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Culture of Athens. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Athens Acropolis 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 thousand years ago. This is one of the oldest meteorological sites of the world. The tower is built from marble, and its height reaches 12 meters, diameter - 8 meters. The top of the tower is decorated with amazing frieze, which depicts eight winds. You will also see the majestic Lycabettus Mount in the center of the city. A beautiful medieval church and many other notable buildings are located on this mountain. Temple of Hephaestus is, without a doubt, the most famous monument of antiquity. The one of the biggest and greatest archaeological museums in Greece is located in the walls of the temple.
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Fans of exciting excursions should definitely see the exhibits in Acropolis Museum. You will find here a rich collection of unique and precious historical artifacts. Among the religious sites of this place Kesariani Monastery certainly deserves special attention. There are several springs on its territory; local buildings and the old cathedral always strike visitors by their unique architecture and unusual decoration of premises. You can see a collection of ancient frescoes in the cathedral. These frescoes were donated to the monastery in the beginning of the 17th century.
Plaka district is surely the most beautiful and interesting from the historical point of view. All historical buildings located here have been restored carefully, so now they appear in front of amazed tourists in all their glory. At a glance the district may seem a little confusing and simple to get lost in it, but orienting in it is really simple. Each street will lead travelers either to Syntagma Square, or to the Acropolis. Syntagma Area is also an important object for all excursions. The beautiful Parliament building built in 1840 is located here, as well as beautiful statues and fountains. While walking through the area, you can reach the picturesque Vasilissis Sofias Street, which is home to numerous museums - Museum of Ancient Art of Greek, Byzantine Museum, Museum of Cycladic and Benaki Museum. Copyright
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In addition to the renowned and above-mentioned Parthenon, Acropolis, Temple of Hephaestus, in Athens you will find other monuments of antiquity deserving special attention. Among them are the Theater of Dionysus, Agora, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and Odeon of Herodes Atticus. All these are not abstruse words, but sites you need to visit in the Greek capital a priori. All of them are located in one place – in the Plaka area – and you will not be able to pass up the opportunity to visit them. In another area is Lyceum, the place where Aristotle’s school used to be. This is another historical monument which is obligatory to visit.
Athens There are modern museums in the city – for example, the Hellenic Motor Museum with its excellent collection of retro cars. There is also an interesting Greek gastronomic museum, specially created for those who are fond of cooking. Moreover, the building makes a deep impression literally at first sight, and it is simply impossible to miss it. The interior of the museum is also known to be entertaining. For music lovers, it will be interesting to visit the Museum of Greek Instruments (by the way, entry is free of charge). The delightful “Technopolis” will also amaze every tourist. It is perhaps the most futuristic place in Athens, especially for those who prefer to discover new facets of every city.
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The first cemetery of Athens – for those who like to visit such places, will be a real find. Heinrich Schliemann as well as Orthodox metropolitans are buried here. In addition, the place itself is very impressive, even though such places are known to create mixed feelings. The bridge Katehaki, one of the most beautiful pedestrian bridges around the world, built in 2004 especially for the Olympic Games in the Greek capital by Santiago Calatrava, is an interesting attraction worthy of visiting.
Academy of Athens The capital of Greece and its numerous Orthodox churches are famous for real works of architectural art. First of all, it is worth noting the Church of Panagia Kapnikarea. For residents of Athens, it is a fairly ordinary church, but not for tourists. Even the most seasoned will be amazed by it from the first minutes. The Church was built in the 11th century on the site of a pagan temple. Besides this, this is a great place to bring your thoughts in order. The Church Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) is another remarkable religious building, famous for its beautiful frescoes.
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To see the most striking example of the Orthodox Church, it is worth visiting the Church of St. Marina. Its construction dates back to 1924, and it should be noted that the church looks impressive both on the outside and inside. The Church is located at a distance slightly away from the main attractions, and therefore it can easily be missed – but it would be unwise to do it intentionally. Nearby is the National Observatory of Athens – another interesting place to visit. There is also a Catholic church in the city called the Cathedral Basilica of St. Dionysius the Areopagite. The building is a basilica of the early Middle Ages with elements of classicism. The inside is very impressive – with everything befitting of a Catholic shrines.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Athens and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Athens and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Athens: churches, museums and castles

Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

» The Temple of Hephaestus is one of the best preserved ancient temples in Athens. It was built in 449-415 BC and was dedicated to the god Hephaestus. Hephaestus is the Greek god of fire, volcanoes and metal.
» Construction of the temple of Hephaestus was begun in 449 BC.
»  Temple of Hephaestus in Athens was the first temple built of marble.
»  In the 7th century AD Orthodox priests converted the temple of Hephaestus to the Church of St. George.
» The length of the temple is almost 32 meters, and width is almost 14 meters. Not only all 34 columns of the Temple, but the roof has survived miraculously.

Cathedral of Athens, Athens

» The Cathedral of Athens is the biggest church in the city; that's the most important Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece.
» Construction of the cathedral began on the Christmas of 1842 and lasted 20 years. Consecration of the Cathedral in honor of the Annunciation took place on May 21, 1862 in the presence of the King and Queen of Greece.
» Marble of 72 destroyed churches was used for construction of the Cathedral.
» The Cathedral of Athens is the seat of the bishop of Athens and an important spiritual center of the Greek Orthodox Church.
» Today the temple is the venue for official ceremonies, coronations, weddings and funerals.

Church of the Holy Apostles, Athens

» The Church of the Holy Apostles is one of the oldest Christian churches in Athens built in the 10th century.
» The Church of the Holy Apostles has paramount importance as it's the only monument of the Athenian agora (town square of Athens), which remained completely in its original form.
» The Church of the Holy Apostles consists of four columns supporting the dome over the cruciform building. Apart from the main temple, the church has two of the porch completed later making the shape of the church almost U-shaped.
» The northern narthex houses a sarcophagus, where the patron of the parish was probably buried; following the Byzantine tradition he and his relatives had the right to be buried in the temple.
» Other burials were found by archaeologists in the vestibule and on the yard of the church.

Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, Athens

» The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates is the monument erected in 334 BC close to the Acropolis.
» The monument was erected by wealthy Athenian Lysicrates, who was the sponsor of many theatrical performances in the Theater of Dionysus, to commemorate the award-winning play that he had sponsored.
» The monument is mounted on a six-meter high rotunda pedestal with Corinthian columns. Above the columns there is the frieze with scene from Dionysus’s life, the transformation of the pirates who kidnapped the god into dolphins.
» The 6-meter high monument is crowned by a stone flower, on which stood a bronze tripod, an award of the theater festival of Dionysus.
» Even though the tripod was connected to the flower by bronze chains, it hasn't survived to our days.

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

» The Temple of Olympian Zeus is the largest temple in Greece.
» The length of the temple was 96 meters and the width was 40 meters.
» Construction of the temple began in the 6th century BC and ended only in the 2nd century BC.
» The temple had 104 17-meter towers, but only 15 of them have survived to this day. Sixteenth columns fell to the ground during a storm in 1852 and still lie there.
» The first temple was excavated in 1889-1896; further work was carried out by German and Greek archaeologists. Today the ruins of the temple are hardly the main historical attractions of Athens.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in Athens

National Archaeological Museum
Where: Patission 44, Museio, Athens; Telephone: +30 210 821 77 24;
The Acropolis and its surroundings
Where: Acropolis, Athens;
Where: Monastiraki, Athens;
Where: 1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave., Athens; Telephone: +30 210 367 10 00;
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Athens
♥   Palace 'Old Royal Palace' , 1.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'New Royal Palace' , 1.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Psychiko' , 4.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Tatoi' , 20.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Polydendri' , 28.4 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
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Athens
♥   Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Athens, 2.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Athens

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Athens

Landmarks of culture on Athens map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Athens

Culture guide to Athens. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Athens: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Athens. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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