ATHENS.

Submerged deep in history, tradition and unique atmosphere, Athens will leave every exploration buff speechless and hungry for more. Centuries, if not millennia old monuments and landmarks seamlessly blend with the modern architecture of Athens. Marvel at the beauty of the remnants of Ancient Greece, discover the Greek mythology right at the source and learn about drama and philosophy in the very place where they were born. But that’s just the tip of the Greek iceberg – beyond its own cultural heritage, Athens offers Byzantine churches, Ottoman architecture and a vast choice of neoclassical buildings. Athens is a complete package of emotions and styles, reaching back to the past with a firm grip on the modernity, with creative energy pouring from every corner of the city – from street art to modern cuisine, Athens offers entertainment crafted for every taste and need, so whether you’ve got a taste for ancient ruins or modern clubs, you will not be disappointed.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Athens

Best Period to Visit Athens

Accomodation Tips for Athens

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Athens

Getting Around Athens

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Athens

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Athens

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Taste the local specialties

Not only can you taste the local cuisine for a reasonable price, but it is also a great way to save some money on lunch. If you are looking for a cheap meal in Athens, make sure to taste the gyro at one of the many vendors. For about €4 you can have a filling meal and a tasty one at that.

Look for accommodation in Omonia

While the neighbourhood in Omonia is definitely not the prettiest or friendliest district of the city, it certainly does have one of the cheapest accommodation spots in Athens. Hotels, hostels, and apartments here are way cheaper than elsewhere, and you will not be spending much time there anyway.

Make sure to visit off-season

While you may be inclined to visit Greece during the hot summer months, so think the vast majority of the tourists too. During June and July, Athens gets extremely crowded, and the prices skyrocket. For the best prices and less crowded experience, make sure to come in spring or autumn.

Utilize the free walking tours

As in most of the major European cities, there are also free walking tours organised by locals in Athens. Called simply the Athens Free Walking Tour, the tour showcases some of the most important monuments and attractions, which makes it a great starter for first-time visitors.

Visit attractions on Sundays

Being a common practice in most of Europe, most museums and other major sites require no admission fee when visited on Sundays. However, take note that this is only valid from the first of November to the end of March, which gives yet another reason for visiting the city outside the summer months.

Check the hostels

While staying in hotels is definitely the most popular way to find accommodation, it is definitely not the cheapest one. Make sure to look around the Internet before you venture off for the best-priced accommodation, and think about joining as a member of a hostel network, as they provide handy discounts.

Share your ride

If you need to get from one place to another in Athens, and the distance is too great to cover on foot, make sure to utilize a ridesharing option on any major transportation app, such as Uber. There are a lot of tourists always searching for a ride, and it is a great way to save some money on a taxi.

Try couchsurfing

If you are on a really tight budget, you can always try couchsurfing to save even more money than a cheap accommodation would. There are a lot of hosts offering their couches to tourists for a very reasonable price, and, moreover, you get the chance to stay at a local’s home and get some travel tips.

Save your money on airport transfer

The airport in Athens is located at a considerable distance (more than thirty kilometres) from the city centre. A taxi drive on such a distance often costs over €40, but you can easily cut down the costs of transportation by using metro, which is even faster than a taxi, or a bus, which is the cheapest option.

Drink outside

While you may be inclined to visit a pub or a bar for a drink during the evening, think twice before doing so. Cocktails often go for as much as around €10 in such places, which is an absurd price. Instead, grab a bottle of local wine or a bottle of beer from a regular shop and enjoy the drink outside, which is legal in Greece.

Best Period to Visit Athens

Tourism

We advise visiting Athens either between March and May or from September to November. That’s when the weather is more forgiving (but still great), the crowds are not as overwhelming, and the prices are lower, compared to summer which is the prime season. Even winter, which lasts between December and February, is very pleasant. Summer lasts from June to August and offers thick crowds which can be a bit of a problem for some.

Weather

Summer in Athens is extremely hot, peaking in July with around 34 °C high. That’s why between March to May and between September to November may be better periods for an Athens city break, as they offer around 20 °C, which is pleasant and not as unbearable. Winter is mild, with 5 °C lows around January and February.

Money

Summer is the most expensive period to be in Athens, as it’s the peak season. For better deals on accommodation, food and entertainment, aim for Fall and Spring. Winter, which is a bit colder (but still pleasant), offers the biggest discounts and virtually no crowds.

