Best places to visit in Athens: top attractions you don't want to miss

Athens perfectly blends old and new. Unearth the city’s captivating charm and make the most of your trip with these exceptional sights and attractions.

Immersed in ancient history and full of lively neighborhoods, Athens, the cradle of Western civilization, is a city that beautifully intertwines ancient history and vibrant modern life. As the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, and drama, Athens presents a remarkable array of historical sites, with the awe-inspiring Acropolis taking center stage. But Athens is not just about antiquity. Wander through the charming cobbled streets of Plaka, explore the city's vibrant street art scene, and indulge in its bustling culinary culture at Varvakios Agora.

Discover the city's flourishing culture at the Technopolis or enjoy the world-class art collection at the Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art. Experience the city's invigorating nightlife in Psiri. Shop till you drop on Ermou Street or the Monastiraki Flea Market. There are attractions for everyone. Plan your itinerary with this list of the 20 best places to visit in Athens.

Best places to visit in Athens for history


1. The Acropolis

Stand atop Athens' ancient crown jewel, the Acropolis. This ancient citadel contains remnants of several significant ancient buildings, the most renowned being the Parthenon, dedicated to the city's patron, Athena. Wander through history as you explore these incredible ruins.


Marvel at the exquisite carvings of the Parthenon and enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the hilltop. Don't miss the Erechtheion on the Acropolis Skip-the-Line Ticket with Audio Tour.

Address and opening hours:

Athens 105 58, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM.

2. The National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum is Greece's largest archaeological museum. It's home to a vast collection of Greek art and antiquities covering a period of over 5000 years. This museum is an essential stop for understanding the rich history of Greece.


Be sure to check out the gold Mask of Agamemnon and the stunning Antikythera mechanism with a detailed guide with your National Archaeological Museum Ticket with Audio Tour.

Address and opening hours:

28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82, Greece. Open 1:00 PM-8:00 PM Wednesday-Monday between November 1 and March 31. Open 1:00 PM-8:00 PM on Tuesdays and 8:00 AM-8:00 PM Wednesday-Monday between April 1 and October 31.


3. The Ancient Agora

Once the heart of ancient Athens, the Agora was a vibrant center for civic life. Today, the site hosts extensive ruins and a museum housed in the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos, offering a fascinating look at ancient Greek life.


Don't miss a thing on the Acropolis and Top Attractions Ticket with Audio Guide. The Temple of Hephaestus, the best-preserved ancient Greek temple, and the Stoa of Attalos are must-sees when sightseeing in Athens.

Address and opening hours:

Athens 105 55, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM.


4. Athens War Museum

This museum provides a deep insight into Greece's military history. It showcases weapons, uniforms, and other military artifacts from various periods of Greek history.


See the detailed dioramas of significant battles and check out the outdoor exhibit of heavy weaponry and aircraft. Visit the museum with a Museums Combo Ticket Pass with Hop-On Hop-Off Bus.

Address and opening hours:

Rizari 2-4, Athina 106 75, Greece. Open daily 9:00 AM-7:00 PM.


5. The Temple of Olympian Zeus

This massive, partially standing temple was once the largest in Greece, dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. The temple, located near the Acropolis and Syntagma Square, was built over several centuries and was completed by the Roman emperor Hadrian.


The impressive Corinthian columns that still stand are a testament to the temple's former grandeur. Also, the site offers excellent views of the Acropolis. Absorb the full history of the temple with a detailed Temple of Olympian Zeus Ticket and Audio Tour.

Address and opening hours:

Athens 105 57, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-3:00 PM.


6. The Roman Agora

The Roman Agora was the commercial center of Athens during the Roman period. The site is home to various ruins, including the Gate of Athena Archegetis and the Tower of the Winds.


The octagonal Tower of the Winds, which served as a meteorological station in ancient times, is a unique highlight. Enjoy this piece of history with a detailed Acropolis Entry Ticket with Audio Guide.

Address and opening hours:

Polignotou 3, Athina 105 55, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM.

Best places in Athens for art


7. The Benaki Museum

This museum houses a vast collection of Greek art from prehistorical to modern times. It is housed in a neoclassical building, offering art lovers a comprehensive view of Greek history and culture.


