Free Athens Guide: Ancient Ruins, Viewpoints & Guided Tours by Locals

Athens is a tremendous metropolis the place historic Greek ruins sit aspect by aspect with graffiti-painted high-rise buildings and bustling highways. The trendy neighborhoods are surrounded by slums, and the winding streets comprise fragments of historic columns, Turkish buildings and a Byzantine temple, to the wall of which a restaurant might be added. Excessive hills supply views of town, sea and mountains, household eating serve beneficiant parts at low costs, and lodge charges stay inexpensive even throughout excessive . We'll let you know learn how to calm down in Athens and get monetary savings, as a result of there are a lot of methods to entertain your self totally free.

Flight Lodge

1. See the altering of the guard in entrance of the Parliament constructing

Photo: Athens

Reverse the Parliament, on Plateia Syntagmatos, there's a altering of the guard day by day (5 minutes earlier than and 5 minutes after the brand new hour). And on Sundays from 10:45 am to 11:15 am there's a solemn altering of the guard with the blocking of the primary avenue, an orchestra, a march and a procession of 150 folks. That is an attention-grabbing present, wherein very unusually dressed guards of the presidential guard – evzones – take part. They put on white stockings with garters, a white skirt, a waistcoat, and a purple cap with an extended tassel, and their boots are nailed and embellished with giant pompoms.

Photo: Athens

Fascinating excursions from locals in Athens

2. Go to historic ruins and go to historic church buildings

Photo: Athens

Visits to the Acropolis and Agora are paid, however along with these world-famous sights, there are a lot of historic Greek ruins in Athens that you could see totally free: the Panathinaikos stadium, constructed of white marble in 329 BC, and on which, after its restoration, have been The primary Olympic Video games in fashionable historical past have been held, the Arch of Emperor Hadrian, in-built 131, probably the most attention-grabbing mausoleum of Prince Philopappus, constructed close to the Acropolis within the 2nd century, and the Aristotle Lyceum, based by the nice thinker in 334 BC. Invaluable historic artifacts could be considered in show circumstances at Monastiraki and Syntagma metro stations. We additionally suggest visiting two of the oldest Christian church buildings within the metropolis – the Church of Kapnikaréa, in-built 1050, and the Church of the Holy Apostles of Solaki, constructed within the 10th century, and the very lovely Cathedral of Agios- Eleftherios (Agios Eleftherios Church), whose marble partitions are lined with beautiful carvings.

3. Take a stroll within the historic metropolis heart

Photo: Athens

Athenians imagine {that a} stroll by the traditional streets of the historic heart will will let you get to know town higher than visits to and guided excursions. As well as, many Greek streets are of the identical age because the Acropolis and boast a wealthy historical past.

The Plaka area of Turkey is house to historic baths and Byzantine church buildings, with wonderful frescoes and mosaics. The winding streets run down the hill subsequent to the Acropolis, identical to within the days of Historic Greece. One of the crucial lovely streets is Dionysiou Areopagitou, which curves across the Acropolis and descends to Philopappos Hill and thru the Thissio space, the place you'll discover one of the best household eating places on the town. Chisio flows into the Monastiraki space, which is known for its big flea market, the place avenue musicians, acrobats and magicians collect on Sundays, along with the junk and antiques sellers.

4. Climb the remark within the Athenian hills

Photo: Athens

Athens stands on excessive hills with breathtaking views of town and the ocean. Essentially the most full and colourful panorama of town and one of the best view of the Acropolis opens from the highest of Mount Lykavittos, the very best level of Athens. At its prime, along with the location, there may be an open-air theater and a chapel of St. George. The second hottest hill amongst native residents is the Areopagus hill, the place the Athenian courtroom sat in historic instances, and right now you'll be able to see Athens and the mountains surrounding town from above. Philopappos Hill is exceptional as a result of it's positioned so near the Acropolis that you could see all the small print of the temple and statues from it. Strefi Hill is the quietest and least populated hill with a panoramic platform, on the slopes of which there's a backyard.

5. Study extra about Greek tradition and artwork in museums

Photo: Athens

The most well-liked advanced of museums in Athens, which incorporates the Athenian Acropolis, the traditional Agora, the Hadrian's library, the Archaeological Museum of Ceramics, the Roman Agora, in addition to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, could be visited totally free each Sunday of the month from November to March, additionally on all Greek public (1 , January 6, March 25, Could 1, August 15, October 28, December 25 and 26 *), as well as, museums are open totally free for guests on Christian holidays: Maundy Monday, Good Friday, Holy Easter and different vital dates (6 March, 18 April, 18 Could, 5 June, 27 September, final weekend of September). From March to November, you'll be able to go to the museums totally free on each first Sunday of the month, apart from July, August and September.

