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Art and Culture in Athens

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Plaka neighborhood
The “core” of the historic centre is the Plaka neighborhood (at the eastern side of the Acropolis), which has been inhabited without interruption since antiquity. When you walk through the narrow labyrinthine streets lined with houses and mansions from the time of the Turkish occupation and the Neoclassical period (19th c.), you will have the impression of travelling with a “time machine”
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Syntagma Square
Syntagma Square is the most famous in Athens if not all of Greece. No matter where you have to go in Athens, if you can find Syntagma Square you can find your way there. Syntagma Square is back and better than ever. Well maybe not better than ever. It was probably at it's best in the early 1900's when there were not cars and buses whizzing around it and it was shaded by large trees. But with the re-routing of the traffic, the opening of the new metro and the removal of the wooden billboard covered walls that for at least an entire year, hid the construction site that was once Athens most popular platia, Syntagma looks better than it has in many years. At the top of the square are two stairways and an elevator leading to the Syntagma Metro Station, one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world, with its own museum of artifacts found at the construction site.
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Sacred Rock of the Acropolis
The Sacred Rock of the Acropolis "the province of the Gods", unoccupied by humans, is a perfect 5th century BC collection of public monuments which stands as a unique Greek testimony.
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Acropolis Museum
Listed in the world’s top 20, the new Acropolis Museum is home to unique masterpieces, mainly from the Archaic and Classical periods. All exhibits are directly connected to the Acropolis and offer panoramic views of the monument from the museum’s halls.
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Monastiraki
Monastiraki is one of the most renowned neighborhoods in central Athens partly because it belongs to the oldest part of the town and due to its traditional flea market. A vivid neighborhood with the aromas and arts of a bygone era still prominent!
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Municipal Library of Mykonos
The Municipal Library of Mykonos is housed in a magnificent old mansion that belonged to the Mavrogenis family. Dated to 1735, this beautiful building has seen its own share of history. Located in Agia Kyriaki Square, it houses nearly 6,000 volumes of literature, history and many more categories, though most of the books are in Greek. You can travel through the library looking at numerous photographs as well as Cycladic coins and old seals. The books were donated by a Mykonian historian, Ioannis Meletopoulos, from his own personal library. Other books were also donated by many more people from their own libraries, while some other donated other things as well, such as black and white sketches of landmarks on the island. As of now, with the advent of modernity, the municipal library is no longer operational. But they continue to be a symbol of Mykonos rich virile past. Being hundreds of years old, most of the municipal library has been thoroughly renovated and some have even been converted into museums, the most famous being the Bonis Windmill. Providing interesting insights into the life of Mykonos, all the works displayed in the library are unique and extremely interesting. A visit to this wonderful library is worth your time and effort.
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Archaeological Museum of Sparta
Today, the Archaeological Museum of Sparta hosts thousands of finds from the province of Lacedaemon, but also from areas of the prefecture of Laconia that are not covered by the Archaeological Collections of Gythio and Neapoli Vion. In its rooms are exhibited findings that cover the time period from the Neolithic to the late Roman era. The most important place is occupied by the findings of the great sanctuaries of Sparta. The visitor of the museum has the opportunity to admire findings from the most important prehistoric sites of Laconia, sculpture works from the Archaic years to the Roman, coming from various areas of the prefecture, as well as findings from the rescue excavations among which have a prominent place, the sections of mosaic floors of Roman times from Sparta. Today, in the seven rooms of the museum (about 500 sq.m.) only a small part is exhibited, part of the numerous finds housed in it and which continue to come to light daily from the excavations of the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in the area. of Sparta but also in other areas of Laconia. Due to lack of space, only a small part of the findings kept in it, the most interesting for the scientific community or the ordinary visitor, have been included in its report. The Archaeological Museum of Sparta belongs to the 5th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.
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Archaeological Museum
The museum is in Fira. Its collections include sculptures and inscriptions ranging from the Archaic to the Roman period, as well as pottery artifacts and clay figurines from the Geometric up to the Hellenistic period. The most important exhibits are the Theraic jar with the geometric patterns dated from the early 7th century BC; the large volcanic rock (trachyte) weighing 480 kilos; and many findings from the excavations at the cemetery of ancient Thera, such as jars and pottery, as well as kouros statues. Standing at the centre of Fira, the Archaeological museum reveals the island's long history. The current building near the cable car terminal, was constructed in 1960 to replace the one that had collapsed during the earthquake of 1956.