The museum's collection of Byzantine art and its exquisite array of Greek costumes are particularly noteworthy, all included with your Benaki Museum Admission Ticket.

Address and opening hours:

Koumpari 1, Athina 106 74, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Open 10:00 AM-4:00 PM Sundays. Open 10:00 AM-11:30 PM Thursdays. Closed Tuesdays.


8. The Panathenaic Stadium

This marble marvel is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble. It hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and remains a major cultural landmark in Athens.


Experience the grandeur of the stadium by walking its track and climbing to the top for a panoramic view of Athens. An Ancient Highlights & Cape Sounion Private Day Tour will show you the highlights.

Address and opening hours:

Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou, Athina 116 35, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-7:00 PM.


9. The Byzantine and Christian Museum

One of the world's most important museums in Byzantine Art, this Athens gem offers a rich collection of Christian art pieces and artifacts, providing insight into the Byzantine and post-Byzantine culture.


Visit the museum as part of a Half-Day Private City Tour and don't miss the collection of rare Byzantine icons and the extensive collection of religious textiles.

Address and opening hours:

Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 22, Athina 106 75, Greece. Open 8:00 AM-8:00 PM except Tuesdays when it is open 1:00 PM-8:00 PM.


10. The Museum of Cycladic Art

This museum is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient Aegean and Cypriot cultures. It features a notable collection of Cycladic Art, known for its simplistic and abstract figurines.


The museum's namesake Cycladic figurines, dating back to 3000 BC, are a must-see. Also included in your Athens Museum of Cycladic Art Ticket is the beautifully designed modern building that houses these ancient treasures.

Address and opening hours:

Neofitou Douka 4, Athina 106 74, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday-Saturday with the exception of Tuesday when it is closed. Open 11:00 AM-5:00 PM on Sundays.


11. Museum of Islamic Art

Part of the Benaki Museum, this collection showcases Islamic art artifacts from across the Islamic world. You'll find ceramics, textiles, and jewelry, as well as a collection of Ottoman art.


The beautifully restored neo-classical building and the rare collection of Islamic coins are particularly noteworthy and almost make the cost of the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture Admission worth it alone.

Address and opening hours:

Αγ. Ασωμάτων 22 &, Dipilou 12, Athina 105 53, Greece. Open 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Thursday-Sunday.

Best places in Athens for families


12. Philopappos Hill

Take a leisurely stroll up Philopappos Hill, also known as the Hill of the Muses. It offers some of the best views of the Acropolis and downtown Athens and is home to the Philopappos Monument.


The panoramic view of Athens from the top is breathtaking, and the paths through pine trees offer a relaxing walk. For extra beautiful views, head out on a sunset e-bike tour. 

Address and opening hours:

Athens 117 41, Greece. Open 24 hours.


13. Mount Lycabettus

Take a funicular up to the top of Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens, for panoramic views of the city, the Aegean Sea, and the Acropolis. The small chapel of Saint George, a restaurant, and an open-air theater also occupy the hill.


The sweeping views of Athens and beyond are the highlight of this attraction. Snap some stunning memories here on the Athens Private Highlights and Panoramic Tour

Address and opening hours:

Athens 114 71, Greece. The cable car operates daily from 9:00 AM-1:30 AM, though services may stop sooner during winter months.


14. Syntagma Square

The central square of Athens, Syntagma Square, is a buzzing hub of activity. It's lined with cafes, shops and is adjacent to the Greek Parliament building. Here, you can observe the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Experience the ceremonial changing of the Evzones guards with a Private Guided Tour of the Acropolis and Museum. It is also a great starting point for a city tour.

Address and opening hours

Αθήνα 105 63. Open 9:00 AM-8:00 PM Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM Saturday-Sunday.


15. Athens National Garden

This lush oasis in the heart of Athens offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. The 38-acre garden features walking paths, a small zoo, duck ponds, and a botanical museum.


The garden's variety of flora and fauna and the peaceful atmosphere make for a great leisurely walk or take in your surroundings in style as part of an Athens Highlights by Electric Trikke Bike ride.

Address and opening hours:

Leof. Vasilisis Amalias 1, Athina 105 57, Greece. Open daily 6:00 AM-7:00 PM.

