One advantage of coming to Athens in winter, apart from not find the city filled with tourists, is that every Sunday the entrance to some archaeological sites and public museums is free.
A good plan for Sunday, is to visit The National Archaeological Museum, the largest museum in Greece and one of the world’s great museums. Although its original purpose was to secure all the finds from the nineteenth century excavations in and around Athens, it gradually became the central National Archaeological Museum and was enriched with finds from all over Greece. Its abundant collections, with more than 20,000 exhibits, provide a panorama of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
The museum is housed in an imposing neoclassical building of the end of the nineteenth century, and the five large permanent collections are:
–The Prehistoric Collection, which includes works of the great civilizations that developed in the Aegean from the sixth millennium BC to 1050 BC (Neolithic, Cycladic, Mycenaean), and finds from the prehistoric settlement at Thera.
–The Sculptures Collection, which shows the development of ancient Greek sculpture from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC with unique masterpieces.
–The Vase and Minor Objects Collection, which contains representative works of ancient Greek pottery from the eleventh century BC to the Roman period and includes the Stathatos Collection, a corpus of minor objects of all periods.
–The Metallurgy Collection, with many fundamental statues, figurines and minor objects.
–The Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection, with works dating from the pre-dynastic period (5000 BC) to the Roman conquest.
The National Archaeological Museum welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Besides displaying its own treasures, it organizes temporary exhibitions and lends artefacts to exhibitions both in Greece and abroad. An important feature is the availability of guided visits for people with hearing impediments.
Here is a picture of our visit with guests of the hostel during a citywalk: