Last Updated on January 26, 2023 by Celeste.
The National Art Gallery of Greece has finally opened its doors again. After eight years of renovation, the nation’s most important art museum is back, showing its visitors an impressive exhibition of iconic artworks. You will find more information about visiting Athens with kids and the National Art Gallery.
The National Art Gallery in the New York Times
A feature published recently in the online edition of The New York Times (NYT) highlights Athens‘ impressive art venues, restaurants and hotels that have been developed in the Greek capital during the last two years. The NYT article also refers to new and old cultural venues worth exploring in Athens, including the National Gallery. “Twice the size of the original, the sleek new building has a glass facade that allows natural light to illuminate exhibits and offers visitors a glimpse of the city at every corner. You could spend hours exploring the three floors, charting the evolution of Greek art over nearly seven centuries,”.
The opening of the National Art Gallery
So often we stopped at the traffic lights on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue nearby the iconic building of the (former) Hilton Hotel, wondering what was hidden behind those scaffolds at the worksite of the National Gallery. For years, there was nothing more to see than wooden panels depicting the exciting paintings of the Greek past. But on March 24, 2021; the day before the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek War of Independence, the National Art Gallery of Greece was finally unveiled and opened for the public on 14 May 2021. A few weeks later, we were able to visit and finally see the national gallery from the inside. It was well worth the wait!
The collection of the National Art Gallery
The beautifully constructed building of The National Gallery (its official name is the National Art Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum) boasts a collection of more than 20,000 paintings, sculptures, and engravings dating from post-Byzantine times to the present. Apart from the great Greeks, the National Gallery also has a sizeable collection of works by great western European painters, such as Goya, Rembrandt, and Durer.
Athens with Kids: National Art Gallery
Before you visit the National Gallery with the kids, take a virtual tour around the museum at its website. Familiarize yourself with its collections, the timeline, the themes of the collections, or the artists, and decide what part of the gallery you will visit. It is impossible to see the entire collection during one visit. For historic paintings and Greek history, you will visit the first floor.
Find more virtual museum tours in Virtual Tours in 4 Athens Museums
But if you want to learn more about Modern Greek art, visit the 3rd floor.
The museum participates in a number of educational activities and (international) programs. Art-related apps, interesting links, and games for kids can be found on the website.
Children’s Workshops are being organized on the museum’s premises in order to familiarize children with Modern Greek Art. The Children’s Workshop runs every Saturday from 11.00-14.00 and is free of charge. The workshop is for pre-school and primary school children. Through games, free choices, and teamwork, kids become familiar with colors and drawing, and they paint and create structures with various materials.
Opening Hours and Visitor information
Opening hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10.00 – 18.00. Admission until 17.00 Wednesday: 10.00 – 21.00. Admission until 20.00 Tuesday: closed
General admission: 10€
Reduced entry ticket: 5€ Students, Citizens over 65
Free admission for children under 12 years old
From 1st November until the end of March, on the first Sunday of the month, all museums in Athens are free
Featured photo credits: Εθνική Πινακοθήκη – Μουσείο Αλεξάνδρου Σούτσου / National Gallery