Built in the 4th century B.C.E., rebuilt for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and refurbished for the 2004 Athens Olympics, this horseshoe stadium now serves as the finish line for the Athens Marathon. For centuries, nude male athletes competed here in the Panathenaic championships. Follow in their footsteps by running around the track (fully clothed, of course), or admire the views from the Pentelic marble pews, which can accommodate 70,000 spectators.
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Athens Tips Part 16 - Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium is pretty breathtaking to see. Originally built thousands of years ago, it was restored just before the first modern Olympics. It was then used as the home of the first modern Olympics, and continues to play a key role in all the Olympics ever since. Most notably, etched in stone near the front of the Olympic stadium is the names of every country to host a summer Olympics since they started. This stadium is also the place where the Olympic flame is handed over to the host country for any upcoming Olympic games.
During the day you can wander around the stadium with an audio guide included with your admission. While the stadium is fairly stark, there are a few things worth checking out. First of all the views from the upper level are spectacular, particularly the view of the Acropolis. You also have the opportunity to sprint on the track, and pose for pictures on the podiums.
As an added bonus for those of the jogging inclining, there is a jogging track that runs around the outside of the stadium, and it is free to enter. The entrance is at the back of the stadium, through a gate that looks as though it's not for the public to enter. Finally be sure to come back to the stadium at night, as it is one of the most spectacularly lit up attractions in Athens.