With its rich history, stunning views and delicious food, Athens is a must-visit destination for travelers looking to experience a piece of ancient Greece.
From the Ancient Agora to Syntagma Square, there are many incredible monuments and landmarks in Athens which offers a glimpse of the mythical past. Our favorites were the archaeological sites; we found most of them to be super intriguing with a deep sense of Greek culture and history. That said, the distinctive neighborhoods that represents modern Greece are no less exciting!
Whether you’re interested in checking out the ancient landmarks and monuments or simply exploring the charming districts and sampling local cuisine, Athens has plenty of activities to fill your itinerary.
Visiting Athens – Useful City Passes
When traveling in Athens, there are some passes which can be a good time and cost savers depending on your itinerary. Here are some thing to check out and see if they fit your plans.
- Acropolis + Archeological Sites Combo: Closest option to a city pass, the combo ticket includes skip-the-line access to Acropolis and 6 major archeological sites.
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus: Hop-on Hop-Off bus around Athens, Piraeus, and Coastline to get to various touristic points.
- Private Airport Transfer: If you are coming in or leaving by flight, the most convenient option to travel between your hotel and Athens Airport.
Here are some of the most famous monuments and landmarks in Greece you can visit.
Most Famous Greek Landmark In Athens
The most prominent and famous landmark in Greece is the Acropolis.
Sitting on a hill at over 500ft in the center of the city, the Acropolis Hill offers a breathtaking view of Athens and surrounding ancient ruins. Civilization on this historic site is estimated to date back to the 4th century BC.
The Acropolis has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and continues to be one of the most visited landmarks in Athens today. We recommend getting a skip-the-line ticket to save on waiting time, especially if you are visiting during the peak season.
The Acropolis is also home to many historic sites, including the Parthenon and several other important temples. You can still see ruins of these monuments including parts of the surrounding walls.
Greek Monuments In Athens – Acropolis Hill
The Parthenon is the most renowned and celebrated temple of ancient Athens. Construction on the temple began in 447 BC, commissioned by Pericles to replace an older temple that had been damaged by the Persians.
This incredible Doric-style temple was completed just over 10 years later and was dedicated to the city’s patron goddess, Athena. It was one of the largest temples of its time.
The Parthenon is one of the most enduring symbols of Ancient Greece and is widely regarded as one of the finest buildings in the world. If you’re visiting Athens, this is a must-see! There are guided tours that provided a deeper insight into the ancient life.
Theatre Of Dionysus
The theatre of Dionysus is another archaeological wonder of Athens. It is the world’s first known theatre, built in the 6th century BC on the south slope of the Acropolis.
This was the birthplace of Greek tragedy, with some of the most famous playwrights and actors in history performing here, including Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes.
The theatre could seat up to 17,000 people and it was used for a variety of events such as festivals, plays, poetry competitions, and music concerts. You will almost definitely come across this site while visiting the Acropolis.
Odeon Of Herodus Atticuiss
The Odeon of Herodus Atticuis is a beautifully preserved 2,000-year-old theater located just outside the ancient walls of Athens.
Originally built in 161 AD as an entertainment and performance venue for wealthy Athenians, this ancient site has played host to some of history’s most famous performances.
Today, the Odeon is still used for performances and cultural events. If you’re interested in seeing a performance while in Athens, be sure to check the schedule at the Odeon of Herodus Atticuis!
The Erechtheion is another stunning temple in Athens, known for its intricate architecture and design that accounted for the uneven terrain it was constructed on. It is considered one of the relatively well-preserved ancient landmarks in Athens.
Built on the ruins of an ancient Greek palace, this unique structure has six Ionic columns standing free from the main building, giving it a striking appearance. This is one of the few Greek temples to have been built on top of another foundation.
This temple is also notable for its beautiful Caryatid Porch, featuring six sculptures of women in place of columns. This landmark in Athens offers you a unique insight into the rich ancient history and culture of the city.
