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The Insider to Athens
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The Athens Insider

Athens, Greece's capital, is one of the world's oldest towns, with the first human presence going back to the 11th century BC. It was a powerful city-state in its prime, a centre for study, the arts, and philosophy, and is widely referred to as the cradle of democracy.

The historic city's heritage is still visible throughout Athens, reflected through works of art and ancient monuments. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, with millions of people each year going to the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Ancient Agora.

Given that it's the midst of Spring, April is regarded as one of the most remarkable months to visit Athens. Daisy and poppies blossom throughout the city, creating a vivid and cheerful environment. The weather is pleasant and sunny, ideal for enjoying the city's many attractions. The average temperature is around 20°C, and it is rarely cloudy.

Although there are fewer tourists than during the peak season, there are more than during the winter.

The weather in Athens in April is pleasant and sunny. The average daytime temperature is around 20°C. Temperatures can drop to as low as 11°C in the evenings and at night. Bring some warm clothing if you intend to tour the city at night. There is a 15% chance of rain during the month, but it is rarely dreary and overcast.

The Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens stands atop a rugged hill, retaining what remains of the 2,500-year-old city devoted to Athena, the Greek Goddess of War. The ancient ruins bring back memories of movies, novels, and history courses about ancient Greece. The iconic Parthenon temple, with its lofty unique columns that have impacted modern architecture, is the highlight. Before planning a time-travelling journey to the old Greek metropolis, learn everything you need about the Acropolis of Athens.

Why Should You Visit Athens' Acropolis?

The ancient Greeks significantly contributed to philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. Throughout the 5th century BC, Acropolis was the epicentre of such greatness.

The remnants of the Acropolis fortress rise 490 feet above Athens. The 7.3-acre site returns to the Middle Neolithic period (10,000 BCE). The Parthenon, Ancient Temple of Athena, Erechtheum, Temple of Athena Nike, Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, and other colossal spaces can be located among the remains. A visit to the Acropolis will transport you to a time and epoch when Greece dominated all disciplines, and Doric temples were plentiful.

Acropolis History - A Glimpse of Ancient Greece

Acropolis loosely translates to "highest point" in Greek, implying that the Acropolis was once Athens' highest point. The site may be traced back to the Mycenaean megaron, the birthplace of architectural design, which included an open portico and a vast hall with a central throne. Pericles, the General of Athens, contributed to creating the Acropolis' significant monuments in the 5th century BC, which have survived centuries of looting and warfare.

The 2,460-year-old Acropolis restoration project began with the intention of reversing the erosion, pollution, and destruction inflicted by war acts. This was made possible by using titanium dowels and reassembling the original material. A total of 2,675 tonnes of architectural components have been restored today.

In terms of the Acropolis' cultural significance in the modern world, the legendary Great Panathenaea festival, held once every four years by ancient Athenians, is being followed today in the form of the Olympic Games.

Acropolis vs Parthenon

To answer the famous question of Acropolis vs Parthenon, it is vital to understand that they are not mutually exclusive. The Parthenon is a temple in the Acropolis fortress. The Acropolis structures were all created to celebrate the Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders. Hence, you will also view the Parthenon if you go to Acropolis. There's no need to choose between the two

The Magnificent Architecture of the Acropolis of Athens

The Archaic period (8th-5th centuries BC) opened the door to Acropolis architecture. The early Greeks' stle and precision will astound you wherever you look. Peisistratos, Hippocrates' son, erected the Acropolis' entry gate, which later became the Enneapylon, a nine-gated Cyclopean wall. The Temple of Athena Polias was constructed of Doric limestones between 570 and 550 BC. The Dionysos Theatre, erected in 6 BC, is still one of the world's oldest. All of the structures are built in the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian architectural stles, which were later accepted as the foundation by western builders. This demonstrates that the ancient Greek architects saw them as more than just constructions and temples.

You can tell which buildings are newer or older by colour; more contemporary constructions have a reddish tinge, while older ones have a yellowish hue.

What You Must See At Athens' Acropolis

Here are some essential archaeological places you should spend more time investigating and enjoying on your Acropolis trip.


