Dining at Benaki Museum’s Restaurant

In the heart of the capital, but far from the hustle and bustle of urban living, you’ll find Benaki, one of Athens’ finest museums. Housed in a stunning neoclassical mansion, it’s located in the chic neighbourhood of Kolonaki. 

On the second floor, is the recently renovated restaurant with an impeccable terrace overlooking the National Garden and the Panathenaic Stadium. A well-kept secret of the Greek capital, it combines modern and classic elements and is a wonderful place to visit all year round.

To reach the eatery you must pass by the many beautiful exhibits of the museum – adding extra points to an already pleasant experience. 

The vibe

The renovated space offers a modern aesthetic, as well as a special touch – thanks to its collaboration with the Akrithakis Archive, which is behind the popular Fofi’s restaurant in Berlin. At Benaki Restaurant, you will now find unique works by legendary artist Alexis Akrithakis, alongside creative dishes that are influenced by local seasonal produce. 

Signature dishes

The cuisine of Deipnosofistirion, with Executive Chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos at the helm, offers a fine culinary experience that includes zucchini julienne with shrimps marinated in mint and lemon thyme sauce, bites of dolmades accompanied by yogurt sauce, delicious homemade meatballs, and a mouthwatering lentils salad with Florina peppers, sun-dried tomato, fresh basil and aged vinegar. 

My fave dishes

The risotto with truffle oil, fresh asparagus, lemon thyme, and mushrooms sprinkled with pieces of graviera cheese, the pappardelle with chicken, and the pastitsio with San Michalis Syros cheese, veal ragu and skioufihta (Cretan pasta). 

Leave room for dessert?

Profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream and bitter chocolate sauce, pavlova surrounded by strawberries and red fruit sauce, delicious lemon mousse with white cream chocolate, or otherwise a delicate namelaka flavoured with basil and fresh blueberries – are enough reasons to try something sweet from the menu. 

Something to drink

Savor an Adonis cocktail- a blend of fino sherry, aged sweet vermouth, orange bitters and a soft touch of wild lavender. The Hemingway is a twist on a classic daiquiri with Barbados aged rum, homemade grapefruit sherbet, and aromas from maraschino and fresh lime, while the Fiore di Ciliegio, is a French gin with aromas of sweet spices, lime essence, bitter almond and ginger topped with cherry blossom tonic.

Why I’d come back…

For the spectacular terrace (especially during sunset) overlooking the National Garden. 

Perfect for

A great spot to dine at any night of the week – whether it be for a date night, catching up with a group of friends, or after-work drinks. 

Price range: About €25 per person

Opening hours:  Open everyday apart from Tuesday | 10 am – 1 am

Location: Koumpari 1 & Vas. Sofias, Athens

Benaki Museum Presents “Treasures of Philhellenic Painting”

In honour of the 200 Year Anniversary of the Greek War of Independence, the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture in Athens presents the philhellenic collection by the Anthony E. Comninos Foundation titled “Treasures of Philhellenic Painting.”

Featuring paintings by renowned 19th-Century European artists; each piece highlights Greece’s struggle for independence, the country’s ancient and modern ideals, and its efforts to establish a modern nation.

Insights Greece - Benaki Museum Presents “Treasures of Philhellenic Painting”
Collection by Anthony E. Comninos Foundation

Curator and art historian Dr Fani-Maria Tsigkakou has brought together a wonderful collection of 30 works by prominent European painters of various nationalities including Italians, Germans, English, and French, all of the 19th century; and each piece was carefully selected and divided into three sections.

The first section of the exhibition features landscape paintings, the second section highlights Greece’s struggle during the revolution and the third section, which is located in the centre of the room, draws its themes from everyday life during this challenging period.

Some of the prominent artists whose work is on display include Peter Heinrich Lambert von Hess, Martinus Christian, Wesseltoft Rorbye, Ludovico Lipparini, Denis Dighton, Henry Nelson O’Neil, and Konstantin Johann Franz Cretius.

This is the final exhibition at the Benaki Museum honouring the bicentennial anniversary of Greece’s War of Independence.  

