Things to do in

Athens

A bucket-list must. Pair visits to the Acropolis' top with walks through the Greek Capital's grungy underbelly.

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Our most recommended Athens In 5 days

  • Athens: Delphi Guided Day Trip with Pickup & Optional Lunch

    1. Athens: Delphi Guided Day Trip with Pickup & Optional Lunch

    Explore the most famous sights of ancient Greece on this day trip to magical Delphi, where the oracle once fore. Departing from Athens, travel to Delphi, located on the spur of Mount Parnassus, making a short rest stop outside the town of Levadia. Arrive in Delphi, and visit the famous theatre, where you will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, and get an insight into the world of the Ancient Greeks. Visit the Temple of Apollo, the center of Ancient Greece, and best-known for its famous oracle. Tour the Museum of Delphi, home to a unique bronze Charioteer, the Naxian Sphinx, and the Statue of Antinoos, providing an amazing insight into Ancient Greek culture and history. After a lunch break, visit Athena Pronaia Sanctuary, the most photographed spot in Delphi. Then, head back to Athens via the beautiful mountain village of Arachova, situated on the hills of the Parnass...

    Our visit to Delphi was fantastic with a knowledgeable and professional guide! Many exceptional photo opportunities and an interesting museum.

  • Acropolis: Guided Walking Tour with Entrance Ticket

    2. Acropolis: Guided Walking Tour with Entrance Ticket

    Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined streets to the foothills of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Acropolis of Athens, an ancient citadel and one of the world’s most revealing archaeological sites. Head for the south slope of the Acropolis to avoid the main crowds. Pick up your tickets and make your way inside to see the ancient treasures that await

    Visit the Theatre of Dionysus, a 5th-century amphitheater regarded as the birthplace of the performing arts. Hear about its history and imagine it filled with the theatergoers of Ancient Greece. Stop at the Dionysus Sanctuary, dedicated to the Greek god of wine and fertility. Once inside the Acropolis, get up close with important sights like the Propylaea gateway, Erechtheion, Temple of Athena Nike, and Parthenon. Learn the history of these fascinating ruins from your guide. Once at the summit of the sacred h...

    Great tour and tour guide!! She brought illustrations of historical stages which help me understand what the structures looked like as a point of reference. She was very passionate and informative. Best tour have done so far in Greece.

  • Athens: Boat Tour to Agistri, Aegina with Moni Swimming Stop

    3. Athens: Boat Tour to Agistri, Aegina with Moni Swimming Stop

    The excursion begins at Marina Zeas where guests are expected to come on board at 8:45 AM. The first stop of the cruise is the island of Agistri, surrounded by vibrant blue waters and clothed in pine trees. Here you can connect with the lush nature and feel the presence of ancients Greeks and deities while swimming and relaxing on the hot fine sand of the long flax-golden beach between Megalochori and Skala. Adventure lovers can join the optional bike tour between Melalochori and Chalikiada Beach.

    From there, move onto the island of Moni or Metopi ( depending on weather ). While here, you will be served a delicious traditional Greek lunch, accompanied by traditional wine, beer, soft drinks, and coffee. Once you've finished your feast, have the chance to jump off the boat, snorkel, swim around the boat, or swim to the island. This gorgeous and unique island has no ...

    Awesome tour!! These islands are beautiful. The boat was great and the staff is excellent and super friendly, highly recommended.

  • Full-day Tour of the Saronic Islands from Athens

    4. Full-day Tour of the Saronic Islands from Athens

    After a morning transfer by bus from Athens to the port, you’ll be welcomed on board a luxurious cruise ship and invited to one of its spacious open decks. From the deck you’ll have a great vantage point for enjoying views of the Greek coast. The first stop is the island of Poros, the smallest of the 3 islands you’ll visit on the tour. It’s separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strait. Have ample time to explore the island and once you’re on board again you’ll be served a delicious lunch as the ship sail towards Hydra. Take in the stunning views as you enter the port of Hydra and see the cove that at one time served as a shelter for pirates. From the open decks, marvel at the dramatic landscapes of this island. There will be time for you to explore the narrow, stone-paved streets of the island on foot, or by saddled donkey, which is the traditional mode of transportation. If you ...

