Best Athens Acropolis Walking Tour

2 Traveling Lovers

As we travel throughout the world, one thing we always focus on is finding the best attractions for our subscribers to do and see in each country. This blog post is our tour and review of the Best Athens Acropolis Walking Tour, which includes a tour of Old Town (Plaka & Monastiraki) and the Acropolis. 

After reading reviews and doing extensive research, we went with Athens Walking Tours. For us, research is essential; nothing is worse than spending money on an excursion, only to reach the end and be disappointed. We only write blog posts companies and products we actually use, and we recommend only those we like so it’s imperative to us not to waste our subscribers time and money.

Before we get to the details of the tour, we wanted to mention that the Athens Walking Tours couldn’t have been better. Both of our guides were kind, had a wealth of knowledge and information, and it was evident they enjoyed their jobs. We took video, which is in this post below so we wouldn’t forget what we learned and so we could show you what to expect.

Meeting Point– Monastiraki Square: in front of the main entrance of the chapel in the middle of the square (easy find)
Our guide was holding an orange Athens Walking Tours sign and was waiting for us right on time.

Plaka & Monastiraki

The first part of the tour was the Athens Old Town Tour (Plaka & Monastiraki). Plaka and Monastiraki are two of the most popular areas and touristy areas of Athens. Both areas are rich in history, restaurants, shops, museums, and ancient sites. Plaka is located at the foot of the Acropolis, and it’s known as the “District of the Gods.” The Parthenon was built in honor for the 12 Gods, and the temple was dedicated to Athena the Goddess of Wisdom.

The Acropolis (meaning the top of the town) was built by Iktinos and Kallicrates who were architects along with Phidias, a famous Greek sculptor. However, a lot of the workers came from the neighboring Greek islands to build the Acropolis. During the night, the workers would come together to build a home for each of their families at the foot of the Acropolis. They wanted a home that reminded them of their homes on the cliffs in the islands.

During that time, the rule of law said if the structure had a roof, it could not be destroyed so under cover of darkness the workers would construct the start of a home for each worker each night. By morning four pillars and a roof would be complete, and according to law, it could not be destroyed. The next night the communities of workers would start the construction on another house for one of the working families. Many of the homes are painted blue and white, which was their way of preserving their native island history. What a great sense of community this illustrated.

There were many things on this tour that was fascinating to us. Another thing was the large public bathhouse, it was a concrete room with 68 public toilets. This building was constructed in the center of town, and it was viewed as a social meeting place for the people of the town. Its construction resembled our sewer system of today with fresh water continuously circulating. Who would have thought?

After finishing the first part of the tour (1 1/2 hours), we were dropped off to start the second part, which is a tour of the Acropolis. The 2nd part of the tour had a few more people, but Athens walking tour was very organized, and everything went smoothly.

As we made our way up to the Acropolis, our tour guide explained everything in great detail. One fantastic benefit of taking this tour was our tickets were pre-purchased with Athens Walking Tour, which meant we didn’t have to wait in the long line out in the sun. As you can see in the video the line to buy your tickets can get very long. It was nice to walk through and not spend an hour in the sun trying to get tickets.

The Theatre of Dionysos
One of the first sights you will see is the Theatre of Dionysos.  This theatre is the most prestigious of the two; it was here that classical works by the most famous Greek poets, Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, and Aristophanes performed for the first time in the 5th Century BC.  It’s a huge tiered theater with seating for 15,000 and it’s considered to be one of the first theaters ever.  Greece is credited for the creation of the world of theater as it is today.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Next, you will see the theater Odeon of Herodes Atticus which was constructed by Herodes Atticus in 161 AD in memory of his wife. It was destroyed in 267 AD by Heruli at which time it was left in ruins and covered until it was renovated in 1950. The massive theater has a capacity of 5000, and it’s the only theater constructed entirely of marble.  It’s a magnificent sight and well worth the visit, there are excellent photo opportunities.  It’s still used today, with its main venue as the “Athens Festival” from May through October. There is an old hospital built next to the theater. In Roman times 90% of the hospitals were built next to a theater because it was believed the theater clears your mind and soul, so what better place for a hospital?  

The Acropolis was captured and destroyed by the Persians, and it sat in ruins until the mid 5th century BC. After the Athenians and Greeks were victorious over their eastern enemies, they were encouraged to rebuild the Acropolis by the statesman Perikles. Perikles wanted to reconstruct the temples on a grand scale; his construction included the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia, and the temple of the Athena Nike.

It took the Romans 15 years to rebuild the Acropolis after 30 years of mourning following its destruction due to the fire. It was constructed as a perfect triangle by the best architects and designers of their time, and it’s continued to be a respected endeavor even today.

The Acropolis is an amazing sight!

As you can see, you will walk away from this tour with a wealth of knowledge and history of the whole area. As you will see the Acropolis is under renovations and from what we here this is a constant with no end date in sight. Through recent renovations to the Acropolis, they have found no building has a flat line. Each of the pillars is ever so slightly curved inward. It has been a painstakingly tedious process renovating the structures because each piece is unique; however, they continue to learn from the past through these restorative renovations.

Our Tip or Suggestions

1. Bring water, a hat, and wear sunscreen. We went in May, and it got hot, especially up by the Acropolis.

2. If you are interested in retaining history, bring something to record the dialogue or take good notes on your notes app. We’re not sure if the guide will allow you to record him or not. Joel did get in trouble for videotaping with this particular guide so it may depend on who you have as a guide. There was so much information that you will forget a lot of it by the time you grab lunch.

3. Wear good shoes – There is lots of walking and standing: bad shoes = sore knees or back.

When we finished up the tour, we both agreed on how important it was to have a guide throughout this day. We can say with certainty and experience that if you do not get a guide, you’re going to walk through the Acropolis not knowing anything about the history. Sure, the buildings are cool, but it will be hard to know what you’re looking at unless an expert or familiar with the history of the Acropolis.  We think you will feel like you missed out if you don’t have a knowledgable guide.  You look at the building once, and it’s beautiful, but the history behind it was what made this day one of our best in all of Greece.

We highly recommend Athens Walking Tours and their knowledgable staff when you visit Athens they did a fantastic job!!

Disclaimer: This article was brought to you in collaboration with Urban Adventures. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. All opinions are those of 2 Traveling Lovers.

Best Athens Walking Tour of The Acropolis

While in Athens we did an amazing walking tour of the  Acropolis and the Athens old town(Plaka & Monastiraki) DO THIS TOUR! YOU WON’T REGRET IT


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