9 Top-rated Attractions In The City Of Athens
If you ever visit the city of Athens, you absolutely need to visit these top-rated attractions. Athens is one of Europe’s most visited destinations, packed with attractions and top-rated landmarks. With the renowned Parthenon towering above the old part of the city, Athens is a metropolis combining rich cultural heritage and modern urban life. To discover the many gems and top-rated attractions that make the city of Athens one of the most desirable vacation destinations and enjoy some of the many fun and exciting things to do here, you need to experience the city in an alternative way and immerse yourself in the wonders that this amazing city has to offer.
The Acropolis of Athens and the iconic Parthenon: the greatest ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Athena city’s patron goddess. Unique marble monuments of the fifth century BC consist the imposing complex of the Acropolis Rock reflecting the power and wealth of the golden age of Perikles when Athens was the superpower of the ancient world.
Anafiotika: Under the rock of Acropolis the traditional settlement of Anafiotika, holds the memories of the creation of the modern times Hellenic state. Workers from Cyclades islands responded to young King Oto’s invitation to come and build the new capital of modern Greece at the beginning of the 19th century AD. At the foot of the rock of Acropolis masons from Anafi -a small Cycladic island – feeling homesick built their own houses and created a small neighborhood similar to their island.. With narrow lanes and small houses in blue and white, one can find an island village in the heart of Athens!
Monastiraki: the hustling and bustling area of Monastiraki, located in the heart of Athens reflects the pace of modern urban life and the contradictory personality of the city of Athens with a Mosque, an Orthodox church and the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Library all close to one another revealing the true identity of the city that counts all these centuries of history and culture! A flea market dominates the square of Monastiraki on Sundays while in the area around a bunch of restaurants and taverns offer Greek Souvlaki and other local delicacies.
Temple of Olympian Zeus: the amazing temple that was built to honor Olympian Zeus the King of Gods. Built in the 6th century BC, it was one of the largest temples of antiquity with 104 amazingly tall columns each over 17 meters long. Today only 15 of these columns still stand revealing this great monument’s glorious history, and earning it a place among the top-rated attractions in the city of Athens.
Arch of Hadrian: Hadrian’s Gate was built in 130 AD to mark the occasion of the Roman Emperor’s arrival to the city of Athens when under Roman occupation and part of the Roman Empire. This monumental gate which resembles a Roman triumphal arch lies between the Rock of Acropolis and the temple of Olympian Zeus. There are two inscriptions carved on the arch, the one on the side towards to Acropolis reads: “This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus” while the other one facing the temple of Olympian Zeus reads: “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus”.
National Gardens in Athens: Sighted in the center of Athens between the Syntagma Square and the Panathenaic Stadium, the Old Royal Gardens are a touch of paradise in the heart of the busy city. Created under the supervision of Queen Amalia wife of the first King of modern Greece Otto, these Botanical gardens cover a space of over 160.000 meters filled with trees and flowers from all over the world as the designer of the gardens, Friedrich Schimdt traveled around the globe in search of the most unique and exotic plants that would adorn the Royal Gardens. Nowadays the National Gardens offer a super amazing atmosphere with a large duck pond, water birds and even a small zoo with rare animals! This picturesque green oasis is perfect for kids as it is packed with experiential things to do and learn like Treasure Hunt Games in the park!!
Plaka: The neighborhood of Gods . Under the shadow of the Acropolis Rock lies the oldest neighborhood of Athens, Plaka. Originally this neighborhood was developed around the ancient Agora and has continuously been inhabited since the days of Ancient Greece. In a maze of narrow lanes and cobbled streets the visitor can admire neoclassical buildings, Byzantine churches and taste the local dishes in numerous cafes and taverns. The best way to see Plaka is to wander in its narrow lanes and unfold the mysteries and history of this magical place through an experience walk that will stay in your memories for a lifetime!
Monument of Lysicrates: This stunning monument sits amidst an excavated site in Plaka, under the Acropolis cliff. It was built by the sponsor (choregos) Lysicrates to celebrate the award of the first prize that one of the performances he had sponsored received in 335/334 BC in the drama festival at the nearby Theatre of Dionysus. The small cafés around the site offer a feeling of nostalgia. Lord Byron the famous British poet and great philhellene wrote part of Childe Harolde here. The design of this unique monument has been replicated in gardens in the UK, US, and elsewhere. People of Plaka refer to the site as the ‘lantern of Dimosthenes’, as the orator is said to have prepared his speeches here.