Temple of Olympian Zeus

Vacation Travel Guide
Temple of Olympian Zeus showing heritage architecture and building ruins

Stand at the foot of towering columns which honor the father of all Olympic gods at this 1st Century temple.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympeion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is an impressive ruined temple in central Athens. It’s located less than half a mile (700 meters) to the south of Syntagma Square. Stand in awe of the towering columns that still remain from this temple which was built in ancient times to pay homage to the father of all the Olympian gods.

Only 15 of the original 104 Corinthian columns remain standing, but that’s plenty to give you an idea of the sheer size of the temple. Most of the structure was likely destroyed during an earthquake in the mediaeval period. One of the columns was toppled during a storm in 1852. The clearly defined segments of the remaining portion of this column give you a good idea of how it was constructed.

The building of this massive temple took seven hundred years to complete. The ruler Peisistratos started the project during the 6th Century B.C., but it wasn’t finished until 131 AD, by the Emperor Hadrian. The Classical Greeks left it unfinished during all of those years because they believed it was too big, a symbol of arrogance that man might be equal to the gods. Interestingly, Hadrian commissioned a huge gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus for the inner chamber and another, only slightly smaller, of himself.

Take a look just to the north of the site to see the remains of Roman houses, the city walls, and a Roman bath. Also nearby is the Arch of Hadrian which was erected in 131 AD as a gate between the ancient city and the Roman city of Athens.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus is located in central Athens, and is accessible by public transportation. It’s open daily, and admission is covered in the cost of a ticket to enter the Acropolis. The summer is a beautiful time to visit, when the site is lit up at night along with the Acropolis.

Top Hotels Close to Temple of Olympian Zeus

Athens Gate Hotel
Athens Gate Hotel
4 out of 5
10 Syngrou Avenue, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥13,388 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Located in Athens City Centre, this hotel is steps from Greek Evangelical Church, Arch of Hadrian, and Temple of Olympian Zeus. Theatre of Dionysus and Museum ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (975 reviews)
"The location is great! It is close to everything. The breakfast is nice with basic choices of foods, but the staff 's service is excellent."

Reviewed on Oct 13, 2021

Athens Gate Hotel
Divani Palace Acropolis
Divani Palace Acropolis
5 out of 5
19 25 Parthenonos St, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥13,938 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 5
This family-friendly Athens hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Temple of Athena Nike, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and Theatre of Dionysus. ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (941 reviews)
"Excellent location within walking distance of the major sites."

Reviewed on Oct 15, 2021

Divani Palace Acropolis
Electra Metropolis Athens
Electra Metropolis Athens
5 out of 5
15 Mitropoleos Street, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥23,824 per night from Nov 8 to Nov 8
Located in Athens City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from Ermou Street, Shopping Street, and Syntagma Square. Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens and Adrianou ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (948 reviews)
"Great location"

Reviewed on Oct 12, 2021

Electra Metropolis Athens
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Temple of Olympian Zeus

Astor Hotel
Astor Hotel
4 out of 5
16 Karagiorgi Servias Street, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥7,670 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Astor Hotel
Athens Gate Hotel
Athens Gate Hotel
4 out of 5
10 Syngrou Avenue, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥13,388 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Athens Gate Hotel
Divani Palace Acropolis
Divani Palace Acropolis
5 out of 5
19 25 Parthenonos St, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥13,938 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 5
Divani Palace Acropolis
Electra Metropolis Athens
Electra Metropolis Athens
5 out of 5
15 Mitropoleos Street, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥23,824 per night from Nov 8 to Nov 8
Electra Metropolis Athens
Electra Palace Athens
Electra Palace Athens
5 out of 5
18 - 20 N Nikodimou Street, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥18,943 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
Electra Palace Athens
COCO-MAT Athens BC
COCO-MAT Athens BC
5 out of 5
5 Falirou, Athens
The price is ¥17,432 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
COCO-MAT Athens BC
The Pinnacle Athens
The Pinnacle Athens
5 out of 5
75 Eolou & Evripidou, Athens
The price is ¥13,302 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 5
The Pinnacle Athens
Grand Hyatt Athens
Grand Hyatt Athens
5 out of 5
115, Syngrou Avenue, Athens, Attica
The price is ¥15,108 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Grand Hyatt Athens
Plaka Hotel
Plaka Hotel
3 out of 5
7, Kapnikareas & Mitropoleos St, Athens, Attiki
The price is ¥9,414 per night from Nov 3 to Nov 3
Plaka Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.