The 10 Best Things to See in Athens

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Athens: (Still) An Ancient City

Athens was a city that was on my bucket list for years. Even before my travel bug kicked in I wanted to see the ancient ruins in what was once the capital of Ancient Greece. So my cousin and I headed to Athens during the Euro Crisis, and even though there were protests and panic due to the deficit in money, the people were incredibly nice and helpful, the history was intriguing, and the food was amazing.

The Arch of Hadrian
10. Arch of Hadrian: this beautiful old arch is in between a lot of major sites, so it is worth the stop. It is remarkable how something that seems so small yet so big is still standing and has made it through so many years of history. 

9. Acropolis Museum: this museum houses many of the original statues at the Acropolis. While replicas are displayed today outside to give people an idea of what it used to look like, the originals are scattered all over the world, and many of them are present in the museum. 

The Erectheion
8. Odeon of Herodes Atticus: climbing up the Acropolis you come across a beautiful arena that gives you a great view of the city and is a delightful blend of nature and ancient ruins.

7. Temple of Athena Nike: this beautiful temple on the Acropolis is worth the quick stop on the way to the main sites. Its small size but sheer beauty is impressive on a mountain full of ancient ruins.

Temple of Hephaestus
6. Erechtheion: I remember in art class the guys snickered at the name, but really the outside of this ancient building reminds me of the sassy muses from the Disney movie Hercules and of course that captured my attention. This building with the beautiful women statues are just one of the many sites on the Acropolis. 

5. Temple of Olympian Zeus: this site is not in as good of shape as many other sites. The temple has fallen down and all that is left are a few pillars. But their size and their beauty give you an idea of what the temple used to look like. 

The Panathenaic Stadium
4. Panathenaic Stadium: this is where the first olympic games were held, so already there is a lot of history here. The stadium today has a small museum dedicated to the Olympic games and it also gives you a great view of the Acropolis

3. Temple of Hephaestus: this temple is largely left intact today and it's beautiful. Though a little further away from the main attractions of the city, it is located near a nice park and gives a great view of the Acropolis and the city. 

The Temple of Olympian Zeus
2. Parthenon: the main temple of the Acropolis is the Parthenon. It is what everyone pictures when they think of Athens. And with good reason. It is amazing to think that this building was built centuries ago on an incredibly steep mountain and is still there today!

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus
1. The Acropolis: this mountain full of ancient ruins gives some of the best views in the city. Not only are you greeted by ancient ruins, you can see all of Athens, old and modern, from the top. It is worth all the work to get up there!

The Parthenon

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16 comments:

  1. Ah Mimi, thank you for bringing back great memories of Athens for me. I was there just before the migrant crisis kicked off, and already I could see many signs of tension. Still, I enjoyed Athens immensely and did everything you did on your trip!

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    1. I was there around the same time, or at least before. But the people were incredibly accommodating to tourists.

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  2. There is soo much to see here! Soo much history and somewhere that is now on my bucketlist! Thank you for an amazing read! Great article.

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  3. I'm glad you said that the Parthenon is what everyone pictures when they think of Athens. Guilty! I actually haven't even heard of many of these other places. Good thing I'm planning on heading there soon to rectify that!

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    1. Well of course we picture it since you can pretty much see it from any point in the city!

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  4. I've read about Athens before but no one's ever mentioned the Panathenaic Stadium. I'll visit Athens this winter and will definitely visit and stand on the podium. I Like how there is a view of the Acropolis from there too, good to know the people are friendly there too.

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    1. If you're into the Olympics, it is a great place to visit!

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  5. Ahhhh. Every time I see a post on Greece, I feel so bad that I missed it, coz its tickets were sky rocketing when I visited Europe! I really hope I'll get another chance to visit Athens esp. Being an Art History major, a major section of my studies included everything in Athens!

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    1. Hopefully you will get to go soon! Maybe in the offseason when it is cheaper.

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  6. I have been to Athens this April and your post revived beautiful memories of Greek vaations. Too much historical and cultural place. I loved The Odeon of Herodes Atticus and The Parthenon. Nice Writeup.

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  7. I can't wait to see these glories of ancient Greece that only Athens can boast of. You are right naming A=the Acropolis #1 with the Parthenon right behind it. But the 8 others are as incredible!

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    1. Yes, there is so much in Athens it is hard to pick a favorite!

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  8. We visited Athens years ago and your photos bring back so many memories. It's such an interesting city with so many historic sites to see. Of course, the Parthenon is everyone's go-to but there's so much else!

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