Greece is a European country filled with so much history. This country has many ancient monuments and landmarks that attract many visitors.
Greece is the perfect country to learn about ancient history while relaxing at the same time. The capital of Greece, Athens, has many landmarks dating as far back as the 5th century B.C; for example, The Parthenon Temple. Aside from The Parthenon Temple, some of the top historical landmarks in Greece include the Ancient Delphi and the Monasteries of Meteora.
If ancient buildings are not your thing, then Greece has many impressive natural landmarks as well, such as the Santorini, Zakynthos, Corfu, and Mykonos.
There are many places to visit when you are in Greece. From enticing ancient museums to crumbling ruins and coastal cities, it is a must-visit country in Europe.
This guide captures all of the landmarks that will make your visit to Greece memorable. You can use this list to plan your vacation!
The Acropolis Museum is undoubtedly one of the most famous monuments in Greece. It is an archaeological museum which was opened in 2009, and it is located in the centre of Athens.
The museum that stands today was built to replace the first museum which was built in 1874. The reason being that more artefacts were discovered after excavating the Acropolis Hill. The old museum could not hold the new-found artefacts for exhibitions, so a new one had to be built.
The museum has many sites which attract visitors. One is the Gallery of the Slopes, which is a transparent floor used to reveals the results of the excavations made. It is also used to display the artefacts found during the excavations. Another site of the museum is the Parthenon Procession. This site is located on the third floor and contains items from the Parthenon, which is also on Acropolis Hill.
Mount Olympus is quite popular in Greece, attracting many visitors, mainly because it is the highest mountain in the country. It is believed that the mountain is the mythological home of the twelve gods of Olympus, and has about 52 peaks and gorges. The mountain is home to about 25% of plant species and 32 species of mammals in Greece.
If by chance you are a good hiker or you are interested in hiking while you are in Greece, Mount Olympus is your best option. It is recommended that you prepare yourself, even though hiking on this mountain is easy.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, commonly known as the Olympieion, was once the largest temple in the world. It is located in the centre of Greece in Athens, built to honour the Greek god Zeus who is seen as the head of the Olympian gods. Construction of the temple took almost 650 years, beginning from the 6th century BC and completed in the 2nd century AD.
The temple is made up of 104 columns of marble standing over 56 feet tall, but today only 15 can be counted. The reason is there was an earthquake during the middle ages destroying most parts of the temple. The 15 remaining columns are one of the most important remains ancient Greece has to offer. Visiting the temple shows you how big the temple was in the ancient world and why it is essential to preserve it.
The ancient citadel known as The Acropolis is an impressive landmark located in the middle of Athens, Greece. The archaeological site is at the top of a hill and within it contains arguably one of the most famous landmarks in the world and definitely in Greece, the Parthenon. The Acropolis itself is 7.4 acres and the earliest reference to it is from the 6th millennium BC - this landmark is large and its history is very rich!
The Acropolis has a lot for visitors to explore. There are many ancient buildings located within it, around 20 different sites. If you are visiting this landmark, I recommend spending at least half a day exploring the area. After you enter, you'll be able to pick up a guide and start exploring the ancient relics and buildings that are all over this ancient site.
The Temple of Poseidon is located at the end of Sounio Peninsula. The entire monument was built using marble in the 5th century BC to honour the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. For about 3 centuries, the monument was used as a sacred place for Greeks. A grand festival was organized every 4 years, allowing some official to sail around it in a sacred ship.
If you enjoy relaxing under the sun, the Temple of Poseidon is the best monument to visit when you are in Athens. It is an archaeological site enriched with ancient history located along the beach; a perfect location to relax and educate yourself at the same time.
The Parthenon, a Greek landmark built and dedicated to Athena, the Greek god, and patron of the city of Acropolis is one of the most visited landmarks in Greece. It is one of the finest landmarks in Greece when considering its conception and execution. The former temple was built between 447 and 438 BC to replace the first Parthenon.
The interior of the temple demonstrates the beauty of combining old and new elements to produce an incredible monument. It is advisable to read about the temple before you visit. This will help you understand why the Greeks cherish the building to the extent at which they do today.
Meteora is a mind-blowing group of vertical rocks, which has been twisted into beautiful forms over the years, reaching to about 300 metres high.
