The heart of Ancient Greece and a persisting relic in all of world history, Athens remains the capital of its modern counterpart. Thick, heady layers of history envelope Athens; not only does its period-architecture highlight the passage of time, but its artistic endeavors, intellectual progression and well-documented mythology do so too. It is no wonder that visitors are drawn to the almost mythical existence of the city.
A sentinel standing guard, the grand temple city of Acropolis has become a World Heritage Site since 1987. If there was one unmissable attraction in Athens – this is it. Originating from Neolithic times and transformed into a glory of temples during the Classical Greece era, present-day Acropolis may be a shade of its former splendor, but nonetheless a key historical marker. More history dwells in Agora, the political and social hub now a lush respite. Featuring the Temple of Hephaistos, the Church of the Holy Apostles and a museum, it is one of Athens’ seven major heritage sites.
It comes as no surprise then that Athens’ is scattered with museums. From the Acropolis Museum’s display of recovered artifacts to the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, visitors learn not only of the treasures and aged amenities of past empires, but also what influences contemporary art and culture. For instance, the small but significant collection of Islamic Art in the Museum of Islamic Art carves out a story through weaves, jewelry, porcelain and other crafts work.
Majestic monuments aside, visitors should simply wander about the various districts for less-noticed landmarks interspersed between tavernas, shops and intimate residential areas. The scenic neighborhoods may have hard competition in the temples, marble stadiums and archaeological ruins, but small-town charms may be what you need to balance out your Greecian escapade.