The Best Archaeological Museums in Greece for Families
Greece has some of the best museums in the world, documenting it’s rich history and ancient civilizations. Here’s the best museums in Greece.
Unless you are visiting Greece purely for a sun and beach holiday (and there’s no better destination in the world for that!), you’ll want to get to know some of the ancient past of Greece.
With 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites, thousands of other archaeological sites, and hundreds of museums, it’s a cultural extravaganza. The one small problem that families face though, is that not all kids love museums!
That’s why we have listed the best museums in Greece for families here. Each one appeals to kids on a different level, and when combined with one of our exclusive Kids Love Greece tours, you can be assured of a fun and memorable experience.
1. The Acropolis Museum in Athens
We’ll start with the Acropolis Museum in Athens. This museum is often described as one of the best in Greece if not the world, and beautifully displays the artefacts found at the Acropolis which is nearby.
The Acropolis Museum is very modern, with a lot of open spaces, which makes the whole museum visit experience very light and enjoyable. One of the highlights is seeing the originals of five of the Caryatids, the sixth still residing in the British Museum. The top floor with its Parthenon Gallery is also impressive.
The best way to truly appreciate the Acropolis museum is during a kid-friendly tour. Find out more here: Percy Jackson Tour of Acropolis and Acropolis Museum or Greek Mythology Tour for Kids.
2. The National Archaeological Museum in Athens
The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Athens and in Greece. According to history buffs, it is one of the best museums (even better than the Acropolis Museum) as there is a plethora of archeological items from Greece and different historic periods, dating from the prehistoric era to the Cycladic and Mycenaean civilizations. There are some impressive large statues and sculptures as well as figurines and pots from the Archaic Period to the Roman Period, with a section devoted to Ancient Egypt. Try to decide in advance which part of the museum you would like to visit due to its large size. Get a map of the museum from the front desk and select the exhibitions that you wish to visit according to the age and the interests of your children. Highlights for young children are the Cycladic figurines and the tall sculptures. Older kids will be impressed by the famous Antikythira clock, the first actual computer of the world, the Egyptian collection, and also the antiquities from Thira (Santorini) island.
3. Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, Crete
No visit to the incredible archaeological site of Knossos is complete without also visiting the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion. It’s here you will find out more about the ancient Minoan civilization, the importance of Knossos, and see some of the artifacts discovered at the site.
The collections in the museum cover nearly 6,000 years of history, spanning from the Neolithic era through to the Roman times. It gives a fascinating insight into the importance of Crete to the ancient Greek world and also includes its fair shares of mysteries such as the Phaistos Disc, which still remains undecipherable despite the best efforts of countless experts over the last hundred years. Will your kids be the ones to reveal the meaning behind these mysterious ancient words?
Find out more about private family tours: Visiting the Archaeological Museum Heraklion with Kids
4. Archaeological Museum of Ancient Olympia
When visiting Ancient Olympia in the Peloponnese region of Greece, make sure to allow enough time to visit the Archaeological Museum. It’s here that many artefacts found on the site are displayed, the majority of which were left at the site as offerings to the various gods.
Your kids will be amazed at the armor and weapons such as swords that are on display at the museum. In addition, perhaps the most outstanding display, is a series of sculptures that depict the Legend of Hercules. If your kids love Greek Mythology, then this is a place they won’t want to miss!
Find out more: Visiting Olympia with Kids
5. The Museum of Eletherna in Crete
The Museum of the Eletherna is a relatively new museum as it opened its doors in 2017. It is the first archaeological site museum in Crete and the fourth-largest on-site museum in Greece, after Olympia, Delphi and Vergina. It was built in order to house the items found during the excavations carried out by the University of Crete for 30 years. The Museum of Eleftherna is located 25 km southeast of the city of Rethymno, close to Arkadi Monument.
According to archaeologists, ancient Eleftherna reveals a civilization that, is comparable in importance to Knossos in Heraklion. The ancient city of Eleftherna was founded by the Dorians around the 9th c. B.C. The Museum of Eletherna is a contemporary with interactivity on-site museum and with amazing exhibits from the prehistoric, geometric, archaic, classical, hellenistic, roman, early Byzantine and Byzantine period.
6. Archaeological Museum of Delphi
Delphi is a 2-hour drive from Athens and is definitely worth a visit as it was considered to be the center of the world in ancient times. Spcifically, Delphi in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world.
The Archaeological Museum‘s exhibits includes a rich collection of sculptures, jewellery and many other findings which were brought to light by the excavations in the sanctuary of Delphi. The highlights of the museum include the famous Charioteer as well as the statues of the Sphinx of the Naxos, The Kouroi of Argos as well as The Siphnian Treasury.
Find out more: Visiting Delphi with Kids
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