Discover the capital metropolis of Greece with our full breakdown of one of the best issues to do in Athens. We love Athens, however there may be a lot to see that it will probably typically be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time customer. If you happen to comply with these suggestions you will note one of the best of Athens in a comparatively brief period of time.
As a way to carry you essentially the most complete info on what it is best to see in Athens, we partnered with native Athens resident Marisa Feyen. We mixed our information to place collectively an Athens information with each the favored sights, historical ruins, and a few native suggestions to take you off the overwhelmed path. Are you able to plan your journey to Athens? Let’s go!
The Finest Issues to do in Athens
The capital of Greece is the right place to get your dose of historical historical past whereas taking within the vibrant Greek tradition. These are one of the best issues to do in Athens from visiting its historical ruins to having fun with Greek meals and taking in among the metropolis’s vibrant nightlife.
In case you are in search of the place to make a base for Athens sightseeing, we have now a complete submit on The place to Keep in Athens. For first-time guests, we advise Syntagma Sq. or the Plaka neighborhood. They’re within the heart of Athens strolling distance to lots of the prime Athens Sights. See the complete submit The place To Keep In Athens – A Information To The Finest Neighborhoods
To go to one of the best archeological websites, buy this Athens Combo Ticket the place you’ll get pleasure from skip-the-line entry to main Athens Sights. The mix ticket consists of the Acropolis, Roman Agora, and Historical Agora in addition to Aristotle’s Faculty and the Keramikos Historical Cemetery. Plus entry to Hadrian’s Library and Temple of Olympian Zeus. Particulars right here.
Go to the Acropolis
You can’t come to Greece and never go to the Acropolis. Athens is without doubt one of the world’s oldest cities and the Acropolis has been standing excessive above Athens for greater than 2500 years. The Acropolis is taken into account one of many best architectural wonders on the planet. It’s the historic heart of Athens and is without doubt one of the most well-known websites on earth. So naturally, a go to to the Acropolis is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in Athens. Subsequently, we advise going to see the Acropolis early within the morning or late within the afternoon to keep away from the crowds.
Buy this combo package deal to see each the Acropolis and Museum. Skip-the-line tickets are extremely advisable and this mixture ticket provides you front-of–the-line entry to each the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum. Observe a subject knowledgeable and licensed archaeologist by means of the UNESCO World Heritage Web site. Particulars right here
The Parthenon is essentially the most well-known of the traditional ruins of Acropolis. It’s the image of democracy dominating the hill of the Acropolis and dates again to the fifth century BC. However the Acropolis is crammed with archeological wonders moreover the Parthenon. On the grounds, additionally, you will see The Temple of Athena Nike, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre.
The Temple of Athena Nike is my private favourite. It’s a temple devoted to the Goddess Athena and Nike Goddess. Athena Nike could be the smallest of the temples of the Acropolis, however I really like its location standing on the sting of a excessive cliff. Buy skip the road tickets prematurely to keep away from queues.
Different temples to go to are the Propylea Temple of Nike, the Erechtheion Temple and you have to see the Dionysus Theater. I realized of this theater whereas finding out Greek Tragedies in theatre faculty and it was wonderful to see this well-known theater. Additionally, don’t miss seeing the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the sanctuary of Asclepius.
- Opening Hours: 8 am to eight pm final admission 7:30
- The doorway payment to the Acropolis is €20.
- If you happen to purchase forward of time with GetYourGuide it’s roughly €24 and consists of skip the lengthy line tickets and entry to the Acropolis hill
To flee the crowds and warmth, go to the Acropolis Museum. Athens is stuffed with historical past and there’s no higher place to study all about it than the Acropolis Museum. This extremely rated guided tour takes you on a tour of the New Acropolis Museum with an area information. The 1 hour 15 minute guided tour of the New Acropolis Museum goes by means of the fashionable constructing that homes 4000 historical relics and artifacts from Historical Greece.
