Parthenon on the Acropolis
The number 1 must see is, of course, the ancient Acropolis of Athens. The ancient temple complex is located at the top of the hill, looking over Athens. It is one of the most complete Greek complexes that still exist. The first wall was built in the 13th century BC, but the first temple was built in the 8th century BC for Athena, the goddess of the city. After the victory of the Persians in the 5th century BC, the Parthenon and other temples were established over the years.
You will enter the Acropolis through the original gateway Propylaea. The Parthenon is right in the middle and the most important temple on the Acropolis, but the other temples are also worth visiting. The old temple of Athena, the temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, all beautiful structures of the ancient world.
The restoration of the Parthenon and other temples is still under constructions as they were destroyed in the 17th century after a big explosion. At night the Acropolis is lit and is visible from all over Athens.
Of course, when visiting an ancient site there are lots of tourists. Even if you visit the site in the afternoon, which is most of the time the less crowded time. Some will only take a selfie at the top of Acropolis hill next to the Parthenon and leave. That is not our style. We sat down for a while to take in the enormous structure and the setting. The site is still under construction, but imagine that people would bring their offers and blessing in ancient times. Give yourself some time to take it all in. It took us around four hours to visit the slope sites and the Acropolis and it was definitely worth the time.
There are two main access points for the Acropolis hill, the first is at the slopes near the Acropolis metro station. This is the entrance we used. We bought a combination ticket for all the ancient sites in Athens which cost us 30 EUR pp. (entree for only the Acropolis and the Slopes is 20 EUR pp). Much cheaper than buying single tickets, even if you only will visit three sites. The second entrance is at the top of the Acropolis hill and will cost you 12 EUR pp. This would be a good option if you have limit time in Athens, but we really recommend to visit the Slopes including the Dionysus theater.
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