Temple Of Athena Nike
The Temple of Athena Nike is a small but incredibly significant temple in Athens.
This temple was built to honor the Greek goddess of victory, Athena Nike. It sits on the Acropolis, next to the Parthenon, and offers incredible views over Athens.
Construction of the temple began in 427 BC but it wasn’t completed until nearly a century later. The temple features four Ionic columns and is surrounded by the ruins of other ancient Greek sites.
The Acropolis Museum is one of the most visited museums in Athens. It houses a wealth of artifacts and exhibits relating to the history of the Acropolis. This includes statues, sculptures, pottery, and jewelry. The museum also has an extensive collection of ancient Greek coins.
The top floor of the museum has a glass floor section that provides visitors with a view of the original foundations and ruins of the ancient city. If you’re interested in exploring the history and culture of Athens, prepare to spend some time at this incredible museum!
These monuments in Athens Acropolis all provides an unparalleled glimpse into the deep and dramatic stories of ancient Greece.
Ancient Landmarks In Athens
The ancient cemetery of Kerameikos was used to bury citizens of ancient Athens since the Early Bronze Age. This expansive site was one of the only places in ancient times where people could be cremated and buried.
Because of this unique history, it became a place for important Greek families to be laid to rest. Over time it serves as a kind of necropolis or final resting place for the Greek elite.
Graves usually contain the name of the buried deceased and a statue or sculpture of how they would like to be remembered. These grave sculptures, such as the marble bull from the grave of Dionysios of Kollytos, are some of the most impressive features of this landmark.
Kerameikos Cemetery is one of the most famous landmarks in both ancient and present Athens. Visit this site to explore the ancient structures, see some of the preserved tombstones and learn more about Athens’ history.
The Panathenaic Stadium is well known in Athens as one of the oldest stadiums globally. It is a must-see for any sports fan visiting the city.
Open in 566 B.C, it has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history, including hosting athletic competitions during the first modern Olympic games in 1896.
The stadium is also famous for its iconic white marble columns and arches, making it a popular site for tourists and photographers. You can explore this iconic landmark and get a glimpse into the history of this truly ancient city.
Temple Of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a ruined temple in the center of Athens. It is one of the most well-preserved ancient sites in Athens.
Located in the heart of the city, this Doric-style temple was built in the 6th century BC and dedicated to the king of the gods, Zeus. It was once one of the largest temples in the ancient world, with 104 massive Corinthian columns, each 18m (59ft) high.
Built over 700 years ago, the temple was home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: a giant statue of Zeus that stood more than 12m (40ft) tall. Today, you can wander through the ruins of this magnificent temple and marvel at its incredible architecture.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to soak up some ancient Greek culture, a visit to the Temple of Zeus is a must when in Athens!
Plato’s Academy was one of the most famous schools in ancient Greece.
It was founded in 387 BC by the philosopher Plato and taught a range of subjects including philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, and politics.
The school continued to operate for over 900 years and many famous philosophers, including Aristotle, studied here. The school closed its doors around 529 AD but many of Plato’s ideas and theories are still studied today.
Today, the site of Plato’s Academy is a peaceful park where you can wander among the ruins and imagine what life would have been like as a student here. The site also has several ruins including an olive tree that is said to be over 2000 years old.
Ancient Agora Of Athens
The Ancient Agora of Athens was the marketplace and commercial hub of the city. It was also a meeting place for philosophical discussion, as well as a site for political gatherings and speeches.
The agora was first built in the 6th century BC but soon expanded to accommodate the growing population. The most notable feature is the Temple of Hephaestus, a Doric temple that was completed in 449 BC.
Other notable landmarks include the Stoa of Attalus, the Monument of the Eponymous Heroes, and the Royal Stoa. The site is now home to a museum with many ancient artifacts on display.
The Temple Of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Theseion, is a Doric temple located on the west side of the Ancient Agora in Athens.
This well-preserved temple was built in the 5th century BC, making it one of the oldest and most intact ancient landmarks in Athens.