    This was an amazing trip allowing to see some of the beauties of Greece! Very well organized, comfortable setting on boat, nice excursion options, knowledgeable guide, great food and drinks :)

  • Cape Sounion: Sunset Tour from Athens

    5. Cape Sounion: Sunset Tour from Athens

    This 5-hour excursion begins with a pick-up at your accommodation in Athens. Enjoy a comfortable 50-minute drive along coastal roads in an air-conditioned minivan. Take in views of idyllic beaches and small villages along the way. At the ancient Greek temple to Poseidon, the god of the sea, the guide will tell you about its history. Enjoy some time here to relax and take in the views over the Aegean Sea. Cape Sounio is best known for its spectacular sunsets and blue flag beaches. During a stop here, enjoy the opportunity to swim nearby. The tour ends with a drop off at your hotel in Athens.

    I was looking for an afternoon sunset tour to Cepe Sunion that would combine seeing some of the Athens Riviera and some swimming. This one fit the bill. On top of everything we had a wonderful guide, Sotiris, a comfortable Mercedes van, and there were only 5 of us - allowing for safe travel and social distancing. The program was well-chosen, the swimming spot was perfect, so was the timing - we made it to the temple of Zeus in time to see it and then watch the sunset. Everyone was very pleased and said it was the highlight of their experience. Sotiris was a wonderful guide and driver - polite, friendly and attentive. Communication with the host was great - he told me where to be for pickup and explained how to get there. I recommend the tour. Take it, you'll enjoy it.

  • Acropolis and Acropolis Museum Tour with Entry Tickets

    6. Acropolis and Acropolis Museum Tour with Entry Tickets

    Travel back in time on an informative and fun tour of the Acropolis of Athens. Be guided by a field expert and licensed archaeologist. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage site through a journey into history, mythology, and storytelling.

    Continue with a visit to the Acropolis Museum, which has been ranked as one of the top museums in the world. All the original surviving masterpieces from the temples of the Acropolis are displayed with the use of natural light. Excavations are also visible under glass floors and walkways. Visit Acropolis hill. See the Dionysus Theater, where famous ancient dramas and tragedies were first performed. Walk around the stunning Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the sanctuary of the healing god Asclepius.

    On the top of the hill, visit the Propylea Temple of Nike and the Erechtheion Temple. See the Parthenon, which is the symbol of de...

    We were in a group with one other couple so it was very easy to ask questions and get a more personal/detailed tour. The tour guides here are licensed and generally have masters in history/archeology. The amount of information and detail we received was tremendous. We got to go into the museum early so it was not crowded and then to the Acropolis.

  • Athens: Acropolis Small-Group Guided Tour with Entry Ticket

    7. Athens: Acropolis Small-Group Guided Tour with Entry Ticket

    Choose from either a small-group or private guided experience. Meet your dedicated guide at a hot spot for traditional Greek delicacies, where there are restroom facilities and you can purchase water or snacks.

    Let your guide take you onto Pnyx Hill, which is the actual birthplace of democracy. Continue to immerse yourself in Ancient Greek history on a 50-minute tour of the world-famous Acropolis in Athens.

    Skip the ticket line and discover the cradle of the Western civilization on a guided visit in a small group. Admire the stunning architecture of the Parthenon Temple and learn the importance of the Erechtheion Temple.

    Hear myths and stories about ancient Athens from your guide. After your guided tour, you have the option to stay on the hill to explore further at your own pace and enjoy the view o...

    Anna was very nice guide. We had a great time. She was really helpful when we asked her some information about purchasing Greek food in Athens.

  • From Athens: Day Tour to Delphi

    8. From Athens: Day Tour to Delphi

    Depart Athens and drive through the fertile plain of Boeotia, crossing the town of Thebes, world-renowned for its tragic story of King Oedipus. Continue through the picturesque towns of Livadeia and Arachova on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Upon arrival at Delphi, explore the "Omphalos" ("Navel of the Earth") and marvel at the ruins of an ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of the oracle. Learn how its influence extended beyond the confines of the Hellenic world, and take in the views of a landscape of unparalleled beauty. See the remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios, and visit the Treasury of the Athenians. Look at the remaining columns of the Temple of Apollo, and go to the Delphi Archaeological Museum where masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture can be found. Look at the legendary Charioteer of Delphi, regarded as one of the finest bronze sculptures of the ...

    Great transportation and punctuality, the tour guide was brilliant, there was enough time to explore the ruins properly and to explore the museum, the restaurant we went to was very nice too.

