Heraklion's Archeological Museum is one of Greece's best museums, and one of the most important in Europe. Situated approximately 400 meters south of Heraklion's Venetian Harbor, the building, dating from the late 1930's, is practically earthquake and bomb proof, having survived both.

The museum's exhibits cover 5,500 years of human history, from 6,000 BC to the Greco-Roman Periods. It has the largest and most complete display of artifacts from the Minoan Civilization in the world, many of them master works. This, remember, was Europe's first developed civilization.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Its displays include original fresco fragments from the palace of Knossos (2,000 BC), including the famous bull jumper, the brightly-colored Kamares vessels (2,000-1700 BC), figurines of the Minoan Snake Goddess, gold jewelry, sarcophagi, statues, a gold-horned bull's head, and the famous Phaistos Disc, an 18-centemeter (6-inch) clay disc imprinted with stamped pictographic symbols in a spiral-shaped design and whose meaning and purpose remain a mystery.

Architect Patroklos Karantinos designed the building, which was built between 1937-1940 and is on the site of the former Roman Catholic monastery of St. Francis which had been leveled by an earthquake in 1856. Coincidentally, the Chania Archeological Museum was also built at the site of a Catholic monastery named St. Francis. The museum has an award-winning modernist design which incorporates anti-earthquake features.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Heraklion Archaeological Museum


  • Address: Xanthoudidou 2 Street, 71202, Heraklion
  • Telephone: 2810 279000, 2810 279086, 2810 279087


  • Full: €6, Reduced: €3
  • A special 10 Euros ticket is valid for visiting the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and the palace of Knossos; it can be purchased at both sites. Please note that the individual opening hours may differ.
  • Special ticket package: Full: €10, Reduced: €5
  • The single ticket for Knossos - Heraklion Museum costs 10 Euros.

Valid for: Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Knossos 

Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Free admission days

  • 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri) 
  • 5 June (International Enviroment Day) 
  • 18 April (International Monuments Day) 
  • 18 May (International Museums Day) 
  • The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days) 
  • Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st 
  • 28 October

Reduced admission for

  • Greek citizens and citizens of other Member - States of the European Union aged over 65 years old by showing their ID card or passport.
  • Students of Higher Education Institutes and equivalent Schools from countries outside the EU by showing their student ID.
  • The accompanying parents on educational visits of elementary schools.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Free admission for:

  • Cultural Card holders.
  • Journalists with a journalist identity card.
  • Members of Societies and Associations of Friends of Museums and Archaeological Sites throughout Greece with the demonstration of certified membership card.
  • Members of the ICOM-ICOMOS.
  • Persons accompanying blind and disabled.
  • Persons possessing a free admission card.
  • The escorting teachers of schools and institutions of elementary, middle school, high school, university and graduate level education during their visits.
  • The official guests of the Greek government, with the approval of the General Director of Antiquities. 
  • Tourist guides after demonstrating their professional identity of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. 
  • University students and students at Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent schools of Member - States of the European Union and students at Schools of Tourist Guides, by showing their student ID.
  • Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age. 
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Heraklion Archaeological Museum



  • From the 1st of November 2015 until 31st of March 2016
  • Monday 11:00- 17:00
  • Tuesday-Sunday and bank holidays 08:00-15:00

The collection of the Historical period will be closed for the public.


  • From the 1st of April 2016 until the 31st of October 2016 (provisionally):
  • Monday: 8:00 - 20:00
  • Tuesday-Sunday and bank holidays 08:00 - 20:00