Tourist Attractions: Best Things to do in Athens, Greece
Athens is among the oldest cities in the world, and the city is known as the city of Gods, the cradle of Western civilization, and the intellectual beacon of the ancient world. It is home to some of the world’s most important cultural, architectural, and historical attractions. There are many tourist attractions that you can visit here, from museums to the beaches, you will surely be in love with the attractions this city has to offer.
Top 15 things to do in Athens
Visit the Acropolis
The iconic Acropolis of Athens is located on top of a rocky hill; this is a group of architectural masterpieces from the Ancient Greek period dating back to the fifth century. The term acropolis meant an upper city and was the city’s main religious center. The highlight of the Acropolis is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. A tourist attraction you can also check out is the Erechtheion, the temple of Athena Nike, and the Propylaea. Book your Acropolis tickets in advance for skip-the-line entry, guided tours, early access tours, and combo experiences.
Go sightseeing at the Acropolis Museum.
This is among Europe’s best museums, and it was opened in 2009. In the museum, you will see the various discoveries that have been made on the site of the Acropolis. The 4000 collections are divided into five different focuses and eras. The museum’s highlight is the gallery on the slopes of the Acropolis, where you can see through the glass floor into the mining site itself and have a glimpse of everyday life thousands of years ago. You should also try to see the temporary shows during your visit.
Explore the Temple of Zeus
The temple was built in days to honor Zeus, the God of gods and the father of all Olympian Gods. The temple is also known as Olympeion, and it took over 700 years to build the temple, which homes 104 Corinthian columns. Although 15 of the columns remain today, it is a perfect place to learn more about history and mythology buffs. During your visit, you can check out the columns, the gold statue of Zeus and the giant ivory, the remains of the ancient houses, the city walls, and the Roman bath.
See the National Archaeological Museum
This is among Athens’ top things to see, and if you did not visit here when you are in Athens, your tour is not complete. The museum is the biggest museum in Greece, and it homes artifacts that have been recovered from archaeological excavations and Greek antiquities. The museum is home to over 11,000 items, including pieces of art, sculptures, metalwork, and vases which help tell the story of Greece all the way back to its prehistoric origins in the sixth millennium BC till the Roman conquest.
Stroll around the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus
A tourist attraction you should make sure you visit is the ancient Agora, the heart of ancient Athens. It is a lively marketplace, a commercial hub, a civic center, and the focal point where all administrative, political, commercial, and social activities occur. You can stroll along the footpath which leads to Agora Hill and checks out the temple of Hephaistos and the Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles. You can also explore the place where Socrates and Plato do their teachings and where Saint Paul sought out converts. You will surely enjoy the views of the Agora and the well-preserved columns which have remained since 450 BC.
Go sightseeing on Mount Lycabettus
This is a 300m high, pine-carpeted limestone hill that overlooks the city, and you will see the looming shadow of the hill from the city. You should try and visit this tourist attraction for the city’s scenic views from the platform or see a show at the amphitheater that regularly hosts events and music concerts in the summer. You can hike to the top of the hill or take the Lycabettus Funicular train. The highlight of the hill is you get the chance to watch the sun sink behind the Athens skyline.
Experience the Greek culture at Plaka
This is the oldest district in Athens, and it is one of the must-see areas of Athens. The district is located under the slope of the Acropolis, and you will get the chance to explore its pedestrian streets, neoclassical buildings, narrow alleys, and its red-tiled houses. If you want to experience the authentic Greek culture, just roam around and check out their restaurants, go shopping, and see the gardens, museums, or other attractions. You will surely have no dull moment here.
Cool down at the Astir Beach
You will find this beach 13km south of the city center in the tranquil suburb of Vouliagmeni. The astir beach is a private beach that offers top-notch facilities, and there are a lot of fun activities that you can do like jet skiing and other watersports. There are a spa and restaurants where you can have a relaxing time while watching the spectacular view of this private paradise. Note that this is a private beach, and you will have to pay to access the beach.
Escape the city vibe at the National Garden
If you are tired of the city’s hustle and bustle and want a different scenery, the 15-acre park in central Athens is the right place for you to go. You stroll through the park as you will see ancient ruins, columns, mosaics, a turtle pond, and a duck pond. You can also explore the Botanical Museum of the National Garden, which shows dried plants that were grown in the gardens, the botanical paintings by P. Kantartzis, and a lot more.
Visit the Panathenaic Stadium
The stadium is one of the tourist attractions of Athens which you must visit. This is the largest stadium in Athens and can accommodate up to 70,000 spectators, although it was built around 335 B.C. The stadium is made of marble and is regarded among the architectural wonders in the world. The highlight of the stadium is the ability to photograph the Acropolis, national gardens, Filopappos Hill, Lycabettus hill, and the temple of Olympian Zeus in one picture.
This is the Boho neighborhood of Athens, located between Mount Lycabettus and Acropolis, close to the popular Monastiraki and Plaka. The area is unspoiled by tourism which offers bundles of Greek charm, typical Athenian coffee shops, quirky bars, and independent stores. You should try and enjoy a cooling Greek-style frappe at an outdoor café; you can also play the backgammon game in the sunshine at Psirri.
Watch classic movies in Thission Cinema.
Enjoy a classic movie in front of the unequaled backdrop of Athens at night at the outdoor cinema in Thission. The Thission cinema has been declared as the best in the world, and you will get a mind-blowing view of Acropolis from here. You will also enjoy the cheese pies and other surprising movie snacks.
Experience dinner in the sky
Some of the best restaurants and bars are in Athens, and one of the iconic ones is Dinner in the Sky, which is found in Psirri. You will be strapped into your table seat at this top-notch restaurant while hoisting 50 feet in the air. You will enjoy cocktails and fine dining while you rotate slowly as you view some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
Go sightseeing at the Athens’ Street Art
This feels like a world apart from the marble temples of the Acropolis; you will see some of the highest concentrations of contemporary art in the world in the streets of Athens. You will see the open-air canvas for social and political messages since the 1990s in the public corners of the neighborhoods. A guided walking tour is the best way to explore the 2000 pieces of canvas that are found on this street.
Shop for souvenirs at Monastiraki Flea Market
You should try to buy some souvenirs at the Sunday market around Monastiraki Square as you round up your tour for the vacation. You will find almost everything from old antiques to handmade musical instruments at this market, and you should try to get there before 11 am to avoid crowds.
Athens Travel and Tour Packages
Athens Half Day Tour with Acropolis Museum
Explore the best tourist spots in Athens. Discover one of the oldest civilizations in the world with this half-day tour of the city that showcases the treasures of both Ancient Greece and modern Athens!
Athens and Acropolis Walking Day Tour
Enrich your Greek history beyond the borders of mythology and philosophy by going to the root city of modern Western civilization.
Athens is a modern and bustling capital city of Greece, and you will have a different experience from that of the Greek Islands. Athens has a rich history, fun tourist attractions, tasty food, good shopping, and amazing nightlife; you will surely love your stay here.
Do you have other recommended fun and interesting things to do in Athens? Please feel free to share by posting a comment below.
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