Events

Athens & Epidaurus Festival (June-August)
International Jazz & Blues Festival (June)
Rockwave Festival (July)
Athens International Dance Festival (July)
August Moon Festival (August)
Athens International Film Festival (September-October)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Apartments in Athens are an excellent source of accommodation, perfect for those who would like to gain a less temporary experience of the city. Renting an apartment in Athens allows you to feel like a local – such an approach will make your stay truly unique.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Cheap hotels in Athens allow you to spend quality time in the city without spending a fortune. 1- and 2-star hotels in Athens cost as little as $10 per night, giving you the opportunity to direct the money where its really needed – on exploring, having fun and enjoying the best tourist attractions.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

If you would like for your accommodation in Athens to cover all your needs, allowing you to focus only on enjoying your stay, then 3- and 4-star hotels will be perfect. Standard hotels in Athens are located close to popular tourist attractions and offer easy access to public transportation.

Luxury hotels in Athens

If you would like to experience Athens in a truly splendorous way, then there is no better form of accommodation than luxury hotels. Those in Athens offer amazing facilities and the best possible location. The quality of service they provide is second to none. Nightly rates for luxury hotels in Athens start around $200 per night.

Getting Around Athens

Bicycle

Athens is not really developed when it comes to being a cyclist-friendly city. The city does not have any cycle lanes, and the terrain is tough to traverse on a bike. There are also a lot of reckless drivers, which makes using a bike even more dangerous and difficult.

Bus

There are quite a number of bus and trolleybus services in Greece, making them a good way to travel around the city. The buses operate every fifteen minutes during the day, and the most important lines are the 5, 11, and 15, as they run from the Syntagma Square through the National Archeological Museum. The tickets to the buses can be bought at any machine or kiosk, located near the stops. Take note that the express buses, which cruise to and from the airport, require a separate, more expensive ticket.

Car and Motorcycle

You might want to stay away from using your own vehicle in Athens, as the city is tough to traverse due to its narrow streets and the shape of the landscape. The city is filled with confusing signs, horrendous traffic jams, reckless drivers, and one-way streets, making driving through it a nightmare. You might also have a problem with finding a parking spot, as parking along the streets is forbidden, and there are no free parking spots in the city.

Metro

The metro is the most efficient and the fastest way to get around the city. The metro trains operate from 5:30 a.m. all the way to after midnight, and depart every four to ten minutes. There are three metro lines: green, red, and blue. The Green line is the oldest line of the network, and courses from Kifisia to Piraeus. The red line starts its service at Agios Antonios in the northwest part of the city and ends at Agios Dimitrios in the southeast. The blue line of the metro runs from Egaleo to Doukissis Plakentias.

Taxi

Contrary to most of the other European cities, taxis are very cheap in Athens and are often the best way to get around with a group of people. Take note though, that since the taxis are so cheap, they are also crowded and it might be hard to find a free one, especially during rush hours. To make it easier, make sure to use the mobile app or call a cab company.

Tram

While the tram is not the fastest way to get around (and is probably the slowest), it does offer a scenic view of the city. The trams run from the Syntagma Square and go along the coast to Voula, Faliro, and via Glyfada.

Tickets and Passes

All of the public transport means share the same tickets in Athens, excluding the express buses. You can get a reloadable card from any machine or ticket shop in metros, and you can load it with as many rides as you want. A single ticket, which is viable for up to ninety minutes and covers as many transfers as you can fit in that time, costs €1.40, but there is a discount if you buy in bulk. A twenty-four-hour ticket costs €4.50, and a five-day travel pass is only €9, presenting the best deal. Keep in mind that children under six can travel for free, and anyone under 18 or over 65 is eligible for a half-fare ticket. Discounts for students are also available.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Athens

Acropolis of Athens Tour

This tour allows you to see for yourself the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Acropolis. A local guide will show you along the Theatre of Dionysus, Parthenon, as well as the Temple of Athena Nike, all the while providing you a lesson on Greek history, its mythology and rich past.

New Acropolis Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket

Beat the crowds which often line in front of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens with this very reasonably priced ticket, which guarantees a priority entrance. All four galleries of the museum will be open for you to discover at your own pace, filled with artifacts and memorabilia from the ancient times.

Athens Highlights: a Mythological Tour

Known for its rich ancient past, Greece is filled with remnants of it to this day. This tour will show you along the most famous ancient mythological sites of Athens, and a local guide will tell you about how people used to live as you explore the ancient ruins and millennia-old temples.

Athens Scenic Bike Tour

If you tire quickly during a walking tour, this one may be more to your liking. Provided with a comfortable bike, as well as a helmet, this tour will take you along the highlights of the scenic landscape of Athens, and a professional guide guarantees safety and provides information about the city.

