Attractions In Athens City

Explore The Attractions Of Athens City
Acharnian Gate of the Ancient Athens Wall
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Like many cities in antiquity, Ancient Athens was surrounded by a wall and featured different gates to access the city. The location of the Acharnian Gate – the gate that leads to the town of Acharnes north of the city – was initially lost in time.

Acropolis Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This fascinating museum is a must if you’re visiting Athens. Initially, the residents of Athens looked upon the new Acropolis museum under construction with suspicion.

Acropolis, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Welcome to the Parthenon on the Acropolis Hill, one of the world’s most important structures, considered a true symbol of civilization and democracy that has been standing for 2,500 years. Even in the stone age (Neolithic period), millennia before the Parthenon was built, the Acropolis represented a military fortress, thanks to its strategic vantage point over land and sea.

Aegosthenes Fortress, Porto Germeno
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

A fortress dating from the 4th century BC lies near Porto Germeno (Yermeno). There are also remains of a 5th century basilica with a mosaic floor and remains of a medieval cloister.

Amphiareion, North Attica
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

One of the less known gods of mythology, Amphiaraos was a deity of healing. He emerged from a spring near the temple on the Northern border of Attica. This is also an ancient Doric temple that fits 3000 people dating from the 4th century BC. Other ruins in the area are from the 6th century BC.

Archaeological Museum of Eleusis, Elefsina
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This small archaeological museum boasts finds from the vicinity. Notable finds include the proto-attic amphora from 650 BC, a statue of a running maiden, the Kore from the Ieri Oikia (sacred house) and more.

Archaeological Museum of Megara
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Lying 21 km west of Eleusina in Megara, this museum features marble and terracotta finds from the area dating as far back as the 6th century BC up to Roman times. Note the terracotta bust of Demeter, a female statue and a spout with a lion’s head among other interesting artefacts.

Athens Railway Museum, Sepolia
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The train enthusiast will enjoy historic trains, 19th century steam locomotives, the Royal car of Greece’s King George I and the Sultan’s smoking wagon from days of the Ottoman Empire. Other objects of curiosity abound. (To get there, take bus 24 from Syntagma to the Parktoreia stop).

Bath House of the Winds, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Today known as Palea Loutra or Old Baths located on 8 Kyristou Street, the baths were mentiond in 1667 by Turkish traveler Evlia Celebi. There is an interesting multi-domed bath complex on the rear end.

Benaki Islamic Art Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In a lovely neoclassical building near Agion Asomaton Square, this museum highlights the artistic accomplishments of a religion that affected Greece for four centuries. Amazing geometrical art and floral designs will great you, as well as surgical instruments from the 19th century.

Benaki Museum, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is one of the most prominent museums in Greece in a stunning neoclassical building with vast collections, from the prehistoric to the 20th century. Roman, byzantine, Frankish, Ottoman and war of independence are all covered here. The great coffee shop is added bonus.

Beth Shalom Synagogue
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Beth Shalom is the city’s main synagogue built in 1930’s by the Sephardic community of Athens. It is a neoclassical marble structure with stained glass windows. Like in all Greek synagogues, women sit upstairs on the balcony.

Byzantine and Christian Museum, Downtown
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Discover the Byzantine and Christian way of live through paintings, icons, frescos and objects collected over hundreds of years. Insight into how ancient, pagan and early Christian periods were linked through symbols and ideas.

Cave of Leontari, Mount Hymettus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Over the area of Glyka Nera on the airport side of Hymettus, this horizontal cave has revealed archaeological finds and stunning interiors.

Cave of Nympholyptos or Archedimos, Vari, Hymettus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is an important archaeological cave with large carvings by an ancient sculptor who loved there. It was off limits at some point, and is best explored by trained speleologists only.

Cave Sanctuary of Pan
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

You can almost picture Pan, the naughty nymph semi-god, running in and out of his little cave, conveniently located on the slopes of the Acropolis Hill within easy reach of all the goddesses and maidens who frequented the area.

Church of Agioi Anargyroi, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Between Prytaneiou and Erotokritou streets, also known as the Church of Holy Sepulchre, built on an even earlier church from the 6th century. Rebuilt in 1651 with a monastery but damaged in later troubles. Officially belongs to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Church of Panagia Chrysokastriotissa, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In Plaka on the corner of Sotirias Aliberti and Thrasyvoulou streets, the Koimesis Theotokou church or Panagia Chrysokastriotissa is tied to a miracle when in 1456 women and children hiding from invading Ottomans in the Acropolis escaped to the church and were saved.

Church of St. Catherine, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Located off Lysicratous street on Agias Aikaterinis square, this 11th c. church is beautifully restored. The octagonal dome and central apse are from the original structure while the rest was added later on. The ruins nearby testify to an earlier pre-Christian temple.

Church of St. George of the Rock, Plaka, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In the Anafiotika district of Plaka, the local inhabitants who came from Anafi built the church on a rocky spur of the Acropolis, complete with a tiny courtyard. It is best viewed from climbing up the steps on the left side of the church.

