Athens, the beautiful capital of Greece, stretches along the central plains of the Attica region and offers a large number of unique sights that can be visited at any time of the year. The name of the city is related to that of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
Surrounded by mountains in the west, north and northwest and the Saronic Gulf in the east, the city is perfect for those who want to visit a place full of history, as you’ll find a lot of amazing attractions to visit. These can be admired not only in the Athenian museums, but also on the streets or metro stations, where the ruins or statues discovered during the construction were not moved from their original place. Athens is known to be one of the main centers of archaeological research in the world.
- Acropolis in Athens
One of the most popular tourist attractions of Athens, the Acropolis of Athens was listed in UNESCO’s world heritage list in 1987. Built around 3,000 BC, the Acropolis is at the highest point of the city, in the center, being the most famous acropolis in the world.
The area has an impressive number of historical ruins and its main attraction is Parthenon, the temple at the highest point of the hill, the largest of the classical period.
The Parthenon was built to protect the statue of Athena and the treasures of the city in the case of a Persian attack. Many temple sculptures have been damaged over time or from earthquakes or attacks. Besides these wonders of the ancient world, the Acropolis of Athens also offers a delightful view of the city. From the top of the hill you can also get a great view of the mountains that guard the city.
- The Acropolis Museum
This museum contains one of the most valuable collections of artifacts from ancient Greece. It was built after the remains of the Acropolis were found in Athens and the surrounding areas.
The 4,000 exhibits of the museum are displayed along three levels in chronological order. The museum was built over the ruins of the ancient city, which can be seen through the glass floors of the museum. The construction is the most modern building in terms of architecture built in the area. A visit to this museum is recommended to any tourist who chooses to spend a stay in Athens, especially for those who want to be able to study more closely the statues of the Parthenon.
- National Museum of Antiquities
Located on Patission Street, at 44, the National Archaeological Museum is the largest archaeological museum of Greece and one of the world’s most important museums of its kind.
The museum contains five collections of more than 11,000 exhibits offering an overview of prehistoric Greece. The prehistoric collection includes artifacts from the sixth millennium BC to 1050 BC and the collection of statues dating back to the 6th and 5th centuries BC, including extremely rare artifacts. The museum also has a collection of Egyptian artifacts.
The National Museum of Antiquities also contains an ancient 118-year-old library of nearly 20,000 volumes, featuring some rare editions. The museum’s garden contains statues, mosaics and even a sarcophagus.
- The Byzantine Museum
It features more than 25,000 artifacts from the Byzantine era in Greece. The Byzantine Museum contains religious artifacts from the Byzantine period as well as from the early days of Christianity, from the Middle Ages to the post-Byzantine periods. You will find here a collection of religious sculptures, paintings, jewelry and parts of Christian writings and Byzantine churches.
- Temple of Zeus
The temple of Zeus was the largest temple in ancient Greece. The construction of the temple began in the 6th century BC and was completed in the second century AD.
Although the Parthenon temple has been better preserved over the centuries, the Zeus one represents a much more impressive structure. The exact date of the destruction of the temple is unknown but most likely it was destroyed by earthquakes.
The Temple of Zeus is another tourist destination you definitely should check out while visiting Athens.
- Plaka and Anafiotika
In these places you’ll find two archaeological sites: the Roman Agora and the Hadrian Library. The main attraction in these neighborhoods is the relaxing atmosphere created by the narrow streets and delightful small markets. These places are ideal for quiet picnics for tourists who love nature!
- Church of the Holy Apostles
Located in the archaeological site of ancient Agora, the Church of the Apostles was built in the tenth century in a typical Byzantine architecture, and it was the most important church in the Byzantine period in Greece.
These are just seven of the sights you can check out in Athens. However, the Greek capital can offer much more: museums with rare history artifacts, art, beautiful landscapes – some of which you’ll find in the Athens National Park.