Athens, the Ancient Greek City
Athens, Greece, a place I’ve wanted to go to ever since taking Greek mythology classes in high school and university. I’m fascinated in the history, the myths, the Olympic origins and the amazing Architecture! I had 48 hours in Athens, and man did I make the best of my time here, taking in 36,000 steps in 45degree weather! If you go, remember your sunscreen!
Let’s begin with the main attraction of Athens… The Acropolis! Turns out, the Acropolis is the name of the mountain the temple sits on, not the temple itself which is called Parthenon. If you want to go into different attractions, you can get the package tickets, about €16 for 8 attractions/museums such as the Acropolis, Roman and Greek Agora —-. As you get into the Acropolis, you hike your way up the mountain while stopping to take pictures of all the ruins you see along the way, statues, carved walls, temples, theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a full theatre still in tact through renovations and is still used for concerts.
As you make your way to the top of the mountain, you reach the temples! Temple of Athena Nike, Old Temple of Athena, Parthenon and Erechtheion. All the temples are very warn and some under restoration. All situated on the top of the mountain lets you walk around and have tons of photo opportunities with the city in the lower background. From up here, the city looks amazing through the misty skies rumbling with thunder and lightening. The rain and lightening somehow missed the Acropolis but hit everywhere else in the city. An odd and lucky sight.
Make your way outside the main old downtown area and head over to the Temple of Zeus, sitting just outside the National Garden. This temple, which originally had 104 columns now only has 16 due to all the marble being used for building the rest of the city and some columns being stolen. You pay about €6 to get into it, and honestly, it is not worth it. To still get a full view and save your money, check out the columns from outside the fenced area beside Hadrian’s Arch.
Hadrian’s Arch is also great to see at night with the lit up temple on the Acropolis in the background!
Then there is the Roman Agora, which are ruins of old library, temple, arches and houses. Included in the cost of the €16 sightseeing ticket, if you go on time you can get a history lesson of the different sites and get to walk around them. Don’t want to spend the money? Just see the ruins from the fenced perimeter. This area also closes early so be wary of when you are planning to visit.
Then is the Ancient Agora of Athens where this is a museum in and outside an old temple building and where you can see columns, old money, busts and statues. You can climb up to see the most intact Greek temple in Athens, Temple of Hephaestus, which has a great view of the area and is a great photography spot!
Now for my honest review of specifically the ancient ruins of Athens I spoke about. Having been to the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, Italy, the largest grouping of Greek ruins and preserved temples in the world, honestly, I think it’s better to go to the Italy version then Athens. Why? Because it’s cheaper to get in to see €11, they’re all together on a mountain top making for a couple hours hike and photo stopping exploration, rather than being dispersed around the city. This place is amazing to see lit up at nighttime. The Valley of Temples also has the only fully preserved Greek temple in the world still standing! I’m going to make a separate post about the Valley of Temples to include more details and photos and you can judge for comparison. If you want the full Greek experience, go to Athens, you just want to just see Greek temples, go to Italy.