Athens, the capital of Greece is on the bucket-list of a lot of people that plan to visit Europe. During our Europe trip we visited Athens for a couple of days and we decided to create a list of five things you must do during your stay in this ancient city. Before you continue reading this list, you might want to watch this one minute Athens video to get you excited.
Acropolis of Athens
Acropolis of Athens is a 156 metre high mountain in the middel of the city. On top of this mountain you will find the Parthenon, which is considered the most perfect building build at that time. Since its completion in 438 BC Parthenon has withstand many battles, unfortunately much of the building is either missing or damaged.
On top of Acropolis you will also find the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. Each building is unique and impressive in its own way.
You have to pay an entrance fee to climb the mountain. There are different types of tickets available. Some of these tickets include entrance to other sights in Athens aswel.
Mouseion Hill is a another mountain in the city. On top of this mountain you will find a small monument called Philopappos Monument. This monument is dedicated to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos, a prince who died in the year 116.
The small monument is nice to see, but the main reason to come here is to enjoy the 360 degree view of the city. You can see the Acropolis of Athens from above and even spot the ocean. There are very little people on top of the Mouseion Hill, which makes the climb well worth the effort.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Temple of Olympian Zeus is an ancient Greek temple dedicated to the god Zeus. It is now completely destroyed, but it is impressive to imagine how it must have been. It is estimated that the build of the temple was completed by 457 BC. The temple once had 104 colossal columns, but now only 16 remain. One of these columns is lying on the ground. There is a €2,- entrance fee.
Monastiraki Flea Market & Central Market
The Monastiraki Flea Market is a great place to wonder around after your visit to some of the above temples. Enjoying the colourful and busy vibe and browsing through the vendors selling jewellery, handicrafts and souvenirs is a great way to spend a couple of hours of your day.
If you have some time left and you would like to shop like the locals do, head over to the Central Market where they mainly sell meat, fruit, nuts and spices.
Changing of the Guard
Every Sunday at 11am you can see a Changing the Guard ceremony in front of the parlement building. Guards change every 3 hours, but 11am on Sunday is the official ceremony. The ceremony is carried out in really slow motion.
If you are there anyway, don’t forget to check out the National Garden, which is located right behind the Parlement Building. Although this public park of 15.5 hectares is located in the centre of Athens, it is very quiet and a great place to escape from the hussel and the buzz of the city.
Try Greek Food
Even though the titel of this article is called “top 5 attractions in Athens”, we can’t end this list without mentioning the Greek style food. The best way to experience how to locals eat is to hop in one of the smaller and cheaper restaurants away from the tourist attractions. Here you can buy some delicious Greek salad, Souvlaki or Gyros for very little money. Greece also has some of the best olives in the world.