Athens Small-Group Food Tour

Learn about the culture of Athens while tasting some of the famous local delicacies. A local guide will take you on a walking trip between several small-time establishments which serve the best local cuisine, all the while providing commentary on the history of the food and how it shaped Greek identity.

Athens Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

With a route covering both ancient and more contemporary highlights of the city, this tour takes half a day to show you the most famous monuments of Athens. You will be taken through both the Parliament and the National Library, with a tour of Acropolis afterwards and an optional upgrade with the Acropolis Museum.

Half-Day Small-Group Tour to Cape Sounion

Starting right from the centre of Athens, this half-day trip provides comfortable transportation in a minivan to Cape Sounion, where you will be able to enjoy some of the most beautiful views in all of Greece. You will stop by a beach along the way, where you will be able to take some time and relax.

Private Gourmet Food Tour

With a knowledgeable guide all for your own, this tour will take you along the best restaurants and eateries in Athens during a half-day tour. You will taste such delicacies as the local sesame bread, koulouri, as well as the famous loukoumades, mini-doughnuts served only in Greece.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Athens Tour

This handy service provides thirty-seven stops across three different routes for you to choose (you do not have to choose all three) and allows you to discover the city of Athens at your own pace. The stops are strategically placed around the most attended attractions and monuments of the city for your convenience.

All Day Cruise to Agistri, Moni, and Aegina

This all-inclusive cruise over the Saronic Gulf will allow you to take a day off from the hassle of the city. The cruise lasts a whole day and provides approximately six hours of sailing with up to four hours of sightseeing on the islands. The trip begins at Marina Zeas and proceeds through the islands of Agistri, Moni, and Aegina.

Other Things to See and Do

The Changing of the Guard

Much as is customary with the Buckingham Palace in London, England, the ceremony of the changing of the guard in Athens is also a sight to see. The military elite of Greece, called the evzones, change every hour of each day, and if you happen to come to the Syntagma Square on Sundays, there is a weekly parade at 11 a.m.

The Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel, placed on a rocky cliff above the city of Athens. The complex consists of several ruins of ancient buildings, including several temples. While the Acropolis has been severely damaged during a war in the 17th century, it is still in a remarkable condition to this day.

The Ancient Agora

Used as a central public sphere in the ancient times, where the philosophers discussed their ideas and artists gathered to show their work, the Ancient Agora of Athens is a place worth visiting to see the gorgeous marble remains of the buildings, located by the hill of Areopagus.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

You cannot visit Athens and not see the ruins of the temple of the most important of all the Greek gods – Zeus. The colossal temple is an overwhelming sight to see and was constructed as far back as the sixth century B.C. The Temple was sadly destroyed in 3rd century A.D. but is still a sight to see despite its state.

Theatre of Dionysus

Considered by historians to be the world’s first theatre, the Theatre of Dionysus is located at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis. The theatre was dedicated to the god of plays and wine, Dionysus, and has the capacity to fit more than fifteen thousand people at the same time, with amazing acoustics.

The Roman Agora

Being substantially different from the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora is located just north of the Acropolis. The Agora was built by the Romans as a gift to the Athenians, around the year 15 B.C., and in turn, the people of Athens built a huge statue to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa as a way to thank him.

Kerameikos

This district of Athens is known among the locals and foreigners as one of the must-visit places for any first-timer in the city. The Kerameikos is located to the northwest of the Acropolis and is placed both inside and outside of the ancient city walls. The district is famous for its pottery business, and the word “ceramics” is derived from its name.

The Museum of the History of Greek Costume

With a unique collection of items, this museum is definitely worth visiting. The museum is open at all times for the public and requires no admission to enter. The museum, as its name might suggest, displays some of the ancient traditional Greek costumes and teaches of their history and functionality.

The Philatelic and Postal Museum

If you are a philatelist yourself, or just want to stare at tiny beautiful rectangles, go to the Philatelic and Postal Museum in Athens for free. The museum shows the most interesting and rarest stamps in the world, and you can even see for yourself the process of making such stamps.

Gounaropoulos Museum

Featuring the work of the famous Greek painter Giorgos Gounaropoulos, the collection of this museum might not be the biggest there is to gaze upon, but is nevertheless worth visiting since it’s free. The Gounaropoulos Museum is located on the Gounaropoulou Street, near the Hilton hotel.

