Athens… The capital of Greece is also the biggest city of Greece. When we were going to Santorini, we’ve decided that we want to visit a second place in Greece too. As it would’ve been way too stressful to visit a second island, we were coming up with the idea to go to Athens for 2 days.
I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Athens, but on the other hand also quite a few negative ones, so I was really excited how I’d like the city.
Sightseeing in Athens
Athens is well known for its historical greek and roman buildings, therefore we really wanted to visit those historical sites. Additionally there are so many bars and restaurants on those tiny roads, a huge shopping district and a few view points on the hills.
Tip: If you feel like visiting some of the historical sites, there is a combined ticket for the price of 35 Euros. You will be able to visit 8 different sights with it. If you’re visiting at least 4 of the 8 (including the Acropolis), it’s worth buying this ticket.
Acropolis of Athens
Although I was enjoying the Acropolis in Lindos on the island Rhodos more, it was worth visiting the acropolis in Athens too. It was built 400 bc as a city wall for the antique greece. It’s fascinating to see what they have already been able to build at that time.
Tip: From 9.30 am it’s going to be really crowded, because all the passengers from the cruise ships are going to visit the place too. Make sure to get there when it’s opening – at around 8 am.
Mars Hill & Areopagus Hill
The best and easiest accessible views on the city are probably from the Mars Hill and Aeropagus Hill. Mars Hill is right next to the acropolis and you can easily see the old town of Athens.
From Areopagus Hill, which is right next to the Observatory of Athens, the view on the Acropolis and the inner city is fantastic.
Monastiraki und Plaka
The Plaka is an area in the old town of the inner city and it’s the most touristy area you might find. It’s worth seeing for its cute streets and all the bustle and hustle. There are good and mostly overpriced restaurants and bars, souvenir shops and other stores. The Monastiraki place is a very busy square where you can get an incredible view on the old town and the acropolis in the back, if you’re visiting one of the rooftop bars.
Athens is a huge city and we were finding out about that when we were visiting Lykavittos Hill. Getting up there might be more challenging, but you’ll have a 360° view on the whole area.
Olympieion & Arch of Hadrian
The Olympieion was the biggest temple in the old greece. When you’re standing right in front of it, you’ll see why. Originally it was built by 104 18m high columns, where only 15 survived until now. The Arch of Adrian is marking off the entrance to the Olympieion.
Greek & Roman Agora
The greek agora has been used as a meeting place and was located in the middle of the city and the center of life. Now everything is decayed, but you can still see the structure of the buildings. The Hephaistos temple is still in a pretty good condition and the Stoa of Attalos has been rebuilt and is now used as a museum.
The roman agora was meeting place and center of the city in the time of roman domination. The tower of the winds is one of the best preserved antique buildings in Athens. Most of the other buildings have been destroyed already. The roman agora is included in the combined ticket, so it’s worth going there.
Another antique building in Athens is the Library of Hadrian. Name says everything – it has been used as a library. Hadrian was a roman emperor and he donated the library and also the arch to Athens. The library is in a pretty good condition, so it’s pretty interesting to see.
The first olympic games of the modern times have been fought in the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens. That’s the reason you should at least walk by – because to be honest, there’s not too much to see other than an old stadium.
University of Athens
The university building and all the other buildings in this area are really beautiful. We’ve seen it on our way back to the hotel.