Wherever you look, Athens is full of monuments of ancient and newer culture. Athens is a city full of contrasts and always has something new to discover behind its touring showcase. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, or if you are just passing through Athens to a destination in one of the Greek islands, our entertainment guide in Athens aims to offer you the best choices for making the days and Your nights in Athens, more interesting.
Athens at a glance
Athens is one of the most famous sightseeing destinations in Europe. From ancient sites like the Acropolis to beaches to shopping centers, there’s plenty to see here – and many, many choices on offer about the best way to see it!
Athens tours almost always include a visit to some of the famous Ancient Greek monuments and structures. The most popular attractions are the sites in and around the Acropolis, including the Temple of Nike, the Greek Agora and the Roman Agora, and many more. You can visit all some of these as part of a guided tour taking a day or half-day. You can also join an evening sightseeing tour of the Acropolis, which includes dinner and the chance to listen to ancient Greek instruments.
Speaking of dinner, Athens is an excellent destination for gourmands, as well as classicists. You can take a walking tour of Athens which includes the chance to sample Greek specialties and delicacies. There are also Greek wine tasting tours on offer, which are perfect if you’re interested in finding out more about the local vineyards.
If you are interested in sightseeing in Athens but are interested in the modern as well as the ancient city, then there are walking tours available around Plaka and Monastiraki, as well as contemporary Greek highlights like the Parliament building and the main shopping areas.
Athens’ museums are another of the city’s many highlights. The New Acropolis Museum and the Benaki Museum have some of the world’s best collections relating to ancient civilizations. They can get very busy at peak times, but it’s possible to buy a pass to allow you to jump the queue and maximize your time in the museum.
If you’re interested in traveling around at your own pace rather than going on a walking or coach tour, then consider buying a ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus. Tickets include discounts on some sites, and buses stop off at all major tourist sites in Athens. There are two routes available, and this is a very good option if you want to combine sightseeing with leisurely lunches and plenty of pit stops!
There are also plenty of excursions on an offer outside the city, at sites both near and far. The clifftop monasteries of Meteora, one of the highlights of Greece, can be visited on a 2-day excursion. There are cruises to nearby Greek islands, including Hydra, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and much more – perfect if you either want to see historical sites in locations that are further out of Athens or just want to travel to some of the most famous holiday islands in Greece.
However, if you only have a short time in Greece but still want to travel outside the city, then you should consider a trip to the Temple of Poseidon, to Corinth or to Marathon. Going on an organized coach tour is the most efficient way to get around these sites and maximize the use of your time in Athens.
Bus Tours around Athens
Athens and its suburbs are beautiful and dotted with art galleries, museums, exhibitions, parks, gardens, ruins, and natural beauty. Guided bus yours are one of the best ways to see Athens and its periphery any day of the year. Zipping through the countryside in an air-conditioned bus with an English (or whatever your language is) tour guide who explains all the sights, the history and the people who created it, one can almost feel how it felt to cruise around Greece a long time ago. Along with Monuments, landmarks and ancient churches, there are so many attractions that compete for our attention, we could spend days touring Greece.
Best hotels in Athens
Flights to Greece
Getting around the city
Athens is a sophisticated and cosmopolitan European city; revamped hotels, stylish restaurants, and shops, elegant and cozy cafés pop up everywhere in Athens, a city that never sleeps.
Athens is probably one of the most contradictory cities you will see. The cradle of European civilization, one of the most historical capital cities of the world has been experiencing the most significant changes in the historic center, re-establishing, these last few years, the cultural and social life as it once was.
Featuring one of the most stunning pedestrian promenades in Europe and high traffic in the downtown, Athens can be the source of frustrations if you are a resident but is still irresistibly seductive.
The oldest city in Europe, the richest in history and culture is full of trend-conscious residents and visitors; hedonism and enjoyment are the main themes here, as Athenians value their night outs and their festivals as nothing else.
Athens is one of the safest and liveliest cities in Europe, a colorful mix of history, antiquity, and grace, with a lusty urban soul.
