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Athens
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Top attractions in Athens

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Top 10 things to do in Athens

Once the heart of a civilization more advanced than any to come for centuries, visiting Athens reveals just how far mankind can go when holding art and wisdom above waging war. Here are the best things to see and do in Greece's proud and passionate capital.

Monastiraki

Monastiraki

The Old Town market district Monastiraki is a favorite among tourists and locals alike. Though cheap souvenirs dominate its storefronts, there's plenty on offer for sophisticated tastes too!

Parthenon

Parthenon

More than the ruins of an old temple, the Parthenon is an icon of Western civilization, making it the site of Athens' most essential tours!

Acropolis of Athens

Acropolis of Athens

Many of Ancient Athens' most important buildings were erected in the Acropolis to protect them from invasion. Ruins they may be, but most still look pretty good for their age!

Erechtheion

Erechtheion

Built on the site where legend tells Poseidon and Athena competed to be the city's patron god, the Erechtheion was actually considered more holy than the Parthenon in its time!

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

Of course, the Acropolis is now mostly in ruin – a monument to Athens' former glory – but almost 4,000 objects excavated from the area can be seen at the Acropolis Museum!

National Archaeological Museum of Athens
Photo: Xuan Che @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Widely considered to be one of the best museums in the world, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens boasts many of Greece's most important artifacts, from the prehistoric age to Late Antiquity.

Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square

Named after the Greek Constitution of 1844, the grand Syntagma Square at the foot of the Old Royal Palace has been the epicenter of Greek politics ever since!

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

In ruins, but once considered the epitome of Doric architecture, the important temple Olympieion was home to the gold Statue of Zeus – one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Temple of Athena Nike

Temple of Athena Nike

Nike is the Ancient Greek word for victory, and the prominently placed Temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis was built to aid the Athenian Empire's wars against Sparta. It didn't work!

Plaka

Plaka

This historic district at the foot of the Acropolis is also known as the "Neighborhood of the Gods." Plaka is a great place to wander around and maybe even see an archaeological dig!

Planning Your Athens Visit

Where to stay?

If sightseeing around the Acropolis is your main concern, Plaka is probably the best place to stay. Despite being a highly recommended tourist spot in itself, its streets are pleasantly quiet. The main attractions can also be reached easily from the Monastiraki area, which ought to appeal more to those attracted to Athens' lively street life.

How many days?

How long to spend in Athens depends on how much of it you want to see, of course, but with most of its historic landmarks situated at the Acropolis, you could cover its archaeological sites, best restaurants, and most popular markets in 3 days.

How to get around?

The city is served by buses and electric trolleys that must be waved down at the blue (bus) and yellow (trolley) stops. Tickets are cheap, but then so are taxi fares. Athens also recently opened a sleek new Metro network. Construction was greatly delayed because they couldn't dig for 5 minutes without hitting undiscovered antiquities!

Good to know

  • Language
    Greek
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +30
  • Best time to visit
    Athens is most pleasant during the spring and fall, when the temperatures are warm and the tourist traffic is at a minimum.

Things to Do in Athens

Top Attractions in Athens

Cities in Greece

Other Sightseeing Options in Athens

Want to discover all there is to do in Athens? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Athens

Awesome views of the Meteora Monasteries and a great tour

I would definitely recommend this tour, and if you only have one spare day for a trip while you're in Athens, I would make it this tour :-) It was a holiday highlight. Meteora was amazing and the views were awesome. Our tour guides, George and Jannis were lovely. The commentary was really informative and they were more than happy to take photos while you were there. I was really happy with the stop offs that we did on the tour - the hermit caves, followed by multiple stops for photos and two monasteries. We had a lovely day! It is a long day, but well worth it, and the tour wasn't as physically tiring as I expecting, due to the bus / group being fairly small and not having to walk for hours, which is a bonus. Thank you to George and Janni for a lovely time!

From Athens: Full-Day Rail Tour to Meteora Reviewed by Shelley, 10/13/2019

Great information to help you understand the site.

Our guide and initial greeters were kind, knowledgable and concerned for our experience. They met us in the Metro station as promised and found a place nearby for us to use the toilet at the last minute, offered cold water, warned us of pickpockets etc. The guide was informative, made time for personal requests, and showed particular concern for w/1 couple w/medical issues. The only disappointing thing was that in trying to meet personal requests/questions we ended up w/only 10 mins to explore on our own at the Acropolis top. It also seemed like the facility closed earlier than normal, but I'm not sure why. It worked out fine and is worth the money and time to see this amazing historical site.

This was superb! I would highly recommend this ebike tour

Our guide led us through paths which were not too difficult for those who do not cycle routinely. His commentary was informative, interesting and contained surprises: he got us to a certain corner to see the parade of the changing of the guard without the crowds. I just loved his offer to photograph tour members at iconic sites such as with the Acropolis in background. At the end of our tour, he capped it off with several small but traditional Greek gifts, as it was my birthday...he helped make it memorable!

Historic Athens: Small Group Electric Bike Tour Reviewed by Kathryn, 10/14/2019

Very enjoyable archaeological sites in Delfi & impressive Monasteries

The tour guide Sophia was knowledgeable and very professional in keeping a bus load of people of different cultures very satisfied. I suggest the quiet time between Delfi and Meteora to have some very low, and relaxing background music. The driver was also very professional and all in all my friend and I had an excellent trip.

Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Tour Reviewed by Peggy, 10/21/2019

Excellent trip with a passionate and fun guide

We had a wonderful tour of the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and passionate. It was amazing how much distance we covered without even realizing it! October was the ideal time to go because there was much less of a crowd and the weather was amazing. Five stars!

Acropolis and Acropolis Museum Tour with Entry Tickets Reviewed by Anonymous, 10/14/2019