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Athens Travel & Transport Guide
Greece is generally thought of as a summer holiday destination. Travel season typically starts in early April (close to the Easter Holidays in the western world), peaks in the summer months of July to late September, and the last holidaymakers leave in early November.
In this context, Athens is considered a transit destination, either flying to Athens and taking a ferry to the hundreds of islands or getting to Athens to onboard a flight back to the country of origin. Many holidaymakers in Greece do not visit Athens, either because of the hot summer temperatures or because they have booked a direct charter flight to a greek island.
There is so much to do and see in Athens and the problem is that if you want to get a good taste of it you need to stay at least 3 nights. The Acropolis and the Parthenon are a must-see for every traveler, but the city’s many ancient ruins provide a wealth of opportunities for sightseeing. Many travelers stay for one or two nights, only to realize that they needed to spend more time here.
Especially for travelers visiting Greece from outside Europe, Athens is usually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The city’s ancient past, its multicultural character, and the individual characteristics of specific neighborhoods provide the grounds for an amazing travel experience.
Very important to note that apart from the ancient sights, Athens offers a culinary, artistic, business-oriented, architectural and even academic interest to its visitors. Also as it combines a large coastline in the South, it makes it an ideal location to spend some more time than you thought you would need.
Cloudkeys provides this short travel guide to help travelers get the most out of their short stay in Athens, whether they spend a couple of days or a couple of weeks – something which we highly recommend. Our thousands of wonderful guests have provided great insights for writing this guide, particularly from the questions they ask our check-in or our digital concierge staff.
Must see Archaeological Sights
Even for travelers not interested in Archaeological sightseeing, there are certain must-see sites everyone should visit.
Acropolis & Parthenon
This is the first picture that it comes to your mind when someone refers to Athens. The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens, on the top of the oldest neighborhood of town, Plaka, and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historical significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
Temple of Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a former colossal temple at the center of the Greek capital Athens. It was dedicated to “Olympian” Zeus, a name originating from his position as head of the Olympian gods. You will meet it during your walk aroung Syntagma Square and Zappeion, so don’t miss out to have a break here for a visit.
The ancient Agora of Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill. The Agora’s initial use was for a commercial, assembly, or residential gathering place. The best thing you can do to get the most of it and to understand the importance of it, is to attend some official guided tour, otherwise you will get lost at ancient times and you would just wonder around ruins.
Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro)
The Panathenaic Stadium or Kallimarmaro (meaning “beautiful marble”) is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens and the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble. This is also where the route of the Authentic Athens Marathon ends up. Even if you don’t run, it is a unique experience to attend once the celebration of the Authentic Greek Marathon.
Monastiraki Flea Market
Monastiraki metro stop will be probably the area that you will spend many hours around. As you go out from metro, turn to Ifestou Street, and here it is: Monastiraki Flea Market. This is the place you can buy souvenirs, local products or international brands, vintages and antiques (especially during the weekend in Avissinias square), tshirts, shoes, jewels… everything you can imagine.
Temple of Hephaestus
And as you walking between Monastiraki and Thissio, it is sure that you meet the Temple of Hephaestus or Hephaisteion. This is a well-preserved Greek temple dedicated to Hephaestus; it remains standing largely intact today. It is a Doric peripteral temple, and is located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens, on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill. From the 7th century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church of Saint George Akamates. The building’s condition has been maintained due to its history of varied use.
The Temple of Poseidon (Sounio)
The Temple of Poseidon is an ancient Greek temple on Cape Sounion, 77km away from the center of Athens, dedicated to the god Poseidon. There is evidence of the establishment of sanctuaries on the cape from as early as the 11th century BC Sounion’s most prominent temples, the Temple of Athena and the Temple of Poseidon, are however not believed to have been built until about 700 BC, and their kouroi (freestanding Greek statues of young men) date from about one hundred years later.
It’s not close to the center of Athens, and there is no easy way to get there by transport, but during the summer period, many visitors of the city choose to go there as a daily trip, combining with the fact that the beaches of Sounion are probably the most beautiful and clean of Athens Riviera. Last but not least, if you are lucky enough to visit Athens during a full moon night, this is the ultimate place to be. Usually, there is some live concert around the Temple.
Cloudkeys provides fully furnished apartments in Athens at convenient locations for holiday, business, medical or conference travel. Browse our Athens apartments and book your stay today!
For Athens property owners
Do you own or have invested in property at one of the above areas of Athens? Cloudkeys provides full property management and excellent hospitality services to its guests. Please visit our Athens apartment management page for detailed information. Cloudkeys services also supports local hotels, residence buildings and property investments by providing consultation and local real estate services, including properties for sale.