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Heraklion Archaeological Museum

One of Europe’s most important museums has five millennia of Cretan history on display, including the exceptional Minoan exhibit.

View over 5,500 years of pottery, artwork, tools and weapons when you visit Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Plan to spend time in the Minoan exhibit, which is widely acknowledged as being the best of its kind in the world. Discover Neolithic tools and statues, objects traded with the Egyptians and notable Roman artworks and frescoes too.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum began in 1883 as a small collection of antiques, but the proliferation of archaeological finds in the area meant that the collection quickly grew. The current building was completed in 1940 and houses over 15,000 artifacts spanning a history of 5,500 years. It is one of the largest and most important museums in Europe and is most notable for its extensive collection of Minoan artifacts. Be sure to see it during your visit to Crete.

The 23 rooms lead you on a chronological journey through the history of Crete. Start in the Neolithic period to see ancient tools and a Neolithic fertility statue. Observe that the tools and artwork become gradually more sophisticated as you make your way through the ages. Objects traded with the Egyptians and colorful frescoes taken from the walls of palaces are among the many relics that capture the imagination. Look for the snake goddess statue as well as the Arkalochori Axe, a fearsome-looking weapon used in religious rituals. All objects are grouped by the place that they were found, so you can get a good sense of what each area was known for.

Make sure you visit the separate Minoan collection, one of the most impressive displays of its type anywhere in the world. See the fabulous colorful frescoes and the miniature statues of gods and animals that the Minoans were famous for. Notice beautifully decorated pottery as well.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum is located in the center of Heraklion in Eleftherias (Freedom) Square. During the summer the museum is open daily; check the museum's website for other seasonal opening hours. There is a charge for entry.


Guide to Exploring around Heraklion Archaeological Museum


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Best Lodging Options Near Heraklion Archaeological Museum

See all 1,106 Properties near Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Capsis Astoria Heraklion Hotel $61
Capsis Astoria Heraklion Hotel

Capsis Astoria Heraklion Hotel

11 Eleftherias square, Heraklion, Crete Island
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Heraklion hotel is located near the airport, just steps from Eleftherias Square and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away.

    GDM Megaron Historical Monument Hotel $79
    GDM Megaron Historical Monument Hotel

    GDM Megaron Historical Monument Hotel

    9, D. Beaufort Street, Heraklion, Crete Island
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Heraklion, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of the Battle for Crete and National Resistance, Heraklion Port, and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. St. Titus Church (Agios Titos Cathedral) and 18 Anglon Square are also within 10 minutes.

      Aquila Atlantis Hotel $79
      Aquila Atlantis Hotel

      Aquila Atlantis Hotel

      2 Ygias Street, Heraklion, Crete Island
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Heraklion hotel is located near the airport, just steps from Museum of the Battle for Crete and National Resistance and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.6 mi (1 km) away.

        Lato Boutique Hotel $59
        Lato Boutique Hotel

        Lato Boutique Hotel

        15 Epimenidou Street, Heraklion, Crete Island
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Heraklion, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of 18 Anglon Square and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away.

          Galaxy Hotel Iraklio $80
          Galaxy Hotel Iraklio

          Galaxy Hotel Iraklio

          75 Dimokratias Ave, Heraklion, Crete Island
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Heraklion hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Heraklion Archaeological Museum and Morosini Fountain. Heraklion Loggia and Historical Museum of Crete are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Marianthi's House-archeological Museum,iraklion
            Marianthi's House-archeological Museum,iraklion

            Marianthi's House-archeological Museum,iraklion

            Heraklion, Crete
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Heraklion, this vacation home is steps from Mediterranean Sea and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) away.

              Olive Green Hotel $59
              Olive Green Hotel

              Olive Green Hotel

              Meramvellou & Idomeneos 22, Heraklion, Crete
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Heraklion, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from St. Titus Church (Agios Titos Cathedral) and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.6 mi (1 km) away.

                Inotavros - Cozy City Apartement $118
                Inotavros - Cozy City Apartement

                Inotavros - Cozy City Apartement

                Heraklion, Crete
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Heraklion, this historic apartment building is steps from Eleftherias Square and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) away.