9:00 AM - Pickup from Apartment
This is a full-day tour, so your licensed guide will come pick you up from your accommodations at the prescribed time in the morning.
09:30 AM - Kallimarmaro Stadium
Sports and athletics have been a part of Greek culture since Rome was just a village on a few hills. Despite falling into ruin near the beginning of the 5th Century CE, the stadium has since been excavated and renovated, and has since become one of the world’s oldest venues still in use. Also known as Stadio Panathinaiko and the Old Olympic Stadium, stand on the marble steps and picture the screaming crowds of more than two millennia ago, cheering on their favorite team of racehorses as the Acropolis and Parthenon loom in the skyline beyond, a vista to challenge that of nearly any modern sports arena.
10:00 PM - National Gardens & Syntagma Square
From the stadium, it’s just a five minute stroll to walk through the National Gardens, a sublime way to spend some time on a spring or summer day. In addition to the normal birds, trees, and statues, you might find some things you wouldn’t quite expect, like a monument to Lord Byron! On the other side of the gardens lies Syntagma Square, home of the Greek National Parliament, where you can stop your tour to witness the changing of the guard! In a city and country so well known for the old and ancient, the gardens and square are a refreshing reminder of Greece’s fascinating and tumultuous more recent past as well.
11:00 AM - Hadrian's Atch & Temple of Olympian Zeus
After the square, you’ll double back a few minutes down the road to the site of two different and striking works of ancient art and architecture. The Arch of Hadrian, a Roman-style gate standing nearly sixty feet high was supposedly built upon the arrival of the Emperor Hadrian to the Eastern crown jewel of his Empire, served in Roman times as part of a wall separating the “ancient city of Theseus,” by that point already more than a thousand years of age, from the “new” city of Hadrian, which assuredly must have been state-of-the-art for the time. Walk through the gate, and you’ll come face to face with a great relic of the city of Theseus, the Temple of Olympian Zeus. One of the largest Greek temples ever made (it took almost 600 years to complete!), the massive, elaborate Corinthian columns that remain are some of the most jaw-dropping reminders of how advanced these ancient Athenians really were.
12:00 PM - Lunch Break
Of course, it would take a superhuman to walk all this way without building up a tremendous appetite. Before ascending to the Acropolis (or after, should you so desire), you can stop for a little while to refuel. Luckily, you’ll now find yourself in one of the premier food destinations in the entire world! One of the perks of our licensed guides is their ability to recommend any number of local spots, largely unknown to the tourist world, completely suited to your tastes!
12:30 PM - The Acropolis
From one huge temple on to the next! Now it’s time to begin the uphill march to the Acropolis, the mother of all Greek sightseeing. While we do offer full-day, complete tours of the Acropolis, Agora, and associated museums, the visit to the Acropolis on this excursion includes stops at the Propylaea, the massive columned gateway that served as entrance to the citadel, the Odeon of Herod Atticus, a 2nd century CE theater, completely restored for frequent contemporary use, the Theater of Dionysus, the single oldest known permanent theater structure in the entire world, and, of course, the Parthenon, only the symbol of ancient Greece itself and one of the most famous buildings on earth! If you’re interested in more, we highly recommend one of our Acropolis-specific tours, but in walking around these parts, you’ll still certainly see enough to satisfy some of your curiosity for the day.