Walking tours of Athens

1) Suggestions:

2) The City of Athens organizes Free Walking Tours of Athens primary sites and landmarks on SUNDAYS starting at 10.00am. Tours are in Greek but leaders speak English. Tel: 210-3231841

I have worked four walking tours:

Most of ancient Athens historic sites are easily walkable from your central hotel. Modern central Athens is built atop smaller ancient Athens. Savants discovered 30,000 objects while digging the Metro and a lot of them are on display in various Metro Stations: Acropolis, Thission, Syntagma and Panepistimion Stations in particular have ancient displays.

Athens Walking Tour #1: Starting point is Syntagma Square . The Greek Parliament is at the top side where you also see the monument to the unknown soldier, guarded by the Evzones guards, or Tsoliades, as they are known locally. Facing the Parliament, turn right and walk on Amalias Avenue. Few hundred yards away is the entrance to the National Garden, and the Zappeion Building. Walk along the back of Zappeion Hall and you will come to Herodou Atticou Street. You see the Presidential Palace(formerly the Royal Palace) and the evzones guards. Walk down to the First Olympic Games Stadium. Continue, with Zappeion on your right, to Vassilissis Olga Avenue and turn right. Towards the end you'll see the entrance to the Temple of Olympian Zeus on your left hand side. Exit the temple the same way you came in, and turn left. Continue to follow the sidewalk left at Amalias Avenue and you will find yourself at Hadrian's Arch. With your back to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, you'll see the Acropolis. Walk across Amalias Avenue toward the Acropolis. Exactly opposite the Arch you enter Lysikratous Street and come to the Monument of Lysikrates. Turn right and you get in the Plaka area, the oldest quarter in Athens. Follow Adrianou Street until you reach a tree-lined park with an open-air restaurant, turn right on Kapnikareas Street and then left on Pandrosou Street, which will lead you to Monastiraki Square and the Monastiraki Flea Market. Instead of crossing to the entrance of the market, turn left on Ifaistou Street. Keep going past the front of the church at the end of this street and you'll see the entrance to the Greek Ancient Agora on your left. Hadrian's Library (in poor condition) Agora Museum is reproduction of Stoa of Attalos. Fee is included in 12.00 Euro ticket. End of the tour.

Athens Walking Tour #2: Start from Syntagma Square (Don't forget to visit the metro station to see some of the discoveries on display). At the bottom of the square walk right in Filellinon Street. On the left hand side you find The Russian first and a little further the Anglican Church. Walking in Amalias Avenue you have the National Gardens and the Zappeion on your left and a little further down the Hadrian's Arch. At the end of the Street on your right hand side you find the pedestrian road Dionysiou Areopagitou (the main road of the unification walk). This is the south slope of the Acropolis Hill with the following major and minor sites, some in better state of preservation than others.
a. The Theater of Dionysus (in poor condition) Fee included in 12.00 Euro ticket.
b. The Asklepeiion or Temple of Aeschylus - the healer. (very poor condition) Fee included in 12.00 Euro ticket.
c. The Odeon of Herod Atticus (good enough condition to still hold open air concerts) See one if you can! You can’t really get in here during the day but you can see it from Acropolis.
d. The Acropolis, Parthenon & Acropolis Museum (Blown up by Venetian Morosini in 1685 & raped or rescued by Lord Elgin in 1801) Fee included in 12.00 Euro ticket.

We then leave the Acropolis itself and go across.

e. Left: The Philopapou Hill and Monument (pleasant park from where the shots were fired blowing up the Acropolis, good views, historical atmosphere) Free.
f. Across: The Pnyx: meeting place of the Athenian Assembly (west slope), across a street but not a major thing to see even though it was the birthplace of Democracy. Free.
Right: Areos Pagos or Mars Hill: Free, Athenian Court assembly place, St. Paul proselytized from here (north slope) (poor condition, dangerously slippery. There are no buildings here so they used to stand around.

II. So you start to go downhill to Thesseion.

a. The Temple of Hephaestus or Thesseion (the best preserved temple in Greece) Fee included in 12 Euro ticket.

b. Keramikos Ancient Cemetery and Oberlander Museum (so so condition)

c. The Dypilon Gate and Pompeion (in poor condition). The Dypilon Gates via Ermou St. These were the main gates of ancient Athens and nearby, where many important people like Pericles were buried. Pericles also delivered his famous funeral oration for Peloponnesian War fallen heroes from a platform here.

d. The Roman Agora, and The Tower of Winds or Orologion (in decent condition but water clock long gone) Free.

Athens Walking Tour #3: Walk to the Greek National Archeological Museum via the Athens monuments of Panepistimiou (officially El. Venizelos St.), or Stadiou or Academias Streets. Enjoy the National Historical Museum, Numismatic Museum and Theater Museum. Walking on Panepistimiou Street from Syntagma towards Omonia you will see the “Iliou Melathron”the Numismatic museum (built by Schiller on the right hand), the Catholic Cathedral(right), the Bank of Greece(left), the Academy, University and the National Library buildings with the staircase that was built to plans drown by Theophilus Hansen on the left and one Street before Omonia Square you turn right. 500m further on the right hand side you pass in front of the Polytechnic School of Athens – became famous from the resistance of the students movement against the junta on 17 November 1974.

Athens Walking Tour #4: Shows the Major Museums of Athens which all branch off a major street so it makes sense to see them together with the exception of the National Archeology Museum, Numismatic Museum and National Historical Museum.

Affiliated websites: astoria travel, astoria of Athens, Tours to Greece.