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Must-see attractions in Athens

The Acropolis

Few sights in the world compare to Athens’ Acropolis, with its Parthenon temple perched high on a rocky crag keeping watch over centuries of civilization. The Acropolis is one of the world’s most breathtaking ancient ruins. A reminder of the glory of ancient Athens, the Acropolis was the center of the ancient city and functioned as a citadel in its protected hilltop location.

National Gardens and the Zappeion

Located next to the Greek parliament, the National Garden is a large green space behind the Temple of Olympian Zeus and home to the Zappeion. If you have had enough sun during your day of sightseeing, this is a quiet, shady place to relax and cool off. Inviting trails lead through tall trees and offer a reprieve from the busy streets. It’s also a free attraction in Athens.

Ancient Agora: Ruins of the Marketplace

The ancient Agora was the marketplace and the center of everyday life in ancient Athens. For an impressive view of the Agora from afar, head to the north wall of the Acropolis or the roads from the Areopagus.

The best place to enter the Agora is at the north gate off Adrianoú Street (near the Church of Saint Philip). The Greek word “Agora” means to “gather and orate,” indicating that this site was a location of public speaking. The Agora was a place of administration and commerce as well as the meeting place of the Agora tou Dimou, a civic decision-making group. Athletic events and theater performances were also held here.

The Roman Agora & Hadrian’s Library

Adjacent to the Ancient Agora is the site of the Roman Agora. While it may all seem like one site, these buildings were constructed later, and construction eventually moved on to the site of the Ancient Agora. One of the easily recognizable sites here is the Tower of the Winds.

On the edge of the Roman Agora is the ancient Hadrian’s Library, founded by Emperor Hadrian in AD 132. Even later, during Byzantine times, three churches were built near the site of the library.

Olympieion: Temple of Olympian Zeus

Dedicated to Zeus, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, also called the Olympieion, was the largest temple in ancient Greece. Though the Parthenon is better preserved, the Temple of Olympian Zeus was an even more monumental structure in its day. The temple dates to the sixth century BC but was not completed until the second century AD by the Emperor Hadrian. In front of the Olympieion, not far from the entrance, stands Hadrian’s Arch at the end of Dionysiou Areopagitou.

Panathenaic Stadium & Olympic Stadium

Ancient Athens’s largest building, the Panathenaic Stadium, has a capacity for 60,000 spectators. Constructed around 335 BC during the era of Herodes Atticus, the venue hosted the Panathenaic Games.

where runners competed in races around the track. The 204-meter-long track was designed with four double herms, where runners would turn in the races.

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Discover Athens Hidden Gems

Panathenaic Stadium & Olympic Stadium

Ancient Athens’s largest building, the Panathenaic Stadium, has a capacity for 60,000 spectators. Constructed around 335 BC during the era of Herodes Atticus, the venue hosted the Panathenaic Games.

where runners competed in races around the track. The 204-meter-long track was designed with four double herms, where runners would turn in the races.

Athens urban street life distilled

There is a small street called Melanthiou in the area of Psiri, in the center of Athens. In the last few years, this area transformed from a drug area into a cyclists’ joint. One of the pioneers of this movement is Welsh Gareth Jones, who came from London to open a bike store here.

At Melanthiou street you will find everything and everyone who has ties to biking philosophy in the city: the bike store VCA, Handlebar cafe, the Bondex cyclist couriers, along with Silver 925 graffiti store and creative design studio Pi6. You can come and drink your coffee while your bike is being fixed or eat something at very low prices. The best time to visit Melanthiou street is in the evening when people are gathered at small tables by the road and it all creates a single company.

The Diomidous Botanical Garden

The Diomidous Botanical Garden is the largest botanical garden of the eastern Mediterranean. It was founded in 1952, and in 1975 it was opened to the general public. In its area of 470 acres, you can find trees and bushes can be found from all over the world, as well as plants mentioned in Greek mythology and history, like the myrtle of Aphrodite and Socrates’ hemlock.

Our local Andreas recommends a picnic under the shade of the trees, in one of the outdoor monastery-type tables, where you can meet other groups or families rolling around on the grass.

Theatre of Dionysus

Heralded as the world’s first theater, these ruins are often overlooked as they reside in the shadows of the Acropolis.

THIS SITE IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED by tourists to the region who opt to visit the more well-known Acropolis. However, the significance of this ancient site can’t be understated.

Nestled along the slopes of the Acropolis in Athens are the ruins of the Theatre of Dionysus. The structure dates back to the 6th century BC and is believed to be the first theatre ever constructed. It was originally developed as a site for religious practices and festivals dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and plays.

Tower of the Winds

An ancient octagonal weather station named for the eight Greek gods of wind. Most ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN ATHENS are old temples, but this ancient structure had a scientific purpose. When it was constructed at the end of the 2nd century BCE, the Tower of the Winds included sundials, a clepsydra (water clock), and a weather vane, effectively making it the first meteorological station in the world.

