Why do people like to visit Athens

Athens Sightseeing: Top 20 Attractions and Activities

You are traveling to Greece and want Athens, the capital, visit? You wonder what you are doing in this City could do best?

Then you are exactly right here!

Around to help you plan your stay, I have this one Travel guide with the 20 best sights in Athens created, with all the sights and attractions that you should definitely see.

In addition to this list of attractions and activities, I will also give you Itineraries to visit Athens in 1, 2 or 3 Days as well my selection of the best accommodationsdepending on your budget.

And like always this guide contains all of my best tipsto get the most out of your stay.

So, what to do in Athens Let's start with the best sights!

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Sights in Athens: top 20 must-see attractions

1. The Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon

Let's start this list of 20 best sights to see in Athens, With the acropolis, the most emblematic place in the city.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located on a hill in the capital of Greece and is one of the most visited ancient sites this country. It is also the main tourist attraction of Athens.

On the summit is located the Parthenon, the most famous monument of the Acropolis. Like most of the complex, this monument was made by Commissioned by Pericles and in the 5th century BC Built in BC.

This temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena, is made entirely of marble and weighs about 20,000 tons!

The other attractions of this site are:

  • The Propylaea, the monumental gateway to the Acropolis.
  • The Erechtheion (or Erechtheum): a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. Particularly noteworthy is the porch of the caryatids (or the porch of the maidens), where 6 statues of young girls were used as pillars.
  • The Temple of Athena Nike.
  • The Theater of Dionysus.
  • The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an amphitheater that is still used today for performances during the Athens Festival.

The best way to visit the Athens Acropolis is to buy one Combination tickets for 30 euros. The ticket is Valid for 5 days and includes one Skip-the-line access to the Acropolis and an access to the 6 other important ancient sites in Athens:

  1. The old agora
  2. Hadrian's library
  3. The temple of the Olympian Zeus
  4. The Roman agora
  5. The Aristotle Lyceum
  6. The Kerameikos

Combination tickets are at the entrance of the individual locations available. Preferably do you start by visiting one of the "secondary sites"to buy the ticket and around avoid the long queueif you go to the Acropolis later!

And when you learn all about the history of the Acropolis it is best to opting for a guided tour (it's also a skip-the-line ticket).

The best guided tour in English is that of GetyourGuide Originals. She is really great! The organizers also know it and will therefore even suggest get you a full refund of the entrance fee if you are not satisfied!

To book this tour, you have to click click the following button:

2. The Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum is one of the best attractions to visit in Athens.

If you want to better understand the context and history of the Acropolis before visiting it, you definitely should first visit the Acropolis Museum. In this museum you can find almost 4,000 ancient objects and artifacts found on the site!

The museum is very interesting and well designed. You have one from the panoramic terrace on the third floor magnificent view of the Acropolis. So why not go there and maybe even have a drink while enjoying the view?

You can find all the useful information you need to plan your visit on the official website.

3. The old agora

Another great place in Athens is the Ancient Agora.

The agora was the main square of ancient Athens. He was considered as cultural, political, commercial and social center Nowadays the site is mostly in ruins but still well worth a visit, especially for the Temple of Hephaestus.

Built during the time of Pericles in 449 BC BC, it is one of the best preserved Doric temples in Greece.

You can find here too a museum, in which the objects discovered on the site are exhibited, some statues and a scale model of the agorato show you what it looked like back then.

The visit to the Old Agora is included in the € 30 combined ticket.

4. The National Archaeological Museum of Athens

If you've enjoyed the Acropolis Museum, then you should really go to it National Archaeological Museum of Athens walk.

The museum is known worldwide for its Collection of magnificent antique objects. This impressive building offers more than 8,000 square meters of exhibition space where you will find fantastic collections from the Neolithic to the end of the Roman era.

Most of the collections are of the Greek civilization dedicated, but you will also find several rooms with Egyptian antiquities.

The most notable piecesexhibited in the museum are the following:

  • The Golden Mask of Agamemnon, found in Mycenae.
  • A Bronze statue depicting a young rider and his mount.
  • The Statue of Zeus or Poseidon
  • The statue of Athena, a replica of the statue that was once im Parthenon was standing.

For more information on prices and timetables, see the official website visit.

If you several museums in Athens want to visit buy this € 15 combo ticket. It is valid for 3 days and includes the Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the Numismatic Museum and the Epigraphic Museum.

5. The National Park and the Zappeion Park

If you want to enjoy a little greenery during your stay in Athens, then you definitely should take a walk in the national park and in the Zappeionpark. The 2 are actually one and the same large park that makes it largest public park in Athens!

This is the best place if you want to relax and have a little a break far from the tourist crowd do want.

The park is located between the Panathenaic Stadium and the Syntagma Square.

