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Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

4.4
#4 of 77 in Sightseeing in Athens
Tourist Spot Arena / Stadium
Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient stadium, Panathenaic Stadium serves as the only major sports venue in the world built entirely of white marble. The stadium, one of the oldest in the world, hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and now serves mostly as a venue for live concerts and archery events. Originally built on this site in 566 BCE and renovated several times over the centuries, the hairpin-shaped stadium could once seat about 80,000 spectators. Today, the fifty rows of marble steps have the capacity to receive about half as many visitors. Take a morning jog on the ancient track, or take self-guided audio tour of the entire stadium. Using our online itinerary creator, Athens attractions like Panathenaic Stadium can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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4,294 reviews
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4.6
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  • Worth of passing and taking a look. Only wish I had time on the day to go in but seeing from the outside was impressive.  more »
  • There is actually not much to see, but the place - a magnificent marble construction - allows to be transferred at the time of the ancient games (even if the stage of today is of recent construction, around 1896).
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  • Amazing experience for sports fans! 60lvl all Stadium built with marble in the IV century BC! It is worth to spend € 5 to dung on the stands, or beat your record for the 100 meters!
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Google
  • Absolutely amazing! It's breath taking and I 100% recommend taking this sight in if you're in Athens. Couple things to note 5€ entrance fee, comes with a free audio tour in many different languages. Helpful hint bring some headphones with you or you'll have to hold the speaker up closer to your ear to listen. I also recommend actually sitting at the top level where you can see the acropolis.
  • Run in the footsteps of those who made history! Pretty impressive, and totally worthwhile running a few laps. There are few tourists here compared to other tourist sites, making for a pleasant change. It definitely gets hot here, so go during the morning or evening (a common trope w tourist locations in Athens in the summer).
  • This stadium has a rich history and was one of my favorite locations I visited in Athens. There aren't too many tourists so it's easy to roam about and enjoy your surroundings. I recommend the audio tour. It will take you around the stadium and explain the history of what happened there.
  • This is an amazing place. You step in and you're totally overwhelmed by the image of the first modern Olympiads staged here more than a hundred years ago. You're also quite surprised at the narrowness of the arena, unlike the ones we now see: evidently, runners then were loosing much time in the tight turns. Also quite interesting is the little museum that showcases the official posters and Olympic torches of (most) all Modern Olympiads. You also see the basque where (apparently) the Olympic flame is taken from to carry it wherever a new Olympiad is staged. Well worth a visit.
  • A surprising museum on the passageway up in the back was a great way to view some Olympic history. They have torches and posters from many of the modern Olympiads. The free audio guide does a good job concisely going over the history and structure. Worth an hour or so stop.

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Where to stay in Athens

If you come to Athens for its ancient history, stay in Plaka, a lively neighborhood located within walking distance of the city's major archaeological sites. Although relatively expensive, hotels in this part of town offer spacious rooms, private swimming pools, and rooftop cocktail bars. For less expensive but equally comfortable lodgings, consider boutique hotels and family-run inns in the quiet residential neighborhoods just a short drive south of Plaka. Good rooms fill up early in the season, so plan ahead and book in advance.
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