Taylor-Ancient-Athens

Top Things to do in Athens Greece that are Absolutely Unforgettable

A happy woman in Athens Greece

Athens Greece is a unique destination with a plethora of incredible things to do! Recognized as the oldest capital in Europe, Athens dates back to over 3,400 years ago and you can see that through the city’s popular landmarks.

Overall, a trip to Greece is not complete without visiting Athens. From the Parthenon to the original Olympic stadium, you will be transported back to ancient Greece while enjoying modern-day luxury hotels, bars and markets during a trip to Athens.

I had the opportunity to visit Greece in July 2016 with friends and cousins. Our Greece trip started in the capital city, where we enjoyed all the top things to do in Athens Greece. We then made our way to the magical islands of Santorini, Paros and Mykonos.

The Acropolis of Athens Greece

Greece was one of my favorite destinations, and this Athens Greece travel guide will have you planning your trip in no time. Whether you take a day trip to Athens or stay for a longer time, here are the things you need to know before you visit.

In this article, discover the top things to do in Athens Greece.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Everything to see and do in Athens, Greece

When to Travel to Athens Greece:

The beautiful views of Athens Greece

I traveled to Athens Greece at the beginning of July, which is considered to be the prime time for tourism.

Even though Greece makes for the perfect year round trip, the best time to visit Athens is during the shoulder seasons. The weather is a perfect temperature then. Plus, you won’t be stuck dealing with crazy crowds in extreme heat like I did.

If you can visit Athens during April and May or September and October, you’ll find less tourists and better temperatures to explore the best things to do in Athens.

I traveled to Greece by taking a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New Jersey to Athens International Airport. The best way to get around the Greek Islands are by taking ferries. If you are traveling from Athens to Santorini, I recommend taking a short flight, since it is one of the further islands from the mainland. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

Overall, it isn’t necessary to rent a car during a Greece trip, unless you are planning to road trip around the mainland and other Balkan countries.

Where to Stay in Athens Greece:

The rooftop pool at President Hotel in Athens

Athens is a beautiful metropolitan city with mountain views from every corner. When it comes to where to stay in Athens, there are plenty of options to choose from such as rental properties to high-end hotels.

Even though you could find a plethora of quaint Vrbos in Athens, I highly recommend staying at a hotel with a rooftop pool so that you can relax after a day of touring and enjoy some amazing views.

There are also a plethora of budget hostels to choose from as well if you are looking for budget places to stay in Athens!

The hotel I stayed at during my time in Athens was the President Hotel. It is the perfect mid-budget hotel for your trip to Athens!

Beautiful views of Athens from a hotel's rooftop

Here are other great hotels to stay at in Athens based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens

Boutique Accommodation: Academias Hotel

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Ava Hotel and Suites

Budget Accommodation: City Circus Athens

What to Eat in Athens:

Greek food is fresh, healthy and delicious! Throughout Athens, you’ll find amazing cafés, restaurants and bars to enjoy some traditional Greek food.

Below are my recommendations on some of the best places to eat in Athens where you can savor gyros (traditional Greek sandwiches), souvlaki (skewers), moussaka (Greek version of lasagna), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach pie with feta cheese) and so much more!

There are also several great restaurants in Athens’ Pláka, which is the beautiful downtown area.

A delicious chicken gyro from Athens Greece

A for Athens Café and Cocktail Bar: Located in downtown Athens’ main square called Monastiraki, A for Athens is the perfect place to hang out with friends and savor a fresh souvlaki platter filled with pieces of meat such as chicken, lamb and beef with warm pita bread and the best olive oil.

It is also a wonderful place to grab a drink and enjoy the stunning views of the famous Greek Acropolis, Pláka neighborhood and Monastiraki Square. Don’t miss out on the Monastiraki flea market while you are there.

In addition to being a café and cocktail bar, A for Athens is also a hotel and apartment complex!

Kitro – Café Restaurant and Bar: Situated in the Pláka is an authentic Greek restaurant called Kitro.

This is where I had some of the best wine in Athens and also enjoyed some delicious stuffed peppers and grape leaves. I absolutely loved the ambiance at this restaurant and the owners made us feel welcomed.

The Plàka: Throughout the Pláka are several restaurants, cafés, bakeries and stands where you could grab gyros and baklava. These two foodie items are my absolute FAVORITE!

During my time in Athens, I had to eat a delicious chicken gyro with Greece’s famous tzatziki sauce that is made with Greek yogurt and mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil and other freshly grown herbs. It is delicious, and you cannot go wrong with a gyro for lunch.

A delicious Greek dessert of baklava

In addition to gyros, the baklava was out of this world! Even though baklava originated in Turkey, it is a major staple in Greek cuisine. It consists of layers of filo dough, chopped nuts as well as sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves.

