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Church of Panagia Kapnikarea Tours

Church of Panagia Kapnikarea
Amid the bustle of Ermou, Athens’ main shopping street, the Greek Orthodox Church of Panagia Kapnikarea stands out. With a history dating back to the 11th century and the Byzantine era, it’s one of the city’s oldest churches, although the structure has evolved over time. Most frescoes are by Photis Kontoglou, a renowned 20th-century icon painter.

The Basics
There is no charge to enter Kapnikarea Church, more formally known as the Church of Panagia Kapnikarea, and many travelers swing by while strolling Ermou or exploring downtown Athens independently. A number of Athens city tours stop here, generally walking tours, bicycle tours, or electric bicycle tours. History buffs and fans of Byzantine architecture should join a tour that focuses on medieval Athens or the Byzantine era, perhaps one that visits the Byzantine and Christian Museum.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • History buffs and fresco fans will particularly appreciate Kapnikarea Church.
  • When visiting Greek Orthodox places of worship, cover shoulders and knees.
  • Access to Kapnikarea Church involves a low step that will challenge people who use manual wheelchairs.

How to Get There
The Kapnikarea Church stands pretty much at the center of Ermou, Athens’ main shopping street, about half a mile (800 meters) north of the Acropolis and under five minutes’ walk from Monastiraki metro station (lines 1 and 3). Driving and parking in downtown Athens is an ordeal, as is the city’s impenetrable one-way system: Public transport or tours are the way to go.

When to Get There

Kapnikarea Church generally opens to visitors from morning until after lunch on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, although hours can change without warning. Greek Orthodox travelers and curious Christians can attend services on Sunday mornings and during Greek Orthodox festivals. The period around Greek Orthodox Easter is a great time to visit any Greek Orthodox church.

The Story of Kapnikarea Church

Nobody knows how Kapnikarea Church got its name, but it dates back to the middle of the 11th century when it likely formed part of a monastery. It’s built on the remains of a classical temple dedicated to a female goddess and duly pays tribute to Christianity’s dominant female icon, the Virgin Mary. The dome is supported by Roman-era columns.
Address: Kapnikarea Platz, Athens 105 56, Greece
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9 Tours and Activities to Experience Church of Panagia Kapnikarea

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Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local

Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local

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This foodie extravaganza is the ultimate way to get a taste of Greece. By traveling with a private guide, you’ll get a more personalized experience, and you’ll have your guide’s undivided attention for questions. Your guide will lead the way, which takes the stress out of navigating, and you’ll visit multiple local Athens food hotspots, such as markets, food counters, and more. Highlights include trying Greek olive oil, souvlaki, and doughnuts.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$41.99
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From
$41.99
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Withlocals 90 Minutes Kickstart: Covid-19 Regulated Athens Private Tour

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Discover Athens’ secrets from an insider on this private walking tour. Visit famous Syntagma Square, see the Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea, Hadrian’s Library, and the Old Town of Plaka—even stop by the neighborhood’s oldest distillery. Because it’s just you and a guide, you have plenty of time to ask questions about the fascinating sights you encounter.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$64.23
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$64.23
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Medieval Athens Walking Tour with Late Lunch and Wine

Medieval Athens Walking Tour with Late Lunch and Wine

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Trace the history of medieval Athens on this unique half-day walking tour—a Viator Exclusive that you can’t book anywhere else! Follow your guide around the little-known medieval gems of Athens, stop to admire the centuries-old Church of Kapnikarea, wander the neighborhood of Plaka, and visit the Ottoman Fethiye Mosque, then explore the fascinating Byzantine and Christian Museum. Finally, finish your morning by indulging in delicious Greek cuisine and wine with a 3-course lunch at the museum’s acclaimed restaurant.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$197.62
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From
$197.62
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Athens Small-Group 2.5 Hour Electric Bicycle Tour

