Athens is like an open museum. Everywhere you go you’re reminded of the city’s more than 3000 years of history. Explore the city and take a trip to the past.
It’s recommended that you begin your visit of Athens attractions at the National Archaeological Museum. This way you can gain a better understanding of what you’ll see later on throughout the city. It houses an impressive collection of Greek antiquities and art. It’s a world class museum and a must see for anyone visiting Athens. Among the most popular icons is the Statue of Smiling Aphrodite a humorous Cycladic artifact. And if you get a chance to visit the gift shop you’ll have the opportunity to pick up official reproductions of several items on exhibit.
The Benaki Museum is also of much interest for visitors who love art. It features a rich collection of Greek jewelry from the region of Thessalia. It’s a must see among the vast list of Athens attractions.
Another excellent venue to visit and a must see of Athens attractions is the Byzantine Museum. If you like religious paintings, you’ll be impressed with the selection of masterpieces dating between the 4th and 15th centuries. It also showcases an array of sculptures, mosaics and bibles. The adjacent 19th Century Italian style villa is used for special exhibits.
Icons and Landmarks
The Acropolis is the hill over Athens. On it sits the crown jewels of Athens attractions. The most visited are the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena. The first is an exquisite example of Doric architecture characterized by plain columns. It was built in 447 BC during Greece’s “Golden Age.” Of the latter, visitors can only see the remnants of what was once the temple. The city of Athens was named after the goddess who according to Greek mythology was born from the forehead of Zeus. It’s said that she and her uncle, the God Poseidon, competed for the favoritism of the Greeks.
Near the Parthenon, tourists can browse through the Acropolis Museum. It showcases all the treasures found on site. Some of the exhibits are parts of columns, walls and statues.
North of the Acropolis is the Agora, another must see among Athens attractions. At some point in ancient times it was a main market place. This museum was built in the second century BC and features an amazing array of items recovered during excavations.
Of all the Athens attractions, the temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved. It was built to pay homage to the gods of the arts. It boasts a beautiful architectural style and outstanding friezes featuring battle scenes.
On the slopes of the Acropolis, visitors can see the oldest of three interesting Athens attractions. These were at one time important temples dedicated to the god of drunkenness and ecstasy.
Also of major importance and among the top Athens attractions is the Agora Archaeological site. It comprises a number of foundations like the altar of Zeus made from marble. Others include the Bema which is a circular fountain house.