The Hellenic Motor Museum in Athens, houses an impressive collection of motor vehicles from the 1800s to the present day. Few people have heard of it though, which is a shame. It should really feature higher than it does in a ‘places to see in Athens' list. Not only is it a must-see for car enthusiasts, but also a great museum to visit for anyone wanting to see something other than ‘ancient Greece' for a while.
The Hellenic Motor Museum in Athens
The Hellenic Motor Museum in Athens opened its doors in 2011, and currently displays over 100 of the 300 cars in its collection. The majority of the collection is owned by the Theodore and Joanna Charagionis Foundation, although there are some donations. The building in which they are housed is uniquely designed, with a spiral ramp leading up to the top floor. Call me thick, but it was only after a few days that I asked myself how they got the cars onto the top floor. Yes, the spiral ramp. Doh! There is a really interesting and in-depth story behind the collection and building, which I won't go into now. If you are interested, you can read about it here – Story behind the Hellenic Motor Museum in Athens.
The car museum in Athens is situated close to the National Archaeological museum (another one on my list of museums in Athens to visit!). Getting there is very easy, at it is just a short stroll from the Victoria metro station on the green line. Spotting the Hellenic Motor Museum in Athens is also not an issue. The building is large, round, and well signed.
As already mentioned, a spiral ramp winds up inside to the top of the building. The walls of this ramp have exhibits documenting the development of the wheel over time. This includes a little history about how the wheel may have been invented, to the different types of wheels used on cars today. This display is free of charge, and may be used as some sort of anesthetic to the shock of the entrance fee – 8 Euros for an adult! This makes it by far the most expensive museum in Athens (and I have visited a lot of them!).
For anyone interested in motor vehicles though, they will find the entrance fee good value for money. Three floors are dedicated to the evolution of the car from the late 1800's onward. On display, are vehicles from famous brands such as Rolls Royce, Ferrari, and Aston Martin.
I don't pretend to be an expert on motor vehicles, or even have a deep interest in them. Still, I spent a good two hours wandering through the museum, and looking at the cars. Even if you are not an enthusiast yourself, you have to admit they look good!
There was even a section dedicated to the Greek motor industry. I wonder why it is not a major player on the world stage??!!
Of course, the red sports cars were the crowning piece on the way out. There is an inherent beauty in a sleek design, covered with a well polished red paint!
So, what did I think to the Hellenic Motor Museum in Athens? It is certainly a must-see for anyone who is interested in cars and motor vehicles. It is also a good place to visit for people wanting to see something different than ‘ancient Greece' for a while. The collection is vast and comprehensive, and very well marked in both Greek and English. The entrance fee may be a bit steep, but overall, it offers good value for money. Disappointingly, there was no DeLorean in the collection. Shame!