Top 10 places to visit in Athens

Top 10 Places to Visit in Athens & How to Reach Them

Athens, remarkably known as the cradle of Western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy, has a plethora of historically significant sites to keep you busy and intrigued for a long time. The enthralling city hosts a sizeable chunk of Greek folklore, yet enables one to discover the modern youthful side of the city with new art galleries, lax café culture, and outdoor cinemas. Needless to say, the amalgamation of astounding history and captivating modernity never fails to mesmerise visitors.

Athens is not only the capital of Greece, but also one of the world’s oldest cities. Its recorded history spans over 3,400 years.

If you love historical travel, Athens is the ideal place to quell your wanderlust, thanks to its tranquillity. Moreover, the majority of the city’s attractions are located in the centre. Getting around in a short amount of time is remarkably convenient. Three days are more than enough to thoroughly tour the city so that you can head out to explore more of the astonishing Greek Islands.

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Athens

From the ancient ruins and cultural heritage to the avant-garde localities and museums, Athens has it all. Here’s a list of places you should definitely visit during your time in Athens:

1.   The Temple of Olympian Zeus

Top 10 places to visit in Athens and How
The Temple of Olympian Zeus

If you’re looking for things to do in Athens, you undoubtedly already know that you can’t avoid the temples. Oddly enough, the Olympian Zeus Temple is the greatest of the city’s temples. It is situated southeast of the Acropolis of Athens, close to the River Ilissos.

It is said that the majestic temple took around 650 years to build. Since then, it has been standing for more than 2000 years. The enormous temple is made up of 104 columns of marble roughly over 56 feet. A few of which have been shed over the course of thousands of years. The whole place has an ancient vibe that makes you feel the might of the Roman Empire. It lets you dive into the essence of Greek mythology.

How to reach the Temple of Olympian Zeus?

You can travel to the temple of Olympian Zeus from anywhere in Athens due to its excellent transportation system and connectivity. Buses and trams are readily available to transport people to the temple, which is situated on the Vasilissis Olgas & Vasilissis Amalias Avenue. Additionally, you can stroll there if you happen to be in Syntagma Square.

The Acropolis Hill and Parthenon may be seen from the Temple of Zeus in some quite nice vistas and the temple is accessible from 8:00 A.M to 8:00 PM every day.

2.   The Acropolis and The Parthenon

Top 10 places to visit in Athens and How
The Acropolis and the Parthenon

The Acropolis is an ancient fortress perched on a limestone plateau in the centre of the city of Athens. A ‘high-city’ containing the prime functioning buildings of the ancient Greek civilization. The remnants of numerous ancient structures with significant architectural and historical value can be found atop the Acropolis of Athens, the most famous being the Parthenon.

Pericles oversaw the construction of the structures in the fifth century BC. Remarkably, the marvellous monuments are still standing. Ancient Greek culture’s captivating vestiges include the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaea, and others.

One of the most well-known and frequently replicated structures in the world is the Parthenon. It is regarded as the most significant remaining structure from Classical Greece and was constructed to honour the Greek goddess Athena Parthenos, the protector of Athens.

How to reach the Acropolis & the Parthenon?

The Acropolis & the Parthenon are located on the Acropolis hill and are conveniently accessible by the metro as well as the buses. The red line metro connects to the location at the station named “Akropolis”. It can also be reached through the trams running throughout the city.

The pedestrians should follow Filellinon Street to Vasilissis Amalias Avenue from Syntagma Square till they reach Dionysiou Aeropagitou’s walkway. The Acropolis will be on your right side if you follow it all the way up.

3.   Plaka

Top 10 places to visit in Athens and How
Plaka District

The old historical district of Athens known as Plaka is characterized by labyrinthine lanes, neoclassical architecture, and its proximity to the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis. The residential portions of Athens’ historic town are covered by Plaka. Due to its concurrence with the Acropolis and the ancient artefacts that come along, it is referred to as the “Neighbourhood of the Gods.”

The beautiful ambience permeates the Plaka district’s winding streets. Ancient ruin sites, Byzantine temples, and restored Greek and Roman buildings are among the foremost attractions. The Plaka district is the prime spot for visitors to stay and feel the quintessence of the Roman empire. It also hosts a number of themed cafes, small squares, eminent museums as well as the well-known Mitropolis cathedral.

How to reach Plaka?

Pedestrians can travel south on Ermou Street, Athens’ most well-known shopping street until they reach the Plaka area. The region is conveniently reachable on foot from Athens’s centre and is situated between Syntagma and Monastiraki.

Alternatively, you can also take the metro, bus, or taxi to reach the district.

4.   Monastiraki Market

Top 10 places to visit in Athens and How
Monastiraki Market

The Monastiraki Market is a flea market immersed in the quiddity of Greek culture. The Acropolis in the background and its by-foot-only lanes make you feel like shopping in ancient Roman civilization, a remarkable experience.

Named after the Monastiraki Cathedral, the Monastiraki market is a blend of a number of souvenir shops and hopeful vendors selling their cultural-themed antiques and local eatables like nuts and sweets. It is a distinguished shopping destination for visitors who love to take back home, a small memory of the jarring city of Athens.

How to reach the Monastiraki Market?

Nearly every part of the city makes it simple to reach the Monastiraki area.