Church of St. John the Theologian, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Off Erechtehos street on Erotokritou street, was built anywhere between the 9th-12th c. following a cross-in-square plan. In 1867 General Morosini of the venetians used the area in front of the church to bombard the Acropolis which helped destroy it.

Church of St. Nicholas Rangavas, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The largest remaining Byzantine era (11th c.) church in Athens, corner of Prytaneiou and Epicharmou streets. Built by the grandson of Emperor Michael I Rangavas on the site of an ancient temple. Its ringing bells signalled the end of Ottoman and German occupations.

Commonwealth War Cemetery
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

On the Alimos coastal road, i.e. Poseidonos Avenue, the 2,028 Commonwealth servicemen during the WWII who perished in the area are buried or commemorated here. Some fell in the Crimean War, others in Crete or Yugoslavia, etc. Very peaceful, thought-provoking and green.

Elefsina (Eleusis)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Founded in the in the 2nd millennium BC, Eleusis was where the Eleusinian mysteries took place, an initiation rite into a mystic order. In antiquity Athenians marched here by foot.

First Cemetery of Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Great 19th century funerary art. Look for the tombs of Koimomeni (sleeping beauty), hero Theodoros Kolokotronis, hero Yiannis Makriyiannis, writer Panayiotis Soutsos, statesman Harilaos Trikoupis, museum founder Antonios Benakis, architect Heinrich Schliemann, Scottish philhellene George Finlay, etc.

Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art, Downtown
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

An amazing collection of art from the Cyclades islands, from as far back as the 3rd millennium BC. Bronze Age, Minoan, Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic art is represented through artefacts, figures, ceramics and more.

Greek Agora in Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Welcome to what was once the heart of public life in Classical Athens and where democracy was born, according to historians. The Greek Agora (as opposed to the Roman Agora not far off) was represented by a bustling open square that saw many fine buildings emerge around it, from temples and fountain houses to administrative offices and stoas (covered porticos or walkways for the public).

Hadrian’s Arch, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Like a Roman triumphal arch and lying just 325 meters (almost 1070 feet) from the Acropolis, this impressive gateway once lay over an ancient road and was most probably built to celebrate the arrival of Roman Emperor Hadrian to Athens.

Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, Acropolis
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The art of jewellery at its best over 4000 years. Located at the foot of the Acropolis, it has jewellery inspired by byzantine, Greek, European, American and Asian art, as well as nature and science. The building is historic too and a walk from the Acropolis Metro.

Jewish Museum, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This museum in a neoclassical building features an exhibition about Jewish neighbourhoods that once dotted Greece and their communities. There used to be a formidable presence of Judaism in the country, particularly in Northern Greece, that was sadly persecuted by occupying forces during WWII.

Kerameikos, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Kerameikos – the combined ancient ceramic quarter and necropolis – might not be as famous as the Acropolis and Agora, but it is well worth a visit.

Lysicrates Monument, Plaka area
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Here’s an ancient architectural marvel dating from 335 BC that was replicated many times in British and French gardens over the last few centuries, with renditions reaching the US and Australia as well. The Lysicrates Monument in the Plaka area was commissioned by Lysicrates, a rich patron of artistic performances, to honor a prize-winning performance that he had sponsored.

Marathon Archaeological Museum, Vranas
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Only 5 km from Marathonas, this museum boasts artefacts that are 2,500 years old from around where the battle of Marathon took place. It includes parts of the monument celebrating the Greek win over the Persians, Neolithic and ceramic finds, sculptures of Herod Atticus and much more.

Marathon Warriors’ Tomb, Marathonas
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The battle of Marathon is where the outnumbered Greeks won the Persian invaders in 490 BC. Near the field lies the monument and tomb of the 192 Athenian soldiers who were killed in battle. On the other side of the road 5km away is the grave of the Plataians, also allies of the Athenians in battle.

Mineralogical Museum, Lavrion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This little port town not far from Cape Sounion has a Mineralogical Museum, as well as an ancient archaeological site of Thorikos.

Monastiraki Metro Display
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Below one of the busiest squares in Athens today, Monastiraki Square, lies a fascinating discovery that came to light only a couple of decades ago.

Mosque of the Conquerors’ Victory, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Also known as Fetihyie Tzami, was built in the 15th century by the Ottomans over the remains of a Byzantine church. The Venetian General Morosini transformed it into a Catholic Church later. In the 19th century it served as a school, then as a military building, and eventually a bakery.

Mount Hymettus (Imittos)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

It’s name comes down to us from pre-Hellenic times, Mount Hymettus or Imittos is only one hour’s walk away from Downtown Athens. In fact, Athenians used to cut its trees for wood up until the 1950s, when the Friends of the Forests organization changed this.

