Benaki Museum

Address: 1 Koumbari & Vassilisis Sofias Avenue, Kolonaki, Athens, 10674, Greece
Telephone: +30 210 367 1000

- Mid-range


Greek folk culture through the ages, from embroideries to icons.

Housed in a glorious neoclassical mansion, this elegant museum is like a miniature of London's Victoria & Albert. The rich collection of art and crafts reveals Greece’s evolution over the ages, from its classical golden age to its bloody struggle for independence. (Look out for Lord Byron’s pistols.) There are swords and coins, traditional costumes and embroidered bridal beds. The Byzantine collection is especially impressive. The icons are brilliantly curated: ghostly saints with gold-leaf halos gaze at you from shadowy alcoves. There’s also a comprehensive survey of 19th and 20th century Greek painting.

Value for money

Price advice

€6, temporary exhibitions €3. Entrance to the permanent collection is free on Thursdays. 

Expert tips

The Benaki’s extensive Islamic art collection is housed in separate premises near the ancient cemetery of Keramikos.

Enjoy the view of the National Gardens from the chic rooftop restaurant. It’s open until midnight every Thursday.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Mature travellers
  • Singles
  • Art
  • History