Athens Travel Guide

“Unraveling the Heart of Ancient Greece”

Discover the wonders of Athens, with this ultimate travel guide! Delve into the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine for an unforgettable experience.


Ah, Athens! The birthplace of democracy, the heart of Ancient Greece, and the cradle of Western civilization. If you’re itching for an adventure steeped in history and culture, look no further! This Athens Travel Guide will serve as your trusty companion as you explore the city’s timeless beauty and unravel its countless secrets.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the best places to visit, scrumptious food to savor, and unique activities you shouldn’t miss out on. So buckle up, fellow traveler, and let’s embark on a journey to the soul of Ancient Greece!

Unearthing Athens’ Historical Gems

The Acropolis: A Trip Back in Time

You can’t say you’ve experienced the Athens Travel Guide without visiting the iconic Acropolis. This ancient citadel sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city and houses of the famous Parthenon – a temple dedicated to Athena, the city’s patron goddess. Marvel at the breathtaking architecture as you step back in time and bask in the glory of a bygone era.

Ancient Agora: The Heart of Public Life

Right at the foot of the Acropolis lies the Ancient Agora, the social, political, and commercial center of classical Athens. Wander through the ruins, and you’ll feel the echoes of philosophical debates and marketplace banter from centuries past.

Temple of Olympian Zeus: A Monument to the Gods

The colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus, once the largest temple in Greece, is an awe-inspiring testament to the devotion of the ancient Greeks to their gods. Stand beneath the towering Corinthian columns and soak in the magnificence of this ancient marvel.

Athens’ Cultural Treasures

National Archaeological Museum: Unraveling History

If you’re a history buff, the National Archaeological Museum should be at the top of your Athens Travel Guide itinerary. Home to a staggering collection of artifacts spanning from prehistory to late antiquity, this museum will keep you enthralled for hours.

The Plaka: A Stroll Through Time

Get lost in the winding streets of the Plaka, Athens’ oldest neighborhood. Nestled in the shadow of the Acropolis, this charming district is brimming with colorful houses, vibrant street art, and inviting tavernas. It’s a fantastic spot to unwind and soak up the city’s atmosphere.

Culinary Delights: Savoring the Flavors of Greece

Satisfying Your Hunger: Must-Try Dishes

Athens is a food lover’s paradise. Here are some delectable dishes you absolutely have to try:

  • Souvlaki: Skewered and grilled meat, often served with pita, tzatziki, and salad
  • Moussaka: A savory layered dish with eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel sauce
  • Spanakopita: Flaky, golden phyllo pastry filled with spinach and feta cheese

Raise Your Glass: Traditional Greek Drinks

Wash down those scrumptious bites with some traditional Greek drinks:

  • Ouzo: A potent anise-flavored spirit, often served as an aperitif
  • Retsina: A unique white or rosé wine with a distinct pine flavor
  • Greek Coffee: Strong, rich coffee served with a thick layer of foam on top

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best time to visit Athens?

The ideal time to visit Athens is during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). The weather is pleasant, tourist crowds are thinner, and accommodation prices are more affordable.
Do I need a visa to travel to Athens?

Visa requirements depend on your nationality. Citizens of the EU, the US, Canada, Australia, and many other countries can visit Greece for up to 90 days without a visa. Be sure to check the requirements for your specific country before you plan your trip.
What’s the currency in Athens, and can I use credit cards?

Greece uses the Euro (€) as its currency. Most hotels, restaurants, and shops in Athens accept credit cards. However, it’s wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments or street vendors.

How can I get around Athens?

Athens boasts an efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the metro. Taxis and rideshare apps are also available, but they can be more expensive. For a true Athenian experience, consider exploring the city on foot or by renting a bicycle.

The Odeon of Herodus Atticus Ancient Theatre in Athens Travel Guide

The Odeon of Herodus Atticus in Athens

Athens Accommodation options

Dreamy Dwellings

Athens, the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of Western civilisation, offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s taste and budget. From luxurious hotels to cozy holiday rentals, you’re sure to find the perfect base for exploring the city’s rich history and vibrant culture.

As you plan your stay, consider the diverse neighbourhoods that make up the city’s unique charm, such as the picturesque Plaka, the lively Psiri and the upscale Kolonaki. Each area provides its own distinct atmosphere and attractions, ensuring a memorable experience no matter where you choose to lay your head.

Luxury Lodgings: Indulge in the Finer Things

  • Hotel Grande Bretagne (Syntagma Square): Overlooking the historic Syntagma Square, this iconic 5-star hotel offers opulent rooms, a luxurious spa, and a rooftop restaurant with stunning views of the Acropolis.
  • Athenaeum Intercontinental (Syngrou Avenue): This 5-star hotel offers upscale accommodations, a rooftop restaurant with panoramic city views, and a luxurious spa, providing a refined experience for guests seeking a touch of elegance in Athens.