* as of late museums is probably not open full-time.

There are additionally a number of museums within the metropolis, the doorway to which is at all times free:

  • Museum of Greek Devices, which homes 1200 devices from completely different instances: historic mandolins, lutes, cymbals, drums and tambourines.
  • Epigraphic Museum of Athens, with a group of Greek inscriptions from completely different eras – clay and stone tablets from the instances of Historic Greece, papyri, manuscripts.
  • The DESTE Basis for Modern Artwork is a non-profit group that commonly hosts exhibitions of latest Greek artists.
  • Museum of the Historical past of Greek Costume, with a group of 25 thousand items of clothes and accessories from throughout Greece. Additionally within the museum there are copies of the costumes of the Minoan, Historic Greek and Byzantine eras.
  • Municipal Artwork Gallery, which accommodates 2.5 thousand works of Greek masters of the 19-20 centuries. Lots of the creations have been bought from collectors, others have been donated.

6. Go on a free metropolis tour

Photo: Athens

Photograph: @ ypsilon_67 / @teodorally /

Athens has a wealthy choice of free strolling excursions: Tours2Greece gives native guided excursions that not solely inform the historical past of town, but in addition share the addresses of fine eating places, retailers and bars. The Athens Free Strolling Tour will inform myths and legends about gods and heroes, inextricably linked with the historical past of Historic Athens. GuruWalk gives an attention-grabbing guided tour of one of the best examples of avenue artwork within the Exarcheia space, house to artists and anarchists.

7. Get to know modern artwork and avenue artwork within the streets and galleries

Photo: Athens

Photograph: @ alexandros4k /

Athens is roofed with avenue artwork, graffiti could be discovered all over the place: on historic ruins, high-rise buildings, mountains and automobiles. The state doesn't battle avenue artwork, so avenue artists are free to color something, wherever. The middle of avenue artwork is the Exarcheia space, which has lengthy been favored by folks of artistic professions on account of low costs, a relaxed environment and an abundance of bars. On the streets of Exarchia you'll find works by world well-known avenue artwork masters (Os Gemeos, Fikos, Sonke, iNO, STMTS).

There are additionally many wonderful modern artwork galleries in Athens, the place younger and well-known artists are exhibited. An entire listing of occasions and galleries could be discovered on the web site (http://athensartmap.internet/). And we advise you to go to probably the most attention-grabbing exhibition areas:

  • Medusa Artwork Gallery – probably the most gifted younger Greek artists are exhibited right here.
  • Taf is an impartial gallery and theater housed in a dilapidated constructing within the heart of Athens, typically internet hosting free live shows within the evenings.
  • Qbox Gallery – internationally famend Greek artists akin to Megan and Murray McMillan, Paolo Colombo, Stephanie Stein are exhibited right here.

8. Loosen up in parks and gardens

Photo: Palms
You possibly can stroll and have a picnic in one of many metropolis's parks. Essentially the most handy is the Nationwide Gardens – it occupies 15.5 hectares within the very heart of Athens, subsequent to the Parliament. A number of thousand species of crops and timber introduced from everywhere in the world develop within the park. Additionally on its territory there are historic ruins with columns and a dwelling space with peacocks, goats and geese. Different gardens and parks are positioned a lot farther from town heart, but in addition deserve consideration: the Botanical Backyard (Diomidous Botanical Backyard) grows crops from everywhere in the world, the park (The Stavros Niarchos Park) lies on a hill overlooking the ocean and town, and it additionally has many playgrounds, and an enormous park (Syngrou Property) is open across the clock, it's clear and delightful, there are a lot of fountains.

9. Sunbathe and swim on the seashores in the course of the heat season

Photo: Beach

Within the neighborhood of Athens, there are a lot of non-public seashores, which price cash to enter, however there are additionally a number of free ones with clear water and all the required facilities: the pebble seashore Votsalakia Castellas, positioned in Piraeus, subsequent to the port of Castellas. Elliniko Seaside could be reached by tram or metro from town heart and is at all times crowded. The sandy Eden Seaside in Paleo Faliro will also be reached by public transport, there are at all times lots of guests with youngsters, in addition to with pets allowed.

Textual content: Olga Perepelitsa

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