Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Athens (Greece)

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Known for its amazing ancient buildings and architecture, delicious food culture, interesting traditions, and friendly locals – you’ll certainly not rut out of things to do in Athens!

A mighty city with significant status in Ancient Greece, Athen’s long history started thousands of years ago and posses so many historical sites that have attracted millions of visitors each year. There are tons of things to see in Athens for the eyes to feast and for the soul to feel merry.

In this post, you’ll find out what to do in Athens during your visit and some other various Athens points of interest that can help you plan your trip!

Why should you visit Athens?

The historical city of Athens still attracts many tourists to explore many many years old historical places. Athens is the capital city of Greece and a must-visit destination in Europe for history, art, culture, and old architect lovers around. Many beautiful landmarks from the fifth century will take you back to the Roman era when ancient Greece used to be a powerful empire in the world.

There are many top-class museums to explore in Athens. You’ll also love to shop for handmade souvenirs and stylish clothing from many local fashion boutique houses. There are also many trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars to have food and drinks.

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Practical information and Athens travel tips

When is the best time to visit Athens?

  • Summer (May to August)
    • Summer is the highest season, and you can expect big tourist crowds around this time of the year
    • May is the best time to visit as it is the beginning of the high season and the weather isn’t as extreme
    • You can witness Athens and Epidaurus Festival in May, as well
    • July to August are the hottest months
    • The average temperature is 30°C
  • Autumn (September to November)
    • September to November is the best time to enjoy your trip in Athens
    • The weather is warm during the day, and it gets pleasantly chill in the evenings
    • Towards the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, it starts to be a bit rainier
    • Hotel room rates and airfare drops during this time
    • Expect a fewer crowd of tourists
  • Winter (December to February)
    • The weather is mildly cold and sometimes rainy
    • You can also expect snowfall
    • The temperature rarely goes down below -5°C
    • There are lesser crowds as this is the low season for this city
  • Spring (March to April)
    • March and April are the months most recommended to visit as it is still low season, the weather starts to be warmer but a bit chilly at nights and there are fewer tourists
    • Hotel room rates and airfare drops at this time, as well
    • You can enjoy the religious event Easter during this time

Do you need a visa for Athens?

Greece is part of the Schengen Area, and citizens of the EU group of countries can freely enter while citizens of the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days. You can check our complete guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry.

Where to book your flights to Athens?

Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.

Do you need insurance?

Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.

Where to stay in Athens?

There are tons of amazing boutique hotels in Athens, and some of our recommendations are the following: Coco-mat Hotel Athens, The Zillers, and AthensWasHotel. The nightly rate for these hotels starts at €90.

If you’re on a more budget side, there are also tons of options, and if you don’t mind staying at hostels, here are our recommendations: Nubian Hostel, Bedway Athens Hostel, and Athens Quinta. The nightly rate for a bunk bed in these hostels starts at €14.

Experiences and top things to do in Athens, Greece

top tourist attractions in athens greece acropolis

Make Way to The World’s Most Significant Acropolis of Athens

With evidence found in the site, proving that the area has been inhabited since the fourth millennium BC, the Acropolis of Athens has become one of the oldest citadels in the world. Nevertheless, the constructions for this acropolis’ most remarkable buildings did not start until the 5th century BC.

It was Pericles who initiated and supervised these projects. Thanks to this Athens general, Athens tourism is loaded with plenty of fantastic Athens landmarks that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including this Athens Acropolis.

Situated on the top of an elevated rocky outcrop in Athens, The Acropolis has an essential role in the history of Ancient Greece, and you can see why as you visit this Athens tourist attraction.

There are plenty of majestic ancient buildings with mind-blowing architecture found here. One of them is Parthenon, a temple dedicated to honoring the Greek Goddess, Athena, which many Athens travel guides consider as the crown of this historical site.

Other notable buildings in this Athens point of interest are the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.

On the southeastern slope of the Acropolis, you can find one of the most educative places to visit in Athens, The Acropolis Museum. This museum is established to preserve and showcase all the artifacts found in the Acropolis. Up to the present day, there are approximately more than four thousand objects kept in this Athens museum.

Read more about architecture in Europe:

top tourist attractions in athens greece monastiraki

Monastiraki: Explore The Very Heart of Athens

In the center of Athens lies a square called Monastiraki that has become one of the liveliest Athens points of interest. There are several landmarks of Athens found in this neighborhood.

The Tzisdarakis Mosque that was built in 1759, is one of the ancient sites that can be found here. This mosque also serves as a crafts museum, showcasing collections of pottery from Greece, Cyprus, Ottoman, and Turkey.

Monastiraki is also a famous shopping area. There are hundreds of shops lining here, selling almost anything, including souvenirs for tourists and antiques. On Sundays, you will also find more sellers here using tables or carpets placed on Monastiraki Square for displaying their merchandise.

top tourist attractions in athens greece plaka

Take A Stroll in The Charming Historical Neighborhood of Plaka

In the slope of Acropolis, you will find Plaka, one of the best Athens tourist attractions. This charming historic neighborhood is one of the most scenic points of interest to go sightseeing in Athens. The labyrinth is lined with neoclassical buildings that will fascinate you.

