Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and unrivalled when it comes to history and centuries-old monuments. This compact city lets you walk the same steps as Socrates, explore world-class museums and taste traditional Greek cuisine.
Things to do
Get yourself acquainted with Athens’ legendary sites and rich history with a self-guided tour of the Parthenon, Temple of Hephaestus and the city’s crown jewel, the Acropolis. Feel what life was like in 4 and 5 BC and admire the city’s historical significance through these archaeological wonders.
Watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square’s pink Parliament Building, before learning about Greek history at the National Archaeological Museum. For a view of the city’s landscape, wake up early and hike Mount Lycabettus, which takes about 45 minutes to reach the summit, or take the Funicular Railway for a more leisurely ride.
Head to Athens’ Central Market, called “Dimotiki Agora” by locals, and treat yourself to traditional local food. Walk along Monastiraki Square to find a hive of activity at the local flea markets, or pack a picnic and relax on the lush greenery of Kifissias Park.
Whether you want five-star cuisine or moussaka and baklava, exploring the restaurants in central Athens will leave you spoiled for choice. Escape the crowds of tourists and head to quieter neighbourhoods like Koukaki, Mets or Pangrati.
Navigating around central Athens on foot and using the city’s metro is ideal, as most attractions are within a short distance from each other. Hop on a local tram service to reach downtown Athens and the coast, and if you’re ready for some exploration of the Greek Islands, you can take the metro to the port of Piraeus to catch a ferry.