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
Other Sightseeing Options in Athens
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What people are saying about Athens
GO tours had no technology. In a tour of 40 some odd people it is imperative to hear what is being said to have a good tour. Unless you were within 15 feet of the guide you heard nothing. Very large competing tours giving their commentary 20 feet away as there were large crowds. Extremely hard to hear at some times. Use of ear microphones would have been advantageous so the whole tour could hear not just the first 10 people who were able to keep up on the line up. The guide was short so it was often difficult to find her in the sea of other tours that were there at the same time. It would have helped if she would carry a flag or marker so her tour could recognize where she was going. Bus trip to Delphi was long so carrying a book or music to listen to would be a good idea.
Our guide, Gari, provided us with a well-informed and entertaining narrative throughout the trip. We arrived at our destination with plenty of time to explore and relax before entering the temple site to witness a gorgeous sunset! The return trip offered more interesting stories about Sounion, Athens and Greece in general. We were delayed a bit by bad traffic upon our return, and the Wi-Fi on the bus was rather weak, making it difficult to establish a steady connection. I would also recommend taking the coastal route there and the more inland route back to allow for better views of the coastline. Overall, this was well worth the price and my time.
This Tour is so much more than just a food walking tour. We not only tasted delicious traditional Greek food and drinks, we also received a wealth of history and knowledge from Tassos at Athenian Tours. We walked all over different parts of Athens city seeing so much more than we would have seen ourselves or with any other tour guide in my opinion. Tassos has so much passion for what he does and is very charismatic as well. You will love being in his company! If you do only one tour, I would pick this one in a heart beat. It was honestly the highlight of my 3 days in Athens. Don't think about it, just do it!
Once we met the driver, he was great! The van was cool and comfortable and the driver was very professional. We had trouble meeting up - there were two ways to go off the ferry and we picked the wrong way and had a long walk back to the van. We did not see the driver and we did not get any instructions from the supplier (like come off the ferry and go the the right and your driver will be waiting with a sign). I would suggest could provide a bit more information before hand.
Our guide Martha was lovely, we had a warm welcome and a great informative tour through Plaka to the Acropolis. We learnt a lot about the history and the neighbourhood that really enhanced our trip. We then skipped the line to enter the Acropolis. It was a very worthwhile tour that I would highly recommend.