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

An excellent and engaging introduction to the Acropolis.

Katherina was a wonderful guide, able to make the history of the Acropolis come alive. This was a very worthwhile tour.

Fantastic Tour! Excellent Food & Good Company!

Evangelos was SUPER AWESOME! For nearly 12 hours from start to hotels stop off, he was animated, willing to answer questions on so many things Greek.... besides the historical/archaelogical site. Dint hurt that he is a History Major..... He really enjoyed sharing information and his insights on Greek culture, food, women :). Best choice tp site just behind or close to his seat. Bus was Clean and the Driver professional. Managing to go past another bus in the Main Street of Arachova was amazing. Overall, great trip. will book again with Key Tours1 best

Delphi Day Trip from Athens Reviewed by Ajay, 01/05/2019

Exceptional experience with a vibrant host!

From first greeting to last goodbye this was an experience that won't be forgotten. Very vibrant host that led us through the local market with its history and customs and then back to the kitchen to prepare and eat classic dishes. Highly recommend this for anyone wanting something different and memorable.

Amazing to see the engineering from ancient times

The trip was comprehensive with interesting commentary enroute. The pacing was good so there was plenty of time for the slower walkers. The guide was extremely knowledgeable but lacked empathy when a man fell and dislocated his finger. A basic first aid kit should be carried on all trips. Fortunately there were enough medically trained people in the group to assist.

Delphi Day Trip from Athens Reviewed by Lorraine, 12/30/2018

Great one day trip. The sights were absolutely marvelous.

This was a great trip. The train ride can be a little long but it was definitely a scenic route. The guide and his bus were waiting right outside. We took a quick 15 coffee and snack break at a local cafe and headed on way to the monasteries. We visited two of the monasteries (because they have shorter hours during the winter season so we can only visit 2) but we were able to stop by a lot of different view points to get great pictures of all the others. Note that walking up to the monasteries isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m a fairly healthy 30 year old and it was a bit rough for me. As long as you can pace yourself you should be fine. Overall it was a great experience and was definitely worth the visit.

From Athens: Full-Day Rail Tour to Meteora Reviewed by Craig, 12/26/2018