Athens is a modern Western city; no dress code or any other restrictions are implemented. Featuring a rich nightlife, with hundreds of bars, beachside restaurants, and clubs all over, and a well-appointed GLBT scene, Athens can meet all needs and requirements, whether you are up to wild night out, or a relaxing and cozy dining out the evening.
Top Tourist Attractions in Athens
Visit the sacred rock of the Acropolis, one of the most photographed sights in the world! This unique destination every year is a pole of attraction for millions of visitors from all over the world. See unique beauty and architectural masterpieces such as the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena, Nike and the Propylaea. Enjoy the ancient marbles and the impressive views of the city.
The Ancient Agora of Athens was the heart of the ancient city: a large, open square that constituted the seat of justice, the political, economic, administrative, social, religious and cultural center of the city, where all citizens assembled to carry out any kind of activity. At the beginning of the 6th century BC, at the time of the great Solon legislator, the area was transformed into a public gathering place for citizens.
Walk to the white marble stadium, the home of the first Olympic Games of 1896. The Panathenaic Stadium was built between 330 and 329 BC. Between 140 and 144 AD, the Stadium was repaired by Herodes Atticus. During antiquity, it was used for the Olympic Games where they honored the goddess Athena. The Panathenaic Stadium is today a tourist attraction and is used only in special cases.
Odeon of Herodes
The famous Odeon of Herodes Atticus dominates the edge of the South Acropolis. It was built during the 2nd century BC. AD, by Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herod, a well-known son of a great Athenian family and benefactor, in memory of Rilglas' wife, who died in 160 AD. The conservatory, mainly used for musical events, was roofed and had a total capacity of 5,000 people. The conservatory was destroyed in 267 AD by Hercules and was never rebuilt.
Syntagma Square is located in the heart of the city, in front of the Greek Parliament. The historical significance of Syntagma Square is enormous for Athens and Greece in general. Until 1843, it was called the Palace Square, as in the present House there were the palaces of King Otto. Access: Syntagma Square is a transport hub, with many bus lines, trolleybus, metro and tram stops, while it is also connected to the airport Eleftherios Venizelos.
Monastiraki is a district of Athens around Monastiraki Square, which extends to the south side of Ermou Street, from the height of the Mitropoleos Square to the Thissio Square. Its name comes from the old church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, located on the square. In Monastiraki Square dominates the old Tzistarakis Mosque, which today houses an annex of the Folk Art Museum.
The Adrian's Gate (or the Arch of Adrian) is a monumental gate from Roman period. It covered an ancient road from the center of Athens to a complex of settlements on the eastern side of the city, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It was believed that this gate was constructed to commemorate the adventus of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to be honored for his many benefacts in the city.
It is a unique structure of a well-organized district market where many food traders, such as meat, poultry, seafood, agricultural products, and more are housed. With a history of 130 years and architecture influenced by architecture in central Europe, Varvakios Market has every reason to be considered ασ one of the ornaments of Athens. The market was completed in 1886. Since then, it has been operating incessantly, housing a large number of food stores.
The "neighborhood of the gods", Plaka, is undoubtedly the most picturesque spot in Athens. Paved alleys, uphill streets on the edge of the Acropolis, neoclassical houses, make up a unique setting that enchants the visitor and travels. Plaka is a charming historic district in the center of Athens under the Acropolis. After WWII, Plaka's buildings were preserved as a whole. In the area, there are museums, taverns, restaurants, cafes and tourist shops, and buildings of famous citizens of old Athens.
The Athens Metro consists of 3 lines with a total length of 72.3 km. Building the Athens Metro is perhaps the largest archaeological excavation project ever undertaken! The metro network of Athens is one of the most contemporary in Europe and has been described as a monumental achievement, a source of life for the city, an underground modern day museum. In the first years of its operation, it has managed to enhance positive changes in the daily lives of the Athenians. It also offers access to the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” in eastern Attica.
If you have a limited time in Athens this is probably the best way to get to know the sights of a city. According to the City Sightseeing Hop on - Hop off the system, the route lasts 90 minutes, and the passenger can board and disembark as many times as he wishes, at any of the 15 stops on the route. The downstairs space is air-conditioned and is ideal for older and younger guests. The buses are clean, the tour very informative and the view ... magical! The itineraries are performed daily with a frequency of approximately every 30 minutes. To see details of departure times & stops click on the title.
