Greece is one of the most fascinating countries due to its rich history, architectural influence, and mythology. The Greeks have always been some of the most artistic, intelligent, and innovative people of all, and proof of those traits still stands to date. Most of the Greek islands are picturesque and offer a great holiday experience by nature; you must visit Athens to view the variety of historic gems in that country alone. The city attracts thousands of tourists every year due to its prosperous antiquities, shopping and food scenes, and its spectacular nightlife. Here are some top attractions you cannot miss when visiting Athens, Greece.
1. Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is the most popular attraction of this historically rich city as it glorifies ancient Greek culture, architecture, and mythology. The site is perched atop a hill and overlooks every part of the old city below. The Acropolis is home to some of the most important ancient Greek buildings that culturally signify their architectural and religious sanctity; the Parthenon, the theatre of Dionysus, and the Temple of Athena. The Parthenon is a Doric masterpiece and is known for its splendid proportion and flawless construction. All of these structures were built more than 2500 years ago and were majorly destroyed during conflicts and negligence.
2. The Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus
The main center of ancient Athens, the Agora, was a marketplace where ancient Greeks traded goods and sold items. It was also known to be a place for democracy and philosophical cohorts. The Temple of Hephaestus is located at this site and stands in proper condition to date. It was constructed for the God of Fire, Hephaestus, and is lauded for its intricate craftsmanship. If you visit the ancient Agora today, you can still imagine the busy arenas and shopping scenes of the olden days, with the people loitering around the central streets.
3. Acropolis Museum
With so many artifacts, excavations, and archaeological findings in Athens, you must visit at least one museum to gain some factual historical and cultural knowledge. The Acropolis Museum displays several sculptures, artifacts, excavations, stories, models, and architectural details found on the main site. If you are a geek of ancient architecture, history, and culture, your Athens holidays would be incomplete without visiting one of their most famous museums in the city. The top floor is a glass atrium that shows the Acropolis and the Parthenon at eye level. You can also find several scaled models and preserved sculptures of gods and goddesses significant to ancient Greeks.
4. Temple of Olympian Zeus
This temple was made in honor of Zeus, one of the most important gods of Greek mythology. Next to the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is also considered a significant structure but is not as well preserved as the Parthenon. The construction of this temple began in the 6th century BC but was only completed after emperor Hadrian took over the task and managed to finish it by the 2nd century AD. Dionysiou Areopagitou stands near the temple’s entrance, which is also where Hadrian’s Arch is visible.
5. The Roman Agora & Hadrian’s Library
The Roman Agora is located just alongside the ancient Agora and is relatively newer than other surrounding structures. Despite being constructed after the ancient Agora, the construction somehow merged after a while, which is why both structures share the same site. The Tower of the Winds is also a part of this famous site. In AD 132, Emperor Hadrian built the Hadrian’s Library near the Roman Agora to signify the building’s stance in Greece. The site can be viewed from afar during your walk towards the Parthenon. However, if you still want to see the Roman Agora and Hadrian’s Library from up close, you can buy a ticket to enter the site.
Located near the Acropolis, this old and attractive neighborhood in Athens boasts of some picturesque streets, meeting points, and restaurants. Typically, locals and tourists hang out around Plaka during the evenings. You can also spot several shopping areas and points to buy souvenirs. You can also visit the Mitropolis cathedral and several museums in this area. Kidathineon and Adrianou are well-known for their shopping scene and you can also grab some local food and drinks at one of the restaurants on these streets.
If you are visiting Greece, do not miss out on walking around Athens. From architectural scenes to its amazing nightlife, the city will leave you in awe. You can easily cover the top attractions in Athens within 2 to 3 days, so plan your itinerary accordingly. Athens also provides free walking tours during the day, which cover the main attractions and some interesting facts about Greece and the spectacular city.
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