Athens Sightseeing

Athens sightseeing
Sightseeing: 96 things to see in Athens, Greece

Athens is the capital and the largest city of Greece. Although today it has turned into a busy and cosmopolitan city, Athens still preserves elements of its ancient glory. This is the perfect city for sightseeing and a great base for excursions around Greece. Monuments of all historical periods are spread around the town, from the Ancient and the Roman times until the Byzantine and modern era. As the best sightseeing in Athens is found in a walking distance from the city center, they are easy to visit by foot or on a bus tour. Do not certainly miss the Acropolis Hill and the Acropolis Museum. If you have time, take a stroll from the Acropolis to Thission and Monastiraki, it is a lovely promenade.

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In this section, you can see the best Athens Sightseeing. You can also view all things to see in Athens by category: museumschurches or view our suggested excursions.

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Best Sightseeing

Location: Acropolis
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The New Acropolis Museum was inaugurated in June 2009 and it is housed in a modern building right opposite the site of the Acropolis. The items displayed in the New Acropolis Museum were all found on excavations on the Acropolis. The most famous display is the frieze of Parthenon Temple. The unfortunate thing is that pieces of this frieze are missing, as they are housed in the British Museum in London.

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The Acropolis is also known as the Sacred Rock. Famous all over the world as the symbol of Greece and the Greek culture, the Acropolis stands on the highest spot of the city. Just opposite the site, there is the new Acropolis Museum.

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The Theatre of Herodes Atticus, or else Herodeion, is one of the most impressive monuments of Athens. Located on the southern slopes of the Acropolis, the theatre was built in 161 BC by Herodes Atticus, a wealthy Roman general in memory of his wife, Regilla. It has exceptional acoustic capacities and can sit up to 5,000 spectators. Performances of the Athens-Epidaurus Festival are held there in summer.

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The temple of Olympian Zeus took 700 years to be built. The work was completed by Emperor Hadrian in 131 AD. The huge Temple was composed of 104 columns of Corinthian style, 17 m high each. Today only 17 columns have survived.

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This impressive arch was built by Emperor Hadrian in 132 AD to mark the limit between Ancient Athens and his new city. It is located at the end of Amalias Avenue, right next to the temple of Olympian Zeus.

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The Roman Stadium stands next to the National Garden and Zappeion Megaron. It was originally constructed in the Roman times and it is entirely made of marble. Excavated in 1870, this stadium was renovated to host the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It is also known as Panathenaic or Kallimarmaro Stadium.

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The Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, the southernmost spot of Attica, was built in the 5th century B.C. and a part of it survives till today. This is one of the most famous ancient sites in Athens and gives an amazing view of the sea and the sunset.

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The Ancient Agora was the social and political center of ancient Athens. This is where the people of Athens used to meet to talk about social issues. The temple of Hephaestus is the most distinctive spot of Ancient Agora, which is located between Thissio and Monastiraki.

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Philopappos Hill is also called the Muses Hill. It is located between the Acropolis and Thissio and offers a great view of the town. The funeral monument of a Roman general is located there.

Location: Patission Ave
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The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest and most important museum in Greece, and its exhibits are between the finest collections of prehistoric items, sculptures, pottery, and minor art, bronzes and Egyptian art, everything followed by detailed explanations in English. It is located near Omonoia square.

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The Roman Agora lays between Monastiraki and Plaka. In this area, the Romans used to trade their goods, so it was used as a marketplace.

Location: Fix

The National Museum of Contemporary Arts has opened its gates in the renovated Fix Building in Kallirrois Avenue and welcomes loyal enthusiasts and new visitors alike to dive into the seductive world of contemporary art.

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Located right next to the Parliament, Syntagma Square, the National Garden is a lush area with trees, fountains and a small zoo. Although it is right in the heart of the town, this garden offers a nice spot to relax, away from the noise.

Location: Syntagma
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The Historical Museum is housed in a beautiful Neoclassical building that used to be the Parliament House till 1932. This is the oldest museum of its kind and houses collections that date from the 15th century until the Second World War. The museum is found along Stadiou Ave, 10 min walk from Syntagma.

Best villages

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Location: Between Syntagma and Monastiraki, metro station Monastiraki
Description: Plaka is the most picturesque quarter in the heart of Athens. Paved streets, Neoclassical houses and gift shops distinguish this relaxing neighbourhood.

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Location: Close to Monastiraki and the Acropolis, metro station Thissio
Description: Thissio is a lovely neighbourhood right in under the Acropolis. With many outdoor cafeterias, this is a favourite coffee spot for locals and visitors. Next to Thissio, there is the Ancient Agora.

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Location: In a walking distance from Syntagma and Omonoia, metro station Monastiraki
Description: Monastiraki is a picturesque neighbourhood in the heart of Athens. It is famous for its Neoclassical houses, the ancient sites and the open market with souvenirs and antique shops.

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Location: The centre of Athens, metro station Syntagma
Description: Syntagma, whose name means Constitution, is the central square of Athens. It distinguishes for the Parliament House and the beautiful Neoclassical buildings that surround it. Most sites are within a walking distance from Athens.

Best beaches

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Location: 23 km south of Athens
Description: The beach of Vouliagmeni is located south of Athens, on the way to Sounio. It is well organized and it gets very popular in summer.

Type: Sandy, Family Friendly, Organised

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Location: 27 km south of Athens
Description: Varkiza is a lovely seaside town in the south of Athens, on the way to Sounion. Its beach is sandy, well organized and very popular in summer.

Type: Sandy, Organised, Party

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