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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

Excellent way to introduce the visit and skip the ques

Really great way to learn a little more about Athens history and the old quarter of the city on the way to the Acropolis entrance. Guide was local and knowledgeable taking us through the old quarter of the city and straight to the entrance gate without queuing. The Acropolis itself was just fantastic and everything we expected it to be an more. Highly recommend.

The Acropolis Skip-the-Line Ticket with Athens Welcome Walk Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 07/17/2018

I learned so much! The tour amplified my Acropolis experience!

Ani, our tour guide, was so great! We definitely benefitted by going early and by purchasing our tickets with the tour vs waiting in line as individuals. Ani told us so much about the Acropolis, about Ancient Greece, modern-day Greece, and more! I learned SO MUCH about what I was seeing. It definitely made my experience 100% better than I could have without her as our guide. I recommend taking the tour with Plaka afterward for all the same reasons, plus, having the guide show you the main sites is a great way to orient yourself in the city so that you can do your own sightseeing afterward. I can't say enough about how great this tour was - well worth your money! And Ani is incredible - so much info, and so much kindness and care for her tourists!

Acropolis, Plaka and Anafiotika Early Morning Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 07/08/2018

Perfect tour of the amazing Athens Acropolis

Our guide Aristotle (yes, Aristotle!) was fantastic and gave us so much information on each and every piece of Acropolis history. The early morning tour was the way to go. Although still crowded, when we were leaving it was much much worse (and hotter). The tour lasted just over 2 hours and we wouldn't have been as satisfied with our Acropolis visit without the information provided by Aristotle on our tour. Also, skipping the line saves so much time!

Acropolis of Athens Early Morning Guided Tour Reviewed by John, 07/08/2018

Must see these two beautiful places with your eyes. Stunning!

Would strongly recommend all to visit both these sites. Both are completely different from each other in Greek history and beauty. Tour guide Anastasia was very knowledgeable of both sites, with the geography of the area and Greek history whilst on motion. Very interesting information. Bus was comfortable, air con and WiFi, but quite windy the roads too and from Metero (those who get travel sick I suggest take something to make the journey smooth for yourselves ) don’t forget to bring a swimming costume! (Hotel has a pool rent a towel for one euro as you can’t use the towel in your room. Only suggestion for this tour would be for another 30minutes at Delphi so people can visit the museum.

From Athens: Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Tour Reviewed by Monica, 07/07/2018

Really good because of our guide Kostas!! He was sooo good!!! Bravo!!

Really good because of our guide Kostas!! He was sooo good and knowledgeable! He is an archeologist very passionate about his job and he knew everything and gave us all the information. He works for "Key Tours", I think. Bravo!! Thank you so much, Kostas!! :)