Athens is where the age of antiquity meets the best of the modern world. All this against the backdrop of mountain and the crystal blue Aegean Sea, dotted with islands. There’s plenty to do, whether you’re a history buff, an art aficionado, or simply enjoy Greek mythology and the fantastic views.

Be forewarned that the days here can get hot after noon, especially during the height of the tourism season in summer. So, plan on taking your walking tours during the morning. After a strong cup of Greek coffee, head out to explore the many archeological sites in and around the city center. Visit Pnyx Hill, where great orators such as Aristides and Pericles impassioned their countrymen to take part in the world’s first true democracy. Stroll through the Ancient Agora, where Socrates and Plato walked in flowing togas, debating philosophy. Marvel at the remains of ancient temples dedicated to the gods of Mt. Olympus, as well as stellar views, atop The Acropolis.

There are plenty of museums and galleries to cool off in during the afternoons. The affluent downtown neighborhood of Kolonaki is home to high-end shops and restaurants as well as The Benaki Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored family mansion, this is a great place to get an understanding of the history and culture of Greece. The New Acropolis Museum, located in the historic area of Makrygianni, explores the art, culture and customs of the inhabitants of the Acropolis from pre-historic times through late Antiquity.

While the city can easily keep you busy, don’t miss taking a car or bus trip out to the countryside. The Temple of Poseidon is set on a rocky hilltop overlooking the Aegean Sea, on the picturesque Saronic Gulf in Cape Sounion. Delphi and some of the other islands are also close enough for a day trip. If you’re not too tired upon your return, check out the nightlife in and around Omonia Square.

Known for

Museum, Café and Historical Building

Explore map

Where to stay in Athens

Plaka
Image for Plaka

Plaka

Known for Museum, Shopping, Café

Enjoy this historical Athens hub that offers extensive shopping and dining, intermingled with ancient attractions such as the library of Adrianos.

Top Hotels in Athens

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Wyndham Grand Athens
Wyndham Grand Athens
5 out of 5
2, Megalou Alexandrou St., Athens
CA $155
per night
Oct 6 - Oct 7
4.3/5Excellent! (878 reviews)

"very nice hotel - questionable neighborhood."…"

Reviewed on Sep. 16, 2019

Wyndham Grand Athens
Image for Sofitel Athens Airport
Sofitel Athens Airport
5 out of 5
Athens International Airport, Spata-Artemida, Attiki
CA $249
per night
Oct 21 - Oct 22
4.4/5Wonderful! (4,223 reviews)

"Location, staff. Very nice to get in late and have a nice place to crash."…"

Reviewed on Sep. 18, 2019

Sofitel Athens Airport
Image for Electra Metropolis Athens
Electra Metropolis Athens
5 out of 5
15 Mitropoleos Street, Athens, Attiki
CA $297
per night
Oct 13 - Oct 14
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,350 reviews)

"Excellent location. The morning breakfast was fabulous and the view was just as pictured. Amazing spot to stay."…"

Reviewed on Sep. 17, 2019

Electra Metropolis Athens

Popular things to do in Athens

Acropolis Museum
Image for Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

This modern museum is labor of love that has taken decades to complete and accommodates millions of visitors each year.

Parthenon
Image for Parthenon

Parthenon

Step back in time and explore the ancient myths etched into the walls of the largest Doric temple in Greece, originally dedicated to the warrior goddess Athena.

Ancient Agora of Athens
Image for Ancient Agora of Athens

Ancient Agora of Athens

Walk along the covered promenades where affluent Athenians exchanged gossip, political news, and wares.

Roman Agora
Image for Roman Agora

Roman Agora

Imagine shopping where the ancient Greeks did, as you stroll through the remains of the former meeting center of Athens, composed of colonnades with marble columns.

Temple of Olympian Zeus
Image for Temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Stand at the foot of towering columns which honor the father of all Olympic gods at this 1st Century temple.

Monastiraki Flea Market
Image for Monastiraki Flea Market

Monastiraki Flea Market

From souvenirs and oddities to artisan craft and Greek pastries, this buzzing flea market is a great place to experience the local culture.

Top activities in Athens

Ancient Delphi Full-Day Trip
Image for Ancient Delphi Full-Day Trip

Ancient Delphi Full-Day Trip

CA $135

Greek mythology comes to life as you walk the roads of Delphi, considered by the ancients to be the center of the world. Admire Apollo’s temple as you hear tales of the city's famous oracle, visit a fascinating archaeological museum, and take in the magnificent terrain surrounding Arahova—a picturesque village on the slopes of Mt.

Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

CA $29

Explore the ancient wonders of Athens on an unlimited hop-on hop-off bus tour. With a 24 hour or 3 day pass, you can discover the Greek capital at your own pace.

Skip-the-line Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour
Image for Skip-the-line Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour

Skip-the-line Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour

CA $71

Skip the lines and visit 2 of the most famous sites in Athens: the striking Acropolis reigning from the hill and the renowned Acropolis Museum. Meander through glorious monuments like the Parthenon, Nike Temple, and Ancient Agora.

Poros, Hydra & Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch
Image for Poros, Hydra & Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch

Poros, Hydra & Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch

CA $145

Leave the mainland behind as you set sail across the Aegean to lose yourself in the ancient beauty of the Saronic Islands. Enjoy free time on the islands of Poros, Hydra, and Aegina, relax over a delicious buffet lunch, and be entertained by Greek music and dancing onboard the boat as you cruise between stops.

Skip-the-Line Acropolis & Athens Sightseeing & Museum Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Acropolis & Athens Sightseeing & Museum Tour

Skip-the-Line Acropolis & Athens Sightseeing & Museum Tour

CA $78

Listen to stories from your expert guide, which bring the city to life as you visit some must-see attractions in the comfort of a luxury coach. Skip the lines and wander through the site of the first-ever Olympic Games and the world-famous Acropolis.

Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon Half-Day Trip from Athens
Image for Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon Half-Day Trip from Athens

Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon Half-Day Trip from Athens

CA $71

Go beyond Athens to the spectacular Cape Sounion, and see the ruins of the Greek temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology. Admire the views of the Aegean Sea, marvel at the carvings left by Lord Byron, an English Romantic poet from the 1800s, and hear about the legend of Aegeus.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Athens

6 Instagram Tours to Capture Amazing #travelphotography
Image for 6 Instagram Tours to Capture Amazing #travelphotography

6 Instagram Tours to Capture Amazing #travelphotography

Stop scrolling through your feed and dreaming. You’re only a few clicks away from creating your own amazing travel photos.

How to Spend a Weekend in Athens, Greece
Image for How to Spend a Weekend in Athens, Greece

How to Spend a Weekend in Athens, Greece

It may be the cradle of Democracy, but with its hip nightlife and lively restaurants, Athens’ present is as intriguing as its past.

Other places like Athens

Kalamata
Image for Kalamata
Kalamata
Lisbon District
Image for Lisbon District
Lisbon District
Berlin
Image for Berlin
Berlin
Milan
Image for Milan
Milan