The National Museum of Contemporary Art
Distance from NLH FIX400 m (walking)
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The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) began its operation in 2000. Permanent home of the Museum is the former Fix brewery on Syngrou Ave., the reconstruction of which was completed in February 2014. The building occupies 18.142 sqm. on a 3.123 sqm surface.

The Museum’s collection is formed around a very important nucleus of works by Greek and foreign artists, such as Stephen Antonakos, Constantin (Dikos) Byzantios, Vlassis Caniaris, Chryssa, Mona Hatoun, Gary Hill, Emily Jacir, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Nikos Kessanlis, Jannis Kounellis, Shirin Neshat, Lucas Samaras, Costas Tsoclis, Bill Viola, a.o, which is constantly enriched.

Distance from NLH FIX1.5 km (walking)
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Thiseio is the name of a traditional neighbourhood in downtown Athens,northwest of the Acropolis.. Long ago, the name was derived from the Temple of Hephaestus which was mistakenly known as Thiseion in reference to Theseus, the mythical king of Athens, which gave rise to the neighbourhood being named Thiseio.

The area has many cafés and cultural meeting points Thiseio is served by the nearby Thiseio metro station.

The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity, the religious and cultural centre, and the seat of justice.

The site was occupied without interruption in all periods of the city’s history. It was used as a residential and burial area as early as the Late Neolithic period (3000 B.C.). Early in the 6th century, in the time of Solon, the Agora became a public area.

After a series of repairs and remodellings, it reached its final rectangular form in the 2nd century B.C. Extensive building activity occured after the serious damage made by the Persians in 480/79 B.C., by the Romans in 89 B.C. and by the Herulae in A.D. 267 while, after the Slavic invasion in A.D. 580, It was gradually abandoned. From the Byzantine period until after 1834, when Athens became the capital of the independent Greek state, the Agora was again developed as a residential area.

The first excavation campaigns were carried out by the Greek Archaeological Society in 1859-1912, and by the German Archaeological Institute in 1896-97. In 1890-91, a deep trench cut for the Athens-Peiraeus Railway brought to light extensive remains of ancient buildings. In 1931 the American School of Classical Studies started the systematic excavations with the financial support of J. Rockefeller and continued until 1941. Work was resumed in 1945 and is still continuing. In order to uncover the whole area of the Agora it was necessary to demolish around 400 modern buildings covering a total area of ca. 12 hectares.

Acropolis from Philopappou
Distance from NLH FIX1.3 km (walking)
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The Philopappos Hill is the highest of the three hills just west of the Acropolis. It is named after a monument erected at the top of the hill in honor of the Roman senator Philopappos.

Hill of the muses

In antiquity the Philopappos Hill was known as the Mouseion (Hill of the Muses). The Greek believed that the hill was inhabited by the nine muses and that Musaeus, a poet and disciple of Orpheus, was buried here.
The hill has a height of 147 meters (482 ft) and offers spectacular views of the Acropolis. Towards the south you can see as far as the sea.

Philopappos Monument

The Roman consul and senator Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos, a powerful aristocrat and friend of the Roman emperor Trajan, admired Greek culture and long lived in Athens. He was seen in Athens as a benefactor, and often sponsored theater plays.

After he died, the Athenians built a marble tomb and monument for the senator. The monument, completed in 119 AD, is twelve meters high and was built at the highest point of the Philopappos Hill.

The Pnyx

The Pnyx, a hill just north of the Philopappos, is the birthplace of democracy. This was the place where from 508 BC on (when Athens became a democracy), citizens assembled ten times a year to listen to orators and take political decisions.

From the still visible Bêma – the podium – leaders like Themistocles, Pericles and Demosthenes addressed the crowd, who was seated in a semicircle. Initially the crowd sat on bedrock, but later wooden benches were built. Originally there was seating for 5,000 people, eventually expanded to accommodate a crowd of an estimated 13,500 people. At the end of the fourth century the Pnyx was abandoned when the assembly moved to the even larger Theater of Dionysus.

