Top Things to Do in Athens? Which are the Best Attractions In Athens? The capital of Greece, was the heart of the ancient Greek civilization. It is also historical cultural capital of Europe. Athens history starts from the Neolithic age and there is settlement found in the area and many excavations in Athens and Attica. It was the Golden age of Pericles in the 5th Century BC that gave the city’s values. At that time the Ancient Greek civilization saw their magnificent peek and gained their universal significance. Acropolis and the Parthenon are the greatest landmarks from this era. The Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum are the most known museums in Athens. Visit them and see some of the most known statues, vases, jewelry, pottery and much and more from Ancient Greece.
Athens was over it century long history conquered and occupied by many civilizations. Romans, Byzantine, Ottoman have erected great monuments. In 1834, Athens became the capital of the modern Greece and it evolved in the last two centuries to modern metropolis. The historic center, the surrounding mountains, the beautiful beaches, make Athens a great place to visit all year long.
The list of what to see in Athens is pretty endless if you are a first time visitor. We tried to make a guide at the most important places to visit both at the historic center and around Attica.
The Best Attractions In Athens
The Acropolis and the Parthenon is the absolut landmark of Athens for 2500 years. Build on a hilltop these magnificent monuments overlook Athens and give you the best view from the Acropolis to the city of Athens and the surrounding temples is one that will stay in your hearts and minds forever.
At the Acropolis, you can join a private tour and combine them with several different activities like lunch or dinner, food tour etc.
The Acropolis Museum next to Acropolis is a must see after the Acropolis and usually it is combined in the tours with Acropolis. You can purchase a discounted ticket that allows access to both, plus other local attractions. If you prefer, you can also book an organized tour ahead of time.
Fully renovated the National Archeological Museum is one of the biggest and most remarkable museums in the world. You will travel back in several different times in Ancient Greece and to several different locations. There is no doubt that its treasures, sculptures, jewelry, wall paintings, will mesmerize you. Many travelers do not visit this Museum and they miss a great opportunity! You must visit it and make sure that you have plenty of spare time. You can have a fat visit, but a proper visit will take around 2-3 hours. Having a licensed tour guide will simply make the travel in history majestic with all the info you will get from all this amazing artifacts. You will start with the Cycladic Island civilization and the Minoans and Mycenaeans to the late antiquity. The National Archaeological Museum is a must see of Athens with numerous Athens Tours!
The great Temple of Poseidon the god of Sea, at Cape Sounio is an absolute must. A perfect day or a sunset trip from Athens. This is a hot spot both for locals and for the travelers. It’s probably the best spot for a sunset in Attica that combines a unique view to the Temple that gets a great orangish colour from the Sun. The temple of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea, dominates the southernmost tip of Attica.
The stories regarding the Temple are Endless. King Menelaus stopped while he returned from Troy at the Temple. The most known myth is the one of the King Aegeus who drowned himself on that spot and the Aegean Sea got named after him. Above all, about the people who built a temple using local marble to honour the god of the sea and safeguard the profits from the neighbouring Lavrio mines.
The sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron is an early sacred site on the eastern coast of Attica near the Aegean Sea in a small inlet. You will have the chance to see the Attica country side with the olive trees, the pines and most important with the vineyards. During the small road trip you will have the full attention of a private licensed English speaking tour guide, not just a driver, who will inform you about the history of the Mesogeia area.
A day trip to Marathon and a visit to its archeological site and museum is something you must do when you will visit Athens. Above all, this area of Attica is one of the most beautiful places as you will discover when you get there Marathonas. The road passes by gardens, vineyards, olive groves and wild vegetation as well as by the artificial Marathonas Lake with the impressive marble dam.
The Plaka & Other Neighborhoods in Athens Greece
When we talk about the historic centre of Athens we mostly meen the Plaka neighborhood. This graphic place in the city center is inhabited without interruption since antiquity. Plaka is the area of winding streets around the Acropolis. It’s renowned for its small shops, restaurants, and local architecture. While it’s touristy, you’ll still find the area charming.
Stop somewhere for a frappe (iced instant coffee), especially during the summer, and watch the people stroll by. It’s also nice to visit at night with the tavernas staying open until late. The whitewashed homes of the adjacent Anafiotika neighborhood give the area a Greek-island feel.
When you walk through the narrow labyrinthine streets lined with houses and mansions from the time of the Turkish occupation and the Neoclassical period (19th c.), you will have the impression of travelling with a “time machine”.
Also, you will encounter ancient monuments, such as the Lysicrates Monument, erected by a wealthy donor of theatrical performances. Also the Roman Agora with the famed “Tower of the Winds” (1st c. B.C.) and Hadrian’s Library (132 A.D.). Bigger and smaller churches, true masterpieces of Byzantine art and architecture are everywhere in Plaka. Also some remnants of the Ottoman period. For example the Fetihie Mosque, Tzistarakis Mosque, the Turkish Bath near the Tower of the Winds, etc.
Also, there are some interesting museums. For instance the Folk Art, Greek Children’s Art, Popular Musical Instruments, Frysira Art Gallery, etc.. Finally you will find lots of picturesque tavernas, cafés, bars, as well as shops selling souvenirs and traditional Greek products.
This is the stadium where the first Modern Olympic games took place. The first modern Olympic Games commenced on 25 March and concluded on 3 April, and were a resounding success. Especially, the victor in the Marathon race, the most popular contest, was the Greek Spyros Louis. It was in the Panathenaic Stadium that the Olympic Hymn was heard for the first time. The lyrics is written by poet Kostis Palamas and music by composer Spyros Samaras.
Also, the stadium stands next to Zappeion Megaron and is in walking distance to Syntagma Square. It is usually combined with an Athens City Tour.
Finally, one of the Best Attractions in Athens is the Ancient Agora of Classical Athens. Located northwest of the Acropolis and on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill of Agoraios Kolonos. An easy wandering spot, with the almost-perfect temple of Hephaestus and a rebuilt colonnade housing the museum (Stoa Attalos). Also, a combo ticket makes it a particularly good bargain to combine a visit here with the Acropolis and other nearby sites.
The Ancient Agora, was the commercial, political and religious centre of ancient Athens. Visit to the archaeological site and become acquainted with the workings of Classical Athenian democracy.
Private Tour is your best choice to visit all the Best Attractions In Athens! Have a private tour, avoid the tourist traps and have a real local experience Athens tour.