Tourists looking at the Phaistos Disc inside the archaeological museum of Heraklion in Crete that hold the most important and complete collection of the Minoan civilisation of Crete on the 28th of August 2022 in Crete, Greece. Many of the artefacts  in the museum come from Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the Greek island of Crete. (photo by Andrew Aitchison / In pictures via Getty Images)
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In Pictures via Getty Images

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Top choice in Iraklio

This state-of-the-art museum is one of the largest and most important in Greece. The two-storey revamped 1930s Bauhaus building makes a gleaming showcase for artefacts spanning 5500 years from Neolithic to Roman times, including a Minoan collection of unparalleled richness. The rooms are colour coded and displays are arranged both chronologically and thematically, and presented with descriptions in English. A visit here will greatly enhance your understanding of Crete’s rich history. Don’t skip it.

The museum’s treasure trove includes pottery, jewellery and sarcophagi, plus famous frescoes from the sites of Knossos, Tylissos, Amnissos and Agia Triada. The pieces are grouped into comprehensive themes such as settlements, trade, death, religion and administration. Along with clear descriptions, these bring to life both the day-to-day functioning and the long-term progression of societies in Crete and beyond. Allow at least two hours for this extraordinary collection.