Things to do in
Athens

A bucket-list must. Pair visits to the Acropolis' top with walks through the Greek Capital's grungy underbelly.

Our most recommended things to do in Athens

Athens: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket

1. Athens: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket

Save time and money during your time in Athens with a pre-booked combo ticket that gives you access to 7 of Athens' top archaeological sites. Enjoy savings of up to 50% and avoid the long lines of tourists at the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Temple of Zeus, Aristotle's School, Hadrian's Library, and Kerameikos Ancient Cemetery. Enhance your experience with a self-guided audio tour as you wander around at your own pace. Marvel at the Parthenon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, standing on Acropolis Hill, and immerse yourself in this impressive structure's 2500 years of rich history. Whilst there, visit the Ancient Agora that lies on the north-western slopes of the Acropolis. Learn more about this former artistic, spiritual, and commercial center. Just north of the Acropolis, explore the site of the Roman Agora, which was once the focus of public life in Athens. You can also enjoy access to the renowned Hadrian's Library and Temple of Olympian Zeus in the Olympion Site, as well as Kerameikos, the ancient cemetery that stretches to the banks of the Eridanos River and the nearby Lyceum.

Athens: Acropolis Entry Ticket with Optional Audio Guide

2. Athens: Acropolis Entry Ticket with Optional Audio Guide

Visit the Acropolis, perhaps Greece's most important landmark and one of the world's most-visited sites. Book this ticket to avoid the lines at the ticket office. Get the most out of the experience with an optional audio guide on your phone and uncover the history of the city. Receive your e-ticket by email and check your voucher for instructions on how to download your audio guide. Then, with your phone and headphones in hand, go directly to the South Entrance, close to the Acropolis metro station, and scan your ticket at the ticket-validating machines. Take as much time as you need. Walk into the Theater of Dionysus and then, see the UNESCO-listed Parthenon Temple, which is dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. Visit the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and see the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Wander around all sides of the hill and get some marvelous views of the capital of Greece. See the surrounding mountains and the blue Aegean sea which surrounds Athens. 

Athens: Acropolis and Parthenon Guided Walking Tour

3. Athens: Acropolis and Parthenon Guided Walking Tour

Take in the ancient wonders of Athens. Walk through tree-lined streets to the foothills of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Acropolis, one of the world’s most revealing archaeological sites. Beat the crowds, head for the south slope of the Acropolis and make your way inside to see the ancient treasures that await. Stop at the Dionysus Sanctuary, dedicated to the Greek god of wine and fertility. Once inside the Acropolis, get up close to important sights like the Propylaea gateway, Erechtheion, Temple of Athena Nike, and Parthenon. Learn the history of these fascinating ruins from your guide. Once at the summit of the sacred hill, take in the sweeping panoramas of Athens. Learn about the excavations, and get an insight into the citadel’s ruins. Hear about surrounding monuments, including Mars Hill and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Conclude your tour at the summit of the Acropolis, leaving you free to continue exploring the site at your own pace. Choose between an early morning, morning, or afternoon guided tour. Skip-the-Ticket Line Access Please be aware that even with our skip-the-ticket-line service, there might be some waiting time required for security checks. This is because visitor numbers can fluctuate unpredictably at the sites throughout the day. The typical waiting time falls within 0 to 10 or 30 minutes, though on rare occasions, it might be longer. 

Athens: Discover Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon at Sunset

4. Athens: Discover Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon at Sunset

Experience a journey back in time with a day trip from Athens to Cape Sounion. Discover the Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion, admire the fantastic scenery of the area, and witness a wonderful sunset over the Aegean Sea. Depart from a meeting point in the center of Athens and travel by comfortable bus to Cape Sounion. Learn about the mythology and history of the area during the journey. Stop at the ancient Theatre of Thorikos, the oldest preserved theater in the world. Take some time to admire the surrounding views of the area, including the historic ancient silver mines of the region. Arrive at Cape Sounion, where you will have approximately 2 hours of free time to explore the breathtaking Temple of Poseidon. Take a leisurely stroll around the temple and enjoy the stunning views of the Aegean Sea as the sun sets, casting a golden glow over the crystal-clear waters. Capture the picturesque area of Sounion during this magical time, and witness the beauty of the temple as it is bathed in golden light. Finally, relax on the return journey to Athens, with drop-off at Syntagma Square.