Top Things to Do in Athens Greece

Athens Greece offers many amazing things to do from taking a step back in history to enjoying some of the more modern parts of town. Don’t miss out on the best things to do in Athens Greece when you visit.

Stadium of Olympia

The Stadium of Olympia in Athens Greece

The Stadium of Olympia is also known as the original Olympic Stadium starting from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD, the Stadium of Olympia is a site you cannot miss.

In 2004, the Summer Olympic games were held in Athens after many years. It was awesome to actually be standing in the stadium where these games have been held for centuries.

The Panathenaic Stadium became the home of the first modern Olympic games in 1896, and it is still the only stadium made completely of marble.

The beautiful historical sites of ancient Greece in Athens

The Acropolis

Visiting the Acropolis is one of the best things to do in Athens Greece. No visit to Athens is complete without this stop, a top destination on everyone’s Athens bucket list.

After spending some time in Olympia, we headed to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon. The Acropolis is one historical site you cannot miss when visiting Athens!

Since Greece barely gets rain throughout the year, the atmosphere is very desert-like. Make sure that if you are visiting during the summer, like I did, that you wear light clothing and keep yourself hydrated, as it is very hot and dry at the top.

Luckily, the day we went, the weather was very windy, so we were comfortable and able to enjoy the archeological sites without suffering in the heat.

The beautiful ruins of Athens

When you walk up the steps, you enter the Propylaea, which is the entrance that was completed in 432 BC, just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian wars.

Don’t miss out on the view of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on your way up. This ancient Greek open-air theater is at the base of the Acropolis, but you can enjoy a view of it as you make your way to the top.

Once you enter, you can see the Pinacotheca (picture gallery) and a Hellenistic pedestal. On the right, is the tiny temple of Nike Athena, which commemorates the Athenians’ victory over the Persians.

The ruins of the Acropolis in Athens

The main archeological site to see while you are at the Acropolis is the famous Parthenon that was built by Pericles in the 5th century BC as a monument to recognize Athens’ political and cultural achievements.

Being in front of the Parthenon was surreal for me. It felt like my middle and high school history books came to life! If you are visiting the Acropolis with kids, discover what you cannot miss!

The Parthenon of Athens Greece

Another great site to see when visiting the Acropolis is the Erectheion. It sits on the most sacred site there – where Poseidon and Athena had their contest over who would be the Patron of the City.

It is also a MUST to go over by the Greek flag in the northeast corner of the Acropolis. This is where you can catch the best views of Athens and take great pictures.

Views of Athens Greece on a sunny day

Acropolis means the upper city. Many of the city-states from Ancient Greece were built around the Acropolis. It was a place where people were able to escape to in times of invasion.

The most sacred and important buildings were built usually on or around the Acropolis during ancient times. The Acropolis is a must see if you are looking for historical places to visit in Athens.

You can also visit the new Acropolis Museum to see what all has been found over the years on this famous landmark.

The shops of the Plaka on a summer day in Athens

The Ancient Agora and Temple of Hephaestus

When you finish up at the Acropolis, take time to walk through the ancient agora. Stop to visit the best preserved of the temples, the Temple of Hephaestus. You’ll be walking in the footsteps of Sophocles and Socrates when you take a stroll here.

Hephaestus was the God of fire and blacksmiths. His temple still stands tall among the ruble of other ancient buildings, making it worth a visit.

The restored Stoa of Attalos is also located here. While the original was destroyed back in AD 267, it was restored in the 1950s. Now it houses a museum and artifacts discovered there.

Walk Through the Pláka

Another one of the top things to do in Athens Greece is explore the hidden gems in the downtown area of the city.

The Pláka in Athens offers a wonderful European ambiance. The locals are very friendly and accommodating. All of the tiled buildings feature warm colors and beautiful flowers hanging from their stucco walls. The shops have items you cannot find anywhere else and the restaurants are authentic and comforting.

The shops and stores of Athens Greece

Some specialties that you could find in the Pláka are handcrafted jewelry with rich stones found in the surrounding Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. I bought a ring with an orange stone from the Mediterranean that I wear almost every day.

Another specialty in Greece is olive oil. Not only could you buy bottles of olive oil for cooking purposes; you could also purchase different soaps that make your skin nice and soft. I purchased a bar of soap that I used to take a bath with. It made my skin feel great!

Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian

Make time to visit the Olympieion. This is where you’ll find the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian among the modern buildings and busy streets of Athens.

These ruins are within walking distance of the Acropolis and Syntagma Square. Seeing the columns standing tall make it worth a trip.

