The must-see sight of Athens for all visitors has to be the Acropolis. Perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding city, this impressive collection of ancient ruins was the heart of ancient Athens. 

Our visit started with a walk up the Northern slope of the hill, passing by several cute cafes and a small church en route.

Next, we reached the Rock of Aerios Pagos, which has incredible views over the whole city and is a popular local hangout. Be careful if you chose to climb the slippery rock steps rather than the newer metal ones, they are quite steep and smooth so it’s easy to fall.

After a short rest break, we headed on to the ticket office (free entry for EU students!) and onto these incredible views of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

Next, we continued up to the Acropolis proper, passing through the ancient Propylaea – the gate to the sacred area of Athena. 

After admiring these impressive ancient columns we came across the Erechthion, a particularly interesting temple because it is dedicated to not one but two gods – Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus. The most interesting side of this building for me was the southwestern face, where there is the incredible Porch of the Caryatids.

Just across from the Erechthion stands the famous Parthenon. I was surprised at how it didn’t really stand out from the other ancient structures as much as I thought – interesting perhaps because of its size and tall columns but lacking the small details and carvings some of the other temples have. It was also a little disappointing that ther was quite a lot of scaffolding blocking some of the building – although I guess they do need to keep maintaining it!

After ticking off the Parthenon from our bucket lists, we continued to explore some of the other ruins in the Acropolis site. First up were the scattered remains of the Alter of  Rome and Augustus, which enabled us to have a closer look at the details carved into the rock used.

Next, we visited the Temple of Athena Polias, which has been partially restored to reveal its beautiful structure.

Finally, we enjoyed the incredible views of the surrounding city and ancient sites before heading back down the hill.


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