Panathenaic Stadium Athens Panorama
The sheer scale of the Panathenaic Stadium makes it visible from many points throughout Athens. Photograph: Why Athens

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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    The Panathenaic Stadium

    The spectacular Panathenaic Stadium remains one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and is a shining beacon of modern Athens. Following several transformations over its long history, it eventually became the home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and remains the only stadium in the world built entirely out of marble. The…

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    Getting to the ancient theatre of Epidaurus from Athens

    Visiting the Epidaurus theatre is an absolute highlight and particularly when there is a performance scheduled. There are daily buses that can take you direct or via the pretty town of Nafplion. Buses depart from the bus depot located in Kifissos. Special bus timetables operate to co-ordinate with theatre performances.

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    What to do in Athens this August

    As with many European capitals, Athens slows down in August as locals flee the city for their summer holidays. The good news for travellers is you can still discover the city and its sites, with less traffic and crowds. We’ve put together a snapshot of what to do in Athens in August, should you be…

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  • odeon Herodes Atticus Why Athens

    Odeon of Herodes Atticus

    One of the legendary sites that sits beneath the slopes of the Acropolis on the southwest side, is the stunning open-air theatre, Odeon of Herodes Atticus. When Pausanias, the Greek traveller and geographer from the second century AD, visited Athens during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, he described the Odeon theatre as “the finest building…

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    The Ancient Agora

    The open plateau of the Ancient Agora provided a place for the citizens of ancient Athens to meet, bond and deliberate on the issues of the day, hence the use of the word “agora”, that derives from the verb “αγείρω” which means to congregate. This ancient city with its court of law, gymnasium, temples and…

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    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…

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