When you hear the name Athens, the first thing that comes to mind is the Parthenon. It is the iconic Temple devoted to the Goddess of War, Athena, and is regarded as the pinnacle of Doric architecture. It is one of the world's oldest standing temples, completed in 438 BC. It is also Greece's most significant standing edifice of classical architecture. It comprises 46 massive exterior columns and 19 smaller inside columns


Propylaea is the entrance to the Acropolis, which was abandoned in the fifth century BC. The structure was built with white Pentelic marble, grey limestone, and structural iron; however, the iron is thought to have compromised the construction. Its restoration began in early 1984 and was not completed until 2009. This accomplishment was so historical that the project received the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award in 2013.

The Old Temple of Athena

The Old Temple of Athena is most likely the oldest structure still on the site. It was built between 525 and 500 BC but was substantially destroyed by the Persians around 480 BC. One of the Temple's two pediments depicts Gigantomachy, the conflict between Gods and Giants, in exquisite detail. The Temple also has a statue of the Goddess Athena defeating the giants.

The Temple of Athena and Nike

In 420 BC, the Temple of Athena and Nike, the goddess of victory, was built. It is Acropolis' first entirely Ionic Temple. The only drawback is that the Temple is frequently closed to visitors while restoration work is completed. If you are lucky enough to see it open, look for the iconic frieze of Nike adjusting her sandal.


The Erechtheum, located in the northern portion of Athens' Acropolis, is a sanctuary said to have been erected by Mnesikles between 421 and 406 BC. Comparing it and the Parthenon is possible because both were built by Phidias. The Porch of the Maidens, located north of the Temple, is a must-see, with six draped female statues disguised as columns holding the Temple's roof.

Acropolis Museum Athens

The Acropolis Museum is the place to go if you want to see the most valuable pieces of the Acropolis. It is a cutting-edge museum set within a historical setting that houses the famed ruins. The museum has 14000 square metres of floor space and houses 4,250 pieces of Ancient art.

The sculptures of Kiritos Boy, The Calf Bearer, the Statuette of Athena Promachos, Loutrophros, the headless bodies of Kekrops and Pandrosos, and the majestic head of Alexander The Great are among the most interesting.

Acropolis Museum tickets must be purchased separately because they are separate from your Acropolis tickets. But you can combine museum and Acropolis hill trips to obtain the best of both worlds for the lowest price.



Every year, around 3 million visitors enter the hallowed remains of Athens. This makes it difficult to obtain tickets at the counter. If you want to test your luck, you can go to the ticket office and buy the tickets.


Getting your timed Acropolis tickets online is the best option because you will be allowed access. You can purchase Acropolis tickets, including a smartphone audio guide, if you prefer to visit the Acropolis alone. Booking them online also offers discounts and cashback, saving time and money.

Acropolis Of Athens Facts

The Acropolis of Athens is the most famous of the many Greek towns, such as Argos, Thebes, Corinth, and others. To spend additional time in Greece, visit at least two more ancient Greek cities.

The Acropolis was built to protect the Mycenaeans. The military defence built on the state's highest hills was planned strategically.

Although practically all the structures are made of marble, they were sourced from Mount Pentelicus, located 10 miles north of the site.

The world's oldest weather station is the Tower of the Winds, an octagonal marble tower at the base of the Acropolis.

The place is famous for resisting the Fascists during Greece's German occupation in 1941.

Erechtheion is considered the setting for the legend of Athena's tree and Poseidon's water. As a result, Athena and Poseidon's temples are in this sacred location.

Numerous cave sanctuaries are dedicated to Zeus, Apollo, Pan, Aphrodite, and Eros among the hills of the Acropolis.

Visiting Acropolis Athens

By Bus: The closest bus stop to the ticket office is Akropol, only 250 metres away.

By Metro: Acropolis underground station is only 800 metres from the ticket office.

By Car: Follow the route to Ρoβέρτoυ Γκάλλι 5 and turn right onto Rovertou Galli 39 road. Turn right onto Dionysiou Areopagitou street. The ticket office is located at the very end of the road.

