Athens
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Top attractions in 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

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

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

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

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

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!

National Archaeological Museum of Athens
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

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

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

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

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

Other Sightseeing Options in Athens

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What people are saying about Athens

Fascinating knowledgeable tour of Ancient and contemporary Greece

Both Delphi and Meteora were stunning and we were blessed with blue skies and clear views. Our guide Evan was extremely knowledgeable and very interesting. He added great value to the tour. Be prepared for long drives. I would have preferred better restaurants along the way, especially the giant overpriced one near Corinth.

Delphi & Meteora 2-Day Tour Reviewed by Merav, 11/12/2018

We had a fantastic time with Ana in Monastiraki!

I did this tour near the end of a round-the-world trip, so I am not a newbie traveler. I really very much enjoyed this food tour with Ana through Athens. There was, of course, too much food, but all of the places we visited were tasty, had places for us to sit and enjoy, and many of the proprietors interacted with us a bit, adding to the experience. We tried cheese and spinach pies, olives, wines, olive oils, feta, greek yogurt, loukomades, gyros (souvlaki), charcuterie and cheeses. (There was probably something else I'm not remembering!) In all the tour was almost 5 hours, and the group made fast friends. I would definitely recommend this tour with Athens Walks!

Original Gourmet Food Tour of Athens Reviewed by Jennifer, 23/11/2018

Excellent guiding and an interesting location

I really enjoyed the trip to Delphi from Athens. The guide shared a great deal of facts and history about the location, and guided us on a tour of the museum. I would have liked more time to look at the Athena temple, but overall this was a well organized trip.

Delphi Day Trip from Athens Reviewed by Jennifer, 23/11/2018

Amazing tour with excellent food and insight into Greek culture!

Loved our energetic and delightful tour guide. I felt we got so much out of the tour — some history, Greek culture, as well as more than expected sampling of Greek food which we would not have known about without the tour. Thank you, Eireni!! Loved it!

Original Gourmet Food Tour of Athens Reviewed by Alma, 21/11/2018

Kind and knowledgeable guide was a joy to tour with.

Guide picked us up on time from curb on busy Athens street and provided comfortable transportation to wonderful sites. He knew the area well and gave us a real sense of the ancient and modern culture. Would recommend to all interested.