Do you enjoy learning about a country’s history through its art? Then the National Gallery in Athens is the place to be.
The newly renovated museum reopened after an almost decade-long expansion and refurbishment on 24th March. The ideal place to learn about Greek art.
What is the National Gallery? H Εθνική Πινακοθήκη
Founded in 1900, the National Gallery of Athens is home to more than 20,000 artworks by Greek and European artists. The collection follows a chronological order and includes paintings, sculptures, engravings, drawings, and many more, covering a period from the post-Byzantine era until today.
Although the Gallery is dedicated to Greek artists, visitors can see works of art by Bruegel, Caravaggio, Delacroix, Rodin, El Greco, and Picasso. Fun fact: The local authorities managed to recover a painting by Picasso, Head of a Woman, stolen for the National Gallery during a heist in 2012, along with Piet Mondrian’s Stammer Mill.
It is also known as the Alexandros Soutzos Museum, a lawyer and art enthusiast who supported the Gallery financially upon its opening and left his extensive art collection to the Greek State so that they would add it to the Gallery’s exhibition.
Why visit the National Gallery?
Visiting the National Gallery is a great way to learn about modern 20th-century artists, such as Nikos Hatzikyriakos-Gikas, Yannis Tsarouchis, Yannis Moralis, Spyros Vassiliou, Nikos Eggonopoulos, Dimitris Mytaras, Alekos Fassianos, and Theofilos Hatzimichail. Moreover, you can also see works by 19th-century artists belonging to the Munich School, as it is called, such as Georges Jakovides, Nikiforos Lytras, and Nikolaos Gyzis.
The museum is set to open with a unique display dedicated to the War of Independence, titled 1821 in Painting: Greece Demands its Historical Art Gallery.
To see some photos and get a better idea, click here to visit the Facebook album at
Note: Part of the National Gallery is also the National Sculpture Gallery that is located in the park of Goudi Athens.
Over the years, departments of the National Gallery have opened in Nafplion, Corfu, Aegina, and Sparta.
When can I visit the National Gallery?
The National Gallery of Athens is located within walking distance from Syntagma Square, opposite the Athens Hilton Hotel. Another way to access it is by taking the metro line 3 (blue) and getting off either at Evangelismos or Megaro Mousikis.
Shop: 10.00. – 17.30
Metro Station: Evangelismos
We would advise you to check their website before your visit for any updates.
And if you would like to be cheeky and have a peek at the National Gallery’s collection, why not have a look at their Instagram page?
Keep learning, keep exploring!
If you are keen to learn more about Greek art, both older and contemporary, and discover more museums for your next visit to Athens, there are more articles about Greek culture on my blog.
Greece is a country where old meets new. You can witness art, architecture, and culture that can be up to 3000 years old. At the same time, there are also opportunities to see a lot of modern art, contemporary architecture and visit museums that house the work of prominent Greek artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.