Things to do in Athens Greece
Athens is one of the best European destinations in the world. It has everything you could wish for and more: ancient ruins, beautiful streets, museums, bars, restaurants and the list could go on.
The list of Athens attractions is very long and I know your time spent there is limited.
That is why I prepared a list of the most interesting things to do when in Athens. You can read it below:
Acropolis is the symbol of Athens and one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in the world.
What is actually Acropolis?
Acropolis is an ancient citadel located on top of a steep hill above the modern city.
This is the most photographed place from the entire Athens. The ancient citadel contains several ancient buildings, all of them being a true architectural masterpiece and have historic significance.
The most well-known building is the Parthenon. But the Erechtheion, the Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike should be on your list too.
Acropolis is a really crowded place, especially during peak season, from mid of June to end of August. There are thousands of tourists each day who want to climb the Acropolis and see with their own eyes this ancient world, one of the best things to do in Athens Greece.
I know! The last thing you could wish for is to waste your time in a queue in the middle of the day when outside is 40 degrees Celsius.
With Athens: Acropolis Small-Group Guided Tour with Entry Ticket you can forget about the long queues. This ticket gives you direct access to the ancient world, to the place where the Western civilisation was born. You will have a professional guide who will tell you everything you need to know about this place! Discover together the mysteries and the stories behind these ancient walls.
2. National Archaeological Museum
Athens National Archeological Museum is one of the biggest of its kind in the whole world. It is home to a vast collection of artefacts gathered from all over the world not just from Greece.
Items from the neolithic era and Bronze age, as well as artefacts from Cycladic and Mycenean art collections, are displayed here.
Among the most famous artefacts exposed here is the Mask of Agamemnon, which is a gold funerary mask from the 16th century BC, the Bronze Age frescoes brought from the islands of Santorini and Thera, as well as the Eleusinian relief from the 5th century BC.
It is a place of interest not just for historian fans but also for the rest of us who are curious to discover more things about their past.
Located right on the bottom of the hill where Acropolis is located, Plaka is one of the most interesting things to do in Athens Greece. It is a very old and narrow street far from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
It is a place full of cafes and restaurants, a great place to relax and rest after a tiring day of exploring the Acropolis. From here you can buy souvenirs also because there are many family-owned businesses who sell many traditional articles.
The architecture of the houses is uniquely built in the 19th-century style with green vegetation on both parts of the street.
Want to explore and find more about this amazing place? Book a ticket at Athens: Acropolis, Old Town, Plaka, & Monastiraki Tour. This is the most complete tour of the ancient part of Athens. A professional guide will tell you the stories of Acropolis, Plaka and Monastiraki, the oldest parts of Athens.
4. Temple of Olympian Zeus
Located on the eastern part of the Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is living proof of how grandiose the ancient temples were.
According to the documents found, the temple construction started in the 6th century BC and was finished in the 2nd century AD. Just think about how spectacular it is! They need 800 years to build it!
Unfortunately, the temple was put down one century after its completion, during the Herulian sack of Athens in 267.
What was left from the temple is what we can see today in that place and is considered by many as one of the best things to do in Athens Greece.
5. Ancient Agora of Athens
Agora was the place where people used to gather to discuss the important topics from that time and do business.
The Agora is located in the northwest of the Acropolis between the hill of Areopagus and Agoraios Kolonos.
It was created in the sixth century BC as well as is a varied site with the damages of more than 30 structures and also monoliths.
6. Mount Lycabettus
Mount Lycabettus is a beautiful mountain of Athens which offers a wonderful view of the city.
This is the best place to take some memorable photos of Acropolis, the Piraeus Coast and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
The mountain is free to climb and you can choose to climb it on foot or with a funicular. And trust me, once you reach the top your effort is repaid with the wonderful views of Athens.
This Cretaceous limestone has 300 metres in height and is the highest point from Athens. At the bottom of the mountain, there is a pine forest which provides the coolness for those looking to shelter from the heat of the sun.
