The question is… What is a visit to Athens if you didn’t go to the Acropolis? It’s the symbol of Athens and a present-day testament of our connection to prehistoric civilizations! And yes, checking it out is a must! So be prepared to be awestruck as I take you around an ancient city on top of a hill! Ready?
1. The PARTHENON
Let’s be honest, most of us will go to Acropolis just to see the PARTHENON! It was attacked and severely damaged as a temple, a church and a mosque but still look stunning until today! Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare must have been really protecting it all this time!
Believe it or not, this is the most sacred structure in Acropolis even more sacred than the Parthenon. It contains the graves of mythical kings and houses the wooden cult statue of Athena! It’s elegance and fine details will certainly catch your eye!
Welcome to the The Propylaia: the gateway to Acropolis! Clearly it was once the residence and sanctuary of the ruling class having such a grandiose entrance! Though it remains unfinished up until today, it is still a masterpiece of art considering its elaborate design and remarkably creative monumental gates!
4. The Temple of Athena Nike
Right next to the Propylaia is the most well-preserved temple in Acropolis: Temple of Athena Nike! “Nike” means victory in Greek for the information of everyone! It was built in honour to the goddess of victory Athena. It is the pearl of Acropolis as it is situated at the edge of a high cliff and is elaborately designed and decorated! Just a reminder, it’s really quite small and you might miss it so keep an eye out!
5. Old Temple of Athena
Located between Erechtheion and Parthenon is the old temple of Athena! It was dedicated to Athena Polias, the patron goddess of the city of Athens. This building was made out of of premium limestones though today only the foundations of its’ south side are visible to visitors.
6. Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Known as “Herodeon” to locals, the theatre has survived to this day almost in its original form! The outstanding political figure Herodes Atticus built this amphitheatre in memory of his beautiful wife Regilla who died at a young age. Built at the base of Acropolis, the Odeon seats 5,000 spectators per show. AAAhhhh… Writing this blog makes me want to fly back to Athens and witness a concert, play, ballet or opera in this magnificent open-air theatre!
And while in the Acropolis… Soak in the superb panorama of the city! The sights from this spot are as beautiful as the views from Mount Lycabettus!
And lastly… Here are my 10 tips before you go!
1. Arrive early morning or late in the afternoon. Stay ahead of the day trippers and group tours that come in hundreds!
2. Cash is king if you’re buying your tickets on site! You would have to line up longer if you’re paying by card!
3. Don’t forget to pack your hat, sunscreen and sunglasses to protect you from the hot sun & bright surroundings!
4. Avoid tripping or falling over the slippery white cobblestones by wearing good pair of walking shoes!
5. Pack lots of water. The sun is intense at the top of the hill, there is no shade because of its location so please stay hydrated!
6. Allow enough time to experience the Acropolis! Don’t be like other tourists who push and elbow in because they’re rushing and short in time.
7. Look up and take in views other than the Parthenon, the other monuments are worth your attention as well! PROMISE!
8. Do some research before you go. Having an understanding of what you’re looking at will make your experience more meaningful!
9. Please don’t be surprised that some structures are damaged and under construction.
10. For more information about opening times, ticket prices and transportation, visit their official website!
Visiting Acropolis is on many traveller’s bucket list all over the world so please make the most out of your trip! Hope my practical tips somehow help you in one way or two!
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments!
Let’s also be Instagram buddies! Follow me: @thetravelbelle, Thank you guys!
Love from Greece,
The Travel Belle