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Akrotiri
The most prominent archaeological site in Santorini is Akrotiri and the findings of the excavations that began in 1967. Akrotiri (Promontory) is located at the southwestern tip of the island, 15 km from Fira. It is a real promontory, with sheer cliff shores stretching three miles west of the southernmost part of Santorini. First signs of habitation in Akrotiri date back to the Late Neolithic Period (at least from the 4th millennium BC). By the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), there was a settlement in Akrotiri that was expanded in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th centuries BC) becoming one of the main urban centres of the Aegean. Covering about 50 acres, the settlement had a very well-planed infrastructure and an elaborate sewage system. Imported products found inside the buildings prove that Akrotiri was well developed, held strong ties with Minoan Crete and conducted business with the Greek mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt. The growth of the town ended abruptly at the end of the 17th century BC, when its inhabitants left due to powerful seismic foreshocks. Then, the volcano erupted, and volcanic material covered the town and the rest of the island, preserving the buildings and their contents to this day. This unique site gives visitors the opportunity to admire and walk through the sheltered settlement!
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Kadifekale
The city, which was founded in the 4th century BC, has remnants of Helen, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Kadifekale is on a hill 186 meters high south of the city. It is reported that Amazon women who lived in Kadifekale, formerly "Pagos", descended from the foothills of the mountain and continued their dominance here for many years.
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Archaeological Museum of Kos
​The two storey bulding on Eleftherias Square that houses the Archaeological museum of Kos is a protected monument of the Italian occupation era (1912 - 1943), built in 1935.
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Byzantine Art Museum
The Byzantine Art Museum (in Dexameni square), where artifacts from the Byzantine period are showcased; over 700 well preserved byzantine sculptures, murals, paintings and icons from temples from around the city.
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Archaeological Museum
The long archaeological and historical research at the Sitia area has brought to light rare and valuable finds and information of all civilizations from the Neolithic Age and the Minoan period to the New Age. The civilizations that have flourished the grounds of Sitia, one of the richest areas in archaeological sites internationally have bequeathed us magnificent samples of material and intellectual wealth that are exhibited in the district Museums and Collections.
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Bay of Bones Museum
Ohrid was enriched with another cultural and historical landmark as well as with a tourist attraction - Museum on Water - an exceptional archaeological complex, which is one of a kind in the region. On the southern coast of Gradiste Peninsula in the Bay of Bones, a pile-dwelling settlement has been erected, which in the past was spreading at a total surface of 8.500 m2. Bay of the Bones is an authentic reconstruction of a part of the pile-dwelling settlement, dating back between 1200 and 700 BC.A Roman military fortification (Gradiste) has been reconstructed on the hill above the Bay of Bones simultaneously with constructing the pile-dwelling settlement and the Water Museum. The walls of the fortification that once had protected the Roman Empire from its enemies, are once again lifted up on the hill near Gradiste. The Roman fortress is connected with the settlement in order tourists and visitors to be given an extraordinary opportunity to experience time travel, from prehistoric to ancient times and vice versa.
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Holy Trinity Church
The Holy Trinity Church and especially its tall belfry have become a symbol of Bansko as one of the most attractive mountain resorts, successfully combining the charm of its rich historical past and its picturesque location at the foot of the mighty Pirin Mountain with the most modern facilities for recreation – a wide choice of reputable hotels for all tastes and budgets, one of the best ski zone in South-East Europe. The Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was built in the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Its inauguration was made in 1835. The architectural plan of the church is a three-nave basilica or more exactly a pseudo-basilica with 44 m length, 22 m width and 12 m height. The walls are 1.1 m thick and entirely constructed of local ashlar, welded together by mortar. Large wooden beams of centuries old white fir (typical for the region) are used in the foundation and for leveling the walls. Part of the church is sunken under the ground level in order to look smaller from the outside and Turks can not get an idea about its real size. The altar piece is set within a skillfully constructed and decorated apse in the form of the half of a 18-angle prism with a remarkable stone cornice on the exterior. The roof is hold in the interior of the church by 12 massive wooden columns of white fir, symbolizing the 12 apostles.
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Velyans House
Velyan’s House in Bansko is located near the Holy Trinity Church and the central square of the town. The house is an example of the architectural style – fortified house of the Bulgarian Revival Period. Velyan’s House was built in the 18th century and was opened to visitors in 1977. This was a modern two-story building made of stone and wood owned by a wealthy trade family with many children. After a sudden tragedy the family left the house. When the master-painter Velyan Ognev was invited come to Bansko to work on the decoration of the Holy Trinity Temple, the house was given to him by the local people as a symbol of gratitude. The master decorated its interior and exterior and transformed it into a genuine piece of art. With its hiding places, secret exits and fortified walls the Velanova kashta is a piece of legacy from the old times when Bulgaria was under Otoman rule and when people were supposed to hide and protect themselves by the numerous attacks by bandits at that time.
