Byzantine & Christian Museum
To truly appreciate the importance and scope of the collection at the Byzantine & Christian Museum, join a guided tour that focuses on its Coptic priestly vestments, pottery, frescoes, armor, and mosaics, as well as more than 3,000 glittering Byzantine icons. Alternatively, visit the museum as part of a larger Athens tour that also takes in highlights like the Acropolis, Agora, and Aristotle’s Lyceum. Considered one of the top collections in the Greek capital, the Byzantine & Christian Museum also figures in tours of Athens' best museums.
Things to know before you go
- It can take a couple of hours to visit the displays spread over several floors, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
- The icons, mosaics, artwork, and other artifacts are labeled in a variety of languages, including English.
- The Byzantine Museum is also known for its lovely gardens, with shaded seating surrounded by aromatic herbs and fountains.
- The museum houses the Ilissia café and restaurant in the courtyard for a light meal or snack. There is also a small theme gift shop inside the museum.
- Modern-day religious art in Greece is covered in a series of ever-changing temporary exhibits at the museum.
- The museum and its outdoor garden are wheelchair-accessible.
How to get there
The Byzantine & Christian Museum is located on Vassilissis Sofias Avenue in Athens’ Ilisia neighborhood. Take the metro line 3 (blue) to Evangelismos or walk from Syntagma Square. Otherwise, join a guided tour to admire the collection as part of a wider itinerary.
When to get there
The museum is open daily, except Tuesdays. Housed in the neoclassical Villa Ilissia, built in 1848 as the residence of Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, the philanthropic US-born Duchess of Plaisance, the museum and garden are a relaxing break from the heat and bustle of central Athens during the midday hours.
Neoclassical Architecture in Athens
The Byzantine & Christian Museum sits close to Aristotle’s Lyceum, the remains of one of the three major academic gymnasia of ancient Athens—the other two are Plato’s Academy and Kynosarges. Today the site is a pleasant park for a stroll among olive trees and scented rosemary bushes, relax on one of the shaded benches overlooking the ruins.
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- Panathenaic Stadium (Panathinaiko Stadio)
- Benaki Museum
- Kolonaki Square (Plateia Kolonaki)
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mnemeíon Agnostou Stratiotou)
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- Syntagma Station
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