Odeon of Agrippa statues in the Ancient Agora of Athens, Greece
Triton, Travel, People Traveling, Ancient Civilization, Tourism, Looking At View, Cloudscape, Giant, Antiquities, Mythology, The Ancient Agora, Art, Stone Material, Statue, Sculpture, Archaeology, Speculative Being, Greek Culture, Number, Roman, Classical Greek, Ruined, History, Ancient, Old, Cultures, Famous Place, Architecture, Travel Destinations, Tourist, Roman Forum, Acropolis - Athens, Athens - Greece, Attica - Greece, Greece, Europe, Animal, Marble, Cloud - Sky, Architectural Column, Monument, Old Ruin, Cityscape, agrippa, odeion, God, Odeon Cinemas

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ancient Agora

Top choice in Athens

The Agora was ancient Athens' heart, the lively hub of administrative, commercial, political and social activity. Socrates expounded his philosophy here; in AD 49 St Paul came here to win converts to Christianity. The site today is a lush respite, home to the grand Temple of Hephaistos, a good museum and the 11th-century Byzantine Church of the Holy Apostles, trimmed in brick patterns that mimic Arabic calligraphy. The greenery harbours birds and lizards. Allow about two hours to see everything.

First developed as a public site in the 6th century BC, the Agora was devastated by the Persians in 480 BC, but a new one was built in its place almost immediately. It was flourishing by Pericles' time and continued to do so until AD 267, when it was destroyed by the Herulians, a Gothic tribe from Scandinavia. The Turks built a residential quarter on the site, but this was demolished by archaeologists after Independence and later excavated to Classical and, in parts, Neolithic levels.

Admission to the site is included with the Acropolis combo ticket (€30), which permits entry to the Acropolis and six other sites (including this one) within five days.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Athens attractions

1. Agora Museum

0.07 MILES

Within the Ancient Agora, this museum is packed with archaeological finds, but can get uncomfortably crowded if a tour group is cycling through. It is set…

2. TAF

0.08 MILES

Whether you want a shot of art, a clever design morsel or a refreshing drink, stop in at TAF, a just-barely updated complex of 1870s brick buildings. The…

3. Temple of Hephaistos


On the western edge of the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Hephaistos, god of the forge, was surrounded by foundries and metalwork shops. It was one of the…

4. Museum of Greek Folk Art

0.12 MILES

This museum has been closed since 2015, when it began its transition to this new site at Adrianou. Once it reopens in 2020, it will display secular and…

5. Hadrian’s Library

0.15 MILES

These are the remains of the largest structure erected by Hadrian (2nd century AD). Not just a library, it also held music and lecture rooms. It was laid…

6. Mosque of Tzistarakis

0.15 MILES

Built in 1759, this building on the south side of Monastiraki is one of few surviving examples of a tzami (mosque) in Athens. It has not functioned as a…

7. Museum Alex Mylona

0.15 MILES

The permanent collection here is superminimalist sculpture and paintings by Athenian grande dame Alex Mylona, who died in 2016. The creatively refurbished…

8. Roman Agora

0.16 MILES

This was the city’s market area under Roman rule, and it occupied a much larger area than the current site borders. You can see a lot from outside the…