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Ancient Theatre of Ohrid
The builders of Ohrid’s ancient theater have estimated very precisely where to put the building - in the center of the elevated old town. The open theater holds a perfect location, as the two hills (Gorni Saraj and Deboj) keep it protected from winds that could interfere with acoustics during performances. The Ancient theatre of Ohrid of the Hellenistic period was built in 200 BC and is the only Hellenistic-type theatre in the country as the other three in Scupi, Stobi and Heraclea Lyncestis are from Roman times. It is unclear how many people the original theatre used to seat, as only the lower section still exists. During Roman times, the theater was also used for gladiator fights. However, since the theater was also a site of executions of Christians by the Romans, it rapidly turned to a highly disliked site by the locals. In fact, as a result of this dislike, the theatre was abandoned and buried by the locals after the demise of the Roman Empire. Discovered accidentally and later excavated completely, this 4, 000 square meter monument to antique Greco-Roman culture is being used today during the annual Ohrid Summer Festival for performances of ancient tragedies and comedies. The Theatre offers a wonderful view of Lake Ohrid and Mt. Galichica to the southeast.
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Museum Centre of Modern History
The building was erected as an officers club in 1895. In the period 1905-1923 it was Peoples Home, which housed workers theatre, brass band and evening classes. In 1951 the building was turned into a Museum of the History of Capitalism, Working Class Movement and Socialist Construction. Nowadays it accommodates the Museum Centre of Modern History with a large, fully equipped hall, which allows the arrangement of art and photographic exhibitions, presentations, seminars and other public events.
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The Ancient Theatre of Philipoppol
The Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the World. It is located on the Southern slope of the Three Hills, in the saddle between Taksim and Dzhambaz tepe. Discovered by archaeologists from Plovdiv and reconstructed in the beginning of the 80s of XX century, the Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is among the most significant findings from the Roman period. Recently found and deciphered inscription on a monumental pedestal reveals that the theatre has been constructed in the 90s of I century A.D., when Philippolol was under the rulership of Titus Flavius Cotis – an heir of a Thracian Royal Dynasty, the high priest of the Tracian province, representative of the Metropolitan Court of Justice and a person in charge of the construction sites. Nowadays, the Ancient theatre is symbolical for Plovdiv and adjusted to the city’s modern cultural life. It is operating as a stage of opera, music and drama. Some of the best annual events are the International Folklore Festival, the Opera Festival "Opera Open", the Rock Festival "Sounds of Ages" and many others.
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Kapana (The Trap)
Steering just a little from the Main Street in Plovdiv and imperceptibly you find yourself in “Kapana” (literal translation: “The Trap”). Once you get there you would never want to go back. You will find galleries, workshops, ateliers, studios, cozy restaurants and shops, as well as other art spaces, and there is even a vinyl shop! And to back our words up, here is a list of places you should not miss in “Kapana”: Vinyl’s home place Soul Searchin’ – Point-Blank Gallery – Darvodelie Atelier – What A monster – Kotka and Mishka.... All these places fill “Kapana” with modern cultural content not only with their daily activities but also organizing events with social, economic and cultural effect for the city. What happens in the new/old art district of Plovdiv is so much – concerts, exhibitions, festivals, forums, brainstorming sessions and discussions, theatrical performances, art installations, screenings, workshops and many more.
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Regional Ethnographic Museum
Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic museum is the second largest specialized museum of this type in Bulgaria. It is an acknowledged scientific-educational institution and an attractive center for cultural tourism. The museum was established in 1917 and since 1938 it has been located in Kuyumdzhieva house, a cultural monument of national significance. Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic museum provides coordinative, qualification and expert-consulting activities for all museums and collections of artifacts with ethnographic character on the territory of Plovdiv and the region. In addition, the museum lends its methodical support to the municipal and private museums.The museum is a co-organizer and a host of popular traditional festivals such as Festival the Annual Festival of Chamber Music, The Festival of Classic Guitar, etc., as well as concerts, biennials, fashion shows, theatrical plays, book presenting and performances. The demonstration of traditional crafts is another type of tourist attraction.
