Athens – Cradle of Western Civilization

/Athens – Cradle of Western Civilization


Athens has a history dating back to the Neolithic age. It is weaved in culture, history, values and civilization. Athens is the capital city of Greece. It is a proud city with many a legendary monument. It is charming with attractive modernity. Athens is within seven hills and is surrounded by Mt. Ymettos, Mt. Pendeli and Mt. Parnitha. Athens on its southern side has the Aegean Sea. It is an ever evolving 21st century city. Athens is a perfect tourist city. Athens is the birthplace of many philosophers, and it spreads intellectual light. It is one of the world’s oldest city. It has architectural styles from Neoclassical Greco-Roman to modern. Athens is an archeological research world center. Athens dominates the Attica region. Walk around Athens at night. It is a safe place. You will enjoy your late night shopping since shops and taverns are open.

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Athens

Parthenon Acropolis

Parthenon Acropolis overlooks Athens from atop a hill. The people of Athens built this temple to thank the goddess Athena Parthenos. Their belief is that Athena protected the city of Athens during the Persian War. A huge statue sculptured by Philias of Goddess Athena Parthenos made of chryselephantine adorns Parthenon Acropolis. The construction of the Parthenon dates way back to 447 B.C.

National Archaeological Museum Athens

A must visit museum for all but especially for the art lovers. The National Archaeological Museum has a varied collection of contemporary artists housed within it. You watch with a fixed gaze the thirty rooms, having sculptures from every century. The ancient Kouroi Egyptian sculpture is also seen at this museum. You step back in time as you see many artifacts of the Neolithic Age dating to the 7th millennium.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

This temple is the largest temple in Greece. The construction of this temple began in 515 B.C, but due to many deadlocks it was completed in 132 B.C under Emperor Hadrian. After completion, it was dedicated to Zeus Olympios. The few columns of the temple that still remain today remind the visitors of Greek history. The majestic columns stand tall at a height of 57 feet up in the air of Athens.

Syntagma Square

At Syntagma Square in Athens, the changing of guards takes place in front of An Unknown Soldiers Tomb. It is a major square with the Hellenic Parliament Building. The travelers go around and see the ancient statues at this square. They relax here and click photos with their loved ones in the green, grassy lawns. Many events are celebrated at this square. At Syntagma Square, you will see the historic hotels of George II and Grande Bretagne. Numerous political functions take place at this square. The Military Junta government was overthrown from the Syntagma Square in the year 1974.

Ancient Agora

Ancient Agora was once a market place in Athens. It is to the northwest of the Acropolis. It was a regular meeting place for the people who discussed various topics. Ancient Agora is the point from where Athens cultural beginnings took place, and you can trace the Greek democracy from here. The Temple of Hephaist was built on the hill of Agoraios Kolonos. The temple roof is supported by 34 Doric columns. It is converted into a church and still remains preserved as an Ancient Greek landmark.


This is a temple located on the Acropolis made of Pentelic marble. It dates back to C 421. The Erechtheum was a sanctuary. It stood proudly dedicated to Athena Polias, Erechtheus and Poseidum. Erechtheum is a classic piece of Greek architecture. Here, you will find the draped figures of six females.

Mount Lycabettus

You hike up to Mount Lycabettus from the street end of Aristippou in Kolonaki. The tourists go up the winding path around the mountain to reach the top. You can take from Ploutarchou and Aristippou Street the funicular.

Mount Lycabettus is a tourist must visit place. Standing on top of the mountain your gaze travels all around, and you see the Attica basin and the Aegean Sea. Sunset from here is romantic and awesome, and so are the amazing views of Athens.

New Acropolis Museum

This museum has the largest collection of Greek architecture and is situated at the base of a hill. The museum has five floors, and you see a number of antique statues. You will find well sculptured statues of Athena the goddess and ‘Kritios Boy’. The museum has artifacts numbering 4,000 and holds many exhibitions.


Poros is an island close to Athens. You will find scenic forests at the beaches in Poros, and you can enjoy water sports. The beaches here are not long and sandy. They are rather calm, shaded and small. The tourists can spend a day in Poros when visiting Athens. Here, you can find accommodation, cafes and great restaurants. Poros is just one hour from Athens. You can celebrate Easter in Poros by taking part in church celebrations, eating, singing and dancing.

Plaka District

This is a little village in Athens which is a must see for all tourist. The Plaka District resides under the Acropolis and spreads itself out to Syntagma Square. You see the best of Greek culture intertwined in everything that’s around in this village. It is a serene calm atmosphere with greenery all around and stone pathways well laid out. Visit the eateries, you’ll love the food, have a sip at its cafés and shop at the boutique shop. As you walk along, you find the Jewish Museum and Folk-Art Museum on the Kydathineon.

The tourist can go around Athens by taking a walking tour. The guide takes you close to get an inside look at the Cradle of Western Civilization and the many hidden ancient places in Athens. This birthplace of the Olympic Games attracts the tourists. You can also visit the Academy of Athens, The Agro-Athens Central Market on Athinas Street, Psiri where you can stop to have a drink or a quick bite. It is a street with endless cafés, ouzeries, bars, clubs and restaurants. Enjoy the night life here in Athens. Take a round of Monastiraki Flea Market. Buy something you want. Meet the famous poet-cum-sandal maker Melissinos at his tiny shop on Ag Theklas Street. He attracts many a big name to his shop, and his poetry books are found in libraries across the world. Athens has a lot to offer its tourists, and it is a place you will love to come back.

Athens has a wide range of accommodation to suit every type of budget. You can book a family friendly hotel, business hotel, cheap hotel, luxury hotel, hostel and apartment hotel or check into a resort.

If you are fond of Jewelry and can purchase, then you will find some exquisite hand-crafted designs in gold with precious stones in Athens. Go to Plaka district and put in your shopping bag things that have a mark of Athens. Buy traditional handicrafts, souvenirs and other items. Check out the Ermo Street and soon your shopping list will be done. You can also buy sweets and pastries delicious with the choicest local ingredients.

Enjoy the taste and aroma of some local food while in Athens. Your taste buds might relish sweet potato soup with a dash of fresh Pecan Pesto, Green tomato and corn salsa, the mixed chopped salad, grilled eggplant with ricotta herb and spicy tomato sauce. The restaurants in Athens are decorative and the cuisine creative, distinctive and traditional.

A number of international flights touch down on Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”. The airport is about 40 minutes from downtown Athens. The tourists can take a taxi, metro and buses that run to and fro from the airport. The international airport is modern and bright looking. The tourists can walk to their domestic flights in the International Airport itself. It’s all under one roof.

Exchange your currency for Euros at the airport or at the ATM or a bank in Athens. You can use Visa, MasterCard and AMEX.

A trip to Athens will bring you back home with hoards of memory of this magical Greek capital.


About the Author:

Ravish Khapra has a passion for, and extensive experience with, travel writing. His engaging posts provide detailed information on destinations around the world, including how to reach these locales, ways to make the most of your trip, and tips on budgeting for maximum return on your travel investment.