Top attractions 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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 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.
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!
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- 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
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What people are saying about Athens
I loved this tour. Worth every cent. Alexia was kind caring and full of knowledge. There wasn’t a question she bouncing answer. She paced us through the acropolis up to the Parthenon with stops along the way for rest and more info. And navigated through the crowds. Nice small group. All was amazing and definitely better than the other tours being herded around. This is a must!!
The Meteora monasteries are very special. One of the must see in Europe. The trip was very good organized. We got all information in advance and were expected by our tour guide in Kalampaka. We have been there in October. Still a lot of tourist. I can not imagine how it looks like in the main season.
The Hop on- Hop off is really nice, the languages were sometimes configured wrong, but was still good to do it. The Cape tour you have to pay extra to get into the area, but it was a beautiful sunset and the way going. The only Thing is that the way back takes longer as the bus Drops more People.
I payed extra money for pick up from my hotel, the day before the trip I received email that I have to go to different pick up location than my hotel. It was very inconvenient for me since I was on a trip in unknown city. I asked about money return but the agency didn't want to hear about it.
It works easily (use WiFi though and put the app & tour on your phone in advance). You can do everything at your own pace and decide to listen everything or just a few stories. Stories are short and easy to listen to. Great way of exploring the acropolis with all its beautiful sites!