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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
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
#3
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
#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
Theatre of Dionysus

Theatre of Dionysus

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Set on the southern slope of Athens’ ancient Acropolis citadel, the Theatre of Dionysus is the open-air theater that gave the world drama as we know it. Dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine, revelry, and drama, it was established in the sixth century BC but took its current form a couple of centuries later.More
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#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

Athens Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
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Athens Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

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US$66.35
4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora
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Delphi Day Trip from Athens

Delphi Day Trip from Athens

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2-Day Trip to Delphi and Meteora from Athens
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Athens Full Day Private Tour

Athens Full Day Private Tour

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Dinner in the Sky Athens
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Dinner in the Sky Athens

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Meteora Day Trip by Train from Athens

Meteora Day Trip by Train from Athens

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Athens Highlights: a Mythological Tour
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Delphi: A Day Tour at the Navel of the World from Athens
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Athens All Day Cruise - 3 Islands - Saronic Gulf - With Lunch
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Corinth, Cave of Lakes, Odontotos Railway Private Tour with Great Lunch Included
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Recent reviews from experiences in Athens

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Fun, relaxed and personal
Rupa_R, Nov. 2020
Athens Electric Bike Tour
My husband and I took this tour to see the sites of Athens in a different way and would definitely recommend this tour.
star-5
A great alternative viewing of Athens
Sarah, Oct. 2020
Athens Morning Electric Bike Tour
We visited lots of areas and were given some interesting facts and information about what to do and see.
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Triton of a tour guide!!
Laura_F, Oct. 2020
Athens Scenic Bike Tour
Great way to see the city (and some secret spots!
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Don’t miss Poseidon’s Temole & Cape Sounion
MelanieJane_C, Sep. 2020
Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon Half-Day Small-Group Tour from Athens
Great trip - nice to see the Athens Riviera as we drove to Cape Sounion.
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Athens
Lauren_H, Sep. 2020
Athens Scenic Bike Tour
Lovely way to see Athens!
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Great for Families!
Erin_S, Sep. 2020
Athens Electric Bike Tour
We loved being able to see the city quickly and efficiently.
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Friendly tour guide
Jake_P, Sep. 2020
Athens Sunset Bike Tour
He ensured we all got to see the best sites of athens.
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Fabulous way to see Athens
Siobhan_V, Oct. 2020
Athens Morning Electric Bike Tour
This is a fabulous way to see the sights and navigate your way around the city.
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Excellent experience in Athens
Olivia_S, Oct. 2020
Athens Full Day Private Tour
I only had a few hours in Athens but I wanted to see as much as I could.
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10 stars if possible! MUST do in Athens!
NatW, Sep. 2020
Acropolis and Acropolis Museum Tour with Entry Tickets
views, activities for Athens, Santorini and Crete as we were headed there next.
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Great day tour!
Lorenzo_L, Sep. 2020
Delphi One Day Trip from Athens
Our tour guide was great, with a big knowledge of all Delphi attractions and also about Athens.
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Good value
Liz_M, Aug. 2020
Athens Shore Excursion: Athens and Piraeus Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Fun bus top route around the main sights of the city with good English commentary and Greek music.
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Must seen
MiguelAngel_R, Mar. 2020
Get Lost in Athens with an Insider
If you’re planning to visit Athens I would recommend to do this tour
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Breathtaking Delphi
Patricia, Feb. 2020
Delphi Day Trip from Athens
She mastered both English and French.
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A great experience!!!
evgeniantasiou, Jan. 2020
Tuk Tuk in Athens! Explore the city with our tour escort !!
It was maybe the best way to see Athens!
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Getting to see Athens in a totally different way.
gicas, Jan. 2020
Best of Athens City Segway Tour
Best way to see the real Athens!!!
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Great day in a gorgous city
Lori R, Dec. 2019
Athens Full Day Private Tour
There is nothing quite like being able to explore one of the cities with SOOOOO much to see at a pace that is uniquely your own.
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Nice tour of Athens
LarryG1478, Nov. 2019
Athens Piraeus and Glyfada Hop on Hop off Tour
Great way to see all of Athens from the cruise port.
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A Great Visit to the Acropolis and Museum
AmyG53, Nov. 2019
Skip the Line Acropolis of Athens and New Acropolis Museum Tour
Upon hearing her tales of the summer crowds, we were so grateful to visit in November.
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Review Private Day Tour Athens
nchanter, Oct. 2019
Athens Greece Full Day private tour
Gave us a real insight into Athens and made our trip to see key landmarks seem easy.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions