It's only one of the best preserved Doric temples in the world. No big deal, right?
Situated on a hill overlooking the Agora but overshadowed by the nearby Acropolis, the Temple of Hephaestus is an eye-catching structure in the historic center of Athens. A single 12 euro ticket* provides entry into the Ancient Agora of which the Temple of Hephaestus is a part. Late on the evening of our first day in Athens, less than an hour before the site closed, we entered the Agora for a quick look around.
It was in the magical haze of just before sunset that we saw the Temple of Hephaestus peeking through the fence post-like trees around it and above the ruined walls and paths of the Agora. It's eye-catching, and so excitingly complete. Well, minus the decorative stone panels that were absconded to the British Museum and the Greek museums.
We were so fascinated with the Temple that we returned again the following day for more photos and to soak in the quiet atmosphere of this little hill beneath the Acropolis.
****Cost: 12 euros per person, but includes admission to the Acropolis, the North and South Slope of the Acropolis, Hadrian's Library, the Roman Agora, Kerameikos, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The Temple of Hephaestus is part of the Ancient Agora.
Time Needed: 1-2 hours for the entire Agora
Accessibility: There are two entrances to the site. The main entrance is located just off Adrianou Road, and a smaller, quieter entrance is located near the back entrance to the Acropolis on Polignotou Road.
Money-Saving Tips: Download Rick Steves' free podcasts on your smartphone to learn more about the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus. Bring a refillable water bottle as the site contains fountains, and it can be very warm in Athens from May through September.
Other Tips: Wear comfortable shoes as the ancient cobblestones can be difficult to walk on and stones are scattered everywhere. There are restrooms located in the recreated Stoa near the main entrance to the site, and there are vending machines selling bottled drinks and snacks located at the exits.
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