Preserving and celebrating the development and history of Greek culture, the National Hellenic Museum (NHM) holds the largest collection of Greek American artifacts in the world. And since Chicago has one of the world’s largest Greek populations, it’s the perfect location. Since 1983, community members have been working to collect and care for this hub of Greek American history.
With incredible staff and volunteers, the National Hellenic Museum provides vital programming to promote self-awareness, critical thinking and understanding within a world of diversity. With exhibits covering a new world-class space encompassing 40,000 square feet over four floors, the museum’s timeless exhibits connect with people of all generations—whether from a Greek background or not.
Exhibits and programs in the museum share the stories of the Greek people. With more than 18,000 artifacts and 10,000 archival items, the museum’s extensive collection spans thousands of years of Greek history from 1200 BC until the modern age. Handmade textiles, musical instruments, traditional costumes and original photographs are all prominently featured to show the legacy of the Greek-American immigrant experience.
Not to Miss at the National Hellenic Museum
Reaching for the American Dream: The Greek Story in America. One of the most important core exhibits at the NHM is the Greek Story in America, gifted by Angela G. Paterakis. This core exhibit includes photographs, objects and personal stories that specifically address the way that Greek immigrants have reached for the American dream. While creating communities, building businesses, and experiencing hardships, Greek Americans have worked to maintain and preserve their Greek culture and identity.
Rooftop View. As a bonus, gain access to a 360-degree panoramic view of the Greektown neighborhood of Chicago by heading up to the roof top of the building.
National Hellenic Museum Amenities
Some of the services and conveniences provided by the National Hellenic Museum include:
With all of the conveniences of a modern building, the National Hellenic Museum is built to ADA standards. Each floor is accessible to wheelchair users and people with other disabilities via an elevator.
A small gift shop is located on the first level of the museum near the entrance.
Enjoy a view of the neighborhood on a nice day by accessing the roof of the building.
National Hellenic Museum Nearby Attractions
Within just a few minutes of walking you’ll find several interesting attractions, including:
- For an authentic Greek food experience, head over to the Artopolis Bakery, Café & Agora located just across the street.
- Chicago’s Union Station is a treasure of Chicago’s history with iconic architecture, eateries and shops
- “Flight Path” is one of many local art installations to be enjoyed in the Greektown area. Located at Monroe & Halstead, the sculpture by Chicago artist Michael Young was installed in 2017.
Getting to the National Hellenic Museum
Located at 333 Halsted Street, Chicago IL 60661
Getting to the National Hellenic Museum can be accomplish by car, public transportation or bicycle.
Situated just off the I 90-94 Expressway and 1-290, the National Hellenic Museum can easily be accessed by car. Street parking around the museum should be fairly available at most times. Parking garages are located nearby at:
- Skybridge Garage at 737 W Washington Blvd
- Giordano’s Garage at 815 W Van Buren Street
- Parking Panda at 762 W Jackson Blvd
- Park One at 101 W Halsted Street
The CTA Blue Line provides access to the NHM from the Halstead Street Station. Buses that drop off near the museum include #7, #8, #124 and #126.
Divvy, Chicago’s bike sharing system, has a docking station located within a 10-minute walk at Green Street (Halsted)and Madison Street.
When to Go to the National Hellenic Museum
The National Hellenic Museum is open to visitors Tues-Sun from 11am-5pm, with extended hours on Thursday until 8pm. Closed on Mondays.
The museum is also closed for several holidays so be sure to check in advance of your visit. Some holidays on which the museum is closed include:
- New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
- Orthodox Palm Sunday, Orthodox Good Friday and Orthodox Easter
- Memorial Day
- Chicago Marathon
- Labor Day
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
National Hellenic Museum Insider Tips
The Gus and Mary Stathis Library & Resource Center can be accessed by researchers and students during museum hours. Greek literature, history, biographies and even cookbooks are available for perusal on site. Simply contact the staff prior to visiting.
Children under the age of 3 gain free admission to the museum.