Of all Greek cruises, perhaps none can quite measure up to a relaxing trip on the water to Athens, Greece. Known as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, Athens is one of the oldest and greatest cities in the world, tracing its founding back to 3400 B.C.
For a carefree experience among the best ocean cruise lines, try Viking River Cruises. Athens is, by all accounts, a beautiful and modern city, but what really sets it apart is its heritage.
Let Viking Greek cruises take care of any hassles as you bask in the cultural and architectural wonders that have provided a framework for the rest of the western world. While Athens provides so very much to see, there are a few not-to-be-missed tourist attractions that you simply must include on your list of activities and destinations.
The Acropolis and Surrounding Plaka
The Acropolis of Athens rose above the ancient citadel and was located on the edge of the city (“acropolis” comes from akron, “the edge/extremity,” and polis, “city”), serving as the main line of defense for Athens, beginning in the 5th century B.C. Traveling through the complex of remains is sure to be one of the most culturally enriching experiences imaginable. In 2007, The Acropolis topped the list of the 26 most significant monuments on Europe’s Cultural Heritage monument list.
To the north and the east of the slopes of The Acropolis lies the historical neighborhood of Plaka. Known as “The Neighborhood of the Gods” because of its proximity to the famous monuments, be sure to cruise down Adrianou Street while you are there. It is the oldest street in the city, and to this day, it has the same footprint and design as it did in ancient times. Also not to be missed are the neighborhood’s many museums, including the Museum of Greek Folk Art, located in an annex of one of the city’s ancient bathhouses.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Holding many examples from the most important archaeological sites of ancient Athens, the National Archaeological Museum is one of the premier museums in the world. Contained in an imposing neo-classical building since 1829, the museum has collections that will dazzle even the most exacting history buff.
Built on the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic Stadium was the home of the first modern Olympic games in 1896. Built entirely of white marble from Mount Penteli, it is one of the oldest modern stadiums, holding up to 80,000 spectators.