Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia, Athens (Self Guided)

Exarcheia is a district of Athens, it is next to Kolonaki and shares in the abundance of historic buildings and landmarks. The district is home to the Academy of Athens, the National Archaeological Museum, Cultural Centre of Athens, and many others. Exarcheia is also a famed shopping destination, being originally named after a merchant who opened a large general store here more than a hundred years ago.
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Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia Map

Guide Name: Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia
Guide Location: Greece » Athens (See other walking tours in Athens)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Author: emily
Cultural Centre

1) Cultural Centre

The City of Athens Cultural Center is a the cultural center of the Municipality of Athens, in Greece. It is housed in a 1836 neoclassical building in the center of Athens. Originally the building housed the Municipal Hospital. It includes three exhibition rooms, the Fotis Kontoglou, Yiorgos Iakovidis and Nikolaos Gyzis halls, as well as the Antonis Tritsis amphitheater, which holds various interdisciplinary seminars, conferences and other events.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Academy of Athens

2) Academy of Athens

The building of the Academy of Athens houses the largest research establishment in Greece. Its concept is taken from the Academy of Plato that was a great seat of learning in classical times.

The Academy of Athens was established in 1926. The building is located on the right of a neoclassical trilogy that also includes the National Library on the left and the University of Athens at the center. Funds were provided by the Greek magnate, Simon Sinas in 1859. It was designed by Danish architect, Theophiles Hansen and completed in 1885. The main entrance has two Ionic pillars with the figures of Athena and Apollo. There are also sculptures of ancient Greek philosophers outside and within the academy.

The charter of the academy was established by law in 1929 and it governs the functioning of the institution till the present. Research is divided into three orders under the charter, Natural Sciences, Letters and Arts and Moral and Political Sciences. It has 12 research centers, 10 research offices and houses the Loannis Sykoutris Central Library.

The Athens Academy is an important landmark in the city and is depicted on a high value collectors 100 EURO coin minted to commemorate the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. The building is featured on the coin to show Greece as a center of culture and learning in addition to playing host to the Olympic sporting event that tests physical prowess.
Sight description based on wikipedia
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

3) National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is the central building of the neoclassical trilogy designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen. It is the oldest university in South East Europe.

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is commonly referred to as the University of Athens. Construction of the building began in 1859 and was completed in 1885. At first it was known as the Othonian University after the Greek King Otto. Later it was renamed after the first head of state of the modern republic of Greece, Loannis Kapodistrias. The building has two symmetrical wings divided by an Ionian style entrance. The columns and capitals of the entrance are reproductions of those found in the Proplaea temple in the Acropolis. The Neoclassical style of the structure is designed to suit the Mediterranean climate of Athens.

Today, the building houses the administrative offices of the University of Athens, the Rectory, the Juridical Department and its archives. There is also a large convocation hall that is also used for official ceremonies and other meetings of students and faculty. In 1952, the National and Kapodistrian University building was declared a preserved monument in need of special protection under law.
Sight description based on wikipedia
National Library of Greece

4) National Library of Greece

The National Library of Greece stands on the left side of the trilogy of neoclassical buildings that house the Athens University and the Athens Academy. It was designed by Danish Architect Theophil Hanson and opened its doors to the public in 1903.

The neoclassical structure that houses the National Library of Greece has three parts. A renaissance styled curved staircase leads up to the portico of the central building. The portico has a row of Doric style columns. The central building is the biggest of the three structures that make up the library. The reading room located within the central building has Ionian style columns and a glass ceiling. Books and other objects are arranged in unique cast iron book cases.

