The state-of-the-art Acropolis Museum opened on June 20, 2009 and holds almost 4,000 artifacts. It’s a great complement to any visit to the Acropolis, either before or after visiting the summit. The museum was built to display every artifact found on the Acropolis, including those that were illegally removed from the country.
Admission is €5. Check the official website for operating hours. As you walk up to the entrance, just outside is an archaeological site. It seems like if you dig deep enough, every inch of Athens has one. Once inside, there are several galleries featuring ancient artifacts from different parts of the Acropolis. Photography is only allowed in certain galleries.
One of the highlights are the original Caryatids (Καρυάτιδες). They were originally part of the Erechtheion. There were six, but one was removed by Lord Elgin in the 19th century and was later sold to the British Museum in London. The missing Caryatid has been one of the major focal points of Greek and British campaigns to return antiquities to Greece.
The Parthenon Gallery has original pieces of the Parthenon frieze. Everything is placed in exactly in the same position as on the Parthenon, of which there are good views from the windows in the gallery. Some of the pieces sit alongside plaster representations of pieces that are missing. If you look closely, you can see graffiti from when 19th century visitors carved their names into the marbles.
For the missing pieces, labels show where they are currently being held until they are returned home to Athens. Most are located in the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, and the Vatican.
Finally, there’s a rooftop café with good views of the Acropolis.