It is a nice praise to an Acropolis go to and there’s a good video that reveals the historical past of the Parthenon. The brand new Acropolis Museum, situated at 15 Dionysiou Areopagitou Promenade
Live performance on the Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Odeon in historical Greece was a constructing for singing and musical reveals. In Athens, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is the theatre that sits on the base of the Acropolis. To this present day it hosts world-renowned artists, just like the Foo Fighters in 2017 and Sting in 2018. See particulars of occasions on the Odeon right here.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime expertise to observe a live performance within the oldest of venues amongst historical ruins. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is just not solely historic, intimate and each seat gives nice views of the stage. As a part of the Epidaurus Competition each summer season, the Odeon hosts dozens of concert events. Don’t be afraid to attend theatre occasions! Except famous particularly, theater reveals may have English subtitles.
Historical Agora And The Temple of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus is without doubt one of the best-preserved historical ruins in Athens. Situated inside the partitions of the Historical Agora, some say that is much more spectacular than the Parthenon. The intricate particulars and towering fluted columns make the Temple Of Hephaestus a terrific factor to see in Athens in case you love greek structure.
- This Historical Agora Guided Tour takes you thru the Hephaestus Temple from the fifth century BC together with the 12 Apostles, the Temple of Apollo Patroos, the Stoa of Zeus, the Altar of Zeus and extra.
The encircling Agora was based again within the sixth century BC when the Historical Agora of Athens was initially used as a gathering place or a spot to congregate. Like many of the temples in Athens, the Temple of Hephaestus is finest to go to within the morning. The sunshine is healthier, it’s cooler and you’ll keep away from the lots of vacationers that present up later within the day.
Stoa of Attalos was restored in 1953 – 1956 and as we speak it’s a museum that homes sculptures and displays of Historical Agora. There are additionally remnants from the traditional ruins of Temple of Hephaestus.
A guided tour of Historical Agora is without doubt one of the finest methods to go to the Temple of Hephaestus. You’ll go to the Greek temple in addition to the church of the 12 Apostles, the Temple of Apollo Patroos, the Stoa of Zeus, the Altar of Zeus. The tour ends on the Attalos Museum to tour its historical artifacts.
The Roman Agora
That is the most well-liked Agora (or assembly place) in Athens. In all probability as a result of Socrates used to lecture right here. The Roman Agora was constructed between 19 and 11 BC, this space is large with over 30 buildings and historical monuments and requires loads of strolling. It’s a good solution to spend a few hours after visiting the extra essential websites.
Cultural Historical past on the Benaki Museum
The elegant Benaki Museum highlights the historical past of Greece all through the ages. Essentially the most distinctive objects are gilded ceilings and wooden paneling recovered from 18th-century Greek mansions and are displayed as reconstructed rooms within the museum. The museum additionally has a superb reward store. I go to the museum simply to buy high-quality reproductions and different presents for household and associates.
- Hours: Closed Mon – Tue. Wed/Fri: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Thur/Sat: 10:00 am – 12:00 am. Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Value: everlasting exhibition €9 (free Thursdays), particular exhibition €7
Nationwide Archaeological Museum
Established in 1829, the Nationwide Archaeological Museum is the most important museum in Greece. Housing 11,000 displays of historical Greek artwork from prehistory to late antiquity. Additionally it is thought of one of many world’s finest museums for historical Greek artwork. In case you are actually into artwork historical past then this can be a place it is best to go to. If you happen to do, make sure that to not miss Agamemnon’s gold dying. It’s well worth the go to simply to see this.
Historical Greek Temple of Olympian Zeus
In comparison with loads of the opposite historical ruins in Athens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus could seem to not have quite a bit left of it. That being stated it’s no much less spectacular. I discovered myself imagining simply how grand and large this temple would have been in its glory. In its prime, there have been 104 17 meters tall (55 ft) columns housing statues of Gods. At this time solely 15 stay, however the grounds are very spectacular to go to. Began within the sixth century BC however was not accomplished till the 2nd Century AD that is most likely one of many temples that took the longest to construct.
