Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Here, literally every stone breathes with a history of many thousands of years, so it’s unlikely to see the most interesting things in Athens in 1 day. Nevertheless, if your time is limited, but you still want to see Athens on your own, we will try to give some recommendations on where to go first.
The sights of Athens are located very compactly, but if you don’t really want to beat your feet once again, it makes sense to buy a ticket for a tourist bus with an audio guide. A bus ticket will cost only 20 euros, while you can ride it for 24 hours, leaving only at the stops you need. Buy a ticket here. Below is a map of the movement of the tourist bus Hop-On, Hop-Off with all possible stops.
You can also always order an individual excursion. Our familiar guide Kostas will create for you the most rich program that allows you to see all the most interesting in Athens in 1 day. A detailed post about the guide with contact details can be found here.
Morning in Athens
If you arrive early in the city, start exploring Athens on your own best at central square of the city – Syntagme, which in translation into Russian is also called the Constitution area.
The main decoration of the square is the palace of the Greek Parliament. At its foot in the middle of the XX century. a memorial of military glory was unveiled with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the guard of the President, dressed in national costumes, carries the 24-hour guard.
Every hour another “flock” of tourists gathers at the square to look at the ceremony of the solemn changing of the guard. It is unlikely that somewhere else you will be able to see something similar. Make sure you take the time to see it.
Every hour a solemn changing of the guard takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
From Syntagma it makes sense to climb to the main attraction of the city – Athenian acropolis. This can be done both on foot and on a tourist bus. If you go on foot, consider a dilapidated landmark. Temple of Olympian Zeus. It was built in the VI-II centuries. before
Temple of Olympic Zeus in Athens – the largest temple of Greece
By the way, if you walk from the Temple of Olympian Zeus a little along Vasilissis Olgas Street, you can be right next to another Athens sights – stadium Panathinaikos. The stadium is interesting due to the fact that the first Olympic Games of modernity were held here in 1896, and it is also unique in that it is the only stadium in the world completely made of marble. Its name is translated as “beautiful marble”.
Marble Stadium Panathinaikos – the discoverer of the modern Olympic Games
In the meantime, we will return to the arch of Hadrian. From it, the large Dionysiou Areopagitou street leads up, straight to the entrance to the Acropolis. If you visit Athens in the summer, the best time to visit the Acropolis is in the morning, when the streets are not so hot. The entrance to the Acropolis is open daily from 8:00 to 18:30. We have already written a separate article about the main attraction of Athens, let’s say only about the buildings that can be seen here:
- Propylaea – the main entrance to the Acropolis;
- the temple of the wingless goddess Nike;
- The Parthenon is the main building, the temple of the heavenly patron of the city – the goddess Athena;
- The Erechtheion, decorated with a portico with caryatids, was built in honor of King Erechtheus, who also recalls the dispute between the gods Athena and Poseidon for the right to rule over the city;
- below you can see the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, where musical and theatrical performances take place to this day;
- the ruins of the temple of Asclepius, the god of medicine;
- the ruins of the theater of Dionysus and other sights.
In addition, from the top of the Acropolis hill offers a stunning view of the entire city.
Day in Athens
The traditional Greek siesta, when in the hot hours the doors of almost all public institutions close, fortunately did not touch the Athens museums. Therefore, you can wait out the midday heat and join the beautiful in one of them.
An indelible impression on those who arrived in Athens on their own will make a visit National Archaeological Museum, which is considered the largest museum in the country. It is a little far from the main attractions, so you can get there by subway, or on the same tourist bus.
The permanent exhibition of the National Archaeological Museum has more than 20 thousand exhibits.
Another whole string of interesting museums, including Benaki Museum, Byzantine Museum and Museum of Cycladic Art they are located directly behind the Parliament building on Vasilissis Sofias Boulevard, where the Hop-On, Hop-Off tourist bus also “walks”.
Those who are not very interested in the topic of museums can also be directed towards the Parliamentary Palace, because right behind it is the richest district of Athens, where local politicians, ambassadors, movie stars and show business live. Here are expensive boutiques and restaurants. For those who are looking for something cheaper here, behind the palace you can relax from the midday heat in the shady National Garden or go shopping in Monastiraki area, where there is a large souvenir market.
Plaka, despite its modern appearance, is the oldest district of Athens.
On the way, if you only come to Athens for 1 day, be sure to check out Plaka district. This is the oldest district of Athens, located between the Acropolis and Syntagma Square. Here, on the foundations of ancient times, the buildings of the XVIII-XIX centuries are preserved. Many streets of Plaka are pedestrian, there are many souvenir shops, cafes and wine cellars. Here is the oldest street in Athens – Hadrians Street – which has retained its layout since antiquity.
In the area of Plaka, you can also see a few more places of interest in Athens:
- Roman Agora, construction of which refers to the 2nd floor. I century before
Evening in Athens
Roman Agora closely adjacent to Athenian agora – the center of public and political life of ancient Athens, and behind it is no less popular with tourists Tisio district, where beautiful cafes and bars with a view of the Acropolis are located. Most locals love to spend evenings in this part of the city, when you can just sit in a cafe, chat with friends and enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the Acropolis.
A visit to Lycabet Hill can be the final point of the Athens route in 1 day.
Another place, especially attractive in the evening – Lycabet Hill, about which Grekoblog already wrote in this article.
Those who want to see the night city in the smallest details should sign up for a night tour of Athens. For a couple of hours you will be able to see the city from a completely different side. This tour can be an excellent final point for those who arrived in Athens on their own for 1 day. Learn more and make an excursion here.
But for those who still decide to stay in Athens for more than 1 day, we recommend to pay attention to our articles:
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Photos by: emiliojge, C messier, Tilemahos Efthimiadis, Badseed, Christopher Steinle