Planning a trip to Greece and wondering what to do in Athens? You’re going to absolutely love it! Filled with captivating history, incredible attractions, delicious eateries, cool bars, and tons of spectacular sites to see! You most definitely won’t run out things to see here. Keep reading to check out my top things to do in Athens, Greece.
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The remarkable city of Athens; known as the world’s ancient capital.
Strewn throughout its ancient neighborhoods surrounding the infamous Acropolis, visitors can find a variety of things to see, attractions, and places to visit in Athens.
From history hunters to party seekers to foodies, this magnificent city really has something for everyone.
For individuals who love the history of a destination, fascinating museums can be found throughout Athens.
For people who love their alcohol or just love a good party, there’s an abundance of bars and clubs scattered in various neighborhoods.
And for those who want to eat their way through the city, delicious street food or up-scale restaurants can be found everywhere.
Although, if you’re unsure on what to see in Athens or need a few ideas, I have just the list for you!
13 REMARKABLE THINGS TO DO IN ATHENS, GREECE
P.S. There’s a FREE checklist of the best things to do in Athens at the end of the post! Keep your eyes on the lookout so you can always have it in your back pocket. 👀
1. Visit the Acropolis & other ancient ruins.
If you only come to the city for a short time, this should be the one of the top things to see in Athens on your list.
Actually… it should be at the top of your list!
The Acropolis is a major historical landmark and is famous throughout the world. If you’re unsure on what exactly an “Acropolis” is, it’s a large hill with a flat top. The perfect place to build a few magnificent buildings.
In Athens case, it’s the hill — featured above — with the flat top that has ancient sites like the Parthenon, Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion on top of it. In addition to the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, and the Temple of Zeus should be checked out.
More on the Acropolis and other sites to visit can be found in this similar blog post on wandering the ancient ruins. One of best places in Athens to visit! You’re sure to love it.
(Psst, want to make things easy? Book this Acropolis Walking Tour that has raving reviews!
2. Visit the area of Monastiraki.
The neighborhood of Monastiraki is a flea market neighborhood with tons of shops and little stands selling things like handmade bracelets, food, trinkets, and more!
It’s also one of the main shopping districts in Athens and known for its bargain shopping, great for people on a budget.
Additionally, as pictured above, the neighborhood has unique doors. Which is great, because unique doors are the coolest. One of my favorite things to do in a new city is seek out unusual or beautiful doors!
If you’re shuffling around, wondering what fun things to do in Athens are available, strolling through the Monastiraki flea market stands is fantastic!
3. Check out the ancient neighborhood of Plaka.
How adorable is that little street above?!
Plaka, known as the “neighborhood of the gods,” is a historical area with beautiful, ancient looking homes, cobbled streets, and neoclassical architecture.
Once you step into this enchanting neighborhood, you’ll feel as though you’re back in ancient times!
This is one of those fantastic, underrated Athens tourist attractions, as you can slip away from the crowds and wander down the ancient paths of the city!
The neighborhood of Plaka is beautiful and it’ll no doubt take your breath away.
4. Marvel at the artifacts in the Acropolis Museum.
The Acropolis Museum is another one of the must-see attractions!
The museum houses every significant artifact and piece of history that was found on or near the Acropolis. It’s pretty freakin’ cool and one of my favorite places to visit in Athens, Greece.
When walking around the Acropolis Museum, you get to step back in time and uncover the secrets and artifacts from hundreds of centuries ago. Absolutely spectacular, amirite?
My tip is to spend as much time as possible here! There’s so freakin’ much to see and you shouldn’t be rushed when viewing the magnificence this museum holds.
5. See the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens.
The Metropolitan is an important Greek Orthodox cathedral and is the largest cathedral in all of Athens. This was the first cathedral built when Athens became the official capital of Greece.
It’s also beautiful! Totally worth a stop on any Athens adventure.
P.S. Did you know there’s a super beautiful island just a short ferry ride away from Athens? Nope, it’s not Santorini or Mykonos! It’s called Aegina — and you’ll love it! Check it out here.
6. Have a drink at a rooftop bar.
There are tons of rooftop bars throughout Athens that have fantastic view of the Acropolis — this particular picture was taken at the 360 Cocktail Bar (my favorite rooftop bar I visited).
Another rooftop bar that I visited was the A for Athens bar near Monastiraki square. I didn’t particular like this one, probably because it was enclosed when I visited. I felt a little claustrophobic.
