Favorite Views from Visiting Athens via a Cruise

by Janis on January 4, 2017

Athens, the capital and largest city of Greece, is known as the “cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy.”

We’ve visited Athens several times via a cruise ship call to nearby Piraeus, Greece’s main port, reaching the Acropolis by either tour bus or the metro line.

the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens in the city of Athens, GreeceOne of the world’s oldest cities, Athens emerged as a city state around 800 BC, although the area around the Acropolis had its earliest human presence more than 7,000 years ago.

the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens in the city of Athens, GreeceIn the mid-5th century BC, guided by democratic leader Pericles, Athens embarked on building the Acropolis including the Parthenon.

The Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion, Athens, 421–407 BC

The Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion, Athens, 421–407 BC

During this Golden Age of Athenian democracy, Pericles promoted the arts. Playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides flourished, as did Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as Hippocrates and Socrates.

 Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens, Greece The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theater on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. Built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, this theater had a capacity of 5,000 and was used for music concerts.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a stone theatre located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis in Athens, GreeceToday, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is the main venue for the Athens Festival between May and October each year. A number of international artists have performed at the venue including Sting during his 1996 Mercury Falling Tour, and Elton John during his Medusa Tour in 2000. The theater also hosted the 1973 Miss Universe pageant.

Temple of Hephaestus, AthensVisitors to the top of the Acropolis are rewarded with a terrific view of Temple of Hephaestus, the best-preserved of all ancient Greek temples. A Doric temple, it remains standing largely as built when completed in 415 BC.

Panathenaic Stadium, Athens, GreeceThe Panathenaic Stadium in Athens is the world’s only stadium built entirely of marble. It was built with 50,000 seats by Athenian Roman senator Herodes Atticus in 144 AD. Abandoned in the 4th century, the stadium was excavated in 1869 and hosted the 1870 and 1875 Zappas Olympics.

 

Olympic statue, Athens, GreeceThis stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. It was used again as a venue for the 2004 Summer Olympics.

It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.

relaxing with a beer after exploring the Plaka and Monastiraki areas of Athens, GreeceThe Plaka and the Monastiraki neighborhoods — at the base of the Acropolis — are filled with shopping, dining, and scenic spots for a cold beer.

Are you planning a visit to Athens? Learn before you go with these books:

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Greece, Athens & the Mainland

The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece

Have you visited Athens? 

What was your favorite view?

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