Don't miss this neoclassical monument Zappeionthat was built in the middle of the park. Take a look at his courtyard, he's pretty impressive! (Admission is free)

6. Syntagma Square

The Syntagma Square, or "Constitution Square" in English, is the central square of Athens.

It is also that most important meeting point of the city, be it for demonstrations or sporting events.

The parliament building has been located here since 1935 in an old royal palace built by the first king of Greece. It is the center of political life in Greece.

The place is one Attraction in Athens! There you will See Presidential Guard Change Ceremony.

The soldiers, also called "Evzones", guard it Tomb of the unknown soldier, right in front of the parliament building. The change takes place every hour and you can do one strange synchronized ballet take part.

But most of all, you will love the famous traditional uniforms the Evzones with skirts, tights and pompom shoes will be delighted!

7. Ermou Street

If you want to go shopping in Athens, it will be on Ermou Street for sure!

This pedestrian zone leads from Syntagma Square to the Monastiraki district.As this is the Main shopping street in Athens you will find most of the major international brands (H&M, Zara, Marks & Spencer ...) as well as many bars and restaurants here.

Don't forget to check out the picturesque Byzantine Church of Kapnikarea to watch! It is located on Ermou Street and was built in the 11th century.

8. Monastiraki district

To continue this guide to Athens, let's now go to the Monastiraki district.

It is located in the Center of Athens, next to the Plaka district. (I'll tell you more about Plaka later)

The Monastiraki Square with its Byzantine church is the centerpiece of this lively and cosmopolitan District. You will enjoy being in its narrow streets lots of small shops all kinds of walks.

The atmosphere feels a little like the souks in Arab countries! Whether souvenirs, clothes, shoes or jewelry, you are guaranteed to find everything you need here.

Every Sunday takes place on the Avissinya Square the famous Monastiraki flea market instead of. Lots Antiques and used goods dealers sell old books, silverware or leather goods.

Negotiations are often tough, but you can find some nice things, especially if you get up early!

9. Plaka district

Another place you should visit in Athens is this Plaka district.

The oldest part of Athens is often called "District of the Gods" referred to as he himself at the foot of the Acropolis is located. Even though it is a very busy and touristic area, Plaka could be picturesque charm with his narrow streets and preserve beautiful homes.

During your tour you will both Byzantine buildings as well as neoclassical houses With its many shops, it is also a good place to buy local products or souvenirs.

While you're there, be sure to get into that too tiny neighborhood Anaflotika walk. In this peaceful and quiet place with white houses and blue shutters will you feel like in Heart of the Cyclades feel!

Don't forget that Stratanos street (uphill) to go to its endto get a wonderful panorama over Athens to enjoy.

10. Mount Lycabettus

If you have a breathtaking view of the Acropolis want to enjoy, then you have to Mount Lycabettus climb!

The 278 meters high Mount Lycabettus is also called "Hill of Wolves" and it certainly is the best place to enjoy a 360 ° panorama of Athens. Once at the top, don't miss the charming one St. George Orthodox Chapel.

You can To reach the top of the Lycabettus:

  • On foot: A 20-minute stairway leads you up.
  • With the cable car: The Lycabettus cable car only takes 3 minutes to the summit. The return ticket is € 7 and the departure point is at the intersection of Aristipou and Ploutarchou streets.
  • By car
If you at sunset go to Mount Lycabettus, you can enjoy a fantastic view over the illuminated city and the Acropolis.

11. The Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium or Kallimarmaro is another well-known tourist attraction in Athens.

It is located in front of the south entrance of the Zappeion Park.

The stadium was in the 4th century BC Built in BC, to the Panathenaic Games to receive a sporting event every year too Honor the goddess Athena took place. There the athletes competed in track and field, wrestling and chariot races.

Originally made of wood, it was made a few centuries later completely rebuilt from white marble.The stadium had a capacity of more than 70,000 spectators, and there were also organized gladiator fights.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the stadium was abandoned and the stones were reused in other places.

Much later, in the 19th century, the stadium was rebuilt to the first modern olympic games to recieve.

Today the stadium is no longer used for competitions because its dimensions no longer meet today's requirements.

You can visit the inside of the stadium for € 5. Admission includes an audio guide and access to the athletics facility.

At the intersection of Agras Street and Archimidous Street you can go to the public park around the stadium. There follow the path up to the upper part of the Grandstandswhere you one beautiful view of the acropolis will have.

12. The Philopappos Hill

If you believe everything in Athensseen and if you have already visited the most important neighborhoods, you should go to the Go Philopappos Hill.

Also known as the Hill of the Muses, the plant is one of the best viewpoints to see Athens and the Acropolis. On this 147 meter high hill you can, thanks to one of the many pedestrian paths, reach the top in about 10 minutes.

You have one from the top panoramic view to the entire city, the port of Piraeus and the Attic peninsula. If you are lucky enough to have very clear weather you will even be able to see some of the nearest islands!

