Greece is the kind of place where it is no big deal to be zipping along the metro, look out the window and see incredible ancient ruins passing you by. On this Athens tour you can do this as well as sip ouzo, admire old and new architecture, and watch the the traditional Greek changing of the guard ceremony.
This whistle-stop Athens tour is packed to the brim with all the essential Athens spots as well as those well hidden gems that can only be discovered with the help from a local. Discover the heart and soul of Athens, and uncover what (asides from the ancient history) exactly makes this city so special.
This historical walking tour begins by meeting your local guide in Syntagma Square, the most important and busy square in Athens, surrounded by impressive neoclassical buildings. The most well known is the Grande Bretagne, once a royal palace but now a luxury hotel which has housed everyone from Churchill to Madonna.
The Evzones can be seen at the upper end of the square, these are the guards of the Constitution, and the tomb of the unknown soldier. The Evzones are traditionally dressed with 17th and 18th century clothes: an impressive white skirt, red hat, and an old rifle. You simply cannot tour Athens with out seeing the changing of the guard, this spectacle happens every hour. We have incorporated this impressive event into this tour, watch the ceremony while your local guide explains the tradition.
On the next stage of the tour you will hop on the metro and travel to Acropolis station. The experience of traveling between these stations is like stepping back in time; both have exposed ancient ruins, discovered during the excavations for the metro system and then carefully preserved behind glass. But these ancient ruins are just a taster of more to come…
After exiting the station we will take a walk around the walls of the famous Athens Acropolis, passing by the Ancient Agora. We will then continue along the ancient roads, admire new architecture, and hear about the customs and traditions that still exist today. Here is the central hub of classic Athens history, and your local guide will tell you of the stories behind this monument. (Please note that if you wish to tour inside the Acropolis, this will have to be done separately and on your own time.)
Then onwards to explore the Plaka area, here you can shop for souvenirs along Adrianou Street, where you can find local products such as Greece’s national alcohol – ouzo. We will then take you to shops that specialize in olive oil, sponges, icons, leather sandals, and bags – a unique experience you won’t encounter on other Athens tours.
We will then continue walking to Diogenis Square, beneath the impressive wall of the Acropolis. You will see the famous Hadrians Arch built in honour of one of the most glorified Roman emperors. Here, directly behind you can see the ruins of Jupiter (Zeus) temple as you immerse yourself in the history and feel of Athens.
Pass by the National Garden and Zappeion, to arrive at the white marble Panathinaiko Stadium. Steeped in history, this spot was where the first Olympic games took place and where the Olympic Marathon ended. Finally, you will be taken back to present-day Athens to admire some of Athens’ more modern architecture. We will continue to travel through the new city highlights, where life goes on in modern rhythms. Experience where locals wander, shop and gather. Cisit the Kolonaki area, which is the heart of today’s Athens.
Finally the Athens walking tour will come to an end at the Academy of Athens, where you are free to continue your own personal exploration, or your local guide can tell you how to get back to your hotel, where you can begin to digest all that history!