As one of the oldest cities in Greece, Athens offers plenty of historic sites and fascinating landmarks to discover. Here are the ten best things to do in Athens.
Among travellers and holiday-goers, the ancient city of Athens is often overlooked in favour of the picturesque Greek islands. However, the capital of Greece is one spot that should be on your bucket list.
The heart of Ancient Greece, the city boasts many historic landmarks, archaeological sites, ancient buildings, and more that are breathtaking to discover.
So, if you’re planning a trip to ancient Athens, read on. Today, we’re counting down the top ten best things to do in Athens that need to be on your bucket list.
10. Syntagma Square – the heart of commercial activity
Kicking off our list of best things to do in Athens is checking out the central Syntagma Square.
The site of the famous 19th-century military uprising against King Otto of Greece, this is an important location in Athens’ recent history.
Syntagma Square is also home to the Old Royal Palace, which now houses the Hellenic Parliament.
If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch the impressive spectacle that is the changing of the guards, who are all dressed in traditional uniforms.
Address: Athens, Greece
9. Ancient Agora – a fascinating historical site
The heart of Ancient Greek civic life, the Ancient Agora would have been frequented by prominent ancient thinkers such as Socrates.
Perhaps the most famous example of an ancient Greek agora, you can enjoy gorgeous views over the city and towards the Acropolis from here.
Address: Adrianou 24, Athina 105 55, Greece
8. Enjoy a drink with a view – take in amazing views while sipping on a delicious cocktail
There is currently only one skyscraper in Athens, so the city’s skyline is pretty low. This means you can enjoy gorgeous views of the city and the surrounding hills and historic sites from relatively low-level rooftop bars.
There are plenty of fantastic rooftop bars to choose from in Monastiraki Square, where you can enjoy unrivalled views of the Acropolis and the streets below.
7. National Archaeological Museum – plenty to discover
Home to a wide range of historic Greek antiques and artefacts, the National Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for those curious to find out more about the history and facts of this ancient city.
With pieces dating from the Neolithic Era (6800 BC) to the Cycladic, Mycenaean, and Classical periods, there is plenty to discover during a walk around this incredible archaeological museum.
Address: 28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82, Greece
6. Filopappou Hill / Philopappos Hill – a beautiful sunset spot
If you want to take in incredible views of the city at sunset, there are few places better to visit than Filopappou, or Philopappos, Hill.
Home to ancient monuments, stunning greenery, and defined stone paths, this is the perfect place to relax.
Address: Φυλής 215, Athina 117 41, Greece
5. Monastiraki Flea Market – a bustling and vibrant market
Located at the heart of the city in Monastiraki Square, Monastiraki Flea Market is the perfect place to get a taste of the local culture.
As one of the best things to do in Athens, take a stroll through this bustling market, check out the local wares, and maybe even pick up a little trinket to take home with you.
Address: Ifestou 2, Athina 105 55, Greece
4. Panathenaic Stadium – the site of the first modern Olympics
Built in the sixth century BC, the Panathenaic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium and fascinating historical attraction.
The only stadium in the world built entirely of marble, the Panathenaic Stadium is truly unique. Still used to this day, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896.
Address: Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou, Athina 116 35, Greece
3. Acropolis Museum – learn about the ancient city that surrounds you
A bright and modern museum, the fantastic Acropolis Museum hosts a wide range of priceless ancient artefacts.
A fascinating spot to visit before checking out the iconic ancient citadel, you’ll leave the Acropolis Museum feeling like you’ve learnt everything there is to know.
Address: Acropolis Museum, Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athina 117 42, Greece
2. Lycabettus Hill – a tough hike that’s worth it for the views
Lycabettus Hill offers what is perhaps the best view over the city of Athens. You can either make the hike to the top or hop in a cable car that takes you to the summit to take in the gorgeous views for miles around.
There is even a cafe and bar at the top, where you can enjoy some refreshing Greek beer and tasty Greek dishes.
Address: Likavittou, Athina 114 71, Greece
1. The Acropolis – the most famous site in the city
Topping our list of things to do in Athens is perhaps the city’s most iconic historical site, The Acropolis.
Home to the Parthenon, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Temple of Athena Nike, and many more ancient buildings and ruins, you could spend an entire day just exploring this rocky outcrop.
Address: Athens 105 58, Greece
Temple of Olympian Zeus: Built between the sixth century BC and the second century AD, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is an ancient temple built to honour the Greek god Zeus.
Cine Paris: Located on the Plaka, Cine Paris is a stunning rooftop garden cinema where you can enjoy a movie in truly unique surroundings.
Apollo Coast: Also known as the Athenian Riviera, the picturesque Apollo Coast is just a short tram ride outside of the city centre. With beautiful beaches, Mediterranean waters, and palm tree-lined streets, this is the perfect way to escape the heat of the city.
FAQs about the best things to do in Athens
Are there beaches in Athens?
Yes! The Apollo Coast, which is just a short tram ride outside of the city centre, is home to beautiful, sandy beaches that are perfect for relaxing.
Is two days in Athens enough?
To see the main sites, a couple of days in Athens would be enough. However, if you want to enjoy a slower pace and fully enjoy your experience, we recommend at least four days.
Should you tip in Greece?
Tipping is not a requirement in Greece. However, it is good practice to tip staff for good service.