  • Argolis: Full-Day Tour in Mycenae, Epidaurus & Nafplio

    9. Argolis: Full-Day Tour in Mycenae, Epidaurus & Nafplio

    Leave by the coastal road along the Saronic Gulf to the Corinth Canal, which connects the Aegean Sea with the Ionian Sea (short stop). Drive to Mycenae, the Homeric city of Atreides, the city "rich in gold" of the ancient poets. Visit the Lion's Gate, the Cyclopean walls, the royal tombs and so forth. Depart for Nafplio through the fertile plain of Argolis, the picturesque town nestling at the foot of a cliff crowned by the mighty ramparts of the Palamidi Fortress (short photo stop). All over Argolis, you will find numerous interesting spots of attractions, which are scattered around, adorning the promising landscape.  Leave for Epidauros, to visit the theatre (4th-century BC) famous for its astonishing acoustics. Return to Athens by the National Road connecting Epidauros with Corinth. Lunch in Mycenae. Clients staying along the coast will depart for their hotels from the local tour op...

    the tour guide was good but it was both English and French which they didn't let us know beforehand. it was a good day out aside from the lunch which was appalling. cold lamb, cold moussaka stale fries, and some grapes for dessert. don't waste your money with the lunch option - order off the a la carte menu instead. note that there isn't a lot of time at each site which I was happy with but others may want more time.

  • Temple of Poseidon and Cape Sounion Tour: From Athens

    10. Temple of Poseidon and Cape Sounion Tour: From Athens

    The tour begins with a breathtaking drive along the scenic coastal road. During this relaxing ride you’ll enjoy splendid views of the Saronic Gulf while passing through some of Athen's most beautiful suburbs; Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza. Arrive at Cape Sounion, a historic and beautiful area of Greece. The steep cliffs offer a breathtaking, panoramic view, and on a clear day you can look out to some of Greece's beautiful isles. In addition to the views, look forward to visiting the 5th-century B.C. Temple of Poseidon. God of the Sea, Poseidon was second only to Zeus in Greek mythology. Made of white marble, the columns still stand today as a reminder of the Athenian Empire. The trip will conclude with a relaxing drive back to Athens after having experienced the sights and architecture of ancient Greece.

    Great tour, very interesting stories about the history were told by our guide. Very convenient, no need to search how to get there, just buy the tour and all will be taken care off

Frequently asked questions about Athens

Planning Your 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.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Athens

Thomas Dowson is the founder of Archaeology Travel, a website for those seeking adventures in archaeology and history. As a professional archaeologist Thomas enjoys visiting archaeological and historical sites around the world. And sharing these experiences so that others can explore the world’s pasts more deeply. On his blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Athens.

What should I do on my first trip to Athens?

Perhaps an obvious suggestion, but really no one should miss the Acropolis, and the Acropolis Museum. Find a guide, in whatever form, that will help you see more of this ancient citadel than the Acropolis of the 5th century BC. As spectacular as these ancient monuments are, there is more to the Acropolis than the Parthenon and Erechtheion.

What are some hidden gems to see in Athens?

Besides the Acropolis, and the other 5 well known ancient sites, there are many ruins dotted about the city. One of my favourites is in view of the Tower of the Winds. Just beyond the Roman Agora is a doorway that was once the entrance to an Ottoman era theological school, and then a prison. Very little of Ottoman Athens survives today, much of it destroyed deliberately - such as the mosque on the Acropolis. Little remnants like these add a lot to the story of Athens.

How much time should I spend in Athens?

Not surprisingly most people come to Athens to see the ancient sites. For this, three or four days will not only give you enough time to see most of these plus a day trip to Delphi and/or an afternoon trip to Sounion to watch the sunset. But, I strongly recommend adding a day or two to explore beyond the historical centre of Athens. Each neighbourhood has its own character: visit the Central Varvakios Market in Psirri or go in search of street art in Exarchia.

What food is Athens known for?

Athens is great for walking. And if anything goes well with walking it is street food. Gyros and souvlaki are my go to choices while exploring the city on foot. A gyros is a pita bread filled with shaved meat cooked on a rotisserie. Souvlaki on the other hand is diced meat on a stick cooked on a hot plate. Add a good tzatziki sauce to either and for me that is heaven in your hands. Vegetarian versions made using grilled cheese are just as good!