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Memorial House of Mother Teresa
The desire to pay respect to one the most famous person and Nobel Prize winner from Macedonia was accomplished on the 30-th of January 2009 with the opening of the Memorial house dedicated to Mother Teresa. The Memorial house of Mother Teresa is a non-profit organization financed by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. The Location of the museum is not randomly chosen. That is to say, on this exact place the old Catholic Church “Sacred heart of Jesus” used to stand. It is where Mother Teresa, then Gonxha Bojaxhiu was baptized just one day after her birth, on the 27th of August 1910, place where she received her first communion and where she finds her inner peace after her father’s death. This place had great importance and influence on developing the character of young Gonxha and to her desire to help the poor people. Since she was a child she sang in the Catholic Church choir and participated in charity organizations. Somehow the location itself represents a symbolic bridge that connects little Gonxha to one of the greatest humanitarian of the world, Mother Teresa.
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New Bazaar
The New Bazaar is located at Avni Rustemi Sqaure, only 8 minute walk from the center of Tirana and quickly became the newest attraction of the city. Before the Inauguration, even though it kept the same name, the New Bazaar area was a chaotic place where vendors were selling their products not in good conditions. New Bazaar was a much needed investment for the city, replacing the decrepit one. It hosts some contemporary painted buildings, but it respects tradition, and is giving back to the city the beauty and authenticity. The New bazaar is already turned into a major attraction of the city due to the unique facades that have preserved the Italian architectural style, the decoration with Albanian motives, as well as public spaces to enjoy fresh food and rest.
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Ivan Vazov National Theater
The “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre is Bulgaria’s biggest theatre, as well as the oldest and most stand out and most imposing theatre in the country. This theatre is one of the major landmarks in Sofia due to its prime location and grandiose architecture. The National theatre is located in the centre of Sofia and its edifice faces the City Garden. The Ivan Vazov National Theatre has a well-equipped main stage with 750 seats, a smaller 120-seat stage and an additional 70-seat one on the fourth floor. The theatre employs some of the country’s best actors and stage directors, many of whom are widely popular.
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Sofia National Art Gallery
The National Art Gallery is the largest and the most representative museum of the Bulgarian fine arts in the country. It is housed in the building of the former royal palace (declared a cultural monument in 1978), together with the National Ethnographic Museum. The beginning of the collection was set in 1892 when the art department of the National Archaeological Museum was established. In 1948 by resolution of the Council of Ministers, the National Art Gallery was established as an independent institution. The exposition of orthodox arts is presented in the crypt of the monumental temple “St. Alexander Nevski” in Sofia. The collection of works of art covers a large period of time – from the adoption of Christianity as an official religion in the Roman Empire in the 4th century to the Age of Bulgarian Revival (18th – 19th century), and it mainly consists of icons. The collections of contemporary and modern Bulgarian art of the museum – from the Liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Dominion (1878) to the 1990s, contain more than 30,000 works of art, and they are divided into three basic expositions – high quality paintings, graphics and sculptures.
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Piazza Sant
Piazza Sant'Oronzo narrates the city's entire history. The Roman period is visible in the ruins of the Amphitheatre that becomes the exceptional stage for theatrical performances in summertime, and in part by the high Column - on which stands a bronze of St. Orontius, depicted in the act of blessing - erected in the 17th Century utilizing some of the Roman columns positioned on the Ancient Appian Way.
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Istanbul Archaeological Museum
The Istanbul Archaeological Museums is among the most impressive historical venues for your outdoor events and made up of three main units: the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum and Tiled Kiosk Museum. The collection of the Archaeology Museum Turkey’s first museum houses over one million artefacts belonging to various cultures collected from the imperial territories. The Archaeological Museum was founded on June 13, 1891, under the name of Müze-i Hümayun (the Imperial Museum). Commissioned by archaeologist, painter and curator.
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Topkapi Palace Museum
It is located on the promontory of the historical peninsula in İstanbul which overlooks both the Marmara Sea and the İstanbul strait. The walls enclosing the palace grounds, the main gate on the land side and the first buildings were constructed during the time of Fatih Sultan Mehmet (the Conqueror) (1451 - 81). The palace has taken its present layout with the addition of new structures in the later centuries. Topkapı Palace was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans, starting with Fatih Sultan Mehmet until 1856, when Abdülmecid moved to the Dolmabahçe Palace, functioned as the administrative centre of the state. The Enderun section also gained importance as a school. Topkapı Palace was converted to a museum in 1924. Parts of the Palace such as the Harem, Baghdad Pavilion, Revan Pavilion, Sofa Pavilion, and the Audience Chamber distinguish themselves with their architectural assets, while in other sections artefacts are displayed which reflect the palace life. The museum also has collections from various donations and a library.
