6 Things to do in Athens

Acropolis, photo by Evan the Wise

Are you visiting Athens, Greece anytime soon? Don’t miss the following things to do in Athens.

Athens is the capital of Greece and it was also at the center of ancient Greek civilization. The city attracts lots of tourists from all over the world to see the iconic Greek landmarks located in the city. The city also has a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere and you will find ancient landmarks next to modern buildings. The city is a great spot to go for all kinds for travelers from history lovers to adventure seeker.

Top 6 Things to do in Athens:

Photo by Lee Weng

1. Go sightseeing at the Temple of Hephaestus

This temple can be found on top of 65m Agoraios Kolonos hill located on the northwestern part of the Agora of Athens. The Temple of Hephaestus is a Doric peripteral temple and it was constructed during the second half of the 5th century BC. The construction was delayed for three decades because the funds and labor were redirected to the building of Parthenon.

The temple was designed by Ictinus and it was dedicated to Athena and Hephaestus who was the ancient god of forges, fire, sculpture, metalworking, and stonemasonry. You are going to see six fluted columns on the west side and 13 columns on the north and south side. You are also going to see a wide range of sculpted elements such as Labor of Hercules on the metopes to the pronaos and opisthodomos which depicts Theseus with the Pallantides and the battle of Centaurs and Lapiths.

Athens Agora, photo by KirkandMimi

2. Visit the Museum of Cycladic Art

The 2nd thing to do in Athens is the museum of Cycladic Art which features over 3000 pieces of Cycladic, Cypriot, and ancient Greek art which dates back to 3000 to the 4th century BC. Most of the collections in the museum were collected by a couple of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. The highlight of the museum is the Cycladic marble figurines and it is a great place to go for art lovers. If you are a modern art lover, you are also going to find some similarities between abstract lines and works from the likes of Giacometti and Henry Moore.

3. Explore the Church of the Holy Apostles

This church can be found at the ancient Agora and it was also the only building that is not demolished when the buildings were demolished to excavate the archaeological site of Agora. The church was constructed during the 10th century and it is located above a sacred spring. You should make sure you do not miss the ashlar masonry and ornamental Kufic inscriptions at the exterior of the building. The church features Byzantine architecture and it has a dome that is supported on four columns. You will also be mesmerized by the interior of the dome that is decorated with original frescoes that depict Christs Pantocrator, archangels, John the Baptist, and the little cherubim. There are also lots of iconostasis from the 11th century that you can explore while in the church.

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Kapnikarea Church

4. Visit Panaghia Kapnikaréa Church

I couldn’t miss from the things to do in Athens this stunning place. The church is located on Ermou Street and it was saved from demolition during the 19th century by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The church is a mind-blowing example of 11th-century Byzantine era architecture. It features a domed cruciform and it was enhanced with stunning entrance portico with a narthex with four pediments during the 12th century. You will also be mesmerized by the 19th-century paintings which were created in the iconographic style of the Middle Byzantine period once you step foot in the church.

If you are looking for more things to do in Athens, check here

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5. Wander around Plaka

This neighborhood offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The district can be found on top of the ancient Athens residential quarters and it is surrounded by twisting alleys that you can explore. You are also going to find varieties of family-run shops where you can shop for items like musical instruments, ceramics, and handmade jewelry and specialty food shops. The Plaka district is a great destination for dining and nightlife if you are looking for a place to spend your night.

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National Garden, Athens

6. Go sightseeing at the National Garden

The garden is a top place to go if you are a nature lover and it is not far from Psiri and Plaka. The National Garden was formerly the Royal Garden and it opened to the south of the Old Royal Palace by Amalia of Oldenburg at the end of the 1830s. The garden shows the dynamism of Athens and it is a great place where you can idle away and you will find two ponds with turtles and ducks in the garden that your kids will love. The park also houses a small zoo where you will find animals like monkeys, peacocks, birds of prey, and wolves. There is also a botanical museum that you can visit.

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Travel safe!