There is always something amazing to see and do in Athens no matter whether you are there with the family or on a business trip with time to pass. This incredible place holds a lot of history, after all, since it is one of the top 10 oldest cities in the world. Dating back to about 5,000 BC, Athens was home to Hippocrates and Socrates. In this article, we have listed the 15 Must-See Attractions in Athens.
From ancient ruins to religious structures and museums to galleries, Athens has a plethora of attractions for you to enjoy. Spend the day exploring the nooks and crannies of the ancient city to find hidden surprises. But first, to have a carefree day of exploring, you need to leave your backpacks and bags with a suitcase storage service in or near Athens.
Must-See Attractions in Athens
The Acropolis Ruins
The Acropolis Ruins have a ton of history with ancient structures including the Roman Agora, Ancient Agora, Erechtheion, Athena Nike, and the Parthenon. It is also called the Sacred Rock and is the most important heritage spot in the city. The Parthenon in Acropolis is the most famous in Greece.
Where the first Olympic Games were held in 1896, Panathenaic Stadium is the only stadium in the world to be completely made of white marble. It is a stunning sight to see and a great place for selfies. They even have audio guides so you can do your own tour while learning about the history of the stadium. One of the top must-see attractions in Athens!
This place is important for many reasons, but most come for the Changing of the Guard. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24/7/365 and every day at 11, the guards change places. What makes it even more spectacular is their outfit of pleated skirts, shoes with pompoms, and tassels on their legs.
The Acropolis Museum
To see all of the artifacts found near the Acropolis, the place to go is the Acropolis Museum. Much of the collection is still in place and is displayed through the glass floor. You can see metal works depicting Gorgon, the sculpture of the head of Alexander the Great, and several types of pottery and other art.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum boasts the largest collection of Greek artifacts and antiques in the world. Pottery, jewelry, art, and sculptures from ancient times can be seen, as well as important mementos from Greek history. See Egyptian antiques, the Stathatos Collection, Cycladic art, and more. This is one of the most important museums in Greece and cannot be missed in a list of the 15 must-see attractions in Athens.
How about a game of pinball? For the more playful visitor to Athens, you can see over 100 pinball machines that you can actually play on. No need for coins or tokens as the cost to play is included in the small entrance fee. This is a really fun place where you can also learn a lot about the history of pinball in Athens.
Galleries and Museums
Pandora Art Gallery
Opened in 1975, the Pandora Art Gallery is one of the most popular, housing items such as ceramics, sculptures, and paintings. Here you can find work by artists like Josef Kiromitis, Vasilis Politakis, Spyros Georgas, and Stavros Douzinas. If you like art, this should be your first stop in Athens.
Museum of Cycladic Art
The collection of Ancient Greek Art at this awesome facility features items from the 2nd millennium BC to the 4th century AD. Glass etching, jewelry, coins, stone sculptures, and bronze vessels can all be seen here. They even have ancient terracotta figurines and painted vases.
Modern National Museum of Contemporary Art
For more contemporary art, this national museum is for you. Established in 2000, their only goal is to exhibit contemporary artworks. From paintings to sculptures and other art media, you can see some of the most famous Greek artists here. Some of these include Chryssa, Gary Hill, and Ilya Kabakov.
Must-See Attractions in Athens:Temple of Zeus
Also known as Olypieion, this is the largest temple in Greece at 55 feet tall, and dates back to the sixth century BC. There are only 15 columns remaining out of 104, but the enormous marble structure is still an amazing place you have to visit. It was once the home of the largest cult sculpture in the world.
Temple of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus was built in 450 BC to honor Hephaestus, who was the god of fire. Built on the Agoreos Koronos Hill, this is a beautiful sample of Dorian architecture and was made by Iktinus. He was a talented architect who also helped build the Parthenon.
Temple of Ilisos
Also known as the Lost Temple of Artemis, this is an endangered site next to the Ilisos River. Thought to have been built in 435 BC, the ionic temple was dedicated to the goddess Artemis Agrotera, who was protector of the hunt. Destroyed by Turks in 1778, you can still see the slabs and fragments on the site.
Metropolis Cathedral of Athens
This beautiful church is made from 72 other demolished churches. It started on Christmas Day in 1842 and was done by 1862 when it was dedicated as the Annunciation of the Mother of God by the King and Queen. The cathedral holds two saints killed by the Turks, as well as paintings and other artwork.
Chapel of St. George
The Chapel of St. George is located on Mount Lycabettus, which is the highest point in Athens at 900 feet above sea level. It was built in the place where the Zeus Extreme Temple was in ancient times. To get to the top, you can ride the cable car or walk along the trail. It is a long trip, so wear comfy shoes.
Agii Apostoli Church
On the site of a 2nd century Nymphaeum, this church was built in the 10th century. Although it has been expanded three times, the original building is still in the form of a Greek Cross. Each arm ends in a semi-circular apse and the dome rests on pillars in the center. Don’t miss the wall paintings and frescoes. While you are out exploring, make sure to stop at some of the eateries to try the local cuisine. Greek food actually made in Greece is so different from the “Greek” food you can get in your neighborhood. The most common fast food includes kebabs and gyros, which you can get anywhere in Athens.
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