When to visit

Athens has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry weather May–Sep, the peak travel period. Holy Week and Easter (Mar/Apr, dates vary) is a key religious event, with church services, candlelit processions and fireworks. The Athens and Epidaurus Festival (summer months, dates vary) features Ancient Greek drama, classical music and dance shows in ancient open-air locations. The Athens Marathon (Nov) follows the route of the iconic 490 BC run.

MonthHigh/Low
August

July

May

32° / 23°

33° / 23°

25° / 16°

Top spots

1- Acropolis of Athens

About: The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as “The Acropolis” without qualification. During ancient times it was known also more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king. While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were damaged seriously during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded.

Address: Athens 105 58, Greece

Opening hours: Wednesday 8AM–8PM Thursday 8AM–8PM Friday 8AM–8PM Saturday 8AM–8PM Sunday 8AM–8PM Monday 8AM–8PM Tuesday 8AM–8PM

2- Parthenon

About: The Parthenon is a former templeon the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western civilization, and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. To the Athenians who built it, the Parthenon and other Periclean monuments of the Acropolis were seen fundamentally as a celebration of Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders and as a thanksgiving to the gods for that victory. As of 2007 the Greek Ministry of Culture was carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure.

Address: Athens 105 58, Greece

3- Acropolis Museum

About: The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies over the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. The museum was founded in 2003, while the Organization of the Museum was established in 2008. It opened to the public on 20 June 2009. Nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres. The Organization for the Construction of the new museum is chaired by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, Dimitrios Pandermalis.

Address: Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athina 117 42, Greece

4- Syntagma Square

About: Syntagma Square, “Constitution Square” is the central square of Athens.The square is named after the Constitution that Otto, the first King of Greece, was obliged to grant after a popular and military uprising on 3 September 1843. It is located in front of the 19th century Old Royal Palace, housing the Greek Parliamentsince 1934. Syntagma Square is the most important square of modern Athens from both a historical and social point of view, at the heart of commercial activity and Greek politics. The name Syntagma alone also refers to the neighbourhood surrounding the square.

Address: Pl. Sintagmatos, Athina 105 63, Greece

Opening hours: Wednesday Open 24 hours Thursday Open 24 hours Friday Open 24 hours Saturday Open 24 hours Sunday Open 24 hours Monday Open 24 hours Tuesday Open 24 hourss:

5- Plaka

About: In the shadow of the Acropolis and its ancient temples, hillside Plaka has a village feel, with narrow cobblestone streets lined with tiny shops selling jewelry, clothes and local ceramics. Sidewalk cafes and family-run tavernas stay open until late, and Cine Paris shows classic movies al fresco. Nearby, the whitewashed homes of the Anafiotika neighborhood give the small enclave a Greek-island vibe.

6- Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

About:The Temple of Olympian Zeus , also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a former colossal temple at the centre of the Greek capital Athens. It was dedicated to “Olympian” Zeus, a name originating from his position as head of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman period the temple -that included 104 colossal columns- was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. The temple’s glory was short-lived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged during a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD, just about a century after its completion. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, it was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city.

Address: Athens 105 57, Greece

7- Monastiraki

About: Lively Monastiraki is known for iconic landmarks including the ruins of Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora and the rebuilt Stoa of Attalos, with a museum exhibiting Athenian artifacts. Monastiraki Flea Market is a jumble of shops selling artisanal soaps, handmade sandals and souvenir T-shirts. The surrounding streets are crammed with traditional tavernas and restaurants, many with Acropolis views.

8- Erechtheion

About: The Erechtheion or Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon

Address: Athens 105 58, Greece

Opening hours: Wednesday 10AM–7PM Thursday 10AM–7PM Friday 10AM–7PM Saturday 10AM–7PM Sunday 10AM–7PM Monday 10AM–7PM Tuesday 10AM–7PM

9- National Archaeological Museum, Athens

About: The National Archaeological Museum in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide. It is situated in the Exarcheia area in central Athens between Epirus Street, Bouboulinas Street and Tositsas Street while its entrance is on the Patission Street adjacent to the historical building of the Athens Polytechnic university.

Address: 28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82, Greece

10- Mount Lycabettus

About: Mount Lycabettus , is a Cretaceous limestone hill in Athens, Greece at 300 meters (908 feet) above sea level. Pine trees cover its base, and at its two peaks are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant. The name also refers to the residential neighbourhood immediately below the east of the hill. The hill is a tourist destination and can be ascended by the Lycabettus Funicular, a funicular railway which climbs the hill from a lower terminus at Kolonaki (The railway station can be found at Aristippou street). Lycabettus appears in various legends. Popular stories suggest it was once the refuge of wolves, which is possibly the origin of its name (means “the one [the hill] that is walked by wolves”). Another etymology suggests a Pelasgian, pre-Mycenean, origin (Lucabetu=mastoid hill). Mythologically, Lycabettus is credited to Athena, who created it when she dropped a limestone mountain she had been carrying from the Pallene peninsula for the construction of the Acropolis after the box holding Erichthonius was opened.

Need to know

Currency: Euro

Transportation

On Arrival From & to Athens International Airport: Athens International Airport (ATM) is located about 33 km east of the city center. The metro is the easiest and most convenient way to go to and from the airport. Taking the bus is slightly more economical , but heavy traffic can mean the journey takes more than an hour . Taxis and ride services are generally the quickest , depending on traffic , but also the most expensive. There’s also suburban train service from the airport to downtown athens.

Public transport: 

The public transport system in Athens is governed by Transport For Athens , and consists of metro , tram,bus trolley bus and suburban train networks .The metro and tram systems are the most user-friendly , with syntagma station , acropoli and Monastiraki metro station the most convenient stations for seeing the major sights . Buses and trolley buses are often crowded and slow.

 Taxi

Much of historic center is pedestrianized so it’s not accessible by taxi. Else where in the city, it can be challenging to hail a taxi on the street , so it’s advisable to ask your hotel (or restaurant) to call a car for you .Taxi companies include:

-Radio Taxi Ikaros (30 210 5152 800)

-Athens-Taxis (30 6932 389 111)

-Taxiplon(30 210 2773 600)

Driving:

Driving in Athens isn’t recommend for visitors .Traffic can be chaotic , and road signs , written in both Greek and latin  alphabets , can be confusing .Finding an on-street parking spot is also difficult , and cars have no access to much of the historic center.

On Foot

Much of the historic center is pedestrianized so walking is the only practical way of getting around areas like Plaka and shopping streets like Ermou, Pandrossou and Ifestou .The Acropolis of Athens can be seen from every part of the city center , which makes it easier to fing your bearings.

By bike

Few native Athenians use bikes for everyday transport. However, a handful of outfits offer bike rentals and guided bike tours on car-free boulevards like Dioysiou Areapagitou and Apostolou Pavlou , below the Acropolis , and through the narrower streets of Plaka.

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