There you can too the Philopappos monument admire, a mausoleum dedicated to the Roman senator Philopappos, considered one of the benefactors of Athens.

Do not forget you Church of Agios Dimitrios Lumbardiaris, the Socrates prison and the remains of the Shrine of the Muses to watch.

13. The Roman Agora

The roman agora is another attraction in Athens. Don't confuse it with the old agora I mentioned earlier!

The agora or Roman forum is located at Plaka district. It was made between 19 and 11 BC. Built in BC. There was one there large central market, several shops and public latrines.

The most notable elements of the agora are:

  • The gate of Athena Archegetis, with its 4 well-preserved columns.
  • The recently renovated Fetiye Djami Mosque, in which changing exhibitions take place.
  • The tower of the winds: a marble tower built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus to be used as a compass, sundial and weathercock.
You can see the entire agora from outside. It's not really worth paying for entry, but if you bought a € 30 combo ticket, entry to the Roman Agora is included.

14. The other museums in Athens

If you are in Athens for a few days, you should take the opportunity to some museums to visit.

For lovers of cultural tourism, here is a list of the other museums to visit in Athens:

  • The coin museumwhich issues more than 500,000 coins and medals. Some of them are more than 3,000 years old!
  • The Cycladic Art Museum and its collections of objects of the Cycladic Islands.
  • The Benaki Museum, the oldest museum in Greece, with its 40,000 works of art from antiquity to the beginning of the 20th century
  • The National Gallery with their works of art and sculptures from the post-Byzantine era.
  • The Museum of Greek Folk Artto take a look at the Greek traditions!
  • The Byzantine and Christian Museum.
  • The National Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • The war museumif you want to know everything about the war history of Greece.
  • The National History Museum

15. Gazi district

Where to go in Athens if you want to party all night?

You should absolutely Gazi district try out!The former industrial area became one trendy place converted for night trips in the Greek capital.

There you can go on one trendy bar terrace enjoy a drink or one of the many Restaurants and Night clubs In the Gazi district, you are sure to find a place that you like.

The surroundings of the Kerameikos metro station and the streets Dekeleon, Gargition and Voutadon are the busiest.

The 5 best sights around Athens

You have a few days in Athens and saw most of the city? Then you should really take a day trip to explore the city's surroundings.

Here are the best places to visit around Athens:

16. Go to the beach!

In the There are many beaches near Athens. These beaches are not the ones you see on Greece's postcards.Still, it's a great way to have a refreshing moment out of town.

The beaches on the Apollo coast are in the south of Athens the city closest. The good thing is that you have them by public transport can be reached directly from Syntagma Square!

The Apollo Coast with its luxurious private beaches is often called “The Athenian Riviera" designated. In the seaside resorts Glyfada Beach, Voula Beach, Lagonisi Beach or Saronida Beach you enjoy a young, festive and luxurious atmosphere.

If you to a more family-friendly place or at wilder beacheswalk you should want the east of Athens Try the beaches. How about a trip to Schinias Beach, Kaki Thalassa Beach, Marathon Beach or Nea Makri?

17. Cape Sounion

Cape Sounion is at the southern end of the Attica Peninsula, about 1:20 hour drive from Athens.

According to Greek mythology King Aegeus would have thrown himself off the cliff here because he thought his son Theseus was dead. Theseus went to fight the Minotaur and had promised to change the black sails of his ship to white if he won.

Delighted by his victory, Theseus forgot to change the sails of his ship. When his father saw the black sails, he thought his son was dead and committed suicide. The Aegean Sea has been named after him ever since!

At Cape Sounion you will also admire one Temple dedicated to Poseidon, god of the sea and protector of sailors.

The place offers you breathtaking panoramic view of the Saronic Gulf. You should at sunset go there when the sunlight is shining on the marble pillars of the temple!

This is the perfect place for a half day tour around Athens. If you don't have a car, you can organized tour do.

Everything is planned on these tours: you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the Cape, along the Apollo coast.

18. The Saronic Islands

The Saronic Islands belong to the islands closest to Athens.

The easiest way to get there is to take a ship from Piraeus port to take off.

The best Saronic Islands to see are:

  • Aeginawhere you can visit the Temple of Aphaia and the remains of Paleochora, an ancient Byzantine village.
  • Agistri and its many small bays.
  • Porous, for its pretty colorful houses.
  • Hydra, an island where cars are forbidden! It is the perfect destination if you want to hike and enjoy beautiful beaches.
  • Spetses, covered in pine trees and a great place for cycling!

If only you a day have timeto discover the Saronic Islands, can you a cruise book. Everything is included: from Athens a bus will take you to the port of Piraeus and from there you will drive to the islands.

During this trip you will visit the islands Hydra, Poros and Aegina. Lunch is even included You can book this cruise right here!

