Athens Agora

The Athens Agora or ancient market is a must-see site and one of the best things to do in Athens with its restored arcade building, the Stoa, and its museum.

The Ancient Agora in AthensAt the Ancient Agora in Athens

After the Acropolis and National Archaeological Museum, the market place of ancient Athens is another of the best things to do in Athens. It features some good remains and a fine, small museum.

The Ancient Agora in Athens

Athens Agora

Imagine the Agora filled with stalls and shops, its streets and squares packed with buyers and sellers. It helps to buy a plan or to consult one of the information boards dotted around the site. The area was first used as a market place in about the 6th century BC. Before that it was a cemetery.

The Ancient Agora in Athens standing below the AcropolisThe Ancient Agora Stands Below the Acropolis
Photo by Donna Dailey

The site was at the heart of Athenian life for centuries, along with the Acropolis, which rises behind it. In fact, a good overview of the Agora can be had from the Acropolis, or from the neighbouring Areopagos.

The Ancient Agora in Athens

At ground level the foundations of many buildings are still evident, with signs in English for some of them. Two buildings dominate opposite ends of the site. One is the Temple of Hephaistos, and the other the Stoa Atallou (Stoa of Attalos), which contains the Agora's excellent little museum.

The Temple of Hephaistos at the Ancient Agora in AthensThe Temple of Hephaistos

Athens Agora: The Stoa of Attalos

The Stoa is a two-storey arcade, first built in the 2nd century BC. It has been immaculately restored by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, giving us a rare opportunity to see what Greek buildings of the period actually looked like when they were in use.

The Stoa of Attalos at the Ancient Agora in AthensThe Stoa of Attalos

Athens Agora Museum

Inside, the museum is full of quirky finds that bring old Athens to life: a child's commode, a fragment of a library rule-book, a clever machine used for the selection of officials. Between the museum and the Acropolis is another restored building, the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Where to Stay in Athens

Some other Athens pages

  • Athens culinary tours are among the food walking tours offered by an unusual company, Culinary Backstreets.

    Athens Culinary Tours

    Athens culinary tours are among the food walking tours offered by an unusual company, Culinary Backstreets.

  • Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

    Monastiraki and Around

    Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

  • The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the original Athens Olympic Stadium, built for the 1896 Olympic Games and open to the public for jogging and photography.

    Athens Olympic Stadium

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the original Athens Olympic Stadium, built for the 1896 Olympic Games and open to the public for jogging and photography.

  • Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

    Syntagma Square

    Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

  • A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

    A History of Athens

    A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

  • Athens International Airport is east of Athens city centre with its own Metro train station, buses to Athens and Piraeus, taxis and car rental offices.

    Athens International Airport

    Athens International Airport is east of Athens city centre with its own Metro train station, buses to Athens and Piraeus, taxis and car rental offices.

  • Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

    Pictures of Athens

    Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

  • Amusing children in Athens is easy as there is lots to do including a children’s museum, planetarium, beaches, and easy excursions to the nearest islands.

    Amusing Children in Athens

    Amusing children in Athens is easy as there is lots to do including a children’s museum, planetarium, beaches, and easy excursions to the nearest islands.

  • Athens car rental options include almost all of the major international car hire firms such as Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Europcar.

    Athens Car Rental

    Athens car rental options include almost all of the major international car hire firms such as Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Europcar.

  • Easter in Athens is, like everywhere in Greece, the biggest religious celebration of the year and this page tells you what to expect over the Easter weekend.

    Easter in Athens

    Easter in Athens is, like everywhere in Greece, the biggest religious celebration of the year and this page tells you what to expect over the Easter weekend.

  • Athens is a top vacation destination. The Greece Travel Secrets Athens guide has information on hotels, museums, Athens airport and all the best things to do.

    Athens: Travel Information and Advice about Athens, Greece

    Athens is a top vacation destination. The Greece Travel Secrets Athens guide has information on hotels, museums, Athens airport and all the best things to do.

  • Athens Food Tours are being introduced by new company The Greek Fork, and will include tours of the Central Market, and the best street food.

    Athens Food Tours

    Athens Food Tours are being introduced by new company The Greek Fork, and will include tours of the Central Market, and the best street food.

  • This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

    Greek Architecture

    This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

  • The Changing of the Guard in Athens takes place outside the Parliament building at the top of Syntagma Square and is a must-see for visitors.

    Changing of the Guard in Athens

    The Changing of the Guard in Athens takes place outside the Parliament building at the top of Syntagma Square and is a must-see for visitors.

  • Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.

    Athens Airport Hotels

    Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.

  • The best views in Athens include views from the Acropolis and of the Acropolis from the top of some of the city’s several hills and from hotels and restaurants.

    Best Views in Athens

    The best views in Athens include views from the Acropolis and of the Acropolis from the top of some of the city’s several hills and from hotels and restaurants.

