YOUR GUIDE TO DISCOVER ATHENS
We visit Athens, city of Goddess Athena as travelers, not as tourists
Best of Athens sites & museums. Athens is an open Museum... Visit the other side of Athens!
The history of Athens begins more then 3000 years ago when during the prehistoric times its first inhabitants created their first settlement on the rock of Acropolis. It took hundreds of years until the sacred rock of Acropolis find its glory during the golden age of Pericles 495 - 429 BC with the construction of most of its Monuments like the Parthenon by the famous architects Iktinos and Kallikrates and the Sculptor Phidias.
Athens is a place of great cultural interest, as well as a vivid and modern city. The harmonious and perfectly balanced combination between the old and the new age make this city unique. Both sides of Athens are extremely appealing to tourists. There are many interesting museums to visit and various cultural activities to attend , that cater for all tastes.
ATHENS BEST HOT SPOTS
THE GREEK PARLIAMENT. The plain, neoclassical building which is the Parliament of the Greeks today, was built between 1834-1838 as the palace of the first kings. In front is the monument of the Unknown Soldier, with the two guards, called "Evzoni", who are the presidential guards (changing of the guards every two hours). Every Sunday there is a parade and a band playing the National Anthem at 10:45 a.m.
SYNTAGMA SQUARE. Here beats the heart of the modern city. The Parliament at the east of the square reminds us the deviation of its name. In 1843, the Greeks, received their first constitution from King Otho, after numerous and persistent demonstrations.
NATIONAL GARDEN. The green lung in the center of the city. Beautiful and rare flowers, trees and bushes as well as little ponds decorate the garden, which is open all day long.
PANEPISTIMIOU STREET El. Venizelou street, which is known as Panepistimiou street, is one of the central roads of Athens. Beautiful neoclassical buildings decorate it: "Iliou Melathron", meaning the palace of Troy. This was the house of Erik Schliemann. "The Academy", the highest spiritual institution of the country. "The University", "the National Library" with thousands of manuscripts and books, "the Bank of Greece" etc. These buildings are typical copies of ancient Greek architecture and will help you to imagine how Athens looked 2500 years ago.
MONASTIRAKI. This was the center of the Turkish town during the Ottoman Empire, with the bazaar and the shops as well as the main mosques and administrative buildings. Monastiraki counts as the most visited area of Athens, for both Greeks and tourists it is one of the most picturesque areas of Athens, neighboring and connected to Plaka it is the easiest way to go up to the Acropolis ,to visit the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora ,the Attalos stoa and the temple of Hephaestus. Now it is a popular commercial district incorporating the Athens flea market. Start from Syntagma Square. Go west down Odos Ermou, a busy shopping street lined with boutiques selling feminine apparel, dress materials and ready - to - wear clothes, furs and shoes, leather goods and jewelry. Some columns from the Adrian's library are in site, a mosque which has been turned into a library and a beautiful small church (Kapnikarea built on 11 C) are some of the interesting monuments of this place.
PLAKA. Come to the heart of the city, to the neighborhood of the Olympic Gods, come to Plaka. 5' walk from Syntagma. At the foot of the Acropolis, there spreads out, the most alive part of the city, an open exhibition of the history of Athens and a panorama of people, monuments and tastes too. Narrow small roads, numerous taverns, restaurants, coffee shops, small picturesque squares and beautiful interesting corners. Walk through it- get to know it - feel it. Being in Plaka, you cannot but come upon some monument, witness of the past. You cannot but have at every corner an opportunity to do your shopping, to buy something for the ones you love and care about. Plaka is a place of contrasts. It can be vivid and tranquiller, it can be crowded and quiet, noisy and calm. It all depends on the place you pick to enjoy a cold glass of beer or iced coffee. After dark Plaka comes alive. The taverns with their cavernous rooms decorated with barrels and their trellis covered terraces are illuminated with multicolored lights: savoring Greek cuisine with glasses of retsina, listening to the bouzouki music and the latest singers and dancing to the modern sirtaki.
