Crete Museums and Art Galleries

(Crete, Greece)

Photo of Chania CathedralSteeped in such a wealth of ancient history, it will come as no surprise that Crete is home to some excellent museum, but the sheer quantity far exceeds anything that you could possibly imagine. There are museums located all over the island of Crete, being particularly plentiful within the capital of Iraklio, and also within Ano Viannos, Arhanes, Hania (Chania) and Rethymno.

The Iraklio Archaeological Museum is a truly outstanding cultural attraction and one that visitors to Crete should not overlook. Those with only the very slighted of interest in the Minoans will find the exhibits both fascinating and enthralling.

Photo of Iraklio Archaeological Museum

Iraklio Archaeological Museum

Address: Xanthoudidou 1, Iraklio, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 281 022 6092
The exhibits here are well-presented and laid out in a sensible chronological order, including everything from ceramics and figurines, to jewellery, frescoes and even some sarcophagi. The majority of the exhibits originate from Agia, Knossos and also Triada. Do leave enough time to explore the Iraklio Archaeological Museum, since even a very superficial visit is likely to take several hours.
Open hours: April to September, Monday -12:30 to 19:00, Tuesday to Sunday - 08:00 to 19:00; October to March - Monday -12:30 to 17:00, Tuesday to Sunday - 08:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Historical Museum of Crete

Address: Lysimahou Kalokerinou 7, Iraklio, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 281 028 3219
Located in Iraklio and set just back from the actual waterfront, the Historical Museum of Crete is home to a wealth of fascinating paraphernalia relating to the island's long and rich past. On the ground floor, visitors are treated to various photos, maps and pottery exhibits from the both the Turkish and Byzantine rule, while on the first floor, you will find frescoes from the 13th century, ancient coins and jewellery, medieval pottery and an 'El Greco' painting from the latter part of the 16th century. The second floor features an authentic reconstruction of the actual library of Greek writer and philosopher, Nikos Kazantzakis (1883 to 1957), known to many as the islands 'Prodigal Son'.
Open hours: April to October - Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 17:00, Saturday - 09:00 to 15:00; November to March - Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge

Battle of Crete Museum

Address: Corner Doukos Beaufort and Hatzidaki, Iraklio, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 281 0034 6554
The Battle of Crete Museum tells the story of this very important historical battle through a series of different photographs and weaponry exhibits. The battle began in May 1920 when Nazi German attacked the island in force by air, and were met with great civilian resistance, partly due to some advance warning by a recently deciphered 'Enigma' code. Other exhibits include a number of handwritten letters, uniforms and many other military artefacts
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 13:00
Admission: free

Folklore Museum

Address: Ano Viannos, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2895 022 778
The history of traditional Cretan culture is explored in great detail at the Folklore Museum, where visitors will discover many bright coloured costumes and well-preserved musical instruments. Also of interest here are some olive and wine presses, various elaborate weavings, and some relics relating to agriculture. The Folklore Museum is easy to find and lies on the western side of the village of Ano Viannos.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 14:00
Admission: charge

Archaeological Museum of Arhanes

Address: Arhanes, Crete, Greece, GR
There are a number of interesting relics and artefacts housed within Crete's Archaeological Museum of Arhanes, found around this region and the direct result of meticulous archaeological excavation work, which has been taking place for many decades. The exhibits include various coffins, known locally as 'larnakes', as well as some well-preserved musical instruments from Fourni. A particular favourite is a highly decorated dagger, which was uncovered in the Anemospilia Temple.
Open hours: Wednesday to Monday - 08:30 to 14:30
Admission: charge

Rethymno Archaeological Museum

Address: Fortezza, Rethymno, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2831 029 975
The Rethymno Archaeological Museum is easy to find and is located directly opposite from the fortress on Paleokastro Hill. Interestingly, this building has served a number of different purposes over the years and was once even a prison. Today, it serves as a home for a wealth of Minoan pottery, Neolithic tools and Mycenaean figurines. Look out for the collection of coins and also the relief work of Aphrodite, which is almost 2,000 years old.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 15:00
Admission: charge

Historical and Folk Art Museum

Address: Vernardou 28-30, Rethymno, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2831 023 398
An excellent attractions providing a well-rounded overview of rural life in Crete, many years ago, the Historical and Folk Art Museum contains everything from weaved baskets and old clothes, to farming equipment and various other tools. Each of the exhibits are extremely well organised and labelled in English, allowing you to really make the most of your visit.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 14:30
Admission: charge

Hania Archaeological Museum

Address: Halidon 30, Hania, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2831 090 334
The Hania Archaeological Museum can be found within the Venetian Church of San Francisco, which dates back to the 16th century. The church itself has led a very interesting life, being used or many purposes over the year, including a Turkish mosque, popular movie cinema, and even as storage for German munitions during WWII. Today, the church contains an extensive collection of relics found around the western side of Crete, which date back to the Neolithic and Roman periods. Some of the oldest items are actually more than 5,000 years old
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge

Other noteworthy museums on the island are shown below:

Picture of the island's Naval Museum of Hania

Naval Museum of Hania

Address: Akti Koundourioti, Hania, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2821 091 875

Folklore Museum

Address: Halidon 46B, Hania, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2821 090 816

Historical Museum and Archives

Address: Sfakianaki 20, Hania, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2821 052 606

Municipal Art Gallery

Address: 25 Avgoustou, Iraklio, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2810 399 228

Museum of Religious Art

Address: Monis Odigitrias, Iraklio, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2810 288 825

Archaeological Museum of Arhanes

Address: Knossos, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2810 752 712

Museum of Musical Instruments

Address: Houdestsi, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2810 741 027

Rethymno Archaeological Museum

Address: Rethymno, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2831 054 668

Image of the Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Address: Leoforos Venizelou, Iraklio, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2821 282 740

Historical and Folk Art Museum

Address: Vernardou 28-30, Rethymno, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2831 023 398

Centre for Byzantine Art

Address: Ethnikis Antistaseos, Rethymno, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2821 050 120

Archaeological Museum of Kissamos

Address: Plateia Tzanakaki, Kissamos, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2822 083 308

Nikolaos Archaeological Museum

Address: Paleologou Konstantinou 74, Nikolaos, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2841 024 943

Folk Museum

Address: Paleologou Konstantinou 4, Nikolaos, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2841 025 093

Sitia Archaeological Museum

Address: Piskokefalou, Sitia, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2843 023 917

Folklore Museum

Address: Kapetan Sifinos 28, Sitia, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2843 022 861

Museum of Cretan Ethnology

Address: Vori, Crete, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 2892 091 112