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Sightseeing in Athens - what to see. Complete travel guide

Athens is the biggest city of Greece and it is also one of the biggest cities of Europe. The population of Athens is over 3 million people, which is almost 40% of the total population of the country. Athens is frequently called the centre of the world. In this city you can find almost anything - on one side this is a city of a rich cultural heritage, and on the other side Athens is a large scientific centre. By the way, don't forget that Athens has given birth to the Olympic Games. This tremendous city is full of surprises and contrasts.
Travellers, who plan to visit Athens with kids, can be sure they will find great places and entertainment perfect for a family vacation. Both children and adults will enjoy a visit to the … Open
The Acropolis and the Parthenon. The Acropolis is usually called the symbol of Athens. It is nearly impossible to find a place in the city, from which you won't be able to see the columns of its main temple - the Parthenon. In Greek the Acropolis means “the upper town”, and the Acropolis is actually built on a limestone plateau that 156m high. This plateau forms the Ancient town and is considered to be the main attraction of Athens. In order to enter the Acropolis, you will have to go through the ancient gates, which will lead you to the Propylaeum. You will see an ancient gallery – Pinacotheca - on the left side of the gates, and the smallest of the three temples of the Acropolis – the Temple of Athena Nike - on the right side. Currently, this temple is closed because of reconstruction works. The top of portico of the second temple - the temple of Erechtheion - is supported by columns made in the shape of young women, the famous caryatids. However, the Parthenon is, without a doubt, the most impressing temple of Athens. During the ancient times the temple was the location of a well-known wooden statue of Athena Parthenos, the protectress of the city. The statue was decorated with gold and elephants made of ivory.
The Parthenon is one of the greatest architectural sights in the world. The architects took into account all peculiarities of the human eyesight and made all the corners of the building a little bit round. This deliberate curvature coupled with the unequal distance among the columns has created an impression of a total harmony. All the lines seem to be irreproachably horizontal and vertical. The Acropolis is a fascinating and magnificent place, especially in evening, when the structure is illuminated by special lights. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
In addition to large number of Greek cuisine restaurants, Athens is truly rich in dining facilities featuring original gastronomy, as well as luxury restaurants and cafes. Cheese, light red … Open
The Theatre of Dionysus. The Theatre of Dionysus is situated at the bottom of the Acropolis. This is the oldest theatre in Europe and the cradle of the Greek tragedy. First performances took place here yet in the 6th century. The ancient scene was simply an area with trampled ground with public sitting on the grass and forming a semicircle around the scene. When the theatre started gaining popularity, wooden benches appeared around the scene; later they were replaced with stone seats. This happened after some of the wooden benches had fallen down and had killed a lot of people. As the time went by, the theatre expanded slowly. This process continued from 342 to 326 B.C. After the reconstruction the theatre could seat 17,000 people. Unfortunately, nowadays we can only look at the ruins of this legendary theatre.
The Temple of Zeus. The Temple of Zeus (or, as it is usually called, the Olympian) is located approximately 500m to the south of the Acropolis. The building of the temple lasted during several centuries, and it was finished only in the 2nd century (during the reign of Emperor Adrian). During that time the Temple of Zeus was the largest building in whole Greece. Its height estimated 96m, its width was 40m. The building was decorated with 104 seventeen meter tall Corinthian columns. Unfortunately, only the ruins of the 15th and 16th columns have survived till our days. When the building of the temple was not yet finished, the Roman general Sulla took 2 columns to Rome and used them to decorate the Temple of Jupiter. After this the Corinthian style became very popular in Rome.
The local residents are distinguished by such character traits as sentiment and nervousness at the same time. In critical or responsive situations they can show tolerance and resolve any … Open
Emperor Adrian made an order to build a Greek temple to praise Zeus. According to his order a huge statue of Zeus was placed in the temple. The statue of Zeus was decorated with gold and ivory. By the way, there was a statue of the emperor near the statue of Zeus. Both the statues had the same height. The 18 meter tall marble arch of Adrian is located in immediate proximity to the temple. The arch is the symbol of the power of the emperor. The arch of Adrian divides the New Rome and the Ancient Rome. The side of the arch that faces the Acropolis has a writing that says “This is Athens, the ancient town of Theseus”, and the other side of the arch has the following writing “This town is not of Theseus, but of Adrian”.
Athens at Night Plaka. Plaka is the oldest area in Athens. You will find it between the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus. Its short and cozy streets are the location of numerous souvenir shops and restaurants that traditionally attract a great number of tourists. Plaka is the most picturesque area of Athens. In this part of the city it is almost impossible to believe that you are currently in the city with the population of approximately 4 million of people. Anafiotika, which is famous for its snow-white houses, is a special place that is recommended to visit. The legend says that the Delphian oracle forbad building houses there, but once two homeless builders, who were looking for a shelter in Plaka, managed to build a small house during just one night thanks to their mastery. When guardsmen came in the morning, they felt sorry for the builders and decided not to punish them. Since then a new rule has been created - if you manage to build a shelter during one night, you may stay there.
Athens is so rich in various attractions that choosing the most interesting among them is not so simple. You should definitely visit Tower of the Winds, which was built approximately two … Open
Monastiraki. Monastiraki area is located to the north of Plaka. It has a lot in common with a bazaar (especially on Sundays), when hundreds of tradesmen bring their goods for sale. The market itself is situated on Abyssinia Square and in the street nearby (west from Monastiraki Square). After making a walk across Plaka and Monastiraki in the daytime, it would definitely be a good idea to spend an evening in Psyrri or Gazi areas, which are located nearby. These areas are rich in various restaurants, bars and clubs, in which the Greek spend almost all their free time. Don’t forget to be careful if you come to Plaka during the time of a carnival time – there’s a risk to be sprinkled with confetti!
Athens - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