One take a look at these columns and you will note why. A great way to go to the Temple of Olympian Zeus is to e book this audio tour you could take heed to in your cellphone. It consists of skip the road tickets to Acropolis Hill, Temple of Zeus and the Historical Agora. Get pleasure from a full attraction expertise with three separate e-tickets and audio excursions in your cellphone
Stroll the Streets of Plaka
Plaka is a neighborhood situated slightly below the Acropolis and stretches to Syntagma Sq.. That is the oldest neighborhood of contemporary Athens and it looks like you may have stepped again in time with the Neoclassical buildings, and balconies overflowing with all types of flowers. We walked the tight, twisting alleys which might be accented by Nineteenth-century facades that burst with colours in the summertime. Plaka is all about family-run retailers and eating places and is a superb place to take a look at some nightlife in Athens.
For a enjoyable tour of Plaka and different Athens neighborhoods, take this ebiking tour by means of the streets and facet streets of Athens with out the crowds. Climb the Hill of Nymphs for views of the Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus. Plus, uncover the location of the primary fashionable Olympic Video games on the Panathenaic Stadium which is a contemporary reconstruction of the stadium constructed for the Panathenaic Video games.
Monastiraki Sq. is a bustling assembly place situated within the coronary heart of Athens. Situated beneath the Acropolis, Monastiraki Sq. is without doubt one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens. With strolling streets, cafes and patios it’s a excellent spot to calm down and take a stroll for a day. In Monastiraki, you’ll discover the archeological website of Historical Agora.
Hadrian’s Library is situated subsequent to Monastiraki Sq.. It was constructed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 132 AD. It’s a powerful set of columns within the coronary heart of the town heart. The location was used for precisely what you’ll suppose, to accommodate books. It was additionally a spot for philosophical walks and educating.
This 3-hour personal strolling tour is a superb solution to discover the world. Take a stroll alongside the strolling avenue of Mitropoleos Road to the Metropolis Athens Cathedral. See the Roman Discussion board, the Tower of the Winds, and Hadrian’s Library. You’ll cowl loads of floor to see Monastiraki Sq. and its Flea Market, Historical Agora, Temple of Hephaestus, and rather more.
Athens Meals Tour
A good way to go to the Monastiraki space of Athens is to take a meals tour. This meals tour takes you thru Monastiraki and its well-known Greek tavernas and eating places plus its archeological sights and historical ruins of the town heart together with Hadrian’s Library, the Historical Agora, and the Monastiraki Flea Market. This market is legendary for its indoor artisanal retailers promoting handmade sandals and souvenirs plus its out of doors meals market. This tour will take you to cafés, markets, delicatessens the place you’ll additionally pattern some nice avenue meals haunts. Extra particulars right here.
Altering of the Guard -Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The primary time we visited Athens, we stayed at Syntagma Sq. and had the privilege of watching the altering of the guard with out even figuring out they did it! The Hellenic Parliament constructing dominates the world and is a well-liked place to go to in Athens. The guards stand guard over the Tomb of the Uknown Soldier and every day the guards change, nonetheless, on Sundays at 11:00 am, the official ceremony takes place.
This metropolis tour not solely consists of stops at Athens’s prime sights to go to the Acropolis, Parthenon, Nike Temple and extra, however you’ll additionally see different lesser-known websites. Meet within the metropolis heart on the Home of Parliament and see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Nationwide Backyard, Zeus Temple and Hadrians’s Arch whilst you study of the primary Olympic Video games and historical Greek Historical past.
Lycabettus Hill (Mount Lycabettus)
The acropolis could be the excessive hill in Athens that everybody is aware of, however Lycabettus Hill is the very best level in Athens. The outstanding 277-meter hill that’s seen from throughout Athens is without doubt one of the finest views of the Acropolis. It’s considered one of my favourite websites as a result of you possibly can see the complete metropolis, together with the Acropolis, all the best way to the ocean. It’s additionally probably the greatest locations to observe the sundown in Athens.
There’s a funicular that may take you to the highest of Mount Lycabettus, or you possibly can take the steps in case you’re in search of some additional train. On the prime, you’ll discover Agios Georgios (St. George Church) and there’s a cafe. If you wish to do one thing decadent, e book dinner at Orizontes for views of the Acropolis to Piraeus and the Saronic Gulf
- Mount Lycabettus funicular info
One other good place for sundown in Athens is Philopappos Hill. Take a hike by means of this park crammed with pine bushes and strolling paths for views of the Acropolis, metropolis heart, and the Saronic Gulf.
