Top Ten Greek Destinations: #1 - Athens - The Acropolis
Say what you like (or don't like!) about Athens, no one's trip to Greece can be complete without a visit to its supreme symbol, the outcropping of rock called the Acropolis, crowned with Athena's sacred temple, the Parthenon.
It looks great all day, but visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. Skip the Sound and Light show - cold in temperature and corny in tone.
New pedestrian pathways make it easy to visit via the Athens Metro. It's definitely one of the must-sees of Greece.
Planning ahead? You can directly book your own tour ahead of time: Athens Half-Day Sightseeing Tour with Acropolis & Parthenon
When visiting the Parthenon, you can choose the option of a ticket providing entrance to several additional attractions including the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the New Acropolis Museum, and the Panathenaic Stadium. If you have the time to use the multiple ticket, it's a good value and a good inspiration to make sure you see these other iconic sites in Athens.
Tips on Visiting the Acropolis and Parthenon
As with other sites in Greece, the ground at the Acropolis is littered with marble paving stones and fragments which have been worn smooth by countless feet. These stones can be slippery, especially when it is raining.
Wear good shoes. What's the difference between the Acropolis and the Parthenon? The Acropolis refers to the hill itself - the place of the "high city". The Parthenon specifically means the temple structure built to honor Athena Parthenos, or Athena the Maiden, and which once enclosed a magnificent statue of Athena made out of gold and ivory.
There's no trace of the statue left - such valuable materials were looted in antiquity - but remember that for the original visitors, there was no doubt whose temple it was. Now, stripped of its marble friezes and permanently under reconstruction, it's easy to forget about Athena even in her greatest temple in Greece.
More Parthenon Viewing Options
You can also enjoy seeing the Parthenon from a distance - many rooftop garden restaurants provide diners with a view of the illuminated Parthenon at night. One favorite is the Premiere restaurant located at the top of the Athens Intercontinental Hotel.
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