Athens is Greece’s picturesque capital that presents you with a wealth of knowledge and insight through its historically significant attractions which provide amazing glimpses into the past. Athens is famous for being the birthplace of Democracy and is home to famous attractions like the Acropolis and the iconic Parthenon. Rich history aside, there’s so much to see and visit in Athens. Here are some of the best places to visit in Athens.
1. Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful ancient ruins and a splendid reminder of ancient Greece. Sitting on top of a sturdy rock overlooking the city is the famous Parthenon. Other must-see sights on the Acropolis include Temple of Erechtheion, Nike Temple, The Propylaea and the Theatre of Dionysus. The Acropolis is the most visited attraction in Athens and shouldn’t miss on your itinerary.
2. Acropolis Museum
After marvelling at the Acropolis, at the foot of the mountain you’ll find the impressive Acropolis Museum which houses the artifacts found in the Acropolis. Here you will take a deep dive into the history of the Acropolis as well Greek history and culture. The Acropolis has 3 levels and from the terrace on the 3rd-floor you can enjoy unspoiled views of the Acropolis. Visiting the Acropolis is definitely one of the best things to do in Athens.
3. National Archeology Museum
National archeology museum boasts not only being the largest archeological museum in Greece but also one of the best antiquities museums in the world. Inside, on display are collections of Greek art and other awe-inspiring well-known and rare objects. Some exceptional pieces found here are the mechanism of Antikythera and the mask of Agamemnon.
4. Temple of Olympian Zeus
Found in the City Center near the Athens gate lies the Temple of Olympian Zeus also called Olympieion. As its name suggests, this temple was dedicated to Zeus. It was the largest temple in ancient Greece.When there, you can also see the Hadrian’s Arch which stands in front of this temple. Other major attractions found near the temple are the Roman baths and the ruins of Themistokles’ wall.
5. National Garden
If you’re looking for a spot to relax in this bustling city or just want to walk around and enjoy nature, the National Garden of Athens is the perfect place for that. Also known as Zappeion Park, the gardens cover 16 hectares of narrow gravel paths, it has ponds and even a small zoo with wild goats, peacocks and chickens. Superbly set on the other side of Zappeion Park is the iconic old Panathenaic stadium.
6. Museum of Cycladic Art
A magnificent four floored museum located in the scenic neighborhood of Kolonakion in Athens. Through its 3000 artifacts of Cycladic, Ancient Greek and Cypriot art the museum beautifully depicts the cultural essence of Athens. The fourth floor offers an inspiring blend of modernity and antiquity through an exhibition called “Scenes from the daily life in antiquity.” The Museum of Cycladic Art is without a doubt one of the best tourist attractions in Athens.
7. Temple of Hephaestus
A stunning Doric peripteral temple which prides itself in being one of the most beautiful places in Athens which have been preserved for decades. Perched on a hill on the western edge of the ancient Agora means it can be reached on foot from Monastiraki Square and also from the Acropolis. The Temple of Hephaestus is dedicated to Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire and Athena, the goddess of pottery and crafts.
8. Plaka and Anafiotika
Anyone who relishes the idea of colorful places, cobbled streets and small cafes will absolutely love Plaka and Anafiotika. These are the nicest neighborhoods in Athens but Plaka is favored with more tourists compared to the laid-back Anafiotika. In Plaka you can explore a variety of ancient sites, small museums, historic churches and lovely small squares filled with restaurants and cafés. Be sure to also visit the Cine Paris at night for outdoor movie screenings.
9. Syntagma Square
Only accessible on foot, Syntagma Square is one of the best places to visit in Athens its also arguably one of the most loved places. Watching the changing of the guard is an experience many tourists have enjoyed. The Changing of the Guard happens every day at 11am in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument that honors soldiers who died fighting for the country. The parliament building is also found here. A trip to Athens would feel incomplete without a visit to Syntagma Square.
10. Panathenaic Stadium
Constructed around 335 BC during the era of Herodes Atticus, the Panathenaic Stadium is ancient Athens’s largest building and can hold 60,000 people. Although the present stadium is an updated replica of the original 1896 stadium, its just as impressive. Over the years, this stadium has hosted various sports events, but is now only a landmark where you can learn more about the Olympics.