While some travelers choose to avoid the usual top tourist destinations, visiting these popular spots in Athens is simply a must. After all, they pack so much history that continues to live in the ruins and structures found all over the city. Even if you are not a huge fan of history, there is still the Mediterranean climate and breathtaking scenery to enchant you. And don’t forget about Greek food.
1. The Acropolis
Nothing else is seen as representative of Greece as these preserved buildings and monuments. No other place has as many well-maintained Ancient Greek architectural structures and seeing them live is truly awe-inspiring. The Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Mike, the Propylaea gate, and the Acropolis Museum allow you to marvel at what these ancient civilizations were able to build without modern technology.
Any trip to Athens is just not complete without going for a stroll here. The charming and at times, confusing alleys of Plaka are the best way to soak up your surroundings and to marvel at being in the presence of such a beautiful place. Beyond being full of neoclassical buildings with red-tiled roofs, it is a great place to visit some cafes, shops, and museums. Museums in the area like the Museum of Greek Folk Art and the Jewish Museum of Greece are also worth a visit.
While technically outside of Athens, Mycenae is close enough for a day trip. The 90 kilometer trip will be well worth your while if you are crazy about Greek history. Here you can see the tomb of Clytemnestra, the popular Lion’s Gate, and the Palace of Agamemnon. Plus, the trip will offer you great views of the Saronic Gulf coast.
While Greece is known to be a historical place, places like Epidavros are not just stuck in the past. Being home to the ancient Theater of Epidaurus as well as the Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus and the Sanctuary of Asclepios (the most popular healing center in the world in the ancient times), the city is the perfect spot to mix the old and the new. The popular Theater, while used for very different events back then, is still a top choice for festivals and concerts. It is also outside of Athens, but accessible by a 2-hour drive.
5. Temple of Poseidon
Found in Cape Sounion, the southernmost tip of the Attica Peninsula, the Temple of Poseidon can be reached easily from Athens. Beyond viewing this majestic temple, you can enjoy a day at the beach or simply try out the taverns around. Just make sure you view the sunset here, and you will be rewarded with a sight that you will not easily forget.
Avoiding the crowds is not going to be easy because of the many visitors who want to marvel at these historical sites, but it is worth all the hassle. Visiting Athens is definitely like taking a step back into the past, so even if you are not a huge fan of history, you should not miss doing a short time travel to Ancient Greece.