City tours, excursions and tickets in Athens and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all shopping areas
Shopping streets in Athens
♥   Shopping area ' Ermou Street' Athens, 1.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Shopping area ' Voukourestiou Street' Athens, 1.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Shopping area ' Kassaveti Street' Athens, 2.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Athens
♥   Castle 'Markellos Tower' Aegina, 37.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Castle of Chalkis' Chalkis, 54.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Acrocorinth' Corinth, 76.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Athens
♥   National Park 'Ethniko Parko Schinia Marathona' , 32.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Athens and around
♥   Art museum 'Vorres Museum' Athens, 0.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'National Archaeological Museum of Athens' Athens, 0.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Benaki Museum' Athens, 1.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Museum of Cycladic Art' Athens, 1.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'New Acropolis Museum' Athens, 2 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Athens from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Thebes

From the series “The Oldest Inhabited Cities on the Planet”
During the tour, guests of the city will hear interesting legends about the birth of Dionysus and Heracles, about the exploits of the legendary king Cadmium and bloody battles that has being devastated the thriving city for thousands of years. Developed tourist infrastructure of the city will be a nice addition to stay, as modern Thebes offers its guests a lot of attractive hotels, magnificent local restaurants and lots of amazing places to relax. … Read further

Corinth Canal

From the series “Greatest Man-Made Waterways and Channels”
Its building began in 1881 and was finally complete in August, 1893. Just a few decades back the canal was of great economic significance. Nowadays it is of interest as a tourist attraction point. Over 11000 ships travel through the Corinth Canal annually. Numerous tourist ferries are among them. Moreover, the bridges over the canal are used by thrill seekers who indulge a new activity of bungee jumping. … Read further

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

From the series “Ancient Amphitheaters and Arenas, That Are Still Operational”
The construction of the amphitheater was completed in 165 AD. In the course of the last reconstructions, only a multicoloured marble facing and several statues were renovated. All other elements of architecture are perfectly preserved from the time of construction, which allows guests of the ancient theater to fully enjoy its pristine grandeur. The best time to visit the sights is a period from June to September, when the annual Athens Festival takes place. During this period, interesting performances and concerts in the amphitheater are held literally every week. … Read further
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Athens

All about Athens, Greece - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Athens, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Athens in few days.
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