The temple is dedicated to Hephaestus, the Greek god of metalwork and craftsmanship.
If you are interested in ancient architecture and history, be sure to visit this incredible landmark during your time in Athens.
The Roman Agora was the center of commercial life in Athens during the Roman period. It was built in the 1st century AD and is situated between the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora.
The main attraction at this site is the Tower of the Winds, a beautiful octagonal building that has withstood the test of time. The Tower of the Winds was used as a sundial and a water clock, with each of its eight sides representing a different wind direction.
Other notable landmarks include the Gate of Athena Archegetis, which is the only remaining entrance to the agora, and the marble Tholos, which was once the meeting place for Athens’ ruling council.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Roman period of Athens, this is the perfect spot for you.
Hadrian’s Library is another famous landmark in Athens, located in the area known as the Roman Agora.
Built during the 2nd century AD, this beautiful public library was designed to house Greek manuscripts and historical texts. It also became a center for learning in ancient Athens and was used by many notable scholars throughout its history.
The library is now home to the Epigraphical Museum, which contains a wealth of ancient Greek inscriptions and artifacts. If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of Athens, this is a great place to start.
There are themed tours that take you around Athens city focusing on both the modern day city and the mythological past.
Landmarks In Athens – Squares and Districts
This large, central square is one of the most popular landmarks in Athens and was once the site of the royal palace. It is now home to the Greek Parliament building and is often referred to as ‘the Constitution Square’.
The Syntagma metro station can be found beneath the square, making it easy to get to from anywhere in the city.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is also located here, in front of the Parliament building. This monument is guarded by the Evzones, traditional Greek soldiers dressed in their unique uniforms. The changing of the guard takes place every hour on the hour and is definitely worth stopping to watch.
Sitting within the historic district, it has a unique mix of historical landmarks, cultural monuments, and modern shopping areas. Syntagma Square is popular among tourists who want to experience the true culture and history of Athens.
Whether you’re interested in ancient ruins or modern landmarks, there is something for everyone at this iconic destination.
Located just below the Acropolis hill, Plaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens. This charming area is filled with neoclassical architecture, winding streets, and traditional cafes and restaurants.
There are also many historic landmarks located here, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch.
With its relaxed atmosphere and stunning views over the city, Plaka is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking to explore the history and culture of Athens. So be sure to add it to your itinerary when you visit this beautiful city!
If you’re looking for breathtaking views of Athens, look no further than the Anafiotika neighborhood.
This small, picturesque district is located on the north-eastern side of the Acropolis and was once home to masons who were brought over from the Greek island of Anafi to work on the construction of the palace on the Acropolis.
Today, Anafiotika is a charming neighborhood known for its beautiful neoclassical architecture and stunning views of the Acropolis.
Spend an afternoon wandering through this quaint neighborhood and soaking in the incredible history that surrounds you at every turn.
Ermou Street is also a popular destination within Athens. This pedestrian-only street is lined with shops and cafes, making it the perfect place to enjoy local cuisine or have an afternoon coffee. The street is bustling with activity at all times of day, and you see a real mix of things from branded stores to street vendors and buskers.
Other Famous Landmarks In Athens
The Athens Trilogy
The Athens Trilogy refers to three neoclassical buildings in Athens, Greece: the University of Athens, the National Library of Greece, and the Academy of Athens.
Designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen in 1859, the trilogy was intended to symbolize the rebirth of learning and civilization in Greece.
The buildings are constructed of Pentelic marble, a type that takes its name from Mount Pentelicus, a mountain in northeastern Attica near Athens. The building complex is also home to statues of Athena and Apollo.
Today, the trilogy is a major tourist attraction, and visitors can explore its beautiful interiors and learn more about Greek culture, art, and history.
Whether you are traveling to Athens for business or pleasure, be sure to visit these remarkable landmarks to better understand this fascinating city.
The Greek Parliament
The Greek Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are two iconic landmarks that are a must-visit for travelers to Athens.