Besides the train station, the Monastiraki Market is also accessible by the Blue Line metro on both sides of the plaza. The market is also at a strolling distance from the Acropolis, like the other prominent destinations of the city.

5.   The Temple of Poseidon

Top 10 places to visit in Athens and How
The Temple of Poseidon

The ancient Greek temple of Poseidon is located on Cape Sounion, 69.5 kilometres southeast of Athens. As the name suggests, the Temple of Poseidon was dedicated to ‘Poseidon‘, the master of the sea, according to Greek mythology. Although the temple was built in the 5th century B.C., There are numerous discoveries signifying the construction of shrines on the cape dating back to the 11th century B.C.

The temple of Poseidon is among the most beautiful temples in the whole of Greece. The beautiful and astonishing structure leaves the visitors awestruck with its majestic architecture. The Athenian landmark never fails to make one wonder about the knowledge of infrastructures the ancient people of Greece possessed.

The temple of Poseidon is best to be visited during the evening when the sun sets behind the temple, bathing it in the dusky hue. An unforgettable bitter-sweet sensation of solitude.

How to reach the temple of Poseidon?

The temple of Poseidon can be reached with the help of public transport like buses or rental cars. Alternatively, there are many travel and tour companies that plan a short day trip to the Cape.

6.   The Islands of Aegina and Poros

Top 10 things to do in Athens and how
The Islands of Aegina and Poros

The enchanting islands of Aegina and Poros are surrounded by the serene waters of the Saronic Gulf. A must-visit destination during your time in Athens. It is an easy day trip to the islands as they are rather easily accessible by ferries from the port of Piraeus.

The Temple of Aphaia Athena -one of Greece’s best-preserved ancient temples- is located on the island of Aegina (a 40-minute ferry voyage from Piraeus). The ancient ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo and the Archaeological Museum also consist of a well-known sculpture of the Aegina Sphinx from the sixth century BC.

The Island of Poros is an hour’s boat ride from Piraeus. It is renowned for its mesmerizing shoreline and crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect destination for weekend excursions and family vacations from Athens. The attractions include the coastal towns of Poros and Askeli, both of which have beaches, restaurants, and shops to cater to tourists.

How to reach the islands of Aegina and Poros?

The islands are accessible by ferry boats from the port of Piraeus which is located at a distance of 12 km from Athens.

7.   Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Top 10 things to do in Athens and how
Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The huge amphitheatre known as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus was constructed in AD 161 by a Roman senator, Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife. It is situated on the Acropolis’ southwest slope. The Odeon was later reconstructed as a tourist attraction to keep the legacy of the Romans alive.

It holds drama, music, and dance performances in the summer during the Athens & Epidaurus festival, along with sporadic pop concerts. It is also one of the oldest open-air theatres in the world, with a capacity of up to 4500 spectators.

The Odeon is a real symbol of elegance where stunning architecture and art converge.

How to reach the Odeon of Herodes Atticus?

It can be reached by any of the three metros near the Acropolis. Tourists can enter the Odeon from the pedestrian-only Dionyssiou Areopagitou Street, which connects the city’s most important archaeological monuments.

8.   Mount Lycabettus

Top 10 things to do in Athens and how
Mount Lycabettus

Athens’ Mount Lycabettus is a limestone hill from the Cretaceous period. Its top, which rises 277 meters above sea level, is the highest point in Central Athens. It provides a panoramic view of the city and the most breathtaking sunsets.

A modest chapel from the 19th century, the church of Agios Georgios, and a charming eatery are located on the peak.

How to reach Mount Lycabettus?

It is possible to go to Mount Lycabettus on foot, by cable car, or by taxi. Ampelokipi, Megaro Moussikis, and Evangelismos are the nearest metro stations to the hill. There is a sizable parking lot for those with their own vehicles.

9. Delphi

Top 10 things to do in Athens and how
Ruins of Delphi

The ancient ruins of Delphi have a magical character, situated in a beautiful natural setting between two rocky peaks of Mount Parnassus. It is said that an oracle dispensed guidance and prophecies at this fabled location during the time of the ancient Greeks.

Walking The Sacred Way up to the Temple of Apollo is one of the joys of visiting Delphi. Visitors can get a feeling of the pilgrimage journey along this route as they approach what was once thought to be the sacred Sanctuary of Apollo.

Although the travel takes about 2.5 hours, Delphi is only 180 kilometres from Athens and may be visited on a day trip. However, an overnight stay at Delphi is recommended to explore the countless significant experiences of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

How to reach Delphi?

Delphi can be reached by public transport such as buses and rental vehicles.

10. Panathenaic Stadium

Top 10 things to do in Athens and how
Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium is the only stadium in the world made entirely of marble. It is one of Athens’ top historic attractions. From the Modern Olympic Games‘ resurrection in 1896 to the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, the stadium has a direct relationship with the Olympic Games. The Olympic Flame is also transported from there to the Athens Authentic Marathon, the Winter, Summer, and Youth Olympic Games.

The Panathenaic Stadium has a capacity of more than 50,000 spectators and is open to visits during the day. The local tour guides can provide you numerous information about the historic significance of the stadium and its architectural brilliance. You can also get access to an audio guide for the whole tour at a small price.

How to reach the Panathenaic Stadium?

If you’re planning to spend a day in Athens, a 20-minute walk from the Acropolis would enable you to easily see the stadium. You can also use buses to reach the stadium based on your convenience.

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