Archaeological Museum of Chania
The architecture is as striking as the collection at the Archaeological Museum of Chania, set in a beautifully renovated 16th-century church in the heart of the town’s historic center. Join a Chania walking, bike, Segway, or Trikke tour to visit the museum as part of an itinerary through the old town and harbor. Alternatively, many food tours that feature tastings at traditional restaurants and cafés in the city’s storied heart make a stop here to admire the facade or take in the collection, elegantly displayed under the soaring vaulted ceiling of the church’s nave.
Things to know before you go
- Walking tours of Chania’s old town and archaeological museum require a significant amount of walking, so choose comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
- Be sure to notice the Turkish fountain inside the church, a relic from when the building was used as a mosque during the Turkish occupation.
- There is a small shop inside the museum selling replicas of the artifacts on display.
- The museum is partially accessible to wheelchair users; request assistance at the entrance.
How to get there
The museum is located in the pedestrianized old town, best reached on foot, or by bike, Segway, or Trikke. Chania can be reached by daily ferry from Piraeus in Athens, and by plane via Chania International Airport, which is 9 miles (14 kilometers) from the town center.
When to get there
The museum is open daily except for Tuesdays throughout the year, though closes in the afternoon during the winter months. With late hours in the summer months, the museum is a good choice to end your day of sightseeing before heading to dinner or out for an evening drink.
Highlights of Chania’s Archaeological Museum
The town’s archaeological museum is home to a collection of prehistoric and ancient treasures unearthed in and near Chania, and highlights include a bird-shaped Minoan drinking vessel dating from 3000-2300 BC; gold discs from a Neolithic burial site, thought to be from the 9th century BC; an almost-complete mosaic of Dionysus and Ariadne, which was uncovered during building work in Chania and dates from the 3rd century AD; and a charming clutch of carved animals. The Mitsotakis Collection, donated to the museum in 2000, is also on display and encompasses Minoan pottery and jewelry.