Athens: Acropolis, Parthenon & Acropolis Museum Guided Tour

5. Athens: Acropolis, Parthenon & Acropolis Museum Guided Tour

Travel back in time on an informative and fun tour of the Acropolis of Athens. Guided by a field expert and licensed tour guide, discover the UNESCO World Heritage site through a journey into history, mythology, and storytelling. Continue with a visit to the Acropolis Museum, which has been ranked as one of the top museums in the world. All the original surviving masterpieces from the temples of the Acropolis are displayed with the use of natural light. Excavations are also visible under glass floors and walkways. Visit Acropolis hill. See the Dionysus Theater, where famous ancient dramas and tragedies were first performed. Walk around the stunning Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the sanctuary of the healing god Asclepius. On the top of the hill, visit the Propylea Temple of Nike and the Erechtheion Temple. See the Parthenon, which is the symbol of democracy and western civilization. Dating back to the 5th-century, these monuments are testimonials of the glorious ancient Athens and the Golden Age of Pericles. Step into the contemporary marvel that is the New Acropolis Museum, nestled just a few minutes walk from the Acropolis site. Crafted by architects Fotiadis and Shumin, this architectural gem cradles the treasures of ancient Greece within its glass embrace. From the ground floor's immersive glimpses into daily life to the first floor's enchanting original Caryatids (five residing here, the sixth in the British Museum), and culminating on the top floor with the extraordinary Parthenon frieze and a recreation of Parthenon, next to the breathtaking view of the Acropolis. Each step is a stroke of history, inviting you on a timeless journey through Athens' legacy amid architectural grandeur. Explore the allure of classical antiquity at the New Acropolis Museum.

Athens: Acropolis Ticket with Optional Audio Tour & Sites

6. Athens: Acropolis Ticket with Optional Audio Tour & Sites

Athens strolling stress-free! Get your e-tickets for Acropolis Hill and the dazzling Acropolis Museum. Upgrade your experience with optional combo tickets, offering access to top archaeological attractions and museums as the Ancient Agora, Roman Forum, Kerameikos, Temple of Zeus or National Archaeological Museum. Choose your time slot (only) for Acropolis Hill and receive e-tickets by email. Download tickets and tours via the provided link and dive into ancient tales at each attraction. Enjoy Athens and its beauty, with professional storytelling and historical insights. Please note that all tickets are non-refundable, and while time slots may appear here, it's essential to make your binding selection for the Acropolis Hill on the Clio Muse Tours "My Booking Page" for a smooth, stress-free experience.

Athens, Piraeus, and Coastline: Blue Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