A happy woman jumping and enjoying a sunset in Greece

Sunset at Mars Hill

Out of all of the places I have been to, Greece has the best sunsets! Not only did I experience some epic sunsets on the islands, but I also got to see a great one during my time in Athens.

Before dinner one night, we stopped at Areopagus, which is also known as Mars Hill. This area is famous for a few reasons: in the Bible, the Apostle Paul delivered his famous speech there about the identity of “the unknown God” (according to the Biblical account in Acts 17.)

During pre-classical times, it was the council of elders of the city and in classical times, it functioned as the chief homicide court of Athens.

According to Greek mythology, Ares (the god of war, known to the Romans as Mars) was tried here (by the gods) for the murder of Poseidon’s son.

The Areopagus is located across from the Acropolis. We climbed up the marble hill where we watched the sun setting over the gorgeous ancient city.

Please make note that when visiting Mars Hill to wear comfortable shoes. I was wearing flat sandals and had a tough time climbing up and down the hill. It is extremely slippery from so many people climbing it over the years.

When you are at the top, please watch your step, as it is easy to fall on the marble. Overall though, this is one of the most famous Biblical places in Athens, but it is also worth a visit just for the sunset views.

National Archeological Museum

The National Archeological Museum in Athens is the biggest archeological museum in Greece. If you need something to do on a rainy day in Athens or just want to escape the heat in mid-summer, you can escape to a history-lovers dream.

You can easily spend a full day wandering the museum and looking at the historical art and artifacts collected there.

Don’t miss out on seeing the Mask of Agamemnon, the bronze statue of Zeus (or Poseidon depending on which side of the debate you take), the marble statue of Poseidon (no debate on this one), the portrait head of Roman Emporer Hadrian, and the Horse and Jockey.

Enjoy the Nightlife

In addition to food, historical sites and culture of Athens, the city also offers a fun nightlife! Here are two of my favorite places to party in the ancient city:

360 Cocktail Bar: This fancy bar and restaurant offers a gorgeous rooftop view of Athens. You will seriously feel like you are on top of the world at this place!

To top it off, 360 Cocktail Bar provides some of the best drink options in the city. There is seriously no better way than to enjoy a delicious mojito with a view of the Acropolis lit up under the stars!

Athens Greece lit up at nighttime

Six d.o.g.s: Known as a trendy culture bar with live music, art exhibitions and a dreamy outdoor atmosphere, Six d.o.g.s is a wonderful place to enjoy during a night out in Athens.

At this bar, you could drink some amazing cocktails, wine and beer under a forest of stringed lights. It is absolutely adorable.

Looking for even more of the best things to do in Athens?

  • The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center – Take a tour, enjoy the park, or watch the Dancing Fountains at the Canal. The Greek National Opera is also located here.
  • Athens Central Market or The Dimotiki Agora – Located on Athinas Street, this spot is an easy walk from most of downtown Athens. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty as you walk around and enjoy the local food. The market is mostly closed down on Sundays.
  • Athens Food TourIf you are a foodie, consider taking an Athens food tour. This will let you really get a taste of the local food.
  • Syntagma Square – Located in the heart of Athens, Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is where you’ll also find the Hellenic Parliament Building including the Tome of the Unknown Soldier. The National Garden is also here if you want to enjoy a beautiful walk. There is also lots of shopping nearby and the famous Hotel Grand Bretagne, a favorite of celebrities.
  • Lycabettus Hill – The highest point in Athens offers a challenging climb, especially in the heat of summer. You can also take a funicular to the top for a spectacular sunset view. On the top of the hill is the church of Agios Georgios, a cafe that serves breakfast and lunch, and a restaurant called Orizontes that serves dinner (reservations required).

Now that You Know of the Best Things to do in Athens Greece:

A woman enjoying an evening in Athens Greece

Now that you have the best things to do in Athens Greece, don’t miss these other Greek tips:

The Complete Guide to Paros Greece

Santorini Bucket List Experiences

Best Things to Do in Mykonos for Party-Lovers

Click here to book a cooking class in Athens.

Planning an epic European vacation? Find more Europe travel tips here.

If you have any questions about my time in Athens or my trip to Greece in general, please feel free to email me [email protected]

Basic Facts of Greece:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Athens, Time Zone: Eastern European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Athens looks:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

Related posts

Top Europe Christmas Markets to Visit in 2022

One of my favorite annual traditions is to visit the top Europe Christmas markets every holiday season. From the end...
check out the post

Best Day Trips from Nice, France

The French Riviera, otherwise known at the Côte d’Azur, is located on the Mediterranean coast of France. It’s filled with...
check out the post

Best Places to go in September for Sun

September is one of my ultimate favorite months of the year. The weather is beautiful, summer is yet to be...
check out the post

38 Comments

  1. Katie on March 30, 2020 at 12:50 am

    Such a good post Taylor! Dreaming of being back here as we speak

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Thank you Katie and yes, Greece is such a beautiful country. 🙂

  2. Sarah Barthet on March 30, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Looking forward to the day that I get to explore Athens! I went to Santorini last year and loved it so much!