Best Time To Visit

If you like to avoid crowds, go during early opening hours or a couple of hours before closure. The finest months to visit the Acropolis are March, May, September, and November. Throughout these months, Athens experienced spring and fall. The weather is ideal for a stroll in the city without getting sunburned. Another advantage of going during these months is that the city is not overrun with tourists, and lodging is reasonably priced.

Insider tips for your Acropolis Athens visit

You can enter the site using one of two entrances. The main entrance is next to the parking lot and is accustomed to huge lineups that take at least an hour in the summer. The alternative entrance, in the southeast, is less busy and easier to access. Before your trip, read our informative guide on Acropolis entrances to make the most of your visit.

If you want to acquire the cheapest tickets, visit during the winter (December to March) to save 50% on tickets and enjoy affordable accommodation.

Acropolis allows free entry to visitors on 6 March, 18 April, 18 May, the last weekend of September, 28 October and the first Sunday of the month from November through March.

Wear appropriate clothing at the Acropolis because the site is considered sacred. Because the sun is out and brilliant all year, complement your attire with comfy shoes, sunglasses, and a hat.

The Acropolis recently installed wheelchair-accessible elevators. It should be noted that the entire site is wheelchair accessible.

Avoid touching or standing on the Acropolis's stones and marbles. That is a criminal offence.

To avoid being scorched by the Athenian sun, it is strongly advised to wear an intense SPF.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, was constructed in Athens between 174 and 132 BC. It was devoted to Zeus, the king of the gods in Greek mythology, and was one of the largest temples ever built in the ancient world, spanning 115 by 110 metres. The colossal monument symbolised the city's strength and prosperity and was one of the most spectacular buildings in ancient Athens.

In 267 AD, the Heruli assaulted Athens, and the temple was never rebuilt. The temple ruins were unearthed in the nineteenth century, and the site is today a major tourist destination in Athens.

Best Time

The temple is best visited during the summer when the weather is pleasant and sunny.

Nonetheless, the temple is open during winter, so tourists may still appreciate the stunning ruins; if they're lucky, they can see them through a dusting of snow!

Despite the summer crowds, the site grounds are extensive, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the remains at your own speed.

Why Visit?

The Temple of Olympian Zeus is one of Athens' most renowned tourist sites. The temple is a superb example of ancient Greek architecture and one of the largest temples ever built in Greece, as well as a reminder of the Greek gods' power and influence in the ancient world.


The temple was one of the greatest in Greece when it was completed in the sixth century BCE. The columns were built of marble and were more than 20 metres tall. The Romans destroyed it in the second century CE, and the columns were eventually used to construct Hadrian's Library. It is still a famous tourist attraction in Athens.

The temple was constructed over 600 years, from the 6th century BC to the 2nd century AD. It was the most important temple in Athens and one of the most important in the ancient world.

The temple's marble columns are 6m (20ft) in diameter. They are among the most enormous columns ever built. The column stands 18 metres tall from the ground to the top (59ft). There were 104 columns, which were organised into 16 rows of 8 columns each. During the decades, earthquakes caused damage to the temple, which was eventually abandoned in the 5th century AD. It was afterwards utilised as a quarry, and many of the columns were removed and reused in other structures.

Only 15 of the original 104 columns are still standing today. In Athens, the temple is a significant tourist attraction. Later, it was exploited as a quarry for building materials.

The Gate of Hadrian

The Gate of Hadrian, also known as the Arch of Hadrian, is a monumental entryway in Athens located east of the Acropolis. Hadrian, the Roman Emperor, constructed it in 132 AD to mark the border between the city and its easternmost area. The arch is composed of Pentelic marble and rests on three steps. It is embellished with reliefs of Roman warriors and two inscriptions bearing Hadrian's name.

The Themistoclean Wall

When the Themistoclean Wall was built in 479 BCE, it stretched ten miles from Lycabettus Hill to Phaleron Bay. The wall, which was designed to protect Athens from northern invasions, was made up of three courses of massive stone blocks. Themistocles, the wall architect, also oversaw the creation of the Athenian Fleet, which helped beat the Persians at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE. The wall continued to protect Athens until Spartans breached it during the Peloponnesian War in 404 BCE.

