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

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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.

Agios Eleftherios is a very small yet important Byzantine church in Athens set in the shadow of the city’s cathedral. Built in the twelfth century, Agios Eleftherios was once the main church in Athens. This fact, coupled with the vision of the diminutive church next to the monolith of Athens... Read More

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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.

The Ancient Agora of Athens was a market, a meeting place and the social, political and commercial hub of the ancient city. Whilst initial developed in the sixth century BC, the Ancient Agora of Athens was destroyed, rebuilt and renovated several times, including attacks by the Persians in 480BC, the... Read More

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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.

The Arch of Hadrian of Athens is a triumphal gateway built in the second century AD (circa 132 AD). This is definitely not the most impressive of ancient gateways, its Pentelic marble now damaged by years of exposure to pollution.... Read More

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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.

Athens Cathedral (Metropolis) was built over the course of two decades in the nineteenth century.... Read More

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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 National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece, housing over 20,000 exhibits spread over 8,000 square metres of an imposing nineteenth century building. With permanent exhibitions ranging from the Neolithic era and the Mycenaean era to the Ancient Romans and even the Ancient Egyptians, the Athens National Archaeological Museum’s... Read More

Athens War Museum

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

The Athens War Museum houses an extensive range of exhibits relating to the history of war in Greece as well as some relating to wars in other nations. From weapons and uniforms to maps and prints, the Athens War Museum covers many time periods, from prehistory to World War II and... Read More

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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.

Kerameikos is an archaeological site in Athens which contains the remains an important ancient burial ground as well as a series of famous monuments. Once home to the city’s potters - hence its name meaning pottery - Kerameikos developed to also become the site of a cemetery. In fact, some of... Read More

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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.

The Roman Agora of Athens - also known as the Roman Forum of Athens - was founded in the late first century BC / early first century AD and its construction was funded by Julius Caesar and the Emperor Augustus. Probably the most impressive historic site at the Roman Agora of... Read More

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.

In the very heart of the city opposite the Parliament, Syntagma Metro Station is both a transport hub and museum. Dating from the 1990s, when Athens was building its new metro for the 2004 Olympics, the station contains numerous artefacts dating from Classical times - including skeletons - excavated... Read More

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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.

The Temple of Hephaestus is an imposing ancient Greek temple in the Athenian Agora and site of worship of the Greek deity of fire, blacksmiths and sculpture. Built in the fifth century BC, the Temple of Hephaestus was later incorporated into the Church of Agios Georgios, this accounting for its excellent... Read More

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.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympeion is one of the biggest - if not actually the biggest - ancient temples in Greece. Vast and impressive, the Temple of Olympian Zeus was begun by Peisistratus the Young in the sixth century BC but various events and circumstances meant... Read More

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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.

The Acropolis is one of the most recognisable historic sites in the world and remains an inspirational monument to the achievements of Ancient Greek civilisation. Standing tall above the Greek city of Athens, the Acropolis contains a number of buildings and monuments from Greek Antiquity, including the Parthenon,... Read More

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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 Acropolis Museum is a stunningly located and constructed archaeological museum housing a myriad of Ancient Greek artefacts, particularly those relating to the Acropolis and the Parthenon, both of which can be seen from the museum's top floor panoramic windows. Housed in an eminently modern building and using multimedia presentations side... Read More

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 Agora Museum displays finds and artefacts from the site of the Ancient Agora of Athens. It is also located within the reconstructed ancient building of the Stoa of Attalos. Originally constructed in the mid-second century BC, the Stoa of Attalos - once a popular shopping precinct and meeting place... Read More

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 Beule Gate is one of the first things you see when entering the Acropolis complex and was built in the third century AD as part of a defensive wall. Discovered in 1852, the Beule Gate was named after archaeologist Ernest Beule.... Read More

The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates

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

The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates was the first Greek monument built in the Corinthian order. The frieze decoration depicts the adventure of Dionysos with the pirates, whom he turned into dolphins. Lysicrates is the man who paid for the monument, which commemorates a chorus that he sponsored who won first... Read More

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.

The Erechtheion is a well preserved ancient temple within the Acropolis complex where its believed namesake, the legendary Greek king Erechtheus, is thought to have come to worship. Immersed in myth and legend, the Erechtheion was home to several cults, including those of Poseidon, Athena and, of course, Erechtheus himself. Completed in... Read More

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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 Parthenon is probably the most famous surviving site from Ancient Greece. Standing at the heart of The Acropolis in the centre of Athens, the Parthenon is a monument to Classical Greek civilisation. Built during the golden age of Pericles - the famous Athenian statesman - the Parthenon was originally constructed... Read More

The Propylaia

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

The Propylaia (also spelt Propylaea) was the grand entranceway to the Acropolis. Begun in approximately 437BC under the supervision of the architect Mnesikles, works on the Propylaia continued until 432BC, but were never completed. Nevertheless, even in its unfinished state, the Propylaia is considered to be of great architectural importance and... Read More

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.

The Theatre of Dionysus in Athens was one of the most important theatres in Ancient Greece. Initially built of timber in the sixth century BC, the Theatre of Dionysus was named in honour of the Greek deity of wine and theatre. It soon became a focal point of Ancient Greek social... Read More

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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.

The Theatre of Herodes Atticus, also known as the Odeon, is a Greco-Roman theatre built in 161 AD. It is named after an affluent Greek-born Roman senator, Herodes Atticus, who constructed it in commemoration of his wife, Regilia. Able to seat up to 5,000 people, the Theatre of Herodes Atticus was mostly... Read More