Athens’s unmissable landmarks and historical sights

Embark on a historical Athenian journey. Our guide to the top Athens landmarks will take you from the majestic Acropolis to the charming Anafiotika.

Explore the treasures of one of the world's oldest cities with our guide to the 10 best Athens landmarks. Athens, a city where ancient history and contemporary culture blend, captivates with its vibrant street life, extraordinary heritage, and delicious cuisine. There are many experiences to enjoy, from the majestic Parthenon, a testament to Greece's ancient glory, to the lively Varvakios Agora, bursting with fresh flavors.

Explore Greece's rich history at the National Archaeological Museum, then relax in the tranquility of the National Garden, a verdant oasis in the bustling metropolis. Wander through the stone-paved streets of the Plaka neighborhood, and let your senses be stimulated by the modernist artworks at the Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art. Marvel at the Byzantine beauty of the Church of the Holy Apostles and witness the grandeur of the Changing of the Guard at Syntagma Square. As you travel through Athens, from its high hills to its historic heart, you will discover that each landmark tells a unique story that contributes to the rich tapestry of this fascinating city.

Historic and architectural landmarks in Athens

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1. The Acropolis

Arguably one of the most historic landmarks in Athens, the Acropolis, the "High City" of Athens, is the epitome of the ancient world and classical architecture. As you walk the marbled paths and stairways, you'll be enthralled by the Parthenon's breathtaking beauty, Erechtheion's exquisite elegance, and the Propylaea's imposing grandeur. This UNESCO World Heritage site promises an unforgettable journey through time.

Highlights:

Have a stress and waiting-free experience with an Acropolis Skip-the-Line with Audio Tour.

Address and opening hours:

Athens 105 58, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM.

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2. The Agora of Athens

Visit the vibrant heart of ancient Athens — the Agora. Once a marketplace and a center of political, commercial, and social life, the Agora now contains a wealth of well-preserved ruins, including temples and public buildings. You'll feel the heartbeat of ancient Greece with every step you take.

Highlights:

Add a healthy dose of convenience to your trip with the Delphi Guided Day Trip with Pickup & Optional Lunch.

Address and opening hours:

Athens 105 55, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM.

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3. The Temple of Olympian Zeus

Be astonished by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, a gigantic monument that was once the greatest temple in Greece. Even in its partially ruined state, the temple's surviving columns are a powerful reminder of the grandeur and architectural mastery of ancient Greece.

Highlights:

Get your Temple of Olympian Zeus E-Ticket and Audio Tour and make sure you don't miss any facet of this remarkable landmark.

Address and opening hours:

Athens 105 57, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-3:00 PM.

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4. The Theatre of Dionysus

Visit the birthplace of drama at the Theatre of Dionysus. The world's first plays were performed here, making it a site of great historical and cultural significance. Even in ruins, the stone seats and stage resound with the echoes of ancient performances.

Highlights:

Make a full day of your visit to the theatre by incorporating it into an Acropolis, Parthenon, and Museum Tour with Tickets.

Address and opening hours:

Mitseon 25, Athina 117 42, Greece. Open 8:00 AM-8:00 PM Monday-Thursday, and 8:00 AM-10:00 PM the rest of the week.

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5. The Byzantine and Christian Museum

Step back in time to medieval times at the Byzantine and Christian Museum. This treasure trove of Byzantine and Christian art houses over 25,000 artifacts, including icons, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles, illuminating the Byzantine Empire's religious and secular life.

Highlights:

Pack a full day's worth of culture into a short space of time with a 6-Hour Guided Tour with Transfers.

Address and opening hours:

Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 22, Athina 106 75, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM except Tuesdays, when it is open 1:00 PM-8:00 PM.

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6. Kerameikos Cemetery

Visit the Kerameikos Cemetery, one of the most important ancient sites in Athens, and experience its serenity. The site, which was once a prominent burial ground and pottery district, offers a profound glimpse into the city's history, culture, and artistic heritage. With its archaeological remains and peaceful atmosphere, Kerameikos is a place for quiet contemplation.

Highlights:

Give your weary feet a rest with a Best of Athens Small-Group Segway Tour

Address and opening hours:

Ermou 148, Athina 105 53, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM except weekends when it closes at 3:00 PM.

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7. The Museum of Cycladic Art

The Museum of Cycladic Art is a portal to the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus. The museum's impressive collections of Cycladic, Ancient Greek, and Cypriot art beautifully depict the artistic flair and ingenuity of these civilizations, taking you on a captivating journey back in time.

Highlights:

Plan your trip in advance with a pre-booked Museum of Cycladic Art Entry Ticket

Address and opening hours:

Neofitou Douka 4, Athina 106 74, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday-Saturday with the exception of Tuesday when it is closed. Open 11:00 AM-5:00 PM on Sundays.

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8. The National Garden

The National Garden is a lush oasis in the middle of Athens. This peaceful park, which is home to a variety of trees, plants, and even a small zoo, provides a refreshing break from the city's urban environment. Whether you're looking for a place to jog, have a picnic, or take a leisurely stroll, the National Garden is the place to go.

Highlights:

See the garden's natural beauty in style; take in the Highlights by Electric Trikke Bike.

