National History Museum (Ethnikó Istorikó Mouseío)
The National History Museum is housed in an ornate neoclassical palace that was originally a royal residence, the seat of the Greek Parliament, and finally headquarters of the Justice Ministry before opening as a museum in 1962. Today, many Athens walking or bike tours stop by to take in its elegant exterior architecture by day or night, and the historic parliamentary chamber inside is a highlight of the museum.
Things to know before you go
- Visitors to Athens interested in an in-depth look at Greek history from the Byzantine rule to the early 20th century will appreciate the museum’s vast collection, while architecture buffs will be taken with the 19th-century building’s elegant design.
- Visiting the museum as part of a tour or taking in its vast collection inside requires a significant amount of time on your feet, so choose comfortable shoes.
- The museum hosts both a permanent collection and a regular series of temporary exhibitions tied to the history and culture of Greece.
- There is a museum shop that sells an interesting array of Greek souvenirs and books.
- The National History Museum is accessible to wheelchairs both inside and out.
How to get there
Located on Stadiou Street in central Athens, the National History Museum is close to the Panepistimio metro station on line M2. Reach the museum from locations across the city via the metro or with a guided walking or e-bike tour of the city’s highlights.
When to get there
The museum is open daily except for Mondays, and offers a cool and quiet respite far from the heat and crowds of the capital city’s more famous monuments and museums. Pop in to wander the neoclassical interiors during the hottest hours of midday, or stop by to admire the facade after sunset when it is dramatically lit.
Athen’s Historic Yet Trendy Exarcheia District
The National History Museum is located in one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in Athens, defined by the vibrant student population that attends the local Polytechnio (National Technical University of Athens) and its many important cultural sights, including the Athenian Trilogy (Academy of Athens, University of Athens, and National Library of Greece). Explore the area’s mix of street art, trendy cafés, and storied museums and libraries on an Exarcheia District walking tour.
- Numismatic Museum of Athens
- Syntagma Station
- Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)
- Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos)
- Ghika Gallery (Pinakothiki Ghika)
- Parliament Building (Vouli)
- University of Athens
- Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens (Mitropoli)
- National Library of Greece (Ethnikí Vivliothíki tis Elládos)
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mnemeíon Agnostou Stratiotou)
- Church of Panagia Kapnikarea
- Kolonaki Square (Plateia Kolonaki)
- Frissiras Museum
- Dora Stratou Greek Dances Theater