Things To Do In Athens, Greece
Athens — the birthplace of democracy and higher learning; a place where tradition embraces modernity, bestowed upon by the gods and goddesses themselves. All year round, tourists eagerly flock to the country’s capital to indulge in a myriad of festivities and attractions. They are captivated by its enduring architectural landmarks.
Athens, Greece has it all
— from its urban beaches, to its vibrant downtown communities, to its bustling food markets. People of all ages find surprises at every turn—youths enjoy history, seniors rejuvenate with views and hikes.
And after dark, the city transforms into a frenzy of nightclubs and raves that’s enough to make you say “ώπα!” Barhop your way into oblivion or dance the night away; don’t be shy as the Greeks are known to be one of the kindest people in the world!
To enhance your overall experience, delve into the richness of Athens, Greece in 2024 by exploring these eight compelling activities:
1. Step into history at the
Acropolis of Athens
Opening Hours: Summer (8 AM – 8 PM); Winter (8 AM – 5 PM)
A Greek vacation cannot be complete without touring the
After defeating the Persians, Perikles embarked on a victory tour, aiming to create a memorial with fellow Athenians. Thus, the
In Athens Great Attraction
Now, these great attractions have achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status and are open to visitors all year round. The
To get there, you have three viable options as a tourist: by train which includes a minute of walking, by bus, and by taxi. Additionally, you should try to arrive as early as possible to maximize your day as there are two points of entry — the side and main entrances. If possible, opt for the side entrance to avoid the main entrance’s long lines; expect to wait in line for 30 minutes if you decide to use the latter option.
2. Lose yourself in the shopping village – The Plaka, Athens
Souvenir Recommendations: Kolomboi (Worry Beads), Figurines & Skincare Products
Located beside the
Two Main Areas In Athens
— Ano Plaka and Kato Plaka, with the former being the main highlight. Plaka’s maze-like alleys can be tricky to navigate, offering contrasting experiences. At one moment, you could be seeing a bunch of colorful houses. Make a wrong turn, and you could end up at a weird dead-end. Nevertheless, tourists consider both areas safe
This district is a must-see for every tourist. While some have criticized it as “too commercialized” and “out of place,” it remains a suitable destination for souvenir shopping, albeit at a higher markup compared to other markets.
3. Hike A Legendary Hill – Mount Lycabettus
Average Journey Takes: 35 Minutes On Foot; 3 Minutes By Cable Car
Rumor has it that Mount Lycabettus took shape inadvertently as Athena, the Greek goddess of war, stumbled and accidentally dropped a rock. Another belief suggests that the mountain is a sanctuary for wolves, leading to its name “Lycabettus” derived from the root word “lyco,” meaning wolf. Heavenly rewards awaited those brave enough to reach the summit.
360-Degree View Of The Whole City In Athens
Fortunately for you, those dangers are long gone as time has passed.. Today, Lycabettus is Athens’ highest point, standing 277m tall above the capital offering a 360-degree view of the whole city. The view at the top is worth more than gold and if possible, visit it twice – during daytime when you can see everything and take instagram-worthy panoramas, and evening to admire the sunset with your significant other. Furthermore, Orizontes, regarded by tourists as one of the best restaurants in Athens, is located at the summit.
Check out some deals here: https://www.lycabettushill.com/
To get to the summit, you may opt for a cable car ride. Otherwise, you can hike all the way through but keep in mind that your legs might give out after the initial climb. Thus, this option is recommended for intermediate-level hikers. It takes 40 minutes to hike to the top. For those of you who have extra Euros to spare, a taxi may be viable.
4. Make A Sacred Pilgrimage – Connect With Greece On A Spiritual Level
Peak Seasons: April – June; September – October
For some religious folk, Athens is considered to be a top-tier pilgrimage site; St. Paul’s missionary pursuits throughout Greece are well-documented. His sermon was transcribed in entirety; its contents now a tourist attraction in Areopagus, Athens.
You may consider embarking on a pilgrim’s tour to relax, reflect, and appreciate Athens, retracing the footsteps of the said apostle. Christian tour packages usually take care of this and offer a week-long spiritual journey and include masses at some of these beautiful churches in their itinerary.
Furthermore, the capital has an abundance of cathedrals, the Church of Panagia Kapnikarea being the oldest among them and the most widely-visited. On the other hand, the 11th century Church of Metamorphosis remains well-preserved within the
Hall of Horrors In Athens
If you’re a believer of the supernatural, you can try Athens Hall of Horrors, open all year round. Alternatively, you may plan your own ghost hunting itinerary — explore Athens’ notorious Parnitha Sanatorium or uncover the secrets of Daveli’s cave. You’ll find plenty of scary places in Athens, Greece!
Whichever denomination you come from, you’ll feel at home in Athens spiritually.
5. Learn Greek Cuisine – Embark On A Culinary Tour In Athens, Greece
Food Trip Essentials: Tavernas, Street Food & Rooftop Restaurants
If you’ve been following the directions above, chances are you’re famished from all the walking at this point in your journey! Don’t worry though, as dining options in Athens are plentiful. You’ll never go hungry in the city center.
