10 THINGS YOU MUST DO IN ATHENS
The first time I visited Athens I didn’t have any expectations. I made the mistake of not doing enough research as by the time I was there I realised what the city had to offer. I knew the city had history and impressive architecture but not to the level it proved.
So I thought to help me (and anyone else who is reading this) for my next trip to Athens and to make sure no stone is left unturned. If you want the full guide and 3 day itinerary, click here. LINK
WHERE IS ATHENS?
10 things you must do in Athens
10 THINGS YOU MUST DO IN ATHENS
1. ACROPOLIS / PARTHENON
The most popular attraction in Athens and one that cannot be missed. The Acropolis, translated to ‘highest point’, is said to have been inhabited over 2000years ago! Be sure to get there first thing in the morning as the crowds and midday heat can make things a struggle. You might also be lucky enough to see the ceremony of the Greek flag being hoisted into the air. Views here are exceptional.
- Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world.
- Democracy was established in Athens
- Athens has more than 140 theatre stages. Thats more than London’s West End and NYC’s Broadway combined.
1.1 ODEON OF HERODES ATTICUS / THE THEATRE OF DIONYSUS
Just beside the Acropolis are two ancient theatres, both of which are very different. The Odean of Herodes Atticus was refurbished and regularly hosts event where as Dionysus has been left to ruin.
2. ACROPOLIS MUSEUM
To understand some of what you have just seen at the Acropolis, it makes sense to visit the museum. It houses every single artefacts that has come from the Acropolis and I would recommend the short documentary at the top floor. A welcome sit down during a day on your feet.
3. TEMPLE OF ZEUS
2500 years ago there was a plan to build the most impressive temple in the ancient world and have it dedicated to the God of Zeus. 600 years later it was complete and although there are only some of the columns remaining, there was once 104 as part of the temple which housed the statue of Zeus, an ancient wonder of the world. The whereabouts of the statue is currently unknown.
4. PANATHENAIC STADIUM
The Panathenaic Stadium is the home of the ancient Olympics (Panathenaic Games) as well as the home of the modern Olympics. Originally built in 300BC it was rebuilt in marble and remains the only stadium to be built entirely of the material. Don’t forget to visit the room with the Olympic Torches.
A trip to Athens doesn’t seem right without visiting the quaint streets of Plaka. If you like the café culture found around most of Europe then you will love this little place. It can get busy so if you have a place in mind then make a reservation. A recommendation would be Scholarchio, order the saganaki as a starter.
There is only one place to enjoy sunset and that’s on top of Lycabettus, north east of the Acropolis. A short walk will get you there from the city centre and another easy hike to the top, don’t be concerned about fitness levels. With such little effort required to get to the top, you are reward ten fold with incredible views of the city and the Acropolis. Tip – you can drive to the top and eat at the impressive restaurant called Orizontes.
7. SARONIC ISLANDS OR VOULIAGMENIS LAKE
As there is plenty to do in the city it is always good to get out for a breather. Not to mention some of the countries best islands are only a short sail away. You aren’t stuck for options either but The Saronic Islands are hard to beat and with a day trip is possible to visit 3 while still having time to chill on the boat.
If sailing isn’t your cup of tea then I would recommend the coast just south of the city. You have plenty of options here to enjoy the sea or you can go as far as Vouliagmenis Lake (25mins) and chill there for the day instead.
8. AGORA OF ATHENS & THE TEMPLE OF HEPHAESTUS
The great thing about this city is how close the attractions are. Everything is within walking distance and the Agora ruins are no different. It was originally used as a meeting place and hosted many public events. The Church of the Holy Apostles & The Temple of Hephaestus are both built here.
9. NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Not one to drool over archaeological museums myself but I found this one to be particularly interesting. It displays priceless artefacts from Greek history including a bronze statue that is either Zeus or Poseidon.
10. FOOD TOUR
Greek food is fantastic but if you don’t know what you’re looking it can become a bit of a minefield. Getting a food tour is a good way to have a local food expert show you the ropes. This in turn will set you up for the rest of the weekend on what to order and what to avoid.
I hope you didn’t notice there was 11 things on this list. With a city that offers so much value it’s sometimes hard to restrict it. A sign of a great city. I hope you found this helpful, please let me know if I missed anything out or if you went ahead with a trip to Athens, I’d love to hear about it.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
To read about my time in Athens and Greece, click here.
- Have you visited Athens?
- Would you recommend anything else beyond the list?
- Which restaurants and bars did you like?
Let me know in the comments below . . .