacts that have been found on the sacred rock of Acropolis. More than any other ancient pieces, the Parthenon friezes’ fragments of exquisitely carved marble capture snippets of good–natured divinity and humanity—in one, the goddess Athena Nike fastens her sandal (something you didn’t think goddesses had to do). Priests, soldiers, horses and ordinary citizens parade across the marble strip, and you almost want to jump in and join the procession. Titans, gods and humans, statues of young ladies (Korai), and horse riders (Hippeis), legendary battles, and themes drawn from Attic mythology will transfer you to the heroic and magical world of Ancient Athens. Having been voted as “the best museum in the world” by the British Guild of Travel Writers, the Acropolis Museum is an absolutely must go and see.
National and Archaeological Museum (Athens): Being one of the most important museums in the world and the largest archeological museum in Greece, this museum hosts the ocean of Ancient Greek art. Its stunning collection has it all: treasures from the royal tombs at Mycenae, Linear B tablets, enigmatic Cycladic marble figurines, wall-paintings from Thera, superb red–and black–figured vases, bronze statues, marble reliefs of gods and goddesses, sculptures from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC, everyday life objects and scientific instruments like the Antikythera device are some of the riches that this monument of monuments has to offer to the eyes and the soul of the classical scholars and not only.
Herakleion Archaeological Museum (Crete): Few museums can boast of holding virtually all the important remains of a major culture. Considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide, this modern museum near the port of Herakleion, houses representative artifacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history, comprising unique exhibits of Minoan art. Elegant bronze and stone figurines and exquisite gold jewelry, athletes, dancers, and other subjects in the superb frescoes from Knossos seem to reach across the millennia and invite us to become part of one most ancient civilizations on earth.
Museum of Byzantine Culture (Thessaloniki): Showcasing the art and architecture of the Byzantine legacy in the city of Thessaloniki, this attractive museum focuses on the depiction and representation of Byzantine culture and lifestyle. Its’ exhibitions, ranging from the Byzantine design and decoration, domestic handicrafts, food and clothing to sepulchral architecture and painting aim to guide visitors in the mystical and luxurious world of the Byzantine Empire.
Archaeological Museum of Delphi (Delphi): Situated on the wider archaeological site of the Delphi Pan-Hellenic sanctuary – religious center of the Hellenic world, the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, focuses on the history of the Delphic sanctuary and oracle, covering a long time span from prehistory to Late Antiquity. The dialogue between metal and marble which characterizes the archaic period, manifested in offerings, sculpture and architecture will enchant you. Of course, the most impressive exhibit of the museum is the famous bronze Charioteer, with his deep look.
Museum of Cycladic Art (Athens): Situated in the center of Athens, this light-filled museum, hosts the 3,500-year-old masterworks of Cycladic art. Here you can admire these smooth, fine and elongated figures that inspired modern artists like Picasso so deeply with their expression and simplicity.
Archaeological Museum of Rhodes (Hospital of the Knights) (Rhodes): Housed in the monumental Hospital of the Knights of Saint John, in the Medieval City of Rhodes, the Archaelogical Museum of Rhodes contains of archaeological artifacts from various parts of Rhodes and the neighboring islands. Burial finds from ancient cemeteries, classical and roman sculptures and mosaic floors, archaic kouroi and marble statuettes of the god Sun and the Aphrodite Bathing.
Archaeological Museum of Olympia (Olympia – Peloponnese): Unfolding the history of the sanctuary of Zeus and its celebrated games, the Archaeological Museum of Olympia ranks among the most important museums in Greece. Renowned for its collection of ancient Greek bronzes and for its sculptures like the ones of Apollo and Hermes, the museum calls us to perceive the spirit of Olympic Games at the place where they were born.
Benaki Museum (Athens): Lying at the heart of Athens, Benaki Museum constitutes a materialized narration of the Greek history. From antiquity and the age of Roman domination to the medieval Byzantine period; from the fall of Constantinople (1453) and the centuries of Frankish and Ottoman occupation to the outbreak of the struggle for independence in 1821; and from the formation of the modern state of Greece (1830) down to contemporary Greece, its collections invite us to take part in the Greek odyssey.
Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens): Housed in neo-classical mansion of old Athens, Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art hosts one of the world’s most valuable collections of the 20th century. In its colorful rooms, painting dialogues with sculpture, Van Gogh meets Picasso, and abstract expressionists like Pollock coexist with the painters of Greek modernity. A planet of modern art in the classical universe of Athens!
National Gallery of Art (Athens): Established in 1900 the National Gallery of Art in Athens is considered the most important art museum in Greece. With more than 20,000 artworks from Renaissance to 20th century’s modernity, and from El Greco to Matisse, the Gallery constitutes a real voyage into the world of Art. A very important wing of the National Gallery is dedicated to the Greek artists, either 19th century artists of neo-classicism or modern 20th century artists.
Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art (Thessaloniki): Founded in 1997, at the occasion of Thessaloniki’s year as European Capital of Culture, Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art preserves and displays works of contemporary art by Greek and foreign artists. Paintings, sculptures, drawings and constructions by artists of the Russian avant-garde like Malevich and Kandinsky seduce visitors from all over the world. Moreover, the Museum is organizing the famous Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, every year.