Take within the Neoclassical Structure
Indicators of historical Greek historical past are evident all through Athens, however there are additionally indicators of its fashionable historical past as nicely. This historical past begins when the capital of Greece was moved from the Peloponnese peninsula to Athens after Greece gained independence from the Ottoman Turks.
At the moment, Athens was a village of seven,000 residents with only a few actual homes. Eager to recreate a grand capital metropolis, the brand new king of Greece commissioned a reconstruction. The remaining neoclassical constructions are a results of this effort.
- To see some examples of Neoclassical try:
- Zappeion Corridor, the primary constructing on the planet to serve the Olympic Video games, the Athenian Triptych
- Three buildings close to Panepestimio
- Nationwide Library of Greece
- The Nationwide and Kapodistrian College of Athens
- The Academy of Athens
- The buildings that home each the Museum of Cycladic Artwork and the Benaki Museum
- The Hellenic Parliament Constructing that dominates Syntagma Sq..
The guides at Livin’ Lovin’ give a improbable tour that covers neoclassical buildings (or many different fascinating fascinating particulars about Athens)
Museum of Cycladic Artwork
The Museum of Cycladic Artwork is just not solely a positive instance of Neoclassical Artwork, it additionally homes one of many best collections of Cycladic artwork. Right here you’ll see vases, instruments, weapons, pottery, and marble collectible figurines from the bronze age (3000 BC). If you happen to plan on visiting the Greek Islands, the Museum of Cycladic Artwork is a superb praise as The Cycladic tradition flourished within the Aegean Sea in such locations as Santorini and Mykonos.
Discover Athens Central Market
Daily besides Sunday, you possibly can expertise the thrill of the most important market in Athens. Athens Central Market extends to each side of Athinas Road, with greens and olives bought on one facet, and meat and fish on the opposite.
This isn’t a spot for these with a queasy abdomen – animal heads and carcasses grasp from hooks in entrance of passersby and butchers carve the meat in open stalls. Even in case you do have a delicate abdomen, head to the vegetable facet of the market and check out the olives on show. My favourite is the wrinkly variety, which is sun-dried and dry salt-cured. I like to recommend making a cease by Miran for a glimpse into previous Athens and pattern their glorious cured meats.
- Hours: day by day, besides Sunday 7 am – 6 pm
- Location: Athinas 42
Temple of Poseidon
Be Impressed on the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio. If you happen to’ve had sufficient of the town and need to get away to calm down, Cape Sounio is a improbable choice. Standing 60 meters above sea stage, it’s nonetheless the good location for a temple honoring Poseidon, the Greek god of the ocean. The Temple of Poseidon was constructed in 444–440 BC and is 70 km exterior of the town.
Take a tour of the marble temple, which dates from the fifth century B.C., after which have lunch or dinner at a taverna on the seaside slightly below the temple. You may e book day excursions to Poseiden right here.
Sounio for Sundown
Sounio is one other improbable spot in Athens to view the sundown. Situated on the ocean about 70 kilometers from the town heart, you’ll want a automobile rent to succeed in it however it’s price it because it is without doubt one of the coolest issues to do in Athens. You may e book sundown excursions from Athens to Sounio’s assembly on the Halandri Metro station the place you’ll take a bus to the Poseidon Temple.
- For extra info try Odysseus Tradition
- Hours: winter: 9:30 am – sundown, summer season: 9 am – sundown
- Value: €8/€4 decreased
Go to the Metro Station Mini-Museums
Throughout preparation for the 2004 Summer time Olympic Video games in Athens, the metro system was expanded, together with a model new line connecting the brand new airport to the middle (the blue line). Components of this line needed to be dug basically by hand to protect artifacts that have been buried beneath the present metropolis.
These metro stops now function mini-museums displaying among the historical statuary, gravestones, oil lamps, and vases from the fifth century BC that have been discovered through the dig. Essentially the most fascinating stations to take a look at are Syntagma, additionally dwelling to the tomb of the unknown soldier, and Monastiraki stations.