Hill of the Nymphs

The 103 meter high Hill of the Nymphs, northwest of the Philopappos Hill, was in ancient times the site of a shrine dedicated to the nymphs, hence its name.

In 1842 Baron Sinas financed the construction of the first observatory of Athens, the Asteroskopeion. It was built atop the Hill of the Nymphs by the Danish architect Theophil Hansen who created a neoclassical domed structure with a cross-shaped floorplan.2

The Library
Distance from NLH FIX2.1 km (walking)
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World-famous, the stunning Athenian Trilogy – the three elegant buildings on Panepistimiou Street – stands above the scramble of one of the city center’s busiest thoroughfares. Designed in the mid-19th century by the Danish Hansen brothers and completed years later with the help of benefactors and donors, these buildings have seen it all: from the urban planning visions of King Otto and the star architects of the time, horse-drawn carriages making way to trams and later cars, to apartment buildings popping up on all sides and the evolution into a metropolis of today.


A union of vision

Our tour of the neoclassical Athenian trilogy begins in the forecourt of Athens University, the first of the three buildings to be constructed, in 1864, by the Danish architect Christian Hansen and the one that gave its name to one of the busiest streets in the city center, Panepistimiou (University street). Before the famous Great Hall of Ceremonies, the aula, you can look up to marvel at the colorful murals in the portico, one of its most impressive elements. Financed by wealthy benefactors Simon Sinas and Nikolaus Dumba, the mural was designed by Austrian artist Carl Rahl and executed after his death by Polish painter Eduard Lebiedzki. At its center it depicts King Otto, the building’s primary donor, surrounded by the arts and sciences personified in classical attire.


Celebrating Excellence

Inspired by the Propylaea of the Acropolis, Hansen’s Academy was the result of the efforts and talents of many artists, including those of architect Ernst Ziller, a student of Hansen’s; sculptor Leonidas Drosis, responsible for the pediment above the entrance and the statues of Athena and Apollo on the flanking pillars; and Christian Griepenkerl, who painted the building’s hidden treasure, the pictorial ensemble in the meeting hall.

The 50m-long colorful mural, based on designs by Theophil Hansen and inspired by Aeschylus’ tragedy Prometheus Bound, depicts the Passions of Prometheus and reads like a story, starting from the prophecy about the theft of fire by Prometheus and ending with his reception by the gods on Mount Olympus.


Treasury of Knowledge

The National Library, created by Theophil Hansen in order to complement the Academy on the far side of the University, has been housed here since 1903 with a mission to preserve Hellenic intellectual heritage.

Beyond the lobby lies the reading room, where you are welcomed by the smell of old books, more of which are stored behind closed doors in the building’s side wings. The library is home to an impressive body of knowledge, including the first printed book in the Greek language from 1476.

The sun streaming through the skylight gives the reading room a somewhat imperial atmosphere and highlights its elegant marble Ionic peristyle and furnishings. The original tables and chairs, as well as the unusual cast-iron bookstands and galleries around me, are still in use and were designed by Ernst Ziller, a student of Hansen’s, who supervised the Library’s construction.

Palm garden in center of Athens
Distance from NLH FIX1.6 km (walking)
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A few meters away from Syntagma metro station and right next to the Greek parliament lies the national garden which, together with the Zappeion hall garden, covers 24 hectares full of vegetation, rare kinds of plants, saplings and birds.

The Garden is accessible from seven entrances. The central entrance on Amalias Avenue, one on Vasilissis Sophias Avenue, three on Irodou Attikou Street and two more in the area of Zappeion park.

A few steps into the garden allows you to escape the hurly burly of the city. Many Athenians and travelers prefer the National Garden for their exercise and you will spot people jogging through this luxuriant city paradise.

The Garden is home to 7,000 trees, 40,000 bushes and other plants, making up 519 species and varieties. 102 of them are Greek, with Judas trees, oleanders and carob trees the undoubted stars, while others come from different countries all over the world such as Australian pines or Chinese trees-of-heaven. Centenarian Holm oaks, cypress trees and Canary Island date palms are also amongst the plants that have been a feature of the garden since it was first created.