Pnyx

Named after the well-preserved Thission (ancient temple of Hephaestus), Thissio is blessed with a small wooded park and some less frenetic streets that offer numerous quieter places to stay and eat. Largely pedestrianized Apostolou Pavlou Street runs between the Acropolis and forested Filopappou Hill, well worth climbing for more great panoramas, until it merges with Dionysiou Areopagitou Street. This leads to the up-and-coming area of Makriyanni, whose centerpiece is the magnificent new Acropolis Museum. Opposite the museum is the entrance to the southern slopes of the Acropolis, while the eponymous metro station nearby is at the top of Makriyanni Street, another strip of touristic cafés and restaurants.

National Archaeology Museum

Founded in the 19th century, Athens’ National Archaeological Museum is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the greatest antiquities museums in the world.

The museum is housed in an impressive Neoclassical building with 8,000 square meters of exhibition space. On display are five permanent collections with more than 11,000 exhibits, offering a comprehensive overview of Greek civilization from prehistory through the classical period to late antiquity.

Museum of Cycladic Art

In the Kolonáki quarter, the Museum of Cycladic Art was created in 1986 by the Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris Foundation. The shipowner Nikolas P. Goulandris was a well-known patron of the arts and cultural life in Athens. Goulandris’ own collection forms the core of the museum’s exhibits.

Visit the seaside: wave watching at Piraeus

One of Athens’ hidden gems is its seafront. Hardly anyone ever thinks to go there. Head to Piraeus, and take your time strolling along the seafront, watching the waves kiss the shore and local children chase their shadows. It’s a calm and beautiful spot, a world away from central Athens with only 20 minutes spent behind the wheel.

Church of the Holy Apostles

On the site of the ancient Agora, the Church of the Holy Apostles was the only building left standing when this entire quarter of Athens was demolished to excavate the Agora archaeological site. Built in the 10th century, the church stands above a nymphaion (sacred spring).

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The Best Restaurants in Athens

A little Taste of Home

We are proud to prepare for your global food journey, with dishes full of history and stories. Our food is: Nutritious, healthy & wholesome – home food made with care Made with fresh & flavorful ingredients – we prepare daily Simple– you know what you are eating and is well described for you Relish a friendly service in a relaxing environment

Address: Dekeleon 3 Gazi, Athens 11854 Greece

Smak

“Smak” in Swedish means “taste”. Smak. is a street food restaurant situated in the heart of Athens that stood out from the very beginning for its unique, fresh, long-maturation dough, as well as for its live-cooking. We offer you pizza and the traditional peinirli, all being baked on hot baking stone in merely 2 minutes. Our menu consists of savoury and sweet flavours that are made of the finest ingredients. You can enjoy your meal here or take-away.

Address: Romvis 21, Athens 10560 Greece

Oroscopo

Specialized in Modern Greek Cuisine, Pizza & Pasta, tastes at all times with the freshest ingredients being used and the passion for food in a combination with the wine list full by a variety of Greek labels, Oroscopo Restaurant can satisfy even the most demanding customer. Located in the centre of Athens, next to Hilton and Caravel hotels, Oroscopo restaurant offers free wifi to all customers. You also have the opportunity to dine indoors in the airconditioned hall or at our outdoors tables near the square!

Address: Antínoros 42-44 Plateía Caravel, Athens 161 21 Greece

Efcharis

In the center of the historic center of Athens, next to your Hadrian’s Gate waiting to share good Greek food. We offer a wide variety of breakfast, coffee, juices and authentic Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by our own homemade wine. Efcharis was recently renovated, so as to remind of a traditional yard.

Address: 49A Adrianou Monastiraki, Athens 105 55 Greece

Aleria

The restaurant is a perfectly restored villa from the early years of the previous century. The decor strikes the perfect balance between luxury and ambience, creating an atmosphere which is quite formal but still unpretentious, cozy and elegant. The restaurant’s creative cuisine has been awarded many times and promises to impress you with a brilliant parade of re-synthesized Greek cuisine The chef Gikas Xenakis is one of the best proponents of the New Greek Cuisine movement which now attracts the most talented chefs in Greece

Address: 57 Megalou Alexandrou Metaxourgeio, Athens 104 35 Greece

Lithos

Lithos is a Greek Tavern operating since 1996 Taste excellent greek food Located in the heart of Athens, area Psiri- (Historical Center of Athens) . It is a neighborhood of contrasts harmoniously blending the old with the new and rapidly turning into the Soho district of Athens near Monasteraki section of Athens Lithos Tavern is : Only few Blocks away from the Metro station Monastiraki Private Dining.

Address: Aisopou 17 Psirri, Athens Greece

Diodos Archaias Agoras

Diodos is a unique restaurant in Athens, located onto Adrianou street, next to historical Orthodox church of Saint Philip, close to ancient Panathineon street, that leads to Acropolis hill since antiquity. Diodos’ menu combines a variety of fresh fish, beef and meat dishes (including lamb), Greek salads (you can try Diodos salad), combined with pies (traditional spinach pies) traditional ouzo and cold beers.

Address: 19 Adrianou Monastiraki, Athens 105 55 Greece

Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani

“Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani” brings you the traditional tastes of Byzantium & Cappadokia, right on your table. At Fromagerie you may buy from our carefully selected collection of aged greek cheese. At Charcuterie you may taste the awarded “Sary” cold cuts. At Grocery you can select from a variety of exceptional gourmet, PDO and PGA food products of small scale, Greek producers.

Address: Sokratous 1 Evripidou 52, Athens 105 52 Greece

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