The National library of Greece has books, journals, magazines and a range of bibliographic material produced in Greece and internationally that has relevance to Greece or to the Greek people. It has one of the largest collections of Greek manuscripts. There is also a collection of edicts or Chrysobulls of Byzantine Emperors and archives of documents relating to the Greek revolution. Other treasures include a large etymological dictionary, a Byzantine dictionary and the first publication of Homer’s epics and hymns. It also holds large collections of books donated by many Greek bibliophiles.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Athens City Hall

5) Athens City Hall

Athens City Hall is located in the heart of the city. The building represents a fine example of neoclassical architecture. It was built between 1872 and 1874.
Notos Gallery

6) Notos Gallery

What to buy here: Olive oil soap and beauty products: Olive oil soap originated in Greece on the island of Crete and is now one of the more popular soap types available, especially for sensitive skin. There are a range of beauty products made from olive oil, including hand cream, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel containing this precious ‘elixir’ of life. Olive oil from Greece is considered as one of the best in world. It is the basis of the Greek and Mediterranean diet and research has shown continual use increases people’s longevity! Imagine what these products can do for your skin! No need to buy the anti-aging stuff, olive oil products are the gift to buy anyone who looks after their skin! Olive oil products can be bought in the major department stores such as Notos Gallery. Price start at a couple of euro. Notos Gallery is located on Stadiou and Aiolou Street and is open on Monday and Wednesday 10am - 7pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am - 9pm and Saturdays from 10am - 6pm.
National Technical University of Athens

7) National Technical University of Athens

The National Technical University of Athens also called the Athens Polytechnic is an educational institution dedicated to research and study of science, engineering and arts. It is located at the center of Athens on Patison Avenue.

The Athens Polytechnic s called the Metsovnion in honor of a group of benefactors from the town of Metsovo in Epirus who provided the funds to establish the university. The polytechnic is housed in a group of large neoclassical style buildings designed by architect, Lysandros Kaftanzoglou. It was established by Royal Decree in 1836. It was the only institution providing engineering degrees in Greece until the 1950s. The university became well known around the world during the student uprising in 1973 against the then military junta who ruled Greece. The dictators retaliated by crashing a tank into the gates of the institution killing protesting students. Every year, the campus is closed on the 15th of November in memory of the students who died fighting for the overthrow of the ruling military dictatorship.

Today, the buildings on Patison Avenue house the school of architecture of the National Technical University of Athens. All other departments have relocated to a larger 190 acre campus in the Zografou area of the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Epigraphic Museum

8) Epigraphic Museum

The Epigraphical Museum of Athens is the third-largest museum of ancient inscriptions in the world. Its collection comprises 13,500 inscriptions, mostly Greek, from early historical times to the Late Roman period. It is situated in the south wing of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Four of its rooms are accessible to visitors, while the rest is reserved for researchers. A full photographic archive of the collection is being assembled for future visitors. The Epigraphic Museum is located in the same building as the National Archaelogical Museum, but has a separate entrance.
Sight description based on wikipedia
National Archaeological Museum

9) National Archaeological Museum (must see)

The largest collections of ancient Greek artifacts are on display at the National Archeological Museum in Athens. Collections include exhibits excavated from archeological locations around the country and from sunken ships under the Mediterranean Sea.

The building has a neoclassical design planned by architect, Ludwig Lange. Later the plans were modified by architects, Panages Kalkos, Harmadios Vlachos and Ernst Ziller. A neoclassical-style garden lies in front studded with many ancient statues. The museum opened in 1889. During World War II the treasures were packed in boxes and buried to save them from plunder.

Collections at the museum include prehistoric artifacts, Cycladic marble figurines, Gold objects from the Mycenaean Civilization and Peloponnesian stone, bronze and ivory objects. The bronze room has the collection of Greek politician and amateur archeologist, Konstantinos Karaponas. The Egyptian collection has objects from the Neolithic period to the Roman era. There are also collections from the post-Byzantine era, frescoes from Akrotiri, a pottery and small ornaments section and the epigraphic section with the world’s largest collection of Greek inscriptions.

The Museum has a cafe and a gift shop. The gift shop sells reproductions of many of the objects displayed at the museum. Visitors can request English speaking guides for a better understanding of the history behind the exhibits.

Why You Should Visit:
Many of the items here were recovered from a shipwreck and so they are in exceptional shape.
The bronzes and the sculpture are wonderful but the most interesting object is the Antikythera mechanism.

Make sure to read about the highlights before your visit so as not to miss them.
Go during the heat of the day (around lunch) and stay cool with the air-conditioning. Bring your camera, too – photography is allowed.

