Athens is built on foundations that go back more than 9,000 years to prehistory, so it was no surprise that when excavation started to build the city’s metro system, the digging produced a perfect chronological timeline of the past, with thousands of artifacts. These have been innovatively displayed in situ, tracing history from a prehistoric necropolis through classical Greek, Roman, and Byzantine remains.
Visit this unique archaeological collection as part of an Athens sightseeing or food tour, or pop in on your own with a hop-on-hop-off bus tour or self-guided audio itinerary. For a deep dive into the Athens underground, choose a tour dedicated to the seven metro stations in Athens that have museums—including Acropolis, Monastiraki, Kerameikos, and Syntagma—or an archaeological tour that stops at these collections hidden beneath Athens’ modern city streets.
Things to know before you go
- The unique underground setting of the archeological artifacts unearthed at Syntagma Station is captivating even for those who generally avoid traditional museums.
- If traveling with kids, join a family-friendly station museum tour for an unusual introduction to ancient history.
- The collection is free and open to the public, including both commuters passing through the station and visitors stopping especially to see the artifacts.
- The station is accessible to wheelchair users via an elevator.
How to get there
Syntagma Station is located on Syntagma Square and is one of the major transit hubs in the city. Both metro lines 2 and 3 stop at the station, and a number of buses and trams stop at the square above. Access the station’s archaeological collection by simply entering the station; the artifacts are displayed in glass cases in a dedicated section.
When to get there
The collection can be visited any time the station is open, from early morning to late night each day of the year. Like all transit hubs in major cities, the station is generally safer during the daytime hours, though there is security staff on duty until the station closes.
Athens’ Underground Archaeological Collections
The Syntagma Station is one of seven in the capital city that house collections of artifacts found during excavations to build the metro line. The most famous are Syntagma Station, where ruins of a sub-Mycenaean cemetery were found; the riverbed of the ancient Iridanos River at Monastiraki Station; burial grounds at Kerameikos Station; and a clutch of artifacts at the Kerameikos Station.
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- Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos)
- Parliament Building (Vouli)
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mnemeíon Agnostou Stratiotou)
- National History Museum (Ethnikó Istorikó Mouseío)
- Numismatic Museum of Athens
- Ghika Gallery (Pinakothiki Ghika)
- Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens (Mitropoli)
- Frissiras Museum
- Kolonaki Square (Plateia Kolonaki)
- Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)
- Church of Panagia Kapnikarea
- Dora Stratou Greek Dances Theater
- National Gardens of Athens (Ethnikos Kipos)
- University of Athens