Athens is one of the world's oldest major cities, and you'll find several landmarks dating back to the 5th-century BCE as proof. Although many visitors make a beeline to the Greek Islands, the country's capital offers the perfect balance between old and new, ancient and modern, classic and hip. Its busy streets and characteristic neighborhoods encircle The Acropolis, a hilltop citadel with various ancient monuments, including the Parthenon. Don't miss walking up and down the hill to explore surrounding iconic sites like the Roman Forum, Temple of Hephaestus, Ancient Agora, and the Theatre of Dionysus.
But Athens is much more than just the ancient! You'll find trendy neighborhoods full of character, like the historic Plaka, Monastiraki, and Thissio districts, and the hip Aiolou, Koukaki, and Psiri areas, all filled with cafes, bars, and ideal spots to enjoy Athens' renowned nightlife. Leave the crowds behind and relax on the beaches and bays of the Athenian Riviera, one of the area's best spots for local seafood. Hike up to Cape Sounio to watch the sunset at the Temple of Poseidon or swim in the saltwater Lake Vouliagmeni. Read more about what the eclectic city of Athens and its surrounding region have to offer.
Things to Do
With so much to see in Athens, take advantage of the tours and activities that help you explore the main sites and dive deeper into the local culture.
Acropolis and Ancient Athens Mythology Tour
It's one thing to visit the famous ancient ruins of Athens, but to really immerse yourself in Ancient Greece you need to understand the mythological stories behind the monuments! This tour dives deep into the city's fascinating history, exploring landmarks such as the Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Temple of Athena Nike, and the Ancient Agora. As you walk past these important landmarks, you'll learn about influential characters like Zeus, Athena (Goddess of Wisdom and protector of Athens), Poseidon (God of the Sea), and more. By the end of the tour, you'll know exactly why Athens was (and remains) one of the greatest cities in the world. Read More
The Olympic Games Workout
Work off that jet lag and discover the history of the Olympics, the world's most famous competition. Although the Olympic Games originally started in 776 BCE, it wasn't until 1896 CE that they were revived into the event we know and love today. With a knowledgeable trainer leading the way, you'll practice several sports in the exact venue where the modern-day Olympics first took place. Embrace your inner Olympian and try your luck at the discus and javelin throw, or the shot put, long jump, and relay race. Leave with newfound knowledge about Athens, the Olympics, and the passionate athletes, plus a certificate for running a race at the Panathenaic Stadium. Read More
Athens Street Art Tour
Join an authentic street artist as you walk through the city's neighborhoods and discover why Athens is such a haven for street art. You'll explore various styles and mediums, such as tagging, bombing, stencil, and painting, and learn about some of the city's 2,000+ street artists. View a few of the iconic images that Athenians adore and examine the controversial pieces related to the city's current social and economic situations. Read More
Athens Food Tour
One of the best ways to discover a city is through its culinary scene. Learn about authentic dishes and observe how the locals share a meal. As you explore Athens with your tastebuds, you'll visit the bustling Varvakios Market and try some of the regional favorites. Start with a traditional Greek coffee, followed by bites of typical dishes, including savory souvlaki and fried potatoes, sweet baklava, and various delicacies, products, and spices known to Athens' gastronomy. Try koulouri, a classic on-the-go snack beloved by Athenians, and bougatsa, a traditional cream-filled phyllo dough. As you wander and nibble, your guide will help you explore some of the city's lesser-known spots and hidden corners, giving you excellent food recommendations for the rest of your time in Athens. Read More
Wine & Meze Tasting in Koukaki Neighborhood
Although Athens' main sites and landmarks are certainly must-sees, no trip to the city is complete without exploring its neighborhoods. Koukaki is a favorite amongst locals and one of the hippest districts in the city, particularly known for its foodie scene. The streets of Koukaki are lined with trendy coffee shops, modern bistros, and cozy wine bars. With a local guide leading the way, you'll learn about Greece's historic winemaking tradition, which goes back thousands of years. As you sip, nibble on traditional meze, similar to appetizers or tapas. A helpful sommelier will introduce you to PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) wine varietals as you discover what makes Greek wine unique. Read More
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Explore the Surrounding Regions of Athens
It's close to impossible to run out of things to do in Athens, but if you'd like to explore the city's surroundings, you'll dive even further into Ancient Greek history and enjoy seaside vistas.
Athenian Riviera & Cape Sounio Sunset Tour
Athens may be on the Greek mainland, but you can still marvel at the seaside while exploring the Athenian Riviera. A guide will take you along this scenic stretch of coastline, stopping to discover hidden bays and lesser-known beaches. Make a stop at Flisvos Marina to ogle at the luxury yachts and take a dip in the saltwater Lake Vouliagmeni, a collapsed cave with underwater tunnels. Finish the tour at Cape Sounio to explore the 5th-century Temple of Poseidon dedicated to the God of the Sea. Set at the tip of the Attica Peninsula, the cape overlooks the Saronic Gulf and provides one of the best places near Athens to watch the sun melt into the horizon. Read More
Delphi Day Trip with Corycean Grotto Hike
If you need more Ancient Greek ruins, spend the day exploring Delphi, once believed to be the center of the world. Your driver will take you through the scenic countryside to the archeological site, where you'll meet your guide. Many of the landmarks date back to the 4th century BCE, including the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo, and the expansive, open-air theater. The museum at Delphi contains the bronze Charioteer of Delphi and the haunting Sphinx of Naxos. Pair your historical excursion with an active hike to the Corycean Grotto, dedicated to the god Pan. The path offers incredible views of the Corinthian Gulf and the Peloponnese Mountains. Read More
How Does Athens Fit into a Greece Itinerary?
Because most visitors fly into Athens' international airport, the city makes an excellent starting or ending point to any vacation in Greece. Although we recommend spending at least a few days in the area, even just a few hours allows you to visit the iconic Acropolis. If you want to enjoy more of the activities listed above, plan for at least 2-3 days in the city. But if you have limited time, read about how to spend 24 hours in the Greek capital.
Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include Athens: