Arch of Hadrian
Hadrian’s Arch is one of the most popular attractions of modern Athens, an impressive monument sculpted entirely from Pentelic marble, adorned with Ionic architraves, and crowned with a row of Corinthian columns and pilasters. Visit with a guide to appreciate the history and architecture of this ancient treasure; guided ancient Athens tours on foot or by bike, e-bike, Segway, or electric scooter generally take in the arch as well as sites like the Agora and Acropolis. Some Athens tours even pair visits to the city’s ancient attractions with a trip to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon or Delphi.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Hadrian’s Arch is a photographer’s delight, so bring your camera or join a photography tour of Athens that stops at the arch..
- Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes when touring Athen’s outdoor ancient sites.
- The arch is located along a public thoroughfare and accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Hadrian’s Arch towers above the busy Leoforos Vasilissis Amalias, one of the main traffic arteries in Athens. Take the metro line 2 (Red Line) to the Acropoli stop, or walk from main sites like the Acropolis or the Temple of Olympian (Olympieion).
When to Get There
The arch is an open-air site that can be admired from the street, though it is particularly photogenic in the soft light of early morning and late afternoon.
The History of the Arch of Hadrian Located on the ancient road between the Athenian Agora and the Olympieion, this elaborate structure is believed to have been built to honor the arrival of Hadrian in 131 AD and formed a symbolic gateway between the old city district and the new Roman-built city, erected by Hadrian. Notably, two inscriptions feature on the sides of the arch: the western side, looking onto the old city reads, “This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus”; the eastern side facing the Olympieion reads, “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus”.
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- Acropolis Museum (Museo Akropoleos)
- Theatre of Dionysus
- Dora Stratou Greek Dances Theater
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