Top 20 sightseeing the best attractions to see on your holiday

Top 20 Sightseeing Spots in Athens

Have you been to different richly historical cities in Europe like Rome, Luxembourg, London and Naples? How about to the historical capital of the continent?

Athens, the largest and the capital city of Greece, is known to be the historical center of Europe. It is one of the most ancient cities in the world with long history that can be traced back to the Neolithic age’s first settlement around 3,400 years ago. The earliest human to dwell in the city was recorded roughly 11th to 7th millennium BC.

Athens was ruled and occupied by a variety of conquerors making it noted as a rare historical palimpsest. The historic center of Athens is covered with 3 kilometers pedestrian zone, considered as the largest of its kind in the entire European continent

Want to know more about what are interesting in Athens apart from being the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of Western civilization? Here are the top 20 sightseeing spots in this large cosmopolitan metropolis that you may add in your tour itinerary the next time you visit Athens.

1. Acropolis of Athens

One of the remarkable sightseeing spot in Athens that you should not miss is the antediluvian fortress called the Acropolis of Athens. This citadel highlights the ruins of a number of prehistoric buildings that are considered as among the structures in Athens that are of great historical and architectural significance. The Acropolis is listed as one of the most outstanding European Cultural Heritage monuments. Certain evidences were uncovered and were deemed to serve as proofs that this ancient area of the city was already inhabited in fourth millennium BC. Around 495 – 429 BC, Pericles directed the construction of some important buildings in the site including the temple of Athena, the Propylaia, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion.

2. Parthenon

The Parthenon is known as the Athenian Acropolis’s temple as well as the prevailing emblem of western civilization, Ancient Greece and Athenian democracy. It is especially dedicated to the patron of the Athenians, the goddess of wisdom named Athena. The Parthenon was constructed in 447 to 438 BC during the peak of the Athenian Empire. This one of the greatest cultural monuments in the world is also known as the most significant Classical Greece building that had stood the test of time. This is why it is referred to as the pinnacle of the Doric order.

3. National Archaeological Museum Athens

One among the most valuable ancient Greek art museums in the world is the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. This museum is also considered as Greece’s largest archaeological museum. Among the abundant collections displayed in the museums are the ancient Greece’s rare publications, rich photographic archive and over 20,000 exhibits that provide great accounts and panorama about the rich history of the Greek civilization beginning from the Prehistory to Late Antiquity.

4. Ancient Agora of Athens

If you are looking for the best-known antediluvian Greek agora in the world, you can visit the Ancient Agora of Classical Athens. This ancient agora can be found in the north western part of the Acropolis. Located on the agora’s south area is the hill of the Areopagus and on its western side is the Market Hill or Agoraios Kolonos. The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens was a civic center, a market place and was one of the most significant areas in ancient Athens. It was considered as the center of life during ancient Athens time. It was where commercial, political, administrative, religious, cultural activities and social gatherings were focused.

5. Monastiraki Athens

One of the reasons why a lot of tourists from around the world want to visit Athens is shopping. In Athens, shopping is one of the favorite pastimes for both locals and tourists. And the best place in the city to shop for just almost anything is the Flea Market located at the old town neighborhood called Monastiraki. The Flea Market is best known to be among the principal bargain shopping destinations in Athens. Souvenir shops, clothing boutiques and specialty stores are just among the shops you can find in the market.

6. Mount Lycabettus

Mount Lycabettus, also oftentimes referred to as Lycabettos, Lykavittos or Lykabettos, is a 300 meters hill in Athens. This Cretaceous limestone hill has a base that is covered with pine trees. At the peak of the hills you can find a restaurant, a theater and the 19th century St. George Chapel. If you want to enjoy the best panoramic view, you can climb up from the Aristippou Street to the peak of the hill through the Lycabettus Funicular at twilight. Being located at the center and at the top of Athens, Mount Lycabettus offer the most magnificent view of the entire city especially in the morning and in late afternoon.

7. Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium, also called as the Kallimármaro , is a stadium in Athens that is used for a variety of athletic, social and political events. This classical touristic and cultural stadium is renowned as the venue for the first modern Olympic Games held in 1896. The Panathenaic Stadium is also known to be one of the most ancient stadiums in the world. It is also known as the only arena in the world that was entirely built by marble.

8. Presidential Mansion, Athens

The Presidential Mansion is the official residence of the Hellenic Republic’s president. Before the obliteration of the monarchy, the mansion was known as the New Royal Palace or simply the Royal Palace. Apart from being the official residence of the president, the Presidential Mansion also serve as the main residence and the official seat of the Royal Family and the Crown Princely couple.

9. National Garden of Athens

Visiting the National Garden of Athens is the best way to walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The National Garden of Athens, formerly called the Royal Garden, is a 38 acres public park in the heart of Athens. It is situated right at the back of the Old Palace or the Greek Parliament building. The garden is very accessible to both tourists and locals as it can easily be reached from different districts in Anthens, like Plaka, Thission, Acropolis, Psiri and Monastiraki, through pedestrian streets and parks.