Mount Parnitha
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Step just outside Athens to discover the rest of the Attica prefecture and you’ll be faced with more nature that you could have imagined. Beckoning Mount Parnitha is only a 30 kilometers from Athens, with fir trees, red deer and the 11th century monastery of Kliston, which makes it almost a thousand years old if you stop to think about it.

Municipal Market of Athens, Athinas Street
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In Greek it is known as the Kentriki Agora or Demotiki Agora. Along with the adjacent meat, fish and vegetable markets, this place is full of the traditional sights and sounds of Athens. The small wine eateries called Oinomagereia are also a special phenomenon (closed Sundays).

Museum of Diachronic Art
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Located in an old silk mill in the Votanikos neighbourhood near Gazi, this museum features the evolution of Cypriot art over nine millennia, from Neolithic times to the middle ages. It unveils unique Cypriot art and culture with insight to this Hellenic civilisation

Museum of Greek Popular Musical Instruments
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Behind the Tower of the Winds in Plaka in a house from 1828 is a large variety of traditional Greek musical instruments. Interestingly, exhibit headphones transform viewers into listeners. All the bells and whistles are in the basement, literally. Note the music necklaces from Naoussa.

Museum of the Ancient Agora
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The museum might be a relatively recent initiative, but it is housed in a building that dates over 2,200 years old.

National Archaeological Museum, Viktoria Metro
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Dubbed “the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek”, this museum is certainly worth a couple of hours of your time.

National Historical Museum, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Rich collections cover neo-Hellenism, Frankish rule and Ottoman domination including recent events such as the Balkan Wars, Asia Minor Campaign and Greek-Italian War. Folklore, furniture and memorabilia from different eras are also present. The neoclassical building itself is noteworthy.

National Observatory
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

On the Hill of the Nymphs in the attractive Thisseo neighborhood, this attractive observatory was unique in the Balkans. Like other notable buildings in Athens, it was designed by Theophile Hansen and completed in 1842. Its unique cross-shape reflects the 4 points of the horizon.

Numismatic Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The word ‘numismatic’ refers to coins, medals and paper currency, and this museum will impress you in this respect.

Odeon of Herod Atticus, Acropolis
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The word ‘ode’ gives us the term Odeon – Odeum in Latin – which represents a collection of buildings built for musical performances or poetry competitions.

Old House of Parliament
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

King Otto of Greece lived here while the Royal Palace (today’s Parliament) was being built. The neoclassical building, now the History Museum, was used as the House of Parliament in from 1843-1854 and 1875-1932. Noteworthy too is the statue of General Kolokotronis on a horse up front.

Old National University of Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Founded in the late 1820s and designed by Hans Christian Hansen, the university is a true architectural landmark in Athens. The portico boasts frescoes done by Bavarian Karl Rahl and painted by 1888 by Eduardo Lebiedzky, featuring famous heroes and personalities in Greek history.

Panathenaic stadium (Kalimarmaro)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Imagine a 2,000 year old stadium that could hold 50,000 people, representing a true architectural marvel for its time.

Philoppapou Monument Hill
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

A young monument on Ancient Greek standards that’s just 19 centuries old, Monument was built in 116 AD on a hill to commemorate Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus, a prince from an ancient Armenian kingdom of Commagene who was a well-connected aristocrat, Roman consul and senator during that time. A true admirer of Greek culture, he sponsored artistic events and was well revered by all.

Pit of Asteriou Monastery
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Near the monastery by the same name, this pit is around 70 meters deep with some difficult passes.

Pit of Megalos Pyrgos, Mount Hymettus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Located on the hill west of the Evzonas peak, at a depth of 140 meters this pit is considered the deepest in Attica just waiting to be explored.

Pnyx hill
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

While not much remains of the structures that were once there, the Pnyx is one of the most significant sites of Classical Greece for what it stands for.

Postal & Philatelic Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

If you love stamps or are a stamp collector, you must visit this museum. A collection of early stamps in history linked to the 1896 Olympics. The first Greek stamps and stamp printing equipment are also on display. The gift shop has collectors’ items and stamps too.

Ramnous (Kato Souli, near Marathon coast)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Known for its port area and fort in antiquity, the area hosts two temples dedicated to Nemesis and to Themis, both goddesses of justice. The remains of a fort, funerary monuments, walls, theatre and homes are still apparent. Local finds include statues of Artemis and Pan. Enjoy the great sea views too.

Roman Agora, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Around the time of Christ, the new Roman Agora established itself as the center of activity in Roman-controlled Athens, especially since the Ancient Greek Agora had long become a historic relic by then.

Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Here’s an excellent reminder of the level of knowledge and education that existed some 2000 years ago. Hadrian’s Library, built in 132 AD, was a repository for rolls of papyrus – the equivalent of books then – and state archives.

Roman Bath, Amalias Avenue
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

You wouldn’t suspect that the lush, serene national gardens of Syntagma (which were the Royal Gardens of King Otto and Queen Amalia a few decades back) were the site of sophisticated Roman Bathhouse.