ATHINAS STREET. A central road of Athens connecting Omonia square with Monastiraki. It is here that one can feel the oriental character of the city. The main market ( Meat & Fish Market ) of the city, the little shops, with their peculiar merchandise make this busy, noisy street very attractive.
Athens Ancient Agora. The Agora of Classical Athens is the best known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill.
The Roman Agora in Athens is located to the north of the Acropolis and to the east of the Ancient Agora. The original Agora was encroached upon and obstructed by a series of Roman buildings, beginning with the imperial family's gift to the Athenians of a large odeion (concert hall). The Odeon of Agrippa was built by him in around 15 BC. Hadrian's Library was created by Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 132 on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens
Mount Lycabettus, is a hill in Athens, at 300 meters (910 feet) above sea level. Pine trees cover its base, and at its two peaks are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theater, and a restaurant.
The hill is a tourist destination and can be ascended by a funicular railway which climbs the hill from a lower terminus at Kolonaki (The railway station can be found at Aristippou street). Lycabettus appears in various legends. Popular stories suggest it was once the refuge of wolves, (lycos in Greek), which is possibly the origin of its name Mythological, Lycabettus is credited to Athena, who created it when she dropped a limestone mountain she had been carrying from the Pallene peninsula for the construction of the Acropolis.
The Prehistoric Collection, which includes works of the great civilizations that developed in the Aegean from the sixth millennium BC to 1050 BC (Neolithic, Cycladic, Mycenaean), and finds from the prehistoric settlement at Thera.
The Sculptures Collection, which shows the development of ancient Greek sculpture from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC with unique masterpieces.
The Vase and Minor Objects Collection, which contains representative works of ancient Greek pottery from the eleventh century BC to the Roman period and includes the Stathatos Collection, a corpus of minor objects of all periods.
The Metallurgy Collection, with many fundamental statues, figurines and minor objects.
And, finally, the only Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection in Greece, with works dating from the pre-dynastic period (5000 BC) to the Roman conquest.
NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM.
The National Archaeological Museum is one of the largest in Greece and one of most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. The neoclassical Museum building was founded in 1866 on a plot donated by Eleni Tositsa and was brought to completion in 1889 under the supervision of the German architect Ernst Ziller. It was constructed to house unique works of art from Greek antiquity, and its galleries are a panorama of the long evolution of ancient Greek art from the prehistoric period to Late Roman antiquity.
The Panathenaic Stadium also known as Kallimarmaro Καλλιμάρμαρο,( translation "beautiful marble") is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of the main attractions of Athens, It is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.
A stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) c. 330 BC, primarily for the Panathenaic Games. It was rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, by 144 AD and had a capacity of 50,000 seats. After the rise of Christianity in the 4th century it was largely abandoned. The stadium was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 contested sports. It was used for various purposes in the 20th century and was once again used as an Olympic venue in 2004. It is the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon. It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place
The Arch of Hadrian most commonly known in Greek as Hadrian's Gate (Πύλη του Αδριανού Pyli tou Adrianou), is a monumental gateway resembling – in some respects – a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece, to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It has been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the adventus (arrival) of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his many benefactions to the city, on the occasion of the dedication of the nearby temple complex in 131 or 132 AD
The Temple of Olympian Zeus , also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a monument of Greece and a former colossal temple at the center of the Greek capital Athens. It was dedicated to Olympian Zeus, a name originating from his position as head of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world,
but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman period the temple -that included 104 colossal columns- was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.
We visit Athens and View the Historical City from all angles
Every Sunday there is a parade of the Presidential Guards / Evzones and a band playing the National Anthem at 10:45 a.m. in front the Tomb of Unknown Soldier below the Greek Parliament. Athens private tour gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city.
This is unquestionably the most chic commercial street of Athens, especially since it became a pedestrian precinct that shows off its elegant facade. Without doubt, hearing the word "shopping" is one of the first associations that the Athenian women have with this street. Starting as a pedestrian precinct at Syntagma Square, it continues as a roadway to Monastiraki