Athens, Greece is a stunningly beautiful city steeped in history and culture. Tourists flock to Athens throughout the year, due to the large number of tourist attractions to see and experiences that can be had in this ancient city. Athens is warm and dry all year round, although it is usually cooler in winter, which means that tourists can be found in Athens every month of the year.
There are so many places to see, places of cultural and historical importance, gardens, museums and more, that talking about all of them in one article is almost impossible. This article will discuss some of the most famous sites in Athens, so that you get to know them properly before embarking on a city trip to Athens, Greece.
Odeon of Herod Atticus
The Odeon of Herod Atticus is a vast stone theater. It dates back to ancient Greece and has a seating capacity of 5,000 to 6,000 people. It was built by Herod Atticus and dedicated to his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilli. It is one of the main venues of the Athens Festival and often hosts concerts, events and shows. It is located on the southern slope of the Acropolis. It is an extraordinary spectacle, especially at night during a concert or an event, when the spotlights illuminate the entire structure.
Constitution Square, also known as Syntagma Square, houses the Parliament Building. The Unknown Soldier Monument within this square is guarded by Evzones, guards similar to those at Buckingham Palace. You can watch the Changing of the Guard here every night at 6pm
The national library
The National Library is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture. It is part of the Danish architect Theophil Feiherr von Hansen’s Trilogy, which includes the University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. The National Library holds 4,500 Greek manuscripts and is a must-see for scholars, book lovers, and history buffs alike. It is located on the right side of the University of Athens, on Panepistimiou Street.
The academy of arts
Located next to the University of Athens, the Academy is also part of Hansen’s Trilogy of Neoclassical Structures. The building has Ionic columns and sculptures of Plato, Socrates, Apollo and Athena.
The national garden
Formerly known as the Royal Garden, the National Garden is home to various species of plants and flowers. It is located behind the House of Parliament, and a gate connects it to the Zappeion, a building that was used as a fencing hall in the early modern Olympics. The National Garden is an ideal place to visit if you feel the need to be in contact with nature while staying within the city proper.
At Ancient Agora, you can find a number of ancient ruins such as the Odeon of Agrippa, huge statues of Tritons and Giants, the Church of the Holy Apostles, Thesion, the Royal Stoa and the famous Altar of the Twelve Gods.
Do you need to pick me up a bit before continuing your tour of Athens, Greece? Grab a souffle (an iced coffee drink that many Greeks like) and relax in an outdoor café in Thiseo. Thiseo is full of quaint cafes, eating places, and seating areas; making it an ideal stopover on a busy tour.
Located on Cape Sounion in Attica, the Temple of Poseidon overlooks the beautiful waters of the Saronic Gulf. Although the famous sunset at the Temple of Poseidon is as impressive as they say, if you want to beat the tourist fever, visit it early in the morning. The fresh air and calm atmosphere at the Temple of Poseidon during a morning visit is a balm for the senses.
Acropolis and Parthenon
You cannot visit Athens without going through the Parthenon. Located on the Acropolis, the Parthenon was a temple for the goddess of wisdom, Athena. The Parthenon was built in the Doric architectural style, and some say it is the best example of Doric architecture ever created. Only 15 Corinthian columns of the original 104 remain; another column collapsed in 1852. However, the stately beauty of each column is guaranteed to take the breath away of any onlooker. The Parthenon can be seen from a distance, especially at night, when the entire structure is illuminated by spotlights. The Acropolis hill also boasts a spectacular view of the city of Athens.
Lycabettus Hill or Mount Lycabettus is the highest point in the city. You can find the Chapel of St. George and an open-air theater at its top. It has an impressive view of the city of Athens.
Plaka and Monastiraki
If you want to take a break from sightseeing, shop for unique souvenirs at Plaka and Monastiraki. Stroll down Ermou, a pedestrian-only street, and browse the wares of bizarre little shops that sell everything from vegetable molds to replica statues, original shirts, and handmade silk roses. You can also find well-known stores like Armani, D&G and Gucci, all along Ermou. Before embarking on a shopping spree in Plaka or Monastiraki, be sure to eat a hearty meal beforehand and wear comfortable shoes, as you can stay in the stores much longer than you think! On a side note, Plaka was built on the site of the residential areas of Ancient Athens.
Getting around in Athens Greece
Traveling around Greece and enjoying the sights can be very rewarding. It can also be quite exhausting. When visiting Athens, you have quite a few options when it comes to getting around. You can rent a car or moped, or you can take the bus. However, rental vehicles are expensive and taking a bus can be inconvenient, with all the waiting at bus stops and having to walk the rest of the distance to where you are going. Taxi rides in Athens are a completely new, affordable and comfortable way to get around Athens. Athens Taxi, in particular, offers half-day and full-day tours in Athens, and they also offer tours from Athens to Mycenae and Epidavros. Athens Taxi can also provide a personal guide for you and your group. If you prefer walking tours, Athens Taxi can also arrange for a personal guide to accompany you and point out landmarks and give you mini-history lessons and interesting facts.