A display of artifacts used by Maria Callas, as found in her museum
Greece,  Experiences,  Latest

The First Maria Callas Museum in the World is in Athens

Athens is home to some of the best museum cultures in the world, and that is undeniable. There are so many different museums to choose from, and you feel that it’s never enough. Alongside Travel Vibe, we had the chance to be among the first to visit the newly opened Maria Callas Museumthe first one in the world dedicated to the famous Soprano.

Understanding the Phenomenon: Who was Maria Callas?

A vintage picture of Maria Callas, as found in her museum in Athens, Greece

Maria Callas was born in New York City on December 2, 1923. She was an American-born Greek soprano, widely considered one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century. Her unique vocal range and emotional intensity was able to captivate audiences around the world, and her contributions to Opera were so significant that they transformed the genre forever.

However, she was not only known for her powerful voice, but also her exceptional acting skills. Callas was able to bring a sense of theatricality and realism to her performances, making her characters come alive on stage.

It was her deep understanding of the music and her ability to show the the emotions behind each note that made her stand out among other famous opera singers of the time.

The Maria Callas Museum

The Maria Callas Museum is located in Athens and opened its doors on October 25, 2023. It is housed in a three-story neoclassical building at 44 Mitropoleos Street, opposite to the Athens Cathedral.

The exhibition begins with an experiential approach on the third floor and continues with a more factual approach on the first floor. In this way, you will able to first “immerse” yourself in Callas’ voice and performances and then gradually discover, at your own pace, the events and milestones of her life and career, as well as the elements that shaped her personality and talent.


Entry tickets to the Maria Callas Museum costs 10 Euros. There are discounts available for students etc. Furthermore, with a small extra charge and upon request, you can enjoy a guided tour. This would be the best choice if you want to have a more complete experience, as a guide will always be there to answer your questions and provide more details.

The Exhibition

Starting on the Third Floor

The suggested route of the Maria Callas Museum starts on the third floor, which is dedicated to the “Callas experience”. On the outside, there is a wall-dictionary, designed to help you learn about the roles in opera. Being a newcomer to the genre, I found it very helpful and enlightening.

Inside, you will visit three amazingly decorated rooms that simulate scenes from her iconic roles in Norma, Tosca, and La Traviata.

Tosca was an opera by Giacomo Puccini. Callas portrayed the title character, a passionate opera singer. Her interpretation of the famous aria “Vissi d’arte” is considered to be one of the finest in the history of opera.

Norma was Vincenzo Bellini’s tragic opera that told the story of a priestess caught in a love triangle. Maria Callas’ performance in the role of Norma showcased her vocal agility and emotional depth.

Lastly, La Traviata was a masterpiece by Giuseppe Verdi. Callas shone as Violetta, a courtesan divided between love and societal expectations. In her performance in this opera she managed to perfectly show her character’s vulnerability.

By starting on the third floor, you’ll get to familiarize yourself with her voice and interpretation. Then, in a fourth room, you can watch Callas teaching students at the Juilliard School in New York in 1971-72.

The first Floor

It’s now time to move to the first floor, where you’ll be able to learn more about Callas’ career and personal life in chronological order. You will get the chance to find about her childhood in WWII Athens, her (not so healthy) relationship with her mother, and the people that played a significant role in her lifetime.

The museum prides itself of using state of the art technology and interactive means, and oh-boy, its amazing! You can listen to Callas performing famous arias, watch videos with interviews and many, many more. I found this to be the strongest part of the Maria Callas museum.

The museum is also home to a vast collection of memorabilia, personal belongings, and recordings that offer insight into the life of Maria Callas. There are more than 1000 different exhibits!

Among them, you will find collection of costumes worn by Callas during her performances and personal artifacts like jewelry, letters, and personal diaries. Interestingly enough, one of the exhibits is a few of her hair, that was taken by her stylist.

Through its exhibits, the museum celebrates Maria Callas’ life, talent, and contribution to the world of music.

One Last Treat

The cafe in the Maria Callas Museum. A modern space in white, red and grey
The Cafe of the Maria Callas Museum

Before you leave the Maria Callas Museum, you MUST head to the cafe on the ground floor. It is open for both visitors and non-visitors alike. Setting aside its modern (and beautiful) design, you’ll get the chance to try Callas’ favorite drink.

We were told that she liked it very bitter, but they changed it a bit so that it would be more pleasant to visitors. You should definitely try it yourself!

Final Thoughts

Whilst I had never in my life the chance to learn about opera, I had an amazing time in the Maria Callas Museum. It is the first of its kind, and you will come out having learned a lot. Even as a newcomer, it is designed to organically answer your questions about the famous soprano and her genre.

To be completely honest, I found some of the descriptions were a little easy to misinterpret. However, let’s not shoot the messenger. It is a new museum and they insisted that they will always try to improve their collection and provide a better experience. That tells a lot, and I would definitely recommend a visit!

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