In order to experience authentic cuisine, always opt for street food when you get the chance. Must-try delicacies include: Souvlaki, Moussaka, and Tzatziki. And who could forget Greek Yoghurt?! Another dining option tourists seem to overlook is the Greek Taverna. These humble-looking restos offer authentic Greek cuisine, even more so than some mainstream restaurants known to sprinkle a bit of fusion in their menus.
Fun fact: Greece’s national dish is Moussaka; it’s kind of like lasagna. However, instead of pasta, its layers are made of zucchini, eggplant or potatoes.
For Low-Key Dining In Athens
Karminio’s All Day Eatery has the best Mediterranean selection in town. If you’re looking for a Michelin-starred restaurant, GB Roof Garden currently sits at the top of Athens, statistically and literally-speaking. Located on the 8th floor of Hotel Grande Bretagne, customers get to enjoy a five-star feast with stunning views of the
Go the extra mile and reward yourself with a three-course meal which you will prepare ON YOUR OWN, courtesy of Athens Walking Tours. Complementary items such as wine and a secret recipe list are included in the package.
6. Honor Greece – Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier
Price of Admission: FREE!
After indulging in a scrumptious Mediterranean meal, it’s time to pick up the pace.
What better way to honor Greece than by witnessing the changing of the guard in Athens? This event takes place by the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square and the Presidential Mansion every hour, everyday — free of charge. However, most visitors come to witness the spectacle on Sunday at 11 AM as the Evzones wear official costumes at that time..
Fun fact: Called the “Heart of Athens”, Syntagma Square is the most important area, historically and politically, of Modern Greece. The word Syntagma literally means Constitution. The square has seen its fair share of clashes and protests over the years, some of which have affected Greece’s policies. Most notably, it’s where the Athenians rose up and demanded the first nation’s constitution from King Otto. It was also featured on one of the action sequences in the Jason Bourne (2016) movie.
If you ever lose your bearings, ask and find your way to Syntagma Square as that’s basically the center of Athens. Located within walking distance are most of the capital’s major attractions: Temple of Olympian Zeus, Plaka,
Bonus challenge: If you find yourself in Syntagma Square, why not see if you can make your way to the National Historical Museum? It only takes five minutes on foot. Additionally, that museum hosts a ton of artifacts from the last 300 or so years, basically a museum of modern Greece.
7. Take A Plunge In The Sea – The World’s Cleanest Beaches
Best Family Beach: Voula; Best Adult Beach: Limanakia
After a long day touring UNESCO Heritage Sites, perhaps it’s time to wind down and get your feet wet, literally. It’s no secret that Greece has the most pristine beaches in the world; its crystal clear, Turquoise waters consistently rated Blue Flag status, the highest grade possible.
Greece, with over 6,000 islands and 400+ Blue Flag-certified locations, offers an unparalleled coastal experience. Most of these are easily accessible and are situated within the city limits. Public beaches, with no entrance fees, contrast with semi-private options, which typically start from €5.
The closest beach to the city center is Edem, located in Palaio Faliro. It’s perfect for budget travelers tight on time as it’s free. For those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle, the Athens Riviera is the perfect destination.” The world-famous Athens Riviera is a 35-mile coastline that features prestigious hotels and high-end private resorts making it an ideal summer destination for jet-setters, kind of like a mini-Miami. If you’re looking for an affordable option, don’t fret; Glyfada has got you covered. It’s completely free albeit with no sunbeds on offer. For €5 (entrance) and an additional €30 sunbed rental, consider Athines By The Sea.
How to get there: Athens Riviera is accessible by tram; a tram stop is conveniently located in Downtown Athens.
8. End The Night On A High Note – Wine, Dine, And Get Wild In Athens’ Nightlife Scene
Best Greek Alcoholic Beverages: OUZO, Tsipouro, Mastika
Is Athens, Greece safe at night? Yes, solo female travelers can feel safe, maintaining vigilance is crucial, as in any city. Do that, and you’ll enjoy the best of what Athens has to offer after dark.
If you want to spend some quality time with your drinking buddies, perhaps indulge in wine-tasting, Brettos’ liquor store is a must-visit. Founded in 1909, Athens’ oldest distillery brews Greek spirits, its walls adorned with a dream-like assortment. Its interiors feature humble, traditional designs; the bar is low-key, sophisticated, and comfortable, and not for party animals.
Adding to the allure, Athens’ nightlife boasts an underrated gem—the rooftop bar scene. Spread across the city, these bars offer diverse experiences. AthenStyle stands out as the most affordable choice, providing a captivating view of the illuminated
On the flip side, if you’re seeking a more adventurous experience, Athens’ rave scene offers a diverse range of options. DYBBUK, located in Kolonaki, ranks at the top of the list for 13 years consecutively; this high-end nightclub has seen its fair share of international DJs and wild parties.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of the clubs in Athens. Just stay away from sketchy “wellness centers” and spas, and you’ll come out scot-free.