Opening Hours:
Tue: 1–8pm; Wed-Mon: 8:30am–4pm (Nov 1st–Apr 12th); Tue: 12:30–8pm; Wed-Mon: 8am–8pm (Apr 13–Oct 31)
Sight description based on wikipedia
Pedion tou Areos

10) Pedion tou Areos

The Pedion tou Areos or Pedion Areos is one of the largest public parks in Athens, Greece. It is also the name of the wider neighborhood. The park was designed in 1934 and its purpose was to honor the heroes of the Greek

revolution of 1821, 21 of whom are depicted in marble busts standing in the park. The park is a state-owned public ground, covering an area of 27.7 hectares, and is located about 1 km NE from the Omonoia Square. Today, it is enclosed by the streets Mavromateon, Evelpidon, Pringiponisson and the Alexandras Avenue. In front of the main entrance of the park there is an equestrian statue of king Constantine I. At the other entrance, near Alexandras Avenue, there stands a memorial to the English, Australian and New Zealander soldiers who fought in the Battle of Greece in the Second World War. The memorial is surmounted by a statue of goddess Athena.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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 for Children Walking Tour

Athens for Children Walking Tour

Traveling with children differs a lot from traveling alone or with other grown-ups, children require a constant source of entertainment and an outlet for their energy. Luckily, Athens has plenty of places that are suitable for families and offer something for kids to do. Take this guide to find your way to the best spots in town for a family visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
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
City Center Nightlife

City Center Nightlife

Athens is one of the hottest nightlife destinations in southern Europe. If you want to have an unforgettable night out, this walking tour is definitely what you need! We offer you a walk around the heart of the Greek capital, with stops at some of the most popular clubs and bars in this fascinating city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Walking Tour Around the Peaceful National Garden

Walking Tour Around the Peaceful 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). Many major tourist attractions are situated in and around this peaceful site. The following tour will guide you through this Garden and the amazing...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Walking Tour Along Vassilissis Sofias Avenue

Walking Tour Along Vassilissis Sofias Avenue

Vassilissis Sofias is a major avenue in the eastern part of the city. Walking along this street you will have the chance to see some of the most popular attractions of the Greek capital, such as the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the War Museum, and many others. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy this interesting tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Athenian Museums Tour

Athenian Museums Tour

Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, steeped in history and culture, this is a fact know to everyone. As such, the city is literally packed with museums, museums which house an inestimable treasure of the Greek civilization. The tour below will guide you through some of the most significant museums in Athens.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km

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...
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...
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...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Athens for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Athens has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Athens's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Athens Tourist Card, Athens City Pass, or Athens Museum Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Athens's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Athens hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Electra Hotel Athens, Hotel Grande Bretagne, King George.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Athens, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Athens typically costs somewhere between US$15 and US$100 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Athens from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the three interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for all three).

- Explore Athens in its entirety, from the beautiful beaches to historic treasures, on a similar hop-on hop-off double-decker sightseeing tour running straight from the sea shore all year round! Ideal for those arriving on cruise ships!

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of night Athens – this usually lasts about 3 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the Greek capital in its nighttime ambiance. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have by walking.

- Pedal your way around Athens on a 3.5-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Acquaint yourself up-close with the wonders of Ancient Greece on a 3-hour walking tour of UNESCO-listed Acropolis and other fascinating sights within its walls, plus many more historic and otherwise notable attractions in Athens.

- Awaken your taste buds to an array of authentic Greek delicacies on a 4-hour guided gourmet food walk in Athens during which you will sample some of the finest street food in the city. Apart from feasting on the local specialties, with each bite you will also learn about the culinary history of Athens.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Athens, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Delphi, Meteora, Mycenae and Epidaurus, Corinth, or Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon. For as little as circa US$50 to US$120 per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including fascinating monuments of Greek mythology and history, immerse in Greece’s spectacular scenery, admire the beauty of the local countryside replete with breathtaking views, scenic monasteries and villages existent for centuries, explore ancient ruins, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Athens, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus, train or private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.