You’ll certainly need a map to get around in Athens: every inch of the place is a tourist attraction. The city is a vast, living museum in its own right! And if you’re a culture vulture, you’ll find everything your heart desires in the Greek capital – with archaeological sites, buildings and views that are enough to take your breath away. So take a l ook for yourself…
Start: The Acropolis
In a city offering quite so many sights as Athens, you do need to get a bit of perspective. So what could be a better way to do so than climbing the city’s most famous landmark? That’s right – t he Acropolis !
Standing on top of the Acropolis hill, you get a great view out across the magnificent city at your feet , and it makes a great way to start out on a day-long ramble through the city. And if you’re not that climb hasn’t already taken your breath away, then you can be sure the view of the ancient sites up on top of the Acropolis will do: here, you really could be wandering the ancient world. The whole place has something magical about it. And right at the top is one of the most important structures on the Acropolis: the Parthenon , the temple of the city’s goddess, Pallas Athena Parthenos. It’s one of the world’s best-known buildings – and almost 2,500 years old .
If you still haven’t had enough yet, the Acropolis has plenty more to offer: it makes a great starting-out point exploring the most important archaeological sites and attractions in Athens, like the Olympieion (the Temple of Olympian Zeus, about 500 metres east of Acropolis), Kerameikos cemetery (north-west of the Acropolis), the Pnyx, with its speaker’s platform (once a gathering place for the population, west of the Acropolis) and the Dionysos theatre (on the southern face of the Acropolis).
Half-time: the old city
You’ll find one of Athens’ oldest and most charming districts at the foot of the Acropolis – Plaka . Located just between Akropolis and Monastiraki underground stations, Plaka is the perfect place to take a breather for a few minutes, before getting moving again and exploring the area’s enchanting alleyways. The Ancient Greeks used to describe this district as the ‘neighbourhood of the Gods’ in their literature, and not without good reason. With its narrow alleys, flower-covered balconies, small cafés, tavernas and souvenir shops, it’s by far the most picturesque part of Athens.
One highlight of the city – not just for tourists, but also for locals – is Monastiraki flea market , held in the old city every Sunday . If you’re a collector, you’ll find everything your heart desires here – with objets d’art and antiquities especially sought-after! Tip: get over to the market early – it’s absolute chaos after midday or so. And don’t forget to haggle! 😉
Finish: the best view in the city
If you’ve still got the strength in you at the end of such a long day, then keep going for a few minutes more and you’ll be well rewarded. Head over to Lycabettus, the highest point anywhere in Athens , for a view that will take your breath away. It’s especially beautiful up here in the evening, when you’ll see thousands of lights sparkling up at you, and the ancient buildings look even more magnificent than before. At 277 metres high , Lycabettus offers the perfect perspective on all the most important attractions in the city. And there really are so many, that Athens can truly be described as a vast, living museum – a tourist attraction in its own right. 😉
Experience Athens – now!
A city to take your breath away: look for the right flight to Athens right now! 😉