Athens has been the proud capital for the Greek Civilization, the forefather to the western civilization for nearly 4000 years. The city stands majestically amidst seven historic hills and many fascinating landmarks. Often viewed as the birthplace of democracy, the city holds utmost social and cultural significance as well. Athens is picture perfect place for the tourists who want to understand the evolution of modern civilization. If you are planning to visit Athens, make sure you cover these 10 top tourist attractions in Athens:
10. Agios Eleftherios
Agios Eleftherios is a lovely little church located just beside the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Mitropolis square in Athens. It was built by the order of Michael Choniates who was the bishop of Athens in the 13th century when the construction of the church started. Along with its fine sculpted interior, the church is a very fine example of Byzantine architecture. It is a very spectacular, small and peaceful medieval church that has gained popularity over time and has become one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Athens today.
09. National Archaeological Museum, Athens
A place full of ancient historical sensations, the National archaeological Museum in Athens is one of the finest institutions of archeology in the world and easily the greatest collection of Greek artifacts. Here the amazing collections include sculptures, vases, many Greek artworks and some rare Egyptian arts and many other small and large artifacts. Its collection comes from prehistoric times to the late antiquities. The museum was established in 1829 and has been one of the most visited tourist attractions in Athens ever since. This is certainly a great place to learn about ancient Greece.
08. Ancient Agora
Ancient Agora of Greece is often viewed as the birthplace of Democracy. It was once a gathering place and a market place of Athens where people would gather to browse all sorts of merchandises. It was also the intersection of four important roads including the Panathenaic Way, the main road of Athens. The history of this place dates back to the 7th century when the proud citizens of Athens would come here to talk about politics, religion, the universe, divinity and many other topics. The area used to be surrounded by fountains and many important buildings. Today it has become one of the top tourist attractions in Athens.
07. New Acropolis Museum
For those who love the ancient Greek archeology, New Acropolis Museum is just the place for them. It is located just near the foot of the Acropolis hill by the city. It was established in 2003 and the building itself is fascinating in design. It has an amazing collection of Greek architectures and sculptures which include Moschophoros, Kritios boy and many others. It houses all the artifacts found by the rocky Acropolis hill of Athens in various time periods. For the visitors, visiting the surrounding area of acropolis the museum is must visit.
06. Syntagma Square
Syntagma Square is one of the most important places in the entire Greece and it appeals greatly to all sorts of tourists. It is a square located right at the center of Athens and just in front of the Greek Parliament house. It has great political and cultural significance as many of the most important events are held at the square. Here, the changing of the guard is a top notch attraction. Many fascinating statues, sculptures and fountain make it a perfect spot for tourist to enjoy a little peaceful time. It is one of the most intriguing tourist attractions in Athens.
05. Mount Lycabettus
Standing majestically over the city is Mount Lycabettus, a giant hill made of Cretaceous limestone. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Athens and can be accessed by a railway called the “Lycabettus Funicular” which climbs the hill from the Kolonaki area at the base. Visitors can also hike to the top of the hill where there are the Chapel of St. George, a grand theatre, and a charming restaurant to provide amusement to them. The visitors can get a fascinating panoramic view of the entire city from the hilltop.
04. Temple of Olympian Zeus
Temple of Olympian Zeus, easily the largest temple found in Greece, is surely one of the top tourist attractions in Athens. It is also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus. The temple was named after and dedicated to Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods. The temple is so grand that it took nearly 638 years, beginning from 6th century BC to 2 century AD, to be completed. But the glory of the grand temple was short lived as the raiders almost destroyed it in the 4th century and it was never fully repaired. Today only 15 of the 103 huge columns remain as the ruins of this once grand temple.
The Erechtheion or Erechtheum is another great Greek temple located at the north of the Acropolis. The temple was constructed during the 421 and 406 BC. It still remains as one of the finest Greek architectures today. It was named after the legendary Greek hero and king Erichthonius. The temple was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. Some also suggests that it was dedicated to the king Erechtheus as well. It was made entirely out of Pentelic marble with black limestone here and there. The most fascinating features of the Erechtheum are the female figures that stand as the supporting columns also known as “The Porch of the Caryatids”. It is an architectural marvel to this day and surely one of the top notch tourist attractions in Athens.
Plaka is a lovely neighbor district in the heart of Athens and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Athens. It is located in the north eastern slope of the acropolis. As it is so near to the acropolis, it is often called the “Neighborhood of the Gods”. The wonderful and lovely district of Plaka is the best place to learn about the true Greek culture. The entire area is filled with lovely cafes and buildings like Athens University Museum, Karolos Koun theatre and many more. Visitors can go for a walk in the charming stone walkways around the place. The area is also known for delicious food. And many cafes, museums and theaters make sure that the visitors are having a fascinating time.
01. Parthenon, Acropolis
The Parthenon temple on the Athenian Acropolis is perhaps the most visited site in entire Greece. The temple is located on the hilltop of the acropolis overseeing the entire city. It was built in 438 BC to honor the ancient goddess Athena, the patron to the people of Greece. It was built in gratitude to her for saving the city of Athens. It was built mainly with stones from Mount Pantelakos. It is assumed that there are 13400 stones in the building. It not only is one the greatest remnants of ancient Greece but also considered one of most important cultural monuments of the world. Today this majestic temple on the acropolis dominates the skyline of Athens and is easily the biggest tourist attraction in Athens.
Author: Tajirul Haque
Tajirul Haque is a travel enthusiast and freelance travel writer on Upwork. Having written hundreds of travel articles on so many travel destinations around the world for his clients, Tajirul started Top Travel Lists back in September 2014. Travel writing is his passion and he always loves to write about a new destination as it allows him to know about more beautiful places the planet has to offer. He is always available for freelance travel writing opportunities.