Sounio National Park
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In contrast to Athens’ verdant northern suburbs, Sounio or Sounion at the tip of the Attica peninsula, stands seemingly bare with its archaeological ruins, against the backdrop of shimmering sea. But don’t be deceived, there are hundreds of plant species growing here, including some that exclusively grow in the area such as special orchids and two thistle (knapweed) species, in addition to a nearby forest. Land tortoises, wrasse (fish), rare birds of prey, sea birds and migrating songbirds can be spotted. 

St. Nicholas of the Poorhouse, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In Greek this church is Agios Nikolaos tou Ftochokomeiou, built in 1876 with interesting irregular stonework done in ‘neo-byzantine style’. It lies across from the War Museum and near the British Embassy, accessed from the Evangelismos Metro.

Syntagma Square, Central Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

No visit to Athens is complete without passing by Syntagma Square and the Parliament, originally the Royal Palace of King Otto. Completed in 1843 it is loved for the change of the Evzone guards outside and is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Tactual Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Try feeling rather than looking at exhibits in this museum, which include a priest’s robe, archaeological replicas, idols, icons and much more, where you trace the works with your fingers. This is an interesting experience whether you’re blind or not. This experience gives rare insight into blindness.

Technopolis, Gazi
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The 19th century Athens works factory in a previously rundown area has been reinvented and transformed into a bustling cultural complex where many exhibitions and shows take place, with some permanent exhibitions too.

Temple & theatre of Dionysus, South Slope of Acropolis
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

On the slopes of the Acropolis lie the the Sancutary of Dionysus Eleuthereus and theatre, among the most ancient in the world. It featured plays from Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschylus and more. Nearby is the Odeion of Herod Atticus, another theatre used today for events.

Temple of Hephaestus, Thisseo
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Archaeologists thought that Thisseus was buried here, but turns out it was Hephaestus. This is actually Athens’ best preserved temple and worth a visit, along with the nearby Stoa of Attalos and the museum. The temple was built in 460-415 BC. It once held statues of Athena and Hephaestus.

Temple of Olympian Zeus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is older than the acropolis dating from the 6th century BC, built under Hippias and Hipparchos. It remained unfinished until the Emperor Hadrian completed it some 700 years later in 131 AD. The original was huge, boasting 104 columns of which only 15 remain today.

Temple of Poseidon, Sounion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is where ancient Greeks worshipped Poseidon, god of the sea. Fifteen of the temple’s 34 columns still remain. It was built in the Golden Age of Pericles on the ruins of another temple. A smaller temple of Athena lies 400 meters away, built around 600-550 BC.

The Museum at 22 Panos str., Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City
Tower of the winds/ Aerides, Plaka area
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Lying within the Roman Agora, this monument is also known as the horlogeion, meaning water clock. Most believe the octagonal structure depicting the ‘winds’ in amazing detail was built as a sundial. There used to be a mechanism inside to operate the water clock.

Underground ruins, Kotzia Square
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Right in front of the attractive neoclassical National Bank of Greece building, this site which lies just beyond the ancient city walls reveals three streets and a cemetery dating from the 9th century BC until the third century AD.

Vravrona
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Known in English literature as Brauron, this is the ideal place to combine an archaeological visit with a nature-filled one. Thanks to the ancient buildings, Vravrona became a protected one and remains a small specimen of the last untouched Mediterranean landscapes in the region.

Vravrona, near Markopoulo/Porto Rafti
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Known in antiquity as Brauron, it was dedicated to hunter goddess Artemis and ancient festivals took place there for girls. The sanctuary is still preserved with a colonnade. A small museum features exhibits from the region.

Zappeion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The Zappas family, Greeks from Romania, had this neoclassical structure built by Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen. It often houses exhibitions and features a lovely outdoor coffee shop, ideal in good weather. Access to the main National Gardens is very close.

Acharnian Gate of the Ancient Athens Wall
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Like many cities in antiquity, Ancient Athens was surrounded by a wall and featured different gates to access the city. The location of the Acharnian Gate – the gate that leads to the town of Acharnes north of the city – was initially lost in time.

Acropolis, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Welcome to the Parthenon on the Acropolis Hill, one of the world’s most important structures, considered a true symbol of civilization and democracy that has been standing for 2,500 years. Even in the stone age (Neolithic period), millennia before the Parthenon was built, the Acropolis represented a military fortress, thanks to its strategic vantage point over land and sea.

Amphiareion, North Attica
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

One of the less known gods of mythology, Amphiaraos was a deity of healing. He emerged from a spring near the temple on the Northern border of Attica. This is also an ancient Doric temple that fits 3000 people dating from the 4th century BC. Other ruins in the area are from the 6th century BC.

Cave Sanctuary of Pan
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

You can almost picture Pan, the naughty nymph semi-god, running in and out of his little cave, conveniently located on the slopes of the Acropolis Hill within easy reach of all the goddesses and maidens who frequented the area.

