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Essential Athens Greece Travel Tips

Visit Athens Greece

Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and is considered by many the place where democracy was born.

It is an amazing city, full of many interesting ancient sites, old and narrow streets, beautiful architecture, good food, welcoming people and extremely great music.

Athens is not just the best place in the world for seeing ancient sites, but it is also one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe.

Let’s discover together some very interesting and useful things about this magnificent place

1. Location

Before telling you where Athens is located I want you to know that this magnificent city is the capital of Greece.

It is located in the southern part of Greece mainland, spread across the central plain of Attica.

Theatre of Dionysus Athens

If I think better, Athens is located around some hills from the southern part of the country.

The highest hill is Mount Lycabettus from where you have an outstanding view over the city and the Acropolis.

The most interesting part when we speak about the location is that the city is located in the same spot as it was thousands of years ago.

Athens was never moved! That is why it is very complicated and difficult to build something in this city! It is very common to dig and find ancient ruins. So you have to stop everything you are doing and let the experts decide the importance of the discovery and if you can move forward with your construction or you have to stop everything!

2. Currency in Athens

Athens has the same currency as Greece and that is euro. So, when you visit Athens Greece take with you some euro.

1 EUR = 1.15 USD

There are a few shops which accept USD as currency but the exchange rate used is not in your favour.

Greece currency money

That is why we advise you to have euros with you. You can withdraw them from any local ATM, you can buy them from an exchange office or bank or you can come with euros from your home country. It’s up to you, how it’s more comfortable and easy for you.

3. Best time to go to Athens

Shoulder season is the best time to go to Athens and visit its attractions.

Shoulder season means April, May and September, October.

During this time of the year, the weather is perfect for exploring, the number of tourists is relatively low and the prices are reasonable.

Summer months like June, July and August are peak season with August the busiest time of the whole year.

During these months there are tourists everywhere, the queues to museums and other attractions are quite big and the prices are high, too.

The last thing you want is to spend hours in a queue to enter a museum or the Acropolis and to pay more money for accommodation and food.

Plaka district Athens

I personally like to visit Athens Greece in September or May. The weather is mostly sunny but not too hot, with a few hours of rain, but nothing to ruin your holiday.

The restaurants are open and have reasonable prices and you can find free tables almost all day.

4. How many days you need to explore Athens

This is a pretty complicated question. Mostly depends on what you intend to do when in Athens.

To get a good idea about this magnificent city I recommend you to spend at least 4 days there.

Check my 5 days in Athens itinerary proposal here:

5. Things to know before you go

Visiting a new country might be stressful for some of us, that is why I prepared a list with the most important things you should know before you go:

5.1 The food is great

Traditional Greek food is awesome! I like moussaka, Gyros with plenty of Tzatziki sauce, Souvlaki and their sweets!

You definitely have to eat at a Greek tavern at least once during your trip to Athens!

5.2 The Acropolis is amazing

I know you heard many things about the Acropolis and saw many photos. But this place is indeed amazing!

All the numbers about this ancient settlement are impressive! When you visit this monument you travel back in time!

You can see and understand how our ancestors lived. It is amazing!

And the view from the top of the hill is breathtaking!

5.3 Most locals speak English

The good news is that you don’t have to learn Greek when visit Athens Greece because many locals speak English, especially the ones who work in tourism or have shops and restaurants.

I had a very pleasant surprise to find out that most people speak English! I get lost one day on greek streets and thanks to locals and their indications I managed to find a metro station.

5.4 Taxis have reasonable prices

Maybe you expect high prices for taxi rides, but things are not like that in reality!

We used a taxi in Athens for the first time after a tiring day exploring the Acropolis! We were so tired that we decided to take a taxi from the bottom of the hill to our hotel, no matter how expensive it would be.

The ride lasts for about 10 minutes and we paid just 4 euros. After this experience, we took the taxi quite often and the prices were really reasonable.

5.5 There some amazing rooftop bars

What could be more relaxing than end your day on a rooftop bar sipping from a cocktail? Wow! That sounds really great! Well, Athens is full of rooftop bars, some of them overlooking the Acropolis!

I like a lot the way the Acropolis sees at nighttime! Wonderful!

6. Places to stay

Athens offers many options when we speak about accommodation.
There are many properties to rent as well as hotels, hostels and guesthouses.

Depending on your budget you can choose out of more than 3.000 options when visit Athens Greece. Our recommendations for your overnight stay are:

1. Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens , a wonderful hotel located in the centre of the city in an old building dating from 1874. The hotel is located 20 minutes walk from the Temple of Olympian Zeus and close to the Acropolis.

2. Amalia Hotel Athens is the second on our list. It is located in Syntagma Square, close to the National Gardens. All the rooms are modern and clean, some of them offering a great view to Lycabettus Hill and the Parliament. The Acropolis is a 10 minutes walk from the hotel.

3. Electra Metropolis Athens is another great option when searching for accommodation in Athens. It is a new, very modern hotel located in the heart of the city. It has a wonderful rooftop bar with views over Parthenon and the entire city.

4. Athens Tiare Hotel is located in the business district of Athens. It is a little farther from the city centre, but the neighbourhood is very quiet and beautiful. The hotel is located close to a metro station which leads you to Acropolis. Or, you can walk to the Acropolis; in less than half an hour you reach the ancient site on foot. The rooms are clean and spacious and the breakfast is really varied and fresh

7. Things to see in Athens

There are so many beautiful things to see when visit Athens Greece!

Acropolis Greece Old Temple

But with great planning you manage to see all the important attractions in less than one week:

  1. The Acropolis
  2. Parthenon
  3. Erechtheion
  4. Acropolis Museum
  5. National archaeological museum
  6. Plaka Street
  7. Museum of Cycladic Art
  8. Temple of Athena Nike
  9. Ancient Athens Agora
  10. Panathenaic Stadium

No matter if you are looking for things to do in Athens at night, or during a rainy day or you are just simply searching which are the most important attractions of the city, the answers to all your questions are here, in the articles below.