Insights Greece - Benaki Museum Presents “Treasures of Philhellenic Painting”
Painting by Peter Heinrich Lambert von Hess | Anthony E. Comninos Foundation

Admission: Free

A: 1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave. Athens

From: 3rd of November, 2021 to 9th of January, 2022

Opening Hours: 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday- 10 am to 6 pm 

Tuesday- Closed

Thursday- 10 am to Midnight 

Sunday- 10 am to 4 pm 

For more details head to Benaki Museum 

Images Courtesy of the Anthony E. Comninos Foundation

Athens’ First Forum Celebrating Greek Design and Architecture 

The inaugural Athens Design Forum, a non-profit event, has been launched in the Greek capital; aiming to celebrate Greek design, architecture, and creativity through a series of exhibitions, seminars, workshops, and archival studies.

Running from 30 September through to 7 October 2021, the festival, which is the first of its kind, is supported by The City of Athens and The Behrakis Foundation and brings together specialists, innovators, and strategic partners who highlight the history and prospective future of design in the country and beyond. In an experimental format, the non-profit organisation’s mission is to invite local and global audiences to experience design in Athens, solidifying the Mediterranean capital as a historical and contemporary epicenter of creative production.

“Athens Design Forum (ADF) bridges traditional and contemporary design principles to inspire socially conscious and sustainable design. Introducing an experimental format for experiencing design that is rooted in the traditional heritage of the Mediterranean, ADF brings local wisdom to a global scale,” state the organisers of the event. 

“Our vision is to sustain formative dialogues, amplify the craft and design sectors, build strategic partnerships with local and global organizations, and create accessible knowledge,” adds ADF. 

Highlights during the forum include a visit to Papagos House, which is the private residence and studio of legendary Greek painter Alekos Fassianos- this will be open to the public for the very first time; as well as a studio visit with emerging local designer Kostas Lambridis- set in the industrial area of Nea Ionia.

A selection of furniture designs made by architect Dionisis Sotovikis will be shown in his personal residence, a historic landmark built by Aristomenis Proveleggios; and a unique performance designed by Tellurico and Neostandard will showcase “stucco,’’ an ancient technique commonly used in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, which covers walls and pillars of classical buildings, often reproducing precious stones like marble and granite.  

As part of the forum, the Benaki Museum Shop will also be presenting a curated collection of ceramic works at the Ghika Gallery Shop. For the entire program head to Athens Design Forum.

Main image courtesy of Wallpaper ©

Athens’ 8 Best Museum Cafes

Athens’ museums have always been an essential part of a visit to the Greek capital, and lately, their cafes have become serious draws of their own. After hours spent wandering amazing galleries and exhibitions, these cafes are the perfect spot to sit back and relax. Here, we’ve rounded up 8 of Athens’ best museum cafes to pair a rich cultural experience with a cool cafe vibe! 

Acropolis Museum Cafe

When visiting Athens, the Acropolis Museum is an unmissable spot as it’s been named one of the best museums in the world. It also has a restaurant/café with magnificent views of the city. Serving delicious traditional recipes using locally sourced produce- where you can taste great dishes and homemade sweets while catching exquisite views of the Parthenon. 

A: 15 Dionysiou Areopagitou St, Athens 

Benaki Museum Cafe

Located across from the National Gardens, next to the chic Kolonaki neighbourhood- you will come across one of the most beautiful buildings. As soon as you enter the gates to the courtyard of the Benakis family mansion, you will understand why this is such a treasured cultural landmark. Here you can relax on the charming terrace overlooking the city. Perfect spot for a coffee, or a long lunch. 

A: 1 Koumpari St, Athens 

Numismatic Museum Cafe

Even if you have no interest in coins, the Numismatic Museum is worth visiting for the beautiful architecture of the neoclassical mansion where the museum is housed. Once the home of renowned archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, it was designed by famous German architect Ernst Ziller. Boasting a lush garden filled with ancient Greek statues, the cafe is open daily from 9 am until midnight- where you can enjoy a coffee, catch up with friends, and live music. 

