Perched 500′ above sea level is a grouping of ancient buildings that make up the Acropolis of Athens. Most famous is the Parthenon, Propylaea, Erechtheion and the Temple of Anthena Nike. This ancient citadel is located in the middle of Athens and extremely easy to get to for anyone looking to visit.
Visitors should expect a €20 entrance fee and a good workout. The journey up to the Acropolis will have lots of steps (some steep) and uneven terrain that is slippery. Literally, it’s built out of polished marble — There are no escalators or elevators, it will take sheer will power to experience this amazing destination.
Since 1975, work has been ongoing to restore centuries of neglect, pollution and decay. During my visit, the Parthenon was covered with scaffolding and two large cranes. Many of the other buildings have either been completely restored or are nearing completion of this historic site.
The best time to visit
Seriously, this place is heavily trafficked with tourists from every corner of the globe. Get there at opening (08:00) or very late in the afternoon. It takes a solid 20 minutes to get to to the top, and they are sticklers for kicking people out at close (20:00). Visiting in the afternoon casts a warm orange glow on the marble pillars, which makes for some amazing pictures. Additionally, at sunset the military has a ritual to take down the Greek flag, which always makes for a good photo opportunity.
Propylaea & Temple of Athena Nike
Propylaea is the monumental gateway to the Acropolis – It is the very first thing you will pass through to in your journey through Acropolis. Standing directly in front of Propylaea, perched high above the pathways is the Template of Athena Nike. This temple was used for citizens to worship the goddess for success in the Peloponnesian War.
Erechtheion is an ancient temple located on the north side of the Acropolis which was dedicated to both Athena of Poseidon. The template was built between 421 and 406 BC and served as a venue for some of the most holy relics of the Athenians.
The iconic 5th century template dedicated to the goddess Athena. Construction began in 447 BC and finished in 438 BC. Restoration efforts are still under way to protect the structure from decay and earthquakes to ensure longevity and it’s place in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Seriously, if you’re a history buff, this place is a MUST SEE!