The singularly important Minoan collection contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces. The Herakleion Museum is rightly considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide. The museum, located in the town centre, was built between 1937 and 1940 by architect Patroklos Karantinos on a site previously occupied by the Roman Catholic monastery of Saint-Francis which was destroyed by earthquake in 1856.
The museum’s antiseismic building is an important example of modernist architecture and was awarded a Bauhaus commendation. Karantinos applied the principles of modern architecture to the specific needs of a museum by providing good lighting from the skylights above and along the top of the walls, and facilitating the easy flow of large groups of people. He also anticipated future extensions to the museum.
The colours and construction materials, such as the veined polychrome marbles, recall certain Minoan wall-paintings which imitate marble revetment. The two-storeyed building has large exhibition spaces, laboratories, a drawing room, a library, offices and a special department, the so-called Scientific Collection, where numerous finds are stored and studied. The museum shop, run by the Archaeological Receipts Fund, sells museum copies, books, postcards and slides. There is also a cafe.
The Herakleion Archaeological Museum is a Special Regional Service of the Ministry of Culture and its purpose is to acquire, safeguard, conserve, record, study, publish, display and promote Cretan artefacts from the Prehistoric to the Late Roman periods. The museum organizes temporary exhibitions in Greece and abroad, collaborates with scientific and scholarly institutions, and houses a variety of cultural events.
Full: €10, Reduced: €5
Please note that the individual opening hours may differ.
Special ticket package: Full: €16, Reduced: €8
The special ticket package is valid for 3 days.
Valid for: Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Knossos
Free admission days
6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
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
Reduced admission for:
Greek citizens and citizens of other Member – States of the European Union who are over 65 years old, upon presentation of their ID card or passport for verification of their age and country of origin.
The accompanying parents on educational visits of elementary schools.
University students and students at Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent schools from countries outside the EU by showing their student ID
Free admission for:
- Cultural Card holders
- Escorting teachers during the visits of schools and institutions of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education and of military schools.
- Holders of a valid unemployment card.
- Members of Societies and Associations of Friends of Museums and Archaeological Sites, upon presentation of their certified membership card.
- Members of the ICOM-ICOMOS
- Persons possessing a free admission card
- The employees of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Archaeological Receipts Fund, upon presentation of their service ID card.
- The official guests of the Greek government, with the approval of the General Director of Antiquities.
- University students and Students of Higher Education Institutes, Technological Educational Institutes, Military Schools or equivalent Schools of member states of the European Union, as well as Schools of Guides, upon presentation of their student identity card
- Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age
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
1 January: closed
6 January: 08:30 – 15:00
Shrove Monday: 08:30 – 15:00
25 March: closed
Good Friday: 12:00 – 17:00
Holy Saturday: 08:00 – 15:00
1 May: closed
Easter Sunday: closed
Easter Monday: closed
Holy Spirit Day: 08:00 – 20:00
15 August: 08:00 – 15:00
28 October: 08:00 – 15:00
25 December: closed
26 December: closed