Spectacular. Magnificent. Epic. The Golden Age of Athens was without a doubt the single most important and influential period of Greek history — a period that transformed and shaped not only Greece but the entire world to this very day.

So when was the Golden Age of Athens? Who led Athens during its Golden Age? And what exactly happened during this Golden Age that made it so remarkable?

A time of wonders

The Golden Age of Athens roughly corresponds with the brief period of relative peace between the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War during the 5th century BCE. But even though it lasted for less than a century, it laid the foundations of Western civilization. Athens, under the leadership of the visionary ancient statesman Pericles, flourished and produced some of the world’s most important and enduring ideas and cultural artifacts. No wonder this period is also known as the “Golden Century of Pericles” and the “Age of Pericles.”

As part of its lasting legacy to humankind, the Golden Age of Athens gave the world democracy and an extraordinary wealth of philosophy and art. This was the age of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, great thinkers whose ideas changed the cultural norms of their times and continue to inspire and provoke even today. This was also the age of great playwrights such as Aeschylus and Sophocles, who played a key role in the development of theater as a deeply complex art form that explores the ethical and emotional dimensions of its characters. And this was also an age of spectacular artistic achievement, producing such masterpieces as the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and of course the most iconic of ancient Greek monuments: the Parthenon.

Discover the magnificent Golden Age of Athens with our best-selling Classical Athens, Classically Greek tour

Much more than just an Acropolis tour, Classical Athens, Classically Greek is designed to showcase the marvels of the Golden Age of Athens while giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself and explore the wonders of the age and the boldness, optimism and vision that made these extraordinary achievements possible.

Covering the top things to do in Athens, it includes guided tours of the Acropolis archaeological area and the Parthenon as well as a private guided tour of the award-winning Acropolis Museum. Led by expert tour guides, it introduces you to the history and secrets of the Parthenon, the city’s great theater tradition, and the treasures of Athenian democracy—and it also includes a taste of Greek hospitality and opportunity to sample Greek wine and delicacies.

Busy mornings? No problem. Our Afternoon in Athens tour offers the same itinerary with a later starting time, while our family-friendly Young Explorers range, includes three specially-designed fun tours that introduce classical Athens and key concepts such as democracy to children as young as five! Get in touch with our team to book your tour, and don’t forget to check out our Athens Tours collection for more ideas for fabulous private tours in the Greek capital.