Most people visit the summit of the Acropolis to see the Parthenon and that’s it. Well, there’s a lot more to it than that. The slopes of the Acropolis have several important archaeological sites that are worth seeing.
Tickets to the slopes and the summit of the Acropolis cost €20 as of June 2016. A combo ticket granting admission to several other archaeological sites in Athens along with the Acropolis is €30.
Starting near the ticket booth at the entrance to the summit of this UNESCO World Heritage site, there’s a big rock that looks over the Agora. That’s Areopagos Hill, where in ancient times a judicial council met to discuss cases of murder, sacrilege, and arson. It also has significance in Christian history. In the 1st century, St. Paul preached there and converted many Athenians. There are also some pretty nice views of the Agora and city from the top of the hill.
On the south slope is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It’s a theatre built in 161 AD and still in use today. It has a capacity of 5,000. The best views are actually on your way up to the summit.
Next is the Asclepeion, a healing temple. It was under restoration during my visit.
A bit further down the path you will see two Corinthian columns. Apparently there is a small cave chapel there as well, but either I missed the signs or it was closed for my visit.
The most interesting part of the south slope is the Theatre of Dionysos. It was the first theatre built of stone and the birthplace of Greek tragedy. It was built between 342 and 326 BC. Once the Romans renovated it and used it for gladiatorial contests, it could seat 17,000.
If you get up close to it, there’s a lot of amazing details to be found. Look closely at the seats near the stage and you will see names carved into them.
If you continue down the path past the theatre, there honestly isn’t much of interest. I saw the Aglauros Cave. It was a cave. That’s it.
Near the theatre are the remains of the Monument of Nikias, built in 320 BC, and the Stoa of Eumenes. Walking toward the entrance/exit, you can see the foundations of a small Byzantine church.
The road to the path up Filopappos Hill connects to the slope of the Acropolis. From there, you can get incredible views of the Acropolis. Following the pedestrian street Apostolos Pavlou takes you past the Sanctuary of Pan.