Places to visit in Athens
The capital of Greece Athens certainly is an eye delight for visitors and the city boasts some of the very best attractions within the whole of Greece. Like all major European cities, Athens has a tour bus for tourist to visit all attractions so when you first arrive in Athens, join a bus tour of the city. A guided bus tours operate in Athens, with A/C and English speaking guides on board the bus and time is allowed for walking around at some of the stops, to take in the beautiful surroundings.
Athens Acropolis, “Acropolis means on the top edge”, remains as one of world’s greatest landmarks, was one of candidates for the modern wonders of the world. Moreover Acropolis and Parthenon are the two most remarkable landmarks of the classical Greek antiquity. Acropolis was build more than 2,500 years ago and it was dedicated to Athena daughter of Zeus and city’s patron. Acropolis is a large complex of temples, the most notably is Parthenon.
The Parthenon, being the largest Doric temple in Greece, reveals an outstanding variety of classical sculptures. Acropolis currently displays enormous derelict marble blocks, scattered amongst a seemingly lunar landscape. A dignified reminder of stunning religious life, the “Sacred Rock” of Athens remains among the world's most photographed and awe-inspiring monuments. In the 5th Century BC, the “Golden Century of Athens”, Pericles, along with two local sculptors, Pheidias and Kalikratis, transformed Acropolis into a glorious monument.
Apart from the Parthenon, other structures here include the Temple of Athena Nike, known for its Ionic capitals, the Erechtheion, visited because of the porch of the Karyatids, the Propylaea gate and the Acropolis Museum.
Those with a dedicated interest in the rich Olympic heritage of Athens should pay a visit to the colossal Panathenaic Stadium, which remains in a remarkable state of repair and is actually the only stadium on the planet to be built solely with white marble.
The Panathenaic (Panathinaiko) Stadium is situated at the base of Ardittos Hill, in Pangrati. This popular attraction actually hosted the very first modern day Olympic games of 1896, and the current stadium was constructed on the site of the original stadium, which was built almost 2,300 years ago. Panathenaic Stadium is used for many large events in the city and has a maximum capacity of some 80,000 people. The stadium can be easily reached by bus.
The Attica Zoological Park
The Attica Zoological Park opened in May 2000, initially as a Bird Park, hosting the 3rd largest bird collection in the world (1100 birds from 300 different species), farm animals for the younger visitors and three very impressive walk-in aviaries with birds from the three continents of Asia, Africa and America.
In April 2001, Park opened a new section, the “World of Reptiles” with Pythons, Boas, Crocodiles and other reptiles and in July 2002 the “Greek Fauna” section was inaugurated with Wolves, Brown Bears, Foxes, Wild Cats, Lynxes etc.
In February 2003 was added a major extension, the “African Savannah” (Giraffes, Zebra, Antelopes etc) as well as Lamas, Jaguars, Snow Leopards, the very rare White Lions and other beautiful mammals.
Since the year 2003 the city of Athens has a new exhibition CENTRE. A modern exhibition CENTRE with an impressive architectural style that offers all the conveniences and services that modern exhibitions require.
Right from the beginning, EXPO ATHENS was designed in every detail exclusively for exhibition purposes. It is located at a central junction, more specifically on Attiki Odos Ave. which is the main Athens ring road. The spacious parking lot of 50,000 square meters and the easy access make it the ideal destination for all the visitors of exhibitions and events held there.
EXPO ATHENS is the first, large and modern exhibition CENTRE of Athens. The exhibition facilities occupy 32,500 square meters in two different levels that have been separated into five functional and modern halls. The communication between the two levels and among the halls is achieved easily and comfortably by lifts and stairs.
The imposing reception area of EXPO ATHENS provides easy access to all the halls, which are situated around it like satellites. The central hall has spacious and functional reception areas and it includes numerous services for the visitor.
The National Art Gallery and Alexander Soutzos Museum (Ethniki Pinakothiki (Greek: Εθνική Πινακοθήκη)) is an art museum in Athens devoted to Greek and European art from the 14th century to the 20th century. It is directed by Marina Lambraki-Plaka.
It was established in 1878 as a small collection of 117 works exhibited at the Athens University. In 1896, Alexandros Soutzos, a jurist and art lover, bequeathed his collection and estate to the Greek Government aspiring to the creation of an art museum. The museum opened in 1900 and the first curator was the famous Greek painter Georgios Jakobides from Munich. After World War II the works began for a new building. After relocating the sculptures in the new National Glyptotheque, there is a discussion to renovate the main building and to build a new wing.