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Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Palace built in 19 th century is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative centre of the late Ottoman Empire with the last of Ottoman Sultans was residing there. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic in Ankara, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk transferred all government functions to the youthful capital but on his visits to Istanbul Ataturk occupied only a small room at Dolmabahce Palace as his own. He stayed, welcomed his foreign guests and made a practical centre for national, historical and language congress and for international conferences.
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The Castle of Charles V
The castle acropolis Commonly called the Castle of Charles V by the imperial coat of arms that was located there, it was created as a rudimental fortress on the ancient Greek Acropolis, to defend the country from foreign invasion.
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Multimedia Visitor Centre Tsarevgrad Tarnov
Multimedia visitor centre “Tsarevgrad Tarnov” is located near Tsarevets hill. Notable sculptures and paintings present historical figures and events of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It recreates lives of different social layer in medieval bulgarian society – monarchs, clergy, boyars and warriors, craftsmen. Visitors will experience the rich history of Tsarevgrad as a symbol of royalty, glory and spiritual power.
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Veliko Tarnovo Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological museum which housed the exposition “Veliko Tarnovo – the capital of Bulgaria XII – XIV c.” is situated westward to the square of “Saedinenie”. The thousand year old history and culture of the region of Tarnovo is traced out there. The accent is on the period of the Second Bulgarian kingdom. The prehistory is presented in the first hall. You can see some archaeological findings from the tumulus of Samovodene (5700-5000 BC), the settlement in the area of “Kachitsa”, V.Tarnovo (5300-3800 BC), Djulyunitsa (4800-4000 BC), tumuli of the village of Hotnitsa, the waterfall near Hotnitsa (3600 BC), the Thracian village on the hill of Tsarevec. The point is on the golden treasure of Hotnitsa that dates back to about 4100 BC. It is worth to see the golden objects from the cave of the village of Emen and a piece with signs of proto-writing system.
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Isparta Museum
A must in Isparta is the Isparta museum. Here you can see excavations from the Persian, Ottoman and Roman times. The museum has four halls: archeology, excavations, ethnography and carpets.
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Fikret Otyam, Ironsmiths Exhibition and Art Gallery
Fikret Otyam, Ironsmiths Exhibition and Art Gallery was opened in 2013 to provide a center of excellence where skilled artisans and craftsmen could work and display their trade and craft and provide an insight into the metalworking world to the general public.
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Teatro Kursaal Santa Lucia
Strolling along the seaside promenade Goffredo di Crollalanza, you’ll come across one of the most beautiful late-Liberty buildings ever made in Bari, overlooking the gardens of Adua square and the sea.
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Teatro Petruzzelli
Much like La Fenice in Venice, the Teatro Petruzzelli has a story of destruction and rebirth. Originally constructed in 1903, the theater was destroyed by arson in 1991. It took years to get construction re-started, but finally, in 2009, ownership of the theater passed from private hands to the city of Bari and the theater re-opened with a performance of the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven.
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Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik
The Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik was founded in 1945. The building now occupied by the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik was originally conceived and built (1935 – ­1939) as the showcase residential mansion of Dubrovnik ship owner Božo Banac, and in 1948 it was converted into exhibition premises and museum. It was designed by the well­known Croatian architects Lavoslav Horvat and Harold Bilinić in the neo­Renaissance­cum­Gothic style, along the lines of masterpieces of Dubrovnik urban and villa Renaissance architecture (the Rector’s Palace, the Divona/Sponza, the Sorkočević Villa and so on). Through the conversion works, nine exhibition rooms were created, along with two storerooms and some smaller working areas. Together with the large terraces looking on to the sea and its garden, the Museum has 900 square metres of indoor and over 1100 square metres of outdoor exhibition space.
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Dubrovnik Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum was founded in 1949 at the initiative of the Yugoslav (today the Croatian) Academy of Sciences and Arts; since 1987 it was been a part of the Dubrovnik Museums. The main part of the holdings arose from numerous donations of Dubrovnik citizens to the Patriotic Museum in the first half of the 20th century and objects from the exhibition Dubrovnik Seafaring through the Ages, which was put on in 1941. Since 1952, the museum has been located on the first and second floors of Fort St John (sv. Ivan). In the past the fort guarded the entrance into the city port, and was one of the most important points of the city's defences. The construction works started in 1346, today's appearance being completed at the end of the 16th century. In the 19th century it was rebuilt into two floors, and at the places where there had been artillery embrasures, windows were installed. The museum systematically collects, studies, exhibits and publishes the museum material from the maritime past of the Dubrovnik region, all the way since Antiquity. Today it has holdings of over five thousand objects classified into fifteen collections.