The National Historical Museum of Athens basically hosts a ton of items and artefacts about the 1821 Greek War of Independence and the early days of Greece as an independent country after the Ottoman Empire occupation of more than 400 years. The building that hosts the Museum used to be Greece’s First Parliament, which stopped being in use back in the 1930’s. The National Historical Museum of Athens opened its doors in 1962 with thousands of items from modern Greece and the Greek Revolution.
Is it actually worth visiting this Museum?
100%. You will get to know modern Greek history and see a different nation than what you see in Acropolis or Delphi. This is what shaped Greece as a country and as a nation over the last 300 years, and this is what we Greeks are being taught in history lessons in school aside from ancient Greek history. Personally, as a Greek, I feel closer to the people you will see in this museum than Socrates, Pericles or other prominent ancient Greeks.
The best way to get to the museum is by the underground metro RED LINE (Line 2) or the BLUE LINE (Line 3) and stop at “Syntagma Station” (on Google Maps). The Museum is literally a 5 minutes walk from Syntagma station on Stadiou Street and the best ticket to get is the ATH.ENA Card for public transport within Athens.
If you live close to the centre of Athens in areas such as Kolonaki, Koukaki, Syntagma Square, Monastiraki, Plaka, Thission you can literally walk to the National Historical Museum as it’s about a 15-20 mins walk from all those areas.
The ticket for the museum costs 10 euros per adult person and 5 euros reduced for children, 65+ and students
The best website to book a guided tour is Get Your Guide, with hundreds of available tours that you can actually book online
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The National Historical Museum
This is not a museum with long queues and lines to enter, so you won’t have any issues getting a ticket (there is no need to book anything in advance). Just walk to the door and go to the ticket booth, where a lady will print out the ticket for you after paying.
The Temporary Exhibition
The museum hosts an exhibition every few years with a different topic and focus. This is located mainly close to the entrance of the museum on the right and left of the ticket booth as you enter.
The Permanent Exhibition
Traditional Greek Clothes
The permanent exhibition of the National Historical Museum of Athens has a whole section dedicated to the Greek traditional clothing and costumes that were worn not only on special occasions like weddings and dances but also in the daily lives of men and women.
Greek War of Independence
The vast majority of the museum is dedicated to the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire, with armaments, guns, clothing, portraits and other items of generals and other people who actually fought during those wars.
Modern Greece and 20th-Century Politics
The museum hosts a lot of items, photos and documents of the turbulent first 100 years of Greece as an independent country.
The Old Parliament
The building of the museum itself used to be the first parliament of Greece, and that is basically the reason there are so many personal items and furniture of Greek politicians. The parliament was also used for a famous trial back in the 1910s.
The Museum’s Shop
Unfortunately, the museum shop is very small, with only a few items and memorabilia for sale.
So…do I recommend this Museum to anyone visiting Athens? 10000%!
Not only the building itself is of great significance for modern Greece but you will also get to see and learn about the people, the stories and the battles that shaped what Greece is today. Admittedly, this looks and feels like a museum that definitely needs a bit of modernization and funding, to be honest. However, the fact that you will be sitting in the first parliament of Greece is by itself great and there is so much history, politics and art in this building that is a “must” see for any history buff (but not only).
Greek, born and raised in Athens. I have been to almost every greek island and pretty much in every region of mainland Greece. I have also been eating souvlaki and gyros since the 80s. I love being a dad to my 2 beautiful daughters and also taking great photos of the places I visit. This is my blog to help you out explore the places I have visited with my inside tips as a Greek, knowing the ins and outs of my country and culture. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section under the post you are interested in and I wIll try my best to respond asap.
My name is Pavlos and I come from the beautiful country called Greece. You can follow me on Twitter here and I will try to do my best to respond to you personally. This is my blog to help you plan your next holidays to Greece and the greek islands, whether it is Santorini, Mykonos, Crete or even Athens. I was actually born in Athens and I have been to almost all of the greek islands and pretty much most of mainland Greece. I know the ins and outs of my country and hopefully my travel blog will help you make the most of your holidays.