The Benaki Museum was founded in 1930 by Antonis Benakis and presents the historical and cultural development of the Greek nation. Through its extensive collections that cover several different cultural fields –from the age of Roman domination to the medieval Byzantine period and from the fall of Constantinople to the struggle for Greek independence in 1821- the Benaki Museum is perhaps the sole instance of a complex structure within the broader network of museum foundations in Greece.
This page contains information only about the main building of Benaki Museum, which is the Museum of Greek Culture. If you want to have information about other branches of the museum, just click on the name of the branch of your interest: 138 Pireos Street (Pireos Annexe), Museum of Islamic Art, The Ghika Gallery, The Yannis Pappas Studio, Mentis Passementerie, Toy Museum, Delta House, The House of Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor.
History of Benaki Museum
Antonis Benakis, the child of one of the leading families of the Greek diaspora, was born in Alexandria (Egypt) in 1873. He was witness to the vibrant tradition of national benefaction which, from the earliest years of Greek independence, was so clearly manifest amongst the Greek communities abroad.
Benakis began his career as a collector in Alexandria, gradually reaching the decision to donate his collections to the Greek state, an idea which became reality after he settled permanently in Athens in 1926.
The world in which Antonis Benakis moved was shaped in a period when the drive to extend the boundaries of the Greek state was as much an element of contemporary society as the parallel ideologies of urban development and enlightenment through education. Benakis' proverbial generosity towards other cultural institutions and undertakings was indicative of this.
His personality was formed within a family environment which nourished such ideals, and which also fostered the exceptional literary talents of his sister, Penelope Delta (1874-1941), whose stories have been familiar to generations of Greek children.
It is certain that Antonis Benakis, the founder of the Benaki Museum, was also influenced by the example of his father Emmanuel Benakis (1843-1929). A close friend and colleague of the great statesman Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936), Emmanuel Benakis placed his fortune at the disposal of numerous charitable foundations and likewise contributed to the settlement of refugees in the aftermath of the catastrophe in Asia Minor.
Within this context, the nature of Antonis Benakis’s benefaction becomes self-evident. Its most salient feature remains the fact that during his own lifetime Benakis donated the museum he created to the Greek state. Of equal importance was his continuous involvement, until his death in 1954, in enriching and improving the organisation of the museum’s holdings, and his role in ensuring its financial security.
Video | Benaki Museum
Benaki Museum - Ticket Prices
Full Admission: € 9
Temporary Exhibition: € 7
Full Admission: € 7
Temporary Exhibition: € 5
Journalists: € 1
Reduced admisson is valid for:
Persons over 65
Members of Hellenic Chamber of Fine Arts
Hellenic Ministry of Culture card holders
European Youth Card holders
Members of Benaki Museum
Unemployment Card holders
Persons under 22
For disabled persons
Friends of the Benaki Museum
20% discount on the total admission cost of Permanent and Temporary exhibition (Main Building & N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery)
20% discount on the total admission cost of the permanent exhibitions on the day of the visit (Pireos St. Annexe)
Ticket “The Benaki Museum Experience” priced at €20 which entitles the visitor to one entrance per exhibition in all the Benaki Museum buildings, valid for 3 months.
Benaki Museum - Visiting Hours
Museum of Greek Culture
Wednesday - Friday: 9:00 - 17:00
Thursday - Saturday: 9:00 - 24:00
Sunday: 9:00 - 15:00
P.S.: Benaki Museum is closed on Monday, Tuesday and the following holidays: March 25th, May 1st, August 15th, October 28th, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Epiphany, Easter Day, Easter Monday, Clean Monday, Holy Spirit Day.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 - 17:00
Thursday: 9:00 - 22:00
Saturday: 9:00 - 20:00
Sunday: 9:00 - 15:00
Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 - 17:00
Thursday, Saturday: 9:00 - 24:00
Sunday: 9:00 - 15:00
Benaki Museum - Location
1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave., 106 74 Athens
How to get to the Benaki Museum:
Bus: 022, 054, 100, 203, 204, 220, 221, 224, 235, 608, 622, 732, 815, Α5, Γ5, Ε14, Ε6
Trolley bus: 3
Metro: Lines 2, 3 (SYNTAGMA & EVANGELISMOS stations)