What to see in Greece
Acropolis of Athens
Tourist attractions Acropolis of Athens
An ancient citadel perched on a rocky outcrop, high above the Greek capital, the Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous monuments in the world. Holding many treasures and secrets of ancient Greek society, the Acropolis was once the centre of the Greek world and is, today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As one of the most complete Greek monument complexes of our time, visiting the Athens Acropolis is high on the bucket lists of many travellers. There’s little wonder it’s one of the star attractions of a tour of Greece.
After an uphill climb from downtown Athens, visitors arrive at one of the worlds most recognisable monuments, originally used as a fortress during its early history. After being destroyed by the Persians, Pericles, the father of western democracy, transformed the Acropolis into a sacred sanctuary of temples at the heart of his beloved Athens. It became a place where everyday Athenians could pay homage to their gods and goddesses and attend important events. If you visit the Athens Acropolis today you can trace the stories and history of Athens through these well-preserved ruins.
One tip to remember when visiting the Acropolis is to avoid the hottest parts of the day, especially during the summer months. The hill lacks shaded areas so it’s better to visit during the morning or late afternoon. The Acropolis is occasionally open to visitors in the evenings too!
What to see at the Acropolis of Athens
A trip to the Athens Acropolis is an adventure back to the days of Ancient Greece. If you want to get to most out of your visit, why not explore the Acropolis Museum, either before or after exploring the ruins, to gain a better understanding of the significance of the site. Located at the bottom of the southern slope of the Acropolis, this ultra-modern glass and steel building houses a huge collection of ancient treasures from the Acropolis, artfully displayed in sleek, tranquil surroundings. A pleasure to explore, visiting the Acropolis Museum is a must-do if you travel to Athens.
Of course, the main attraction is the Acropolis itself and the highlight of the Acropolis is the Parthenon, the ancient temple that has grown to represent Ancient Greece. Built over the course of nine years and dedicated to the goddess Athena, this huge temple was constructed to hold a huge, 40-foot statue of Athena, decorated with gold and ivory. The structure is known for its decorative reliefs and Doric columns, of which there are eight on the shorter sides and seventeen on the longer sides of the building. A true symbol of the Golden Age of Athens, if you visit the Parthenon you can still envisage ancient Athenians laying their offerings at the temple door. The marble details and sculptures have truly stood the test of time!
Among the temples and structures of the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus is another highlight of an Acropolis tour. Situated on the southwest slope, this huge amphitheatre once seated up to 17,000 people! An incredible insight into the social and cultural lives of ancient Athenians, the Theatre of Dionysus was once the site of many a Greek drama, tragedy and comedy and also held the annual Festival of Dionysus, a celebration of the god of wine. Ancient Greeks loved theatre and famous playwrights such as Euripides and Aristophanes would have held their plays in this very theatre more than 2,000 years ago!