A: 12 Panepistimiou St, Syntagma 

Insights Greece - Athens' 8 Best Museum Cafes

Byzantine and Christian Museum, Illisia Cafe

This classical mansion was built in the 1840s and was made into the Byzantine and Christian Museum in 1926. After you explore the wonderful collection- sit in the charming gardens and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee at the Ilissia Cafe. Along with beautiful grounds, you will also be impressed with the menu which includes a range of starters, salads, and a few traditional Greek dishes.

A: 22 Vassilissis Sofias Avenue, Kolonaki

Museum of Cycladic Art Cafe

The ultra-modern café-restaurant of the Museum of Cycladic Art features striking marble benches and clean lines. The interiors are minimal, sophisticated, and light- giving it a very sleek yet inviting feel. The menu features Greek cuisine, using the finest quality ingredients and a philosophy of simplicity in terms of flavors and presentation. Perfect spot for brunch or a light lunch- and make sure you try one of the freshly baked sweets. 

A: 4 Neofitou Douka St, Athens

Insights Greece - Athens' 8 Best Museum Cafes

Athens City Museum, Black Duck Garden Cafe

This charming garden boasts lush greenery that is paired with marble tables and black chairs, giving it a cool and sophisticated vibe. Black Duck Garden is not only a cafe, it’s also a bar, gallery, museum, and event centre where many local artists come to feature their work. From a light brunch menu and coffee to dinner and drinks, this place is a must-visit if you are looking for a spot to stay cool during the summer heat.

A: 5, loannou Paparrigopoulou 7, Athens

Museum of Islamic Art Cafe

Located footsteps away from Thissio station, the charming café at the Museum of Islamic Art is a quiet spot to enjoy, with lovely views (including the Kerameikos cemetery and the Parthenon) and a good shot of coffee. You can also choose from a simple but tasty menu that includes light snacks, salads, and a great variety of loose tea.

A:  22 Ag. Asomaton & 12 Dipilou St., Thissio

Insights Greece - Athens' 8 Best Museum Cafes

B&E Goulandris Café-Restaurant

One of the best new museum cafes to hit the Greek capital- this beautiful gallery cafe in Pangrati opened in October 2019 and has been a hit with locals ever since. The menu has a great range of vegan and vegetarian options, and if you are looking for a healthy breakfast/brunch spot when visiting Athens- this is your place. 

A: 13 Eratosthenous St, Athens

Insights Greece - Athens' 8 Best Museum Cafes

Bringing Greek Easter into Your Home

On May 2, Greeks around the world will celebrate Greek Orthodox Easter, or Pascha. 

In a year when home confinement continues to define our lives, we can enhance every moment from the communal joy of the Anastasi midnight mass of Holy Saturday to the egg-butting tradition on Easter Sunday, and everything in between, by brightening our homes with attractive traditional Greek decorations and flavours. 

Fortunately, there are several wonderful options for Easter gifts you can make to others or to yourself with one simple click. Here, we have selected our favourite online shopping options. 

Benaki Museum Decorative Eggs 

These beautifully crafted and decorated ceramic eggs are items that brighten up any Easter table. Being pretty object d’art, including a special range inspired by the artworks of Nikos Hatzikyriakos Gikas they make the perfect gift that can last for many Easter celebrations to come. The lambades at this shop are also singular in their happy, springtime style.

Leonidas Chocolate Gifts 

These delicious Greek-owned, Belgian chocolates are enjoyable for people of any age. Who doesn’t like a lovely box of melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate mouthfuls? 

Insights Greece - Bringing Greek Easter into Your Home

Naturally Greek Lambades & Gift Compilations 

Stylish, creative and packed with modern taste, these gift boxes, baskets and individual items like pastel and earthy tone lambades (candles) make Easter all the more enjoyable and memorable. There are varieties to please everyone from children to your CEO.

Cycladic Art Museum Easter Presents

From a unique Easter Gift Kit with a Cycladic mirror (portraying the Cycladic head of the figurines), serving platters, ceramic egg and a candle with a decorative eye to Easter Egg necklaces and cheerful decorative items like a Dove pillow and Easter Chicken inspired by ancient creations, the Cycladic Art Museum offers a seasonal gift range that stands out.


