Temple of Olympian Zeus

About the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Greek mythology and the mighty Greek god Zeus are magnificently honored in the Temple of Olympian Zeus, sometimes called the Olympieion Athens. This magnificent building, which is in Athens, stands as a witness to the adoration formerly shown to Zeus, the foremost of the Greek gods, who presided from the lofty Mount Olympus. The temple’s construction resided for over centuries, showcasing the grandeur and deep devotion that successive generations had for Zeus. 

The beauty of Greek architecture is best shown by the Temple of Olympian Zeus. A huge statue of Zeus himself was formerly supported by its colossal columns. These columns’ Corinthian architecture transports you to an era when gods and people coexisted peacefully and makes you feel that you are in the presence of the divine.

These temples in Athens served as the center of ancient Athenian religious life and a symbol of adoration for Zeus, hosting grand ceremonies and festivals. Once housing an enormous gold and ivory statue of Zeus, counted among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, this temple in Athens offers not only historical significance but also awe-inspiring views of the city and the nearby Acropolis from its southeastern vantage point.  

History of the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, or Olympieion, in Athens, is a historic marvel that reflects the grandeur of ancient Greece. Its construction began in the 6th century BCE but was halted due to political and financial challenges. It was not until the 2nd century CE that the Roman Emperor Hadrian undertook its completion, dedicating it to Zeus and himself, aligning Greek and Roman influences.

The temple’s defining feature was its colossal Corinthian columns, initially numbering 104 and reaching staggering heights. Within its sacred precincts, there were plans for an immense gold and ivory statue of Zeus, although it’s uncertain whether it was ever finished. Over time, it suffered from neglect, earthquakes, and invasions, leading to its gradual decline.

Today, a few massive columns still stand, providing a glimpse into the temple’s past glory and the enduring legacy of ancient Greek architecture. It stands as a historical treasure, reminding us of Athens’ rich history and reverence for the divine.

Tips for your visit

  • Olympieion Tickets: Purchase your Olympieion tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the entrance.
  • Plan Ahead: Research the Temple of Olympian Zeus opening hours, its significance in Greek mythology, and its location in Athens before your visit.
  • Proper Attire: Dress comfortably, but also respect the temple’s historical and sacred nature by wearing appropriate clothing.
  • Timing: Visit early in the day to beat the crowds and the heat, especially during the summer months.
  • Guided Tours: Consider joining a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the history of temples in Athen and Greek mythology.
  • Respect: Show respect for the site and its cultural significance. Avoid touching or leaning on the ancient columns.
  • Photography: Capture the beauty of the temple but be mindful not to disrupt the experience of others.
  • Stay Hydrated: Athens can get hot, so bring water to stay hydrated during your visit.
  • Explore Nearby: The Olympieion is close to other historical sites like the Acropolis. Consider exploring them in one day to make the most of your visit.
  • Take Your Time: Don’t rush through the temple; take your time exploring the site, including the massive Corinthian columns that remain.


Olympieion tickets offer affordable access to this ancient marvel. General admission is just €8, making it accessible to all. Non-EU youths aged 6-25 and EU seniors over 65 can explore this historical gem for only €4. Children under 5 and EU member-state citizens under 25 enjoy free entry. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience. Get your tickets and step into Greece’s rich heritage today!

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How to arrive

The temple of Zeus location is centrally accessible and getting to the Olympieion is easy. Consider the following transportation options:

By Metro: Athens has an efficient public transportation system. You can take the Metro to the “Acropoli” station (Line 2 – Red Line), which is close to the temple. From there, it’s a short walk.

By Bus: Several bus lines serve the area around the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Buses 24,27, and 209 are one of them.

By Tram: The Athens Tram also offers transportation options. Get off at the “Leoforos Vouliagmenis” tram stop, which is close to the temple.

By Taxi or Rideshare: Taxis and ridesharing services like Uber are readily available in Athens. 

Walking: If you’re staying in the city center, consider walking to the temple. It’s located southeast of the Acropolis and is within a reasonable walking distance from popular areas like Plaka and Syntagma Square.

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