  • Athens in the rain isn’t something you’re likely to experience but here are suggestions for things to do in the rain in Athens including museums and shopping

    Athens in the Rain

    Athens in the rain isn’t something you’re likely to experience but here are suggestions for things to do in the rain in Athens including museums and shopping

  • This Athens dining guide doesn't list restaurants but gives practical advice on types of eating places, tipping, hotel breakfasts and picnics.

    Athens Dining Guide

    This Athens dining guide doesn't list restaurants but gives practical advice on types of eating places, tipping, hotel breakfasts and picnics.

  • Athens Airport car rentals include Alamo/National Car Rental, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt, all with offices at the airport.

    Athens Airport Car Rental

    Athens Airport car rentals include Alamo/National Car Rental, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt, all with offices at the airport.

  • The Athens Museum of Cycladic Art houses a remarkable collection of Cycladic figurines and other items and is one of the best museums in Athens.

    Athens Museum of Cycladic Art

    The Athens Museum of Cycladic Art houses a remarkable collection of Cycladic figurines and other items and is one of the best museums in Athens.

  • The Athens National Historical Museum is in the former Greek Parliament building and houses an archive of historical artefacts and documents.

    Athens National Historical Museum

    The Athens National Historical Museum is in the former Greek Parliament building and houses an archive of historical artefacts and documents.

  • Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

    Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens

    Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

  • Greece Travel Secrets gives its choice of the best hotels in Athens from budget and moderate options through to 5-star luxury choices.

    The Best Hotels in Athens

    Greece Travel Secrets gives its choice of the best hotels in Athens from budget and moderate options through to 5-star luxury choices.

  • If visiting Athens it helps to know when major events and public holidays take place, as some shops and attractions may be closed, but to be there at times like Easter can make for a magical trip.

    Athens Events and Public Holidays

    If visiting Athens it helps to know when major events and public holidays take place, as some shops and attractions may be closed, but to be there at times like Easter can make for a magical trip.

  • Athens, an Eater's Guide to the City, is published by Culinary Backstreets, who do walking food tours in Athens and the book recommends the best places to eat.

    Athens Eaters Guide

    Athens, an Eater's Guide to the City, is published by Culinary Backstreets, who do walking food tours in Athens and the book recommends the best places to eat.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Epirus One of the ‘Most Welcoming Regions on Earth’ for 2023

    Epirus in northwestern Greece has been recognized as one of the Most Welcoming Regions on Earth for 2023, according to Booking.com’s recently announced Traveller Review Awards list.

    Read More

  2. Thessaloniki Gets Ready for 17th International ‘Alexander the Great’ Marathon

    Thessaloniki in northern Greece is preparing to host the 17th International ‘Alexander the Great’ Marathon-bwin that is scheduled to run on April 30.

    Read More

  3. Greek Destinations in the Running for Best in Europe Title

    Athens, Rhodes and Milos are the three Greek destinations competing with popular cities in Europe for the title of “European Best Destination 2023”. The competition is being held for the 14th consecut…

    Read More

  4. Study: UK Prices for Package Holidays to Greece Soar

    Package holidays to Greece, which include accommodation for a week, will cost UK travelers 30 percent more this year compared to 2022, according to UK consumer association Which?.

    Read More

  5. Virtual Industrial Museum to Open in Thessaloniki

    The restoration of Thessaloniki’s old municipal slaughterhouse building complex will be completed with the creation and opening of a virtual industrial museum, according to an announcement by the city…

    Read More

  6. Ferry Travel: Greek Seamen Announce 48-hour Strike for February 8-9

    Ferries will stay docked at ports across Greece during February 8-9 after the Pan-Hellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) announced a 48-hour strike in all ship categories.

    Read More

  7. Things to See in Trikala

    paleokarya-bridge-pyli-near-trikala.jpg
    Trikala is a city in Thessaly, noted for its traditional architecture with lots of things to see and a good base for visiting the monasteries of Meteora.

    Read More

  8. Thessaloniki: First Look at New Museum with Treasures from Metro Excavations

    The Greek Culture Ministry recently released photorealistic images of a new museum in Thessaloniki that will host artefacts discovered during the city’s metro excavations. Following the ministry’s ann…

    Read More

  9. Trikala, Thessaly, Among Europe’s Best City Break Destinations for 2023

    The Greek city of Trikala in Thessaly has been chosen as one of Europe’s 18 Best City Break Destinations for 2023 by digital magazine Time Out. Launched in 1968 as a London-only publication, Time Out…

    Read More

  10. Chios Archaeological Museum Set to Expand, Get Upgrade

    The archaeological museum of Chios, whose award-winning design stands as a characteristic example of 1960s architecture, will soon see renovation works that will include a state-of-the-art expansion.

    Read More