The Kerameikos Cemetery is the principal cemetery of Ancient Athens. There are numerous superbly sculpted tombs that are worth visiting. Also because this site receives relatively few tourist it is a good place to visit if you want to get away from the crowds that can make the Acropolis rather unpleasant. Most of the interesting tombs are located on the Street of Tombs where wealthy Athenians laid to rest there relatives
The grounds of the cemetery are covered with cedar trees which offer shade from the hot Greek sun. There is something of a creek that crawls through the cemetery which gives the cemetery something of a serene atmosphere. There is a museum on site called the Oberlaender Museum where you can see many vases, statures and sarcophagusi on display.
The entrance to the Kerameikos Cemetery is located at Ermou 148.
Most people do not, and that means this site is not only green and pleasant but also uncrowded.
The entrance is on Ermou, just down from the Thission Metro station and Platia Monastiriki. The area area was not only the site of ancient Athens' cemetery (part-excavated) but also housed the Pompeion, where preparations were carried out for the four-yearly festival of Panathenaia and where equipment and materials were stored in-between times.
A channel crosses the site from east to west (the Iridhanos), full of reeds and lushness. Visit in spring and the place is also full of wild flowers.......and it was here that I saw my first 'wild' tortoises (so watch where you are walking).
There are tombs, tombstones and some replica memorials (the real ones are inside the lovely museum on site), walls and buildings, the remnants of a bridge, the ruins of the busy city Dipylon Gate......lots to see and explore. More photos in the Keramikos travelogue on my Athens page.
A lovely place to visit and (in my opinion) far, far more atmospheric than the over-crowded Acropolis.
Open daily from April - September 8 - 7.30pm, October - March 8.30 - 3pm (Monday opening at 11am). Entrance 2 euro or joint Acropolis ticket.
The newish site museum at Kerameikos is lovely.
Cool and airy, with just enough on view so that your brain does not get entirely befuddled, it contains many of the tomb memorials and grave goods found whilst the site was being excavated.
The marble bull (the grave monument of Dionysios of Kollytos) is huge and entirely stunning in its accuracy of detail....but there are many more beautifully carved memorials as well.
The grave goods are fascinating too: cosmetic boxes still containing powder and rouge, jewellery, pots of all types.....even a lead curse box containing a small lead figurine (I wonder if it worked?).
Well worth visiting..........I enjoyed this museum's intimacy more than the impressive but vast National Archaeological Museum.
Entrance off Ermou, opening times as in the tip above.