Doric Temple of Apollo Delphinos

The Doric Temple of Apollo Delphinium was erected in the late sixth century BC. It is situated on a terrace overlooking the Ancient Agora in the northwestern part of the Athenian Acropolis. The temple was built in honour of Apollo, the god of music and healing. It was one of Athens' most prominent temples and served as a healing centre for the ill and injured. During times of conflict, the shrine was often used as a sanctuary. It was constructed of native marble from Mount Pentelicus. The temple's facade was adorned with reliefs depicting episodes from Greek mythology.

Temple of Kronos and Rhea

This temple is mainly destroyed. The pillars' stumps are still in the ground beneath a small grove of trees. While not as grand as the temple itself, it is one of the numerous sites that dot the temple grounds. It's a temple dedicated to the elder gods, Zeus, Kronos, and Rhea's parents.



The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a well-known tourist destination. This makes it difficult to obtain tickets at the counter. If you want to test your luck, you can go to the ticket office and buy the tickets.


You should buy your timed Temple of Olympian Zeus tickets online since you will be allowed access. If you prefer to visit the site alone, purchase Temple of Olympoan Zeus tickets with a smartphone audio guide. Booking them online also offers discounts and cashback, saving time and money.


The temple took over 600 years to build but was only fully operational for a few hundred years before being destroyed in an attack.

It was the most splendid temple in Greece during the Roman Empire, with 104 colossal marble columns.

In ancient times, Hadrian's Arch beside the temple was considered the doorway to the Acropolis.

There were a few attempts to rebuild it after it was destroyed. In fact, the stone from the temple ruins was quarried during the mediaeval period to create nearby churches and dwellings.

Visiting the Temple of Olympian Zeus Athens

Getting There

By Bus: The closest bus stop to the ticket office is Akropolē, only 250 metres away.

By Metro: The closest underground station is Acropoli, a short walk from the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

By Car: Take the road to Ρoβέρτου Γκάλλι 5 and turn right onto the Rovertou Galli 39 road. Turn right onto Dionysiou Areopagitou street. The ticket office is located at the very end of the road.

Insider Tips for your Temple of Olympian Zeus Visit

The Acropolis, the Agora, and the temple may all be visited on the same day because they are all within walking distance.

Remember that the sprawling lawn surrounding the temple is intended for something other than crowds to sit on. Security guards will likely approach you to tell you not to do so. If you are tired, there are chairs in the shade for you to sit on.

There are a few small sites dispersed around the temple grounds. Make sure to look them up as well!

If you intend to visit the temple after visiting the Acropolis, bring lots of water, especially if you want to walk.

Ancient Agora of Athens

The Ancient Agora, known as one of the most important venues in the Greek city, was the hub of Athens, where many political assemblies and juries would congregate to meet, discuss, and deliberate on the issues of the day, voice their concerns and look into the courses of action. The archaeological site is located northwest of the Acropolis, directly between the Thission and Monastiraki neighbourhoods.

The dynamic location will introduce you to the democratic system of ancient Athens and how it came to be. You may see the temple of Hephaestus and the ruins of Bouleuterion and learn a lot about the Museum of the Agora.

This ancient city, with its court of justice, temples,'stoas,' and so much more, has made a vital contribution to humanity, from fostering civic virtues to laying the groundwork for Democracy.

Best Time to Visit

Visiting Athens' ancient Agora early in the morning is advisable before the day's heat sets in. This is especially true in summer when temperatures can be rather hot.

A visit to the Agora is ideal for various seasons of the year.

June-July, the sunny weather in Athens is ideal for exploring extensive ancient ruins like the Agora!

March and November have fewer visitors, allowing you to explore the place at your leisure.

If you want to consider it further, you may read about the ideal time to visit Athens to plan a fantastic trip.

Why Visit

The Agora was the heart of Athens and is, without a doubt, the best-preserved ancient Greek landmark that now exists. The location was the centre of Greek life, not just as a marketplace but as an important site for government, religious activities, commercial transactions, and the seat of justice.