Athens Small-Group 2.5 Hour Electric Bicycle Tour

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See Athens’ essential sites by electric bike on a 2.5-hour, guided tour of the city with an experienced guide. Enjoy the flexibility to ride at your own pace, by pedaling your bike or just zipping along using the electric assist. Trace an all-star route from the Acropolis to the Panathenaic Stadium, a scenic park and historic churches and markets, and continue past the Ancient Theater, the Herodion and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Get a great overview and orientation of the city that’s as active, or relaxing, as you want.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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$50.28
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Athens Sun Down Electric Bicycle Tour

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Experience the beauty of Athens in the cooler evening hours on a sundown tour by electric bike. Get a battery-powered boost to cruise through the city’s bustling streets, historic sites and surrounding hills for majestic viewpoints and a great dose of local culture. Cover much more ground than walking to make the most of your time, and visit many of the city’s most iconic attractions, including Monastiraki Square, the New Acropolis Museum, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Roman Market.
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Athens Private Tour: Ancient Greece Mythology Exploration Game

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Embark on a mythological quest around Athens, full of adventure and mystery. On the way, you will visit some of the city’s famous attractions, such as Acropolis, Pnyx, and more. And you will discover all their stories while solving clues on your phone. Are you ready to relive history? + Discover stories about Greek mythology + Climb up Pnyx Hill, the birthplace of Athenian democracy + Uncover secret tales about Athens and the Greek gods + Try a new type of experience, the perfect mix between a tour, outdoor escape game, and treasure hunt Discover the city's fascinating history and attractions as you solve clues around Athens. Solve clues and guess the answer to unlock the secret story of each place. Travel back in time and relive Athens' ancient history by playing a quest with your friends, significant other, or family. Receive your access code by e-mail upon booking the tour and use the code in the app. Wander around Athens for about 1.5 hours to complete your quest.
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$9.25
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Athens Buzz - Cuisine & Culture Tour W/ 14 Tastings, Tavernas & Hidden Gems

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Do you want to discover hidden gems, avoid tourist traps & taste your way through Athens' diverse & colourful local foodie scene? Or perhaps you are more interested in deepening your historic knowledge and learning about the culture and traditions of Greece and its people? Either way, I've got you covered! Come! Let us venture off the beaten path and head to where the real rustic charm and bombastic buzz of Athens lies. Peruse the scenic streets oozing charm and meet the larger than life locals that make up the very heart of the city. Tantalize your tastebuds with some of the most scintillating traditional dishes Greece has to offer, certified by the very locals themselves. Fresh pastries and mouth watering 'meze' tasters, traditional greek coffee and sensational liquors - a mere smidge of what is in store for you on my excursion. So join me and discover Athens anew with an experience that will enhance your local, culinary and general knowledge of the ancient roots of the city.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$67.93
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Athens Buzz - Central Athens Explore Tour W/ Tastings & Tucked Away Treats

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Arrived in Athens and not sure what is what and where is where? If so, the Central Athens Explore Tour is the perfect introduction for you! Come! Let's venture off the beaten path and head to where the real rustic charm and bombastic buzz of Athens lies. Explore central Athens like a local, with its tucked away neighbourhoods, hidden gem foodie spots/bars and some of the world's most beloved historical churches and monuments. Peruse the scenic streets oozing charm and meet the larger than life locals that make up the very heart of the city. Discover Athens anew with an experience that will enhance your local, culinary and general knowledge of the ancient roots of the city, and all in two hours!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$19.75
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Athens Buzz - Cuisine & Culture Tour W/ Wine Tasting, Dinner & Gourmet Meze

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Come! Let us venture off the beaten path and head to where the real rustic charm and bombastic buzz of Athens lies. Peruse the scenic streets oozing charm and meet the larger than life locals that make up the very heart of the city. Tantalize your tastebuds with some of the most scintillating traditional dishes Greece has to offer, certified by the very locals themselves. Mouthwatering 'meze' tasters, traditional Greek dishes and sensational wines. Discover Athens anew with an experience that will enhance your local, culinary, and general knowledge of the ancient roots of the city.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$111.15
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$111.15
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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