Olympic Stadium

One interesting site I went to last time I visited Athens was the Panathenaic Stadium/Παναθηναϊκό Στάδιο. Built of marble, it dates back to 330 BC and the stadium hosted the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896.

We walked to the stadium from Parliament via the Herodou Attikou Street behind it. The street is one of the most expensive areas of housing real estate in not only Greece but also Europe. The Maximos Mansion (the official workplace and residence of the Prime Minister) and the Presidential Mansion are located along this street along with the base for the Evzones soldiers, the Presidential guard; there was a heavy poilce presence along the street.

As we entered the stadium we took our free audio guide (bring headphones if you have them – you can plug them in and then it is easier to listen to; otherwise you have to hold the device to your ear like a mobile phone the whole way round). As we wandered around the site we listened to our audio guides and stopped for several photos.

Your ticket also gives you access to the permenant exhibition of Olympic torches and posters. The Rio 2016 torch is already there! You can also go in to the track and have your photo taken on the podium – and make sure to check out the engraved stones located (as you look towards the flags) on the left hand side. They list – in Greek – all the Olympic Games which have taken place including ΛΟΝΔΙΝΟ 2012 and an addition since my last visit: ΡΙΟ 2016.

After we finished at the stadium we crossed the road to the bus stop to take the Hop On-Hop Off bus back to Karaiskaki Square and our hotel near Metaxourgeio.