For some unknown reason I’ve always wanted to travel to Greece, particularly Athens. Perhaps it was my obsession with Disney’s film Hercules (my favourite!), my love of what I thought was traditional Greek food (which turns out to be an Aussie’s version, but still delicious) or that it seemed like one of the most fascinating places to visit historically, but I knew I had to visit Athens whilst in Europe in 2012.
Being the capital of Greece, there was always high expectations for my visit to Athens and I did not go disappointed with the many attractions to visit and beautiful scenery to embrace. If you’re planning to visit Athens, these are 7 places you must visit!:-
- Acropolis & Parthenon
This is a must do, not only for the history of this incredible icon, but the view of Athens from here is incredible! Walking up you see different elements of the incredible Greek history that took place here and the remains of the Parthenon itself is unbelievable. An Athens (or Greece for that matter) must do!
- Acropolis Museum
If you do my first tip, you should also do this! Located only 300 metres away on the south-east side of the Acropolis, the museum is filled with incredible artefacts, statues, artworks and so much more from this Ancient era and location. Entry is only €5 and the restaurant on the second floor offers great food with an amazing view of the Acropolis.
- Mount Lycabettus
At over 270 metres high (around 900 feet) Mount Lycabettus is the highest point in Athens. You can choose to hike up to the peak of the mountain or catch the Funicular Rail for €2 each way. There is a cafe, the Church of Saint George and an open-air theatre hosting many concerts and cinema showings at the top, but the trip is definitely worth the panoramic views of Athens
- Temple Of Olympian Zeus
Beginning construction in 515BC, this temple originally had 104 columns, however today only 15 remain standing, with the 16th column blown over in a windstorm in the 1800’s where it still lays now. Originally the statue of Zeus would have sat inside, however, the statue no longer remains. The Arch of Hadrian (Hadrian’s Gate) can also be found on this site, separating the old city and the new.
- Temple Of Poseidon
Also referred to as Cape Sounion, the Temple of Poseidon overlooks the Aegean Sea (which makes sense since Poseidon is renowned as the God of the Sea). Originally with 34 columns, 15 remain today with tourists visiting the temple during sunset for one of the most spectacular sunsets you can capture.
- Panathenaic Stadium
One of the oldest stadiums in the world and the only major stadium made from white marble, Panathenaic stadium hosted the 1st modern Olympic games in 1896. It since hosted events in the 2004 Olympic Games and for a mere €3 you can tour the stadium that began the Olympic tradition we are so passionate about today.
Being one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Athens, historically the ‘Neighbourhood of the Gods’ and in such close proximity to the Acropolis, Plaka is definitely worth checking out. Plaka features great shopping, markets and restaurants and is a popular location to stay whilst visiting Athens. I stayed in Plaka for 3 nights in 2012 at the Plaka Hotel and found it personally a very easy location to get to and from with ease, being close to many tourist attractions.
Athens is a fantastic city to visit year round and despite stereotypes, is quite safe and friendly. With its rich history being incorporated with modern society, Athens really is a city of the old and the new.
All posts are by GlobalWhispers2014 and are entirely my own opinions, views and experiences.