Planning a trip to the historical city of Athens, Greece and wanting to wander about the magical ruins? Prepared to be blown away while literally walking back through time! The ancient ruins of Athens are one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited, due to both the magnificent beauty and their historical representation. Here are the best Athens ruins to visit when in Greece!
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Known as the historical capital of Europe or the world’s ancient capital, Athens dates back to the 5th century and Neolithic Era. This remarkable city was the birthplace of democracy and the motherland of western civilization. No doubt, Athens is a city filled with thousands of years of history and a multitude of ancient ruins to show for it.
It’s one of my favorite cities in all of Europe, having explored ancient Athens for about 6 days when I last visited. My favorite part of the city though: the magical ruins. Built centuries ago, massive monuments like the Acropolis and the Parthenon were designed and constructed as prominent architectural structures.
Nowadays, the ruins can be explored by visitors who want to literally walk through history. How cool, right?
But, with that said, if you’re short on time, which should you visit? I’ve listed out some of my favorite that I believe are worth every second of your Athens itinerary! So let’s get into it, shall we?
Table of Contents
- 1 VISITING THE ANCIENT RUINS OF ATHENS: WHICH ARE WORTH YOUR TIME?
VISITING THE ANCIENT RUINS OF ATHENS: WHICH ARE WORTH YOUR TIME?
If you’re in Athens, even if it’s just for a short amount of time, you must visit the Acropolis. Hands down, this is the most popular Greek ruin in the city!
Even if you don’t visit any other historical ruin sites, make sure to at least visit this site, as it’s the most important monument in Greece and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Acropolis is a rocky hill with a flat top and a remarkable example of an architectural structure demonstrating the historical stages of the 16th century BC.
Throughout the site, there are a variety of monuments that have stayed put throughout wars, explosions, earthquakes, alterations and more for almost 25 centuries.
P.S. While you’re near the Acropolis, if you have the time, don’t miss out on the Acropolis Museum! And if you need more ideas on what to do in Athens, click here.
The following suggestions are part of the Acropolis:
One of the greatest cultural monuments and a representation of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy, and western civilization.
Hey! Thinking of strolling about Athens’ ruins without proper travel insurance? Think again! You never know what could happen (uh, hello, not-so-safe-ancient-steps!). Get awesome travel insurance here with World Nomads (who I always use!).
The monumental gateway to the ancient Acropolis in Athens.
The Greek word propylaeon literally means “that which is before the gates,” but now one can simply interpret the word as “gate building.”
The Erechtheum (Erechtheion)
Located on the north side of the Acropolis, this temple is dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.
Additionally, the olive tree planted on the side of the Erechtheum represents hundreds of years of dedication and reverence.
The tree established the dominance of the goddess Athena within the city that would take her name.
Old Temple of Athena
The foundations of the Old Temple of Athena can be found in front of the Erechtheum (featured in the picture above).
Temple of Athena Nike
Nike means victory in Greek and Athena was the goddess of wisdom and victory in war.
Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus
A major theatre in Athens, able to seat 17,000 people and situated at the foot of the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus was a perfect location for ancient Athenian celebrations.
*End of Acropolis sites*
Temple of Zeus
The Temple of the Olympian Zeus has unusually large columns and is one of the largest in the world; it’s the largest temple in the city of Athens.
Located between the neighborhoods of Thission and Monastiraki, Ancient Agora is a large area with beautiful greenery and ancient ruins.
In ancient times, Ancient Agora was the center of Athens and the site where political and judicial gatherings would take place.
*The following ruins of Athens are located within the area of Ancient Agora:
Temple of Hephaestus
The best preserved Doric temple in Greece, this temple is dedicated to both Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire, and Athena.
It overlooks Ancient Agora and most of the temple remains standing to this day.
Stoa of Attalos
This ancient greek building was used for centuries as a major shopping center in the Ancient Agora; now it’s used as a museum for artifacts and pieces of history.
*End of sites in Ancient Agora*
Did you know you could do a day trip to Santorini from Athens? It’s easier than it sounds — believe me, I’ve done it! Click here to check out my Athens to Santorini day trip guide.
Roman Agora & Tower of the Winds
Located between Monastiraki and the Acropolis, the Roman Agora is a large green area containing the Tower of the Winds and other various pieces of ancient artifacts.
There are more ancient sites throughout the city but those mentioned are some of the most important and well-preserved ancient ruins of Athens.
If you’re ever in Athens, be sure to visit at least a few of these amazing Greek ruins and marvel at the beauty that was created centuries age.
Have you visited ancient Athens? Or are planning a trip there? Or better yet, are you already in this incredible city? Let me know in the comments!