Updated on November 7, 2017
Our first night in Athens consisted of getting to the hotel and then having a great dinner on the top floor of the Radisson Blu. But the next day it was time to go out and explore the sights!
Our trip so far:
Since we only had 1 day to see things in Athens we needed to kind of pick and choose what we were going to see. We started by taking the subway down to Syntagma Square to start our day. This is the main square in the city that sits in front of the Greek Parliament and is surrounded by most of the luxury hotels in the city.
When coming off the subway you walk into the square and then up the stairs. Across the street is the Parliament with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front with guards stationed there.
Walking south down the road from Parliament you reach the entrance of National Gardens which was a really peaceful place to walk through. Getting you out of the hustle and bustle for a little bit.
After walking through the gardens we came out on the south side near the Zappeion which was built in the 1880’s for the first modern Olympic games and is now a conference center.
After that we hung a left and 5-10 minutes later we had arrived at one of the main attractions I wanted to see during the day, the site of the first modern Olympics, the Panathenaic Stadium. This site was originally built in BC 330, rebuilt entirely of marble in AD 140 for the Panathenaic Games and then excavated and refurbished in the late 1800.
Now that we have made a few stops on our day in Athens I thought I would show you the route that we used (I will include it at the end as well). I just kind of made this up as we went but this gives you an idea of where things are:
About a 10 minute walk away was the Temple of Olympian Zeus! Unfortunately there is not a whole lot left of this once large temple which had it’s construction started in the 6th century BC and eventually completed by Hadrian a short 640 years later. Although there is little of the temple left, I still found it worth the price of admission.
Right nearby is the Arch of Hadrian, which is nothing I would go out of my way to see but it’s right next to the Temple so why not?
After walking across the street and through town a bit for a bite to eat we were off to our next stop, the Acropolis Museum. Located right at the southern base of the acropolis, this museum opened in 2009 and is really a must see. It was built over an archeological site and there is glass all around the entrance and inside showing the site. The museum is set up in different levels for different aspects of the site with the Parthenon on the top level. The top floor also sits offset from the rest of the building to align with how the structure of the Parthenon stood. You aren’t suppose to take pictures inside but I might have taken a few on the top floor 😉 .
After the museum we had wanted to go to the Ancient Agora, which was kind of all the way on the other side of the Acropolis, so not really the closest thing to go to but by using the back entrance it was really only a 15 minute walk or so.
The Agora was the ancient marketplace and city center with several sights to see, including the Temple of Hephaestus!
After a short stop to get some refreshments it was time for the main event, The Acropolis!
The walk back to the entrance was about half way back the way we came from the museum but then up up and up. The views from above are absolutely incredible but the only unfortunate thing was that there was construction/restoration around the Parthenon while we were there which ruined the view of that structure. I will let the pictures speak for themselves:
After a great time at the top of Athens it was time to head back home to get some rest before our flight to Santorini!
So that is our action-packed day in Athens! As I said before, I kind of made up our route as we went but it worked about well for us to pack a lot of sites into one day. Here is the map again below if anyone wants to take a similar route, although I realized that the Museum isn’t labeled on there. It is at the bottom near the Acropolis metro symbol.
Next up, we head to the Greek Isles! (or Isle I guess since we only do 1 island)