Located just steps away from Syntagma Square, the Parliament building is an impressive monument that pays tribute to Greek democracy, history, and culture. The current Greek Parliament building was completed in 1927, following the design of Danish architect Theophil Hansen.
The impressive neoclassical style building is located in Syntagma Square, the central square of Athens.
Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier
In front of the parliament building, you will find the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.
This is one of the most sacred landmarks in Athens. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a moving memorial built to honor the Greek soldiers who fought and died in World War I, the Asia Minor Campaign, and the Greek Civil War.
This monument is guarded day and night by members of the Presidential Guard, in traditional Greek dress.
It’s a beautiful and solemn tribute to the sacrifices that have been made in Greece’s long history.
National Archaeological Museum
Located in Athens, the National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in Greece and one of the greatest museums in Europe.
Here you can find a wealth of artifacts from ancient Greek history, including sculptures, jewelry, pottery, and other stunning pieces that offer a glimpse into this fascinating culture.
Whether you are interested in art, history, or just want to learn more about this fascinating city, the National Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Athens.
Monastiraki Flea Market
The Monastiraki Flea Market is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Athens.
This vibrant market is located in the city center, near Monastiraki Square. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of goods on sale, including souvenirs, antiques, and local Greek produce. The market is open daily, with the best time to visit in the morning when it is less crowded.
If you’re looking for authentic souvenirs or Greek products, be sure to stop by this iconic landmark in Athens!
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Athens, then take a hike up Mount Lycabettus. This is the highest point in the city and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Aegean Sea.
There are two ways to reach the top, either by taking the 19th-century funicular that runs halfway up or by hiking the 715 meters of winding trails.
Once you reach the top, take in the incredible views and explore some of the landmarks located there, including Saint George’s church, an amphitheater, as well as cafes, and restaurants.
Panagia Kapnikarea Church
The Panagia Kapnikarea Church is one of the oldest churches in Athens, dating back to the 11th century.
This small, one-roomed church was constructed over an ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The beautiful Byzantine-style frescoes that adorn the walls and ceiling date back to the 16th century.
The church is still in use today and is one of the most popular landmarks in Athens for both locals and visitors alike.
Famous Greek Landmarks Around Athens
Temple Of Poseidon, Sounion
Just 60km from Athens, the Temple of Poseidon is a stunning Greek landmark that attracts thousands of travelers every year. Built around 440 BC, this temple was dedicated to Poseidon – the god of the sea.
Today, it stands in ruins along the coast of Sounion and it’s one of the most picturesque landmarks in all of Greece.
The highlight of the site is undoubtedly its location, perched on top of a cliff with sweeping views of the Aegean Sea and the Greek islands beyond. One of the most popular activities here is to catch the sunset at this superb vantage point.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience during your trip to Athens, be sure to visit the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.
The Archaeological Site Of Eleusis
The archaeological site of Eleusis is located around 19km (12mi) northwest of Athens. This site is home to the Sanctuary of Demeter, one of the most important religious sites in ancient Greece.
People would come from all over the Greek world to take part in the Eleusinian Mysteries, a series of ceremonies and rituals held in honor of Demeter and her daughter Persephone.
The site has been excavated continuously since 1887 and features the remains of many ancient temples, altars, courtyards, terraces, and other monumental buildings.
Today, the archaeological site is one of the most popular landmarks in Athens for travelers to explore and learn about Greek history and culture.
There are many half and full day trips from Athens that make for a great experience.
Discovering Greek Monuments And Landmarks In Athens
These are just some of the famous landmarks and monuments in Athens that you can visit. Whether you are a history buff or simply looking to immerse yourself in the culture of Greece, these landmarks offer a fascinating glimpse into ancient Greek history and culture that cannot be found anywhere else.
From the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the Parthenon, Athens is the perfect place to explore all that Greece has to offer. With so much to explore in this vibrant city, it is truly the perfect destination for any traveler looking to experience the beauty and wonder of Greece.