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!
- CurrencyEuro (€)
- Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
- Country Code+30
- Best time to visitAthens 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
Hermes was very knowledgable about the Acropolis - the walk around the site wouldn't have been anywhere near as interesting without the context he provided. He also went above and beyond, walking us back down, helping us work out our itinerary for the rest of the day, and giving detailed guidance on what we should see at the Acropolis museum. Highly recommended - excellent value for money given how much it added.
We had such a wonderful tour with Dorela. She was a great guide. Very knowledgeable about the food and also local culture. The tour progressed very smoothly, there was always a table waiting for us when we arrived at an establishment and we thoroughly enjoyed all the food on offer - we went in the morning and all I can say is DO NOT EAT BEFORE YOU GO and you will not need lunch! The food was so good that we went back to two of the places during the rest of our holiday although we were unable to find the cafe that made the pastries without Dorela despite wandering around the right area for ages - so my advice is jot down the names rather than think that you will remember them!! I loved it, my husband loved it and my two teenagers loved it as well. There was never any pressure on us to buy anything but I defy people not to buy the truffle balsamic vinegar once they have tried it - it is sublime. Thank you so much Dorela for making our first morning in Athens such a great one.
We enjoyed much the tour but it is yet v expensive and i thought it is written in inclusions entrance fees, yet our guide, who was v friendly and informative, insisted that entrance fees to Acropolis was not included and we had to pay extra for entrance fees so overall the tour is really over priced for only two hours
Delphi offers a fascinating history and a beautiful landscape! If you have Yiouli as the guide then you are lucky!! She gives great insight into the mythology and history of the place while keeping it short, to the point and with humor and a great English accent. The road trip is a bit long so take a book with you. The bus is clean and comfortable, the food at the restaurant is very tasty but with small portions. In general, this day trip is money well spent!
An excellent tour with a knowledgable, informative guide with a sense of humour. She was able to answer questions well show great inderstanding of her subject