Greece is one of my favourite places to visit, in fact, I’m heading to one of the Greek Islands later this year. Although all the Greek Islands are so beautiful and perfect for a relaxing vacation in the sunshine, the Capital of Greece; Athens is a destination not to be missed. Athens is at the centre of all the ancient Greek History making it a wonderful city to explore the cultural and historical landmarks and ruins. There is actually so much to see and do in Athens so I’ve put together my five unmissable sights in the city. If you are wanting to see a lot in a small amount of time, an Athens Tour might be for you. You can see most of the highlights mentioned below in just three hours!
Acropolis of Athens & Parthenon
You literally cannot visit Athens without visiting The Acropolis. Undoubtedly one of the most famous sights in Greece and an absolute must see if you are visiting the city. As you can imagine, it gets really busy with tourists. Personally, I think the best times to visit is either early or late in the day but do try and book tickets in advance to avoid really long queues. Ticket can be found here and are €20 during summer and €10 during winter.
The Parthenon is a particularly stunning sight but there’s also a lot more to see at The Acropolis including the including the Erechtheion, the Propylaia and the temple of Athena Nike. The site is steeped in so much history and you can learn more about the UNESCO Heritage Site at the nearby Acropolis Museum which I would really recommend visiting. Entry to the museum is €5 and is home to many artefacts found on the archaeological site.
Explore The Plaka Neighbourhood
Not too far away from the Acropolis, The Plaka is the oldest neighbourhood in Athens and is just a lovely area to wander around. You’ll find lot’s of little independent shops, cafes and restaurants around here. To be honest, it’s the perfect area for a few Instagram photos with the little pictureaque cobblestone streets and cute doorways. The neighbourhood is very much like the typical Greek Village except it’s in the heart of Athens!
In the Plaka neighbourhood, you’ll find Cine Paris which is an outdoor cinema with incredible views of the Acropolis. Throughout the Summer, Cine Paris plays many classic movies (mainly in English or with English Subtitles) and it’s just a really lovely way to spend the evening.
If you know me, I love a good view. Mount Lycabettus is the highest point in Athens with an altitude of 277 meters and offers panoramic views of across the city. The Mount towers over Athens and if you’re feeling energised you can climb to the top. Alternatively, if you’re like me there is a cable car which you can ride up for €7 return. The views from the top of Mount Lycabettus are incredible. You can also enjoy a drink or two in the Sky Bar.
Temple of Olympian Zues
The Temple of Olympian Zues is another monument that you cannot miss when visiting Athens. It’s acrually the largest Greek Temple and although what’s left is it’s remains, you can really tell from the mammouth scale of the remaining 15 columns. This temple was built over many centeries and was finally finished by Emperor Hadrian in 131 CE. I’d also recommend purchasing tickets in advance to visit here. You can also buy a combo ticket which includes the Acropolis.
Panathenaic Olympic Stadium
Not too far away from the Temple of Olympian Zues is the Panathenaic Olympic Stadium which was originally built 330 BC and it’s since been re-built and renovated. It’s the only Olympic Stadium in the world to be built from marble and it was used for the Olympics in 2004. There’s also been loads of huge concerts held here too as the capacity is something crazy like 50,000 people. As the Olympics originated from Greece and the first mordern day Olympic Games was held here, it’s pretty interesting to find out more about the history of the games. I absolutly love the Olmypics so it’s all very facinating to me.
Have you been to Athens before? What was your favourite sight?
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