While visiting the Greek capital, you can take time out to visit the free museums in Athens. You can also visit Athens’ best museums during free admission days.
See the Museums for Free in Athens
Telling the story of Greece’s incredible ancient history, fascinating modern history and displaying the creative arts and sculpture, I think the museums of Athens have very low regular admission fees compared to much of Europe. What you get for your dollar (euro) makes visiting these museums a great bargain. Some are considered the best in the world. For example, €7 for the outstanding National Archaeological Museum of Greece which houses some of the most important works of Classical Greece.
How about €5 for the Acropolis Museum with its captivating architecture? It opened eight years ago with much international acclaim, home (to most) of the stunning marbles from the Acropolis. The Benaki Museum is €6 for general admission, the Cycladic Museum of Art is €6 and the list goes on.
It gets even better, you can visit these top museums for free on certain days. Plus, there are more specific themed museums that are free all of the time.
Here are two Free Museums in Athens lists for you culture vultures reading this. One is for free admission museums, meaning they are free of charge at all times, anytime. The second is for free admission days to certain museums,
Free Museums in Athens: Free Admission All the Time
The Museum of the History of Greek Costume
Peruse the style, color and functionality of traditional Greek costumes throughout history.
Dimokritou 7, Kolonaki; +30 21 0362 9513; www.lykeionellinidon.gr
The Philatelic and Postal Museum
Greece has issued some of the most interesting stamps in the world. Here is where you can check them out as well as other stamp making memorabilia.
5 Stadiou Street (next to the Kallimarmaro Stadium of Athens); +30 210 7519042; Webpage
Features the work of the talented Greek painter Giorgos Gounaropoulos.
6 G. Gounaropoulou Street, Ano Ilisia; +30 210 7777601; www.gounaropoulos.gr
Athens University History Museum
Founded in 1987, the university houses historical memorabilia and holds special Greek cultural events.
Tholou 5, Athens; 210 3689500; www.historymuseum.uoa.gr
Museum of Greek Folk Instruments
Three floors exhibit traditional instruments and costumes.
1-3 Diogenous Street; +30 210 3250198; Webpage
Centre of Folk Art and Tradition
This folkloric art library features books and magazines about ethnography, folk art, tradition and literature from Greece and the Balkans.
Angelikis Hatzimichalis 6, Plaka; +30 210 3243972; City of Athens Webpage
Hellenic Children’s Museum
Children from ages six to ten will appreciate hands-on displays here and free activities (in Greek only), such as cooking and painting.
14 Kydathineon St., Plaka; +30 210-331-2995; www.hcm.gr
Railway Museum of Athens
If you love trains and anything transport related head to the Railway Museum of Athens which was founded by the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) in 1978. Take a look at a wide collection of historic from Greece’s rail transport industry.
Siokou 4; +30 210 5246580; www.ose.gr
Theatrical Museum of Greece
See the memorabilia of theatrical life, stage costumes and props, photographs of leading Greeks who worked in the theater industry. The library has 25,000 books and the theatrical archives includes 18th- and 19th-century manuscripts, programs and posters from the industry.
50 Akadamias Street, +30 210 3629430; Webpage
Natural History Museum of Maroussi
Natural History Museum of the Municipality of Maroussi hosts one of the largest collections of mummified specimens of mainly Greek fauna, but also foreign, which includes mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, shells, nests and skulls.
2 Kyprion Agoniston & Kairi Street, Maroussi 15126; +30 210 8105519; www.mfida.gr
Monday – Friday 9 am- 2 pm
Free Museums in Athens: Free Admission Days
The Benaki Museum – Main Building Only in Kolonaki / Free Every Thursday
Endowed by the Benakis family, this museum is an impressive and wonderful collection of Greek art from throughout history. Free admission is for the permanent exhibition. Do check times as they vary by season.
1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave.; +30 210 367 1000; www.benaki.gr
National Historical and Ethnological Museum / Free Every Sunday
Collection of traditional costumes of famous Greeks. The museum occupies all of Greece’s old parliament building.
13 Stadiou Ave; +30 210-323-7617; www.nhmuseum.gr
National Museum of Contemporary Art / Free Every Thursday Evening
Every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can visit the newest museum in the city which is making its mark on the international contemporary art world. For more information on visiting, check out my earlier post: Visit the New National Museum of Contemporary Art.
+30 210-924-2111; www.emst.gr
Free Admission Days for Museums in Athens
If you are visiting Athens on the following days, you can visit most museums you want for free. Note there are exceptions for some days listed below for privately owned museums. Always best to check in advance.
- 6 March (Memory of Melina Mercouri)
- 18 April (International Monument Day)
- 18 May (International Museum Day)
- 5 June (World Environment Day)
- the last weekend of September (European Days of Cultural Heritage)
- 27 September (International Tourism Day)
- Greek official holidays should the museum be open including: 6 January, Orthodox Good Friday, Orthodox Easter Saturday and Monday, Orthodox Monday of the Holy Spirit, 15th of August, 28th of October.
Free Museums in Athens Tips
There are even more days the museums are free in Athens.
- Most museums in Athens are free on the first Sunday of the month from November to March.
Certain folks are privileged with free admission or at least discounted admission. Every museum varies.
- Children under 12 years old
- Students under 19 years old from E.U. countries
- People over 65 years old
- People with special needs and their attendant
- Holders of the cards: ICOM, CIMAM, AICA
- Journalists, guides, soldiers.
For more on the art revival in Athens today, check out my story for Lonely Planet: Art Revived, the new Athens scene.
Plan Your Trip to Athens
How to Get to Athens
To get to the Athens, many international travelers arrive by air in Athens. You can find the best flight deals here on Vayama.
What to Do in Athens
Athens is my adopted hometown and much of this blog is about that very topic. Check out more posts from nightlife to gastronomy on this blog here. It’s a wonderful city break you should plan at least two to three days for — even up to a week — depending on how much time you have and what you’d love to do.
I highly recommend the Athens City Pass, a discount city card that gains you access to many of the capital’s most loved sights. I reviewed it earlier and featured it on this blog.
If you want to hop to the islands or spend time at one of the many Greek island destinations – you should! Also, check out my Greek islands category for the best places to stay, eat and best things to do. I only recommend places and experiences that I have tried and tested myself.
Where to Eat in Athens
Check out my post, 17 Awesome Greek Food Experiences which also lists where to find these delicious experiences in Athens.
Where to Stay in Athens
A full rundown of places I recommend coming soon. Bes sure to sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter here for more tips and insights from my travels around beautiful Greece and amazing Europe.
Pin for Later
Have you ever visited any free museums during your travels?