There's a lot to explore in Agora's shadowy lanes. The Stoa of Attalos, which underwent renovations and currently houses the Agora Museum, is one of the most spectacular buildings in Ancient Agora. The Temple of Hephaestus is also to be noticed. When you go through the grounds, you will have a clear view of the Acropolis, which towers above you. It's impressive how the ancient Greeks considered this the abode of power, prosperity, and even the gods themselves.

The Agora of Athens - The Premises

The Agora of Athena is an important archaeological site that provides insight into Greek life. The name 'Agora' refers to a gathering place. It was the ultimate marketplace where anyone could engage in government and legal matters or collaborate to develop the world's ideal society. Without a doubt, the Agora of Athens is where Democracy was born.

When visiting the Agora of Athens, there are numerous significant sites on each side of the ancient site.

What is an Agora?

In Greek cities, the phrase Agora was associated with open space used as a meeting place for inhabitants' different activities. The term refers to both a gathering of people and a physical location. It simply means marketplace in current Greek terms. The phrase was coined by the classical Greeks in the fifth century BCE to describe what they saw as a common characteristic of their lives: judicial, social, religious, and other activities.

The Agora was a public and temple-surrounded space near the harbour or in the city's heart.

The evolution of the Agora was first witnessed in the East and, with better results, in Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece. Around the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, there were two varieties of agoras: archaic and ionic. The Agora of Elis is an example of the ancient form, with colonnades and other buildings that could have been better coordinated and gave the impression of being disorganised. Following the Persian Wars, the Agora of Athens was rebuilt similarly. The Ionic type, on the other hand, was more symmetrical and structured.

The use of Agora varied according to time. The space was used for more than popular meetings during the classical period. The assembly was eventually moved to the Pnyx in Athens, although the meeting concerned with ostracism was still held in the Agora, where the central tribunal remained.


This was a space with a roof where all political, commercial, social, religious, and many other matters were debated and actioned. It was known as the centre of ancient Athens. Throughout history, the location has been occupied without interruption. The Agora was utilised initially as a residential and burial place, but in the 6th century, under Solon's reign, it became a public space.

The Agora has been constantly repaired and remodelled, and it finally took on its rectangular shape in the 2nd century B.C. After significant damage was done by the Persians in 480/79 B.C. and the Romans in 89 B.C., the space was substantially worked on. The consequences of Herulae and Slavic invasions were severe, and the site was gradually abandoned. Athens eventually became Greece's capital and was developed as a residential neighbourhood.

The Greek Archaeological Society conducted the first excavations from 1859 to 1912, followed by the German Archaeological Institute in 1896-97. In 1890-91, the Athens-Piraeus Railway discovered the ruins of an old edifice. The American School of Classical Studies began excavating in 1931 and continued until 1941. Almost 400 contemporary buildings covering an area of around 12 hectares have to be removed to unwrap the entire Agora.

In the nineteenth century, the Greek Archaeological Society eventually repaired the four enormous Giants sculptures and the Gymnasium's façade. The Attalos Stoa was rebuilt as a museum, the Byzantine church was converted into an American school, and the Hephaisteion was restored.

Temple of Hephaestus

The Hephaestus Temple is one of the best preserved in Greece. The temple was constructed to honour Hephaistos, the patron of metalworkers, potters, and artisans. The location was converted into a Saint. George church in the 7th century and later utilised as a burial site for protestants and those who died during the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century. It was used to welcome King Otto, the first king of the modern Greek state, in 1834. After then, the building was used as a museum until the 1930s.

Stoa of Attalos

The Hephaestus Temple is one of the best preserved in Greece. The temple was constructed to honour Hephaistos, the patron of metalworkers, potters, and artisans. The location was converted into a Saint. George church in the 7th century and later utilised as a burial site for protestants and those who died during the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century. It was used to welcome King Otto, the first king of the modern Greek state, in 1834. After then, the building was used as a museum until the 1930s.

