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Things to see in Athens

Tourist Offices

Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO)

Address: , Dionysiou Areopagitou 18-20, Athens,
Telephone: +30 21 0331 0392.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0900-2000, Sat 1000-1600.

Website: http://www.visitgreece.gr

With a wealth of leaflets and plenty of local knowledge, the GNTO office can help you book everything from excursions to hotel rooms.

Tourist passes

A block ticket for the Archaeological Sites of Athens can be bought at any of the participating sites. The ticket is valid for four days and includes entry to the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus, the Agora, Kerameikós, the Roman Forum and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Attractions

Akrópoli (Acropolis)

The show-stopping Acropolis (upper city) dominates both the city's skyline and any tourist's itinerary. Athens’ original settlement was founded on this rocky outcrop and it has seen modifications through the millennia. The site includes four sacred buildings, all from the Golden Age of Pericles (461-429BCE). The steep ascent to the summit leads to the Propylaea, a monumental entrance to the site in Ionic and Doric styles. The Temple of Athena Nike is to the left of the Propylaea; the original was demolished in 480 BCE by the Persians and a new temple was built over the remains. It was damaged again by Turkish forces in the 17th century but was beautifully restored after the independence of Greece in 1834. The Parthenon is the largest building on the Acropolis and an icon of Western civilisation. Built entirely from marble, it was intended as a sanctuary for the goddess Athena and housed a massive statue of her, long since lost to history. Despite the tourists, the perfect harmony of the structure is still awe-inspiring. The Erechtheion temple is a dual shrine to Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus and was built on the site of the mythical battle between the two deities. The south side features a series of six support columns designed as maidens or caryatids.

Address: Makrygianni , Acropolis Hill, Athens, 105 58
Telephone: +30 21 0321 4172.
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1700 as of 01 November 2018.

Website: http://odysseus.culture.gr/index_en.html
Admission Fees:

Yes. Free admission on 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri), 18 April (International Monuments Day), 18 May (International Museums Day), The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), 28 October and every first Sunday from 01 November to 31 March.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Ancient Agora of Athens

Now a jumble of monuments and ruins, in Athens' heyday, the Agora was the focus of city life, serving as a place of trade and as the city's political, administrative and cultural heart. Law courts, temples and public offices were all based in this area, where ordinary Athenians, stallholders and merchants mingled with officials, politicians and philosophers. Today, the site is dominated by the 5th-century BCE Hephaisteion (Temple of Haephaistos), one of Greece’s best-preserved ancient temples. The fascinating Museum of the Ancient Agora) contains an eccentric array of everyday artefacts found in the area. It is housed in the second-century BCE Stoa Attalou (Stoa of Attalos), which is thought to have been an early shopping arcade containing 42 separate shops.

Address: Monastiraki, Adrianou 24, Athens, 105 55
Telephone: +30 21 0324 5220
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1700 as of 01 November 2018.

Website: http://odysseus.culture.gr/index_en.html
Admission Fees:

Yes. Free admission on 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri), 18 April (International Monuments Day), 18 May (International Museums Day), The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), 28 October and every first Sunday from 01 November to 31 March.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Ethnikó Archaiologikó Mouseío (National Archaeological Museum)

Housed in a late 19th-century building, the vast Archaeological Museum is undoubtedly the best museum in the country with one of the finest collections of ancient and classical Greek artefacts in the world. Fascinating pieces include the Mycenaean Art Collection, featuring hordes of finely crafted gold work dating from between the 16th and 11th centuries BCE, and the Bronze Collection, including an imposing statue of Poseidon or Zeus (no one is sure which) from 460BCE.

Address: , 28is Oktovriou 44, Athens, 106 82
Telephone: +30 21 3214 4800.
Opening times:

From 01 Nov to 06 Jan: Mon 1300-2000 and Tue-Sun 0900-1600; from 07 Jan to 28 Feb: Mon 1300-2000 and Tue-Sun 0900-1600; from 1 Mar to 31 Mar: Tue 1300-2000 and Wed-Mon 0830-1600; from 01 Apr to 31 Oct: Tue 1300-2000 and Wed-Mon 0830-2000

Website: http://www.namuseum.gr
Admission Fees:

€10 until 15 November 2018

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Néo Mouseío Akrópolis (New Acropolis Museum)

This impressive ultra-modern glass-and-concrete structure showcases priceless ancient statues and artefacts from the Acropolis site. The star exhibit is the marble frieze that once ran around the top of the Parthenon – although almost half the pieces are in London. Greeks hope it will persuade the British Museum in London to return those pieces - the controversial Parthenon Marbles, seized by Lord Elgin in 1799.

Address: , Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athens, 117 42
Telephone: +30 21 0900 0900.
Opening times:

Mon 0800-1600, Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 0800-2000, Fri 0800-2200 (Apr-Oct); Mon-Thu 0900-1700, Fri 0900-2200, Sat-Sun 0900-2000 (Nov-Mar).

Website: http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Olympieion (Temple of Olympian Zeus)

Dedicated to Zeus, this was one of largest temples in the ancient world. Building work began in 6th century BCE, but was only completed around 640 years later in 2nd century CE under the Roman Emperor Hadrian. An earthquake damaged it during the medieval period, and much of the stone was subsequently carried away for use on other buildings. Today, 16 of the original 104 marble columns survive.

Address: , , Athens, 105 57
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 0800-2000.