Elefsina (Eleusis)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Founded in the in the 2nd millennium BC, Eleusis was where the Eleusinian mysteries took place, an initiation rite into a mystic order. In antiquity Athenians marched here by foot.

Greek Agora in Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Welcome to what was once the heart of public life in Classical Athens and where democracy was born, according to historians. The Greek Agora (as opposed to the Roman Agora not far off) was represented by a bustling open square that saw many fine buildings emerge around it, from temples and fountain houses to administrative offices and stoas (covered porticos or walkways for the public).

Hadrian’s Arch, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Like a Roman triumphal arch and lying just 325 meters (almost 1070 feet) from the Acropolis, this impressive gateway once lay over an ancient road and was most probably built to celebrate the arrival of Roman Emperor Hadrian to Athens.

Kerameikos, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Kerameikos – the combined ancient ceramic quarter and necropolis – might not be as famous as the Acropolis and Agora, but it is well worth a visit.

Lysicrates Monument, Plaka area
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Here’s an ancient architectural marvel dating from 335 BC that was replicated many times in British and French gardens over the last few centuries, with renditions reaching the US and Australia as well. The Lysicrates Monument in the Plaka area was commissioned by Lysicrates, a rich patron of artistic performances, to honor a prize-winning performance that he had sponsored.

Marathon Warriors’ Tomb, Marathonas
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The battle of Marathon is where the outnumbered Greeks won the Persian invaders in 490 BC. Near the field lies the monument and tomb of the 192 Athenian soldiers who were killed in battle. On the other side of the road 5km away is the grave of the Plataians, also allies of the Athenians in battle.

Monastiraki Metro Display
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Below one of the busiest squares in Athens today, Monastiraki Square, lies a fascinating discovery that came to light only a couple of decades ago.

Odeon of Herod Atticus, Acropolis
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The word ‘ode’ gives us the term Odeon – Odeum in Latin – which represents a collection of buildings built for musical performances or poetry competitions.

Panathenaic stadium (Kalimarmaro)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Imagine a 2,000 year old stadium that could hold 50,000 people, representing a true architectural marvel for its time.

Philoppapou Monument Hill
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

A young monument on Ancient Greek standards that’s just 19 centuries old, Monument was built in 116 AD on a hill to commemorate Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus, a prince from an ancient Armenian kingdom of Commagene who was a well-connected aristocrat, Roman consul and senator during that time. A true admirer of Greek culture, he sponsored artistic events and was well revered by all.

Pnyx hill
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

While not much remains of the structures that were once there, the Pnyx is one of the most significant sites of Classical Greece for what it stands for.

Ramnous (Kato Souli, near Marathon coast)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Known for its port area and fort in antiquity, the area hosts two temples dedicated to Nemesis and to Themis, both goddesses of justice. The remains of a fort, funerary monuments, walls, theatre and homes are still apparent. Local finds include statues of Artemis and Pan. Enjoy the great sea views too.

Roman Agora, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Around the time of Christ, the new Roman Agora established itself as the center of activity in Roman-controlled Athens, especially since the Ancient Greek Agora had long become a historic relic by then.

Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Here’s an excellent reminder of the level of knowledge and education that existed some 2000 years ago. Hadrian’s Library, built in 132 AD, was a repository for rolls of papyrus – the equivalent of books then – and state archives.

Roman Bath, Amalias Avenue
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

You wouldn’t suspect that the lush, serene national gardens of Syntagma (which were the Royal Gardens of King Otto and Queen Amalia a few decades back) were the site of sophisticated Roman Bathhouse.

Temple & theatre of Dionysus, South Slope of Acropolis
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

On the slopes of the Acropolis lie the the Sancutary of Dionysus Eleuthereus and theatre, among the most ancient in the world. It featured plays from Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschylus and more. Nearby is the Odeion of Herod Atticus, another theatre used today for events.

Temple of Hephaestus, Thisseo
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Archaeologists thought that Thisseus was buried here, but turns out it was Hephaestus. This is actually Athens’ best preserved temple and worth a visit, along with the nearby Stoa of Attalos and the museum. The temple was built in 460-415 BC. It once held statues of Athena and Hephaestus.

Temple of Olympian Zeus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is older than the acropolis dating from the 6th century BC, built under Hippias and Hipparchos. It remained unfinished until the Emperor Hadrian completed it some 700 years later in 131 AD. The original was huge, boasting 104 columns of which only 15 remain today.

Temple of Poseidon, Sounion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is where ancient Greeks worshipped Poseidon, god of the sea. Fifteen of the temple’s 34 columns still remain. It was built in the Golden Age of Pericles on the ruins of another temple. A smaller temple of Athena lies 400 meters away, built around 600-550 BC.

Tower of the winds/ Aerides, Plaka area
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Lying within the Roman Agora, this monument is also known as the horlogeion, meaning water clock. Most believe the octagonal structure depicting the ‘winds’ in amazing detail was built as a sundial. There used to be a mechanism inside to operate the water clock.

