The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens was originally built back in the 4th century BC. Restored in 1895, it is one of the most impressive monuments in Athens. Read on to find out more.
The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens
Located in the heart of Athens, the Panathenaic Stadium is one of the main attractions in the city. I've walked past here many times, but never actually been inside before. Even when my brother visited me last year, and I took him on a sightseeing tour for 2 days in Athens, we only viewed it from the outside. Whilst this does give you an indication of its size and majesty, I would now say that you really should go inside to appreciate the true scale of the stadium.
A Brief History of the Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium was restored in 1895 by a wealthy Greek named Georgios Averof. Thinking the name sounded familiar, I remembered visiting a naval museum housed aboard the Georgios Averof Battleship last year. Yes, this battleship was named after the same fella. Small world!
The stadium is a faithful replica of the original one which existed here in the 4th century BC. It looks impressive now, so I can only imagine how it must have appeared to the people living over 2000 years ago! If you wandered into Athens from the countryside and saw something like this in the 4th century BC, you must have thought you were on a different planet!
After its reconstruction, the Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first ever Modern Olympics in 1896. It was due to the success of this Modern Olympics, that the tradition of holding the games has continued ever since then. So, we can arguably say that the Panathenaic Stadium is the birthplace of the Modern Olympics!
The stadium is designed to seat 70,000 people. In true Greek style though, this number is flexible. According to records, the largest attendance ever recorded for a basketball match was here at the Panathenaic Stadium. Apparently, over 80,000 people were sitting, with approximately another 40,000 people standing!
Underneath the stadium is a small museum area. Here, there are posters and Olympic torches from the Olympic Games held since that date. I've never actually been to an Olympic Games, not even the one in London. Have you?
Information in Visiting the Panathenaic Stadium
As I mentioned earlier, you can get an idea of the stadium simply from looking at it from the outside. After visiting it though, I would now recommend going inside. If you want to soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy the views from the top, allow about an hour. In the summer, you probably want to visit here in the early morning or late afternoon. You need to buy the tickets first from the office just outside the stadium before entering.
OPENING HOURS SUMMER
|MONDAY||08.00 am – 7.00pm|
|TUESDAY||08.00 am – 7.00 pm|
|WEDNESDAY||08.00 am – 7.00 pm|
|THURSDAY||08.00 am – 7.00 pm|
|FRIDAY||08.00 am – 7.00 pm|
|SATURDAY||08.00 am – 7.00 pm|
|SUNDAY||08.00 am – 7.00 pm|
Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue (opposite the statue of Myron Discobolus)
Athens 116 35
Further Information About Athens
I have put together some useful guides on Athens that you might find useful when planning your trip.
Hotels near the Acropolis – Stay at one of the hotels near the Acropolis and make the most of your time in Athens.
Day Trips from Athens – A selection of the best day trips from Athens