The gallery exhibitions are mainly focused on post-Byzantine Greek Art. The gallery owns and exhibits also an extensive collection of European artists. Particularly valuable, is the collection of paintings from the Renaissance.
The Ancient Agora of Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located in Athens, Greece.
The agora in Athens had private housing, until it was reorganized by Peisistratus in the 6th century BC. Although he may have lived on the agora himself, he removed the other houses, closed wells, and made it the centre of Athenian government. He also built a drainage system, fountains and a temple to the Olympian gods. Cimon later improved the agora by constructing new buildings and planting trees. In the 5th century BC there were temples constructed to Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo.
The Areopagus and the assembly of all citizens met elsewhere in Athens, but some public meetings, such as those to discuss ostracism, were held in the agora. Beginning in the period of the radical democracy (after 509 BC), the Boule, or city council, the Prytaneis, or presidents of the council, and the Archons, or magistrates, all met in the agora. The law courts were located there, and any citizen who happened to be in the agora when a case was being heard, could be forced to serve as a juror; the Scythian archers, a kind of mercenary police force, often wandered the agora specifically looking for jurors.
The agora in Athens again became a residential area during Roman and Byzantine times.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum (Greek: Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο) in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the great museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide. It is situated in the Exarhia area in central Athens between Epirus Street, Bouboulinas Street and Tositsas Street while its entrance is on the Patission Street adjacent to the historical building of the Athens Polytechnic.
The museum is easily accessible with the Athens metro. It is five minute walk from Viktoria station and a ten minute walk from Omonoia station. Access is free for children up to 6 year old and students. The museum houses a large recently renovated gift shop with artifact replicas and a popular cafe for tourists in the sculpture garden. The museum is fully wheelchair accessible. There are also facilities and guides for hearing impaired visitors.
Mount Lycabettus (In Greek: Lykavittos, Λυκαβηττός) is a Cretaceous limestone hill in Athens, Greece. At 277 meters (908 feet) above sea level, the hill (also known as Lycabettos or Lykabettos) is the highest point in the city that surrounds it. Pine trees cover its base, and at its peak are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant.
The hill is a popular tourist destination and can be ascended by the Lycabettus Funicular, a funicular railway which climbs the hill from a lower terminus at Kolonaki. (The railway station can be found at Aristippou street). Lycabettus appears in various legends. Popular stories suggest it was once the refuge of wolves, possibly the origin of its name (which means "the one (the hill) that is walked by wolves"). Mythologically, Lycabettus is credited to Athena, who created it when she dropped a mountain she had been carrying from Pallene for the construction of the Acropolis after the box holding Erichthonius was opened.
The hill also has a large open-air theater at the top, which has housed many Greek and International concerts.
Technopolis (Gazi) is an industrial museum and a major cultural venue of the City of Athens, Greece, in the neighborhood of Gazi, next to Keramikos and very close to the Acropolis. It is dedicated to the memory of the great Greek composer Manos Hatzidakis, which is why it is also known as "Gazi Technopolis Manos Hatzidakis".
It is in operation since 1999 and is situated in the city's former gasworks that was founded in 1857, occupying an area of about 30.000 m2. Numerous exhibitions, seminars, music concerts and other cultural activities take place in the grounds. Eight of the buildings of the compound bear the names of famous Greek poets: Andreas Embirikos, Angelos Sikelianos, Yannis Ritsos, Kostis Palamas, Takis Papatsonis, Constantine Cavafis and Kostas Varnalis. On the second floor of the Angelos Sikelianos building is a museum dedicated to the renowned opera singer Maria Callas.
Athens Greece has such a wide variety of things to do that it almost is no idea to write it all down. For example, you have all the sights and the museums, concert halls and theatres. Then, there are many cinemas, a great nightlife with plate smashing at Bouzoukia, bazaars, fashion shops and super modern shopping malls. Go up to the Lycavitos hill and get a wonderful view. You can go to Athens Riviera from Paleon Faliro up to Alimos, Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza for some sun and sea. You can visit as well the National gardens that are located next to the Parliament at Syntagma square there you can take photographs with Tsoliades which are the guards of the Parliament wearing traditional customs. Tourist with children will favour the family friendly attractions at the Attica Zoological Park, which is to be found within the neighbouring suburb of Spata.