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Review of Benaki Museum

Benaki Museum
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Private Walking Tour: Benaki Museum
Ranked #15 of 349 things to do in Athens
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

The Benaki Museum was a jewel and though it had a smaller collection, all the artifacts were interesting and the staff was very informative. Amazing. A must Visit.

Visited June 2014
Thank Sweet9885
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Always a favorite”
Reviewed 1 July 2014

This is a museum to spend time in, to linger. One of the most obscure pieces -- the lady of Larissa -- a prehistoric female figure, is a simple and stunning piece.

Visited June 2014
Thank Art D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
636 reviews
208 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
“Wonderful museum, would have been nice to use the gift shop”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

We had a one day stopover in Athens. The Bernaki Museum had been recommended to us by a cultured Greek woman we had met in Paros. The woman was right, it's a terrific museum. A gem in fact. It's conveniently close to Cyntagna square and it's full of interesting pieces which are very well presented. It's a treat for anyone with an interest in culture.

Many of the ancient pieces were in amazingly good condition. It almost seemed as if Mr Bernaki had gone out of his way to select the finest and best preserved items and the care was evident in displaying these precious things.

I would recommend a stop here from anywhere between two hours and half a day. We had to try and do it in an hour and frankly it was too little time to gain a good appreciation of the collection. We needed a minimum of two hours at least, in my opinion. The cost of entry to the museum is seven euros. It is a very reasonable price in my view given the wonderful quality of the collection.

One final word. The museum has a superb gift shop. One of the best I've seen in Greece. Two gift shops in fact, one on either side of the entrance hall. There are lots of terrific things in here. Some very expensive, some cheap. The running of the gift shop(s) and indeed the running of parts of the museum itself seemed to symbolise the mismanagement of the Greek economy and speak to the difficult situation the country currently finds itself in.

We arrived at 4pm. We were not unreasonably told on arriving that the museum closed at 5pm. I left 10 minutes prior to 5pm specifically to look in the gift shops. One gift shop seemed to have about four staff despite if being quits small. I received a frosty reception when I arrived in both, along the lines of "...don't you dare think of trying to stay here and making us (the staff members) stay after 5pm...".

It was pretty ordinary. People arrived after me and thus closer to 5pm and they received the same reception. The observation I'd make is about lack of management and/or staff commitment to satisfying customer needs and providing good service. The obvious way for the establishment to run itself is to keep to the same closing hours for the museum proper but to leave a little extra time, say half an hour, for people to go to the gift shop. It was very clear that each of the people on this day who were still in the museum at closing time were keen to buy something.

The shop could have easily brought in a couple of hundred euros in those last minutes. As it was, none were given sufficient time to properly look at the shops and the opportunity to satisfy customers while gaining commercially was lost. The staff were more focused on closing time and their weekend. Frankly, it just seems dumb and lazy.

But, this last observation cannot detract from the museum itself. It's wonderful. I would highly recommend it. You should certainly think of seeing it if you have time when you are next in Athens.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank TwoSheds57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riga, Latvia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2014

It is amazing museum exposing how well arts were developped in ancient time and how everithing was declined in Byzantine and Ottoman empire

Visited June 2014
Thank Martins V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Worth doing”
Reviewed 21 June 2014

Excellent display. Not too big. I would definitely go again. Shame not more publications to buy though.

Visited June 2014
Thank Claire B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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