In this green heart there are also six lakes, all with a sizeable complement of playful ducks waiting to feed them!

One of the most amazing finds in the garden is the Roman floor, uncovered at a depth of one meter, belonging to the courtyard of a Roman villa very near what is now the entrance on Vasilissis Sophias Avenue.

A sight that attracts the visitors to the Garden is the famous sun dial situated at the main entrance. The shadow of the hand, depending on the position of the sun, indicates the time, which everyone tries to guess at without looking at their watch or mobile phone; a momentary return to our pre-mechanized past.

The Garden also has a conservatory, children’s library and a small café. The entrance to the traditional café in the Garden is on Irodou Attikou Street.

A walk in the National Garden is love at first sight. It isn’t only a verdant oasis in the center of a metropolis. The heart of Greek and Athenian history beats in the National Garden and it is there waiting for you to explore it.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus
Distance from NLH FIX0.7 km (walking)
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Located in southern Athens, between the Acropolis and the Ilissos river, the Olympeion or Temple of Olympian Zeus was the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus. Here stands one of the greatest ancient temples of Zeus and, according to Vitruvius, one of the most famous marble buildings ever constructed. The sanctuary’s foundation is attributed to mythical Deukalion. The site also comprises the temple of Apollo Delphinios – the sanctuary of Apollo Delphinios was traditionally associated with Theseus – and a tripartite building with a south courtyard of ca. 500 BC. The latter has been identified as the Delphinion Court, which was allegedly founded by Aegeas.
The site of the Olympeion was a place of worship of chthonic deities and of ancient Athenian heroes Athens since prehistory. Peisistratus the Young initiated the construction of a monumental temple in 515 BC, but failed to complete his project because of the fall of tyranny. The temple remained unfinished for approximately 400 years, until Antiochus IV Epiphanes resumed its construction in 174 BC. It was completed in AD 124/125 by Emperor Hadrian, who associated himself with Zeus and adopted the title of Olympios. A large poros temple dedicated to Apollo Delphinios was also built on the site around 450 BC. It was abandoned in the third century AD. The temple was Doric peripteral with two columns in antis on the front and back. In the second century AD, Hadrian built a Roman temple of the Doric order, with a built enclosure and an outdoor altar, probably of Kronos or Rea.

A new city wall, the so-called Valerian Wall, was erected under Emperor Valerius in the third century AD, possibly on the same line as the Classical Themistoclean Wall. A large Late Roman cemetery developed outside the wall in the fourth and fifth centuries AD, and an extensive Byzantine settlement with many houses and workshops, including tanneries and an olive press, developed over the ruins of the Classical temple in the eleventh-twelfth centuries. This settlement had at least one main street, the so-called Ancient Street.

Plaka – Athens
Distance from NLH FIX0.8 km (walking)
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It is the oldest district in Athens (it is also mentioned as “Gods’ district”) with outstanding scenery. The moment you start walking on its paved narrow lanes you get the feeling that you travel back in time.

Nobody knows where the area took its name from. According to the most prevalent opinion, Plaka took its name from a large stone slab that was found in the area near to Aghios Georgios Alexandreias church, next to Dionysus ancient theater.

You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the houses with neoclassic colors, the architecture, the well preserved gardens, the elegance and the atmosphere of the whole area.

Even Plaka’s air is different: Softer, clearer and full of scents, like a gift from gods. If you decide to walk around the area, make sure you have a map, because Plaka is like a labyrinth and you will probably get lost in its lanes.

You will find souvenir shops in the central street of the district Adrianos Str., as well as in other streets.

