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Things to do in Athens

Things to do in  Athens

Welcome to Athens

Athens is a historic wonderland that welcomes millions of visitors each year. The Acropolis, with its hilltop ruins and the Parthenon, is indisputably Athens’ top draw. The city's also the gateway to the island of Hydra and ancient Delphi. But don't be deceived by the Greek capital's antique status as the cradle of Western Civilization—it also boasts some of Europe’s best cuisine and nightlife.

Top 10 attractions in Athens

#1
Acropolis

Acropolis

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An archaeological wonder, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the world's most instantly recognizable landmarks, the Acropolis is the star attraction of ancient Athens. Dramatically perched on a jagged clifftop—the so-called sacred rock of Athens—the ruins overlook the modern city and date back to as early as 510 BC.More
#2
Delphi

Delphi

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Delphi, with its remarkably preserved ruins dotted along the southern slopes of Mount Parnassus, is one of Greece’s most famous archaeological site. Dating back to the seventh century BC, the ancient city of Delphi is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to sites such as the Sacred Way, Stoa of the Athenians, polygonal wall, monument of Platea, and Temple of Apollo.More
#3
Acropolis Museum (Museo Akropoleos)

Acropolis Museum (Museo Akropoleos)

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An Athenian landmark and feat of contemporary architecture, the Acropolis Museum sits at the base of the Acropolis, with the ruins of an ancient settlement visible through its floor. The collection runs from pre-classical times to the Roman era, but fifth-century BC treasures are the focus, especially the Parthenon Frieze sculptures.More
#4
Temple of Olympian Zeus (Naós tou Olympíou Diós)

Temple of Olympian Zeus (Naós tou Olympíou Diós)

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Athenian rulers began construction of the Temple of Olympian Zeus (Naós tou Olympíou Diós) in the sixth century BC. By the time Roman Emperor Hadrian completed it 600 years later, it was the largest temple in Greece, and its statue of Zeus—king of the gods of Mt. Olympus—was one of the largest in the world. The temple began to fall into ruin shortly after it was finished; today only 15 of its original 104 columns still stand and much of its marble has been recycled or stolen for other temples. Nonetheless, what remains is a truly impressive sight to see.More
#5
Olympic Stadium (OAKA)

Olympic Stadium (OAKA)

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Originally built in the 1980s for the European Athletics Championships, the Olympic Stadium (officially the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens “Spiros Louis” or OAKA) was remodeled by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava for the 2004 Olympics. The largest stadium in Greece, with 70,000 seats, the Olympic Stadium hosts events and concerts by major international acts such as U2 and Lady Gaga.More
#6
Agora of Athens

Agora of Athens

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The Agora was the political and social heart of the ancient city of Athens, and the ruins of this civic center and marketplace are among the most important archaeological sites in today’s capital. Explore this cradle of Greek democracy, including the Temple of Hephaestus and Stoa of Attalos.More
#7
Parthenon

Parthenon

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The star of Athens postcards and arguably the most impressive of all the city’s ancient ruins, the Parthenon stands proud atop the sacred rock of Acropolis, high above the modern city.Built between 447 and 432 BC, the temple was dedicated to Greek goddess Athena and originally housed her cult image, a giant ivory and gold-plated statue by Fidias. The restored temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a striking reminder of the glory of Ancient Greece with its grand marble façade, classic Doric columns, and elaborate sculptural friezes. The site also serves as a fascinating chronicle of Athens’ history.More
#8
Plaka

Plaka

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Built around the ruins of the ancient agora, Plaka is among the oldest residential areas in Athens and was considered the Turkish quarter during Ottoman rule. Much of it burned down during a fire in 1884, exposing many ancient sites below the neighborhood, and archaeological research has been carried out in the area ever since.More
#9
Meteora

Meteora

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The towering vertical cliffs of Meteora have provided a protected place to pursue spiritual contemplation for centuries. The first hermit monks lived up in caves, but eventually 24 Byzantine monasteries were built (six function today) atop the imposing rock. Part natural wonder, part manmade marvel, the dramatic site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular attraction in Greece.More
#10
Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)

Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)

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The lovely Neoclassical Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)was built in the mid 19th century during the post-independence re-flowering of Greek culture and is home to the national institutes for sciences, philosophy, fine arts and humanities, following in a tradition first established by Plato in around 387 BC. It is part of a triumvirate of neighboring buildings known as the ‘Neoclassical Trilogy’ designed by Danish architects Theophil and Christian Hansen and encompassing the National Library and the University of Athens. With a marble façade, the main entrance is through an ornamental colonnaded portico topped with sculptures on the carved pediment representing the birth of Athena and flanked by statues of Athena and Apollo standing on slender columns – all are the work of sculptor Leonidas Drossis in the 1870s and are guarded by two philosophical-looking sculptures of Plato and Socrates.The Academy’s imposing marble assembly hall is decorated with murals of the Prometheus legend, painted by German artist Christian Griepenkerl. Alongside its 23 research departments, it also houses the Ioannis Sykoutris Library, where rare editions and manuscripts are preserved. Members of the Academy are elected for life and part of its work is to award intellectual works as well as publishing books and journals. It is not open to the public.More

Trip ideas

Top Parks and Gardens in Athens

Top Parks and Gardens in Athens

How to Spend 3 Days in Athens

How to Spend 3 Days in Athens

Must-See Museums in Athens

Must-See Museums in Athens

Top activities in Athens

Delphi Day Trip from Athens

Delphi Day Trip from Athens

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$89.36
Athens Full Day Private Tour

