Neoclassical Buildings Athens Zappeion
The internal courtyard of the Zappeion building in Athens. Photograph: Vagma/A.Maragos

Athens Attractions

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.

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