Anafiotika is a unique and beautiful must see area. It is a beautiful island village on the foot of Acropolis Rock! It was constructed in the middle of the 19th century, when builders came to Athens from the Aegean island of Anafi. These builders were considered as the best in their art and came to Athens to construct the Palace of the first King of Greece, Othonas. Knowing that they would have to spend few years away from home and feeling nostalgic, they decided to reconstruct their village on the highest area of Plaka. So they built small white houses, with the same architectural style as the ones in their village. Anafiotika, which means the neighborhood of Anafiotes (people from Anafi).

Monastiraki square early in the morning
Distance from NLH FIX1.8 km (walking)
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One of the most typical areas in “old” Athens full of narrow lanes and small buildings, representing the Ottoman and Byzantine influence on the city. In the open-air stands and in the small shops, located on central streets, you can buy everything: shoes, clothes, old and new furniture, old books and magazines, souvenirs, jewelry, hats, bronze items, new and second hand records and cd’s, traditional Greek music instruments (bouzouki, cymbal etc). Shopping or just walking around Monastiraki is an amazing experience you do not want to miss. You will be amazed by the quality and quantity of products and you will definitely be tempted to buy something.


Monastiraki Square. A historic square, where you can see Tzistaraki Mosque, Andrianos Library and Pantanassas Byzantine Church. Very interesting is also the reconstructed neoclassic metro station, one of the network’s oldest (1895). Next to it is a specially constructed area (300 sq. m) that houses Ancient Iridanos River bed.

Avissinia Square (Giousouroum). It is Monastiraki’s central square. Here you can find literally everything: rare antique furniture or antique models as well as every kind of second hand items. You can also find old closets, bookshelves, frames, mirrors, tables, gramophone records and music instruments. If you want to buy something it is better to visit these markets early in the morning. If you just want to walk around the area, noon is the perfect time of the day. You can also have a glass of Greek wine or Ouzo, accompanied with Greek mezes (Greek tapas), in one of the small restaurants of the square.

Andrianos Str. A typical Athens street, extending from Andrianos Library to “Theseion” metro station. The neoclassic one or two storey buildings house antique shops and shops with traditional items, while on Sunday many outdoor dealers gather to sell their products. There are also many coffee houses and small beautiful restaurants with unique view of Ancient Agora archeological site.

Lycabettus mountain in Athens Greece
Distance from NLH FIX3.2 km (walking)
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Mount Lycabettus  also known as Lycabettos, Lykabettos or Lykavittos is a Cretaceous limestone hill in Athens, Greece at 300 meters (908 feet) above sea level. Pine trees cover its base, and at its two peaks are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant.

The hill is a tourist destination and can be ascended by the Lycabettus Funicular, a funicular railway which climbs the hill from a lower terminus at Kolonaki (The railway station can be found at Aristippou street). Lycabettus appears in various legends. Popular stories suggest it was once the refuge of wolves, (lycos in Greek), which is possibly the origin of its name (means “the one [the hill] that is walked by wolves”). Mythologically, Lycabettus is credited to Athena, who created it when she dropped a limestone mountain she had been carrying from the Pallene peninsula for the construction of the Acropolis after the box holding Erichthonius was opened.

The hill has a large open-air amphitheatre at the top, which has housed many Greek and international concerts. Among the artists who have performed at the Lycabettus theatre included Ray Charles, Joan Baez, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola, John Mc Laughlin, Gary Moore, Peter Gabriel, Black Sabbath, Nick Cave, Pet Shop Boys, Deep Purple, UB40, Placebo, Radiohead, Moby, Massive Attack, Faithless, Whitesnake, Tracy Chapman, Patti Smith, Vanessa Mae, Brian Ferry, Tito Puente, Buena Vista Social Club, Orishas and Scorpions

If you decide to walk down the forest path you will encounter Dexameni Square in Kolonaki, where you can grab a bite to eat.

Panathenaic stadium (or kallimarmaro)
Distance from NLH FIX1.6 km (walking)
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The Panathenaic Stadium also known as Kallimarmaro (beautiful marble) is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of the main attractions of Athens, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.

The Panathenaic Stadium is a classical cultural and touristic monument of Greece and one of the most significant monuments not only for Athens, but for the whole Greece.It is one of our city’s most popular touristic attractions and one of Athens’ landmarks.

