Antonis Benakis, a politician’s son born in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late 19th century, endowed what is perhaps the finest museum in Greece. Its three floors showcase impeccable treasures from the Bronze Age up to WWII. Especially gorgeous are the Byzantine icons and the extensive collection of Greek regional costumes, as well as complete sitting rooms from Macedonian mansions, intricately carved and painted. But Benakis had such a good eye that even the agricultural tools are splendid.
he variety of displays here, including Classical Greek masterpieces, mean it’s great for a group with varied interests. Late opening hours are another plus. Note also (to avoid confusion) that there are two other major branches: the Pireos Annexe, for contemporary art, and the Museum of Islamic Art, in Keramikos, as well as several smaller museums; a €20 pass is valid for three months.