The Acropolis and the Parthenon
Even if you don’t care about archaeology, you can’t come to Athens and not visit the Acropolis and see the Parthenon.
Dont miss one of the wonders of the ancient world, the reason millions of people come to this city, the spectacular building that symbolizes some of the highest achievements of mankind. If you do nothing else on your visit to Athens, this is the one thing you should do.
The New Acropolis Museum is not on the Acropolis, but at its base on the southeast side. The Acropolis Museum, is an absolute must see. Inside the modern exterior visitors can discover the ancient aesthetic wisdom of the Acropolis and feel the atmosphere of ancient Athens.
The Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, the Archaic Gallery and the Parthenon Gallery display sculptures, inscriptions, finds from sanctuaries, as well as objects used in everyday life. Visitors can also watch conservators working, speak to an archeologist host and acquire small souvenirs from the museum shop. The restaurant on the second floor offers a breath taking view of the Acropolis.
It is a 45 minute walk from Syntagma but this is one of the great museums of the world, You won’t find a better collection of ancient Greek sculpture, jewelry, pottery, and the Antikythera Device, a 2000 year old computer found in the shipwreck off the island of Antikithera will have you wondering just how advanced those ancient Greeks actually were.
This green mountain rising out of the center of Athens hosts an amazing view of the city. The summit of Athens’ tallest hill is accessible by cable car or on foot. A small, beautiful church at the top provides sightseeing opportunities and great views.
If you’re walking up, rest and refresh at the halfway point, where a café boasts an eye-level view of the Acropolis. A restaurant at the top serves visitors who take the easy way up. Its the best place in Athens to see both sunset and moonrise. Also, an amphitheater where somebody can see many concerts and plays in the summer.
Also known as “Constitution Square”, this is the heart of Athens in many ways. It’s a large, open square which often hosts holiday events, it’s the location of several of Athens’ most renowned luxury hotels, it’s an intense public transportation hub, and it actually has the Parliament Building along one side of the square. Pedestrian-only Ermou Street leads off of it, providing access to some of Athens’ better upscale shopping.
The Plaka & other Neighborhoods
The Plaka is the area of winding streets around the Acropolis. It’s renowned for its small shops, restaurants, and some good examples of local domestic architecture. It’s touristy, but it’s still engaging. Walk through the oldest neighborhood in Athens is a must and one of the most pleasurable activities especially in the early evening. There are hundreds of shops from kitschy tourist to the workshops of some really great artisans.
There are several good restaurants , and some nice little ouzeries that are cozy when it is too cold to sit outside. There are ancient Greek and Roman ruins scattered around as well as some beautiful 19th century and older buildings and several Byzantine churches. Lets not forget Anafiotika, the neighborhood closest to the stone slope of the Acropolis where you can wander around and feel like you are on an island in the middle of the Aegean instead of an island in the middle of a modern city.
NIghtlife at its best. A modern take on Athens would not be complete without a visit to this district. The Gazi is the new cool place to be in Athens, full of restaurants, cafes, music, and art by the old city gas-works which has been turned into a museum-cultural center that may be unique in all of Europe.
Reserve one night to enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the many bars, clubs and restaurants that line the streets of this industrial district. Summer or winter, the venues in this area are always filled with patrons of all ages, mainstream or alternative. Popular streets include Voutadon and Triptolemou. But one step out of the Kerameikos metro station and you are in the center of all the action.
Cape Sounion is one of the most famous and picturesque places in Attica. The cape is located 69 km southeast of Athens at the southernmost point of Attica peninsula. The Temple of Poseidon, built on a site set back from the sheer cliffs and with its magnificent view of the Aegean Sea and islands, was ideally located for worship of the powerful god of the sea. In ancient times, mariners would see the brilliant white marble columns of the Temple of Poseidon and know they were close to home.
The Attica Zoological Park extends to a total area of 20 hectares, hosting more than 2000 animals from 350 different species.
It 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 3 very impressive walk-in aviaries – miniatures of the 3 continents – in which visitors can walk and admire the relevant bird fauna and flora.
The Port of Pireus
Pireaus, Greece. There is no better feeling than going to the harbor and getting on a ferry boat and sailing off to a Greek island.It feels like escaping as you sail out of the port and onto the Aegean sea and you gaze over the waves at the white sea of apartment buildings and look for those famous landmarks of the Acropolis, Lykabettus and Phillipapou or the mountains of Hymettos, Pendeli and Parnitha.