Daily tour in Athens
A private tour in Athens is a choice you must take during your visit to Athens. As you already know Athens has a great history that has left plenty for the eyes of our visitors to admire. The antiquities, the museums as well as more contemporary buildings will be some of the things you will have the chance to see in this tour. More analytically we will visit : the Gate of Adrianos - the temple of Zeus - Acropolis - the Museum of Acropolis / Old Athens (Plaka - Monastiraki) - the Mitropolis of Athens / Greek Parliament - the National Library - the Academy - the National Archaeological Museum.
In our private tour to Athens all the above places of visit are included. However you have the freedom to expand your tour to Athens allowing us this way to show you even more of the light and life of our city.
Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis hill, so called the "Sacred Rock" of Athens, is the most important site of the city and constitutes one of the most recognizable monuments of the world. It is the most significant reference point of ancient Greek culture, as well as the symbol of the city of Athens itself as it represents the apogee of artistic development in the 5th century BC. During Pericles' Golden Age, ancient Greek civilization was represented in an ideal way on the hill and some of the architectural masterpieces of the period were erected on its ground.
The Propylaea are the monumental entrances to the sacred area dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of the city. Built by the architect Mnesicles with Pentelic marble, their design was avant-garde. To the south-west of the Propylaea, on a rampart protecting the main entrance to the Acropolis, is the Ionian temple of Apteros Nike.
The first habitation remains on the Acropolis date from the Neolithic period. Over the centuries, the rocky hill was continuously used either as a cult place or as a residential area or both. The inscriptions on the numerous and precious offerings to the sanctuary of Athena (marble korai, bronze and clay statuettes and vases) indicate that the cult of the city's patron goddess was established as early as the Archaic period (650-480 B.C.).
The magnificent temple on the Acropolis of Athens, known as the Parthenon, was built between 447 and 432 BCE in the Age of Pericles, and it was dedicated to the city’s patron deity Athena. The temple was constructed to house the new cult statue of the goddess by Pheidias and to proclaim to the world the success of Athens as leader of the coalition of Greek forces which had defeated the invading Persian armies of Darius and Xerxes. The temple would remain in use for more than a thousand years, and despite the ravages of time, explosions, looting, and pollution damage, it still dominates the modern city of Athens, a magnificent testimony to the glory and renown the city enjoyed throughout antiquity.
The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on its feet, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies on the archaeological site of Makrygianni and the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens.
The museum was founded in 2003, while the Organization of the Museum was established in 2008. It opened to the public on June 20, 2009. Nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square meters.
The Theater of Dionysus
The Theater of Dionysus Eleuthereus is a major open-air theatre and one of the earliest preserved in Athens. It was used for festivals in honor of the god Dionysus. For the Greeks in ancient Athens, the Theatre of Dionysus was a very important part of their lives. Today it is considered to be the place where European theatre had its beginnings.
The theatre was built at the time when 'drama' or 'theatre' was first being created. It's thought that the first drama was presented by Thespis in about 530 BC. These dramas were probably performed in the Agora.
In the 5th C BC major works of theatre were performed. These plays were written by some of the great "Attic tragedians", men such as Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. The plays were performed as part of the cult celebrations of Dionysus. Fortunately, many of their plays have survived, which give us a unique insight into their thinking.
Theater of Herodus Atticus
Built at the base of the Acropolis, the ancient Amphitheatre of Herodeion, also known as the Odeon of Herodus Atticus, is today one of the best places to experience a live classical theatre performance. This ancient theater was built in the Roman times, in about 161 A.D. by the Roman philosopher, teacher and politician Herodes Atticus. It was built in the memory of his wife Aspasia Regilla who died in 160 AD.
This semi-circular amphitheater has a wide 1,250 feet radius with a seating capacity of more than 6,000 people. The original wall of the stage stood three storeys high and was decorated with marbles and ceramic pieces while today it stands in ruins. The stage and seating area was laid with marble while it has been renovated today. A cedar-wooden roof covered the theatre in the ancient times. Today you can attend the Athens Art Festival, musical concerts and classical tragedies under the night sky with a marvelous acoustic experience. All events are held from May to early October since the theatre is open.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympeion) was an enormous structure, the largest temple in Greece, exceeding even the Parthenon in size.
Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.
