The ancient capital of Greece, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities with a history spanning for over 3,500 years. It developed as a landlocked city together with its port of Piraeus.
The Acropolis as seen from all over the City of Athens, Greece
The Cradle of Western Civilization
It is referred as the cradle of Western Civilization and a center of Arts and philosophy.
Today it is a cosmopolitan metropolis, the center of cultural, financial, economics, industrial and political life of Greece.
The city itself has a population of approximately 800,000, but the whole metropolitan area including the Port of Piraeus reaches more than 4 million inhabitants.
Here are the top tourist sites in Athens, the Capital of Greece:
The Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens Greece
As soon as you arrive in this capital you will see the amazing sight of the Athens Acropolis atop the hill. And once on the Acropolis, the view of Athens is awe inspiring.
At the Acropolis you may join a tour according to your language and experienced tour guides will guide you and explain the details about this millenary landmark.
You may also visit the new Acropolis Museum with an extended collection of millennium of Greek culture, starting with the Cyclades Islands civilization, the Minoans and Mycenaean, continuing until the present day.
Located 70 km out of Athens this is a peninsula is mostly visited on a half day tour, recommended on the afternoon in order to enjoy the sunset. Visit the other Acropolis in Cape Sounion as you enjoy a terrific sea view.
Take an easy way up to Lycabettus Hill to escape the heat and get a glimpse of the whole city of Athens from atop the hill.
The Port of Piraeus is the link of Greece to the world
A short drive from downtown Athens is the country’s main port. Walk around the narrow streets and sometime get a feeling of the Greek Islands and at the end of the day find a nice tavern in the area of Microlimano of “small port”.
In Piraeus you may visit the Piraeus Archaeological Museum or the equally amazing Nautical Museum.
This is National Academy of Greece honoring the tradition of knowledge, philosophy and study of the country, all in a Neo-Classical building dating to the 19th century.
Syntagma Square is the center of the Capital of Greece, Athens
This is Constitution Square or the center of town. It is surrounded by some of the most luxurious hotels in Athens, like the Grande Bretagne Hotel. It has restaurants, bars, stores and even Fast-food joints like Mc Donald’s
This important European Square has witnessed many political protests for over a century. From here you have a full view of the Greek Parliament.
Located behind the Greek Parliament this is an oasis inside a busy city. With many hectares of gardens sprinkled with ancient ruins at every turn.
This municipal museum features more than 2,500 works of art from 19th to 20th century Greek artists.
Plaka is a center of stores, bars and restaurants until late night in Athens
A short walk uphill from Syndagma you’ll reach Plaka neighborhood. It is actually a long street lined with bars restaurants and stores open till late hours. If you ask me this is the place to get a real taste of Athens. If you keep walking downhill you’ll reach the neighborhood of Monastiraki with cheap stores and food stands.
It was a place of assembly in ancient times. Today is a must place to visit while in Athens with many monuments dating back to the 6th century.
This is the best Greece has to offer in ancient relics, artifacts, monuments and documents spanning through centuries and territories as far as Turkey and Macedonia.
This municipal museum of the Capital of Greece, features more than 2,500 works of art from 19th to 20th century Greek artists.
Temple of Olympus Zeus in Athens, Greece
This larges of Greek Temples took 700 years to build. Still many of the Corinthian columns are there to be seen. Peisistratos began building the temple in the 6th century BC on the western bank of the Ilissos River, at the site of a smaller temple (590–560 BC) dedicated to the cult of Olympian Zeus.
This mansion dating to 1884 is the home of this museum exhibiting the Kanellopoulos family’s extensive collection, donated to the state in 1976.
The collection includes jewelry, clay and stone vases and figurines, weapons, Byzantine icons, bronzes and art objects dating from every period of Greek history.
For more information visit the Athens Tourist Office
Panathenaic Stadium Home of the Modern Olympic Games of 1896 and 2004
In 1896 the first modern Olympic Games were held in this stadium made of marble on the original site of the 4th century BC stadium. It was refurbished, first, for the 1896 Olympic Games and later for the 2004 ones.
I have been blessed by visiting Athens dozens of times during the days I used to take groups to Greece and the Greek Islands by the hundreds. I always felt at home and walked the streets like a Athenian.
This ancient theater dating to the 6th century and during the Golden years of Athens, hosted productions of works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes.
credits for images for capital of greece
athens by k beard
parthenon by tim bekaert
syntagma by barcex
piraeus by nikolaos diafidis
temple olympiam bu mywood
pnatenaic stadium by danbu 14
all courtesy of wikimedia commons
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