Its rich history is directly connected to the Modern Olympic Games as from their revival in 1896 until the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. It is also the place from where the Olympic flame sets up its journey to the cities of the Olympic Games, both Winter, Summer and Youth.

A stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) c. 330 BC, primarily for the Panathenaic Games. It was rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, by 144 AD. It had a capacity of 50,000 seats. After the rise of Christianity in the 4th century it was abandoned, until the 19th century. It was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 sports.

The first modern Olympic Games commenced on 25 March and concluded on 3 April, and were a resounding success. The victor in the Marathon race, the most popular contest, was the Greek Spyros Louis. It was in the Panathenaic Stadium that the Olympic Hymn was heard for the first time. Throughout the twentieth century the Panathenaic Stadium hosted diverse events, among them pan-Hellenic and international games.

In the Athens 2004 Olympic Games it experienced moments of suspense and emotion during the archery contests and as the finishing line of the Marathon race. A creation of the Athenians, as its name proudly proclaims, the Panathenaic Stadium has been the venue for noble competition and fair play, of mind and of body, since Antiquity.

Greek Parliament in Athens
Distance from NLH FIX1.6 km (walking)
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The Greek parliament is housed in an imposing building situated at the east side of Syntagma Square. In front of the building is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is guarded by the Evzones, an elite regiment in traditional dress.

The Parliament Building

The Greek Parliament Building was erected between 1836 and 1842 as the royal palace for king Otto I, the first king of modern Greece. The architect was the German Friedrich von Gärtner, who designed a monumental building with neoclassical facade.

After a fire damaged the palace in 1909, the king moved to a nearby building (now the presidential palace) and the original palace became known as the ‘Old Palace’. In 1929, after the monarchy was abolished, the Greek government decided to move the parliament from its existing building at Stadiou street (now the National Historical Museum) to the old Palace. The parliament has resided here ever since 1935.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

In front of the Parliament Building is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The monument, with a large relief depicting a nude, dying hoplite, was inaugurated on March 25, 1932, on the Greek day of independence. On either side of the tomb are excerpts from Pericles’s famous funeral oration inscribed on the wall.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is permanently guarded by Evzones, members of the presidential guard in traditional attire, foustanella.

The foustanella was worn by the Greek revolutionaries who fought the independence war against the Turkish between 1821 and 1830. It consists of a white skirt with four hundred pleats (the number of years of Turkish rule), white shirts with long sleeves, red pointed shoes with large pompons and an embroidered vest.

The change of the guards, on the hour, looks like a very slow dance where the soldiers kick their feet on the ground and in the air. On Sunday at 11 o’clock, the ceremony is more elaborate than the weekday event and features a marching band and an abundance of guards.

National Archaeological Museum
Distance from NLH FIX3.3 km (walking)
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The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. It was founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value.

In its galleries can be traced the long evolution of ancient Greek culture. The Museum’s Collections –Prehistoric, Sculpture, Vases and the Minor Arts, Bronze, and Egyptian Antiquities– are amongst the most comprehensive in the world. The Prehistoric Collection consists of unique works of art representing the major civilisations that flourished in the Aegean. It includes objects from the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age, from mainland Greece, the Aegean islands and Troy. The most important exhibits are the treasures from the royal tombs at Mycenae, the famous Cycladic marble figurines, and the superbly preserved wall-paintings from Thera with their large-scale compositions.

The Sculpture Collection presents the development of ancient Greek sculpture. The sculptures comprising it, many of which are masterpieces and landmarks in the history of art, come from Athens and other parts of Greece –Thessaly, central Greece, Peloponnese, Crete, and the Aegean islands. The Collection contains some of the largest groups of original sculptures in the world.

