The capital of Greece is a wonderful city to visit during your internship abroad with many interesting places: here is a short list with some suggestions.
The Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis is a major archaeological site and the most emblematic symbol of Athens. It was built in the 5th century BC and is home to remarkable ancient monuments such as the Parthenon. It’s well worth exploring this historic site and enjoying the panoramic views over the city.
The Acropolis was the religious and political centre of the city, home to temples, sanctuaries, monuments and civic structures. What makes the Acropolis so famous is above all the Parthenon. The Parthenon is a Doric temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the protector of the city of Athens. It is considered one of the masterpieces of classical architecture and symbolises the greatness of Greek civilisation.
As well as the Parthenon, the Acropolis includes other important monuments such as the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaeum, which is the monumental gateway to the Acropolis. These structures are characterised by their architectural beauty, fine carvings and historical significance.
The Acropolis is also a place steeped in history. It has witnessed many transformations over the centuries, from religious celebrations to invasions and foreign occupations. Today, the Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting millions of visitors every year who come to admire its architecture, its history and the breathtaking panoramic view over the city of Athens.
The Acropolis Museum
Located near the Acropolis, this modern museum houses a vast collection of artefacts from the Acropolis. It offers a detailed insight into the history and cultural significance of this iconic site. Admission is charged, but some parts of the museum are free.
The museum’s permanent exhibitions are organised chronologically, giving visitors a comprehensive overview of the history of the Acropolis. The main permanent exhibitions include :
- Gallery of Origins: This gallery features archaeological artefacts from Greece’s prehistoric and archaic periods.
- Archaism Gallery: This showcases sculptures and artefacts from the Archaic period, characterised by the emergence of monumental sculpture and the transition to a more realistic style.
- Parthenon Gallery: This gallery is dedicated to the sculptures and friezes of the Parthenon, highlighting the importance of this iconic temple.
- Gallery of the Propylaea: featuring architectural elements and statues from the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis.
As well as permanent exhibitions, the museum also offers temporary exhibitions highlighting different aspects of the history of the Acropolis and Greek culture.
Please note that information on specific exhibitions may vary, so it is advisable to consult the official website of the Acropolis Museum for the latest information on permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Ancient Agora of Athens
The ancient Agora in Athens was the nerve centre of social, political and commercial life in the ancient city. It was an open space where political activities, public gatherings, markets and commercial exchanges took place.
The Agora was a place of vital importance in the development of Western democracy. It was here that democratic assemblies were held, where Athenian citizens gathered to make political decisions, discuss the affairs of the city and debate laws. It was a place of deliberation and civic participation, where the principles of equality, freedom of expression and the sovereignty of the people were at the heart of the Athenian political system.
The Agora was also home to important buildings such as the Stoa of Attalus, which served as a meeting place, market and shelter from the elements, and the Tholos, a circular building used for administrative and social functions.
In addition to its political role, the Agora was also a bustling commercial centre. Merchants, craftsmen and vendors sold their wares here, creating a lively, bustling atmosphere.
Today, the Ancient Agora of Athens is a major archaeological site that bears witness to the historical and cultural importance of Athenian democracy. Visitors can explore the ruins of ancient buildings, admire the remains of temples and monuments, and imagine the daily and political life of the time.
The Greek Parliament and Syntagma Square
The Greek Parliament is located on Syntagma Square, in the heart of Athens. It is the seat of legislative power in Greece. The Parliament building, also known as the Vouli building, is an imposing neoclassical building that houses the parliamentary chamber.
Syntagma Square, where Parliament is located, is one of Athens’ most emblematic squares. It is often considered to be the starting point of the modern city. The name “Syntagma” means “constitution” in Greek, in reference to the historical importance of the square in the political life of the country.
Syntagma Square is an important gathering place for demonstrations and political events. It is lined with government buildings, luxury hotels, shops and cafés. The square is dominated by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument, a memorial to Greek soldiers who have fallen in wars.
Every hour, visitors can watch the changing of the guard in front of the Parliament building. The Presidential Guard, also known as the Evzones, dressed in their traditional uniforms and sporting red tassels on their shoes, perform a spectacular changing of the guard ceremony.
Syntagma Square is also an ideal starting point for exploring other Athens attractions, such as the historic districts of Plaka and Monastiraki, as well as archaeological sites such as the ancient Agora and the Acropolis.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympiion, is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Athens. It was dedicated to Zeus, the king of the gods in Greek mythology, and was built between the 6th and 2nd centuries BC.
The temple was immense, with a span of 96 metres and an initial height estimated at almost 17 metres. It was made up of 104 Corinthian columns, only 15 of which are still standing today. The columns are imposing and offer a glimpse of the grandeur and splendour of ancient Greek architecture.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus was a symbol of power and prestige for the city of Athens. Its construction was undertaken by various rulers over the centuries, and was not fully completed until the time of the Roman Empire.
Inside the temple was a gigantic statue of Zeus, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, the statue was lost over time and only a few parts of it have been found during archaeological excavations.
Today, the site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus is open to visitors, who can wander among the imposing columns and imagine the magnificence of this building in ancient times. It’s an ideal place for history and architecture lovers, offering panoramic views of the city from the top of the nearby Acropolis.
The National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is one of the most important archaeological museums in the world. It houses a vast collection of objects and artefacts from different periods of Greek history, from prehistory to late antiquity.
The museum is located in the Exarchia district of Athens and is housed in an impressive neoclassical building. It was founded in 1829 and has since amassed a rich collection offering a fascinating insight into Greek civilisation.
