An Evzone standing guard outside the Presidential Palace. Photograph: Why Athens | Evzones Uniform - costume of an elite Greek Soldier
It was in the 5th Century BC when Athens had its renaissance; a time when arts, science and philosophy prospered. Athens has a recorded history spanning 3,400 years and has been inhabited since the 11th Millennium BC. With ruins and archaeological sites dating back thousands of years, the crown jewel of Athens has always been the rock that towers proudly above the city. Once you climb to the top, you will see what all the fuss is about. Its temples are the most influential buildings in Western architecture.
Beyond the Acropolis, other Athens attractions include the Agora which was once the heart and soul of the city for 1,200 years. It was the centre for all civic activities and where Socrates once addressed his public. Above all, it was where democracy was born and reigned. Here you can get up close to the ruins whilst you wonder around the grounds and get a sense of what life was like thousands of years ago.
Getting around Athens tourist attractions
Entrance fees to sites and attractions in Athens are very low, particularly in comparison to other tourist attractions around Europe, despite several price hikes over the years. The historical centre of the city was converted into a three kilometre pedestrian zone in time for the 2004 Olympic games, making it extremely easy to access the major archaeological sites by foot. If you’re keen to cover the walk in one day, you should start at the temple of Olympian Zeus and head to Hadrian’s Arch. From here you can walk along Dionyssiou Areopagitou Street, where you will pass by the ancient open Theatre of Dionyssos, where the ancient plays of Sophocles and Euripides were originally performed. Another impressive theatre nearby is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Today, it is the official and modern day venue of the Athens Festival held in the summer months. From here, you’re set to climb the sacred rock of the Acropolis which does require some effort, so be sure you are well hydrated.
Evzones uniform, the costume of an elite Greek soldier
The Greek Presidential Guard or Evzones are a group of elite Greek soldiers who are trained to perform various ceremonial duties. They stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Presidential Palace and also raise and lower the flag at the Acropolis every Sunday. The Evzones uniform is handmade with intricate detail, taking many months to complete…
Greek Parliament from the inside
Officially known as Hellenic Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon, it’s a new privilege touring inside the Greek parliament building with an English speaking guide. Public guided tours in English are set to continue every year in June, July and September. The Greek parliament building, which overlooks Syntagma Square, is a reminder of where the modern…
8 things you didn’t know about the Acropolis
The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous and influential landmarks in history. The naturally fortified site houses the greatest architectural influence of modern civilisation and symbolises the birthplace of democracy. Whilst there is evidence that the Acropolis was inhabited as far back as 3,500BC, it was Pericles, the democratic leader of Athens in…
Best places to photograph the Acropolis
The Acropolis in Athens is one of the most photographed and recognised landmarks in the world. The temples on the sacred rock are considered the most important monuments in Western civilisation and have influenced architecture more than anything else since. We’ve put together a selection of our favourite vantage points to photograph from on your next trip to…
As you would expect, the Acropolis has the final word of what to see in Athens. The temples on the sacred rock are considered the most important monuments in Western civilisation and have influenced architecture more than anything else since. It is a mesmerising view, once you catch your breath after the long walk up and…
Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion
A good excuse to leave the city would be to go and chase the beautiful sunset at the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. At the end of the Sounion peninsula, the southernmost point of Attica, the Temple of Poseidon lies within a fort that protects the coast of Attica. Made entirely of white marble, it…
The Panathenaic Stadium
The spectacular Panathenaic stadium was where the first modern Olympic games were held in 1896 and is the only stadium in the world built entirely out of marble. In the recent 2004 Athens Olympic games, the venue was used to host the archery competition and was also the finishing line for the Marathon. It can…