By Evangelia Pfahler
Join Evangelia as she takes you on a tour through lovely Athens and beyond. She’s been snapping away to share these photos with you.
Athens is synonymous with Ancient Greek culture, full of world-famous monuments and architectural landmarks. A stroll in the city centre is like walking through time.
The top archaeological site is with no doubt the Acropolis with the temple of Parthenon dedicated to Athena, daughter of Zeus and patron of the city; the Erechtheion dedicated to both Athena and the God Poseidon; and the Propylea and the surrounding area of the Ancient Greek Agora, forming together the cultural, spiritual and religious centre of the ancient city.
The visitor will also find the Herod Atticus Odeon, an ancient theatre that hosts all kinds of national and international performing arts every Summer during the Athens Festival. It’s an unforgettable experience under the illuminated Acropolis. The pedestrian area is very extensive connecting all the main archaeological sites and the ones of more recent times. The new Acropolis museum, which is amongst the best in the world, hosts all the important finds from the Acropolis. The biggest collection however, of Ancient Greek artifacts, is the National Archaeological Museum. Other important museums are the Benaki, the Kerameikos, the Byzantine museum and the Cycladic Art museum.
There are a few other temples like the Zeus Temple, built in the Corinthian Style, one of the largest of the ancient world. Certainly you will stop at Syntagma Square where the Greek Parliament is and watch the Change of the Guards at the monument of the Unknown Soldier. One shouldn’t forget to visit the “Kalimarmaro,” the Panatheinaic Stadium, where the first Olympic Games of the modern times took place in 1896. It is the only Stadium in the world made entirely of white marble, thus the name “Kalimarmaro.”
For the ones who want a special view over the city, Lycabettus Hill is the next stop. One should also take time and visit the many churches, some of which like the Panagia Kapnikarea are dated back to the 11th century. Walk from Thisio to Monastiraki, checking antique shops and traditional art shops. Stop for a coffee at Avissinias square or eat in one of the traditional restaurants in Plaka.
Athens is also a vibrant shopping centre. Around Syntagma Square one can find all the leading high street brands, and a bit further in the area of Kolonaki, some of the most influential fashion houses open their doors.
If you are interested in gold and silver jewellery, especially copies of museum items and new interpretations of the rich heritage in jewelry making, then you are in the right place.
If you have additional time then plan a visit to the coastal area. From Piraeus to Sounio, the road is great for a scenic drive and it ends at the temple of Poseidon in Sounio where you can experience gorgeous sunsets.
Whatever you are up to, Athens is not only the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of Democracy, the home of Plato and Socrates and Pericles, but it’s also an irresistible and vibrant city full of exciting hidden treasures still to be discovered.
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