Zoological Park Tour
You have the chance to visit the Athens Zoo Park every day and admire the farm animals and the very interesting walk-in aviaries with birds from the three continents of Asia, Africa and America. The Zoological Park lies on 19 hectares of land and features thirty species of reptiles, 238 species of birds and 46 species of Mammals. Monkeys, tigers, horses and farm animals from the Greek fauna live together with animals from the African Savannah. There are interactive programs especially for kids that aim at raising awareness on the significance of the preservation of the natural habitat.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
It is one of the most important sanctuaries in ancient Athens, whose fate coincided with the state changes that took place in the city over the centuries. It is located southeast of the Acropolis. In a large, rectangular walled area stand 15 huge Corinthian columns, which once surrounded the magnificent Temple of Olympian Zeus ("Olympion"). The construction of the great temple began by Peisistratos in 515 BC. Sixteen of the 104 columns of the temple survived until 1852.
The new Digital Planetarium of the Eugene Foundation, with a dome diameter of 25 meters and an area of 950 square meters, is the largest and best-equipped digital planetarium in the world. In a state-of-the-art projection room with specially designed sloping interactive seats, the new Eugenides Planetarium offers the visitor the chance to make a unique virtual trip to the stars. Among the most spectacular projective systems are three three-dimensional virtual reality systems covering the entire screen.
Located only 6 km from the center of Athens Flisvos Marina provides easy access to many cultural and entertainment attractions available in the rejuvenated Olympic city. The newly constructed Athens ring road and the extensive and modern public transportation system allow easy and convenient access to the Archaeological Museum as well as excursions to the Acropolis, historical sites, monuments, and museums. Flisvos Marina provides a diversity of recreation and relaxation opportunities.
Piraeus Municipal Theatre
The Municipal Theater of Piraeus is a neoclassical building built by the architect Ioannis Lazarimos and was opened on April 9, 1895. Its main stage is in baroque style, while the square of the theater could accommodate up to 1,300 spectators. Theatre is located at the most central point of the city of Piraeus. Recently renewed, theatre is ready to move to a new era with the most sophisticated technological, lighting and sound instruments, yet without losing the glory of the past.
Lake Vouliagmeni is a lagoon located 16 kilometers northwest of Loutraki, very close to the archaeological site of Heraion and the settlement of Perachora. It has a maximum length of 2 km and a maximum width of about 1 km. Its depth does not exceed 40 meters. It has a sandy beach as opposed to the beach of Loutraki. According to research, the lake's water heals rheumatic, gynecological diseases, rheumatism and sports injuries. Lake Vouliagmeni has the largest underground tunnel in the world.
The National Library
The National Library of Greece is located in the center of Athens. The building housed is designed by the Danish architect Theophilos Hansen -brother of Cristian Hansen as part of the famous Athenian Trilogy of neoclassical buildings, including the Academy of Athens and the first building of the University of Athens. The library was founded by Ioannis Kapodistrias. In general, the building is considered to be a characteristic sample of mature Neoclassicism.
The National Garden has a total area of 154 acres and its formation began 175 years ago, in 1939 with the planting of 15,000 ornamental plants. In its present form, it is a small green paradise, in the heart of Athens - ideal for pleasant hours of relaxation. In the National Garden, there is a large number of rare plants and trees that can not be found anywhere else in Greece. It is opened 365 days a year, from sunrise to sunset, and entrance is, of course, free of charge.
Tour to Cape Sounion
Driving along the wonderful coastal road that connects downtown with the splendid southern suburbs of Athens, you can see the wonderful beaches of Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni and the small picturesque settlements and seaside resorts of Palea Fokea, Lagonissi, and Saronida. Cape Sounion lies beneath the imposing Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Overlooking the Aegean Sea and the islands of the Saronic Gulf, the Temple of Poseidon is one of the major tourist attractions in this historical city.