flight greece
monastiraki square

monastiraki square

To visit Athens is to discover the roots of Western civilization, for it is here that the concepts of democracy, drama, philosophy and scientific investigation were born. In Athens the modern and the ancient stand side-by-side – pizza parlous nudge 2,000-year-old  temples and cocktail bars complete with traditional cafes.

1.   Places of interest: Athens’ historic sites are mainly located in the centre of the city. The Acropolis and Parthenon dominate the skyline; the Theatres of Dionysus and Herodes Atticus have found new purpose as venues of the Athens Festival; the National Archaelogical Museum displays a comprehensive collection of antiquities.
Acropolis
Start your walk on the large pedestrian street of Dionyssiou Areopagitou, on your rigth, one of the world’s most recognizable monuments and the city’s symbol: the Parthenon temple, dominating the abrupt hill of the Acropolis. Built in the 5th century, it was the largest Doric temple ever constructed in Greece. Its resplendent white marble gleams in the midday sun, gradually taking on a honey coloured hue as the sun sinks low on the horizon, while at night the temple’s imposing image is visible throughout the city, brilliantly illuminated.Metro station “Acropolis”

On the Parthenon’s Western side stands the Erechtheion, immediately recognizable with its much-photographed Caryatids, the statues of six maidens replacing the columns. The new Acropolis Museum, at the foot of the hill houses the huge collection of sculptures and reliefs from the site.
Opening hours: Apr-Nov 08:00-19:30, Dec-Mar 08:30-15:00

Herod Atticus Odeon

Herod Atticus Odeon

Herod Atticus Odeon
The impressively well preserved theatre dominates the Acropolis’ western slope. Still used today as a theatre and concert venue, the Odeon holds 5,000 spectators. It is famed for its outstanding acoustic, as well as its monumental but appealing architecture.
Entrance from Dionyssiou Aeropagitou Stree

The theatre of Dionysus
The importance of theatre in the Athenian city-state is readily apparent in the enormous dimensions of the Theatre of Dionysus, on the south eastern slope of the Acropolis. Here, plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes were staged during the Great Dionysia Festival. The theatre was magnificently reconstructed in stone and marble between 342 and 326 BC. The auditorium could seat 17,000; of an original 64 tiers of seats, about 20 tiers survive. Exquisite 2nd century reliefs at the rear of the stage depict the exploits of Dionysus.
Entrance from Dionyssiou Aeropagitou Street

On the edge of historic Athens, gaze at the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the largest such structure in Greece. Its construction begun in the 6th century BC, but was abandoned due to lack of funds. Its completion took more than 700 years. Hadrian’s Arch, made of Pentelic marble, was erected in honour of the eponymous Roman emperor in AD 132.
Walk past the towering columns, relax on the ancient bed of the river Ilissos (a stream still runs next to the site), discover the spring of Kallirroi and find refuge in the lush shade of sycamore trees near the picturesque church of Aghia Fotini.

Kerameikos Cemetery
An oasis of calm, greenery and water within the busy center of Athens. Admire the burial monuments half covered by vegetation, the Pompeion, where preparations for the great Panathenaic procession were made, and sit next to the bed of the ancient river Heridanus, still flowing there.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 08:30-15:00

Panathinaiko Stadium

Panathinaiko Stadium

Panathinaiko Stadium – Kallimarmaron
A marble structure originally built in 330 BC to celebrate the Great Panathea festivals. Rebuilt in 1870, it was the site of the first modern Olympics, in 1896
National Archaeological  Museum
One of the world’s seminal archaeological, the Athens Archaeological Museum’s construction was completed in 1889. The collections showcase aspects and exhibits of all the cultures that flourished in Greece, from prehistorical times, to the end of the Roman era.
Opening hours: Tu-Su 08:00-19:30, Mo 12:30-19:00(summer), Mo 13:00-19:30, Th 09:00-19:30, Tu-Su 08:30-14:45 (winter).

2.    For the family: Attica Zoological Park; Allou Fun Park; The Children’s Museum; The «Archelon» Society’s Centre for the Protection of the Sea Turtles.

Temple of Zeus Athens

Temple of Zeus Athens

3.    Best buys: Kolonaki for designer boutiques, Ermou Street offers one of the biggest shopping pedestrian areas off Syntagma Square; Mitropoleos Street for the Greek Handicrafts Organisation selling pottery, onyx, leather goods and hand – woven carpets; Plaka for handicrafts, antiques, souvenirs, clothes and jewellery.

4.    Out and about: Plaka for tavernas and cafes; Kiffisia, Glyfada and Vouliagmeni for elegant restaurants; the coast road in southern Athens for discotheques and nightclubs with Greek music; bars in Kolonaki and Exarchion Square, behind the Hilton Hotel, in the Thission area and the suburbs.

5.    Sporting attractions: You can enjoy a number of activities such as water sports, swimming, sailing and surfing on the beach which is approximately 30 km away from Athens centre.

Categories: City break, Featured

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