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
The Athens Olympic Stadium
For sheer, simple grace, the beauty of this stone athletics
stadium, within sight of the equally graceful Acropolis, is hard to beat.
This stadium, also called just Stadio, was built in 1896 when the Olympic Games were revived and fittingly held in their original home country. Many Greeks were disappointed at not being awarded the 1996 Olympics to celebrate the centenary of the stadium, though they did of course return to Athens in 2004.
The Athens Olympic Stadium or Panathenaic Stadium
The 1896 stadium is also known as the Panathenaic Stadium, named after the original stadium where contests were held on this site from the 4th century BC onwards. The Olympic stadium follows the same plan as the ancient stadium, which was described by the geographer Pausanias in the 2nd century AD.
Architect Ernst Ziller, responsible for many fine late 19th-century Athenian buildings, was commissioned to design the stadium in the spirit of its predecessor.
Visiting the Athens Olympic Stadium
A visit to the stadium won't take long as there is little to see other than the structure as a whole, but you may find some Athenians jogging round the track, and visitors can wander around the centre and look at the statues marking starting and finishing points.
Photographers will also be tempted by the sweeping curves and repetitive lines of the 47 rows of seats, which hold up to 60,000 spectators. The seating is on three sides only, leaving the fourth open with views across to one of the few wooded areas in central Athens, a corner of the National Gardens.
Where to Stay in Athens
A few other Athens pages
Greece Travel Secrets visits the Monastiraki Flea Market, followed by Sunday lunch at Sigalas on Monastiraki Square
The Athens Byzantine and Christian Museum is housed in a beautiful villa with an underground wing and lovely gardens too.
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.
There's all kinds of entertainment in Athens whether you're interested in theatre, dance, classical music, jazz, Greek music, rock music, disco, opera or movies.
Greece Travel Secrets gives its choice of the best hotels in Athens from budget and moderate options through to 5-star luxury choices.
In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!
Mount Lykabettos is the highest hill in Athens and provides some of the best views of the city, with a funicular cable car the easiest way to get to the top.
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 culinary tours are among the food walking tours offered by an unusual company, Culinary Backstreets.
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.
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.
This Athens dining guide doesn't list restaurants but gives practical advice on types of eating places, tipping, hotel breakfasts and picnics.
The Pnyx hill near the Acropolis is one of Athens' true hidden gems, a place to wander freely away from the crowds and discover ancient places and mysteries.
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 walk around the Kolonaki neighbourhood of Athens starts and ends in Syntagma Square and takes you to several museums, Kolonaki Square and Mount Lykabettos.
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.
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.
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.
There are lots of flights from Athens to Santorini as well as a ferry service from Piraeus, with flights to Santorini leaving from Athens International Airport.
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.
Greece Travel Secrets lists the ten best museums in Athens, with the top two being the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum.
The Athens War Museum is a fascinating look at Greek history through the lens of warfare from ancient battles to the Greek War of Independence and World War II.
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.
Two of the best cocktail bars in Athens, MoMix Kerameikos and The Clumsies, are making creative cocktails using that most Greek of Greek spirits, Metaxa.
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