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!
- CurrencyEuro (€)
- Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
- Country Code+30
- Best time to visitAthens 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
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What people are saying about Athens
We enjoyed from the start till the end. Covered all the highlights even though we started late by half hour due to flight delay, he was so accommodating. Highly recommended tour! Athens is a beauty!
Very friendly guide. I really enjoyed it and learned some very interesting things about life in Athens. Definitely a good way to see parts of Athens that are off the beaten path.
I would recommend anyone who has the time to visit Delphi. Its set in a beautiful spot and with the right guide you learn so much about the history. Our guide was Marianna Tsigaridou and she was excellent, knowledgable and knew just how to deal with a big group of people. The museum next door to the sight is also very much worth a visit. We only had about 1h and we would have loved some more time as there were some amazing statues and frescos to view. However, we did get the highlights and Marianna was super efficient in getting us to see the main attractions. The only negative part of the day was the waiting on the bus in the morning when we were waiting for other passengers to arrive. It is not a big problem in itself but because no one told us why we were waiting or what was happening it caused some frustration.
Would highly recommend this food tour for anyone who is looking to see Athens and experience the Greek culture and cuisine. Food was excellent and you definitely won't leave the tour hungry. Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable.
Dorian, our guide, was amazing. She kept our teenagers interested for the full time as well. She had excellent English and was passionate about her history and sharing it with us. She welcomed questions and explained all the important places with interesting anecdotes. A great tour. Thank you, Dorina.