16 Famous Landmarks to See in Greece That Will Blow Your Mind

Steve Cummings

The Acropolis

Are you planning a trip to Greece soon and finding the idea of planning your itinerary more than a little intimidating? That's why we are here to help. 

In the following post, you will find a helpful and detailed guide to famous landmarks in Greece that you need to see during your visit. 

We are keen to show that even those with a modest or tight budget can still have an exciting and memorable trip, so we have included options that appeal to people with different financial situations. 

1. Ancient Corinth, Corinth

Ancient Corinth
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One of the wealthiest, most prominent, and most famous Ancient Greek cities was undoubtedly Corinth. If you are looking for the best landmarks in Greece, you will find them here. 

Much of the city lies in well-preserved ruins and is perfect for a historical site visit. Among the many great sites here is the Doric Temple of Apollo, built in the 4th century BCE. There is also Lechaion Road, where many wealthiest would shop; Stoa; Agora; and the impressive Fountain of Peirene. 

At the center of the city is the archaeological museum, which may be small but contains many great discoveries from the city's large excavated zone. Four murals of Roman Empire origin, taken from the wealthiest Roman citizens' villas, can be viewed. 

2. Ancient Ruins of Delos

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For ancient Greek landmarks, you should check out Delos, one of the many Greek islands. It features a stunning archaeological monument at the Cyclades archipelago off the Aegean Sea. According to Greek legends, this was the birthplace of Apollo and was the religious center for the area around the 1st millennium BCE. You can learn more and wonder at many incredible artifacts at the Archaeological Museum of Delos, which has many remains and statues excavated around the island. There is something for everyone on Delos, whether you are interested in history, Grecian art, or mythology.

3. Sarakiniko Beach, Milos

Sarakiniko Beach
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Sarakiniko Beach is found on the tiny Greek island of Milos and is well-known for its landscape closely resembling the moon. There are many small beach areas, rocks, and coves, all made from lava shaped by the crashing waters on the shore and bleached by the sun's rays. You have likely never seen anything quite like it before.

Milos is renowned for its natural beauty, with tiny villages where fishing is the main form of employment to hilltop towns like its capital, Plaka. There are many great places to see beyond that other-worldly beach.

4. Spinalonga Island, Crete

Spinalonga Island
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If you are looking for famous Greek landmarks, Spinalonga Island is one of the best. This was historically famous, with a heritage that stretches as far back as the 16th century. At that time, the island was fortified when Crete was under the control of the Venetians. It was used as a refuge for Ottomans and Christians as time passed. Today, however, it is most famous as one of Europe's last actively used leper colonies. It served that purpose during the 20th century for over 50 years.

If you wander the island, which takes little time, you can explore the leper colony remains and the Venetian fortress and enjoy the fantastic views over the Elounda harbor. There is also an open-air historical museum that is worth investigating.

5. Chania Old Town, Crete

Chania Old Town, Crete
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If you are looking for more of the best landmarks in Greece when visiting Crete, consider stopping in Chania Old Town. The second-biggest city on the island of Crete, Chania, is one of the most naturally beautiful. Over time, it has been ruled by several empires and has a checkered and exciting history and heritage. The culture, food, and architecture that the old town has retained are evidence of the various empires' impact on the city. The city was reconstructed from 961 to 1204 CE during the second Byzantine rule, and the Kastel fortress is the remains of the construction work from that time.

The Venetians ruled the city during the 14th century, when the Venetian Harbor was built. The Venetians also built a number of churches and mansions and fortified the town. However, their rule lasted briefly because the Ottomans seized control of the city and reigned for centuries. Many churches became mosques during that period. They make for fascinating exploration while you are there.

6. Palace of Knossos, Crete

Palace of Knossos
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Another important landmark in Greece can be found on the island of Crete. The Knossos Palace was built as a ceremonial and political center during the Bronze Age when the Minoan Civilization occupied the City. The city is believed to be one of Europe's oldest.

A horrific earthquake severely damaged the stunning palace, and it was rebuilt soon after. However, it was abandoned for reasons unknown between 1200 to 1100 BCE. Many locals believe it is the same palace cited in Greek mythology concerning the famous Minotaur tale. If you are unfamiliar with this mythological beast, the minotaur is half man, half bull kept within the maze known as the Labyrinth by the ancient Crete ruler, King Minos.

7. Mount Lycabettus, Athens

Mount Lycabettus
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Mount Lycabettus is one of the most impressive landmarks in Greece. It is the tallest point in Athens and is made from limestone. If you visit the top of this mount, you will find a useful viewing terrace to take in unobstructed 360-degree views of the area below. You'll find impressive vistas of iconic landmarks like the Acropolis and Olympic Stadium, restaurants, bars, and a church. .

8. Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

Panathenaic Stadium
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Kallimarmaro, also known as the Panathenaic Stadium, is one of the best ancient Greece famous landmarks. The multi-purpose venue in the Greek capital city was built during the 4th century BCE and was designed for the iconic Panathenaic Games held every four years. The builders used only marble to create this magnificent structure, which has the distinct accolade of being the only one of its kind worldwide. Although the area is where the original structure stood, it was rebuilt for the Olympic Games in 1896, where it was used as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, along with four of nine sports being contested at the event. 

9. Syntagma Square, Athens

Syntagma Square
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Found in the city's center, it is the second-biggest square in the country, following Spianada Square on Corfu. When translated from Greek to English, the name means Constitution Square. Around it, you will find many old monuments that highlight the country's long and checkered history.  

If you want to walk around Athens to explore the city's many delights, starting at Syntagma Square is a great idea. 

10. Plaka, Athens

Plaka, Athens
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Another famous historical landmark in Greece is the Plaka, one of the oldest settlements in continental Europe and the country. Close to the Acropolis, Plaka is well-known for its vibrantly colored flower-lined streets. It is home to a fascinating Museum of Greek Musical Instruments and the Roman Agora, the first commercial center for the city built in honor of Julius Caesar. 

11. Parthenon, Athens

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This was built to honor Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. When you think about the concept and execution of its construction, there is much to marvel at. Formerly a temple, it was built from 447 to 438 BCE to replace the first structure. In the interior of The Parthenon, you are treated to a stunning mix of ancient and new elements that make it stand out so much. 

Before you visit this famous landmark of Greece, you should do some reading and research its importance. 

12. Ancient Agora of Athens

Ancient Agora
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There are many ancient landmarks in Athens. One of the most important monuments is the Ancient Agora of Athens. This landmark can be found on the northwestern side of the equally iconic Acropolis on what is known as Market Hill. In the past, the ancient structure was used for unique and essential gatherings, particularly political ones. Today, it is a museum and a reminder of Greece's role in developing Western civilization. 

13. The Acropolis, Athens

The acropolis is a tourist place you should go and see

It is no surprise that The Acropolis has been highlighted in our guide as one of the best landmarks to visit in Greece. This structure is an ancient citadel found in the city center atop a hill and is home to several landmarks, including the Parthenon. 

However, given that the Acropolis covers around 7.4 acres and is one of the earliest references to the 6th millennium BCE, it is an excellent landmark in its own right. The area has a history integral to Greece and offers many things for visitors of all interests to see and explore. In total, there are approximately 20 different sites held within the Acropolis. 

We recommend thoroughly exploring the area at least half a day or more. Plenty of handy guides help you to navigate the different sites and to understand the importance of what you are looking at.

14. Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

Temple of Olympian Zeus
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Among the various historic landmarks in Greece, another in Athens that you should visit is the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Also more commonly known as the Olympieion, it was the world's most enormous at one point. Along with others we have highlighted, it is found in central Athens and was built, as you may have guessed by its name, to honor Zeus, the head of the Olympian Greek gods. Construction of this outlandish and impressive structure took just under 650 years. It was started in the 6th century BCE and finished in the 2nd century CE. There were a total of 104 columns, all constructed from marble, that stood 56 feet tall. However, there are only 15 currently standing.

An earthquake during the Middle Ages damaged many parts of the temple. However, the 15 columns that are still standing are among the most essential ruins from Ancient Greece. 

15. Academy of Athens, Athens

Academy of Athens
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Another of the best landmarks in Greece that you should visit is the Academy of Athens. Although modern compared to other important landmarks, it still beautifully draws attention to what Ancient Greece achieved. This is Greece's National Academy, the country's highest and most esteemed research institution. It was built in 1926, and today, it conducts activities overseen by the Greek Ministry of Education. The main building of the Academy is one of the most noteworthy due to its ancient architecture, which is carried out using modern techniques and resources.

16. Acropolis Museum, Athens

Acropolis Museum
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Given its notoriety and importance to Greek history and culture, leaving the Acropolis Museum out of our overview of the best landmark in Greece would be wrong. This archaeological museum only opened in 2009 but was built to replace the former museum that had been in use since 1874. The rebuilding was necessary as more artifacts were discovered following further excavations of the Acropolis that could not be contained in the original museum. 

There are many unique parts to visit, including the Gallery of the Slopes, which features transparent flooring and many pieces of the original Parthenon. 

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. If you visit Greece this year or sometime soon, you may need help figuring out the places you should see. Make things easier by using this guide to the must-see landmarks in Greece, whether traveling with kids, solo, as a couple, or with a large family or friends group.

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