Underground ruins, Kotzia Square
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Right in front of the attractive neoclassical National Bank of Greece building, this site which lies just beyond the ancient city walls reveals three streets and a cemetery dating from the 9th century BC until the third century AD.

Vravrona, near Markopoulo/Porto Rafti
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Known in antiquity as Brauron, it was dedicated to hunter goddess Artemis and ancient festivals took place there for girls. The sanctuary is still preserved with a colonnade. A small museum features exhibits from the region.

Aegosthenes Fortress, Porto Germeno
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

A fortress dating from the 4th century BC lies near Porto Germeno (Yermeno). There are also remains of a 5th century basilica with a mosaic floor and remains of a medieval cloister.

Cave of Leontari, Mount Hymettus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Over the area of Glyka Nera on the airport side of Hymettus, this horizontal cave has revealed archaeological finds and stunning interiors.

Cave of Nympholyptos or Archedimos, Vari, Hymettus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is an important archaeological cave with large carvings by an ancient sculptor who loved there. It was off limits at some point, and is best explored by trained speleologists only.

Pit of Asteriou Monastery
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Near the monastery by the same name, this pit is around 70 meters deep with some difficult passes.

Pit of Megalos Pyrgos, Mount Hymettus
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Located on the hill west of the Evzonas peak, at a depth of 140 meters this pit is considered the deepest in Attica just waiting to be explored.

Church of Agioi Anargyroi, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Between Prytaneiou and Erotokritou streets, also known as the Church of Holy Sepulchre, built on an even earlier church from the 6th century. Rebuilt in 1651 with a monastery but damaged in later troubles. Officially belongs to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Church of Panagia Chrysokastriotissa, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In Plaka on the corner of Sotirias Aliberti and Thrasyvoulou streets, the Koimesis Theotokou church or Panagia Chrysokastriotissa is tied to a miracle when in 1456 women and children hiding from invading Ottomans in the Acropolis escaped to the church and were saved.

Church of St. Catherine, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Located off Lysicratous street on Agias Aikaterinis square, this 11th c. church is beautifully restored. The octagonal dome and central apse are from the original structure while the rest was added later on. The ruins nearby testify to an earlier pre-Christian temple.

Church of St. George of the Rock, Plaka, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In the Anafiotika district of Plaka, the local inhabitants who came from Anafi built the church on a rocky spur of the Acropolis, complete with a tiny courtyard. It is best viewed from climbing up the steps on the left side of the church.

Church of St. John the Theologian, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Off Erechtehos street on Erotokritou street, was built anywhere between the 9th-12th c. following a cross-in-square plan. In 1867 General Morosini of the venetians used the area in front of the church to bombard the Acropolis which helped destroy it.

Church of St. Nicholas Rangavas, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The largest remaining Byzantine era (11th c.) church in Athens, corner of Prytaneiou and Epicharmou streets. Built by the grandson of Emperor Michael I Rangavas on the site of an ancient temple. Its ringing bells signalled the end of Ottoman and German occupations.

St. Nicholas of the Poorhouse, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In Greek this church is Agios Nikolaos tou Ftochokomeiou, built in 1876 with interesting irregular stonework done in ‘neo-byzantine style’. It lies across from the War Museum and near the British Embassy, accessed from the Evangelismos Metro.

Bath House of the Winds, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Today known as Palea Loutra or Old Baths located on 8 Kyristou Street, the baths were mentiond in 1667 by Turkish traveler Evlia Celebi. There is an interesting multi-domed bath complex on the rear end.

Beth Shalom Synagogue
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Beth Shalom is the city’s main synagogue built in 1930’s by the Sephardic community of Athens. It is a neoclassical marble structure with stained glass windows. Like in all Greek synagogues, women sit upstairs on the balcony.

Commonwealth War Cemetery
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

On the Alimos coastal road, i.e. Poseidonos Avenue, the 2,028 Commonwealth servicemen during the WWII who perished in the area are buried or commemorated here. Some fell in the Crimean War, others in Crete or Yugoslavia, etc. Very peaceful, thought-provoking and green.

First Cemetery of Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Great 19th century funerary art. Look for the tombs of Koimomeni (sleeping beauty), hero Theodoros Kolokotronis, hero Yiannis Makriyiannis, writer Panayiotis Soutsos, statesman Harilaos Trikoupis, museum founder Antonios Benakis, architect Heinrich Schliemann, Scottish philhellene George Finlay, etc.

Mosque of the Conquerors’ Victory, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Also known as Fetihyie Tzami, was built in the 15th century by the Ottomans over the remains of a Byzantine church. The Venetian General Morosini transformed it into a Catholic Church later. In the 19th century it served as a school, then as a military building, and eventually a bakery.

Municipal Market of Athens, Athinas Street
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In Greek it is known as the Kentriki Agora or Demotiki Agora. Along with the adjacent meat, fish and vegetable markets, this place is full of the traditional sights and sounds of Athens. The small wine eateries called Oinomagereia are also a special phenomenon (closed Sundays).