- Hours: 5:30 am – 12:30 am
- Location: Syntagma and Monastiraki metro stations
- Value: free
Aeropagus Hill (Mars Hill)
Greece has robust ties to early Christianity. The Apostle Paul wrote to early Christians within the Greek cities of Corinth and Thessaloniki and made a well-known sermon in regards to the id of “the Unknown God” on the Aeropagus Hill (also referred to as Mars Hill) subsequent to the Acropolis.
It’s referenced in Acts 17 of the New Testomony. The situation is marked by a plaque (in Greek). Climb up the steps and admire the fabulous view the place Paul had stood preaching to the individuals of Athens.
Each summer season, Athens presents dozens of theater, music and dance occasions all through June, July, and August. The artists come from everywhere in the world, however selling Greek artists is the first focus of the pageant.
The venues are a number of websites in Athens (together with the Odeon) and two websites within the historical Epidaurus on the Peloponnese peninsula, together with the magnificent historical theater. The theater occasions usually embrace English subtitles however examine the occasion info to verify.
- The place: varied venues round Athens & Epidaurus
- When: June 4 – August 15 (2020)
Transcend Historical Historical past to Trendy Artwork
State of Idea is a non-profit group that serves as a bridge between Greek modern artwork and the worldwide artwork scene. They characteristic up-and-coming artists by way of solo or group reveals. Their goal, “has been asking questions that relate to the notion of the State and its modern situation within the West and past.”Additionally they supply free consultations to advise native artists.
State of Idea can also be recognized for its high-quality curation that feels just like the Tate Trendy however in a small and intimate setting. They’ve showcased every part from digital actuality to movies and conventional mediums.
- Hours: Wednesday – Friday 4:30-8:30pm, Saturday 12pm – 5pm
Expertise the Chatty Espresso Tradition
For me, one of the best place to expertise the espresso tradition is the sq. of Agia Irini. It’s a brief stroll from Monastiraki on a pedestrian avenue (Aeolou Road). You’ll know you’ve discovered it once you see the cathedral, which was the principle cathedral of Athens till the brand new one was constructed. Take a peek contained in the cathedral for a improbable instance of the Byzantine type.
Tailored and Rooster are cafes which might be full day and night time. Kostas, a tiny store that serves one of the best souvlaki in Athens (in my humble opinion) can also be situated within the sq..
Style the Meze
Conventional Greek meals may be very easy and depends on high-quality contemporary substances. Greeks eat household type, with a lot of small dishes, referred to as meze, that’s shared by everybody on the desk. “Meze” means style or small chunk. Just like the meals itself, consuming Meze is an informal affair. Greeks will not be shy about grabbing meals from the shared plates with a fork, or with their fingers. It begins with salads just like the Greek salad (tomatoes, feta, cucumber, onion, peppers, olives) and dips (fava, tzatziki) after which results in meat and fish dishes, and facet dishes like wild greens and fried potatoes.
Don’t neglect so as to add a squeeze of lemon to virtually every part nor the normal drinks – raki, ouzo, or home wine. Barbounaki in Kolonaki or Seychelles in Metaxourgheio are fashionable takes on the normal meze, however any taverna will supply these small dishes. Learn this Greek Meals Information – Conventional Dishes to Eat in Greece
Stavros Niarchos Heart
This cultural heart was totally funded by the Stavros Niarchos Basis (€617-million) and was donated to the Greek state. The constructing is designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and the 43-acre parks have been designed by way of a partnership between New York and Greece-based panorama designers.
The constructing is fashionable with angular glass partitions and the park’s indigenous Mediterranean vegetation carry much-needed inexperienced house to the neighborhood. The location homes the Greek Nationwide Library and the Greek Nationwide Opera Home.
Did I point out that Athens may be very scorching in the summertime? You’ll recognize the shade of the Nationwide Gardens! Commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838 because the royal backyard of the adjoining palace (which is now the Greek Parliament constructing), the Nationwide Backyard is a picturesque respite from the busy metropolis.
It’s one of many few shady spots within the heart and is nice for a stroll and recognizing ruins, like columns and Corinthian capitals. The doorway of the park is on Leoforos Amalias (named after the queen) only a brief stroll from Syntagma Sq. and is marked by the 12 palm bushes that she planted.
