When it comes to exploring Athens, Greece time is the biggest challenge to visit all there is to behold in this magnificent city.  Athens offers a wealth of sightseeing and cultural opportunities. The historic sites you can experience there are mind blowing in significance as well as age. When you visit this stunning city, you will walk the same land as Socrates, Plato, Aristophanes and Euripides.  Here are a few places that you must explore…

  1. Stand Before a Symbol of Western Civilization
  • Parthenon

Constructed in 447 BC, the Parthenon was built to honor the goddess Athena and is considered the greatest achievement of the Doric Order. Callicrates and Ictinus co-designed the imposing structure as a city treasury. Later, it was designated a church and still later, a mosque. Now, it reigns supreme as one of the defining sites in Athens.

  1. Achieve the Pinnacle of Travel Goals
  • Acropolis

The Parthenon is housed within Acropolis, the legendary ancient citadel that is stuff of travel dreams. Acropolis tops the bucket list of many travelers and for good reason. It soars above the city on a rocky outcrop and is also home to Propylea, the Erectheion and the Temple of Athena Nike.

  1. Experience One of the Best Museums in the World
  • National Archaeological Museum

If you want to visit a museum that blows all others away, the National Archaeological Museum is the place for you. Its phenomenal collection includes the Mask of Agamemnon, Bronze Age frescoes from the islands of Santorini and Thera, the Philosopher’s Head and the Jockey of Artemision.

  1. Take in the First Complete Ionic Order Temple on Acropolis
  • Temple of Athena Nike

A perfect example of tetrastyle Ionic style, the Temple of Athena Nike was designed with four elegantly narrow columns on its front and rear porticos. Callicrates was responsible for the conception of this temple, which was built in 420 BC.

  1. Visit the Center of Classical Athens
  • Ancient Agora of Athens

This sprawling site is home to the ruins of more than 30 buildings and monuments. It was once the vibrant center of Athens. It dates back to 6th century BC and was the site of ancient customs such as ostracism. In this practice, those residents perceived as threats to the state were forced into exile.

  1. Tour the Site of the 1896 Olympics
  • Panathenaic Stadium

It may be a reconstruction of the original, but the Panathenaic Stadium will still leave you awestruck by its sheer magnitude – and the fact that it is constructed entirely from marble. Both the original stadium built for the Panathenaic Games in 330 BC and the reconstruction built for the 1896 Olympics boast a U-shaped layout. The modern iteration can hold 45,000 spectators.

  1. Find Solace in a Garden Created for Royalty
  • National Garden

Offering respite from the towering ruins found throughout Greece is a garden that was originally created at the behest of Amalia of Oldenburg in the 1830s. The National Garden is replete with vegetation and offers pergolas and two ponds where ducks and turtles frolic. The children will also enjoy the small zoo that houses monkeys, peacocks, birds of prey and wolfs.

  1. Unwind in the Hub of Dining and Nightlife
  • Plaka

You will find some of the best dining and nightlife in town in the Plaka district – a winding warren of 19th century facades dressed up in lovely flowering bougainvillea in the summer months. This area has a distinctly European feel and is replete with family-run shops selling wares such as specialty food, handmade jewelry, musical instruments and ceramics. Here, your dining options range from walk-friendly food like gyros to fine sit-down dining establishments.

Athens holds many historic treasures for eager explorers. While the sheer magnitude of these wonders can seem overwhelming, our handy guide will help you choose your favorites.

Planning a travel incentive or corporate meeting in Athens? Contact Gavel International for more information about our programs.

Jim Bozzelli