19. Mycenae, Epidaurus and Nafplio

If you want to discover the landscape around Athens, you definitely should take a tour of the Peloponnese!

During your day trip you will see:

  • Corinth Canal for the souvenir photo!
  • The archaeological site of Mycenae: This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the home of King Agamemnon.
  • The city of Napflio and the Palamidi fortress.
  • The ancient theater of Epidaurus, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The tour includes pickup at your hotel, transfer in an air-conditioned bus, a tour guide, and entrance tickets to all locations You can book your tour here.

Booking this tour is your best option to some of the most famous places of the Peloponnese to explore around Athens in a short time!

And if you want to know more about the Peloponnese, you can read my in-depth article Peloponnese: Top 15 Attractions.

20. Delphi

The famous Archaeological site of Delphi is a 2:20 hour drive from Athens.

The one on the Mount Parnassus built facility offers a magnificent view of the valley and the sea. There you admire the temple of Apollo (where the oracle of Delphi, the Pythia, transferred the directives of Appolo from the gods to man) that Theater and the stadium.

You should do that too Delphi Archaeological Museum visit. Many ancient remains that were found on the site are on display there.

If you don't have a car organized tours start daily from Athens.

The price includes transportation to and from your hotel, a tour guide, and entry ticket to the Delphi Archaeological Site and Museum You can book your day trip to Delphi from Athens here.

The best sights in Athens when it rains

You came to Athens to enjoy the sunny and warm Mediterranean climate, but what are the best things to do in Athens when the weather is bad?

Do not worry, Here is a list of the things to see and do in Athens when it rains:

  • Visit the many museums to learn more about the history, Traditions or art To experience Greece. If you read this article carefully, you will find that I have mentioned many museums. This should keep you busy for a while!
  • Go to the Athens Central Market. In this covered market you will find excellent local products.
  • Go in one of Athens' many shopping centers shop.
  • tries an escape game: Solve the puzzles and try to escape in less than an hour! The Athens Clue is also available in English.

The best things to do in Athens with the family

To help you plan your family trip to Athens, click here a list of the best places in Athens to visit with your kids!

  • Visits the planetarium of Eugenidesto discover the universe with your family.
  • Visits The Hellenic Cosmos for a 3D virtual visit to ancient Greece.
  • Take a walk in the National park and let your kids enjoy the playgrounds!
  • Visit that Greek Children's Museumwhere kids can play merchant or construction games. It's a miniature world where everything is adapted to child size!
  • Spend a day in Allou Fun Park & ​​Kidom, Greece's largest amusement park!
  • Enjoy the Attica Zoological Park, one of the classics of a family stay in Athens.You can buy your tickets here.

Visit Athens on foot

Now I'll give you a one day itinerary to visit Athens on foot. It will allow you to discover most of the city's highlights.

And if you have to spend more than one day in Athens, you can always split up this walk: you just have to take mine travel plans readto visit Athens in 1, 2 or 3 days, a little further down in this guide.

Let's start this walking tour of Athens on Syntagma Square. There you can find the typical uniforms of the Presidential Guard during the Changing of the guard observe. Then drive through the national park and the Zappeion Park, to the Panathenaic Stadium to get.

Then drive through the Leoforos Vasilissis Olgas street, along the Zappeion to Hadrien's Gate to reach. In the same place is the colossal temple of Zeuswhere there are only 15 pillars left.

Keep driving over the Dionysiou Areopagitou street, to the To reach the entrance of the Acropolis. You just have to decide whether to visit it or just admire it from the outside.

Then go to Thrasillou Street and Stratanos streetto get into the Anaflotika district to get. Enjoy a wonderful there Panorama of Athens and the Acropolis.

Wander through the pretty streets of the Plaka and Monastiraki districts. Here you see the Roman agora, the old agora, the Hadrien Library and the Monastiraki Square.

These neighborhoods are the best around go shopping in small shops. When you're done, you can go to the Ermou street drive to in Athens' main shopping street further to buy!

At the end of your day, how about a trip to the Mount Lycabettus or Philopappos Hill, around to admire the sunset over the Acropolis?

How many days does it take to visit Athens?

In contrast to other capitals like Rome or London are the best places to visit in Athens, on a fairly small area concentrated, so that the visit is very pleasant on foot!

You can Visit most of the city's attractions in 1 or 2 days, even if you take the time to visit the museums and major archaeological sites.

If you Staying 3 days or more in Athens, you can even take a tour to see the area.

If you want to visit Athens, you should definitely do this Athens City Pass to buy. It's a great way to save time and money!

It includes the Shuttle bus transfer from the airport to your hotel Skip-the-line ticket to the Acropolis Museum, a ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus and 20% sale on many activities, such as the tours to Delphi or Cape Sounion. You can buy it right here.

1 day in Athens

You just have a day timeto visit Athens