Athens in summer: best things to do and see

Embark on a Greek summer odyssey. Explore Athens in summer with the ultimate guide to the city's must-see attractions, outdoor activities, and hidden gems.

Athens is at its best in the summer. The city offers a fascinating mix of history, culture, cuisine, and natural beauty, promising a variety of unforgettable experiences. Start your trip with a visit to the majestic Acropolis, a testament to the grandeur of ancient Greece. For those seeking sun and sea, Athens' stunning beaches, such as Astir Beach in Vouliagmeni, provide the perfect escape.

 The Athens Central Market is a great place to discover local gastronomy, and there is no shortage of tours and other activities to keep you entertained around the city. Athens is a city that captivates and enthralls, with everything from religious artifacts at the Byzantine and Christian Museum to breathtaking sunsets at Cape Sounion. This summer guide will help you make the most of your visit to this mesmerizing city by walking you through the best summer activities in Athens.

Best outdoor activities


1. Become immersed in the Ancient History at the Acropolis

A trip to Athens would be incomplete without a visit to the Acropolis. This ancient citadel is located on a rocky outcrop above the city and contains the remains of several ancient structures, including the iconic Parthenon. It is a testament to the grandeur of ancient Greek civilization.


Get the full experience with an 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. Wander Through the Ancient Agora

The Ancient Agora, located northwest of the Acropolis, was once the vibrant center of political, commercial, administrative, and social activity in ancient Athens. As you stroll through these ruins in the height of a Grecian summer, you can envision what life was like during the time of Socrates and Plato.


The beautifully preserved Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos, which houses the Agora Museum, are among many others you can enjoy on the Acropolis and Top Attractions with Audio Guide tour.

Address and opening hours:

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


3. Visit the National Archaeological Museum

This museum is home to the world's most extensive collection of Greek art and artifacts — and makes for a brilliant place to beat the heat. The objects on display, which span several thousand years of history, tell the story of Greek civilization from prehistoric times to the present day.


Visit the museum as part of a guided day trip to Delphi from Athens to get the most out of your time there.

Address and opening hours:

28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82, Greece. Open 8:30 AM-3:30 PM from November-March, though opening hours are extended during the summer.


4. Take a Dip in Lake Vouliagmeni

To escape the city's heat, take a dip in the thermal waters of Lake Vouliagmeni. This beautiful lake, located just outside Athens, is filled with warm, mineral-rich water that is known for its healing properties. It is the ideal location for a relaxing swim.


Take the stress out of getting to the lake with this Day-Trip to Ancient Corinth, Hera Temple & Blue Lake.


Vouliagmeni 166 71, Greece.


5. Explore the Benaki Museum

Unravel the rich and diverse history of Greece with a ticket to the Benaki Museum. From Neolithic finds and Byzantine art to the modern era, the museum showcases a variety of exhibits spanning Greece's past. The museum's collection of artwork and historical artifacts makes it a must-see for history and art lovers alike.


The museum's permanent collection of Greek art and the 20th-century works are some of the main highlights, reflecting Greece's vibrant culture and heritage.

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.


6. Get Lost in Plaka's Charming Streets

Amble through the narrow cobblestone streets of Plaka, the oldest neighborhood in Athens. This charming district is home to neoclassical buildings, quaint shops, small cafes, and traditional tavernas, providing a respite from the city's hustle and bustle. You can even visit the district as part of a half-day private Athens city tour.


Be sure to explore the local artisan shops for unique souvenirs and try some local cuisine at a traditional Greek taverna.

Address and opening hours:

Plaka District, Athens, Greece. Accessible 24 hours, though individual businesses may vary.


7. Enjoy a Show at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Enjoy a cultural feast at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an ancient amphitheater at the foot of the Acropolis. The venue hosts performances by Greek and international artists during the Athens Festival, which runs from May to October.


Be sure to take in the splendor of the Acropolis with this Acropolis Visit and City Night Tour with the illuminated Acropolis for a stunning backdrop.

Address and opening hours:

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


8. Savor the Flavors at the Athens Central Market

Experience the local culture by exploring the bustling Athens Central Market. This lively marketplace is packed with stalls selling everything from fresh produce and meat to local spices and cheeses. It is a true sensory overload and a gastronomic treat.


Sample the culinary delights on offer with a private walking food tour.

Address and opening hours:

Athinas Street, Athens, Greece. Open daily 7:00 AM-6:00 PM.


9. Discover the Byzantine and i

This important museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Byzantine and Christian history. Exhibits display a variety of treasures, including rare religious artifacts, stunning icons, early Christian sculptures, and textiles. It is a captivating look into a crucial era in Greek and European history.


Take an Athens 6-hour guided tour to ensure you don't miss a thing.

Address and opening hours:

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


10. Hike Up Mount Lycabettus

For those seeking a bit of adventure, a hike up Mount Lycabettus promises stunning panoramic views of Athens. This limestone hill in the center of the city makes a lovely escape from the urban landscape.


Snap some amazing pictures here and at other stunning locations with the Athens City Highlights and Panoramic Private 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.


Where can I go swimming or relax by the water in Athens?

Athens is home to some amazing beaches that are ideal for swimming or sunbathing. The opulent Astir Beach in Vouliagmeni is a well-liked option, with clear water, sandy shores, and excellent amenities. Other beach alternatives include Varkiza, Glyfada, and Alimos.

Are there any great summer festivals in Athens?

Athens is a city with a rich festival culture, especially during the summer. The Athens & Epidaurus Festival is one of the most well-known, featuring a diverse lineup of music, theater, and dance performances held in ancient venues, such as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus.

What are the must-visit outdoor attractions in Athens?

Athens has several outdoor attractions that should not be missed. The Acropolis, with the majestic Parthenon, is a must-see, as is the ancient Agora. Mount Lycabettus offers panoramic views of the city, while the National Garden provides a serene escape from the urban landscape.

What are some great day trips to take from Athens in the summer?

Athens is a great base for day trips to many interesting places. Delphi, an archaeological site considered the center of the world in ancient Greek mythology, is a popular choice. The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, with its stunning views, is another excellent day trip option.

What are some fun activities with kids in Athens in summer?

Children will have a blast exploring the National Garden's small zoo and playground, while the Hellenic Children's Museum provides educational and entertaining interactive exhibits. A day trip to Attica Zoological Park will allow them to see a variety of animals, and Allou Fun Park offers a variety of amusement rides.