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

The best of several tours we did in Athens! Wiring was the best!

We are a into food history, preparation, culture and do food tours all over the world. This was supposed to be a small group tour, but the other party cancelled. So it became a private tour for our family of 4. Walking was easy. The path was well organized. Eirinie, our guide, was personable, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and fun. She went out of her way to tailor the tour to our interests. Eirinie also gave us recommendations for a wine bar and a dinner restaurant for that night. Both turned out really amazing. One of our favorite food tours in recent memory. ...even our teen boys were excited and dubbed it “best Athens tour and tour guide ever!” What a great experience. Highly recommended. Ask for Eirinie. You won’t be sorry.

Original Gourmet Food Tour of Athens Reviewed by Al, 11/06/2019

interesting tour with knowledgeable guide

Our guide (Kostas) was fun and informative. Learned a lot about Greek history our 3 hour tour (would have been five but we had to miss the museum part of the tour due to our flight leaving). Relatively small group of about 10. Would recommend for a fun way to spend a day in Athens.

Athens, Acropolis & Museum Tour without Tickets Reviewed by David, 11/06/2019

Katerina was a great and knowledgeable tour guide!

My boyfriend and I had a great time on this tour. With very little or no background knowledge on Greek mythology, Katerina explained everything as it was her own story! She kept everyone in the group intrigued with all the sights and the meaning to them. It was one of the hottest days of the year to go, but Katerina persevered through it, also allowing us to sit in some shade while conducting the tour. Tour guides can either make or break an experience, and Katerina made it wonderful. Highly recommend this tour for everyone.

Great tour! Excellent way to see & learn in a short timeframe

Marianna was excellent! This was the exact tour my family needed to see and learn the history of this awesome city in a short period of time. We covered a ton of ground and she was very conscientious of the heat, our hydration, the interest level of the group, and she did a fantastic job!

Athens, Acropolis & Museum Tour without Tickets Reviewed by Becca, 10/06/2019

Breathtakingly tour with excellent, courteous service (VIP Guest)

The cruise was excellently organized and the service on board was extremely friendly and courteous. We booked the trip as "VIP guests" and were picked up punctually at the hotel and driven back again in the evening, which we greatly appreciated. The food was fine, only the main course at lunch was not so good. Nevertheless, we felt completely comfortable and thanked the crew (especially the tour guide Georgia!) for the wonderful day we enjoyed.