BUT there’s tons more that you can visit. Doesn’t it sound relaxing having a nice drink whilst admiring the view of Athens from above?
Click here to check out other awesome rooftop bars in Athens.
7. Check out the Greek Parliament Building.
It’s a beautiful building… nuff said.
This is also where you can watch the changing of the guards (read below).
8. Watch the changing of the guards.
Watching the changing of the guards is absolutely fascinating. Sure, it might sound boring but think again…
I’m not even quite sure how to explain it; they kind of do like a sort of dance to change. You should definitely go see it. They also wear very attractive outfits, as you can see above. 😉
(Funny story time: I meant to record the changing with my GoPro but never actually put it on video mode. So I just sat there the entire time holding my camera up like a doofus, thinking I was taking a video, when in reality, I just took two pictures. *laughing at myself, but also kicking myself*)
If you want to watch a video to see what it’s all about, click here!
9. Take a stroll through the National Gardens.
The National Gardens is a huge public park located directly behind the Greek Parliament building. The park is full of ruins, beautiful greenery, and orange trees!
One of the nicer things to do in Athens, as you get a chance to take a break from the city and stroll through some relaxing and gorgeous greenery.
10. Walk to high ground & take in the views.
Around Athens, there are a couple of hills that have great viewing points overlooking the city. The two most popular ones are Mount Lycabettus and Filopappou Hill.
So strap on those comfortable walking shoes, build up some motivation, and hike up those hills to take on a different view of Athens!
This is also a cheap things to do if you’re on a budget, as the hills completely free! Additionally, it’s a good way to get in some exercise and burn off all of those yummy vegan eats in Athens 😉
Hey! Want to get a taste of the Greek islands but don’t have the time to go to Santorini or Mykonos? Head out on this One-Day Three-Islands Cruise from Athens!
11. Have a drink at Brettos.
You can’t miss this unique bar! Just look at that colorful wall of booze bottles. Mesmerizing.
Also, Brettos is the oldest bar and distillery in Athens! Pretty cool, eh?
12. Just walk around the tiny streets of Athens.
The streets of Athens are extremely charming; if you have time, just take a stroll through the old neighborhoods. My favorite thing to do is keep an eye out for unique doors — as mentioned above 😉
P.S. Love free things? How about free tours in Scotland? Read all about the best free tours in Edinburgh here (one of my FAVORITE cities in the entire world!).
13. Eat delicious street food.
Some of the best foods on earth (in my opinion) can be found in this part of the world. I absolutely loved everything I ate there — and all of it was vegan (you’ll also find some helpful tips for eating vegan in Greece in that linked post!).
Pictured above: a vegan gyro with grilled vegetables tossed in an amazing blend of spices, cozily wrapped in a warm pita. If you’re not vegan, friends of mine said the regular gyros were their favorite things to eat in Athens.
Athens Attractions Map
All in all, there are definitely more things to do in Athens than mentioned but I didn’t have a chance to explore everything while I was there.
If you visit, or are thinking of visiting, it’s an awesome city to explore!
Have you ever visited this beautiful, historic city? What were your favorite things to do in Athens? Let me know in the comments!
Not sure what to check out next? Readers love these posts:
- Wandering the ancient ruins of Athens
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- 11 things you need to pack for a first trip to Europe
- Photos that’ll inspire you to visit the greek island of Aegina
- How to do a day trip to Santorini from Athens
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Psst. As mentioned above, this post contains affiliate links! Which means if you make a purchase through the links above, this site receives a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read our full disclosure here.
Lisa - The Wandering LensMay 13, 2017 4:12 pm
Such a great guide! I visited Athens years ago but would love to go back and see it all over again 🙂
Emma Le TeaceMay 13, 2017 5:20 pm
Looks incredible! SO many cruises stop in Athens. Not sure you could do all of these things in one day but hopefully a visit on a cruise would encourage people to come back again.
PenelopiMay 14, 2017 2:58 am
As a Greek I can tell you that you covered a lot of things!! 🙂 Next time do not miss the area of “Anafiotika”, small neighbourhood under Acropolis and stroll during night to the numerous bars around the small streets.
SallyMay 15, 2017 1:22 pm
I love Athens! Awesome photos & great post! You should add the Ancient Agora (old market place)- the park just below the Acropolis – great place for photos & it was always a favorite stop of mine!