The excavated area of Kerameikos incorporates a section of the 478 BC city wall and the ceremonial entranceways into Athens from the cities of Eleusis to the west and Piraeus to the south. The Panathenian Festival Procession would start from here on its journey to the Acropolis, and the procession of the Eleusian Mysteries would leave from here through the Sacred Gate and along the Sacred Way. The most important building found here is the Pompeion, where procession paraphernalia was stored and where those involved in major processions would ready themselves.

Kerameikos was named for the potters who worked here within the city walls (Inner Kerameikos), directly on the site of good clay deposits. Their work was carried around the Greek empire and is now displayed in museums worldwide, but they were not highly regarded by citizens in ancient times. Outside the wall (Outer Kerameikos), was the major cemetery of the city (it was forbidden to bury the dead within the city walls), with burials dating from the 12th century BC. Major figures from Greek history, including Pericles, were buried here and their funerary artefacts are some of the most exquisite items found during excavations around the city. A small museum has burial finds dating from 12th-6th century BC but you'll see many more in the National Archaeological Museum.

For those whose artistic taste leans more towards post- industrial landscapes, just a little way beyond Kerameikos, across Odos Pireos, is the old gas works of Gazi, which has been converted into the Museum of Industrial Architecture. It also hosts a regular program of art and photography exhibitions.