The great quantity and quality of the Geometric pottery, the early black-figure vases from Vari, and the whiteground lekythoi and red-figure vases of the 4th c. BC, make this Collection one of the richest in the world. The exhibits come from excavations in cemeteries, such as the Kerameikos and that at Vari, and in sanctuaries like those of Hera at Argos and Perachora, of Artemis Orthia at Sparta, the sanctuaries on the Athenian Acropolis, and the Kabeirion at Thebes. The Bronze Collection is one of the largest in the world. It is famous mainly for its unique, large-scale original statues, such as the Poseidon or Zeus from Artemision, the Marathon youth, the Antikythera youth, and the jockey from Artemision, and also for smaller pieces such as the mechanism from Antikythera, figurines and vases. The majority of the bronzes were dedications in the major Greek sanctuaries

Parthenon temple on the Acropolis
Distance from NLH FIX1.1 km (walking)
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The history of the Acropolis of Athens is long, with moments when democracy philosophy and art flourished, leading to its creation. Then there were the times when its best standing pieces were removed and shipped away from the city, dividing the monument in two. Today, the international community wants to reunite all of the Acropolis sculptures in Athens and restore both its physicality and meaning.

The Acropolis, and the Parthenon in particular, is the most characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilisation. It continues to stand as a symbol in many ways: it is the symbol of democracy and the Greek civilisation. It also symbolises the beginning of the Western civilisation and stands as the icon of European culture. The Parthenon was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of the city of Athens and goddess of wisdom. It was built under the instructions of Pericles, the political leader of Athens in the 5th century BC. The Parthenon was constructed between 447 and 438 BC and its sculptural decoration was completed in 432 BC. In 1987 it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site. Uniquely, capturing the gravity of the Athenian Acropolis as a symbol, UNESCO recognises that “[…] the Acropolis, the site of four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art – the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheum and the Temple of Athena Nike – can be seen as symbolizing the idea of world heritage

Despite the unique symbolic and cultural value of the monument, the issue of the removal of the sculptures from the Athenian Acropolis by Elgin continues to shadow their history. Today, more than half of the Parthenon sculptures are in the British Museum in London and their return to Athens, for their display in the Acropolis Museum together with the other originals, is a cultural issue awaiting to be settled.

The New Acropolis Museum
Distance from NLH FIX0.4 km (walking)
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The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological site-specific museum, housing more than 4.000 artefacts from the Athenian Acropolis, the most significant sanctuary of the ancient city. It is located in the historical area of Makriyianni, southeast of the Rock of the Acropolis, the Museum narrates the story of life on the Rock from prehistoric times until the end of Antiquity. Architect Bernard Tschumi’s new Acropolis Museum replaced the old Museum on the Rock of the Acropolis.

The new museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, approximately ten times the size of the old Museum. A tailor made museum building with extensive use of glass ensures breathtaking views of the Acropolis, the surrounding historic hills and the modern city of Athens and immediate views of the archaeological excavation that lies below the Museum, visible through large expanses of glass floor. With the benefit of the changing natural light, visitors can discern and discover the delicate surface variations of the sculptures and select the vantage point from which to observe the exhibits.

The archaeological excavation that lies beneath the Museum provides the opportunity to visitors to appreciate both the masterpieces of the Acropolis in the upper levels of the Museum against the remains of the day to day lives of the people that lived in the shadow of the Acropolis over various periods.

After crossing the ground floor lobby of the Museum, the first collection that lies before the visitor presents finds from the sanctuaries and the settlement which were developed on the slopes of the Acropolis during all historic periods. On Level One visitors learn about the history of life at the top of the Rock, from the 2nd millennium BC until the end of Antiquity. On Level Three, visitors are afforded the opportunity to view the sculptural decoration of the Parthenon, the most significant temple of the Acropolis.

The Museum provides an increasingly diverse program of activities for its visitors, including the presentation of Museum conservators at work within the galleries – currently the delicate laser cleaning of the famous Caryatid sculptures – 3D projections about the Acropolis in antiquity, gallery talks by Archaeologists-Museum Hosts and family-focused activities aided by backpack materials. Restaurant, café and Museum shopping is available, as well as quiet reading areas with publications about the Acropolis.