The Best Places in Greece to Experience Arts and Culture

By Dana Perkiss

It's no secret that Greece is bustling with ancient ruins and historic sites to see, but did you know that Greece is also a trailblazer in modern art and culture, too?

This is your guide to some of the best places to experience both ancient and modern art and culture when you travel to Greece!

Acropolis of Athens - Athens

There’s no better attraction to see in Greece than one of the most renowned historical sites in the world, the Acropolis. “Acropolis” in Greek translates to “high city”, but the Acropolis in Athens is definitely the most well-known and worth visiting. Perched on a glittering high hill of limestone rock, this historic site is home to multiple cultural buildings.

The Parthenon stands in remnants as the temple which was built in honor of the goddess Athena and is simply stunning. Continue walking through the Acropolis to find the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a stone, open-air theater built in 161 AD. During the summer, the theater comes to life with classical Greek shows and musicals that will transport you back to ancient times.

The Acropolis Museum - Athens

With its modern glass and sleek designs, the Acropolis Museum is hard to miss. This archaeological museum boasts about 90,000 square feet of space featuring ancient artifacts found from the Acropolis of Athens. The museum also has a popular cafe and terrace with a stunning view of the city. For an extra fun adventure, head below the museum to discover a wholly excavated neighborhood now open for viewing.

Tip: It is recommended to start your tour on the top floor of the ‘Parthenon Gallery’ and then go down.


Delphi rests alongside Mount Parnassus just outside Athens and was once a pilgrimage location for honoring the Greek god of light, Apollo. The Sacred Way is the main path for walking through Delphi, and at the end you’ll find the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. Next to the temple you’ll find a glorious 4th century BC ancient theater, which was home to athletic and musical competitions to honor Apollo.

You’ll also enjoy exploring the Archaeological Museum of Delphi which lies just between the ancient ruins and the modern town. This museum is known for hosting famed ancient Greek art and collectables dug up from Delphi archaeological sites. While you’re there, be sure to view the Sphinx of the Naxians which is one of the earliest known portrayals of the mythical creature.

Mycenae - Argolis

If you’ve ever read Homer’s the Iliad or the Odyssey, then you may recognize Mycenae as the land from which King Agamemnon reigned when he led the battle against Troy. As another UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll feel a part of history as you walk through the archaeological ruins. While you’re there, you’ll get to view many renowned ancient sites such as The Lion Gate, the Cyclopean Walls, and the Museum of Mycenae.

Hephaestus Temple - Athens

Dedicated to Athena and Hephaestus, the god of fire, the Hephaestus Temple dates back to 450 BC and can be found on top of the Agoreao Koronos Hill in Athens. As the best-preserved temple in Greece, this temple is definitely worth visiting. It was built in a Doric style featuring large columns, sculptures lining the building, and friezes which depict mythological stories including Hercules and the Trojan War.

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki - Thessaloniki

As one of the largest museums in Greece, you’ll want to visit the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. It was built in a modern fashion, a stark contrast to the centuries of history awaiting inside. The museum boasts extraordinary collections of artefacts dating from ancient Macedonia, from all the way back to the Prehistoric age.

Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil - Sparta

After spending lots of time exploring ancient ruins and historical museums, you’ll feel refreshed at the change of pace at the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil. Located in Sparta, this museum will walk you through the cultural, religious, and economical significance of the olive in the Mediterranean. You’ll view fossilized olive leaves from over 60,000 years ago, read the first written words regarding the olive, and see the evolution of olive oil production technology.

The National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens - Athens

In Athens you will find the incredible National Museum of Contemporary Art, which prides itself for its astounding showcase of contemporary Greek and international art. The museum boasts exhibitions and programs for the public, as well as a diverse collection of art mediums like sculptures, installations, and industrial designs.

Kalfayan Galleries - Athens and Thessaloniki

With locations in both Athens and Thessaloniki, it’ll be easy to visit one of the Kalfayan Galleries. This gallery is known for connecting the Western and Eastern worlds by showcasing art from Greece, the Middle East, and the Balkans. The gallery is known worldwide through its work in international art fairs and collaborations with other art institutions.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center - Athens

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is truly a spectacular sight to see. A stark contrast from the ancient archeology Greece has to offer, the SNFCC was built in a futuristic sleek style and is one of the biggest, most sustainable complex buildings in the world. The SNFCC is a huge community space which offers an array of educational, recreational, sustainable, and cultural activities for people to join. It is home to the National Library of Greece, Stavros Niarchos Park, and the Greek National Opera.

Romantso - Athens

Romantso is a must-visit for everyone, but especially for creatives. Located in Athens and based in the former printing plant for “Romantso” magazine, this building is a large cultural center which hosts a multitude of public events, such as art shows, workshops, and concerts.

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