7. Athens, Piraeus, and Coastline: Blue Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Explore Athens, the Port of Piraeus, and the coastline of the Athenian Riviera at your own pace with a hop-on hop-off bus ticket. Benefit from easy transportation to key attractions, such as the Panathenaic Stadium and Parthenon at the Acropolis. Travel on 4 lines for 1 day, including Athens (Orange Line), Piraeus (Blue Line), Glyfada (Yellow Line), and Vouliagmeni (Green Line). Get acquainted with the Greek capital's most beautiful sites and enrich your cruise or vacation experience. Recorded commentaries in 16 languages will provide historical, cultural and social information about one of the most ancient capitals of the world. Blue Line - Piraeus  Ideal if you have just arrived on a cruise, you can hop on the Blue Line at either of the cruise terminals in the Port of Piraeus, just a stone's throw from your cruise ship. See attractions such as the yacht marina at Pasalimani and the ancient harbor of Mikrolimano. Don't miss out on the impressive new Museum of Acropolis and walk up the hill to admire the Parthenon at the top. The bus takes passengers directly to the most eminent monuments of Athens and Greece. Orange Line - Athens The Orange Line roams by the most beautiful attractions further down the city center from the Acropolis and Parthenon. Explore the historic Plaka district and discover the most traditional area of Athens. Visit the gate of the Roman emperor Hadrian. See the Temple of Olympian Zeus and admire the largest temple in Greece from Roman times. Go to the Hellenic Parliament on Syntagma Square and look at its impressive guards. Stroll through Ermou to experience the busiest shopping street in Athens. Visit the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held. Go to the National Library to marvel at an outstanding building of great historical value. Drop by the National Archaeological Museum, or roam around the picturesque area of Monastiraki and its Flea Market. Take a walk through the quaint neighborhood of Thission.  Yellow Line − Glyfada Enjoy a tour of the Athenian Riviera, starting from the Planetarium stop of the Blue Line. Find out how the bewildering desert of the 1900s has evolved into one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Greece. From the Niarchos Foundation to the Marina Alimou, the Yellow Line blends history with the modern. Watch the sunset from Marina Flisvou or swim and sunbathe in Agios Kosmas. From the Glyfada Terminal, you can wander around the most cosmopolitan suburbs of the capital and shop at the luxury department stores. Wind down in a beautiful cafe and don't miss out on the beach bar where you can enjoy a cocktail by the seaside.  Green Line − Vouliagmeni Vouliagmeni may be better associated with its beaches, but the area is also a history lesson in its own right. From the Allied Forces Cemetery to the Byzantine Museum, Vouliagmeni is certainly worth a visit. Relax at the beautiful beach of Kavouri Oceanis, one of the most popular beaches in Athens. Go to Vouliagmeni Lake to discover one of the city's most popular spots. Don’t miss out on the thermal baths and admire the breathtaking surroundings.

From Athens: Hydra, Poros, and Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch

8. From Athens: Hydra, Poros, and Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch

Explore the Saronic Islands of Poros, Hydra, and Aegina on this day trip from Athens. Cruise over the azure waters of the Mediterranean sea and have free time on each island. Savor a mouth-watering buffet lunch as you sail. After a morning transfer by bus from Athens to the port, hop on board a cruise ship and be invited to one of its spacious open decks. From the deck, you’ll have a great vantage point for enjoying views of the Greek coast. The first stop is the island of Poros, the smallest of the 3 islands you’ll visit on the tour. It’s separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strait. Have ample time to explore the island and once you’re on board again you’ll be served a delicious lunch as the ship sail towards Hydra. Take in the stunning views as you enter the port of Hydra and see the cove that at one time served as a shelter for pirates. From the open decks, marvel at the dramatic landscapes of this island. There will be time for you to explore the narrow, stone-paved streets of the island on foot, or by saddled donkey, which is the traditional mode of transportation. If you choose to go by foot, you can walk along the old seaside promenade and perhaps stop at some of the small shops. When you return to the ship, the captain heads for Aegina which is the largest of the 3 islands on the tour. Apart from its beautiful harbor, there are numerous interesting sites that you’ll have a chance to discover on your own. Alternatively, you can join an excursion to the Temple of Aphaia at an additional cost. Return to your cruise-boat and enjoy your one-hour sail back to the port. Disembark and finish your trip (if option selected) in Athens.

