Visit Athens. Athens was our first trip together, I was elated by the departure but hesitant about the destination. Athens was a wonderful city, the scene of the most beautiful mythological narratives, a protagonist, however, years later, of one of the ugliest economic crises ever.
But once in Athens I discovered its beauty.
Visit Athens: places not to be missed
Visit Athens: What to see?
The acropolis which originally indicated the highest part of the Greek city. It’s the largest architectural complex of ancient Greece, it’s a fortress, it stands at 156 meters above sea level. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, the Acropolis is what every tourist dreams and satisfies as soon as it arrives in Athens.
In the evening the city is more beautiful with lights, and the Acropolis offers a wonderful view.
Here we are at the end of the acropolis, in the large open square of the Agora, an area of about 12 hectares considered the heart of Athens, this was the nerve center for the political and social activity of Athens throughout antiquity.
Here the citizens were to discuss the future of the city, they built temples dedicated to the gods of Olympus and always the market took place, where people exchanged objects.
The Agora was the heart where the concept of democracy took hold and developed.
This is one of the most important monuments of ancient Greece. Built on the Acropolis between 447 and 438 BC, of a unique beauty, made of white marble, the Parthenon represents Greece in the common imagination.
- National Archaeological Museum
We are at the largest museum in Greece, one of the most important museums in the world. This museum contains historical finds of absolute importance, to name a few, the funeral mask of Agamemnon, the bronze of Poseidon and the head of Zeus.
An absolutely unmissable stop.
- Herod’s theater
Built by decision of Herod Atticus in memory of his wife Appia Annia Regilla, it was built as a sloping amphitheater, entirely in stone, and contained up to 5000 people. The theater was destroyed in 267 following the invasion of the Heruli.
In the 50s it was restored and since then the theater has always been one of the largest auditoriums of the Athenian Festival, which takes place every year from June to September. L’Odéon has seen guests such as Maria Callas, Maurice Béjart, Mikīs Theodōrakīs, Dionysis Savvopoulos and many other important artists.
- Panathinaiko Stadium
This stadium has a great history and a great importance. Built entirely in pantelic marble, in addition to being incredibly beautiful, it has a considerable historical importance. It was the scene of the Athens marathon, the Olympic torches, it hosted sports competitions predecessors of the modern Olympics.
Can be visited with the audio guide.
From the Panathinkaiko Stadium you will have a view of the Acropolis and the Lycabettus (of which I’ll speak shortly) that will give you a beautiful photo shoot.
- Syntagma square and change of guard
Old Athens is perceived by visiting the Acropolis, modern Athens will enter your heart in the very central Syntagma Square (trad. Constitution Square). In this square besides the Palace of the Parliament, you’ll find the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Right in front of this monument you’ll find the guards who constantly watch over it. Don’t miss the famous changing of the guard, very characteristic!
- Quarters the Plaka and Monastiraki
Tourists? Definitely their not lacking in the La Plaka district, one of the oldest and most characteristic of Athens! Bars, restaurants and shops support every street in this neighborhood where the city hosts nightlife.
Plaka, Monastiraki and Thisio are the neighborhoods of Athens most appreciated by tourists, while young people gather in Psiri and Gazi where nightlife is concentrated. Do not miss the two Byzantine churches of St. Nicholas Rangabas and St. Nicodemus, and not even the Museum of Greek folk art which will lead you to the discovery of traditional costumes, ceramics and other Greek period utensils. Very particular! Near the Plaka, we find the Monastiraki area and its famous flea market.
- After a walk in the scents and sounds of the most vivid Athens, always visit Monastiraki, the two cathedrals, the small Mikri Metropoli and the large Megali Metropoli – considered the true Cathedral of Athens.
Among the many beautiful things in Athens, I have to mention the hills that surround it and offer unique panoramic and city views. Among the six Aeropago, Filoppapo, Pnice, Muse, Nymphs and Lycabettus, I really want to talk about it. The Lycabettus is the highest peak in Athens, 272 meters above sea level. You can reach it either on foot or by the funicular that departs exactly from Kolonaki, an area that you’ll find a few steps away from Syntagma Square.
The Licabetto will leave you breathless in front of the panorama that will offer you, especially at sunset. Unmissable.
- Beaches and sea
Athens is ancient and modern, history and culture but it’s also sea. And I’m not talking about the magnificent Greek islands (which I will tell you about as promised in the next articles), but I’m talking about the beaches near Athens that will allow you to relax after so much walking.
Easily accessible by car (but also by public transport), I quote the closest and most popular, Nea Falirou.The beaches of Ellinikò and Glyfada are always near and comfortable. If you want to get away a bit then Varkiza and Sounio are white beaches with a wonderful crystal clear water.
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