I would dare say that no trip to Athens would be complete without visiting the ancient rock of the Acropolis. Situated in the heart of this vibrant city it holds a commanding view in all directions.
Historically it has been the most important religious centre of the city, with it being the seat of the king during the Mycenaean times and then later after the 11th century BC it became the home of Athena, the patron goddess of the city. It has long been adorned with temples, monuments and beautiful buildings such as the Parthenon, the grand plan of Perikles that started in the middle of the 5th century BC, at the height of Athens power.
Walking around the Acropolis is breathtaking not just from the views but the detail and technique you can see used in the construction of these ancient buildings. At 12 Euros per adult this is money well spent!
Make sure you are wearing sturdy footwear as it is rough underfoot and the marble can get slippery when wet. Also, bring some water as the shop is located outside the central area and you can easily get thirsty walking and clambering around this large site. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to explore the other ancient monuments at the foothills of the Acropolis and you MUST visit the nearby Acropolis Museum.
The new Acropolis Museum is magnificent. While modern in design it blends in with the many ancient buildings and relics that surround it. The entrance to the museum consists of a wonderful walkway of large glass pavers that allow visitors to see Archaeologists at work digging up ancient ruins underneath. To its right, when facing the entrance, you will see a lovely olive grove and garden area.
Inside you will find the Museum is beautifully constructed and spacious! Numbers are monitored and the vast open spaces makes it easy to walk around and see the exhibits without feeling too crushed or inhibited by other visitors.
There are a number of delightful cafes to grab a snack, meal, cool drink or a glass of wine and at the public terrace you can get a commanding view of the Acropolis too. The Museum also has a fantastic gift shop stocking a variety of tasteful merchandise to remind you of your trip. With Byzantium jewellery designs, books for the history buff, and puzzles and treats for the kids, there is bound to be something to suit everyone. With a general admission price of 5 Euros it won’t break the budget either! There is so much to see and do at the Museum I doubt you will find one visit enough.