Athens, the capital of Greece, is a city rich in history and culture. With limited time to explore during my work trip, I made sure to visit some of the top attractions. Here are 13 activities that I highly recommend for any tourist visiting Athens:
- Visit the Acropolis: This is by far the top thing to do in Athens. You will get to see ancient architecture and learn more about the history and the ancient Greeks. It’s a must-do.
2. Visit the Acropolis Museum: If you’re short on time, the Acropolis Museum is a great alternative to the Archaeological Museum. It’s located near the Acropolis and has a vast collection of ancient artifacts.
3. Visit Hadrian’s Arch: After visiting the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, take a stroll to see Hadrian’s Arch, a historic monument built in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
4. Check out the Temple of Zeus: This ancient temple is located in the heart of Athens and is dedicated to the god Zeus. While I only saw it from the entryway due to limited time, it’s definitely worth a visit.
5. Go shopping: The Plaka, Monastiraki Square, Aiolou, and St. Markou Street are great places to shop for souvenirs and local products. If you’re interested in more shopping options, check out this link for a detailed list of places to go shopping in Athens.
6. Explore Plaka and Monastiraki: These neighborhoods are known for their narrow streets, historic buildings, and lively atmosphere. Take a stroll through these areas to get a taste of local life.
7. Watch the changing of the Guard: This is a free and interesting event that takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, next to the Greek Parliament. Don’t miss the chance to witness this ceremony.
8. Go to a rooftop bar: If you have the cash to splurge, rooftop bars in Athens offer a breathtaking view of the illuminated Acropolis at night. The Electra Place Hotel is one great option.
9. Go clubbing and bar hopping: Athens has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many aesthetically gorgeous bars and clubs worth visiting. My personal favorites include Juan Rodriguez, The Clumsies, and S.i.x dogs.
10. Eat traditional food: Taverna Sitia is a great place to try traditional Greek food like souvlaki and Ekmek kataifi. Don’t forget to sample some house wine as well!
11. Walk around to spot street art: Athens is home to many beautiful street art murals. Take a street art walking tour or just walk around to discover them on your own.
12. Visit a Greek Orthodox Church: If you love architecture, check out The Church of Kapnikarea in the middle of the Ermou shopping section.
13. Try Ozou it’s a Greek drink infused with aniseed and if you don’t like the taste of licorice you won’t like it. I found it very strong and had it as shots a few times only finding out later it’s supposed to be mixed with water and sipped slowly with a meal.
14. Listen to live music this is something I always enjoy.
More places to visit
Read more about it here: https://www.athensguide.com/kaisariani-monastery/index.htm This monastery was a temple dedicated to Aphrodite and later became a church dedicated to Mary. I saw glimpses of the monastery from my shuttle window on my way to the hotel.
The Archeology Museum
It takes roughly 4 hours to explore it so I had to skip this one for now.
The National Gardens
Read more here: https://athens-tourist-information.com/things-to-do/parks/national-garden
Ancient Agora of Athens
You can climb up Mount Lycabettus for free or use the cable care find out more about it here: https://www.lycabettushill.com/
Museum of Cycladic Art
“The Nicholas P. Goulandris Foundation – Museum of Cycladic Art is a museum of Athens. It houses a notable collection of artifacts of Cycladic art. The museum was founded in 1986 in order to house the collection of Cycladic and Ancient Greek art belonging to Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris” Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goulandris_Museum_of_Cycladic_Art
This outdoor cinema has a view of the Acropolis and is only open during summer. It’s high up on my list to go to when I go back to Athens. It’s closed for now until the 2024 season.
Address: Kidathineon 22, Athina 105 58, Greece
Overall, Athens is a beautiful and historic city that’s definitely worth a visit. With these 14 activities, you’re sure to have a memorable trip.