When you think of Athens the first thing that probably cross your mind is the Acropolis. While I acknowledge the magnificence and unparalleled significance in history of the Acropolis there are other archaeological sites and architectural gems in Athens that are just as magnificent. Yes, Athens is loaded with architectural masterpieces and my 6 favorite places will be enumerated below.
Will I sound really juvenile now if I call these sites IG spots as well?! Well, in my defense, it is not to reduce the importance and historical value of these sites but also to emphasize the fact as to how aesthetically beautiful and impressive all these structures are.
Some things to consider before you visit these spots:
The first 3 sites requires an admission fee. You can pay an individual price for each place or purchase an e-ticket package for 30 euro which will allow you entrance to 7 archeological site including the Acropolis.
If you seek to enter the Archeaological Site take notes of these dates as they might be closed: January 1, March 25, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26
Also be mindful of the following dates as the hours might vary: January 6, Shrove Monday, Greek Orthodox Good Friday, Saturday and Easter, Pentecost, August 15, October 28
Free Entrance on the following days: National Holidays, Sundays from the 1st of November to the 31st of March, 1st Sunday of the Month except July, August and September, March 6 (Death Anniversary of Melina Mercouri), April 18 (National Monument Day), May 18 (National Museum Day) June 5 (World Environment Day), Last Weekend of September for European Days of Cultural Heritage
Last admission is normally 30 minutes before closing time.
Check here if you qualify for Free admission
1. Ancient Agora
Monastiraki Lines 1 & 3
Theseio Line 1
Adrianou 24, Athens 10555
Latitude: 37° 58’ 31.704” N Longitude: 23° 43’ 15.984” E
In the Ancient Agora you will find the Temple of Hephaestus which is the most well preserved temple of Ancient Greece.I love how quiet and chill the vibe here in the morning, especially during the opening hours as everybody else is in the Acropolis. I'd say this is one of my favorite ancient site in Greece.
There is also a museum here, Stoa of Attalos that houses great artifacts.
2. Roman Agora
Metro: Monastiraki Line 1 & 3
Address: Aiolou & Pelopida
Latitude: 37° 58’ 27.444” N Longitude: 23° 43’ 37.38” E
Located 363 meters from the Ancient Agora & North Side of the Acropolis. Not as spectacular and well preserved as the Ancient Agora, but still worth the visit. The Tower of the Winds is the most noteworthy structure known to be the earliest meteorological station.
3. Temple of Olympian Zeus
Metro: Acropolis Line 2
Leoforos Vassilissis Olgas and Amalias
Latitude: 37° 58' 5.83" N Longitude: 23° 43' 35.44" E
If you have been following me on IG, you'd know by now that I normally go to tourist spots early in the morning to avoid the crowd. But of course, if you have limited days traveling, this is not always possible. Generally, another good time to visit a place is just before closing, as we did here. Very few people and you can easily take photos that you want, plus the glow of the sunset is beautiful.
4. Odeon of Herodes Atticus
By Metro: Red Line 2 Acropolis
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Acropolis Hill, Athens 10555
Latitude: 37° 97' 08" N Longitude: 23° 72' 46" E
During daytime, the best aerial view (and selfie spot) is from the Acropolis, as it remains close to the public. However, in summer, (around June to early October) concerts and performances are held here in the evening. And I highly recommend this especially during the full moon. Believe me, one of the best things you can do in Athens is to watch a performance in an Ancient Theater. Have you heard of the term "anemoia" or nostalgia for something you have never known, or a time beyond your own. That's exactly how I felt while watching a performance here.
5. National Library of Greece
Omonoia 32, Athens 10679
By Metro: Red line 2 Panepistimio
Latitude: 37° 58’ 52” N
Longitude: 23° 43’ 59” E
Unlike the aforementioned sites, this is not ancient building but a neoclassical style architecture which is stunning nonetheless.
When a library is this magnificent, for sure you’d want a photo. It is beautiful from all angle, a true architectural marvel. And yes, that renaissances staircase totally got me.
6. Academy of Athens
By Metro: Red line 2 Panepistimio
Omonoia 28, Athens 10679
Latitude: 37° 58’ 48” N
Longitude: 23° 44’ 03” E
Just 2 minutes walk from the National Library of Greece is another architectural masterpiece patterned after classical antiquity.
There are so much more architectural gems in Athens, that I'm sure there is going to be a part 2 of this blog.