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      You would be very fascinated by Athens! The Acropolis is cool to see in person. 🙂

  3. World of Lina on March 30, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    I love Greece as a country so much and visited three islands already. Unfortunately I never made it to Athens tho. Really hoping to go there soon 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Yes, you totally should go at some point. I’m looking to go back to Greece and visit new islands too.

  4. Allison Eskinazi on March 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Definitely need to visit Greece. The history in Athens just looks so incredible!

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Yes, the historical sites in Athens are absolutely amazing! 🙂

  5. Emma on March 30, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    I cannot wait to get to Greece someday soon! I love how many historical sites there are in Athens, and its so beautiful!

    • Taylor Deer on March 31, 2020 at 9:58 am

      Yes, it’s such a beautiful country and the historical sites are so fascinating! 🙂

  6. Erin on April 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Lovely! Adding Greece to my list of places to go.

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you Erin and it is such a beautiful country! 🙂

  7. geriblogger on April 18, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    a beautiful place, maybe one day I can go there

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      It definitely was! You would love it Geri! 🙂

  8. Lekha Chellani on April 18, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Great blog! Made me fall in love with this historic city!

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you so much Lekha! 🙂

  9. sarah de gheselle on April 18, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Can’t believe I have never viste Greece. It looks like such an amazing destination. Thanks for sharing your tips. I will save them for when I travel to Greece in the future.

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      You totally have to go at some point! It is such a beautiful country! 🙂

  10. Farrah on April 18, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I was briefly in Greece a couple years back but would love to go back to explore some more!! *-*

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Yes, I am hoping to go back at some point too! 🙂

  11. Bettina on April 19, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Love this guide and your food pictures look amazing! I was supposed to be in Greece in a week but I guess I’ll be going later. Definitely saving this for the future!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you so much Bettina, this was actually before I got a real camera and started blogging. That is a bummer you had to postpone your Greece trip. You will love it when you eventually go 🙂

  12. Mayuri Patel on April 19, 2020 at 1:56 am

    Such good Post Taylor ! Your food pictures are amazing and I loved the Plaka neighbourhood. It looks like islands of Greece which is so colorful. adding Athens in my list now.

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you so much Mayuri and I loved the Plaka too. I hope to go back one day 🙂

  13. Jiayi Wang on April 19, 2020 at 8:07 am

    What a beautiful guide to Athens, Taylor!! Brings back great memories of this place and reminds me that I need to go back! 🙂 Thanks for all the useful tips, I’ve pinned this so that I can read it again before my return visit! 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you so much Jiayi! I would love to go back to Greece too. 🙂

  14. Susan on April 19, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Aw, you make me wanna go back to Athens!! I absolutely LOVED the food and was amazed by how walkable everything was. You listed a few things I didn’t get to on my trip, so have saved this for someday when I go back 🙂 Thanks!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you Susan! The food was really amazing and I need to get back to Greece too at some point. 🙂

  15. Destiny on April 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Literally less than ten minutes prior to me stumbling on this post I was telling my boyfriend as soon as we’re able to travel again, we need to visit Greece! So I’m totally considering this fate. Can’t wait to check out some of your recommendations and I’m especially excited for the sunsets!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Ah I’m happy to hear that Destiny! Greece really is a magical place. 🙂

  16. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam on April 19, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Ahhhh I want to go to Athens so badly! I hear amazing things about the city, and I want to explore all the ruins. Thanks so much for this thorough post on everything to do in Athens!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      It’s such a fascinating city with so much history! You would love it Catherine! 🙂

  17. Krystianna on April 19, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Excellent post! I studied abroad in Dublin last spring and sadly didn’t get to Greece, but it’s on my list. It looks epic!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      Thank you so much Krystianna! I also loved Dublin too. Well, next time you will need to check out Greece 🙂

  18. Bliss on April 19, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I would love to go back to Greece. Also the baklava made my mouth water!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Ah yes, the baklava was so amazing!

  19. Helga on April 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I’ve been thinking to visit Athens for many years, but for some reason, I always pushed it to the back and went to other places instead. Your pictures and words really made me want to have that trip soon!

