Erechtheion, Athens

Erechtheion, Athens (must see)

The Erechtheion forms part of the Acropolis and is one of the finest examples of Greek Ionic architecture. It was also the most sacred among temples on the Acropolis due to serving as a sanctuary of the city's main cults. The temple was dedicated to Athena – goddess of wisdom, Poseidon – the god of sea, and the snake-bodied hero Erechtonius. According to legend, this legendary hero was killed by Poseidon during the battle for the patronage of Athens.

Around 400 BC, the leader of Athens, Pericles commissioned sculptor and mason, Phidias to build the structure you may see today. It is made of marble and the friezes were of black limestone.

The temple has three main parts: the main temple, the northern and the southern porches. The main temple has two cellae, one dedicated to the Goddess of wisdom, Athena, and the other to the God of sea, Poseidon. It symbolized the reconciliation between the two after their battle for the patronage of Athens. The northern porch has Ionic columns and a Propylon. The most striking feature, however, is the famous porch of maidens. These six massive female figures seem to be supporting the porch roof on their heads. No other temple has such detail for pillars. The maidens are, in fact, plastic copies of the originals now housed in Acropolis Museum. This was done to prevent them from melting further in the caustic climate around Athens.

At night the temple's foundation lights up and illuminates the entire structure on the north side of Acropolis. It's a beautiful sight to see from a rooftop restaurant or bar within the vicinity.

Why You Should Visit:
Similar to the other temples on Acropolis, this one reflects the ancient Greeks boasting and passion for the powerful gods, glorious heroes, and honorable kings during their time.
At night the temple's foundation lights up and illuminates the entire structure on the north side of Acropolis. It's a beautiful sight to see from a rooftop restaurant or bar within the vicinity.

Tip:
Try and have a guided tour to experience the full explanations and history of the site. However, if you skip the tour, you can manage better at your own pace and time.
Also, make sure to visit early in the morning as it may get very hot later in the day and carry water as you won't get anything inside.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm; Sun: 10pm–12am

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Athens, Greece within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Erechtheion on Map

Sight Name: Erechtheion
Sight Location: Athens, Greece
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis City Orientation Walk

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Creating your own self-guided walk in Athens is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Athens Food Walk

Athens Food Walk

The traditional Greek cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world, and prices in all but the flashiest establishments afford excellent value. The prevalence of vegetable and dairy dishes makes eating out a delight for non-meat eaters. Carefully selected appetizers (tzatzíki, dolmádes, kalamarákia) can constitute a full meal. Greece’s most famous slow-cooked oven dish, however, is probably...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Walking Around the National Garden

Walking Around the National Garden

The National Garden is an impressive, historic park in the center of Athens. Formerly known as the Royal Garden, it was commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838, reason why it is located right behind the Old Palace (currently the Greek Parliament). This self guided walk will take you on a stroll through the Garden and its many amazing surrounding sights and attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens is famous all over the world, it is the symbol of the city of Athens. The first habitation remaining on this site dates back to the Neolithic period. The Acropolis hill is also called the "Sacred rock" of Athens, as it was home to temples and churches throughout recorded history. It is the one historic site you cannot miss!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Athens is one of the oldest European cities, widely regarded as the birthplace of Western Civilization. Its history begins in the Neolithic period between 4th and 3rd millennium BC. The first settlement on the site of Athens was situated on the rock of Acropolis which means “high city” in Greek.

According to the Greek mythology, the name “Athens” emerged from a competition between the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Exarcheia Walk

Exarcheia Walk

Exarcheia is among Athens’ oldest, most well-worn districts with an abundance of historic buildings and landmarks. The location here of the National Library, the University and the National Academy confirm it as the intellectual heart of modern Athens. Follow this walk to get some idea of how the Agora of the ancient city may have looked in its prime, and make your way further through the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Known as the "Neighborhood of the Gods" due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites, Plaka is atmospheric, romantic, and nostalgia-inducing. Follow this self-guided walk though narrow, winding thoroughfares to explore the area's main attractions, including ancient sites, Byzantine churches, 19th-century homes, and museums.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


A Self-Guided Food Walk in Athens

A Self-Guided Food Walk in Athens

Just as many things in Greece, dining in Athens is very much laid-back with the majority of local eateries seeing patrons begin to congregate for dinner only after 8 pm. Eating-wise, the Athenians favor simplicity, leaning to the more casual and not so pricey tavernas where food is plentiful. To...
Souvenirs Shopping: 19 Uniquely Greek Products to Bring from Athens

Souvenirs Shopping: 19 Uniquely Greek Products to Bring from Athens

A cradle of European civilization, Greece, in general, and Athens, in particular, have long been - from the days of the Roman Empire up until present - the lure for travelers and history buffs seeking to find and bring home something memorable. Today's Athens (much as its ancient self) offers a...
15 Best Cafes in Athens

15 Best Cafes in Athens

While in Athens it is immediately noticeable that the local cafe culture thriving. Through this directory you will get a chance to visit very different establishments, ranging from "kafenia", to hip, modern coffee shops and get first hand experience of the diversity of contemporary Greek...