Athens: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

9. Athens: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Experience the Greek capital on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour along 3 different routes. You’ll travel on an open-top, double-decker bus as you take in the many important sights and attractions of the city. With the help of the onboard multilingual audio guide you can trace the history and culture of Athens from ancient times to the present day. In addition to the city’s many monuments, you’ll come across a multitude of shopping opportunities along the route. You can visit world-renowned museums and marvel at the ancient temples - the Acropolis and Parthenon. Athens Route Stops: Stop 1 - Syntagma Square Stop 2 - A Acropolis / Plaka Stop 3 - A Acropolis Museum Stop 4 - A The Acropolis & Parthenon (Interchange: Piraeus route) Stop 5 - A Temple of Zeus Stop 6 - A Parliament / National Gardens Stop 7 - The Four Museums Stop 8 - The National Gallery Stop 9 - A Ancient Olympic Stadium Stop 9 - B Parliament / National Gardens Stop 10 - National Library Stop 11 - National Archaeological Museum Stop 12 - Omonoia Square Stop 13 - Karaiskaki Square Stop 14 - Monastiraki Square Stop 15 -Kotzia Square Piraeus Route Stops: Stop 1 - Pantion University Stop 2 - Niarchos Foundation Stop 3 - Municipal Theatre Stop 4 - Cruise Terminals A & B Stop 5 - Lions Gate Stop 6 - Cruise Terminals A & B Stop 7 - Archaeological Museum of Piraeus Stop 8 - Votsalakia Beach Stop 9 - Mikrolimano Harbour Stop 10 - Planetarium Stop 11 - Athens Ledra & Intercontinental Beach & Riviera Route Stops: Acropolis/Plaka Pantion University Niarchos Foundation Falire/Flisvas Edem Ag.Kesmas Beach Bomo Palace Asteria Beach Divani Apollon Oceanis Beach/ Atrir Palace Vouliagemi Lake Pigadakia Blazer Suites Glyfada town Golf Ag.Kosmas Kalamki Poseidon Hotel Marriot/Planetarium Grand Hyatt/ Intercontinental Temple of Zeus

Athens: Acropolis & Acropolis Museum with Optional Audio

10. Athens: Acropolis & Acropolis Museum with Optional Audio

Visit the breathtaking Acropolis with a pre-booked admission ticket on the date and specific time you want. Discover one of the most famous and most visited monuments in the world of antiquity. Stroll up to the UNESCO-listed site that served as the ancient citadel, and discover the buildings at your own pace. Receive your ticket to your e-mail along with instructions to download your audio tour and go directly to the South Entrance, close to the Acropolis metro station. Scan your ticket at the ticket-validating machines, put on your headphones and listen to our professional, licensed guides present you with historical information and narrate original handpicked stories. You have as much time as you need. The entrance ticket includes also access to the Propylae, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, and Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens. After exploring the ruins, visit the Acropolis Museum which contains some of the important works of contemporary architecture and priceless findings from the Acropolis monuments. With your audio guide, see the main attractions such as votives, artifacts of everyday life, statues from the archaic period, Caryatids, and of course the majestic Parthenon hall with the metopes, the pediments, and the frieze.

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Frequently asked questions about Athens

What are the best day trips and excursions from Athens?

The best day trips and excursions from Athens are:

Delphi

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Athens

Thomas Dowson is the founder of Archaeology Travel, a website for those seeking adventures in archaeology and history. As a professional archaeologist Thomas enjoys visiting archaeological and historical sites around the world. And sharing these experiences so that others can explore the world’s pasts more deeply. On his blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Athens.

What should I do on my first trip to Athens?

Perhaps an obvious suggestion, but really no one should miss the Acropolis, and the Acropolis Museum. Find a guide, in whatever form, that will help you see more of this ancient citadel than the Acropolis of the 5th century BC. As spectacular as these ancient monuments are, there is more to the Acropolis than the Parthenon and Erechtheion.

What are some hidden gems to see in Athens?

Besides the Acropolis, and the other 5 well known ancient sites, there are many ruins dotted about the city. One of my favourites is in view of the Tower of the Winds. Just beyond the Roman Agora is a doorway that was once the entrance to an Ottoman era theological school, and then a prison. Very little of Ottoman Athens survives today, much of it destroyed deliberately - such as the mosque on the Acropolis. Little remnants like these add a lot to the story of Athens.

How much time should I spend in Athens?

Not surprisingly most people come to Athens to see the ancient sites. For this, three or four days will not only give you enough time to see most of these plus a day trip to Delphi and/or an afternoon trip to Sounion to watch the sunset. But, I strongly recommend adding a day or two to explore beyond the historical centre of Athens. Each neighbourhood has its own character: visit the Central Varvakios Market in Psirri or go in search of street art in Exarchia.

What food is Athens known for?