Website: http://odysseus.culture.gr/index_en.html
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Mouseío Benaki (Benaki Museum)

The museum houses the vast private collection of Antonis Benakis, the son of a wealthy Greek from Alexandria, Egypt. Displayed in a neo-classical mansion, the collection traces the development of Greek art, from the Stone Age up to the 20th century, with jewellery, ceramics, paintings, sculptures, furniture and costumes laid out diachronically. Highlights include the Thessaly Treasure (a stash of second century BCE gold jewellery) and two of El Greco’s early religious-themed oil paintings.

Address: , Vasilissis Sofias and Koumpari 1, Athens, 106 74
Telephone: +30 210 367 1000.
Opening times:

Wed & Fri 1000-1800, Thu & Sat 1000-0000, Sun 1000-1600.

Website: http://www.benaki.gr
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Mouseío Kykladikís Téchnis (Museum of Cycladic Art)

The museum houses the spectacular private collection of Nicholas P Goulandris. Beautiful exhibits from the Cycladic civilisation (3,000-2,000BCE) form the focus of the collection. They include marble female figurines, thought to have been fertility symbols, which were inspirations for artists like Picasso and Modigliani, and decorated clay vases, placed in graves as votive offerings. Other artefacts span the pre-Minoan Bronze Age and the post-Mycenaen age up to 700BCE.

Address: , Neophytou Douka 4, Athens, 106 74
Telephone: +30 210 722 8321-3
Opening times:

Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat 1000-1700, Thu 1000-2000, Sun 1100-1700.

Website: https://cycladic.gr/en
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Panathinaiko Stádio (Panathenaic Stadium)

This elegant white marble stadium was rebuilt for the first of the modern-day Olympic Games in 1896. It is a reconstruction of the ruins of a 6th-century BCE stadium that originally stood on the same site, and which was also used by the Romans. It should not be confused with the modern Olympic Stadium in the north of the city at Maroussi that formed the centre stage of the 2004 Olympics, though it was used for archery and the finish line of the Marathon.

Address: , Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue, Athens, 116 35
Telephone: +30 21 0752 2984-6
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1900 (Mar-Oct); daily 0800-1700 (Nov-Feb).

Website: http://www.panathenaicstadium.gr
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Théatro Dionysou (Theatre of Dionysus)

On the southern slopes of the Acropolis Hill, the Theatre of Dionysus was home to the original performances of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripedes and the comedies of Aristophanes. This stone auditorium, from the 4th century BCE, held 17,000 spectators and the ruins remain one of the most atmospheric of Athens' ancient sites.

Address: , Mitseon 25, Athens, 117 42
Telephone: +30 21 0322 4625.
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1700 as of 01 November 2018

Website: http://odysseus.culture.gr/index_en.html
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Byzantine and Christian Museum

Housed in a delightful neoclassical villa, this modern museum exhibition space chronologically traces the development of Byzantium up until the empire’s fall in 1453. Besides boasting one of the richest collections of religious icons in the world, it exhibits mosaics, frescoes, sculptural works and jewellery from Greece and other regions of the former Byzantine Empire.

Address: , Leoforos Vasilissis Sofias 22, Athens, 106 75
Telephone: +30 213 213 9572
Opening times:

Mon 1200-2000, Tue-Sun 0800-2000.

Website: http://www.byzantinemuseum.gr/en
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Hilton Hotel

The refurbished Hilton Hotel is modern, smart and popular with business travellers. It has 517 rooms (guest rooms, accessible rooms, executive rooms and suites) all with wooden floors, minimalist furniture and balconies. A small supplement is payable for rooms with Acropolis views. The impressive facilities include four restaurants, three bars, an outdoor pool, a luxurious spa with an indoor pool, plus a business centre.

Electra Palace

In Plaka, the Electra Palace’s yellow neo-classical facade opens into a spacious marble lobby. The 122 rooms and suites all have wooden floors, Persian rugs, thick curtains and cotton duvets – the best ones offer a glimpse of the Acropolis. Up top, there’s a rooftop pool with wooden deck and sun beds, plus a small spa (pool, sauna, massage and gym) in the basement.

Hotel Hermes

Perfectly located between Syntagma and Plaka, Hermes is noted for its extremely friendly and helpful staff. The 45 rooms all have wooden floors and white marble bathrooms, and some but not all have balconies. A plentiful buffet breakfast is served daily and the lounge does all-day free tea and coffee. Wi-Fi throughout. Syntagma Metro station is a 2 minute walk away.

Hera Hotel

Smack at the foot of the Acropolis and around the corner from the New Acropolis Museum, this classic hotel with a neoclassical façade is perfectly located for sightseeing. The rooms and suites are elegantly furnished, and the rooftop garden and restaurant gives unparalleled Acropolis views.

New Hotel

Fun and a little offbeat, this hotel is the artistic creation of Brazilian designers Humberto and Fernando Campana. The 79 rooms and suites have recycled furniture, bamboo wood floors, and slick bathrooms stocked with Kiehl's products. The all-day bar-restaurant does an excellent breakfast and the New Sense spa offers health and beauty treatments.

Hotel Grande Bretagne

The Hotel Grande Bretagne is the city's oldest and most prestigious hotel, having opened in 1874 and hosted royalty, heads of state, film stars and rock gods. As you’d expect, the sophisticated rooms feature antiques and marble bathrooms, and suites include 24-hour butler service; there are 3 restaurants, one on the rooftop with an Acropolis view, plus a rooftop pool.