This short walk will take you through two major streets of Athens both starting from Syntagma square and ending in Omonoia square. Panepistimiou Avenue is one of the most beautiful streets of Athens with many neoclassical buildings from the 19th century.
As you walk along Panepistimiou Avenue from Syntagma square on your left side you will see a big department store called Attica. It is an ideal spot for shopping clothes, shoes, accessorize, cosmetics and homeware items.
Exactly next to Attica you will find Zonar’s a historical café dating from 1939. It serves coffee in the morning and lunch, dinner and desserts the rest of the day. It’s famous for its handmade desserts and especially for the Rocher Praline and Pedregal.
Numismatic Museum of Athens
On the opposite side of the road you will see an impressive building called Iliou Melathron (The Palace of Troy). It used to be the residence of Heinrich Schliemann the “father of Mycenaean archaeology”. Now is the home of the Numismatic Museum, one of the five most important numismatic museums in the world. It has more than 500.000 displays of mostly coins from the 14th century BC until today.
Inside the beautiful garden of the museum, surrounded by numerous plants and copies of ancient statues you can find a café serving beverages and light lunch. Currently they have a jazz night on Thursday nights.
Tickets: Full 3.00 € Reduced: 2.00 €
Special Ticket Package: Full 12.00 € Reduced: 6.00 € (valid for the National Archaeological Museum, Byzantine & Christian Museum, Epigraphic & Numismatic Museum)
Further down the road you will see the buildings of the Catholic Church of St Dionysius and next to it the Athens Eye – clinic a building with elements of Byzantine architecture.
The next impressive buildings you will meet on the same side of the road are called the Three Temples of Learning.
The first one is the Athens Academy. It has two high columns with the statues of Athena and Apollo at each side and the statues of Socrates and Pluto in the front. Next to it is the University of Athens and finally the building of the National Library, the biggest library of the country.
National Historical Museum
The exact parallel road to your left hand side is another beautiful street called Stadiou with many shops and neoclassical buildings. There, in Kolokotroni Square, is another museum worth visiting; the National Historical Museum. It is located in a beautiful building that used to be the first Parliament of Greece. Visitors will be able to see the room of the first Parliament, as well as its permanent exhibition displayed in 16 galleries. The exhibition covers the history of modern Greece from 1454 (the fall of Constantinople) until the Second World War. The exhibits include weapons, relics, works of art and personal items. Also there is a vast collection of traditional costumes from all over Greece.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.
Tickets: Full 3.00 € Reduced: 1.50 €
I did this lovely walk last Saturday and it took me around 2 hours. Although I had seen all of these buildings in the past, it was the first time I visited both the Numismatic and the National Historical Museum. I was really impressed especially by the National Historical Museum. I loved its vast collection of traditional costumes. The Numismatic museum is nice as well but it would be more interesting for you if you are a coins aficionado. Nevertheless, the building that houses the museum is very interesting and I will definitely come back for a coffee in its beautiful garden.
Have you visited any of the above museums?