    • Taylor Deer on April 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      It’s definitely a must-visit destination when you visit Greece. The historical sites are so cool! 🙂

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Ancient-Athens

Top Things to do in Athens Greece that are Absolutely Unforgettable

A happy woman in Athens Greece

Athens Greece is a unique destination with a plethora of incredible things to do! Recognized as the oldest capital in Europe, Athens dates back to over 3,400 years ago and you can see that through the city’s popular landmarks.

Overall, a trip to Greece is not complete without visiting Athens. From the Parthenon to the original Olympic stadium, you will be transported back to ancient Greece while enjoying modern-day luxury hotels, bars and markets during a trip to Athens.

I had the opportunity to visit Greece in July 2016 with friends and cousins. Our Greece trip started in the capital city, where we enjoyed all the top things to do in Athens Greece. We then made our way to the magical islands of Santorini, Paros and Mykonos.

The Acropolis of Athens Greece

Greece was one of my favorite destinations, and this Athens Greece travel guide will have you planning your trip in no time. Whether you take a day trip to Athens or stay for a longer time, here are the things you need to know before you visit.

In this article, discover the top things to do in Athens Greece.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Everything to see and do in Athens, Greece

When to Travel to Athens Greece:

The beautiful views of Athens Greece

I traveled to Athens Greece at the beginning of July, which is considered to be the prime time for tourism.

Even though Greece makes for the perfect year round trip, the best time to visit Athens is during the shoulder seasons. The weather is a perfect temperature then. Plus, you won’t be stuck dealing with crazy crowds in extreme heat like I did.

If you can visit Athens during April and May or September and October, you’ll find less tourists and better temperatures to explore the best things to do in Athens.

I traveled to Greece by taking a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New Jersey to Athens International Airport. The best way to get around the Greek Islands are by taking ferries. If you are traveling from Athens to Santorini, I recommend taking a short flight, since it is one of the further islands from the mainland. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

Overall, it isn’t necessary to rent a car during a Greece trip, unless you are planning to road trip around the mainland and other Balkan countries.

Where to Stay in Athens Greece:

The rooftop pool at President Hotel in Athens

Athens is a beautiful metropolitan city with mountain views from every corner. When it comes to where to stay in Athens, there are plenty of options to choose from such as rental properties to high-end hotels.

Even though you could find a plethora of quaint Vrbos in Athens, I highly recommend staying at a hotel with a rooftop pool so that you can relax after a day of touring and enjoy some amazing views.

There are also a plethora of budget hostels to choose from as well if you are looking for budget places to stay in Athens!

The hotel I stayed at during my time in Athens was the President Hotel. It is the perfect mid-budget hotel for your trip to Athens!

Beautiful views of Athens from a hotel's rooftop

Here are other great hotels to stay at in Athens based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens

Boutique Accommodation: Academias Hotel

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Ava Hotel and Suites

Budget Accommodation: City Circus Athens

What to Eat in Athens:

Greek food is fresh, healthy and delicious! Throughout Athens, you’ll find amazing cafés, restaurants and bars to enjoy some traditional Greek food.

Below are my recommendations on some of the best places to eat in Athens where you can savor gyros (traditional Greek sandwiches), souvlaki (skewers), moussaka (Greek version of lasagna), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach pie with feta cheese) and so much more!

There are also several great restaurants in Athens’ Pláka, which is the beautiful downtown area.

A delicious chicken gyro from Athens Greece

A for Athens Café and Cocktail Bar: Located in downtown Athens’ main square called Monastiraki, A for Athens is the perfect place to hang out with friends and savor a fresh souvlaki platter filled with pieces of meat such as chicken, lamb and beef with warm pita bread and the best olive oil.

It is also a wonderful place to grab a drink and enjoy the stunning views of the famous Greek Acropolis, Pláka neighborhood and Monastiraki Square. Don’t miss out on the Monastiraki flea market while you are there.

In addition to being a café and cocktail bar, A for Athens is also a hotel and apartment complex!

Kitro – Café Restaurant and Bar: Situated in the Pláka is an authentic Greek restaurant called Kitro.

This is where I had some of the best wine in Athens and also enjoyed some delicious stuffed peppers and grape leaves. I absolutely loved the ambiance at this restaurant and the owners made us feel welcomed.

The Plàka: Throughout the Pláka are several restaurants, cafés, bakeries and stands where you could grab gyros and baklava. These two foodie items are my absolute FAVORITE!

During my time in Athens, I had to eat a delicious chicken gyro with Greece’s famous tzatziki sauce that is made with Greek yogurt and mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil and other freshly grown herbs. It is delicious, and you cannot go wrong with a gyro for lunch.

A delicious Greek dessert of baklava

In addition to gyros, the baklava was out of this world! Even though baklava originated in Turkey, it is a major staple in Greek cuisine. It consists of layers of filo dough, chopped nuts as well as sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves.