What is the best way to get around Athens?

Central Athens is easy to get about on foot. Here are all the main attractions and lots of good hotels. For those who want to stay a bit further out, there is a good metro system. Whether you arrive by air or sea, the metro also serves both the airport and the port.

What are the best months to visit Athens?

Having been visiting Athens for over 20 years, my favourite times of the year are the beginning of May and the beginning of October. In May the city is gearing up for summer and not yet crowded, and the Jacaranda trees are in bloom. In October the summer crowds have left, and it is not too hot.

What is neighborhood Exarchia known for?

Most visitors to Athens will only experience the Exarchia neighbourhood through the National Archaeological Museum. The streets might not look as inviting as in other areas, but this is definitely an area to explore, particularly if you like graffiti and street art. Exarchia is also known as the riot area of Athens, being the site of some major street riots in the history of Athenian politics.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

As many of the historical attractions are in the Monastiraki and Plaka areas, there are also many restaurants serving the usual Greek cuisine for tourists. A better area in my opinion, and not far from the centre of Athens, is Psirri. I was introduced to this area on a food walking tour of Athens. Besides the central market area, you will find some great restaurants, bars and cafes, filled with local Athenians as well as a few visitors.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The southern slopes of Lycabettus Hill, between Syntagma and Evangelismos metro stations, is Kolonaki - one of the most upmarket areas of central Athens. Kolonaki is perfect for high-end shopping. A more affordable shopping experience can be found on the streets running between Syntagma and Monastiraki Squares.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Athens?

Given how popular a tourist destination Athens is, there is a good choice of accommodation in most areas of the city to suit all budgets. When it comes to choosing one of these areas, I keep coming back to central Athens. For me, nothing beats a hotel with a view of the Acropolis.

What are the best annual events in Athens? 

The beautifully preserved Herodes Atticus Theatre just below the Acropolis, provides a truly evocative setting for the annual Greek Festival. On offer is a varied programme of dance and music from June to August.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Athens? 

For anyone who enjoys hiking, Athens has a number of green spaces that provide the perfect opportunity to get some outdoor activity while on holiday. And with spectacular views. Closer to the city centre is Filopappou Hill, a vast area with many walking routes through ancient ruins. For those feeling a bit more energetic, climb Lycabettus Hill - the tallest of the seven hills.

What are the best beaches around Athens? 

Although there are sandy beaches from the port of Piraeus to Cape Sounion, those closer to the port are probably not top of anyone’s list. And of course nothing could beat swimming in clear blue waters below the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. But the most popular beaches with easiest access from Athens can be found in the Kavouri-Vouliagmeni area.

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

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 17,532 reviews

If you’re interested in ancient Greece history and staying in Athens, this is a perfect choice for you. Mycenae and Epidaurus are must-see destinations for everyone who enjoys visiting and learning about ancient landmarks and Napflio is a beautiful coastal city with many instagrammable spots. Athena & Gary were very helpful, funny and entertaining guides. They shared with us a lot of information about visited places, history of Greece, Greek mythology and modern Greek language & culture. We were travelling with a small group of 7 people from 4 different countries what made our trip even more interesting. The guides were open to adjust the schedule to our need so in Nafplio one part of the group enjoyed lunch while the other were walking around the city. Meeting point was very easy to access via metro and travelling by bus was great because we had a chance to see some really beautiful coastal landscapes. All Covid-related safety rules were followed. Highly recommended!!

Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone looking for an acropolis tour in Athens. We had Alexia as our tour guide and she was incredible! She was so friendly and informative. She has 2 masters degrees focusing on the subject matter of the tour and both her knowledge and passion about the subjects are incredible! She plans the tour so meticulously making sure you have the best possible experience! The order she decides to do things makes the tour so enjoyable and also helps to avoid the major crowds. At the conclusion of the tour she also provided amazing recommendations for things to in Athens and other Greek islands. She even walked us to one of the places she recommended so we wouldn’t get lost! She was amazing and so was the tour!

Great tour and tour guide!! She brought illustrations of historical stages which help me understand what the structures looked like as a point of reference. She was very passionate and informative. Best tour have done so far in Greece.

Anna was very nice guide. We had a great time. She was really helpful when we asked her some information about purchasing Greek food in Athens.

Our instructor was exsalant, the food not so much, in my opinion the whine was a bad choice.