dave reed 6GPcoygsW4M unsplash

What Are the Must-See Sights When Visiting Athens?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!

What Are the Must-See Sights When Visiting Athens?

Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the most beautiful and historically fascinating cities in Europe. It is steeped in history and has been the center of many great civilizations throughout the centuries—from the Ancient Greek civilization when it was arguably the most advanced city in the world, to its Ottoman Empire period and more recently its fascinating sights from the modern era. For anyone visiting Athens, there are certain must-see sights that they should definitely take the time to explore. Here’s a guide to some of the amazing sights on offer.

Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is an absolute must-see if you’re visiting Athens and is often considered one of the most defining historic sights of the city. Situated on a rocky outcrop on the Athenian plateau, this ancient Greek citadel marks one of the peaks of ancient civilization—the home of the renowned Parthenon and other monuments, surrounded by amazing views. The Parthenon itself was built in honor of Athena—the patron goddess of the city—and is an impressive example of ancient Greek architecture. If you can, plan to arrive at sunset to get some incredible views, as well as avoiding the bigger crowds.

Ancient Agora

Situated near to the Acropolis is the Ancient Agora, an area which once served as an important center for political, commercial, and social activity in Ancient Greece. Although much of it is now in ruins, standing here you can sense the significance it once held for the city. It was here that events such as public trials, sporting events, and theatrical performances would have been held, and where Socrates would have done most of his famous (and controversial) teaching. Many Ancient Greek monuments can still be seen scattered around here—such as the Temple of Hecate and Stoa of Attalos—and it’s definitely worth taking a guided tour to learn more about its fascinating history.

National Archaeological Museum

Conveniently located in the centre of Athens near to many other attractions such as Syntagma & Monastiraki squares, the National Archaeological Museum is widely considered one of the top museums in Europe. It houses one of the largest and most significant collections of Ancient Greek artifacts in the world—spanning from prehistory to late antiquity—and is a fascinating insight into this incredible culture. Highlights include sculptures from the Parthenon, Greek pottery from various eras and fascinating unearthed artifacts from all periods of Greek history.

Plaka Neighborhood

For a contrast from all the ancient architectural sites, take some time to explore the winding cobblestone lanes of Plaka. This picturesque neighborhood is one of Athens’ oldest; filled with neoclassical houses, bougainvillea-flanked path-ways, scenic stairways and numerous shops and cafés. Plaka is considered by many Athenians to be like a unique time capsule—so take some time to meander around its charming streets to get a feel for what life must have been like hundreds of years ago when this area was at its peak.

Benaki Museum

If you’re looking for something unique to do while visiting Athens, then definitely check out Benaki Museum. This private nonprofit museum is divided into five separate buildings containing collections ranging from classical antiquities and Byzantine art to sculptures, painting and objects from more recent years. The museum also has a number of temporary exhibitions from different eras—such as an exhibition on 19th century women’s clothing—and there are often cultural events and talks taking place throughout the year.

Athens is filled with countless attractions and activities—so much so it can be tricky to know where to start! However these five must-see sights should be a definite priority for anyone looking to get an introduction to this fantastic history-filled city.

Credit: For more information on what Athens has to offer check out Athens Attica, a website packed with detailed articles and tips on attractions, restaurants and accommodation in the city.

An Insider’s Guide to Exploring Athens: Uncovering the Hidden Gems

As one of the world’s oldest cities and the birthplace of Western civilization, Athens is a treasure trove of ancient landmarks and cultural experiences. But beyond the legendary Acropolis and the Parthenon lies a city that only the locals can truly appreciate. In this insider’s guide to Athens, we’ll take you off the beaten path and share some hidden gems you don’t want to miss.

Local Attractions: Uncovering Athens’ Best-Kept Secrets

While the Acropolis and the Parthenon are undoubtedly must-see sights, Athens has much more to offer. For a unique view of the city, head to Mount Lycabettus, where you can take a cable car to the top and enjoy panoramic views. Another hidden gem is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, which offers a stunning outdoor park, a state-of-the-art auditorium, and breathtaking architecture.
If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path attraction, check out the abandoned Tactual Museum, a museum that explores touch as the primary means of experiencing art and history.

Dining Spots: Discovering Athens’ Authentic Flavors

Athens is a food lover’s paradise, and you don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to taste its best dishes. The city’s street food scene is buzzing, with souvlaki, gyros, and spanakopita being the crowd favorites. For a traditional Greek dining experience, check out To Kati Allo, a restaurant tucked away in a quiet corner of the city, serving up classic dishes with a creative twist.
For an entertaining dining experience, try the Greek dinner show offered at the Dionysos Restaurant. It provides a cultural and culinary experience that any traveler visiting Athens will treasure.

Cultural Experiences: Immersing Yourself in Athens’ Spirit

Athens is a city with a rich cultural heritage, and it’s fascinating to explore the various festivals and customs that make the city unique. Experience the festive atmosphere of the Greek population by attending the Apokries carnival, one of Greece’s oldest. Athens serves as a hub of modern and contemporary art and is home to numerous museums and galleries. Visit the Benaki Museum to explore Athens’s vibrant contemporary scene or check out the famous Athens & Epidaurus Festival, among the largest and most famous theatre festivals of the country.

Local History: Unearthing Athens’ Fascinating Past

Athens is an ancient city with a rich but complex history. Step back in time at the Museum of the Ancient Agora, a former marketplace that was the heart of ancient Athens, and the Kerameikos Cemetery, where you can see ancient graves and tombs. Another lesser-known historic site is the Pnyx Hill, an outdoor assembly area where Ancient Athenians would gather to vote.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Suggestions: Going beyond the Conventional

Think beyond the conventional sight-seeing experiences like taking a guided bicycle tour of Athens past the charming alleyways of Plaka and the historical landmarks, or going on day trips to explore the Athens Riviera or Delphi. For adventurous travelers, hiking in Athens offers panoramic views, incredible landscapes, and ancient ruins. Take a morning hike up Filopappos Hill, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Acropolis and ancient Athens’s skyline.

In conclusion, Athens has a lot to offer beyond its iconic landmarks, from hidden gems to local dining spots, cultural experiences, historic sites, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions. Exploring Athens from an insider’s perspective will make your trip to this stunning city unforgettable.

dave reed 6GPcoygsW4M unsplash

What Are the Must-See Sights When Visiting Athens?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!