13 things to do in Athens

Temple of Hephaestus

There are so many fascinating things to do in Athens, that it can be troublesome to pick what to do. This marvellous city is filled with ancient history, breathtaking art and packed with delicious food choices. It is worth it to spend two or 3 days to emerge in Athens vibe and feel this iconic city! Here you will see top sites to visit in Athens, Greece.
To make your travel easier I present WW (What & Why):

#1 ACropolis

Akropolis

What? The face of Athens Acropolis can be seen from many locations around the city. Ancient buildings, astonishing historic landmark is on top of a rocky hillside dating 2,500 years! 

When you think of Athens, you think of these ancient buildings. You’d struggle to name a more iconic sight in any part of the world. Perched on top of a rocky outcrop for 2,500 years, they’ve now been absorbed into a sprawling modern metropolis, but you’ll still be dazzled. 

Why? The exemplars here are considered the most magnificent architectural achievements of Greek monument. An apex of this, of course, is the Parthenon temple, devoted to the goddess Athena. But there are more – The Propylea, the Erectheion and the Temple of Athena Nike are vital monuments in this site. 

#2 National Archaeological Museum

Athens museum

What? A genuine temple of ancient art, Athens’ National Archaeological Museum is probably one of the greatest and most magnificent in the world. In fact, it is the biggest museum in Greece! It was established at the end of the 19th century to keep and preserve artefacts from all over Greece, therefore representing their historical, cultural and artistic value.

Why? You will find there the Antikythera wreckage, found in 1900 and dating back to the 4th century BC. This Antikythera Mechanism, possibly the world’s oldest analogue computer.

Additionally, you will see the Mask of Agamemnon, a gold funerary mask from the 16th century BC, probably made for Mycenaean royalty. In general, there are more than 11,000 exhibits and offer the visitor a panorama of ancient Greek culture from the prehistory to the late antiquity.

#3 Plaka

Athens Plaka

What? Plaka is the old historical district of Athens, located around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and containing labyrinthine alleys and neoclassical buildings. This neighbourhood is built on top of the suburban areas of the ancient town of Athens. It is recognised as the “Neighborhood of the Gods” due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites.

Why? Plaka is packed with small family shops, where you can find from handmade jewellery, authentic ceramics, even musical instruments, to specific food shops piled a variety of spices, cheese or tasteful olives. Just wander around the maze of Plaka, find a delightful place to rest and taste some greek delights. 

#4 Temple of Olympian Zeus

Zeus temple

What? Also recognised as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a former colossal temple at the centre of the Greek capital Athens. Temple had a remarkably long construction period, started in the 6th century BC but not finished until the rule of Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd Century AD. 

Why? The temple’s glory was momentary, as it fell into abandonment after being destroyed during a barbarian invasion in 267 AD, only a century after its completion. In the following centuries after the collapse of the Roman Empire, it was widely used for building supplies to provide construction plans around the city. Nevertheless, quite a big part of the temple remains today, where sixteen of the original gigantic columns can be visited.

#5 the national gardens

National garden Athens

What? In the heart of Athens, the National Gardens give a delightful escape from the stone and marble capital of Greece. 

Why? The National Gardens are formerly known as the Royal Garden resides beside Parliament building. A public park of 15.5 hectares provides a great retreat from busy Greek streets where you can stroll by narrow gravel paths. There are quite a few ponds, where you can spot turtles. Park also has a tiny zoo with natural Greek goats, peacocks and chickens. 

#6 Lycabettus Hill

Lycabettus Hill

What? Lycabettus Hill is the highest point in Athens. You may reach it’s top by hiking beautiful forested path however be warned that it is a quite challenging climb. If this is not up to you cable car is available for your convenience, unfortunately, it goes through an underground tunnel so you can not enjoy views. 

Why? At the top, you’ll find one of the most breathtaking landscapes of the city together with Greek whitewashed church of Agios Georgios (St. George) where all are welcome to enter. In front of the church, there is a platform which reveals an impressive overview of Athens.

#7 Cine Paris

Cine Paris

What? Open-air theatre with a stand for cocktails & snacks with the views of the Acropolis ruins in the heart of Plaka. The legendary Cine Paris was raised in the 1920s by greek hairdresser which used to live in Paris, therefore, the name Cine Paris. 

Why? Truly one of the easiest way to have an unforgettable Athens evening experience. Huge variety of films, tasty beverages plus snacks and millions of stars above. 

#8 The Philopappu Monument

The Philopappu Monument

What? Ancient Greek mausoleum and monument dedicated to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos or Philopappus, a prince from the Kingdom of Commagene. Pleasing hike of 10 minutes from the main street.

Why? Here you will discover a wonderful park, famous monuments such as Prison of Socrates, the Tombs of Kimon, the ancient Koili Odos street and the Philopappos Monument itself. From this site, you can gaze upon a panoramic view of the Parthenon, the Acropolis and Pireus. ​

#9 Herod Atticus Odeon

Herod Atticus Odeon

What? One of the legendary places that lie underneath the hills of the Acropolis marvellous open-air theatre, Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Widely known by locals as simply “Herodeon”, it was created between 160AD – 174AD by the prosperous Herodes Atticus. 

Why? Emerging out of the rugged southern side of the Acropolis summit, it’s one of the world’s oldest and most exquisite open-air theatres. The 4,500-seat theatre was fully reconstructed in 1950 and is the prime venue of the annual Athens Festival. 

#10 Panathenaic Stadium

panathenaic stadium

What? The multi-purpose stadium in Athens – one of the foremost historic attractions and it is one and the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble. Following several transformations over its long history, it ultimately turned to the home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Why? Emerging out of the rugged southern side of the Acropolis summit, it’s one of the world’s oldest and most exquisite open-air theatres. The 4,500-seat theatre was fully reconstructed in 1950 and is the prime venue of the annual Athens Festival. 

#11 Monastiraki

Monastiraki

What? Monastiraki is recognised as one of the most known and iconic sites of Athens. Packed with various attractions for every need. of the oldest and busiest areas of the capital, packed with rooftop bars, ancient sights and huge markets.  

Why? Ruins of Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora museum of Stoa of Attalos. Perfect opportunity to shop in the Monastiraki flea market and find Greek delights for every taste. Moreover, you will be pleased with the view of Akropolis.

#12 Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus

What? The Temple of Hephaestus or Hephaisteion or formerly known as the Theseion is an astonishingly well preserved Greek temple where most of the structure is intact and can be seen as made in 415 BC.

Why? It was dedicated to Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire and Athena, goddess of pottery and crafts. It is located at the western edge of the city, on top of Agoreos Koronos hill, and it is a classic example of Dorian architecture. 

#13 Syntagma Square

syntagma square

What? Syntagma Square is the main square in Athens. Nearly impossible to miss it but well worth to explore. Contains lots of important historical public landmarks.  

Why? Probably most important is Parliament building. In front of the structure is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded over day and night by the “Evzones”, two Presidential Guards dressed in a unique traditional uniform. You can observe the changing of the guardians each hour. 

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Comments (1)

Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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