travel

Port Guide: Athens

On our cruise of Greece and Italy we docked at Piraeus which is where you dock to go to Athens. To get from the port of Piraeus to Athens we decided we would get on the hop-on hop-off tour bus which took you from the port to the Acropolis where you then have to change to get on the Athens sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus. It takes approximately 30 minutes to get from the port to the Acropolis. The tour bus is €15 for 24 hours for both the Piraeus and Athens line.

Once off the bus at the Acropolis we took a walk up to see the Acropolis but decided against going right up to the top due to the queues. If you are visiting Athens and you want to go right to the top to the Acropolis you may have to sacrifice seeing the rest of Athens. Once on the Athens tour bus we took the full route round the city as we got to see the various sites around the city which took approximately 80 minutes. You are able to get on and off the bus as much as you wish, we decided against getting off at any stops. On the bus you get to stop at the following:

Syntagma Square

National Archaeological Museum

Panathenaic Stadium

New Acropolis Museum

Temple of Zeus

Parliament & National Gardens

Omonia Square

Karaiskaki Square

The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most well known sights of Athens and is a must see when visiting the city. It is an ancient citadel which is located on a rocky outcrop above the city, it contains the remains of several ancient buildings which are of historic significance. One of the most famous buildings is the Parthenon which is a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena who was considered by the people of Athens as their patron.

Another temple that we were able to see on our tour of Athens was the Temple of Zeus which was a former colossal temple at the centre of Athens. This was dedicated to Zeus a name which originated from his position as head of the Olympian gods.

On our tour of Athens we came across Monasiraki which is flea market neighbourhood located in the old town of Athens. Within the area you are able to find clothing boutiques and souvenir shops.  This area is named after Monastiraki Square and is where you will find the Church of the Pantanassa which used to be known as the great monastery.

If you are a fan of the Olympics you will recognise the Panathenaic stadium which has hosted the Olympics several times including 1870, 1875 and 2004. In 1896 after being refurbished it hosted both the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies. It is a stadium which is built entirely of marble by Herodes Atticus with a capacity of 50,000 and is the only one of its kind in the world.

Whilst on our tour bus as we went past the parliament building we were lucky to see the change of the guards. The parliament building is located in the Old Royal Palace overlooking Syntagma square which is the central square of Athens.

Is Athen a city you have been to before for a city break or as a port of call?

LauraJane

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