Things to do in
Athens

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

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended things to do in Athens

Athens: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket

1. Athens: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket

Save time and money during your time in Athens with a pre-booked combo ticket that gives you skip-the-line access to 7 of Athens' top archaeological sites. Enjoy savings of up to 50% and avoid the long lines of tourists at the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Temple of Zeus, Aristotle's School, Hadrian's Library, and Kerameikos Ancient Cemetery. Marvel at the Parthenon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, standing on Acropolis Hill, and immerse yourself in this impressive structure's 2500 years of rich history. Whilst there, visit the Ancient Agora that lies on the north-western slopes of the Acropolis. Learn more about this former artistic, spiritual, and commercial center. Just north of the Acropolis, explore the site of the Roman Agora, which was once the focus of public life in Athens. You can also enjoy access to the renowned Hadrian's Library and Temple of Olympian Zeus in the Olympion Site, as well as Kerameikos, the ancient cemetery that stretches to the banks of the Eridanos River and the nearby Lyceum.

Athens: Acropolis & Top Attractions Tickets with Audio Guide

2. Athens: Acropolis & Top Attractions Tickets with Audio Guide

Explore the ancient Acropolis at your own pace with skip-the-line e-tickets. Choose to upgrade your experience with optional combo tickets to the city's top archaeological attractions and museums, including Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora, Kerameikos, Olympieion, Roman Forum, Hadrian's Library, Aristotle's Lyceum, and the National Archaeological Museum. You can select the ticket-only option or the ticket with audio option to access up to 6 captivating audio tours on your smartphone. Uncover the history of the city as well as a number of fascinating sites that shaped contemporary Athens on a self-guided audio walking tour. After booking, simply download your ticket and audio tours on your phone with the link sent to you. Once you enter each attraction, put on your headphones and discover the sites through the power of storytelling and learn historical information and uncommon anecdotes from ancient times.

Athens: Delphi Guided Day Trip with Pickup & Optional Lunch

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

Explore the most famous sights of ancient Greece on this guided day trip to magical Delphi. Spend an entire day learning about the oracle and discovering ancient ruins including the amphitheater and the Temple of Apollo. Your tour departs from Athens, from where you will 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 theater, 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 (depending on the local authority's permission), the most photographed spot in Delphi. Then, head back to Athens via the beautiful mountain village of Arachova, situated on the hills of the Parnassus Mountains, where the tour will stop for a short photo opportunity.

Acropolis: Guided Walking Tour with Entrance Ticket

4. 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 hill, take in the sweeping panoramas of Athens. Learn about the excavations, and get an insight into the citadel’s ruins. Hear about surrounding monuments, such as Mars Hill and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.  Your tour concludes at the summit of the Acropolis, leaving you free to continue exploring the site on your own. You can choose between an early morning, morning or afternoon guided tour.

Athens: Full-Day Meteora Tour by Train with Optional Lunch

5. Athens: Full-Day Meteora Tour by Train with Optional Lunch

Embark on a trip to Meteora from Athens, including round-trip train tickets. View all six monasteries and enter inside three of them. Learn all about the area's history and myths from your own local guide. Enjoy free time to explore and snap photos in Kalabaka before returning to Athens at the end of the day. Your trip starts by redeeming your train e-ticket (received via email shortly after your booking) for the morning 07:57 train departure from the Central Railway Station of Athens to Kalabaka. After the scenic train ride through the beautiful Greek countryside, you will arrive at Kalabaka’s train station at 12:03. Meet your tour guide who will be waiting for you holding a signboard with your name. You will then board in a comfortable VIP minibus in order to begin an unforgettable journey to this true wonder called Meteora. During this guided tour you will have the opportunity to see all six magnificent monasteries and admire the interior of three of them. View some of Meteora’s most spectacular hidden gems like the ancient Chapel of Doupiani and the magnificent St. George “Mandilas” cave. You will also discover the “other side” of Meteora, like the truth about why the hermits settled in these imposing caves a thousand years ago and how the monks achieved the “impossible”. Last but not least, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views and capture some amazing photos that you will cherish forever. At around 16:30 get taken back to Kalabaka’s train station (or at a nearby local restaurant if the optional lunch is selected). Before the train back to Athens departs at 18:22, enjoy an hour of free time to explore the nearby center of Kalabaka on foot. The train arrives in Athens at 22:26

Athens: Acropolis and Museum Entry Tickets with Audio Guide

6. Athens: Acropolis and Museum Entry Tickets with Audio Guide

Visit the breathtaking Acropolis with a pre-booked admission ticket. Discover one of the most famous and most visited monuments in the world of antiquity. Stroll up to the UNESCO-listed site that served as the ancient citadel, and discover the buildings at your own pace. Receive your ticket to your e-mail along with instructions to download your audio tour and go directly to the South Entrance, close to the Acropolis metro station. Scan your ticket at the ticket-validating machines, put on your headphones and listen to our professional, licensed guides present you with historical information and narrate original handpicked stories. You have as much time as you need. The entrance ticket includes also access to the Propylae, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, and Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens. After exploring the ruins, visit the Acropolis Museum which contains some of the important works of contemporary architecture and priceless findings from the Acropolis monuments. See the main attractions such as votives, artifacts of everyday life, statues from the archaic period, Caryatids, and of course the majestic Parthenon hall with the metopes, the pediments, and the frieze.

