Athens is a city standing with ancient pride. The world would be not as civilized as it now if Athens doesn’t exist in the history. This is the city that produced so many great thinkers and innovators that no other cities did. It is a sprawling metropolis surrounded by magnificent mountains. It has lively cafes, stylish restaurants, artsy-industrial neighborhoods and everything that a tourist can love about a city. So, there are so many things to do in Athens.
It has landmarks that are as old as history can go. It has first-rate museums and is also one of the oldest cities that’s history is vastly known to us. But that’s not all you will get from this city. To select a list of top 10 things to do in Athens is tough as you have to eliminate some of the important iconic monuments and ancient landmarks. Here is our list of top 10 things to do in Athens.
10 Things to do in Athens:
Let’s find, what to see in Athens?
10. National Garden, Athens
National Garden in the heart of Athens is the best place to escape the hustle bustle of the city. Nothing can be more delightful than taking an afternoon trip in this lushly green oasis. It is without any question one of the top things to do in Athens. Established in 1923, this 15.5 hectares green, peaceful place has provided visitors tranquility and serenity.
You can call it a little paradise in the middle of concrete with a vibrant plant life and gorgeous green canopy of trees. One of the best things to do in Athens should be come here and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of nature. The statues around the garden add the beauty. It is a tour of refreshment and one of the best places to visit in Athens.
9. New Acropolis Museum
New Acropolis Museum has great importance as it is solely focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The first museum on Acropolis was built in 1874. But as many new artifacts were uncovered from successive excavations on the Acropolis, the old museum was out of capacity. The New Acropolis Museum was founded in 2003.
To know the history of Athens, visiting New Acropolis Museum is one of the best things to do in Athens. The collections of the museums are situated on three different levels. Here you can see a vast collection of Greek architecture and ancient sculptures. The notable collections are statues of the goddess Athena and “Kritios Boy“. The visitors who loves archeology, visiting here is one of the best thing to do in Athens for them.
Also Read: World’s top 10 most visited museums
8. Mount Lycabettus
Mount Lycabettus will offer you a panoramic view of the ancient city of Athens. Nothing could be more thrilling than this and it is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Athens. Hiking on Mount Lycabettus is an amazing experience. Visitors can also choose the funicular railway. Lycabettus means “path of the wolves“. Legend has that it was once the refuge of wolves. The wolves are long gone but the charming forests are still here.
One of the best things to do in Athens is coming Mount Lycabettus in the evening. The whole area seems to be magical to you. It will be romantic and hypnotic. Nothing could compare to the view of the Attica basin and the Aegean Sea. It is one of the major Athens tourists’ attractions.
Also Read: Top 10 ancient roman monuments in Europe
7. National Archaeological Museum, Athens
National Archaeological Museum, the largest museum in Greece is devoted to ancient Greek art. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Athens for the people who love art and possess a keen interest to the history of ancient Greek. It has enormous collections of Greek arts from the prehistoric to the golden time of Greece.
The visitors will get a better idea how the Greek civilization had been evolved. As you know Greeks were the master of artworks, it would be excellent things to evaluate the aesthetic beauty and innovative genius of the Greek artists at that period. There are no places to visit in Athens better than this museum to know the ancient Greeks. It should always be in the list of what to see in Athens.
6. Syntagma Square
Syntagma Square lies in the heart of Athens and one of the major Athens tourist attractions. It is an importance place for Athens political activities. From a historical and social point of view, Syntagma Square has a great significance. It was known as the Palace Square as it was built at the foot of the Royal Palace.
The square was renamed Syntagma Square in 1843 when King Otto was forced to grant the first Constitution of Greece after military uprising took place. Visiting it is one of the top things to do in Athens. Nearly every political protest and political movement is taken place in Syntagma Square. The main attraction at Syntagma Square is the House of Parliament. It was built as a royal palace in 1842. It is one of the best things to see in Athens.
Also Read: Top 10 most famous city squares in the world
5. Temple of Olympian Zeus
In 6th century BC, the Athenian tyrants envisioned building the greatest temple in the ancient world and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. But the construction of the largest ancient Greek monument didn’t complete until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. It took almost seven centuries to build this giant temple.
No wonder why it is the list of one of the best things to do in Athens. Unfortunately the temple didn’t enjoy a long time glory and this one of the Athens tourist attractions was plundered by a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD. It was not repaired and closed forever in 425 by the Christian emperor Theodosius II who was not favor to Greek’s pagan religion. It should always be on the list of what to see in Athens.
Dedicated to the Greek god Poseidon and goddess Athena, Erechtheum is a spectacular temple in Athens. Constructed between 421 and 406 BCE, the temple shows the golden time of Greece. It is built from marble from Mount Pentelikon. It is one of the golden pieces of Greek architecture and one of the best places to visit in Athens. It probably got its name from a shrine dedicated to the legendary Greek hero Erichthonius. Other suggests it might have been built in honor of the Erechtheus, a legendary king mentioned in Homer’s Iliad.
The temple possesses some of the most ancient and holy relics of the Athenians. These are the Palladio of Athena Polias, the marks of Poseidon’s triden and the salt water well. Visiting this museum is one of the top things to do in Athens.
Also Read: Top 10 oldest temples in the world
3. Ancient Agora
Situated to the northwest of the Acropolis, the Agora was the heart of ancient Athens. It was the center of political, commercial, administrative and social activity of ancient times. It was the place where democracy was practiced in Athens. The history of Agora is very archaic. It was used as a residential and burial area in Late Neolithic period. It had become a public area in the 6th century, in the time of Solon.
Visiting Agora is one of the best things to do in Athens and it will give you a contemporary idea of ancient Greece. It got its present rectangular form in in the 2nd century B.C. After the Slavic invasion in A.D. 580, the place lost its importance gradually and not came into focus until the birth of modern independent Greece in 1834. It should always be in the list of what to do in Athens.
Visiting Plaka is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Athens. It is the old historical neighborhood of Athens located under the slopes of the Acropolis. Everything in Plaka is charismatic. It is filled with neoclassical mansions and houses with roofs from red tiles. It is so beautiful and peaceful that you fall in love and incorporate it with your sweetest dream. No wonder why it is called the neighborhood of the Gods in Greek literature.
This place looks like a colorful picture of a painter. It represents the authentic Greek culture with several cafes, ancient trees, green leaf canopies and stone walkways. Roaming around the village of Plaka is one of the best things to do in Athens.
1. Parthenon, Acropolis
Without any question, the Parthenon on the Acropolis is one of the top things to do in Athens. Dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Pantheon is a priceless landmark and most valued treasure to the Greece. It is the symbol and pride of Athens. It was built in the time of Pericles, the ruler of Athens in its golden time. Its architectural design is not only unique but also very influential to the later architectures.
The temple was exceptional as its main purpose was not prayer. Instead it was used as a treasury. It was converted to a church during Christian invasion and a mosque in Muslin invasion. It is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in Athens.