Best places in Athens for culture


16. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Built in 161 AD, this stunning open-air theater nestles on the southwest slope of the Acropolis. Today, it hosts music concerts and classical plays during the Athens Festival in the summer.


Visit the theatre with on an afternoon tour. With the illuminated Acropolis in the backdrop, is an unforgettable experience.

Address and opening hours:

Dionysiou Areopagitou, Athina 105 55, Greece. Open daily 8:00 AM-8:00 PM.


17. Take a stroll in Plaka

Plaka is a historical neighborhood situated at the base of the Acropolis. It is renowned for its charming architecture, colorful houses, and vibrant streets lined with shops and tavernas.


Don't miss a walk through the scenic Anafiotika neighborhood, resembling a Cycladic island village, among other amazing sights on a Half-Day Private City Tour.


18. Monastiraki Flea Market

Monastiraki Flea Market is a vibrant market full of antiques, furniture, jewelry, books, and more. It's an excellent place for unique souvenirs and to experience the lively Athenian market scene.


Haggle over antiques, peruse vintage records and clothing, and experience the spirited Greek marketplace, or sample the local food as part of a Private Athens Walking Food Tour

Address and opening hours:

Ifestou 2, Athina 105 55, Greece. Open daily 10:00 AM-10:00 PM.


19. Ermou Street

As Athens' main shopping street, Ermou Street offers a wide array of shops, boutiques, and department stores. It's a pedestrianized street, making it a comfortable stroll while exploring the latest fashion trends in Greece.


Beyond shopping, enjoy street musicians or relax at the cafes and eateries scattered along the street. When you're ready to move on, hop on a bus and see more of Athens.

Address and opening hours:

Ermou, Athina, Greece. Open 24 hours. Individual shop and restaurant opening times vary.


20. Technopolis

An industrial museum and a major cultural venue, Technopolis is housed in a former gasworks in the Gazi district. It hosts concerts, exhibitions, and festivals throughout the year.


Enjoy stunning views with a Dinner in the Sky Experience.

Address and opening hours

Pireos 100, Athina 118 54, Greece. Open daily 10:00 AM-10:00 PM.


How many days should I spend in Athens?

A three to four-day trip is generally sufficient to see the main historical sites, museums, and neighborhoods of Athens, such as the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, and the charming streets of Plaka. However, you can explore Athens at a leisurely pace if you extend your stay to a week or more. This allows you to enjoy its vibrant culinary scene, discover its lesser-known tourist attractions, or take day trips to nearby destinations.

What is the best time of year to visit Athens?

The best times to visit Athens are spring (April to June) and fall (September to November), when the weather is pleasant, and there are fewer tourists. During these times, you can enjoy outdoor activities and archaeological sites without the extreme heat or large crowds of the summer months. However, the summer months offer a variety of festivals and events, and the atmosphere is quite lively despite the heat.

How do I get around Athens?

Athens has a well-developed public transportation system, including metro, tram, and bus lines, that can take you to most parts of the city and its suburbs. Walking is often the best option for getting to the major historical sites in the city center, as they are located relatively close together. Taxis and ride-hailing apps are also widely available. For day trips to nearby regions, trains, and KTEL buses are the best options.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Athens?

Plaka is a must-see for its picturesque streets, neoclassical houses, and proximity to key archaeological sites. Monastiraki, another popular area, is known for its flea market and vibrant atmosphere. Psiri offers an edgy, alternative vibe with its street art and lively nightlife. Kolonaki is the upscale district of Athens, full of boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and art galleries. For a seaside escape, the districts along the Athenian Riviera, such as Glyfada and Vouliagmeni, are excellent choices.

What are the best places to go shopping in Athens?

Ermou Street is the main shopping street in Athens, where you can find a variety of international brands and department stores. Kolonaki is known for its luxury boutiques and designer stores. The Monastiraki Flea Market is a great place to find vintage and second-hand items, antiques, and souvenirs. The Central Market is a must-visit for local products and food items. The neighborhood of Psiri, with its alternative shops, and the district of Glyfada, with its mix of high-end and high-street fashion stores, are also worth checking out.