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

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

Discover the Saronic Sea on a wooden sailing boat with this tour from Pireas. Sip on welcome drinks and snack on pastries on the way to the islands of Agistri and Aegina. Go for a refreshing dip in Moni or Metopi. Savor an authentic Greek lunch paired with traditional wine and beers.   Begin the excursion at Marina Zeas. 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 Nisis Metopi (depending on the 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 inhabitants but is populated with law-protected deer, wild goats, rabbits and peacocks. Make a final journey towards ards the beautiful island of Aegina. Aegina is famous for its white stone houses, flowery backyards, pistachios, the red volcanic landscape, sensational food, the temple of Apollo, and the temple of Aphaia. Here, enjoy the crystal-clear water and sandy beaches of the island, while exploring the breath-taking waterfront and traditional Greek cuisine. Sail back to the port of Marina Zeas while enjoying the ambiance of select and chill music, delicious Mediterranean fruits, coffee, and drinks. 

Athens: Sailing Cruise along the Coast

8. Athens: Sailing Cruise along the Coast

Few people know that just half an hour away from the city center, there is a beautiful coastline with sparkling clear waters waiting to be explored. During this tour, you will sail along the Athenian Coast and experience the beauty for yourself. Hop on a sailboat, meet experienced crew and join a heart-filling experience sailing in the Saronic Gulf. Upon leaving the port, the boat will head towards Vouliagmeni Bay, past the Athenian Riviera, for your first swim stop. Enjoy a quick dip in the clear waters before you continue to your second swim stop located off the coast. There you will be served a selection of Greek appetizers and some local wine or refreshments. Learn the basics of sailing from your skipper or just sit and relax in the sun. Explore some hidden coves and drop an anchor in beautiful secluded bays where you will be able to enjoy a swim using the on-board snorkels, flippers and goggles. If swimming is not your thing, then grab a fishing rod and try your luck with fishing. In the mean time, you will be served some authentic Greek tapas and quality Greek wine before making your way back to base for your return. 

From Athens: Saronic Islands Full-Day Tour with Audio Guide

9. From Athens: Saronic Islands Full-Day Tour with Audio Guide

After a morning transfer by bus from Athens to the port, hop on board a cruise ship and be 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. An app-based audio tour is also included in your trip. 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. As an added perk, download the mobile app (instructions found on your confirmation voucher), put on your headphones, and listen as licensed guides and experts on storytelling present you with original stories and historical information about the area. 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 choose to go by foot, you can walk along the old seaside promenade and perhaps stop at some of the small shops. When you return to the ship, the captain heads for Aegina which is the largest of the 3 islands on the tour. Apart from its beautiful harbor, there are numerous interesting sites that you’ll have a chance to discover on your own. Alternatively, you can join an excursion to the Temple of Aphaia at an additional cost. Return to your cruise-boat and enjoy your one-hour sail back to the port. Disembark and finish your trip (if option selected) in Athens.

From Athens: Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Guided Tour

10. From Athens: Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Guided Tour

This 2-day tour takes you to the ancient city of Delphi and across the scenic Plain of Thessaly to Kalambaka. This picturesque small town is located at the foot of Meteora, the site of one of the most important groups of Greek Orthodox monasteries. Detailed Itinerary Day 1 You’ll start the day with a relaxing drive through the beautiful Greek countryside, passing by the cities of Thebes, Levadia, and Arachova, before arriving in Delphi at around noon. At Delphi, you’ll have the opportunity to visit this important site that appears in Greek mythology. In ancient times, Delphi was considered to be the center of the universe and was guarded by a python dragon that was killed by Apollo. You’ll see the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, which was built in the 4th century B.C. and was destroyed by Emperor Theodosius I in 390 A.D. It was also here that the priestess Pythia would foretell the future from the famous Oracle of Delphi. Visit the theater that seated 5,000 spectators and hosted plays, poetry readings, and festivals. At the nearby stadium, the Pythian Games were held every 4 years. Athletes from all over the Greek world would come to compete, and these games would become predecessor to the modern Olympics. At the end of the day you’ll drive to Kalambaka, a lovely city with beautiful gardens and magnificent views of the Meteora rocks. Overnight in Kalambaka. Day 2 In the morning, you’ll head to Meteora for a tour of the fascinating cliff-top monasteries. The cliffs, which average a height of 1,000 feet, were first inhabited in the 9th century by a group of hermit monks who lived on the rock towers. In the 11th and 12th centuries, basic monasteries were built and by the 14th century the great monastery of Meteoron was constructed. The difficult access gave the monks an ideal refuge, as well as protection during the Turkish occupation. Today 6 monasteries remain out of the original 20. Views of the entire valley from the magnificent rock towers, and the peace of the surroundings, make this a unique place to visit. On the way back to Athens you’ll make a short stop at the monument to Leonidas, the King of Sparta who died in 480 B.C. at the famous Battle of Thermopylae.

Frequently asked questions about Athens

What top attractions are a must-see in Athens?

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.

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.

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 23,420 reviews

The Acropolis is very beautiful and definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, Google Maps did not lead us to the main entrance, which is why the circular route did not match the audio guide. The museum was also very nice and educational. The audio guide is highly recommended there.

Great bus trip for the money, i booked before I went. Got the blue bus around athens Great tour, then next days caught the green bus for the coast tour which was lovely to see the marina and beaches. You have to get it at the acropolis stop which is the start of the tour.

I had a great guide who had so much knowledge about the area. She took us to many amazing sites and helped me understand the significance of everything.

Best way to see the Acropolis. Small group allows you to be close to your guide and nimble as you maneuver through the large cruise ship groups.

Excellent tour guide. Excellent compact history of the acropolis at all levels. Great tour