How amazing is it that you can take your morning run in one of the most famous arenas in the entire world?! There’s no way we two runners were going to miss that. (Fun fact: Steve and I met because of a marathon!) But even if you’re not a runner, this is an amazing piece of history you can visit that’s just a little different from the ruins you probably came to Athens to see. Here’s everything you need to know to plan and make the most of your visit here!
Runners are a responsible bunch, so we like to know what we need to do! Here are the things you need to know before you go:
- Hours: Open daily, seasonal hours
- 8:00am-7:00pm March-October
- 8:00am-5:00pm November-February
- Early entry for runners at 7:30am (must pay upon exit)
- Admission: €10
- How Long to Spend: up to 1 hour (plus run time for runners)
Also check out: Your Ultimate Guide to the Athens Combination Ticket
You’re in Athens for the historical sites, right? This one is a little different from the world-famous ruins at the Acropolis because it’s fully intact. The original stadium on this site was built in the 5th century B.C., and the current all-marble structure was completed in 143 A.D. before falling into disuse over the next 1700 years. During excavations in the 19th century, the stadium was reconstructed with its current Pentelic marble.
This isn’t just a cool historic site, however. It’s still used today for special events, such as the location to light the Olympic torch as it begins its journey to its host country. In fact, the first modern Olympic games were held here in 1896, and several events were also held here during the 2004 Athens Olympic games!
For more on its history, check out the official website here.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Athens
What to Do at the Stadium
Once inside, you can explore the whole stadium at your own pace! All activities are included in your admission price, so take a look around and truly experience this piece of world history.
Take the Audio Tour
There is an audio tour of the stadium, which is included in your admission price. You can listen in 11 (eleven!) different languages, and because it’s self-guided, you can go at your own pace.
Keep reading: The Best Ever Tips for Traveling on a Budget
Run on the Track
This is the coolest! I’m not a competitive runner whatsoever, but my husband has completed four marathons. And in fact, we met in Prague on the weekend he was running that marathon! So, running is kind of special for us. Personally, I get pretty bored running around in circles, so Steve and I also utilized the marble steps, which was pretty epic! Definitely take in the views on your run, both on the track and up in the stands.
Read next: How to Run Anywhere in the World
Stand on the Podium
This is a photo-op that can’t be missed! We had fun posing and being silly. You, too, can be a winner, even if your only competition is yourself!
Walk Through the Gladiator Tunnel
Okay, this was pretty cool! I could hear the Rocky theme playing in my head, and I felt completely tough walking through here!
(Coming Soon) Stay nearby: What It’s Like Staying at Home and Poetry Hotel, Athens
Visit the Museum
I’ll be honest with you… “Museum” is a bit of a stretch! On one wall inside the Gladiator Tunnel, there is a timeline complete with photos, drawings, and information going back through thousands of years of history. Up a set of stairs, you’ll find a large room displaying official Olympic posters and torches from Olympics past. It’s certainly worth seeing, but it won’t take you long!
Also helpful: What to Know Before You Visit Greece
Fun for Runners: Morning Jog!
It’s true! You can get your morning run in at the track inside the Panathenaic Stadium. Run where the Olympians have run! You get to enter half an hour earlier if you want, as designated “morning jog” hours are 7:30am-9:00am (although people can be running any time during opening hours). You will have to pay the admission as you leave, but you’re welcome to run before it “officially” opens! When you finish, you can explore the rest of the stadium and take the audio tour as well.
Related: The Best Apps for Active Travelers
Want more? Check out everything you need to plan your Athens adventure on my dedicated Greece Page!
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