Top Things to Do in Athens Greece

Athens Greece offers many amazing things to do from taking a step back in history to enjoying some of the more modern parts of town. Don’t miss out on the best things to do in Athens Greece when you visit.

Stadium of Olympia

The Stadium of Olympia in Athens Greece

The Stadium of Olympia is also known as the original Olympic Stadium starting from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD, the Stadium of Olympia is a site you cannot miss.

In 2004, the Summer Olympic games were held in Athens after many years. It was awesome to actually be standing in the stadium where these games have been held for centuries.

The Panathenaic Stadium became the home of the first modern Olympic games in 1896, and it is still the only stadium made completely of marble.

The beautiful historical sites of ancient Greece in Athens

The Acropolis

Visiting the Acropolis is one of the best things to do in Athens Greece. No visit to Athens is complete without this stop, a top destination on everyone’s Athens bucket list.

After spending some time in Olympia, we headed to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon. The Acropolis is one historical site you cannot miss when visiting Athens!

Since Greece barely gets rain throughout the year, the atmosphere is very desert-like. Make sure that if you are visiting during the summer, like I did, that you wear light clothing and keep yourself hydrated, as it is very hot and dry at the top.

Luckily, the day we went, the weather was very windy, so we were comfortable and able to enjoy the archeological sites without suffering in the heat.

The beautiful ruins of Athens

When you walk up the steps, you enter the Propylaea, which is the entrance that was completed in 432 BC, just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian wars.

Don’t miss out on the view of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on your way up. This ancient Greek open-air theater is at the base of the Acropolis, but you can enjoy a view of it as you make your way to the top.

Once you enter, you can see the Pinacotheca (picture gallery) and a Hellenistic pedestal. On the right, is the tiny temple of Nike Athena, which commemorates the Athenians’ victory over the Persians.

The ruins of the Acropolis in Athens

The main archeological site to see while you are at the Acropolis is the famous Parthenon that was built by Pericles in the 5th century BC as a monument to recognize Athens’ political and cultural achievements.

Being in front of the Parthenon was surreal for me. It felt like my middle and high school history books came to life! If you are visiting the Acropolis with kids, discover what you cannot miss!

The Parthenon of Athens Greece

Another great site to see when visiting the Acropolis is the Erectheion. It sits on the most sacred site there – where Poseidon and Athena had their contest over who would be the Patron of the City.

It is also a MUST to go over by the Greek flag in the northeast corner of the Acropolis. This is where you can catch the best views of Athens and take great pictures.

Views of Athens Greece on a sunny day

Acropolis means the upper city. Many of the city-states from Ancient Greece were built around the Acropolis. It was a place where people were able to escape to in times of invasion.

The most sacred and important buildings were built usually on or around the Acropolis during ancient times. The Acropolis is a must see if you are looking for historical places to visit in Athens.

You can also visit the new Acropolis Museum to see what all has been found over the years on this famous landmark.

The shops of the Plaka on a summer day in Athens

The Ancient Agora and Temple of Hephaestus

When you finish up at the Acropolis, take time to walk through the ancient agora. Stop to visit the best preserved of the temples, the Temple of Hephaestus. You’ll be walking in the footsteps of Sophocles and Socrates when you take a stroll here.

Hephaestus was the God of fire and blacksmiths. His temple still stands tall among the ruble of other ancient buildings, making it worth a visit.

The restored Stoa of Attalos is also located here. While the original was destroyed back in AD 267, it was restored in the 1950s. Now it houses a museum and artifacts discovered there.

Walk Through the Pláka

Another one of the top things to do in Athens Greece is explore the hidden gems in the downtown area of the city.

The Pláka in Athens offers a wonderful European ambiance. The locals are very friendly and accommodating. All of the tiled buildings feature warm colors and beautiful flowers hanging from their stucco walls. The shops have items you cannot find anywhere else and the restaurants are authentic and comforting.

The shops and stores of Athens Greece

Some specialties that you could find in the Pláka are handcrafted jewelry with rich stones found in the surrounding Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. I bought a ring with an orange stone from the Mediterranean that I wear almost every day.

Another specialty in Greece is olive oil. Not only could you buy bottles of olive oil for cooking purposes; you could also purchase different soaps that make your skin nice and soft. I purchased a bar of soap that I used to take a bath with. It made my skin feel great!

Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian

Make time to visit the Olympieion. This is where you’ll find the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian among the modern buildings and busy streets of Athens.

These ruins are within walking distance of the Acropolis and Syntagma Square. Seeing the columns standing tall make it worth a trip.