On these amazing rock formations, you will find the six monasteries of Meteora. Each monastery appears as though it is hanging in the air. The monasteries were constructed in the 13th centuries with an initial number of 24 monasteries. But today Meteora can account for only six monasteries.
Meteora is well-known mainly because of the impressive placement of the monasteries, but if you take your time to look, you will discover more. If you want to enjoy the experience of visiting Meteora, the best way to do that is on foot. Hiking from one monastery to another gives you the opportunity to view the complete scenery of these famous landmarks in Greece.
Syntagma Square is a landmark located in the centre of the city of Athens. In Greece, the Syntagma Square is the second largest square after the Spianada Square located in Corfu Island. Syntagma Square is translated into English as Constitution Square. Syntagma Square is a landmark surrounded by many ancient monuments which describe the history of Greece since it is in Athens.
Syntagma Square is the best place to start your walk to explore Athens. You can also use the opportunity to visit the Parliament house for a tour.
Olympia is a popular ancient Greek site located in western Peloponnese. It was used to host the Olympic games which were founded in the 8th Century B.C.
The sites within Olympia include athlete training sites, temples dedicated to the Greek gods Zeus and Hera, and a stadium for sporting activities.
The Archaeological Site of Olympia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to UNESCO, the site is one of the most relevant landmarks in the world. This landmark shows visitors how the Olympic games began and why it is so important today in the world of sports.
Knossos Palace was used as a political and ceremonial centre during the Minion Civilization in the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered as one of the oldest cities in Europe, and it was once the city-state of Crete.
The palace was affected by a terrible earthquake but was reconstructed shortly after. For unknown reasons, the palace had to be abandoned around 1380 to 1100 BC.
Some of the locals believe that the Palace of Knossos is the same as the palace in Greek mythology relating to the Minotaur tale. The Minotaur in Greek mythology was a half man half bull creature who was kept in the Labyrinth, a maze by the King Minos, ruler of Crete.
The Ancient Theatre of Asklepieion is a theatre that is located in the city of Epidaurus. The theatre was built by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th Century, and it is one of the well-preserved monuments of its kind. One amazing thing is that the theatre is still being used today but mostly for the annual Epidaurus Festival.
The original seating capacity of the theatre was 8,000, but it was expanded in the 2nd Century. This theatre has a unique design compared to other theatres in Greece - most of the seating is still visible, so it easy to imagine how the ancient Greeks used it. The Ancient Theatre of Asklepieion is one of the most famous greek places.
Delos is a Greek island and archaeological monument located in the Aegean Sea's Cyclades archipelago. It is the mythological birthplace of Apollo and a religious centre during the 1st millennium BC. The Archaeological Museum of Delos exhibits statues and remains excavated from the site.
The island has many monuments you can visit depending on your interest. If you love art, you can visit the Archaeological Museum. You can also visit the Terrace of the Lion statues, houses with mosaics, and even the amphitheatre.
All the monuments on this island have a story to share with visitors. You can visit this famous monument with your family for a memorable experience.
Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia of Thessalonica is one of the oldest Cathedrals in the city and the world today. Because of its history and significance, it is has been included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in the 8th century A.D and was the largest church in the world until the Seville Cathedral was built. The church was dedicated to the second person of the trinity of God, Logos
The Venetians constructed the Bourtzi Castle, located in the Argolic gulf and near Nafplio, in 1471. Bourtzi was originally used as a defence castle for the city, and thick chains were used to run the Castle to its mainland to prevent enemy ships from docking onshore.
The Castle became the residence of the executioner between 1865 and 1935 because no one wanted to associate with someone who did that for a living.
Today the Castle sits empty inviting curious visitors. Small boats carry tourists to the fortress as it is the only way to go close to the Castle, and it takes a lot less time. The view from the Castle is amazing, especially before sunset.
The Ionian Islands are located in the Adriatic Sea on the west coast of mainland Greece. One significant difference between the Ionian Islands and other islands in the region is the lush and green nature it has. The Ionian Islands consists of six major islands, named; Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Paxos, Kefalonia, and Ithaca.
The Ionian Islands are the ideal location for you and your family during your summer or winter visit to Greece, regardless of season, the weather here is quite pleasant. The islands are protected by the mountains from cold northern winds during the winter and summer. The Ionian Islands are a beautiful location to spend a vacation with your loved ones.
Mykonos is one of the must-see islands when you travel to Greece.