Pure Gifts Food & Decorative Items Baskets 

Creating compilations of Easter delights like tsoureki sweet bread, chocolate eggs, olive oil cookie bites and mastic liqueur with decorative bunny rabbits and lambades, Pure Gifts has something to gratify every member of the family or workplace this Easter.


Shop Greek Museum Stores Online for the Perfect Gift

Online shopping offers endless possibilities, but if you’re seeking a truly original gift that can’t be found in the thousands on Amazon, visit these fantastic Greek museum shops and discover a whole other level of ideas.

National Archaeological Museum

Beautiful replicas of jewellery, busts, statues and statuettes, objects like vessels and coffee table books are sold at the store of Greece’s largest archaeological museum. There is no online catalogue but you can get in touch directly with the museum shop via email or phone to enquire whether any specific item you are interested in finding is available. The museum presents antiquities from all over Greece, in the categories of Prehistoric Antiquities, Sculpture, Metalwork, Vases and Minor Arts, Egyptian Antiquities, and Cypriot Antiquities. It also features permanent and temporary exhibitions that centre on particular areas of time and cultural, political, and social history. For more information, visit the museum shop’s page.

Insights Greece - Shop Greek Museum Stores Online for the Perfect Gift

Benaki Museums

There are four Benaki Museums in Athens – the Museum of Greek Culture, the Pireos Annex, the Museum of Islamic Art, and the Toy Museum. At the Museum of Greek Culture, one can find permanent exhibitions featuring ancient Greek and Roman art, Byzantine, post-Byzantine and Hellenic art, historic heirlooms, a vast collection of drawings, paintings and prints, Chinese and Korean art, and more. At the Pireos 138 Annex, the museum presents modern Greek architecture and photography and temporary events and exhibitions – currently, it is hosting the Athens Photo Festival 2020 (until 15/11/2020). The Museum of Islamic Art houses one of the world’s most important collections of art from India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, North Africa, Sicily, and Spain. Finally, the Toy Museum presents the lifetime collection of Maria Argyriadi which is among the most important in Europe and includes toys, books, clothing, and other items associated with childhood from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The online shop, the first of its kind in Greece, features museum replicas and inspired items from all the museums. You’ll find exclusive items like limited edition silkscreen prints by Greek artists, corporate gifts, contemporary and replica jewellery and an endless variety of unique art items created by Greek designers who were inspired by the breadth and depth of Greece’s and the world’s culture and art.

Museum of Cycladic Art

This impressive museum presents the most complete permanent collection of Cycladic art worldwide, as well as temporary exhibitions (currently one titled ‘Antiquarianism and Philhellenism: The Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection’ which will go on until 05/04/2021). Cycladic art, ancient Greek culture and Cypriot culture are represented here in daily and utilitarian items, artworks, jewellery and sculpture. At the museum’s shop you’ll find replicas and modern creations by Greek designers inspired by the exhibitions, from household and décor items such as glasses, bowls and plates to jewellery and books. Explore the shop’s lucky charms for 2021 for upcoming Christmas pressies too.

Goulandris Museum of Natural History

The one-of-a-kind museum is known for its impressively massive replica of a dinosaur skeleton as well as its incredible variety of botanical, entomological, marine biology, paleontology, herpetology, mammal, mineral and other collections related to natural history collections. At the museum’s store you’ll find original presents for children, such as minerals and rocks, handmade ceramic, wood or stone figures of sea and land animals, and lovely books, puzzles and games related to the natural environment. There are plenty of gift options for adults too: Greek flora is portrayed on fabulous lithographies, silk scarves and porcelains designed by Niki Goulandris.

The Acropolis Museum

Greece’s most important museum, featuring spectacular beauties such as the Parthenon Frieze and a meticulously maintained, expansive and stunning collection of the most important finds from the Acropolis and Athens in antiquity, has just turned 10! The Acropolis Museum shop has created a special selection of festive, Christmas season gifts that includes lucky charms for 2021, decorative items and ornaments. The museum is also presenting a special selection of silk scarves, cups and other items themed on Cranes in Flight to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.