Attractions in Atens
Many attractions & Must See in Atens
When it comes to Athens attractions, there are a lot of great sights to choose from here in the Greek capital. Historic sites top the list, with only Rome capable of rivalling the city for the significance of its many ancient ruins. But there are also plenty of other things to see here, from fantastic art galleries to wonderful open spaces.
Acropolis, Top of Dionyssiou Areopagitou, Athens 10558; +30 01-321-4172; www.newacropolismuseum.gr
As one of the most famous images of ancient Greece, these majestic ruins are one of the top Athens attractions that every visitor will want to see. Designed in the 5th Century BC, the temple honors the Greek goddess Athena, patron saint of the city. The building’s name, loosely translated, means “place of the young maiden”. Despite the passage of milennia, you can see how the site has survived remarkably well, and while you’re up high atop Acropolis hill you will also get the best possible view of the city and the temples below. The sculptures that once graced the site are now on display in the nearby New Acropolis Museum, which is serviced by the Athens Metro.
The National Archaeological Museum
44 Patission Street, Athens 10682; +30 210
821 7717; www.culture.gr
This enormous museum is one of the best of its kind in the whole world. First built in the late 19th Century to house the finds of excavations in Athens, it now houses more than 20,000 exhibits from all over the country that provide a complete panorama of civilization in Greece from the very beginning. The displays at this Athens attraction include many artifacts, sculptures, vases and other historic objects from the sixth millennium BC all the way up to the Roman era. Look out for the great collection of Egyptian artifacts also housed here. Tickets €7, with concessions for seniors and students, plus children get in free. Open daily 8am – 8pm in summer, with limited opening hours on Mondays.
National Art Gallery
50 Vasileos Konstantinou, Athens 115 28; +30 210 7235857; www.nationalgallery.gr
Greece’s National Art Gallery houses a fantastic collection of classic Greek artworks, spanning from the post-Byzantine period up to the 20th Century. Its exhibits also include a collection of Western Art from the 14th to 19th centuries, including many Italian masterpieces. This Athens attraction is open daily except Tuesdays, with entry costing €6.50 or €3 for concessions. If you have more time to see art during your Athens travel, there are a number of other great art museums around the Greek capital, such as the Benaki Museum, the Goulandris Foundation Museum Of Cycladic Art and the Byzantine Museum.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympieion)
Vassilissis Olgas Street, Athens 105 57;+30 2109226330; http://odysseus.culture.gr
Measuring more than 100 meters long and 43 meters wide, this colossal temple was one of the largest in the entire ancient world. Construction began on this Athens attraction as long ago as the 6th Century BC, but it was not completed until Emperor Hadrian’s era 700 years later. Once containing enormous statues of Zeus and Hadrian, today one tenth of the original 104 17-meter Pentelic marble columns remain standing as a testament to the scale of this “mother of all temples”. The site is beautifully lit by floodlights in the evenings. Open daily except Mondays, with slightly shorter opening hours in winter. Admission €2.
The National Gardens
1 Amalia Avenue, Athens 10557; +30 2107215019
This beautiful Athens attraction boasts 15.5 hectares of magnificent greenery. Originally the garden for the Royal Palace, it has since been given to the city of Athens and made public. There are loads of great places to enjoy a picnic either on the grass or at one of many benches dotted around the park. You can also enjoy several cafes on site plus a number playgrounds and a small zoo. Conveniently located behind the parliament building, the park is open from sunrise to just before sunset daily, with free admission.