Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by Nellie Huang

Greece is well known for a lot of things: sunshine, beautiful beaches – but it’s the historical sites in Greece that really pull in the crowd. This is one country that’s absolutely heaving with imposing structures and ancient architecture that has stood the test of time, both on the mainland and on the islands.

To see all of the country’s best historical sites, you’ll need to rent a car and explore beyond what Athens has to offer. We’ve curated a list of the best ancient Greek sites for you to plan a historical-themed trip around them.  Check out this Greece itinerary for some more ideas. 

Best Historical Sites in Greece

1.   The Acropolis, Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is perhaps the most famous of all of the historical sites in Greece. This impressive site towers over the Greek capital and contains the remains of many ancient buildings including the Parthenon, the Old Temple of Athena and Erechtheion. You can’t come to Athens without visiting this. Be sure to come here in the early morning at late evening to avoid the crowds.

Address: Athens 105 58, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance fee: €20 (US$24)

How to Visit: Acropolis Guided Tour

Where to Stay: Divani Palace Acropolis

acropolis athens - historical sites in greece

2. The Temple of Olympia Zeus, Athens

The largest temple in Greece, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, dates back to the 6th century BCE. However, it was completed only 640 years after in the 2nd century CE during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. During the Roman era, the temple included 104 grand columns, of which 16 still stand today. The temple is located approximately 500m (1,640ft) southeast of the Acropolis and is part of an important archaeological site, enclosed by Hadrian’s Gate.

Address: Athens 105 57, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance fee: €6 – €12 (US $7 – $14)

How to Visit: Athens Guided Tour

Where to Stay: Royal Olympic Hotel

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temple of olympia zeus - historical sites in greece

3.       Acropolis, Rhodes

The most important historical site in Rhodes, the Acropolis of Rhodes dates back to the Hellenistic Period (3rd-2nd century BC) and dominates the western side of the city. It includes major sites such as the Temple of Apollo and the Nymphaia. Excavations have taken place there from as far back as 1912, but the whole of the Acropolis is still yet to be discovered.

Address: Diagoridon 68, Rodos 851 00, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: FREE

How to Visit: From Rhodes: Half-Day Trip to Lindos

Where to Stay: Rodos Park Suites & Spa

rhodes acropolis - top ancient sites in greece

4.       Ancient City of Kamiros, Rhodes

Twice destroyed by earthquakes, the ancient city of Kamiros still boasts a selection of some of the most fascinating ruins in Greece. Dating as far back as the 8th century BC, Kamiros has a diverse history and was built on three different levels. Buildings and monuments there include an agora (assembly place), a stoa (covered walkway) and a Doric Fountain House.

Address: Kameiros 851 06, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: €6 (US $7.08)

Where to Stay: All Senses Nautica Blue Exclusive Resort & Spa

ancient kamiros - historical sites in greece

5.     Grand Master’s Palace, Rhodes

Also located in the town of Rhodes, the Grand Master’s Palace was built back in the 14th century by the knights of Rhodes and was used as a fortress when the island was taken over by the Ottoman Empire. After being largely destroyed by an explosion in 1856, the Italians rebuilt it in a grandiose pseudo-medieval style.

Address: Ippoton, Rodos 851 00, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: €9 (US $10.62)

How to Visit: Guided Walk and Wine Tasting Tour in Medieval Town

Where to Stay: Rodos Park Suites & Spa

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grand masters palace rhodes - top ancient greek sites

6. Monolithos Castle, Rhodes

As an old fortress, Monolithos Castle looms above Monolithos village on top of a huge rock. Located 70km to the south-west of Rhodes town, the castle was built in 1480 in order to protect the area from enemy attacks. You’ll have to climb a narrow path to reach the castle, but you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views over the beach of Fourni.  

Address: Ataviros 851 08, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: FREE

Where to Stay: Thomas Hotel

monolithos castle rhodes - must see ancient greek sites

7.       Ancient Corinth, Corinthia

Just 48 miles away from Athens, Corinth was an important city in Ancient Greece. It is home to several historical sites including the Temple of Octavia and the Temple of Apollo, although most of the surviving buildings here are Roman, rather than Greek. Over the years, much of the city has been destroyed by various earthquakes; however Corinth is still a spectacular place to visit.

Address: Corinth, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: €8 (US $9.44)

How to Visit: Half-Day Ancient Corinth Tour

Where to Stay: Ephira Hotel

ancient corinth - ancient sites in greece

8.       Temple of Apollo,  Delphi

You might not have heard of this ancient Greek site, but you must have seen photos of it before. The ruins of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi date back to the 4th century BC and have been destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions over the years, but the towering columns still mark out the area where ancient pilgrims once climbed. It’s worth visiting Delphi, not just to see one of the best historical sites in Greece, but to explore the beautiful and atmospheric city.

Address: Delphi 330 54, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: €12 (US $14.16)

How to Visit: Ancient Delphi Full-Day Tour from Athens

Where to Stay: Amalia Hotel Delphi

apollo temple in delphi - top historical sites in greece

9.      Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

One of my personal favorite historical sites in Greece, the Theatre of Epidaurus is an ancient Greek amphitheatre hidden in the hills of the same name, about a 2-hour drive southwest from Athens. It is known not only for its grand scale – seating 14,000 spectators – but also for its advanced acoustics, which were a technological breakthrough of its time. 

The theatre’s 55 rows of limestone seats were precision-cut into a bowl shape on the hillside. You can swap places with a travel partner and check out the acoustics for yourselves. Near the amphitheatre are the remains of a healing centre – music was believed to be a major part of medicine in Ancient Greece.

Address: Epidavrou, Tripolis 210 52, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: €6 – 12 (US $7-14)

How to Visit: Epidaurus and Mycenae Day Trip from Athens

Where to Stay: Electra Metropolis

theatre of epidaurus - ancient greek sites

10.   Palace of Knossos, Crete

Now a bronze-age archaeological site in Heraklion, the Palace of Knossos was once the centre of one of the world’s most powerful civilisations. The foundations of a variety of palaces have been found here in the many excavations, which date back to the 16th-14th century BC. Visiting this ancient Greek site was the highlight of our trip to Crete a few years ago.

Address: Knosos, 714 09, Greece (Google maps location)

Entrance Fee: €6 (US $7.08)

How to Visit: Knossos Palace Admission and Private Guided Tour

Where to Stay: GDM Megaron Hotel

best historical sites in greece - knossos crete