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.
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 Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece.
Athens; Modern Greek: ?????, Athína , Ancient Greek: ??????, Athênai, modern pronunciation Athínai) is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.
10:00am-12:30pm : Acropolis Museum
Established to preserve the rich heritage of ancient Greece, Acropolis Museum brings together thousands of artifacts found at the world-famous ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above Athens. Opened in 2009 just a short walk from this heritage-listed archaeological site, the museum exhibits nearly 4,000 objects, including items formerly held in storage or displayed by foreign museums. The collection focuses on statues from the 5th century BCE, widely regarded as the finest examples of ancient artistic achievement. The museum building, a major tourist attraction in itself, features exhibit spaces designed to give each artifact a clear historical context. Finish your visit at the second-floor restaurant, which offers panoramic views of the city's historical hills.
1:00pm-2:00pm : Hellenic Children's Museum
A pleasant alternative to Athens' famous ruins and museums, Hellenic Children's Museum offers interactive exhibits and activities designed to encourage and engage the imagination of both children and their parents. The museum's two floors feature rooms filled with hands-on experiments, puzzles, games, and play areas. Take part in interactive projects like cooking lessons, chocolate-making sessions, and presentations about the human body and health. Ask the staff about activities best suited for non-Greek speakers. Admission is free.
2:30pm-6:00pm : Food Tours
Taste your way through the ancient streets of Athens on a guided food tour of the city's rich gastronomic heritage. The experience will awaken your senses as you sample mouth-watering delicacies and traditional "mezzes"--finger food that'll tease you for more. Your guide will satisfy both your appetite for food and intellectual stimulation, providing an informative overview of the city's culinary landscape and cultural heritage. Tours average four hours and take place throughout the day, with private options available through some local operators.
10:00am-12:00pm : Benaki Museum
Set in a mansion belonging to the influential Bekanis family, Benaki Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts reflecting Greek history and culture. Though primarily concerned with Greece, the museum explores and celebrates the many foreign influences that have enriched the country. Admire prehistoric pottery, Byzantine iconography, 17th century embroidery, and heirlooms of influential Greek figures. Make sure to stop by the on-site restaurant. Located on the top floor, it offers superb views of central Athens.
12:30pm-1:30pm : Temple of Olympian Zeus
What remains standing today of Temple of Olympian Zeus serves as a testament to the grandeur of ancient Greek architecture. Built over several years and completed in 456 BCE, the temple was dedicated to Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods. Badly damaged by both fire and earthquakes, much of the temple is in ruins, but some columns still stand. At 10.5 m tall (34.4 ft) and 2.25 m (7.4 ft) in diameter, the columns were built of local limestone and covered in white stucco. Admission is included in the ticket to the nearby Acropolis.
2:00pm-2:30pm : Technohoros Art Gallery
Combining both modern and more classical forms of art, Technohoros Art Gallery showcases Greek and international artists. Browse the gallery spaces and view a variety of paintings, sculptures, prints, videos, and photography--all designed for the public to embrace visual arts and emerging trends. To date, the venue has held over 60 exhibits. Collectors should inquire as to which items are for sale.
3:00pm-5:00pm : Plaka
The oldest residential neighborhood in Athens, Plaka sits in the shadows of the city's ancient ruins, welcoming visitors with a labyrinth of pedestrian-friendly streets and notable examples of Neoclassical architecture. In the 1990s this district transformed itself from a primarily working-class neighborhood to a tourist-driven area rife with trendy shops, upscale restaurants, and sidewalk cafes. Though most visitors come to this area--the heart of the ancient city--to soak up the authentic street atmosphere, you can also visit several historically important sites here, including a 5th century temple and an 11th century church, one of the oldest in the city. The neighborhood also houses a good selection of museums and galleries, displaying ancient artifacts and folk art.
10:00am-11:00am : Agia Irini Church
11:30am-2:00pm : Mount Lycabettus
Local legend claims wild wolves used to seek refuge on Mount Lycabettus, a tall hill noted for offering unbeatable views of Athens. Tradition has it that Athena, the goddess of wisdom, created this hill when she accidentally dropped a mountain she had intended for the construction of the city's famed citadel. You can access this "hill walked by wolves," as its name roughly translates, by a funicular railway departing from a station in the central part of the city. The hill rises to 277 m (908 ft) above sea level, its peak featuring a 19th century chapel, theater, and restaurant. Pick a sunny day for your visit if possible, and don't forget your camera.
