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

Breathtaking Views and Very Knowledgeable Tour Guide!

A trip to Delphi is a must do while on the Greece mainland. The bus ride up to the mountains is incredible and you have a chance to take some pictures at the bus stop. The museum tour was very enjoyable, our tour guide was great. She laid out the facts about the artefacts in a interesting and comprehendible way (unlike some other guided tours I had in Athens as the tour guide spits out too much information that makes it confusing to piece together). Then we went to the actual archaeological site. This was nice as we had a short debriefing of the story of the site and then had some free time to explore. I do wish we had more time at the ruins to explore, I felt a but rushed to make it to the top stadium and back in only 45 minutes. I recommend skip the prepaid lunch and walk in the town of Delphi. Pick up a gyro and enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains (town is ontop of mountain) and even a peek of water in the distance. Overall, great day. Highly recommend.

Delphi Day Trip from Athens Reviewed by Arshaya, 12/09/2017

Wonderful Food Tour and Information about the city!

Anna was our tour guide, very good english and knew many things about the city. Took us to the best places in the city that most people don't see when they walk by. Full 4 hours of eating and drinking. We saw the local spots and avoid the tourist areas. Highly recommend this tour and suggest doing it early on in the trip because she will give you advice on where to eat for the rest of your visit. Great tour!

The Original Athens Food Tour Reviewed by Rebecca, 12/05/2017

Excellent experience, absolutely worth it

The teacher is a traditional Greek cook, she doesn’t cook professionally. She is completely down to earth, knowledgeable, and made our cooking class the best experience of our trip to Athens. I can not recommend this more highly, you will not regret partaking in this culinary experience.

Athens 4-Hour Cooking Lesson & Dinner Reviewed by Steve, 12/03/2017

Great class, great food, great experience!

This was one of the best cooking classes I have every taken. Fofi is a traditional Greek cook and a great instructor. She walked us through everything we were doing and even offered some helpful cooking tips. The food was amazing. It was really fun to sit with everyone and enjoy the meal we had prepared.

Athens 4-Hour Cooking Lesson & Dinner Reviewed by Rachel, 11/21/2017

Meriza a passionate relater of the life of this place.

The story of Socrates and the shoemaker an example of how Meriza made Agora come once more to life.