Open Air Cinema
My favourite factor to do in Athens in the summertime goes to the out of doors cinemas. It is a summer season custom for the reason that Sixties when there have been over 600 out of doors cinemas. The summer season warmth in Athens retains the temperature comfy nicely previous midnight.
For me, one of the best place to go is the cinema in Thissio as a result of it has a terrific view of the Acropolis. One other good spot is the cinema within the Plaka, which additionally has a view of the Acropolis and is conveniently situated. Cine Paris is one other well-liked out of doors cinema. It’s considered one of about 90 out of doors cinemas in Athens.
Top-of-the-line issues to do in Athens is to sit down again and calm down whereas taking within the views of the Acropolis and metropolis lights. Athens has some unimaginable rooftop bars and we had the luxurious to go to a number of for excellent evenings within the metropolis.
Searching for distinctive issues to do in Athens? This Athens wine tasting expertise below the Acropolis takes you to a rooftop restaurant with lovely views of the Acropolis the place you get pleasure from a wine tasting with tapas as you get pleasure from scrumptious Greek Wine.
A few of the finest rooftop bars in Athens embrace The Terrace Ground at Syntagma Sq., Novotel Athens with a rooftop pool bar, Couleur Locale in Monastiraki, The Sky Lounge at Melia within the metropolis heart, and the Air Lounge Roof bar in Kotzia Sq.. I’ve to confess, we are able to’t readily bear in mind which rooftop bars we visited in Athens, however we all the time made positive to pop into one at night time.
Hunt for Road Artwork
Athens is a superb metropolis to view avenue artwork and it rivals avenue artwork in Berlin and Paris. On my first go to to Athens, I spent a number of days wandering the neighborhoods to search out hidden gems.
I turned curious after I noticed totally different variations of a black and white princess, all the time together with her eyes closed and a tragic expression on her pink lips, painted all through the middle. I realized that the artist, Sonke, painted them for an ex-girlfriend in locations the place she would see them. Road artwork is greater than streaks of paint on a wall. It tells a narrative about its environment and the individuals in it.
Athens Neighborhoods for Road Artwork: Take a look at the neighborhoods of Anafiotika, Psirri, and Metaxourgheio, and on the hill slightly below the northeast facet of the Acropolis.
Escape With an Island Day Journey
No journey to Greece is full with out experiencing the island life, and Hydra is a superb place for that. Be transported again in time to an old-world village that has been preserved prefer it was when it was constructed within the 1800s. It doesn’t even permit automobiles. That is the scene that attracted Leonard Cohen to reside right here within the Sixties in a home that his household nonetheless owns. The eating places alongside the harbor are a terrific place for people-watching. We particularly loved climbing on the well-marked trails.
How one can Get Round Athens
From the airport to downtown Athens
- You may take the bus from the airport to downtown Athens. That’s what we did our first time within the metropolis. The bus is 6€
- The metro additionally goes from the airport to the town heart and is the Metro is 10€. We took this when getting back from our journey to Crete within the Greek Islands.
- There are taxis from the airport as nicely.
- In case you are flying into Athens for the primary time on a world flight, we suggest a personal decide up. When visiting a brand new metropolis, we all the time love seeing our title at arrivals and figuring out we have now no hassels forward of us attending to our resort. Ebook this reasonably priced personal airport switch right here.
Athens is a walkable metropolis and we walked to most main sights in Athens. Making a base within the metropolis heart, it was a simple stroll to the traditional ruins just like the Acropolis, The Temple of Hephaestus, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and extra.
The Metro is an effective way to get round to restrict strolling. It stops at most historical ruins, museums and sights. We use Google Maps to get round cities and comply with the transportation suggestions. See 32 Finest Journey Apps
For an outline of Athens, a hop on hop off bus tour is an effective solution to see the town and this mixture tour provides you entry to the museums and 48 hours of entry to the hop on hop off bus across the metropolis.
A go to to Athens is a visit you’ll always remember. To see the Acropolis for the primary time, stroll within the footsteps of Gods, and uncover the traditional ruins of an historical metropolis will stick with you for a lifetime. So, these are one of the best issues to do in Athens. Have you ever visited this historical metropolis? What do you suggest guests do once they go to Athens?
- Take a look at extra about Greece Travels