10. Stathatos Mansion

In the east side of Athens, particularly on Vasilissis Sophias Avenue, sits an 1895 neoclassical villa called Megaron Stathatou or Stathatos Mansion. The villa was built for the Stathatos Family and was designed by Ernst Ziller, a Bavarian Saxon-Greek architect. This two winged building was constructed with some neoclassical characteristics like the use of ancient Greek and Roman orders, symmetry, elegant shapes and geometrical order. The Stathatos Mansion is considered as the most notable paradigm of the 19th century neoclassical architecture in Athens.

11. Jewish Museum of Greece

The Jewish Museum of Greece is an ethnographical and historical museum in Athens. It was established in 1977 by Nicholas Stavroulakis for the purpose of preserving the materials that are related to the 2,300 years Greek Jews culture and to the life of Jews in Greece. There are also a variety of research materials, artifacts and collections being exhibited in the museum. Apart from the permanent exhibition area, the museum also houses an art gallery, a research library, an area for various educational programs, thematic modular exhibits, a periodic exhibition space and a conservation laboratory among others.

12. Technopolis

The Technopolis, also referred to as Gazi Technopolis Manos Hatzidakis or simply Gazi is one of the major cultural venues and at the same time a renowned industrial museum in the City of Athens. It is located in the district of Gazi, just nearby the Acropolis. Technopolis is dedicated to Manos Hatzidakis, a great Greek composer. The museum holds a variety of events such as music concerts, seminars, different cultural activities and exhibitions.

13. Kolonaki

Kolonaki, which literally means Little Column, is one of the neighborhoods in Athens, Greece. It is situated in the central area of the city, specifically on the southern ramps of the hill of Lycabettus. This upmarket, elegant, trendy and wealthy neighborhood in Athens is considered as among the leading shopping areas in the city where you can find many top of the line boutiques that offer a variety of fashion statements both from Greek and international fashion designers. If you want to shop for some jewelry items, you can find a great selection of these items at the Voukourestiou Street. Kolonaki is also known as the home to a number of the chic restaurants and distinguished bars.

14. Stoa of Attalos

The Stoa of Attalos used to be a stoa or a covered portico or walkway in the Agora of Athens. It was founded during the reign of King Attalos II of Pergamon, thus named after him. It had undergone reconstruction in 1952 to 1956. At present, the Stoa of Attalos holds the Ancient Agora Museum. Displayed in the museum are a variety of items that are mostly associated to the democracy of the Athenians like coins and inscriptions, sculptures, clay, bronze and glass objects. The museum also exhibits some earthenware made during the Byzantine period as well as the Turkish conquest.

15. Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus

One of the interesting and the earliest preserved open-air theater in Athens is the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus. This major theater of great antiquity used to be the venue for Dionysia festival which was dedicated to god Dionysus, Greek mythology’s god of the ritual madness and ecstasy, wine making and wine, and grape harvest. The theater is located at the base of the south slope of the hill of Acropolis. The Theater of Dionysus Eleuthereus is known as the place of birth of the European theater. It was here were the earliest renowned Greek comedies and tragedies were first performed in 534 BC.

16. The Pnyx

Located 1.6 kilometers south-west of Syntagma Square in the central area of Athens and less than 1 kilometer west of the neighborhood of Acropolis sits the Pnyx, the Athenian democratic assembly or ekklesia’s official meeting place since 507 BC. Pnyx, the Greek word for tightly packed together, played a very significant role in the creation of democracy of Athens. This rocky hill that offers magnificent views over the city is considered as among the most ancient sites in the city. It was here where some of the great orators in the world like Pericles, Themistocles, Aristides and Demosthenes addressed assemblies.

17. Zappeion

Next to the National Gardens of Athens, the Zappeion is considered as among the most significant structures in the city. The Zappeion is a building that is used for both private and official ceremonies, exhibitions and meetings. It used to be the venue for a variety of Olympic Games. During the Summer Olympics in 1896, the Zappeion was used as the primary fencing hall. This neoclassical mansion also served as the Olympic Village during the 1906 Intercalated Games. The Zappeion is housed in the National Gardens of Athens.

18. Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also oftentimes called as the Columns of the Olympian Zeus or the Olympieion, is a gigantic dilapidated shrine in the heart of the city of Athens. This ruined temple was constructed in the 6th century BC in honor of the king of the Olympian gods named Zeus. The Temple of Olympian Zeus was known as the most colossal temple in Greece during the Roman era. It was also renowned as the home to one of the ancient world’s greatest cult statues.

19. Erechtheion

The Erechtheion, also spelled as Erechtheum, is a primordial temple in Greece that was built to honor the memories of Greek mythology gods Poseidon and Athena. The temple was constructed between 421 and 406 BCE on the northern side of the Acropolis and was designed by architect Mnesicles. The name of the building was derived from the legendary hero of Greece, Erichthonius. This intricate temple also served as the venue for religious rituals.

20. Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Another remarkable and must visit theater structure in the capital city of Greece is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This stone theater building can be found on the southwestern hill of the Acropolis. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is the third Odeon ever built in ancient Athens, next to the Odeon of Agrippa in the ancient Agora which was built in 15 BC and the Odeon of Pericles on the south hill which was constructed in the 5th century.

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