Can a person stay in one city and still have an extraordinary travelling experience? The answer is yes if that person has Athens, Greece as his or her destination. Whether spending a day or a week, there are many sites to see throughout this ancient city.
Athens is well known for being the ancient city that gave the world the best philosophers, such as Socrates and Plato. Tourists always associate the name of the Greek capital with the image of the Acropolis, which is the main attraction in the city, but, by far, not the only sight worth seeing when you take a trip to Athens. Here are some great places to visit in Athens, Greece.
Which places should a traveller never miss while in Athens?
Since the Acropolis symbolizes Athens and Greece, it is only natural to start with its presentation. Once a place that was forbidden from visiting by regular people, now is the greatest tourist attraction in Athens, Greece. The ensemble, now in ruins, for the most part, was composed of temples dedicated to the Greek gods. Unfortunately, many old temples are quite fragile now, so you will merely be allowed to watch the exteriors. Here is another Athens travel tip: try focusing your trips to the monuments during the morning time, as if you travel to Greece during summer, you will face very hot weather with barely breathable air.
Not only is the Acropolis the most famous archeological site in Athens, but it is also one of the marvels of the ancient Greek world. Located in the center of Athens, the Acropolis is an enormous rock formation, and its plateau was home to some of the world’s most beautiful buildings and statues in ancient times.
Although the Acropolis is still home to ancient ruins, the most popular travel destination is the Parthenon. Dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess Athena, the Parthenon was constructed of marble between 447 and 438 B.C. Today, the Parthenon is the international symbol of Greece.
The Acropolis Museum
Unfortunately, many of the ancient artifacts that were once in the Acropolis were plundered by Lord Elgin in the early 1800s. The Acropolis Museum was constructed between 1865 and 1874 to house many remaining stone sculptures. In 1982, Greece began to pursue the return of ancient artifacts from various locations worldwide. Although the Acropolis Museum is in the process of moving to a location below the Acropolis, it is still one of the top museums in the world and is a definite stop on any tour of Athens. The museum houses many pieces of artwork and statuary that showcase the ancient Greek civilization.
The Agora is another well-known symbol of Athens. This was the place where Athenians used to go to voice their opinions and concerns. While not everybody had the right to citizenship, this was the most democratic form of manifestation in a society living over two thousand years ago. A museum dedicated to archaeological discoveries from the Agora is located nearby, and it is worth visiting.
The Agora of Athens first became a residential area as early as 3000 B.C. By 600 B.C., it was the center of political, social, and cultural activity. However, destruction from enemy attacks left the Agora in disarray, and the area was abandoned. The Agora was revitalized after 1834, when Athens was named the capital of Greece. Tourists to the Agora will see the benefits of years of excavation, especially if they take time to visit the Temple of Hephaistos and the Angora water clock.
In 449 B.C., construction was started on the Hephaisteion temple located on the hill of Kolonos Agoraics. Today, the ruins of the marble temple are considered to be the best preserved in all of Greece.
The water clock of Angora was built in the late 4th century and drew water from a nearby aqueduct. The ancient Greeks used the water clock to tell the passing of time by determining the levels of the dissipating water throughout the day.
This area of Athens was named after the keramis, or potters, who lived near the Eridaros River. Excavation began in this area in 1870 and continues today. A traveler to the Kerameikos area will have the opportunity to view part of the Themistocleia Wall. The wall was constructed in 478 B.C, and it is part of the wall that surrounded Athens.
The Demoison Sema is also located here. Excavations in recent years have found many gravesites along the roadway in the region.
The Panathenaic Stadium was originally constructed around 330 B.C. for use in sporting competitions. It has been restored twice, once in 140 AD and again in 1870. The Panathenaic Stadium was home to the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896. It once again played host to the games in 2004.
National Archaeological Museum
No visit to Athens is complete without touring the National Archaeological Museum. Construction of the museum began in 1866 and was completed in 1889. It houses an extraordinary exhibit of ancient artifacts depicting Greek culture throughout history. Many figures represent prehistoric eras, such as the clay Neolithic figurine on display that dates to 4500 to 3200 BC. Sculptures dating from 600 to 141 BC can also be seen by visitors, as well as pottery, bronze artifacts, and ancient Egyptian art.
For certain, you are not visiting Greece only for the sake of monuments. Athens is a quite lively city, and you will surely find plenty of other things to see and do. You should not miss visiting the Plaka, where many shops and restaurants await you. Food is held in high esteem in Greece, and Athens, in particular, so it is highly advised to try the local specialties. Seafood is served in most restaurants, but since this is a tourist-dedicated area, you will easily find a hamburger or a pizza if you are not crazy about fish.
The Highest Point In Athens
In case you want to enjoy the panoramic view of the city, you will need to climb Mount Lycabettus. A funicular can take you there, but if you prefer a thorough workout, you can climb it on foot. Don’t forget to bring your camera along, as the views are really breathtaking.
There are thousands of places for a person to visit while traveling through Athens. With its mix of ancient history and modern flare, a trip to Athens will be a fun and memorable journey.