Athens’ National Archaeological Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Athens' National Archaeological Museum in Athens

The National Archaeological Museum in Athens has wide collections of artifacts from various times in Greek history. It’s very overwhelming to see them all, especially when you don’t have much time to spare. So I’m breaking down 14 artifacts that you must see when inside. This is, for me, a very subjective list, of course! You’re welcome to add yours to the comment below this post.

Golden Age of the Mycenaean Civilization

As soon as you enter the museum, you will find the relics from Mycenaean civilization. The golden face masks command attention and the rest of the golden pieces of jewelry are fascinating.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Pnyx Hill in Athens – Keep Calm and Wander

Pnyx Hill in Athens - Keep Calm and Wander

Pnyx Hill in Athens is not your ordinary hill. It may just be another hill in the city but this was once where citizens congregate to talk about and vote on issues that mattered to them. 

Yes, democracy was born here! When power was transferred to the people, they held assemblies here to discuss reforms.

The hill is overlooking the ancient Agora, once a thriving center for business and commerce of ancient Athens. The Parthenon or the Acropolis is very visible at a far distance. It’s only less than a mile.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Sunset at the Temple of Poseidon in Athens – Keep Calm and Wander

Sunset at the Temple of Poseidon in Athens - Keep Calm and Wander

The Temple of Poseidon in Sounion is where you should spend your sunset viewing outside Athens. It takes an hour to get there by bus from the Greek capital, but it’s all worth the hassle. 

Homer, the well-known Greek writer, was the first one to record Sounion in “The Odyssey” as the “sacred cape of the Athenians.” 

Herodotus, Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Thucydides all mentioned the Temple of Poseidon in their stories and poetries. 

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Athens Gay Travel Resources

Complete Guide to Gay Athens – The Globetrotter Guys

Complete Guide to Gay Athens - The Globetrotter Guys

Athens has been on our list to visit for our long time! It’s an intriguing city steeped in Greek history, mythology and some incredible Greek food. However, we did not know much about ‘gay Athens’ or whether there would be a gay scene in Athens at all.

Luckily, we spent 10 days in Athens, made friends with some locals and got to explore the gay scene. In this short guide, we will explore the gay bars, gay life in general, gay tours, saunas, hotels and things to do in Athens.

Let’s get started with our gay Athens guide!

Gay Area in Athens and the Gay Scene

Don’t come to Athens expecting a huge gay scene like you might find in Berlin (see our gay guide to hedonistic Berlin). In Athens the gay scene is much smaller but fun nevertheless.

The gay area in Athens can be found in Gazi, named after the fact that this area was home to the old gas works.

Gazi is considered to be the upcoming, cool place where young people spend their evenings to eat, drink and party. It may therefore be no surprise that this is where the gay bars and gay clubs in Athens have found a home.

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Ancient Athens from Philopappou Hill – Keep Calm and Wander

Ancient Athens from Philopappou Hill

From the top of Philopappou Hill, you will be able to see the sweeping views of ancient Athens. The hill is named after Philopappou, a royal prince of the Kingdom of Commagene. On top of the Hill of the Muses, you’ll find a memorial in his honor.

Read moreAncient Athens from Philopappou Hill – Keep Calm and Wander

The Temple of Zeus – Keep Calm and Wander

The Temple of Zeus - Keep Calm and Wander

The Temple of Zeus is at the heart of Athens. It is a few minutes walk from Syntagma and not far from the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games was held.

BEWARE. A friend of mine did a headstand here and I had a jumping photo when a security officer came over and told us not to do it because it is a holy place! Ooopppsss!!! Silly us! We apologized.

Read moreThe Temple of Zeus – Keep Calm and Wander

Be a Tourist in Athens – Keep Calm and Wander

Be a Tourist in Athens - Keep Calm and Wander

Here is a list of touristy things to do in Athens. In its evolution, the ancient city has not let go of its ancient character despite the trials of time. So, if you want to be a tourist in Athens, pick some or a few of these places for your two or three days itinerary in the ancient city.

1. The Parthenon / Acropolis

This should be your first stop. Standing on the hill of Acropolis, the Parthenon before your eyes is surreal. You’ll see ancient Greek architecture standing on this sacred hill for about 2,500 years. It is actually a collection of buildings, where you’ll explore Parthenon (dedicated to goddess Athena) known for its best Doric columns.

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Seeing Athens From Mt Lycabettus – Keep Calm and Wander

Mt Lycabettus - Keep Calm and Wander

The views of Athens from Mt Lycabettus is one thing that most tourists miss. That’s because when they visit The Parthenon on Acropolis, they’d also see Athens’ skyline from there. And for most of them, that’s enough.

But, if you had time to climb Mt Lycabettus, you should do it without hesitation. The view from up there at sunset is something that you would never forget too soon.

Seeing the Parthenon from the side Mt Lycabettus is another angle of seeing Athens’ panoramic skyline. And guess what, the mountain is even so much higher than Acropolis. You’ll be able to see the white-washed city dwellings creeping all the way to the Aegean Sea.

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Athens’ Acropolis Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Acropolis Museum - Keep Calm and Wander

If I were you, visiting the Acropolis Museum in Athens should be your first business of the day. Then, climbing Acropolis to see the grandeur of The Parthenon is next. Yes, I know – you’d prefer to see the Parthenon first to avoid the crowd. Well, if you’re just going to take photos without the crowd in the background, then, that’s a smart thing to do.

But, if you want to fill in your brain with historical facts and visual feast on artifacts – visit the Acropolis Museum first. The displays on the last floor of the museum are shaped like the Parthenon. The set-up gives you a clear picture of what it was once like. You need to know that you can’t get close to The Parthenon in Acropolis because it is fenced and it is heavily guarded by workers in civilian clothes.

I would highly recommend that you go early to the museum. Have your breakfast at their outdoor patio on the top floor. They’ve got a fantastic view of The Parthenon. It feels good sipping your coffee or eating your pancakes while admiring the beauty of the Acropolis.

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Hadrian’s Library – Keep Calm and Wander

Hadrian's Library - Keep Calm and Wander

The Hadrian Library isn’t hard to find. Once you get off at the Monastiraki station, you’re right on Monastiraki Square. Look around 360 degrees and you’ll find Athens at a glance. Stand in the middle of the square and you’ll see domes of old Byzantine churches.

Look far ahead and the Acropolis with the stunning Parthenon is just within walking distance. The surrounding area is full of cheap shopping where you should buy your souvenirs. The smell of souvlaki evaporates into the air – and before you know it – you’re hungry!

Walk on the alley to the direction of the Parthenon. On your left, you’ll find an ancient domed architecture. Right next to it, you’ll find the ruins of Hadrian Library. The library is, of course, named after Hadrian, a Roman Emperor from 117 – 138 AD.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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