Athens Full Day Private Tour

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$113.19
All Day Cruise -3 Islands to Agistri,Moni, Aegina with lunch and drinks included

Special Offer

Luxury Catamaran Cruise from Athens with Traditional Greek Meal and BBQ
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Meteora Day Trip by Train from Athens
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Dinner in the Sky Athens

Dinner in the Sky Athens

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Recent reviews from experiences in Athens

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Great tour!
Karen_T, Jul 2021
Athens Electric Bike Tour
This was a great way to see the highlights of Athens.
star-5
Must do!
Kimberly_P, Jul 2021
Small-Group Evening Food Walk
I definitely recommend doing this if your in Athens and want to see the best hidden gems!
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A perfect afternoon!
Kandel_B, Jul 2021
Best of Athens City Segway Tour
What would have taken more than two days in the Athens summer heat was accomplished in three hours.
star-5
Great hassle-free way to see Athens
Kaia_O, Jul 2021
Full Day Private Tour: Essential Athens Highlights plus Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon
This was such a great way to see Athens when you only have a day or so in the city.
star-5
Inctedible Tour
Anthony, Jul 2021
Athens Electric Bike Tour
She took us to see the most memorable sites around Athens.
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A memorable Greek experience
Giles_H, Jul 2021
Greek Cooking Class in Athens Including Rooftop Dinner with Acropolis View
The hotel roof venue was a sight to see and the staff went out of their way to accomodate us!
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A great way to see Athens
NatalieP, Jul 2021
Electric Bike Tour of Athens by Night
This was my last night in Greece and I decided it would be nice to see the sights in lights and it did not disappoint.
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Very fun
James, Jul 2021
Athens Scenic Bike Tour
A great way to see old town Athens.
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Best way to start your trip to Athens
Brandon, Jun 2021
Full Day Private Tour: Essential Athens Highlights plus Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon
Great tour and super way to see the top highlights of Athens all while learning a TON!
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Wonderful Tour
Kate_P, Jun 2021
Athens Full Day Private Tour
Got to see all the best parts of Athens, I highly recommend.
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Beautiful escape from the city
Allison, Jun 2021
Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon Half-Day Small-Group Tour from Athens
It is so nice to see the beautiful blue sea and surrounding islands near Athens.
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A day with George in Peloponnese
Mircea_T, Jun 2021
Ancient Corinth, Epidaurus, Nafplio private day trip (Sedan, 1-4 passengers)
Our guide, George , was very kind, full of knowledge about the history of Greece, spoke English very well.
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Don’t miss this! It was a highlight!
Anna_L, Jun 2021
Athens Scenic Bike Tour
The tour was an incredibly fun way to see many sights in Athens including some we would never have found on our own.
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Great experience!
Sutton, Jun 2021
Athens Highlights: a Mythological Tour
Tour included most everything we wanted to see in Athens.
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Great tour
Seth_M, May 2021
Athens Greece Full Day private tour
We had limited time to spend and to see things and he made sure we saw all of the best points
star-5
Great Time!
David_E, May 2021
Athens Full Day Private Tour
Best way to see Athens in one day.
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See and Taste Athenian Food Off the Beaten Path
James, May 2021
Small-Group Greek Traditional Food Tour around Athens with Tastings
A wonderful experience to see Athens through the culinary scene.
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Great island cruise
Lisa_M, Jul 2021
All Day Cruise -3 Islands to Agistri,Moni, Aegina with lunch and drinks included
What I loved the most was the punctuality - there was no hanging around waiting for people which often puts me off "group" activities.
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A must-tour to book while in Greece
Maria, Jul 2021
2-Day Delphi and Meteora Tour from Athens
I was in Athens and in Mykonos for 2 weeks this summer; and this trip has been the most interesting and the best value for money of all the tours/ activities I booked through Viator.
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Highly recommended!
Aries_G, Jul 2021
Athens Airport - Half Day Tour in Athens - Athens Airport
Before heading out, he asked if we had particular preferences on sites we wanted to see and what route we wanted to take (highway vs scenic) going to the city proper.

A local’s pocket guide to Athens

Maria-Venetia Kyritsi

Maria-Venetia divides her time between the UK and Greece. Her ultimate dream is to own an eco- and pet-friendly small boutique hotel in Milos, the island she comes from.

The first thing you should do in Athens is...

download the Beat taxi app. Taxis are pretty cheap and a great way to discover less touristy areas such as Chalandri, Kifissia, Mikrolimano, and Glyfada.

A perfect Saturday in Athens...

starts with brunch at the Underdog café and a stroll along Dionysiou Areopagitou to Monastiraki’s flea market. Grab lunch at Nolan and a real Greek coffee at Kapnikarea before heading to Psyrri for Athens' best nightlife.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Acropolis. That and the nearby museum are definitely unmissable.

To discover the "real" Athens...

visit Anafiotika, a place that time forgot. Not only does it look and feel like you’re on a Greek island, you’ll get amazing views of the Acropolis.

For the best view of the city...

take the cable car to the top of Lycabettus Hill before sunset for a fab view of all the ancient monuments lighting up.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking Athens is an ugly city, worth skipping over in favor of the islands. In fact, the capital has endless museums and archaeological sites, some of the best food in Greece, and unparalleled nightlife.

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