Athens is great for walking. And if anything goes well with walking it is street food. Gyros and souvlaki are my go to choices while exploring the city on foot. A gyros is a pita bread filled with shaved meat cooked on a rotisserie. Souvlaki on the other hand is diced meat on a stick cooked on a hot plate. Add a good tzatziki sauce to either and for me that is heaven in your hands. Vegetarian versions made using grilled cheese are just as good!

What is the best way to get around Athens?

Central Athens is easy to get about on foot. Here are all the main attractions and lots of good hotels. For those who want to stay a bit further out, there is a good metro system. Whether you arrive by air or sea, the metro also serves both the airport and the port.

What are the best months to visit Athens?

Having been visiting Athens for over 20 years, my favourite times of the year are the beginning of May and the beginning of October. In May the city is gearing up for summer and not yet crowded, and the Jacaranda trees are in bloom. In October the summer crowds have left, and it is not too hot.

What is neighborhood Exarchia known for?

Most visitors to Athens will only experience the Exarchia neighbourhood through the National Archaeological Museum. The streets might not look as inviting as in other areas, but this is definitely an area to explore, particularly if you like graffiti and street art. Exarchia is also known as the riot area of Athens, being the site of some major street riots in the history of Athenian politics.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

As many of the historical attractions are in the Monastiraki and Plaka areas, there are also many restaurants serving the usual Greek cuisine for tourists. A better area in my opinion, and not far from the centre of Athens, is Psirri. I was introduced to this area on a food walking tour of Athens. Besides the central market area, you will find some great restaurants, bars and cafes, filled with local Athenians as well as a few visitors.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The southern slopes of Lycabettus Hill, between Syntagma and Evangelismos metro stations, is Kolonaki - one of the most upmarket areas of central Athens. Kolonaki is perfect for high-end shopping. A more affordable shopping experience can be found on the streets running between Syntagma and Monastiraki Squares.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Athens?

Given how popular a tourist destination Athens is, there is a good choice of accommodation in most areas of the city to suit all budgets. When it comes to choosing one of these areas, I keep coming back to central Athens. For me, nothing beats a hotel with a view of the Acropolis.

What are the best annual events in Athens? 

The beautifully preserved Herodes Atticus Theatre just below the Acropolis, provides a truly evocative setting for the annual Greek Festival. On offer is a varied programme of dance and music from June to August.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Athens? 

For anyone who enjoys hiking, Athens has a number of green spaces that provide the perfect opportunity to get some outdoor activity while on holiday. And with spectacular views. Closer to the city centre is Filopappou Hill, a vast area with many walking routes through ancient ruins. For those feeling a bit more energetic, climb Lycabettus Hill - the tallest of the seven hills.

What are the best beaches around Athens? 

Although there are sandy beaches from the port of Piraeus to Cape Sounion, those closer to the port are probably not top of anyone’s list. And of course nothing could beat swimming in clear blue waters below the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. But the most popular beaches with easiest access from Athens can be found in the Kavouri-Vouliagmeni area.

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What people are saying about Athens

Overall rating

4.5
(23,420 reviews)

Maria and our driver were excellent! We had an amazing time. Maria was delightful and very knowledgable. Meteora is a magical place. It is worth the long drive. The lunch was good. We also had two stops for snacks and bathroom breaks on the way going and returning. I would highly recommend this trip and our wonderful guide!

Our tour guide was fantastic!! She was so knowledgeable and passionate about the history of Greece. We truly enjoyed the walking tour and the added museum tour. I would highly recommend adding the guided museum tour to your acropolis walking tour as they compliment each other.

Amazing experience! Group was small, driver was excellent and the tour guide Marianna Tsigardou one of the best guides we ever had on any trip! Her soothing voice throughout the day complemented her vast knowledge and made the whole trip a true adventure!!! 10/10 from us!!!

Katerina and Pericles were fantastic!! Katerina was so knowledgeable and such a delightful person it made the tour that much more amazing. The 2.5 hour drive from Athens is well worth the trip.

The play was wonderful and the view from the rooftop was spectacular. Excellent event!