Mid-Range Retreats: Comfort and Convenience

  • Coco-mat Athens BC (Koukaki): Just a stone’s throw away from the Acropolis, this eco-friendly boutique hotel offers comfortable, minimalist rooms and a delightful rooftop garden for a relaxing stay.
  • The Foundry Suites (Psyrri): Located in the lively Psyrri neighborhood, this stylish urban hotel combines industrial design with modern amenities for a unique and memorable experience.

Budget Bliss: Affordable Athens Escapes

  • Athens Studios (Plaka): Situated in the picturesque Plaka district, these well-equipped studios provide a convenient and affordable base for exploring Athens’ historic sites and lively neighborhoods.
  • City Circus Athens (Psyrri): This quirky and budget-friendly hostel offers a range of private rooms and dormitories, all adorned with vibrant artwork and vintage furnishings, making it a great choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Holiday Rentals: Home Away from Home

  • Acropolis View Dream Apartments (Thissio): Enjoy stunning views of the Acropolis from the comfort of these modern, self-catered apartments, which offer all the amenities you need for a comfortable and independent stay in Athens.
  • Urban Stripes Athens (Koukaki): These contemporary and tastefully designed apartments are located in the trendy Koukaki neighborhood, providing a chic and comfortable home away from home with fully-equipped kitchens and stylish living spaces.

As you plan your trip to Athens, consider these diverse accommodation options to find the perfect home base for immersing yourself in the city’s fascinating history, vibrant culture, and lively neighborhoods.

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Things to do in Athens

Steeped in history and brimming with culture, Athens offers a wealth of experiences for travellers seeking to immerse themselves in the city’s ancient heritage, vibrant neighbourhoods, and contemporary lifestyle.

From exploring iconic archaeological sites, such as the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, to strolling through the National Gardens and climbing Lycabettus Hill for panoramic views of the city, Athens promises a diverse range of activities that cater to every interest and taste.

Catch a performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, mingle with locals in the bustling Monastiraki Square, or simply unwind at a traditional Greek kafeneio while sipping on a frappe. Enhance your Athenian adventure with these exciting tours and activities available through

Time Travel: Explore Athens’ Rich History

Cultural Immersion: Museums and Galleries

  • Skip-the-Line Multipass to Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites: Skip-the-line entry to the most famous archaeological sites of Athens, all on one digital pass. Use this unique combined ticket to gain access to any and all of the 7 included attractions
  • Athens Street Art Tour: Experience the very best Athens has to offer in street art by joining this urban and adventurous tour, which will take you on an urban safari, exploring the districts that have made Athens a world class city for art and design.

Savor the Flavors: Athens Culinary Scene

  • Athens Food Tour: Embark on a culinary adventure through Athens’ vibrant food scene, tasting local delicacies and learning about Greek cuisine at the bustling Varvakios Agora, traditional tavernas, and specialty food shops.
  • Wine tasting of rare greek wines under the Acropolis by Sommelier: Join one of the nation’s top sommeliers in a spectacular location just below the Acropolis hill with spectacular Parthenon views to discover the art of Greek wine. You’ll focus on rare wines and grapes from local wineries.

Urban Exploration: Discover Athens’ Vibrant Neighborhoods

  • Athens at Night Small-Group Walking Tour with Dinner: Discover the most ancient and atmospheric quarters of Athens. Feel the weight of history while passing the Greek and Roman Forums, and admire views of the illuminated Acropolis as the city’s nocturnal energy comes alive in pubs and cafes.
  • Athens Scenic Electric Bike Tour: Pedal your way through Athens on a scenic bike tour, discovering the city’s diverse neighborhoods, hidden gems, and iconic landmarks while enjoying the fresh air and a leisurely pace.

From delving into ancient history to savoring traditional Greek cuisine and discovering the city’s diverse neighborhoods, Athens offers an unforgettable adventure for every traveler. Enhance your experience with these

Top Tours and Activities in Athens via Viator:

Shopping in Athens

Athens, Greece’s bustling capital, is a treasure trove for shoppers seeking everything from ancient artifacts to cutting-edge fashion. The city’s vibrant shopping scene encompasses charming markets, trendy boutiques, and upscale shopping districts. So, let’s dive into the Athenian retail experience and discover where to find the best shopping spots.

Plaka & Monastiraki: A Shopaholic’s Dream

Wander the enchanting cobblestone streets of Plaka and Monastiraki, where you’ll discover a delightful mix of souvenir stores, artisan workshops, and chic boutiques. The Monastiraki Flea Market is a must-visit for bargain hunters, offering antiques, vintage treasures, and quirky trinkets.