Byzantine Church of Holy Apostles

The Church of the Holy Apostles was established in the 11th century but has been altered over time and was restored to its original shape between 1954 and 1956. Apart from the Temple of Hephaestus, the church is the only structure in the Ancient Agora that has survived entirely since its construction. This structure features a signature eight-sided dome, a cross-shaped floor plan with apses on each of the four sides, and a narthex on the west. This marked the commencement of a Byzantine-era Athenian-stle church.

Temple of Aphrodite Urania

The Aphrodite Temple Urania was constructed in the early fifth century B.C. The temple stood northwest of Athens' Ancient Agora and was entirely dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Urania was a nickname for Aphrodite, which meant she was ethereal and heavenly. The sanctuary is claimed to have a marble figure of the deity created by the Greek sculptor Phidias. Several antique stones are on the hill beside the railroad track and the Hephaestus temple, where the ancient Greeks' remarkable craftsmanship is praised.

Odeon of Agrippa

The Odeon was a Roman addition to Athens' original Greek Agora. This was known as Agrippine and was named after their son-in-law and Augustus' general, Marcus Vipsianus Agrippa. The area could hold up to 1000 people at a time, who would be placed in 19 rows of benches surrounding a marble-paved orchestra. The entrance was divided into two sections, one for notables and entertainers and the other for visitors. The Odeon fell in 150 AD, but it was rebuilt with a 500-person capacity, unlike the previous arrangement. In the 5th century A.D., a massive complex named 'gymnasium' was built over the ancient Odeon.

Ruins of the Bouleuterion

The Bouleuterion, shaped like an early Greek Temple, is a small edifice on the west side of the Athenian Agora from the end of the 6th century B.C. The hall was used to seat members of the Boule council, who were in charge of Athenian Democracy's advising, legislative, and administrative functions.

Theatre of Dionysus

With a seating capacity of 17,000 people, the Theatre of Dionysus was the first and one of the largest theatres ever built in Athens. The site is located south of the Acropolis and was dedicated to Dionysus, the Greek deity of drama. When it was first built, the theatre had just wooden seating, which was later replaced with stone. The first row was held by Athens' most distinguished people. The theatre staged some of the most important Greek dramas of the day. Despite the passage of time, the core of the Dionysus Theatre remains.

Prison of Socrates

The Socrates Prison on Filopappou Hill in Athens is an old edifice that gained its name from the prevalent idea that the Greek philosopher was imprisoned there. Although many disagree, few believe this was the prison where Socrates was discovered. The prison was built in the middle of the fifth century and was located on a prominent thoroughfare. There is also substantial evidence that accounts for ground put and bathing facilities. The dialogues of Faedon and Criton offer additional facts about Socrates' captivity, the location where it occurred, and his execution.

Monument of the Eponymous Heroes

The Monument of the Eponymous Heroes was a marble platform that housed the statues of ten heroes from Athens' tribes. This work was an important information centre commemorating the city's origins and exhibiting critical communications to its residents. This was a memorial to planned legislation and announcements. Wooden tables were kept at the feet of the statues, depicting new laws, accusations, and everything related to public life. Only the base and the fence are visible now, with a row of rectangular pillars perforated on either side.



Every year, around 3 million visitors enter the hallowed remains of Athens. This makes it difficult to obtain tickets at the counter. If you want to test your luck, you can go to the ticket office and buy the tickets. Europeans and children under five will be given free access with proof of identification.


If you are coming on an exceptionally crowded day, the Ancient Agora Skip the Line tickets, which can be purchased online, are your best bet. Booking them online also offers discounts and cashback, saving time and money.

Getting There

The nearest metro stations are Thiseio (Line 1) and Monastiraki.

The nearest train station is Thiseio

Insider Tips for your Visit

Visitors visiting the Ancient Agora should wear comfortable shoes because there are steps to climb.

The Agora is best visited as early as possible. You should arrive at least half an hour before the opening time.

In and around Athens, there are numerous stops. Line 1 connects Pirarus and the northern suburb of Kifisia, providing the closest visit to Ancient Agora. This is a fantastic value for tourists and cruise ship guests.

Free entry days are March 6, April 18, May 18, the last weekend of September, and October 28, and all Sundays from November 1 to March 31.

So, if you want to adventure back in time, Athens should be a priority city for you and your love ones to visit.