If you were given 24 Hours to see the best places in Greece’s capital and largest city, Athens, you would probably be wondering where you can get maximum and premium enjoyment. You don’t have to think too hard about it as this blog post would talk about a couple of amazing spots in Athen that a visitor like you can go to and get the most of the City in 24 Hours.
But firstly, we have to understand that Athens, Greece’s capital and largest city is located on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the seventh-largest city in the EU with a population of about four million. The hub of Greece’s economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political, and cultural activity is Athens, a sizable metropolis with a diverse population. Around 3.5 million people, or about 35% of Greece’s total population, lived in the urban area of Athens in 2021.
With a recorded history spanning more than 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting sometime between the 11th and 7th millennia BC, Athens dominates and serves as the capital of the Attica area. Athens is also one of the oldest cities in the world. The city of Athens is situated inside the boundaries of the Attica Basin and is encircled by four sizable mountains, one at each end. Nature lovers frequently hike up their lush green sides to take in the breathtaking vistas.
Most people plan their holiday time to be spent on the amazing and diverse Greek islands now that Greece is once again accessible to tourism. When you discover this undiscovered jewel of a city and its neighborhoods, you’ll be dying to return. Athens has a lot to offer visitors. Let’s look at what a typical day in Athens looks like.
Athens International Airport, 40 kilometers from the city center, is the destination for all flights from continental Europe, the US, and other countries. As a result, you have two options for getting to Monastariki from the Athens International Airport: either use the Line 3 (Blue Line), which costs €10 for a one-way ticket from the airport, or take a cab, which, depending on traffic, takes less than 30 minutes. A taxi stand is located right outside the arrivals area of the airport. A taxi fare ranges from €30 to €50.
Great! Now that you’re in the city, in order to get it here are some of the places you must not miss out on.
1. The Acropolis:
The Greek word for acropolis, roughly translates to “highest point,” suggests that the Acropolis was once Athens’ highest point. The building’s origins can be traced to the Mycenaean megaron, the first example of an open portico and a huge hall with a throne in the middle. The significant monuments on the Acropolis were created in the 5th century BC with help from Pericles, the General of Athens, and have endured centuries of looting and assault. The Acropolis is well over 2,500 years old, it is distinguished by how well it has withstood the test of time, withstanding several battles, earthquakes, and looting.
Athens’ Acropolis is magnificent. You can see this enormous rock, which is home to the Parthenon and other structures, rising up from the surrounding area from miles away. The highest point in a city, an acropolis typically houses significant structures like the Parthenon. While planning how to spend your 24 hours in
Athens, think about taking a tour of the Acropolis. The Acropolis Museums, which include priceless artifacts that have been unearthed through numerous excavations, are best visited if you have more time to spare. Tours last 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the best times to visit are either early in the morning or right before it shuts for the day. Akropol, the closest bus stop, is just 250 meters away from the ticket office.
To get to Acropolis by metro station, the closest metro station is only 800 meters away from the ticket office, to get there by car, take the road to Ρoβέρτου Γκάλλι 5 and then turn right into Rovertou Galli 39 road. Then turn right to enter Dionysiou Areopagitou Road, at the end of the road is the ticket office. The Acropolis is accessible every day from 8 am till sunset. However take note that from summer to winter, the closing times vary.
2. The Ancient Agora:
It is regarded as one of the most significant locations in the Greek city, served as the hub of Athens and was where many political groups and juries would convene to meet, associate, and discuss current topics, express their concerns, and consider possible courses of action.
The archaeological site is located directly between Thission and Monastiraki, two neighborhoods, to the northwest of the Acropolis. You will learn about the democratic system of ancient Athens and its origins in this vibrant setting. It is advisable to visit Athens’ old agora early in the day, before the heat of the day sets in as the tour lasts for about 2 hours depending on what you plan to see.
This is particularly true in the summer when it can get extremely hot. Thiseio (Line 1) and Monastiraki are the closest metro stations while Thiseio is the closest train station to the ancient Agora. The following dates are free entry days: March 6, April 18, May 18, the final weekend in September, October 28, and every Sunday from November 1 to March 31.