The 104 columns, each 17 meters (56 feet) high, of the temple were made of Pentelic marble. Only 15 of the Corinthian columns remain standing to give a sense of the enormous size of the temple which would have been approximately 96 x 40 meters (315 x 130 feet) in size.
The Hadrian's Arch
After the construction of the temple of Zeus, the Athenians honored Hadrian by building an arched gateway in the northwest corner of the sanctuary in 131 CE. The arch, also built of Pentelic marble, bears two inscriptions. The one on the side facing the Acropolis (west facade) reads "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus" while the other, on the side facing the sanctuary and the extension of the city by Hadrian, reads "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus".
Hadrian was known for his peaceful reign and for being an extensive builder.
The Hellenic Parliament
The Hellenic Parliament is the Parliament of Greece, located in the Old Royal Palace, overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens. The Parliament is the supreme democratic institution that represents the citizens through an elected body of Members of Parliament (MPs).
It is a unicameral legislature of 300 members, elected for a four-year term. During 1844–63 and 1927–35 the parliament was bicameral with an upper house, the Senate, and a lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, which retained the name Vouli. Several important Greek statesmen have served as Speakers of the Hellenic Parliament.
Old Royal Palace
The Old Royal Palace is the first Royal Palace of modern Greece, completed in 1843. It has housed the Greek Parliament since 1934. The Old Palace is situated at the heart of modern Athens, facing onto the Syntagma Square.
The palace was designed by Bavarian architect Friedrich von Gärtner for King Otto of Greece and his wife, Queen Amalia, with funds donated by Otto's father, King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Construction work started in 1836 and was completed in 1843. As it served originally as a palace for the Greek monarchs for about a century, it is sometimes still referred to as the "Old Palace". After suffering fire damage in 1909, it entered a long period of renovation.
In November 1929 the government decided that the building would permanently house Parliament. After more extensive renovations, the Senate convened in the "Old Palace" on 2 August 1934, followed by the Fifth National Assembly on 1 July 1935. Although the monarchy was restored that same year, the building has housed Parliament ever since.
The Tomb of Unknown Soldier
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier refers to the monument in dedication to the services of an unknown soldier and to the common memories of all soldiers killed in any war. Such tombs can be found in many nations and are usually high-profile national monuments. Throughout history, many soldiers have died in war with their remains being unidentified. Following World War I, a movement arose to commemorate these soldiers with a single tomb, containing the body of one such unidentified soldier.
The Greek monument is guarded round the clock by the Evzones of the Presidential Guard.
The Presidential Mansion
The Presidential Mansion in Athens, Greece, is the official residence of the President of the Hellenic Republic. It served previously as the Royal Palace (often known as the New Royal Palace), until the abolition of the monarchy by referendum in 1974.
The large ornamental garden of the Palace admitted prominent visitors by invitation only, until very recently. Now, the nearly 25,000 square meter grounds – which were designed by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller in the 1870s – has been opened for the public to admire.
The Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium, (also known as the Kallimármaro, meaning the "beautifully marbled"), is a multi-purpose stadium used for several events and athletics in Athens. The Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic is the only stadium in the world built entirely by marble (from Mount Penteli) and is one of the oldest in the world.
The Academy of Athens
The Academy of Athens is Greece's national academy, and the highest research establishment in the country. It was established in 1926, and operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The Academy's main building is one of the major landmarks of Athens.
The organization of the Academy of Athens, whose title hearkens back to the ancient Academy of Plato, was first established on 18 March 1926, and its charter was ratified by the law 4398/1929. This charter, with subsequent amendments, is still valid and governs the Academy's affairs. According to it, the Academy is divided into three Orders: Natural Sciences, Letters and Arts, Moral and Political Sciences.
The National Library
The National Library of Greece is situated near the center of city of Athens. It was designed by the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen, as part of his famous Trilogy of neo-classical buildings including the Academy of Athens and the original building of the Athens University. It was founded by Ioannis Kapodistrias.
The library has 4,500 Greek manuscripts which is one of the greatest collection of Greek scripts. There are also many chrysobulls and archives of the Greek Revolution.
The National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.
It was founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value.
The museum has an imposing neo-classical design which was very popular in Europe at the time and is in accordance with the classical style artifacts that it houses. The initial plan was conceived by the architect Ludwig Lange and it was later modified by Panagis Kalkos who was the main architect, Armodios Vlachos and Ernst Ziller.