A happy woman jumping and enjoying a sunset in Greece

Sunset at Mars Hill

Out of all of the places I have been to, Greece has the best sunsets! Not only did I experience some epic sunsets on the islands, but I also got to see a great one during my time in Athens.

Before dinner one night, we stopped at Areopagus, which is also known as Mars Hill. This area is famous for a few reasons: in the Bible, the Apostle Paul delivered his famous speech there about the identity of “the unknown God” (according to the Biblical account in Acts 17.)

During pre-classical times, it was the council of elders of the city and in classical times, it functioned as the chief homicide court of Athens.

According to Greek mythology, Ares (the god of war, known to the Romans as Mars) was tried here (by the gods) for the murder of Poseidon’s son.

The Areopagus is located across from the Acropolis. We climbed up the marble hill where we watched the sun setting over the gorgeous ancient city.

Please make note that when visiting Mars Hill to wear comfortable shoes. I was wearing flat sandals and had a tough time climbing up and down the hill. It is extremely slippery from so many people climbing it over the years.

When you are at the top, please watch your step, as it is easy to fall on the marble. Overall though, this is one of the most famous Biblical places in Athens, but it is also worth a visit just for the sunset views.

National Archeological Museum

The National Archeological Museum in Athens is the biggest archeological museum in Greece. If you need something to do on a rainy day in Athens or just want to escape the heat in mid-summer, you can escape to a history-lovers dream.

You can easily spend a full day wandering the museum and looking at the historical art and artifacts collected there.

Don’t miss out on seeing the Mask of Agamemnon, the bronze statue of Zeus (or Poseidon depending on which side of the debate you take), the marble statue of Poseidon (no debate on this one), the portrait head of Roman Emporer Hadrian, and the Horse and Jockey.

Enjoy the Nightlife

In addition to food, historical sites and culture of Athens, the city also offers a fun nightlife! Here are two of my favorite places to party in the ancient city:

360 Cocktail Bar: This fancy bar and restaurant offers a gorgeous rooftop view of Athens. You will seriously feel like you are on top of the world at this place!

To top it off, 360 Cocktail Bar provides some of the best drink options in the city. There is seriously no better way than to enjoy a delicious mojito with a view of the Acropolis lit up under the stars!

Athens Greece lit up at nighttime

Six d.o.g.s: Known as a trendy culture bar with live music, art exhibitions and a dreamy outdoor atmosphere, Six d.o.g.s is a wonderful place to enjoy during a night out in Athens.

At this bar, you could drink some amazing cocktails, wine and beer under a forest of stringed lights. It is absolutely adorable.

Looking for even more of the best things to do in Athens?

  • The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center – Take a tour, enjoy the park, or watch the Dancing Fountains at the Canal. The Greek National Opera is also located here.
  • Athens Central Market or The Dimotiki Agora – Located on Athinas Street, this spot is an easy walk from most of downtown Athens. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty as you walk around and enjoy the local food. The market is mostly closed down on Sundays.
  • Athens Food TourIf you are a foodie, consider taking an Athens food tour. This will let you really get a taste of the local food.
  • Syntagma Square – Located in the heart of Athens, Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is where you’ll also find the Hellenic Parliament Building including the Tome of the Unknown Soldier. The National Garden is also here if you want to enjoy a beautiful walk. There is also lots of shopping nearby and the famous Hotel Grand Bretagne, a favorite of celebrities.
  • Lycabettus Hill – The highest point in Athens offers a challenging climb, especially in the heat of summer. You can also take a funicular to the top for a spectacular sunset view. On the top of the hill is the church of Agios Georgios, a cafe that serves breakfast and lunch, and a restaurant called Orizontes that serves dinner (reservations required).

Now that You Know of the Best Things to do in Athens Greece:

A woman enjoying an evening in Athens Greece

Now that you have the best things to do in Athens Greece, don’t miss these other Greek tips:

The Complete Guide to Paros Greece

Santorini Bucket List Experiences

Best Things to Do in Mykonos for Party-Lovers

Click here to book a cooking class in Athens.

Planning an epic European vacation? Find more Europe travel tips here.

If you have any questions about my time in Athens or my trip to Greece in general, please feel free to email me [email protected]

Basic Facts of Greece:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Athens, Time Zone: Eastern European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Athens looks:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

38 Comments

  1. Katie on March 30, 2020 at 12:50 am

    Such a good post Taylor! Dreaming of being back here as we speak

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Thank you Katie and yes, Greece is such a beautiful country. 🙂

  2. Sarah Barthet on March 30, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Looking forward to the day that I get to explore Athens! I went to Santorini last year and loved it so much!

