A Complete Traveler’s Guide to the Ancient Agora of Athens

Last Updated on October 15, 2022 by Natalie

Visiting the Ancient Agora of Athens? Here’s everything you need to know.

athens agora

Aside from the Acropolis, I would consider the Ancient Agora of Athens to be one of the coolest historical sights to see in Athens.

Did you know there are two main Agoras in Athens?

There is the Ancient Agora and the Roman Agora. In this post, we will be covering the Ancient Agora of Athens, which is arguably the most popular of the two.

What is an Agora?

An agora is simply a designated public spot for Greeks to meet; specifically for political, religious, artistic, and communal gatherings. The word Agora translates to “gathering place”.

The Ancient Agora of Athens

The Ancient Agora of Athens was founded in the 6th century BCE. It initially was used for military duty or to communicate statements from rulers. Over time, it evolved and served as a marketplace where Athenians would sell their goods and meet for cultural and religious events.

Spiritually, the Agora was considered a sacred place. Even the layout was designed to worship the holy road that ran through the middle, Panathenaic Way. This special road led to the traditional festival to worship the goddess, Athena.

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Where to Find the Agora

You can see the remains of the Agora all throughout the grassy areas between the Acropolis and Monastiraki.

The Agora is not a building or a designated confined area, but rather a mass amount of land taking up a large area. You can even spot the metro tracks running along the outskirts of the complex.

The exact location of the entrance to the Agora and museum is: Adrianou 24, Athina 105 55

Ticket Prices

During high season, tickets are 20 euros.

Low season, tickets are 10 euros.

For European citizens under the age of 25, entrance is free.

The Athens pass or Combo ticket is 30 euros and includes entrance to many of the famous historical sights of Athens over the course of 5 days. This is a great value for tourists, especially if it’s your first time in Athens.

Where to get Tickets

Tickets can be purchased on location, this includes both a single entrance to the Agora and the Athens combo pass.

You can also get tickets on their official website here (however their website is glitchy sometimes!)

You can also purchase different combo packages on Viator or GetYourGuide.

Temple of Hephaestus

Located on the northwest side of the Agora on top of Agoraios Kolonos hill sits the Temple of Hephaestus.

This temple is well preserved due to its various uses and conversion into a Christian church. The Temple of Hephaestus has not been re-constructed and is considered the best ancient preserved temple in Greece.

Who was Hephaestus?

Hephaestus was the Greek God of Fire and Metalworking.

Worshipped by craftsmen, and frowned upon by others for being ugly and walking with a limp. Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera, though Hera rejected him and cast him off Mount Olympus due to his disabilities.

Later, he gained revenge by returning and making her a magical throne, which did not allow her to get up once she sat down. How ironic!

It only seems fitting that one of the best-preserved ancient temples in Greece was dedicated to a craftsman.

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Stoa of Attalos

Traditionally, a stoa is a covered walkway where stoics would gather and discuss philosophy.

It’s hard to ignore this massive structure as you walk through Monastiraki. Initially constructed in 159 BC, it served as a shopping center for Athenians.

Stoa of Attalos

Unfortunately, the building you see now is a reconstructed model to honor the original structure. The stoa was destroyed in 267 AD and reconstructed in 1956 with the financial support of American John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Inside the stoa is also the Agora Museum, where you can view ancient tools, furniture, and statues.

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The Best Photo Spots at the Ancient Athens Agora

It’s hard to not want to take a selfie or two at some of the most iconic archaeological sights in the world. These are truly fascinating moments you’ll want to remember forever!

Front of the Stoa of Attalos

The massive columns lining the front of the stoa make for a memorable photo of your Agora experience.

agora of athens

The Backside of the Temple of Hephaestus

After climbing the stairs to Agoraios Kolonos hill, head to the back of the temple for a wider view. You can’t get a photo like this in the front, because the entrance is too close to the cliff facing the Acropolis.

Generally, there aren’t as many people lingering around in the back.

Athens photo spots

Front of Temple of Hephaestus

Okay, I know I just told you to skip the front of the temple for photos. While you won’t get the best photo of the temple on the front side, you will get a beautiful view of the Acropolis.

greece travel guide

Best Time to Visit the Ancient Agora of Athens

Famous archeological sights like the Acropolis and the Agora can get really crowded.

The best time to visit would be during the off-season months, October – March.

If you are traveling during the summer (peak season) try to visit first thing in the morning on a weekday.

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How Long to Plan

Don’t underestimate the agora! Be sure to save two hours of your day to explore this fascinating complex.

Ancient Agora of Athens Hours

8am-5pm. The last entrance is at 4:30 pm.

Days for Free Entrance to Archaeological Sights

On special days of the year, some of the historical sights in Athens are free to visit:

  • March 6 – Melina Mercouri Day
  • April 18 – International Day of Monuments
  • May 18 – International Day of Museums
  • Last weekend in September – European Heritage Days
  • October 28 – Oxi Day
  • First Sunday of each month between November 1- March 31

Now you’ll be fully prepared to visit one of the most significant archeological sights in Athens, Greece!

This post was all about the Ancient Athens Agora.

Planning your trip to Greece? Check out my Ios Greece Island travel guide.

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