Not only great for sightseeing and casual stroll, but Plaka is also one of the best places to visit in Athens since this area is packed with plenty of interesting museums. You can find out more about the history of Athens in the Museum of the History of Athens University. Or, if music interests you, you should visit the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments.

top tourist attractions in athens greece hellenic children museum

Things to see in Athens: Hellenic Children’s Museum

Still located in the Plaka neighborhood, you will find another fascinating museum that is dedicated to children. The museum is called the Hellenic Children’s Museum.

Founded in 1987, the purpose of this Athens museum is to give a chance for children to explore as many things as possible, giving them the best ways to learn. Your kids can learn how to cook and bake in the Kitchen.

The Market has several tiny shops, giving chances for the kids to role-play activities. There is a room dedicated to babies and toddlers that is filled with toys suitable for children at that age.

There are still some other unusual rooms that your kids will love, including a bubble room where they can play with soap and water, trying to make bubbles.

If you visit Athens with your kids, you should take them here. Hellenic Children’s Museum is undoubtedly one of the best family-friendly Athens tourist attractions.

top tourist attractions in athens greece dance

Fun things to do in Athens: Go to Traditional Greek Dance!

Dancing has been admitted as one of the best ways to reduce our stress level, and what can be more fun than learning traditional Greek dance during your trip to Athens? This activity can be one of the most exciting things to do in Athens in a week.

Several places in Athens offer Greek dance lessons to tourists. The most famous place where you can take up the Greek dance lesson is the Dora Stratou Theater. This theater is situated opposite one of the most impressive Athens points of interest, the Acropolis of Athens. Here, you can see entertaining performances by talented Greek dancers. Public and private dancing classes are available here.

You will also find some tours in Athens offering dinner and dancing packages. During this kind of Athens tours, you will be served some fantastic traditional Greek cuisine, and you are invited to join their celebratory dance afterward.

top tourist attractions in athens greece cine thisseion

Cine Thisseion: Watch Movies Under The Stars

If you take a trip to Athens during the summer, one of the best Athens things to do is watching movies in open-air cinemas. What can be more romantic than watching a movie under the blanket of a starry sky? Athens has several amazing outdoor cinemas that you can visit.

Cine Thisseion is the oldest operating open-air cinema in Athens. Located near the Acropolis, Cine Thisseion is the locals’ favorite spot to spend their summer nights.

Another impressive open-air cinema in Athens is the Cine Paris. You should go to the Plaka region to get to this Athens outdoor cinema. Opens from May to September, this cinema mostly plays contemporary movies.

top tourist attractions in athens greece national garden

Botanical Museum: Soothe Your Soul in The Beautiful Nature

If you are longing for an oasis to get away from the crowded Athens tourist attraction, it means you need to go to Athens National Garden. Located in the center of the city, National Garden provides you 15.5 hectares of lush greenery with a breathtaking landscape.

Constructed under the order of Queen Amalia, this garden was formerly named the Royal Garden. Not only decorated with beautiful plants, but the park also houses some ancient ruins and busts of influential people.

Inside the National Garden, you will find the Botanical Museum. If you travel to Athens with your kids, they can read some books in the garden’s library or play in the children’s playground.

The National Garden opens from sunset to sunrise every day.

top tourist attractions in athens greece flisvos marina

Head to the Marina

If you want to enjoy a panoramic view of the sea, try to go to Flisvos, a beautiful marina in Athens. Recently renovated, the Flisvos marina has become one of the most iconic places to visit in Athens.

You can enjoy a casual walk here, and watch amazing yachts docking here, making it a perfect spot to go sightseeing in Athens. The marina is most beautiful at nights during which this Athens points of interest are decoratively lit.

You can have romantic dinners here as there are some fantastic restaurants available in Flisvos marina. There are also some cafes and ice cream parlors that you can visit here.

Flisvos Marina is also one of the best kid-friendly Athens tourist attractions because children can play safely in the marina playground.

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top tourist attractions in athens greece tours

Join An Excursion

Participating in an excursion program is one of the most entertaining ideas for your what to do in Athens list.

There are lots of enjoyable tours in Athens that you can choose, from cultural tours to yachting excursions, from only several hours tours to several days’ tours from Athens.

While browsing for available tours in Athens, do not forget to check what the prices have included, so you will be able to prepare all the things needed for the excursion.

top tourist attractions in athens greece salad

Fill Your Stomach with Greek food!

As the capital city of Greece, Athens has an interesting culinary scene. There are plenty of dining places to visit in Athens, selling many kinds of food. Since you are in Athens, trying authentic Greek food is one of the best things to do in Athens.

To get traditional Greek food in an authentic setting, try to dine in a taverna. This Theatrou to Steki is one of the best tavernas that you can visit in Athens.

You can also get a table at Diporto, an old restaurant in downtown Athens which has been serving Greek food since 1887.

Please note that many restaurants in Athens are closed on Mondays. Some Athens restaurants do not accept credit cards, so make sure you bring enough cash to pay for your meal.

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