Ermou Street: A Shopper’s Paradise

As Athens’ primary shopping avenue, Ermou Street is lined with an array of popular international and local brands. Nestled in the city center, this bustling pedestrian zone is perfect for indulging in some retail therapy. Don’t forget to pop into Attica, an upscale department store boasting luxury brands, cosmetics, and accessories.

Kolonaki: Luxury Shopping Galore

For high-end retail experiences, head to the sophisticated neighborhood of Kolonaki. This swanky district is home to designer boutiques, art galleries, and fashionable concept stores. Swing by I-D Concept Store for avant-garde fashion and design, or browse through the exquisite Greek jewelry collection at Lalaounis.

Central Market: A Taste of Local Life

Experience authentic Athenian shopping at the lively Central Market (Varvakios Agora). Here, you can purchase fresh produce, meats, fish, and spices, as well as savor mouthwatering Greek street food.

From unique souvenirs and designer duds to local treasures, Athens has something for every shopper. So, get ready to embark on your retail odyssey in this captivating city!

Prada Shop in Athens Travel Guide

Prada Shop in Athens

Where to eat in Athens

Athens’ culinary scene is a harmonious blend of Mediterranean flavours, fresh ingredients, and age-old recipes, offering a gastronomic adventure to delight your taste buds. Great areas for food include the vibrant Psiri neighborhood, the historic Plaka district, and the bustling Monastiraki area.

From upscale dining establishments to cozy local eateries, here’s a selection of popular restaurants to satiate your cravings while exploring this mesmerizing city:

Fine Dining: Indulge in Gourmet Delights

  • Spondi Restaurant: Set in a neoclassical building, Spondi boasts a lush garden and a romantic ambiance. With a menu featuring contemporary Mediterranean cuisine and an extensive wine list, this two-Michelin-starred restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience.
  • Hytra Restaurant: Perched atop the Onassis Cultural Centre, Hytra is renowned for its innovative take on Greek cuisine and stunning panoramic views of Athens. Savor expertly crafted dishes and creative cocktails for a perfect evening of gastronomic indulgence.

Authentic Flavors: Experience Athens’ Culinary Heritage

  • Katsourbos Restaurant: This local favorite offers a delightful immersion into Cretan cuisine. With dishes like dakos and apaki, Katsourbos showcases the rich flavors of the region in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani: This cozy eatery serves mouthwatering Greek-Middle Eastern fusion dishes, like pastourma and soutzoukakia. The friendly staff and inviting ambiance make it an ideal spot to unwind after a day of exploration.

Street Food Gems: Savor Athens’ Casual Eats

  • Kosta’s Souvlaki: This popular souvlaki joint offers a taste of authentic Greek street food. Don’t miss their juicy pork souvlaki, served with a generous dollop of tzatziki, for a mouthwatering meal on-the-go.
  • Lukumades: Indulge your sweet tooth at Lukumades, which serves up delectable Greek doughnuts. Topped with honey, chocolate, or ice cream, these bite-sized treats are the perfect way to end a day of Athenian adventures.

No matter your culinary preferences, you’ll find a plethora of enticing options to tempt your palate in Athens. Embark on a gastronomic journey through the Cradle of Western Civilization and discover the rich flavors and culinary traditions that make this city’s food scene unforgettable.

Nightlife in Athens

When the sun goes down, Athens’ dynamic nightlife scene comes alive, offering an eclectic mix of clubs, bars, and entertainment venues to suit every taste. From laid-back lounges, pulsating dance clubs, to vibrant bouzouki clubs here’s a selection of popular spots to enjoy a night out in Athens:

Chill Vibes: Relax and Sip in Style

  • Couleur Locale: Hidden away in Monastiraki, this rooftop bar boasts breathtaking views of the Acropolis. Sip a refreshing cocktail as you watch the sunset over the ancient monument with the cityscape below.
  • Brettos Bar: Situated in the heart of Plaka, this cozy bar offers a vast selection of local and international spirits, liqueurs, and wines, surrounded by vibrant, colorful bottles lining the walls.

Dance the Night Away: Clubs to Keep You Moving

  • Bios: Housed within an industrial building, this unique club is the epicenter of Athens’ nightlife scene. With top-notch DJs, live performances, and art exhibitions, there’s always something exciting happening within its contemporary walls.
  • Bolivar Beach Bar: Combine your love of the beach with a night out at this lively beach club. Dance the night away to the beats of resident DJs, or simply relax on the terrace with a refreshing cocktail in hand.

Whether you’re looking to unwind with a glass of wine or dance until the wee hours, Athens’ nightlife offers something for everyone. So slip into your dancing shoes, grab your friends, and discover the magic that awaits you in the Cradle of Western Civilization after dark.

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