Hadrian's Gate at the entrance to the Olympieion is an ancient marble gate built in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The monument is one of the most famous sights in Athens.
In this complete guide to Hadrian's Gate in Athens, you'll learn all about the imposing ancient relic, including its history and helpful information about how to get there, tours, and tickets.
What Can I Do at Hadrian's Gate?
At the entrance of the Olympieion, travelers are greeted by the monumental Hadrian's Gate. The gate made of Pentelic marble is a kind of triumphal arch that honors Emperor Hadrian.
You can see the well-preserved monument from antiquity and admire the architecture, which shows Roman as well as Greek elements.
Corinthian columns crown the arch and inscriptions can be seen on either side of the memorial. They read, "This is Athens, once Theseus' city" and "This is Hadrian's, not Theseus' city".
The 18 meter high arch is a very popular photo motif. You can also enjoy some wonderful views of the Acropolis.
In order to admire Hadrian's Gate up close, it is advisable to combine a visit to the building with a visit to the Olympieion, since the gate is located in the area of the Olympieion.
You can find out more about this archaeological site and its other sights in our guide to the Olympieion.
Admission, Tickets and Guided Tours
How Do I Get to Hadrian's Gate?
Hadrian's Gate near the National Garden marks the entrance to the Olympieion. It is located on the Odos Amalia in the heart of Athens.
A good transport connection is therefore given. It is a short walk to the ancient site from the Acropolis or Syntagma Square. The easiest way to reach Hadrian's Gate by public transport is to take metro line 2 to "Acropoli". The hop on hop off bus tour also stops right at the historical site (station A5 “Temple of Zeus”), which is why a trip on the sightseeing bus is a good idea.
Visitors arriving from Piraeus cruise port can go to the nearby Piraeus Metro Station and board the M1 line. A single ticket is sufficient for the 16-minute journey to Monastiraki Station. There, change to metro line 3 to “Syntagma”. From here it is a 7-minute walk.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Early in the morning when it's not so crowded, Hadrian's Gate is a wonderful sight to behold. The monument also radiates a special charm after sunset.
Hadrian's Gate is located on the busy Odos Amalia road in the heart of Athens. It is located in the area of the Olympieion, near the National Garden and the Acropolis. The address is: Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias 50, Athens 105 58, Greece
Hadrian's Gate is a short walk from the Acropolis or Syntagma Square. Since there are good transport connections, it is also very easy to get to Hadrian's Gate by public transport. Take metro line 2 to “Acropoli”. The Hop on Hop off bus tour also stops right at the historical site (Station A5 “Temple of Zeus”).
Visitors arriving from the Piraeus cruise port can go to the nearby Piraeus Metro Station and board the M1 line. A single ticket is sufficient for the 16-minute journey to Monastiraki Station. There, change to metro line 3 to “Syntagma”. From here it is a 7-minute walk.
History of Hadrian's Gate
Hadrian's Gate was built in the years 131/132 AD. The occasion was the visit of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, after whom the honorary monument was named. The Athenians wanted to express their gratitude to the benefactor who had new districts built in Athens.
The gate marked the boundary between the old part of the city of Theseus and the newly created, Roman part of the emperor. This is also indicated by the inscriptions on the building, which can be seen to this day.
Today, the testimony from antiquity is a popular attraction.