Updated: October 14, 2017
The Best Tours in Athens
- The Original Athens Food Tour – Fun tour of the best food and restaurants in central Athens. Also, a stop at the Central Market – a highlight of modern Athens. Get a good overview of the city’s culture (and a bit of history) while eating some great food with a friendly guide.
- Athens, the Acropolis, & Acropolis Museum 5-Hour Tour – Guided tour of Historical Athens including the Acropolis, Parthenon, Erection, Propylaia, Nike Temple, Dionysus Sanctuary, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and Ancient Agora. If you only have time for one Athens tour make it this one.
- Acropolis Skip-The-Line Walking Tour – A short 1.5 hour tour of just the Acropolis. I think most people will appreciate the longer tour (above) but if you’re interested in only the Parthenon and the Acropolis then this one is for you.
- 3-Hour Cooking Lesson & Dinner – Great introduction to Greek food and how to make it. Cook 7 or 8 dishes (depending on the menu), eat what you make, and go home with a recipe book. Very family-friendly.
- Delphi Day Trip from Athens – Hotel pickup and transportation to one of the top historical sites in Greece. Tour guide and lunch included.
- 3-Island Day Trip to Aegina, Poros, & Hydra – This is a great tour of 3 wonderful islands a short boat ride from Athens. Hotel pickup included. Highly recommended!
The Best Things To Do in Athens
If you only have time to do one thing in Athens then see the Acropolis (the hill) and the Parthenon (the largest building on the Acropolis). In summer it has long opening hours (8am to 8pm) making it easy to visit on a tight schedule. Having a guide makes the experience much more rewarding. You can hire a guide at the entrance/ticket booth for a pretty reasonable fee (assuming one is available – they’re often fully booked).
This relatively new museum is a highlight of a visit to Athens. It’s a short walk from the Acropolis (head south down the hill towards the Odeon of Herodes Atticus) so the 2 sites are easy to visit together and complement each other well. If you 5 hours or less in Athens then visit the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum.
3. The National Archaeological Museum
The single best museum in Greece and loaded with archaeological treasures. It’s one of the few top attractions that is not an easy walk from the Plaka/Acropolis area so you’ll need to take a taxi (5 minutes), metro (10 minutes, get out at Omonia station), or walk (about 25 minutes from the Plaka or Syntagma Square). If you have only one day in Athens you might be forced to miss this. If you have 2 days or more then make an effort to get here.
4. Plaka and Monastiraki
A fun lively atmosphere that is filled with historical sites like the Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Temple of Hephaestus, and Stoa of Attalos. A great area to wander, shop, eat, and sightsee.
5. Temple of Olympian Zeus
The famous Arch of Hadrian is on the same site (as the Temple of Olympian Zeus) and they’re both only a 5 minute walk from the Acropolis Museum making them an easy stop in the central area.
6. Lycabettus Hill
This hill sits across Syntagma Square from the Acropolis Hill and provides great views of the Parthenon and central Athens. There’s a funicular (tram) to help you to the top or climb the whole way.
A wonderful lively slice of modern Athens. Meats, olives, feta, olive oil, fruits, vegetables – you name it, it’s here.
8. The National Gardens
A short walk from Syntagma Square and the Greek Parliament buildings this is relaxing break from the chaos of busy Athens.
9. Cape Sounio
An 80 minute drive southeast of Athens but only worth the trip if you have 3 days or more in the capital (any less and your time is better spent in central Athens).
10. Outdoor Cinema
Watch a movie in the Plaka under the lights of the Acropolis at Cine Paris. Films are typically American (in english) with Greek subtitles. Beer, wine, and light snacks are available. This is a highlight of summer in Greece.
11. Gyros and Souvlaki
Athens is loaded with great food and restaurants but nothing beats an authentic gyro from a local shop. There’s a strip of good gyro places very close to Monastiraki station, but if you have time Kavouras in the Exarcheia neighborhood (and not far from the The National Archaeological Museum) is worth seeking out.
12. Best Restaurants in Athens
The best restaurant in the Plaka area is Psaras Taverna. Magical setting and great traditional Greek food.
13. Best Bar in Athens
Lively and fun Brettos Bar is my favorite place to get a drink in the Plaka. It’s often packed but staff are friendly and helpful even when busy.
14. Best Rooftop Bar in Athens
Great food, cocktails, and wine at the rooftop bar and restaurant of the historic Grande Bretagne hotel. Idyllic!
15. Best Gelato in Athens
Coco’s in the Plaka has the best gelato in Athens. It’s worth seeking this place out.