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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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What people are saying about Athens

Smooth, very enjoyable and comfortable day trip

Katerina, the tour guide was one of the best guides i have ever had! She was like a patient history teacher making Delphi and the myth of Apollo came alive. She was very clear and passionate about the commentaries she delivered to us. The driver was good and bus very comfortable. The lunch was also very nice - lasagna yummy. Only two things can b better - the first stopover in the morning at a lousy and overpriced cafe! The espresso was double the usual cost and the simple ice-cream 6 euro! What cut-throat prices!! Could have had a brief stop at Arahova instead!!

Delphi Day Trip from Athens Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 08/05/2018

MUST do, guides are extremely friendly, funny and have great knowledge

We planned to see Athens by bike, expecting it would be fun. However it turned out to be the BEST experience we had during our trip. The local guides that went along were very funny, friendly and have a great and interesting knowledge of all places we visit. If there is one activity I would HIGHLY recommend doing with family, friends or girlfriend, this is it. Also, by bike you come accross places you otherwise would not visit by bus\taxi. The experience of riding through the sometimes narrow streets of Athens is a great adventure and experience alltogether. So thank you Dimos and your colleaue for boosting our experience from 'it was fun' to 'this was goddamn awesome! All the best, and people, don't doubt, it's worth every penny and more!

Athens: 3.5-Hour Morning Bike Tour Reviewed by Frederik, 08/04/2018

The most fun and most educational experience I've had in Greece so far

A truly lovely evening! This is a must do for those who love to cook and those who don't (like myself). If you like Greek food and Ouzo and want to laugh while learning to prepare delicious and traditional Greek dishes, you will not be displeased. Our beautiful and vivacious teacher Fofi is an overflowing source of all things Greece, cooking and history. She makes the class a total joy and inspired one who dislikes cooking that she could do it all. The restaurant is beautiful and quaint in the equally quaint town of Thission, and is bustling with restaurants, cafes, great shops, vendors, and terrific nightlife. I highly recommend and encourage people, even those by themselves to sign up!! You will make friends and great memories!

Athens 4-Hour Cooking Lesson & Dinner Reviewed by Kirsten, 08/03/2018

Great scenery from a different point of view

Our tour guide was great! She was not only enthusiastic but knowledgeable about the sights--she made the tour! This is a great way to get away from the heat and see Athens from a different point of view.

Athens by Night Segway Tour Reviewed by Kathy, 08/02/2018

Great way to introduce yourself to a beautiful city.

Great time at the perfect time of day. Athens in July can be brutal so we choose the evening tour. It was perfect considering we had our teenagers with us. Just enough information to shine some light on this gem. Would recommend comfortable sneakers.

Athens Acropolis Small Group Evening Guided Tour Reviewed by George, 08/01/2018