7. Theatre of DyonisUS
One of the most interesting things to do in Athens is to visit the Theatre of Dionysus.
This ancient theatre is the place where the European drama was born.
The place was used for the first time for a performance in the 6th century BC. It is located in the southern slope of the Acropolis and is the oldest theatre in the world, according to the historical data available.
The current design of the theatre dates from the middle of the 4th century BC. It is believed that during the Roman period many changes were brought to the theatre. Ancient dramatists like Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and Menander played their plays here.
It is truly a masterpiece and worth paying it a visit!
8. National Garden
Located close to Plaka and Psiri, National Garden is a hidden paradise for those looking to escape from the city stress and spend some quality time in the middle of nature.
It is the ideal place to go especially if you have children because inside the park there are two ponds with turtles and ducks and a small zoo with peacocks, wolves, monkeys and birds of prey.
These gardens were formerly the Royal Garden which ends on the south part with the Old Royal Palace.
One of the most interesting things to do in Athens Greece is to visit Parthenon. This amazing construction is considered to be the masterpiece of the Doric Order and one of the most beautiful buildings from Greece.
This building is the symbol of Athenian democracy and western civilization.
The temple was built in 447 BC and was dedicated to the goddess Athena and was used as a city treasury at the beginning and starting with the 6th century it was transformed into a church.
A few centuries later, around 1460 the building was transformed into a mosque.
Parthenon was vandalised during the 18th century by The Earl of Elgin and some very beautiful sculptures disappeared. A few decades later, part of that artworks was sold to the British Museum where they can be found even in our days.
The remaining sculptures and artworks are preserved in the building and can be admired during your visit.
10. Acropolis Museum
A pretty new museum opened in 2009 with the main purpose of displaying the high number of ancient artefacts found in Athens, Acropolis Museum becomes very quickly one of the most interesting things to visit when in Athens.
The museum was designed by the Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi and was built on the southeastern slope of the Acropolis. It has a very interesting and modern design. No matter from which part you look outside you always sees the Parthenon.
The ground floor of the museum has glass floors because underneath the construction there are ancient ruins.
The Acropolis Museum, one of the best things to do in Athens has in total 3 levels and walks you through the centuries. First, there are displayed artefacts dating from the ancient time, when Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike were built.
On the next floor, you can admire the marbles from the frieze and the pediments of the Parthenon.
The tour of the museum continues with Roman artefacts and early Christian Athens.
This museum became one of the most visited places in Athens. During peak season the queue is huge so the best thing you could do is to spare your precious time and book The Acropolis Museum Ticket & Access to Ancient Excavation which offers you access to the entire museum with skip the line facility.
After such a tiring day of exploring Athens attractions, I am sure you are looking for a good place to sleep.
Our recommendations for Athens are:
1. Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is one of the best options from Athens. It lies right in the heart of the city, neglecting the Acropolis right near the House of Parliament as well as the Constitution Square. The interior is sophisticated with wood furniture and marble shower rooms. Some of the rooms use the sight of the Acropolis.
2. Electra Metropolis is an additional great selection for Athens. It is located centrally near a metro station, simply 10 minutes stroll from Plaka road.
The spaces are tidy and also modern-day with natural Korres toiletries.
The hotel uses a wonderful rooftop pool where you can appreciate the Acropolis while unwinding and also sip a mixed drink!
3. Amalia Hotel is a gorgeous 4-star resort which offers bird’s-eye views of the Acropolis situated right throughout the National Gardens.
The resort is located in the centre of the city, 10 mins walk from the Acropolis and also Plaka.
The resort was granted the Environment-friendly Secret eco-label, which suggests that it utilizes only environmentally-friendly toiletries and cleaning products.
These are the best things to do in Athens for your trip! Pack your luggage and hit the road! Many wonderful attractions are waiting for you!