National Observatory
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

On the Hill of the Nymphs in the attractive Thisseo neighborhood, this attractive observatory was unique in the Balkans. Like other notable buildings in Athens, it was designed by Theophile Hansen and completed in 1842. Its unique cross-shape reflects the 4 points of the horizon.

Old House of Parliament
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

King Otto of Greece lived here while the Royal Palace (today’s Parliament) was being built. The neoclassical building, now the History Museum, was used as the House of Parliament in from 1843-1854 and 1875-1932. Noteworthy too is the statue of General Kolokotronis on a horse up front.

Old National University of Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Founded in the late 1820s and designed by Hans Christian Hansen, the university is a true architectural landmark in Athens. The portico boasts frescoes done by Bavarian Karl Rahl and painted by 1888 by Eduardo Lebiedzky, featuring famous heroes and personalities in Greek history.

Syntagma Square, Central Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

No visit to Athens is complete without passing by Syntagma Square and the Parliament, originally the Royal Palace of King Otto. Completed in 1843 it is loved for the change of the Evzone guards outside and is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Technopolis, Gazi
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The 19th century Athens works factory in a previously rundown area has been reinvented and transformed into a bustling cultural complex where many exhibitions and shows take place, with some permanent exhibitions too.

Zappeion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The Zappas family, Greeks from Romania, had this neoclassical structure built by Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen. It often houses exhibitions and features a lovely outdoor coffee shop, ideal in good weather. Access to the main National Gardens is very close.

Acropolis Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This fascinating museum is a must if you’re visiting Athens. Initially, the residents of Athens looked upon the new Acropolis museum under construction with suspicion.

Archaeological Museum of Eleusis, Elefsina
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This small archaeological museum boasts finds from the vicinity. Notable finds include the proto-attic amphora from 650 BC, a statue of a running maiden, the Kore from the Ieri Oikia (sacred house) and more.

Archaeological Museum of Megara
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Lying 21 km west of Eleusina in Megara, this museum features marble and terracotta finds from the area dating as far back as the 6th century BC up to Roman times. Note the terracotta bust of Demeter, a female statue and a spout with a lion’s head among other interesting artefacts.

Athens Railway Museum, Sepolia
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The train enthusiast will enjoy historic trains, 19th century steam locomotives, the Royal car of Greece’s King George I and the Sultan’s smoking wagon from days of the Ottoman Empire. Other objects of curiosity abound. (To get there, take bus 24 from Syntagma to the Parktoreia stop).

Benaki Islamic Art Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In a lovely neoclassical building near Agion Asomaton Square, this museum highlights the artistic accomplishments of a religion that affected Greece for four centuries. Amazing geometrical art and floral designs will great you, as well as surgical instruments from the 19th century.

Benaki Museum, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is one of the most prominent museums in Greece in a stunning neoclassical building with vast collections, from the prehistoric to the 20th century. Roman, byzantine, Frankish, Ottoman and war of independence are all covered here. The great coffee shop is added bonus.

Byzantine and Christian Museum, Downtown
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Discover the Byzantine and Christian way of live through paintings, icons, frescos and objects collected over hundreds of years. Insight into how ancient, pagan and early Christian periods were linked through symbols and ideas.

Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art, Downtown
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

An amazing collection of art from the Cyclades islands, from as far back as the 3rd millennium BC. Bronze Age, Minoan, Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic art is represented through artefacts, figures, ceramics and more.

Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, Acropolis
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The art of jewellery at its best over 4000 years. Located at the foot of the Acropolis, it has jewellery inspired by byzantine, Greek, European, American and Asian art, as well as nature and science. The building is historic too and a walk from the Acropolis Metro.

Jewish Museum, Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This museum in a neoclassical building features an exhibition about Jewish neighbourhoods that once dotted Greece and their communities. There used to be a formidable presence of Judaism in the country, particularly in Northern Greece, that was sadly persecuted by occupying forces during WWII.

Marathon Archaeological Museum, Vranas
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Only 5 km from Marathonas, this museum boasts artefacts that are 2,500 years old from around where the battle of Marathon took place. It includes parts of the monument celebrating the Greek win over the Persians, Neolithic and ceramic finds, sculptures of Herod Atticus and much more.

Mineralogical Museum, Lavrion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This little port town not far from Cape Sounion has a Mineralogical Museum, as well as an ancient archaeological site of Thorikos.

Museum of Diachronic Art
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Located in an old silk mill in the Votanikos neighbourhood near Gazi, this museum features the evolution of Cypriot art over nine millennia, from Neolithic times to the middle ages. It unveils unique Cypriot art and culture with insight to this Hellenic civilisation

Museum of Greek Popular Musical Instruments
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Behind the Tower of the Winds in Plaka in a house from 1828 is a large variety of traditional Greek musical instruments. Interestingly, exhibit headphones transform viewers into listeners. All the bells and whistles are in the basement, literally. Note the music necklaces from Naoussa.

