Historic sites in Athens | Athens History Tour Ideas

From world famous icons to hidden wonders, the historic sites in Athens are fascinating to explore. In fact, as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the historical attractions on offer are central to any trip to this thriving metropolis.

The cradle of democracy, once the centre of a powerful confederation of Greek city-states, the history of Athens lies at the very heart of western civilisation. Though its military might may have waned over the centuries, nonetheless Athens remained at the forefront of cultural life throughout the Roman period and beyond. In modern times, this legacy can still be explored through the historical sites of Athens, which include some of the best known examples of ancient Greek architecture as well as many impressive Roman remains.

Today, the historic sites of Athens are among the very top tourist attractions in the city and draw millions of people every year. To start your exploration of Athens’ historic sites, take a look at the interactive Athens history map above or navigate further by using the links below. Once you’ve chosen those sites you wish to see you can use our itinerary planner to plan your own Athens history tour and then print off a free pocket guidebook.

Our database of Athens’ historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know other historic sites in Athens, you can add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Athens: Site Index

Photo by archer10 (Dennis) (cc)

Agios Eleftherios

Once used as the central church of Athens, Agios Eleftherios is a very small 12th century Byzantine church known as the little cathedral. It is one of the more hidden historic sites of Athens.

Photo by Eustaquio Santimano (cc)

Ancient Agora of Athens

The Ancient Agora of Athens was the social, political and commercial hub of the ancient city and is an important stop on any Athens history tour. Start your exploration of this ancient site with the Agora Museum.

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Arch of Hadrian - Athens

Left in a slightly unloved state, the Arch of Hadrian is a triumphal gateway built in the second century AD.

Photo by Lauren J. (cc)

Athens Cathedral

One of many religious sites found among the historic areas of Athens, Athens Cathedral was built over the course of two decades in the 19th century.

Photo by jaybergesen (cc)

Athens National Archaeological Museum

The largest museum in Greece, Athens National Archaeological Museum houses over 20,000 exhibits. One of the most fascinating historic sites in Athens.

Athens War Museum

An interesting place to explore, the Athens War Museum houses an extensive range of exhibits relating to the history of war.

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Kerameikos

One of the lesser known historical sites of Athens Kerameikos was the site of an important ancient burial ground which also contains the ruins of what was once the ancient city wall.

Photo by randyc9999 (cc)

Roman Agora of Athens

One of several Roman sites in Athens, the Roman Agora contains some of the city’s Roman remains, including the Tower of the Winds monument.

Syntagma Metro Station

One place where you probably wouldn’t expect to find Athens’ historic sites Syntagma Metro Station nonetheless contains a wonderful display of ancient artefacts, uncovered during the station’s construction.

Photo by RMH40 (cc)

Temple of Hephaestus

The Temple of Hephaestus is a very well preserved ancient Greek temple in the Athenian Agora. Often overlooked in favour of the Parthenon, it is actually one of the best historic sites in Athens.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Though little remains of the original structure, the Temple of Olympian Zeus was one of the most impressive ancient temples in Greece and is an interesting stop on any Athens history tour.

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The Acropolis

The most famous landmark in Athens, the Acropolis dominates the skyline and contains a host of famous ancient Greek remains, including The Parthenon.

Photo by Tilemahos (cc)

The Acropolis Museum

Recently opened, the Acropolis Museum contains excellent collections from Ancient Greece and general Athenian history. A crucial stop for anyone exploring the history of Athens.

The Agora Museum - Athens

Giving an excellent insight into Athens’ ancient market, the Agora Museum displays artefacts from the Ancient Agora and is housed within the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos.

The Beule Gate

Part of the Acropolis complex, the Beule Gate was built in the third century AD as part of a defensive wall.

The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates

Lysicrates' monument to commemorate first prize in a dramatic performance that he had sponsored around 335 BCE.

The Erechtheion

Part of the Acropolis complex, the Erechtheion is a well preserved Greek temple. Its distinctive architecture includes a number of large column-statues depicting the ancient women of Karyes.

Photo by Historvius

The Parthenon

The Parthenon is probably the most famous surviving site from Ancient Greece. An imposing ancient Greek temple, which stands atop the Acropolis, it is the most popular historic site in Athens.

The Propylaia

Once forming the grand entranceway to the Acropolis, the Propylaia is one of the most imposing and impressive sites in the complex.

Theatre of Dionysus

A picturesque stop when exploring the historical sites of Athens, the Theatre of Dionysus was one of the most important theatres in Ancient Greece.

Photo by Jorge Lascar (cc)

Theatre of Herodes Atticus

Capable of seating up to 5,000 people, the Theatre of Herodes Atticus is a Roman amphitheatre built in Athens in 161AD. It is one the best preserved of Athens’ historic sites.