Mykonos attracts many visitors from all over the world for many reasons. The popular among them is for relaxation and entertainment in a beautiful environment. Mykonos is well known for being a popular destination for partyers. The island often hosts world-renowned DJs and artists at its world-class clubs and venues.
Besides the nightlife, Mykonos also has some interesting landmarks, one of them being the Mykonos Windmills. In the past, the Mykonos Windmills were used for practical reasons, but today they are not in use. The windmills were constructed in the 16th century and were used to mill wheat grown on the island. Now the windmills are there standing pretty for visitors to take pictures beside them.
The Academy of Athens is another thrilling sight to look out for in the city of Athens. Despite the fact that it was built in a modern form, it still exhibits the achievements of ancient Greece beautifully. It is a national academy and the highest research institution in Greece today.
The Academy was built in 1926. Today its activities are supervised by the country's Ministry of Education. One of the major landmarks of Athens is the main building of the Academy; it has an ancient architectural design with modern execution. Visiting the Academy of Athens is one way of learning the history of ancient Greece in its glory days.
Out of all the famous landmarks and monuments in Athens, the Ancient Agora of Athens is the best place for you to start your visit to Athens, Greece. The historic landmark is located at the northwest side of Acropolis on Market Hill. It was used as a place of gathering especially for political reasons.
Today the landmark serves as a reminder of the Western Civilization of Greece and the people of Athens. It is now used as a museum to exhibit artefacts from the excavations in the Ancient Agora.
Alexander III of Macedon popularly known as Alexander the Great as the name implies is one of history's greatest leaders. Alexander the Great was born in July 356 BC as the son of King Phillip the 2nd of Macedon and died in June 232. BC He is considered as a leader because, during his time a ruler of Macedon and Persia, he used his power to establish the largest empire in ancient history.
The monument of Alexander the Great was done by the prominent sculptor Yiannis Pappas and is located in Nea Paralia, Thessaloniki just by the sea. It was built to commemorate the achievements of Alexander the Great. Finding the monument is not difficult as it is located after the White Tower and the Royal Theater, the city's symbol.
The neighbourhood of Plaka is one of the most ancient settlements you can find in Europe. For Greece, it is the most ancient settlement in the country, having more than 3,500 years of history to share with visitors. Plaka is located near the Acropolis and is well known for its colourful flowery streets.
Within Plaka, you can visit the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments which exhibits folk musical instruments. Another impressive landmark in Plaka is The Roman Agora, the first-ever commercial centre of Athens, built to honour Julius Caesar. There are many other landmarks you can visit in this neighbourhood, the few mentioned above is just a glimpse of the landmarks available.
The Panathenaic Stadium or short Kallimarmaro is a multi-purpose stadium which was built in the fourth century BC in Athens. It was mainly built for the Panathenaic Games which was held every four years. The entire stadium was built with only marble, and it is the only stadium in the world of its kind. The stadium was easily one of the most famous places in ancient Greece. It was reconstructed in 1896 for the Olympic games.
During its first Olympic appearance, the stadium was used to host the opening and closing ceremony. It also served as the stadium used for four out of the nine contested sports at that time. You can see that this stadium has played a significant role in the sporting world. If you are a sports person, visiting this stadium will show you how far sports and especially the Olympics have come.
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights is located in the medieval city of Rhodes. It has been used as a fortress, a Palace for the Grand Masters, and an administrative centre for the Knight Hospitaller. This same palace served as a holiday residence for the King of Italy in the 20th century. If by any chance you are in Rhodes, and you have the opportunity to visit one historical landmark, the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights should be your destination.
At the main entrance, you will directly see the two towers that guard the entrance. Once you go through the entrance, you will enter a large courtyard. You will understand the reason why it is referred to as a grand palace from there. You can go ahead and explore the whole palace because it is one of the memorable experiences the city of Rhodes can offer.
As you can see, Greece has many ancient landmarks for you to visit. Almost every popular city in the country has a historic or ancient monument for you to visit. You just have to take your time to go through the options. Athens, as the capital of Greece, has many of the famous monuments in Greece. If you get the opportunity to visit the city, relax and enjoy the monuments it has to offer.
The list just provides a few popular ones to help guide you in your travel. It is not compulsory but visiting them when you get the chance is something you must not overlook. I hope this guide helps you plan your visit to Greece!
This article was edited by Loredana Elena.
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