3. The Plaka Neighborhood:
Plaka is one of the favorite neighborhoods for visitors in Athens and is in the shadow of the Acropolis. It is an island for those who don’t have the time to visit the Greek Islands. Plaka, Athens, GreeceThe Plaka is the oldest section of Athens. Most of the streets have been closed to automobile traffic, though you should still keep a watchful eye for speeding motorcycles or delivery trucks. At one time it was the nightclub district, but most of these closed down when the government outlawed amplified music in the neighborhood in the seventies in an effort to get rid of undesirables.
There are many street performers, flower vendors, photographers, bead merchants, and those who will write your name on a grain of rice in the Plaka.There are numerous major and small archaeological sites in the Plaka. About a block away from Adrianou on Aeolou street lies the well-known Tower of the Winds, which was once a part of the Roman Agora. The grave of Phillip of Macedon and a location of immense magic were later claimed to exist there, but in reality, it was a meteorological station erected in the first century by the Syrian astronomer Andronikos Kyrrhestes. It contained a mechanical representation of the sun, moon, and the five known planets, as well as a hydraulic clock powered by a reservoir on the south side.
The Plaka is a great place to be whether you enjoy people watching, eating, shopping, or simply strolling around. With a minimum of touch with the elements of contemporary civilization that many people find unpleasant—autos, pollution, noise, and crowds—you can walk from here to all the desirable areas of central Athens. The Plaka, which resembles a tiny island in the heart of the city, once served as the administrative center of Athens. If you have some spare time, get off the usual path and explore the side streets. Climb the hill to observe structures that have lasted for thousands of years or admire the architecture of structures that have stood for hundreds of years.
You can get to central Athens via the Metro, which costs 10 euros or 5 euros for seniors, and will likely take you to Monastiraki for the Plaka neighborhood. Excellent value that is also speedy, tidy, and secure as long as you watch your possessions. 38 euros is the standard fare from the airport to Plaka, though it also depends on the time of day or night. The airport entrance is across the street from the Metro. Take the causeway to the ticket office after ascending the steps. Purchase your ticket, descend the steps, and await the Metro.
4. The National Archaeological Museum:
It is one of the most significant museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. It is also the largest archaeological museum in Greece. It was established at the end of the 19th century to preserve and display the historical, cultural, and artistic worth of antiquities from all across Greece and is regarded as one of the greatest museums in the world and has the largest collection of antiquities from Greek antiquity anywhere.
It is located in the Exarcheia neighborhood of central Athens between Epirus Street, Bouboulinas Street, and Tositsas Street, with its entrance on Patission Street right next to the university’s historic main building. The Central Museum was the institution’s original name. The current name was given to it in 1881 by Greek Prime Minister Charilaos Trikoupis. Some of the notable collections in the museum include sculptures, amphoras, Kraters, Pelikes, Hydrias, Skyphos, Hydria containers, Steles, frescoes, jewelry, weapons, tools, coins, toys, and other artifacts from antiquity.
Archaeological digs in Santorini, the Aegean Islands, the Temple of Aphaea in Aegina, the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia in Sparta, Athens, Vari Cave, the Antikythera wreck, and other locations throughout Greece have produced artifacts in the museum. The 2004 Athens Olympics masks of Athena and Phevos were designed in part by drawing inspiration from an ancient terracotta sculpture housed in the museum.
The following days are open from November 1 through March 31: Tuesday, from 13:00 until 20:00; Wednesday through Monday: 07:30 to 15:00. Also, the following days are open from April 16 through October 31: Tuesday, 13:00–20:00; Monday through Wednesday: 8:00 – 20:00. The cost of entry to the museum is: 6€ (from November 1 through March 31) and 12€ (April 1st – October 31st).
With these few places listed above, be sure that you as a visitor will spend 24 Hours of your time seeing the best places in the city of Athens. We hope that you now have a bit of knowledge on places that are worth checking in Athens as we listed a couple of them in this blog post.From The Acropolis to the Ancient Agora to the Plaka Neighborhood and finally the National Archaeological Museum. Always keep cash on you (Euros). Credit cards and debit cards are not widely accepted.
Thankfully, the city is dotted with many ATMs. Pickpockets should also be avoided because they are very common in Athens, especially in crowded cafes, public areas, and the metro. And finally, tap water in Athens is safe to drink. In fact, public fountains may be found all over the city.
To stay hydrated while exploring the city, bring a reusable water bottle. This concludes our discussion of 24 Hours of sightseeing and experiencing Athens. Have you been to this city? Post your stories and advice in the comments section below!
Written by : Olamide Olajoseph