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Athens National Archeological Museum

We are on a cruise with one day in Athens. Planning on using Niki Vlachov's Olympic Tours but not sure if we should book their regular Athens tour to the Acropolis and agora, or spend a lot more for a private tour that will also include the National Archeological Museum. Is it worth the time and especially money?

Posted by
4785 posts

Linda,

When we were in Athens we enjoyed visiting the National Archeological Museum, as well as the Acropolis & Agora, but we did our own tour.

Mind you, we were not an a cruise ship, so don't know the time constraint that you may have.

Posted by
12 posts

We did think about doing this on our own. But because of the time constraints, we don't want to be figuring out how to get back to the ship. I guess what I really want to know is whether rushing a little through the Acropolis, the agora and maybe the Acropolis Museum is worth it to see the Archeological Museum. And we have our 11-year old granddaughter with us.

Posted by
4535 posts

It is a great collection, though the museum itself needs a lot of updating. But I could see where you and the 11 year old could get burned out trying to do all that in one day.

If you are visiting the Acropolis Museum as part of whatever tour you have, you might find that worthwhile to see some archeological exhibits. Mind you it is different than the Archeological Museum collection, but one can't see everything. I think you might enjoy spending more quality time than quantity.

Posted by
4698 posts

Having just been to Athens with our 11 year old, I can say that he loved the Acropolis Museum, the Acropolis and the Agora, but we really hit a wall with the Archeological Museum. It was too much.

Posted by
3657 posts

Not familiar with that particular tour company, but unless your granddaughter is really into museums, I'd suggest just sticking to the Acropolis and Ancient Agora. The Agora is at the base of the Acropolis and is within easy walking distance. Then perhaps lunch and a stroll in the Palatka which is also within easy walking distance. Just food for thought.

Posted by
4785 posts

I guess what I really want to know is whether rushing a little through the Acropolis, the agora and maybe the Acropolis Museum is worth it to see the Archeological Museum. And we have our 11-year old granddaughter with us.

Having read your last post (above), I'd probably skip the Archeological Museum & spend more time admiring the other sites included in your tour.

Beware of pickpockets!

Keep your valuables in a money belt & just carry enough cash for buying souvenirs or food.

Posted by
5267 posts

I agree with the others. Both museums are excellent, and of course different, but the Acropolis Museum is newer, better-designed, and right next to the Acropolis, which you certainly want to see. The NAM is in a different part of the city. When we were there last fall (twice) several of the pieces featured in the RS guide were on loan elsewhere, and some galleries were closed due to staffing shortages. It's less kid-friendly from the standpoint of open space, bathrooms, and eating. If you had a few days I'd recommend both museums, but with just a partial day I'd go with the Acropolis Museum, along with the Acropolis and, if time allows, Agora. There must be a tour option that gets you from ship to Acropolis, gives you time for those sights, and gets you back well before the ship sails.

Posted by
3657 posts

Just slightly of topic, it is almost always more expensive to take a ship sponsored excursion. However, if that excursion is late coming back the ship will wait for you. Not so if you are on a private tour. The ship will leave you. We've seen people actually running along the pier as the ship was pulling out. If memory serves correctly the traffic in Athens was very heavy. Just food for thought.

Posted by
963 posts

What TC said.
Check on Cruise Critic's roll calls and see if there is a small private tour ( 12-16 people in a short bus or van usually), half the price of ship tours. I think you save time using a private tour over getting a taxi.
Loved the Acropolis and the museum, but I would trade the Acropolis museum for an hour at the NAM ( use Rick's book for the highlights in any case) . And there is a small cafe in the ground floor of NAM where you can recharge for a few minutes with a snack. Ice cream sometimes works wonders with 11-year-olds.