The Top 10 'Must-Sees' in Athens: tips from a Greek guide

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June is a glorious month to visit Greece; the weather is beautiful and you’ll miss the summer’s peak crowds. Today Jordan, an experienced driver-guide in Athens, Greece wants to extend a warm welcome to travelers by presenting his personal top ten “must-sees and dos” in his fabled hometown.

My top 10 "Must sees and dos" in Athens:

1. The Acropolis. The Acropolis Hill (acro - edge, polis - city), the so called the "Sacred Rock" of Athens, is the most important site of the city and constitutes one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. It’s unmissable.

2. The New Acropolis Museum. Located 300 yards from the Parthenon, this impressive museum houses masterpieces of ancient Greek civilization and art, including sculptures, friezes, and figurines. The third floor is a rectangular glass gallery that displays the Parthenon Marbles with exactly the same dimensions they once occupied on the Parthenon.

3. Mount Lycabettus. Sometimes the best things in life are free. Like a walk to the top of Mount Lycabettus in the center of Athens to see the fantastic panoramic view of the city. Or take the cable car that goes through the mountain, taking you to the top where you will find the small chapel of St. George.

4. The Plaka. A visit to Athens is not complete until you take a stroll through the Plaka. Shops, galleries of Greek art, pottery, jewellery and more are found in this maze of narrow streets. Don’t forget to try a traditional souvlaki at one of the outdoor tavernas!

5. The National Archaeological Museum. This is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. It was founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value.

6. Syntagma Square. Also known as “Constitution Square” is located in central Athens. The Square is named after the Constitution that King Otto was forced to grant the people after a popular and military uprising, on September 3, 1843. Every hour, the changing of the guard ceremony, performed by the Presidential Guard, is conducted in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the area between the square and parliament. On Sundays and official holidays, the ceremonial changing of the guard takes place with an army band and the majority of the 120 Evzones present at 11am.

7. The National Garden. Those in search of refuge from the heat and urban sprawl of Athens will love the city’s superb National Garden. Just behind the Greek Parliament, this oasis offers over 15 hectares of land to explore at your own pace, with ancient ruins to ogle at every turn.

8. The Academy of Athens. The de facto national academy of Greece is a tribute to the Academy of Plato and honours the traditions of knowledge, philosophy and study in the country. The main Neo-classical complex, built in the late 19th century, is one of the central landmarks in Athens.

9. Panathiniakos Stadium. The ancient stadium from 566 BC made entirely of white marble was the host of the first modern day Olympics in 1896 and has a capacity of 45,000 spectators.

10. Cape Sounion. Although it is 70 km from Athens, Cape Sounion still merits consideration as a must-see attraction in the capital city. The Temple of Poseidon is perched on the peninsula cliffs at the southernmost part of Attica. A romantic setting for breathtaking sunsets. Don't forget your camera!

...I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. Come and see Athens for yourself!

To chat with Jordan about his sightseeing ideas in and around Athens, and to read what other travelers thought of his tours, go to Jordan’s guide profile page.
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