The city of Athens has a long and enchanting history that plays a pivotal role in civilization as we know it today. From the marble laden temples and ancient artifacts to the winding alleys of Plaka, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. Millions of tourists, connoisseurs, and archaeologists visit this incredible city for very good reasons. Every stone, mosaic, and brick has its own story to tell.
If you are planning on visiting the ancient city of Athens, here are a few things to add to the itinerary.
One of the first places that come to mind when thinking of Greece is the famous citadel, The Acropolis of Athens. The Acropolis is the crowning jewel that sits atop a rocky hill above the city. This ancient citadel contains some of the oldest and most renowned architectural structures such as the Parthenon, the Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, and the Propylaia. Visitors can wander up the hill alone or opt for a guided tour, but whichever option you decide to choose, make sure you get there early because it can get very hot up there.
Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art is a must-see for any tourist visiting Athens. Even if you are not the biggest fan of art, the Museum of Cycladic Art is still guaranteed to impress. The museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of ancient art and relics from the Cyclades that date back to 3,000 BCE. There are thousands of Ancient Greek, Cypriot, and Cycladic art pieces on exhibition. There are also interactive applications that visitors can use while navigating through the extraordinary museum.
Formerly known as the Royal Garden, the National Garden is a refreshing break away from the modern concrete streets and ancient Athens. This beautiful oasis is located directly behind the Greek Parliament building in the districts of Pangrati and Kolonaki. Take a moment to catch your breath while you walk along the palm tree-lined pathways or take a stroll around the botanical museum.
Located amid the cypress and pine trees just northwest of the Acropolis is the Areopagus. The Greek name for the Areopagus is Areios Pagos, otherwise known as “Ares Rock.” In ancient times, the white rock functioned as a court where systems of belief and criminal matters were deliberated. One of the etiological myths associated with the courthouse rock is that it was the same place where Ares had been tried for the crimes against Poseidon’s son, Halirrhothius. A beautiful view of Acropolis can also be seen from the Areopagus.
What better way to get a view of Athens than from a height of around 908 feet! Lycabettus Hill, which is the highest hill in the city, is the best place to watch the sun rise and set over the capital. Tourists can take a relaxing stroll up the lush slope or catch a cable to the top. There is also a telescope at the top of the hill and on clear days, you will be able to see as far as Aegina.
The list of things to do and see in Athens is endless. Its immense beauty, iconic statues, and captivating history are what makes this city so special.