Address and opening hours:

Leof. Vasilisis Amalias 1, Athina 105 57, Greece. Open daily 6:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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9. The Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art

The Goulandris Museum is a must-visit for art lovers and culture enthusiasts alike. It houses an impressive collection of 20th-century art, including works by international masters such as Picasso, Matisse, and Kandinsky, as well as prominent Greek artists. Immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art at the Goulandris Museum.

Highlights:

Get your Goulandris Natural History Museum Entry Ticket early for a smooth trip to this popular attraction.

Address and opening hours:

Levidou 13, Kifisia 145 62, Greece. Open Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-2:30 PM, Saturday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM.

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10. The Benaki Museum

Lose yourself in the sea of art at the Benaki Museum. This cultural kaleidoscope showcases Greek art from prehistoric to modern times, as well as Islamic and Chinese art. Its rich collections span thousands of years, providing insights into various civilizations and artistic movements.

Highlights:

Enjoy a diverse slice of Greek history and culture with Benaki Museum of Greek Culture Admission Tickets.

Address and opening hours:

Koumpari 1, Athina 106 74, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Open 10:00 AM-4:00 PM Sundays. Open 10:00 AM-11:30 PM Thursdays. Closed Tuesdays.

Scenic and natural landmarks in Athens

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11. Philopappos Hill

To experience a mix of history, nature, and stunning views, climb Philopappos Hill. This hill, which is topped by the Philopappos Monument, a mausoleum dedicated to a prominent Roman consul, provides a peaceful respite from the city's bustle. The ascent is well worth it for the rewarding views of the Acropolis and Athens.

Highlights:

Get unparalleled views after dark with a 2-Hour Highlights Tour by E-Bike After Sunset.

Address and opening hours

Athens 117 41, Greece. Tour times vary.

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12. Lycabettus Hill

The summit of Lycabettus Hill, the city's highest point, offers the best view of Athens. Whether you hike up or take the funicular, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of Athens, stretching out to the Aegean Sea. The hill's picturesque chapel, theater, and restaurant add to the experience.

Highlights:

Get an authentic-yet convenient tour of the region in a tuk-tuk with a 1-Hour Private Sightseeing Tour by Electric Tuk-Tuk

Address and opening hours

Athens 114 71, Greece. Tour times vary.

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13. Lake Vouliagmeni

Lake Vouliagmeni, located just outside Athens, is a natural wonder with its therapeutic thermal waters. The lake, which is nestled between a rugged cliff and the Aegean Sea, is rich in minerals and maintains a year-round temperature of 22-29°C, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing dip no matter the season.

Highlights:

Visit the lake as part of a Ancient Highlights & Cape Sounion Private Day Tour to make the most of your day.

Address and opening hours:

Vouliagmeni 166 71, Greece. Tour times vary.

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14. Cape Sounion

Cape Sounion, located on the southernmost tip of Attica, is renowned for its ancient Temple of Poseidon, which is dramatically situated atop a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. The site's natural beauty is as stunning as its historical significance, with breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding countryside.

Highlights:

Visit the region in the evening with the Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon Half Day Tour and experience the wonder of Greece by soft sunset.

Address and opening hours:

Cape Sounio, Sounio 195 00, Greece. Open daily from 10:00 AM-sunset.

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15. Thermopylae Hot Springs

A trip to the Thermopylae Hot Springs, situated near Athens, provides a one-of-a-kind chance to bathe in warm, therapeutic waters, a setting of historical importance, as it is known for the famous battle between Greeks and Persians in 480 BC.

Highlights:

Have a great time on a tour of the stunning Meteora rocks and the monasteries that are perched on them with this Meteora Monasteries Tour from Athens.

Address and opening hours:

Λουτρά Θερμοπυλων 350 09, Greece. Tour times vary.

FAQs

What is the oldest historic landmark in Athens?

The Acropolis, particularly the Parthenon, is one of the oldest and most important historical landmarks in Athens. Built in the 5th century BC, these ancient structures are emblematic of Athens's rich historical and architectural legacy.

What are some free landmarks to visit in Athens?

Although many of Athens's landmarks charge an entrance fee, there are many that can be visited without spending any money. A must-see is the Changing of the Guard at Syntagma Square, a lively display of traditional uniforms and precision marching.

Are there any guided tours that focus on the architecture of Athens’s landmarks?

There are indeed a number of guided tours in Athens that focus on the city's architecture. These tours explore the architectural wonders of ancient Greece, visiting iconic landmarks such as the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Hephaestus.

How can I get the best views of scenic landmarks in Athens?

The hills of Athens are a fantastic location to take in panoramic views of the city and its landmarks. The summit of Lycabettus Hill, the highest point in the city, offers breathtaking views of Athens and the Aegean Sea. Philopappos Hill is another excellent location, with stunning views of the Acropolis.

What are some natural landmarks near Athens worth visiting?

Athens, in addition to its historical city center, is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The National Garden, an urban oasis with a diverse range of plants and animals, is worth exploring. If you are looking for a longer trip, consider visiting Cape Sounion, home to the ancient Temple of Poseidon and known for its stunning sunsets.