Museum of the Ancient Agora
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The museum might be a relatively recent initiative, but it is housed in a building that dates over 2,200 years old.

National Archaeological Museum, Viktoria Metro
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Dubbed “the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek”, this museum is certainly worth a couple of hours of your time.

National Historical Museum, Downtown Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Rich collections cover neo-Hellenism, Frankish rule and Ottoman domination including recent events such as the Balkan Wars, Asia Minor Campaign and Greek-Italian War. Folklore, furniture and memorabilia from different eras are also present. The neoclassical building itself is noteworthy.

Numismatic Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The word ‘numismatic’ refers to coins, medals and paper currency, and this museum will impress you in this respect.

Postal & Philatelic Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

If you love stamps or are a stamp collector, you must visit this museum. A collection of early stamps in history linked to the 1896 Olympics. The first Greek stamps and stamp printing equipment are also on display. The gift shop has collectors’ items and stamps too.

Tactual Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Try feeling rather than looking at exhibits in this museum, which include a priest’s robe, archaeological replicas, idols, icons and much more, where you trace the works with your fingers. This is an interesting experience whether you’re blind or not. This experience gives rare insight into blindness.

The Museum at 22 Panos str., Plaka
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City
Mount Hymettus (Imittos)
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

It’s name comes down to us from pre-Hellenic times, Mount Hymettus or Imittos is only one hour’s walk away from Downtown Athens. In fact, Athenians used to cut its trees for wood up until the 1950s, when the Friends of the Forests organization changed this.

Mount Parnitha
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Step just outside Athens to discover the rest of the Attica prefecture and you’ll be faced with more nature that you could have imagined. Beckoning Mount Parnitha is only a 30 kilometers from Athens, with fir trees, red deer and the 11th century monastery of Kliston, which makes it almost a thousand years old if you stop to think about it.

Sounio National Park
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In contrast to Athens’ verdant northern suburbs, Sounio or Sounion at the tip of the Attica peninsula, stands seemingly bare with its archaeological ruins, against the backdrop of shimmering sea. But don’t be deceived, there are hundreds of plant species growing here, including some that exclusively grow in the area such as special orchids and two thistle (knapweed) species, in addition to a nearby forest. Land tortoises, wrasse (fish), rare birds of prey, sea birds and migrating songbirds can be spotted. 

Vravrona
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Known in English literature as Brauron, this is the ideal place to combine an archaeological visit with a nature-filled one. Thanks to the ancient buildings, Vravrona became a protected one and remains a small specimen of the last untouched Mediterranean landscapes in the region.

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Acropolis Museum
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This fascinating museum is a must if you’re visiting Athens. Initially, the residents of Athens looked upon the new Acropolis museum under construction with suspicion.

Acropolis, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Welcome to the Parthenon on the Acropolis Hill, one of the world’s most important structures, considered a true symbol of civilization and democracy that has been standing for 2,500 years. Even in the stone age (Neolithic period), millennia before the Parthenon was built, the Acropolis represented a military fortress, thanks to its strategic vantage point over land and sea.

Church of Panagia Chrysokastriotissa, Athens
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

In Plaka on the corner of Sotirias Aliberti and Thrasyvoulou streets, the Koimesis Theotokou church or Panagia Chrysokastriotissa is tied to a miracle when in 1456 women and children hiding from invading Ottomans in the Acropolis escaped to the church and were saved.

Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art, Downtown
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

An amazing collection of art from the Cyclades islands, from as far back as the 3rd millennium BC. Bronze Age, Minoan, Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic art is represented through artefacts, figures, ceramics and more.

National Archaeological Museum, Viktoria Metro
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

Dubbed “the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek”, this museum is certainly worth a couple of hours of your time.

Odeon of Herod Atticus, Acropolis
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The word ‘ode’ gives us the term Odeon – Odeum in Latin – which represents a collection of buildings built for musical performances or poetry competitions.

Philoppapou Monument Hill
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

A young monument on Ancient Greek standards that’s just 19 centuries old, Monument was built in 116 AD on a hill to commemorate Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus, a prince from an ancient Armenian kingdom of Commagene who was a well-connected aristocrat, Roman consul and senator during that time. A true admirer of Greek culture, he sponsored artistic events and was well revered by all.

Temple of Poseidon, Sounion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

This is where ancient Greeks worshipped Poseidon, god of the sea. Fifteen of the temple’s 34 columns still remain. It was built in the Golden Age of Pericles on the ruins of another temple. A smaller temple of Athena lies 400 meters away, built around 600-550 BC.

Zappeion
Athens & Nearby Islands / Athens City

The Zappas family, Greeks from Romania, had this neoclassical structure built by Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen. It often houses exhibitions and features a lovely outdoor coffee shop, ideal in good weather. Access to the main National Gardens is very close.

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