The Metro

Similarly to the Moscow Metro, the Athens Metro is a sight to see and is often regarded as a museum in itself. The metro stations of Athens are filled with antique artifacts and marvellous sculptures of ancient artists. The most beautiful stations are those around the Acropolis, Syntagma, and Evangelismos.

Yannis Pappas Studio

Not only does this attraction function as an art gallery dedicated to the Greek artist, Yannis Pappas, who created during the 20th century, but it is actually a real workspace of the artist in which he created his works. The artist has lived in the building with his family until the 1960s, and nowadays it serves as a personal museum.

Stavros Niarchos

Not all of the attractions and monuments of Athens have to come from the times of Ancient Greece. This cultural centre, build not long ago, the SNFCC, is a wonderful feat of beautiful architecture, with a surrounding park of over 170 hectares and many events and exhibitions taking place every week.

The National Gardens

If you are looking for a place to go for an afternoon stroll or to jog at, try visiting the National Gardens of Athens. The National Gardens is a huge park, lush with greenery and vegetation, placed right in the centre of the city. There are also remnants of Roman baths there, which are also a sight to see.

Filopappos Hill

Located near Acropolis, the Filopappos Hill was known in Ancient Greece as the Hill of the Muses. It was the supposed place of the burial of the nine muses. The path to the hill is nice to walk through with benches along to rest, and the top of the hill provides a great vantage point to gaze at the cityscape.

Lycabettus Hill

Get the best possible view of the city of Athens and the surrounding landscape from the highest peak in the city, which stands at over two hundred and fifty meters tall. The climb to the top of the hill is a difficult, but pleasant walk, but you can always take a cable car which provides a 360-degree view.

Strefi Hill

While the hill does not provide the greatest view of Athens (for that visit the Lycabettus Hill), the Strefi Hill is a tranquil place to visit. The hill is rarely attended by tourists, which means you will be able to get a private experience, but stay away from the hill during the night, as it is said that it is a common spot for local hooligans.

Mount Immitos

Mount Immitos is not exactly within the premises of Athens, but is not far off and is definitely a good place to visit during your stay. The peak provides an amazing view of the surrounding landscape, but the walk is very long and steep, so make sure to take a lot of water with you especially during summer.

Ermou Street

Take a walk along this pedestrian-only street, located not far from the Syntagma Square. The street is a common place for local artisans and chefs to set up their shops and diners and is one of the busiest shopping streets of Athens, filled with clothing shops, souvenirs, and handmade craftwork.

Panathenaic Stadium

Located just outside of the National Gardens of Athens, the Panathenaic Stadium was the place where the first modern Olympic Games were hosted in 1904. The stadium is unique, as it is the only stadium in the world built entirely out of marble, and can be admired from the outside for free with a small entrance fee to see the insides.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Athens city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Athens are: Athenaeum Intercontinental, Hilton Athens, St George Lycabettus, Hotel Grande Bretagne a Luxury Collection Hotel and Electra Palace Athens. Discover the full list of best hotels in Athens.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Athens?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Athens include King George a Luxury Collection Hotel, Royal Olympic Hotel, Scale Suites, Life Gallery Athens, Grand Hyatt Athens, The Athenian Callirhoe Exclusive Hotel and Divani Palace Acropolis. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Athens.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Athens?

    Those trying to visit Athens on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as InnAthens, Athinais Hotel, 360 Degrees , Best Western Plus Amazon Hotel, Acropolis Museum Boutique Hotel, Acropolis Hill Hotel and Athens Center Square Hotel. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Athens.

  • What is the best period to visit Athens for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Athens for a city break are March, May, September, October or November.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Athens?

    Athens offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Athens include: Acropolis of Athens Tour, Acropolis Museum, Mythological Tour, Athens Scenic Bike Tour and Athens Half-Day Sightseeing Tour.

  • How much does an Athens city pass cost?

    A city pass in Athens costs around €31.

  • How much does public transport in Athens cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Athens costs around €4.50.

  • What are the best night clubs in Athens?

    The best night clubs in Athens include: Island, Cinderella, Kitty Cat, Dybbuk or Bolivar Beach Club.

  • What are the best bars in Athens?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Athens are: Brettos, 360 Cocktail Bar, The Clumsies, Drunk Sinatra, Baba Au Rum or Six d.o.g.s.

  • What are the best places to eat in Athens?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Athens may vary depending on your taste, however, Klimataria ,Varoulko ,Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani ,Orizontes , and Hytra are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Athens?

    Top 5 restaurants in Athens include: Spondi, Funky Gourmet, Papadakis, Estiatorio Milos Athens and GB Roof Garden.