If you are planning on spending a few days in Athens as part of your Greek vacation, these suggestions will prove useful. From the best museums in Athens, to Olympic stadiums, here’s some great things to do in Athens for Greek Mythology fans.
Athens for Greek Mythology Fans
Whilst some people choose to use Athens as simply an arrival and departure point for their Greek vacation, Greek Mythology fans should definitely plan to spend at least a couple of days in the city. From the ancient sites themselves, to museums containing artefacts dating back thousands of years, there’s plenty to see and do! Here’s a few suggestions on activities and places to add to your Athens sightseeing itinerary.
Half Day Mythology Tour of Acropolis and Museum
Start off your trip to Athens with a guided half day tour of the Acropolis and Acropolis museum. In addition to being shown around the most important archaeological site in Athens with a qualified guide, you’ll also have the opportunity to listen to stories from Greek Mythology connected with the Acropolis and Athens. Finishing in the Acropolis museum, you will have a clear understanding about how ancient Athens functioned which will set you up nicely to explore the rest of the city!
Also available as a full day tour with the Temple of Poseidon.
The Temple of Zeus
Just a short walk from the Acropolis museum is the magnificent Temple of Zeus. This temple, dedicated to the King of the Greek Gods has columns so large it is difficult to imagine how they were built! From here, you can take photos not only of the Temple of Zeus, but also of the Acropolis. You can buy a single ticket for entry to the site, or buy a combined ticket that includes this temple, along with the Acropolis, Agora, and other sites within Athens.
The Panathenaic Stadium
The reconstructed Panathenaic Stadium stands on the very site that Games were held thousands of years ago. Built entirely of marble, it was the host of the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875, and the site of the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. It was again used as an Olympic venue when Athens hosted the 2004 Olympics.
The concept of competitive games was one which seemed to pervade through the ancient Greek world. The Games were often partly religious, and also said to have been started by Hercules in Ancient Olympia after he completed one of his 12 Labours. Although Athens was not home to the four sites of the Panhellenic Games (Olympia, Delphi, Nemea and Isthmia), they carried over some of the traditions, including the athletes competing naked!
The National Archaeological Museum
You’ll need to allocate at least two hours, if not three or four to fully appreciate the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Although it doesn’t seem to have as high a profile as the Acropolis Museum, in many ways it is better as it has a wider selection of exhibits and displays.
The museum contains a number of images connected with Greek Mythology, including carvings and statues. Perhaps pride of place, is the incredible bronze statue known as the The Artemision Bronze. No-one is quite sure if it represents Zeus or Poseidon. See it for yourself and let us know what you think!
This small rocky outcrop close by to the Acropolis is tied together with both Greek Mythology and early Christian stories. The name itself means ‘Ares Rock’, and it was named after the God of War who according to myth was tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon’s son Halirrhothius. It was also the site of the Areopagus sermon, a sermon that was delivered by the Apostle Paul in Athens, and recounted in Acts 17:16-34.
The Temple of Poseidon
Finally, why not head out of Athens for the afternoon to the nearby Temple of Poseidon. Dedicated to the Greek God of the Sea, it has a stunning location overlooking the Aegean. Time your visit with the sunset to fully appreciate the beauty of this incredible place. Whilst it is possible to visit Sounion and the temple independently, public transport to this area is confusing to understand. A far better option is to take our Temple of Poseidon tour, which also offers the benefits of a fully qualified guide who can explain all about the site, as well as the various Greek myths connected with the temple and area.