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Top 15 Places To Visit In Athens

Athens, Greece

Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple.

The Acropolis is one of the world's most breathtaking ancient ruins, and the city's exceptional museums display fascinating artifacts uncovered at local sites. Other hidden charms awaiting discovery are the dazzling Byzantine churches found all over the city and the village-like neighborhoods north of the Acropolis.

A completely different vacation experience from the idyllic Greek islands, Athens can feel hectic and busy during the summer season, but in the spring and fall, you can still enjoy good weather and see far fewer tourists.

Here are the Top 15 Places to Visit in Athens, which are worth visiting on an Athens trip:

1. Ancient Acropolis

The Acropolis is the first name on the list of top places to visit in Athens. The Parthenon temple perched on a sturdy rock overlooking the city is a sight to behold! The now world-famous monument was once the cultural spot for Athens. It was one of the biggest temples built in that era. You can spend an entire day here looking at the monument and the nearby sanctuaries.

For beautiful views of the Acropolis from below, head to the north side of the hill. Streetside restaurants line the pedestrian street of Apostolou Pavlou and look up to the Acropolis. Some of these restaurants also have rooftop dining, with incredible views across to the Acropolis, showing the grand entrance, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Parthenon, all of which are lit up in the evenings.

2. Acropolis Museum

Another of Athens' top attractions, the Acropolis Museum contains one of the most valuable collections of ancient Greek art in the world. The new facility was completed in 2007, below the Acropolis hilltop, and replaced the former museum on the hill. This huge facility is 25,000 square meters and features 14,000 square meters of exhibition space. The unique layout incorporates an ancient Athenian neighborhood. This is one of the best things to do in Athens when temperatures are soaring at midday.

3. Temple of Hephaestus

The temple is one of the most beautiful places in Athens and has been preserved for decades. The Temple of Hephaestus is dedicated to the Greek God of volcanoes, fire, and blacksmiths. It is one of the very few Greek temples which have been entirely preserved to date. While you’re at the temple, you must also visit the Ancient Agora of Athens and Stoa of Attalos.

4. Piraeus

A trip to this beautiful seaside town is nothing less than a dream. The port town of Athens is known for its charming restaurants, Nautical Museum, Piraeus Archaeological Museum, and seaside taverns. No doubt, it is one of the top places to visit in Athens. If you’re in Athens, you must stop by Piraeus and spend at least one day relaxing by the shore and treating yourself to some great food.

5. Temple of Olympian Zeus

One of the best places in Athens and a star of its time, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is as mighty as God himself. Out of the hundred might columns, only 15 remain intact today but the glory is still as it was. Another major attraction near the temple is the Roman baths and the ruins of Themistokles’ wall.

6. Anafiotika

The quaint little village of Anafiotika is a hidden treasure in the city of Athens and is among the most loved Athens attractions. It is set on a hill and possesses striking Cycladic architecture, white houses with flat roofs, and vibrant windows and doors of various colors. Often called the little island, Anafiotiks has some famous Byzantine churches that are worth witnessing. Explore this small oasis of beauty and you can enjoy the most spellbinding views from various hills here away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

7. Philopappos Hill

The monument owes its name to its dedication to Philopappos, who was the prince of Commagene. Also known as the ‘Hill of Muses’ it's a favorite spot among the tourists where people go for relaxing or taking a walk in the pleasant garden. The riveting surroundings will win your heart and this hill also offers magnificent views from the top. It is also famous for hiking, so if you are looking for some adventure, this is the place that will offer you thrill and excitement.

8. Byzantine And Christian Museum

Appearing to be a mansion, the beauty of the Byzantine and Christian Museum will take your breath away. It is one of the most insightful places to visit in Athens. Byzantine icons which include paintings and decorations can be found in this museum. Preserving 1700 years of art and architecture of Byzantine, it possesses a rich collection of objects from Cyprus, the Balkans, Greece, Russia, etc. It is also home to numerous frescoes, fabrics, and inscriptions from the churches.

9. Hadrian's Library

Hadrian’s library is one of the famous Athens sightseeing places and makes for one of the major attractions in the city. This is not only a library but also had music and lecture rooms along with a pool. This library was constructed beautifully but has tarnished and damaged over time with the ravages and destruction caused on the site. However, it is still one of the places to be visited while on a vacation to Athens.

10. National Garden

Nothing less than a paradise, National Garden in Athens is one of Athens's best places and is worth a visit. You can spend a long time in this garden strolling under the shade and taking in the beauty of the place. Witness the beautiful trees and flowers here along with the playful ducks in the duck ponds offering eternal happiness. Escape the hubbub of city life and rejuvenate in this garden with your family or partner. The National Garden in Athens used to be a private garden of the king and has an interesting history to explore.

11. Museum of Cycladic Art

In the Kolonáki quarter, the Museum of Cycladic Art was created in 1986 by the Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris Foundation. The shipowner Nikolas P. Goulandris was a well-known patron of the arts and cultural life in Athens. Goulandris' own collection forms the core of the museum's exhibits. Housed in a sleek modern building with a facade of marble and glass, the museum's permanent collection includes more than 3,000 objects. The collection represents ancient Greek art, the ancient art of the Cyclades.

12. Panathenaic Stadium & Olympic Stadium

Ancient Athens's largest building, the Panathenaic Stadium, has a capacity of 60,000 spectators. Constructed around 335 BC during the era of Herodes Atticus, the venue hosted the Panathenaic Games where runners competed in races around the track. The 204-meter-long track was designed with four double herms, where runners would turn in the races.

Around AD 140, the stadium was updated with new marble seating by Herodes Atticus. The structure that tourists see today is a replica of the original stadium, which was rebuilt for the Olympic Games of 1896. This modern-era Olympic Stadium was created in the identical fashion to the Panathenaic Stadium, with 47 tiers of seating and a rounded southeast end.

13. Panaghia Kapnikaréa Church

Gracing a little square that opens onto a pedestrian-only section of busy Ermoú Street, the Panaghia Kapnikaréa Church is a delightful place to visit and a site you are likely to walk past. This church is a splendid example of architecture from the 11th-century Byzantine era and a stark contrast to the modern architecture that surrounds it. It was saved from demolition in the 19th century by the intervention of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

Inside, the church is decorated with 19th-century paintings created in the iconographic style of the Middle Byzantine period.

14. Monastiraki & the Flea Market

Narrow streets lined with shops selling everything from jewelry and trinkets to clothing and everyday goods are what you'll find in the Athens Flea Market in Monastiraki. This is one of the neighborhood's main draws, but this area has a very unique vibe and is a nice place to just relax on an outdoor patio or wander about.

Monastiraki has no shortage of restaurants, and this is a good place to come for lunch if you want to grab gyros or any type of traditional Greek dish. Unlike the more upscale Plaka district, this area is a bit more casual.

15. Syntagma Square

The central square in Athens, Syntagma Square makes for one of the best places to visit in Athens. All the celebrations in Athens happen here and it is one of the most loved places in the city. Syntagma Square has an enchanting history and there is also a parliament building on top of the Syntagma.

Besides this, there is much more to explore in Athens!!! If you are looking for things to do at night in Athens, head over to the Mnisikleous Street stairs. Restaurants line this set of stairs on the top end of Mnisikleous Street, drawing a crowd in the evenings.

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