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National Observatory of Athens

National Observatory of Athens: Our most recommended tours and activities

Athens: Early Morning Acropolis & Plaka Guided Walking Tour

1. Athens: Early Morning Acropolis & Plaka Guided Walking Tour

Meet your guide early in the morning and start your tour of the Acropolis before the heat of the day sets in. Admire the Theatre of Dionysus on the south slope of the Acropolis as you make your way up the hill to view the ancient structures located there. Tour the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Pedestal of Agrippa as your guide shares the fascinating history of this ancient site.  Next, head downhill in the direction of Plaka, admiring views of the Ancient Agora and the National Observatory of Athens as you walk. Explore the cobblestone streets of Plaka with your guide as you discover secrets unknown even to the locals. Enjoy the tranquility of this village within a city as you explore the many narrow passages and discover hidden gems. See the Bathhouse of the Winds, the Roman Forum, the Fethiye Mosque Museum, and Hadrian's Library as you head towards Monastiraki Square where your tour comes to an end.

Athens: Guided E-Scooter Tour in Acropolis Area

2. Athens: Guided E-Scooter Tour in Acropolis Area

Meeting point: Odeon of Herodes Atticus - the restored roman theatre that hosts many performances under the Athenian sky. Constructed in 161 AD with the expense of Herodes Atticus, as a memorial to his wife, Regilla. Station 1: Philopappou Hill The Monument of Philopappos built by the Athenians in 114-116 AD, to honor their benefactor, Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappos. The Prison of Socrates: Even though it has been disputed by many that this cave was the real prison of Socrates, this name has still caught on. Church of Saint Dimitrios Loubardiaris: A byzantine church located in a picturesque grove under the Filipappos hill and restored in 1955 by the architect Dimitrios Pikionis. Station 2: Pnyx - The meeting place of the Athenian democratic assembly. Station 3: National Observatory of Athens - Designed by the famous architect Theophil Hanse and founded in 1842, with the contribution of Georgios Sinas. Station 4: Dionysiou Areopagitou Street - One of the valuable pedestrian streets, in terms of archaeological significance, in the whole world. We will drive and learn about the history of the New Acropolis Museum and the Monuments of the Acropolis Station 5: Temple of Olympian Zeus – The monument was starting to build in 174 BCE and only finally completed by the Roman emperor Hadrian in 131 CE. Station 6: Arch of Hadrian - A monumental, marble arch built by the emperor Hadrian as the formal gateway to Athens

Athens: Sunset Bike Tour

3. Athens: Sunset Bike Tour

Discover the must-see sights of Athens at the best time of day on an afternoon bike tour of the historic monuments. Avail of the breathtaking views of the ancient city as you cycle to landmark monuments, starting at the National Gardens, followed by the Panathenaic Stadium and Presidential Mansion. Get off your bike to take short walks to different locations, and journey through the history of Ancient Greece at monuments such as the Roman Agora. Admire the columns of the Zappeion exhibition hall, and cycle through the charming Plaka district at dusk. Make your way to Kerameikos just north of the Acropolis and explore the hip district of Thisseio.

Athens: West Hills Walking Tour and Herakleidon Museum Visit

4. Athens: West Hills Walking Tour and Herakleidon Museum Visit

Discover the road less traveled in the West Hills of the Acropolis with a shared group tour with an expert historian and archaeologist. Discover the birth of democracy in Ancient Athens and learn all about the construction and intricacies of this influential building. Begin the walking tour just outside of the Acropolis Metro Station, Dionysiou Areopagitou exit. Get acquainted with the group and receive relevant directions from your historian-archaeologist. Head west walking on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, one of the most beautiful walking streets of Athens. The first stop is next to the Dionysian Theater, on the southeast slope of the Acropolis hill, as you hear facts about the ancient Greek theater and its role in Athenian society. Walking parallel to the archaeological site, and standing outside of it, the second stop is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It exhibits the evolution of the theater as a constructed physical space, but also as a form of art, from the Greek-Hellenistic era, towards the Roman times. Leaving the Acropolis behind, the group continues to head West through the Mouseion Hill (also known as The Philopappos hill) and the Pnyx Hill. Encounter the ruins of the ancient gate of the first wall of Ancient Athens and then head north towards the Pnyx. On the walk, two stops are made to see the Deme and the streets of Ancient Athens, and admire the view from the top of the hill, all the way to the Piraeus Port and the sea. Turning east, take in the breathtaking view. It's said this is the best view of the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Mount Lycabettus, and of the modern city today. Take your time to witness the remnants of ancient history. See the expanse of Pnyx in front of you, where Ecclesia, the Parliament of Athenian Democracy, once held its meetings. Afterward, make a brief stop outside the nearby National Observatory of Athens, where you can learn important historical information about the building. Head to the Herakleidon Museum and take the opportunity to admire the specifics of the exhibition, Eureka, Science, Art, and Technology of the Ancient Greeks. To end your journey through time, enjoy some refreshments as your guide answers questions and offers advice about must-sees, cool activities, and most importantly, what to avoid on your stay in Athens.

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What people are saying about National Observatory of Athens

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 221 reviews

My wife and I participated in the tour on our honeymoon last week and found that it was a fantastic way to explore Athens! We had already walked around the city a little bit, but read ahead of time where the tour would take us and made sure to save those spots for later. Our guide was fantastic, super kind and funny. We loved the route we went on; it wasn't too challenging, we loved all the sites we rode by, and it was well-paced. Our longest stop was to witness the changing of the guard, well worth it! I do recommend this being the first thing you do when you reach Athens, just because we had already been down some of the streets and had visited the Cathedral beforehand. However, even with the small repetition, we absolutely loved this tour, and it didn't take away from our enjoyment. If you're not a fan of biking through cities and weaving through crowds, I don't fully recommend this. However, we only had to weave through people once or twice and it wasn't bad at all.

Highly recommend. This was an excellent tour to kick off our time in Athens. Really well presented and thoughtful, our guide (unfortunately I did not make note of his name) gave us a great history lesson on the Acropolis and the surrounding areas in excellent English. He is an interesting storyteller and is very knowledgeable, taking us through the many centuries of this amazing site in an engaging way. This tour starts early but is totally worth it, it gets very very crowded towards midday and the sun is very punishing if you are going in the summer or in September, like we did. Don’t forget to check out the Acropolis Museum where many of the original artifacts from the site are preserved. Wear sturdy shoes and sunscreen and bring water when visiting during hot months, the heat is real and there is no way to buy water at the site.

Super tour, great idea to start early given the heat and the crowds later in the day. Our guide Angela was super knowledgeable and passed on the information in such a way it kept us interested and engaged the whole time. No chance we would have been able to read all the information ourselves, hard to even get near some of it with the number of people around. In my view having a guide is the way to go to make the most of a visit to a site such as this, and Angela was excellent.

Tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. Gave the group time for rests and was interactive with everyone. Nice to get the history behind the Acropolis.

Our tour guide, Christina, was very knowledgeable and amazing! We loved every aspect of it. We covered everything as was outlined in the booking guide.