2:30pm-5:30pm : National Archaeological Museum
The largest of Athens' many museums, National Archaeological Museum houses a vast collection of ancient artifacts unearthed from a variety of excavation sites around Greece. The museum's world-famous Mycenaean collection includes the 19th century finds by archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, featuring golden funerary masks, relief stelae, alabaster tools, ivory carvings, and jewelry. The museum also displays a staggering array of ancient figurines, frescoes from the volcanic island of Santorini, and the oldest known mechanical computer, designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. There's so much to see here, it may take you several visits to absorb it all. Make your trip through ancient history a bit more comprehensible by arranging for a guided tour of the museum's most representative exhibits.
10:00am-10:30am : Panathenaic Stadium
Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient stadium, Panathenaic Stadium serves as the only major sports venue in the world built entirely of white marble. The stadium, one of the oldest in the world, hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and now serves mostly as a venue for live concerts and archery events. Originally built on this site in 566 BCE and renovated several times over the centuries, the hairpin-shaped stadium could once seat about 80,000 spectators. Today, the fifty rows of marble steps have the capacity to receive about half as many visitors. Take a morning jog on the ancient track, or take self-guided audio tour of the entire stadium.
11:00am-12:30pm : Museum of Cycladic Art
1:00pm-2:00pm : National Garden
Take a break from the heat and the crowds of the city at National Garden. Created by Queen Amalia in 1839, these gardens once belonged to the royal palace. Now, the 15.4 hectare (38 acre) property is open to the public throughout the day. Walk among the multitude of trees, flowers, and other greenery, or sit on one of the many benches to picnic and watch the ducks in the pond. Stop into the on-site mini zoo to view turtles, birds, goats, and some other animals.
2:30pm-6:00pm : Glyfada Beach
10:00am-10:30am : National Library of Greece
The National Library of Greece is situated near the center of city of Athens. It was designed by the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen, as part of his famous Trilogy of neo-classical buildings including the Academy of Athens and the original building of the Athens University. It was founded by Ioannis Kapodistrias.HistoryThe original idea for establishing a National Library was from the philhellene Johann Jakob Mayer, in an August 1824 article of his newspaper Ellinika Chronika, published at Missolonghi, where Mayer and Lord Byron had been promoting Greece's independence. Mayer's idea was implemented in 1829 by the new Greek government of Ioannis Kapodistrias, who grouped together the National Library with other intellectual institutions such as schools, national museums, and printing houses. These were all placed in a building (then being used as an orphanage) on the island Aegina and supervised by Andreas Moustoxydis, who thus became president of the committee of the Orphanage, director of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, and director of the National School.
11:00am-12:30pm : Ancient Agora of Athens
The commercial, political, and religious center of ancient Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens offers you a chance to gain insight into the origins of democracy. Founded in the 6th century BCE, this large open area stood in the middle of the city and served as a meeting place used to enact laws, make decisions about the city's defense, and hold public forums to discuss ostracism, the expulsion of a citizen for a period of ten years. Visit this archeological site to see two of ancient Athens' major landmarks, a temple dedicated to the god Hephaestus and a two-story covered walkway, reconstructed in the 1950s to house a museum of ancient clay, bronze, and glass objects.
2:30pm-6:00pm : Acropolis of Athens
A cluster of ancient ruins of great architectural and historical significance, Acropolis of Athens has been the star attraction of Athens for many centuries and is a World Heritage Site. Sitting on a rocky hill just above the city, this age-old citadel contains ruins of temples constructed during the 5th century BCE. The "City on a Hill," as its name roughly translates, contains outstanding examples of Classical architecture that continues to influence the building styles of modern cities around the world. Although pollution and exposure to weather continue to take their toll on the ancient buildings, the historical hill remains an important reminder of the cultural influence and political power ancient Greece once exercised on the rest of the world.
10:00am-11:30am : Museum Herakleidon
11:30am-12:30pm : Byzantium Monastiraki
1:00pm-5:00pm : Circle Adventures - Circle Athens
5:30pm-6:00pm : Museum 'Atelier Spyros Vassiliou'
10:00am-11:00am : ChiliMenta
Shop for all kinds of organic products at ChiliMenta. The attractive, minimalist shop stocks a range of cookies, fruit bars, spices, dried herbs, and other fresh, natural items. The owners will gladly take you through their selection of groceries, telling you about the shop's ethos. Buy something for yourself, or as a useful gift for someone back home.
11:30am-2:30pm : Hymettus
3:00pm-4:00pm : Amazing Chocolate