The museum’s permanent exhibitions are organised chronologically, allowing visitors to follow the evolution of Greek culture through the ages. On display are archaeological objects such as sculptures, ceramics, jewellery, weapons, frescoes, inscriptions and much more.
Among the most famous items on display at the museum are the gold funerary mask of Agamemnon, a bronze statue of a young man (Antinous), frescoes from Santorini (Akrotiri), statues of Greek deities such as Zeus, Athena and Aphrodite, and numerous precious objects from royal tombs.
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens offers an immersive experience in the history and culture of ancient Greece. It provides an insight into the society, religion, art and achievements of the ancient Greeks. Visitors can admire the details of Greek craftsmanship up close and appreciate the timeless beauty of these historic objects.
The Plaka district of Athens is often considered one of the city’s most picturesque and charming neighbourhoods. Located at the foot of the Acropolis, it offers a unique blend of history, architecture, culture and lively atmosphere.
Plaka is famous for its narrow cobbled streets, colourful neoclassical houses, small shady squares and traditional shops. As you stroll through the narrow streets of Plaka, you’ll discover an authentic atmosphere and a bohemian ambience that make it a popular place for locals and visitors alike.
The area is home to many historic sites, such as the Tower of the Winds, an ancient Roman hydraulic clock, and the Roman Agora of Athens, which was once the centre of the city’s political and economic life. You can also visit the Jewish Museum of Greece, which traces the history of the Jewish community in Athens.
Plaka is also famous for its traditional tavernas, where you can sample typical Greek dishes, as well as its lively cafés and bars, where you can enjoy the district’s lively atmosphere. Souvenir shops sell local handicrafts, jewellery, textiles and other unique products.
This district is ideal for strolling around, getting lost in the narrow streets, soaking up the historic atmosphere and enjoying the breathtaking views of the Acropolis from certain vantage points. It is also well located, close to other major tourist sites in Athens, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the city.
Whether you’re interested in history, culture, gastronomy or simply the picturesque atmosphere, Plaka is a place not to be missed on your visit to Athens.
Monastiraki is a lively district in the heart of Athens, close to Syntagma Square and the famous Acropolis. It is renowned for its lively atmosphere, bustling markets and numerous historic sites to discover.
One of the main attractions of Monastiraki is its flea market, also known as the Monastiraki flea market. Here you will find a variety of items ranging from vintage clothing to jewellery, furniture, books and much more. It’s a great place to shop, discover hidden treasures and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the city.
The area is also home to Monastiraki Square, a central square where the Church of Pantanassa is located. The square is surrounded by cafés, bars and restaurants, making it a popular place to relax, have a drink and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Nearby, you can visit the Tzistarakis Mosque, a former place of worship converted into a museum of Islamic art. It houses a collection of arts, crafts and artefacts from the Ottoman period.
The Monastiraki district is also renowned for its traditional tavernas and restaurants where you can sample authentic Greek dishes. Whether you’re looking for moussaka, souvlaki, Greek pastries or simply a coffee on the terrace, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds.
The Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the Kallimarmaro, is an ancient stadium in Athens, Greece. It is famous for being the only stadium built entirely of marble and for its historic role in the Panathenaic Games, sports competitions organised in ancient times in honour of the goddess Athena.
The stadium’s history dates back to classical times, but the current building dates back to 1896. It was rebuilt for the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens that year. The stadium was designed in a neoclassical style and can accommodate up to 80,000 spectators.
Today, the Panathenaic Stadium is a major tourist attraction in Athens. Visitors can explore the marble bleachers, admire the stadium’s spectacular architecture and learn more about the history of the Olympic Games and sporting competitions in ancient times. The stadium also houses a museum displaying objects and artefacts linked to its history.
The Panathenaic Stadium is often used for sporting events and ceremonies, including the arrival of the Olympic flame during the Summer Olympics. It is also possible to take part in races and sporting events organised in the stadium.
A visit to the Panathenaic Stadium offers visitors the chance to step back in time and discover the historical importance of sport in Greek culture. It is an emblematic place that recalls Greece’s Olympic heritage and is well worth a visit during your stay in Athens.
The Benaki Museum is one of the most important museums in Athens, Greece. It is dedicated to Greek art and culture, and houses a vast collection of works of art, historical objects and cultural artefacts. The museum was founded in 1930 by Antonis Benakis, a Greek art collector, who wished to share his private collection with the public.
The Benaki Museum is housed in a 19th-century neoclassical building in the Kolonaki district. Its collection covers a period from prehistory to the present day, offering a comprehensive overview of Greek history and culture.
The museum’s permanent exhibitions feature works of art, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, weapons and everyday objects from different periods of Greek history. Visitors can discover unique pieces such as Byzantine icons, neo-Greek paintings, ancient Greek objects and traditional textiles.
The museum also organises temporary exhibitions highlighting specific themes in Greek art and culture, offering visitors an enriching and varied experience every time they visit.
In addition to its permanent and temporary collections, the Benaki Museum offers educational activities, lectures, film screenings, workshops and cultural events throughout the year.
A visit to the Benaki Museum is an opportunity to delve into the history and cultural wealth of Greece through an exceptional collection of works of art and artefacts. It’s a must-see for art lovers, history buffs and anyone interested in discovering the diversity and beauty of Greek culture.
Convinced? Contact us if you want to go and do your work placement in Greece! Whether it’s in Thessaloniki or Athens, we’ll find you the best internship abroad!
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