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      You would be very fascinated by Athens! The Acropolis is cool to see in person. 🙂

  3. World of Lina on March 30, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    I love Greece as a country so much and visited three islands already. Unfortunately I never made it to Athens tho. Really hoping to go there soon 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Yes, you totally should go at some point. I’m looking to go back to Greece and visit new islands too.

  4. Allison Eskinazi on March 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Definitely need to visit Greece. The history in Athens just looks so incredible!

    • Taylor Deer on March 30, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Yes, the historical sites in Athens are absolutely amazing! 🙂

  5. Emma on March 30, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    I cannot wait to get to Greece someday soon! I love how many historical sites there are in Athens, and its so beautiful!

    • Taylor Deer on March 31, 2020 at 9:58 am

      Yes, it’s such a beautiful country and the historical sites are so fascinating! 🙂

  6. Erin on April 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Lovely! Adding Greece to my list of places to go.

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you Erin and it is such a beautiful country! 🙂

  7. geriblogger on April 18, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    a beautiful place, maybe one day I can go there

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      It definitely was! You would love it Geri! 🙂

  8. Lekha Chellani on April 18, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Great blog! Made me fall in love with this historic city!

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you so much Lekha! 🙂

  9. sarah de gheselle on April 18, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Can’t believe I have never viste Greece. It looks like such an amazing destination. Thanks for sharing your tips. I will save them for when I travel to Greece in the future.

    • Taylor Deer on April 18, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      You totally have to go at some point! It is such a beautiful country! 🙂

  10. Farrah on April 18, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I was briefly in Greece a couple years back but would love to go back to explore some more!! *-*

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      Yes, I am hoping to go back at some point too! 🙂

  11. Bettina on April 19, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Love this guide and your food pictures look amazing! I was supposed to be in Greece in a week but I guess I’ll be going later. Definitely saving this for the future!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you so much Bettina, this was actually before I got a real camera and started blogging. That is a bummer you had to postpone your Greece trip. You will love it when you eventually go 🙂

  12. Mayuri Patel on April 19, 2020 at 1:56 am

    Such good Post Taylor ! Your food pictures are amazing and I loved the Plaka neighbourhood. It looks like islands of Greece which is so colorful. adding Athens in my list now.

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you so much Mayuri and I loved the Plaka too. I hope to go back one day 🙂

  13. Jiayi Wang on April 19, 2020 at 8:07 am

    What a beautiful guide to Athens, Taylor!! Brings back great memories of this place and reminds me that I need to go back! 🙂 Thanks for all the useful tips, I’ve pinned this so that I can read it again before my return visit! 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you so much Jiayi! I would love to go back to Greece too. 🙂

  14. Susan on April 19, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Aw, you make me wanna go back to Athens!! I absolutely LOVED the food and was amazed by how walkable everything was. You listed a few things I didn’t get to on my trip, so have saved this for someday when I go back 🙂 Thanks!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you Susan! The food was really amazing and I need to get back to Greece too at some point. 🙂

  15. Destiny on April 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Literally less than ten minutes prior to me stumbling on this post I was telling my boyfriend as soon as we’re able to travel again, we need to visit Greece! So I’m totally considering this fate. Can’t wait to check out some of your recommendations and I’m especially excited for the sunsets!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Ah I’m happy to hear that Destiny! Greece really is a magical place. 🙂

  16. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam on April 19, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Ahhhh I want to go to Athens so badly! I hear amazing things about the city, and I want to explore all the ruins. Thanks so much for this thorough post on everything to do in Athens!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      It’s such a fascinating city with so much history! You would love it Catherine! 🙂

  17. Krystianna on April 19, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Excellent post! I studied abroad in Dublin last spring and sadly didn’t get to Greece, but it’s on my list. It looks epic!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      Thank you so much Krystianna! I also loved Dublin too. Well, next time you will need to check out Greece 🙂

  18. Bliss on April 19, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I would love to go back to Greece. Also the baklava made my mouth water!

    • Taylor Deer on April 19, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Ah yes, the baklava was so amazing!

  19. Helga on April 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I’ve been thinking to visit Athens for many years, but for some reason, I always pushed it to the back and went to other places instead. Your pictures and words really made me want to have that trip soon!

    • Taylor Deer on April 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      It’s definitely a must-visit destination when you visit Greece. The historical sites are so cool! 🙂

Leave a Comment





Related posts

Top Europe Christmas Markets to Visit in 2022

One of my favorite annual traditions is to visit the top Europe Christmas markets every holiday season. From the end...
check out the post

Best Day Trips from Nice, France

The French Riviera, otherwise known at the Côte d’Azur, is located on the Mediterranean coast of France. It’s filled with...
check out the post

Best Places to go in September for Sun

September is one of my ultimate favorite months of the year. The weather is beautiful, summer is yet to be...
check out the post