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One Day in Athens: The Perfect 1 Day Itinerary for Athens

One day in Athens may not seem like a long time to explore the capital city of Greece, but you can visit and see a surprising number of top attractions with just 24 hours in Athens. Of course, if you’re planning a weekend city break in Athens, then you can do all of these essential attractions and more.

Visiting Athens in one day is most likely if you’re stopping by at the start or end of a Greek island hopping itinerary . A one day Athens itinerary might also be useful if you’re visiting Athens as a port of call on a cruise.

Fortunately, Athens is a manageable destination to visit in one day, with lots of attractions concentrated in a fairly compact area. Its central vibrant neighbourhoods are dotted with ancient ruins, so you can enjoy a cocktail in one of super cool bars one minute and be visiting another awesome ruin the next.

Athens in one day

One Day in Athens: Essential Information

If you’re planning to see Athens in one day, I’d recommend being smart with your travel and accommodation location in order to maximise your time in Athens. Read one for my guide to getting around Athens and where to stay in this ancient city:

Getting to Athens

From the airport to the city centre, there are two main options. The metro which takes around an hour is a flat cost of 10 Euros per person, or a taxi. The taxi from the airport has a fixed price of 35 euros in the day and 50 at night.

If you’re arriving from the Pireaus Port, you can either take the xx bus which runs 24 hours, the metro line or jump in a taxi for about 20-30 Euros.

Much of the city is highly walkable and especially this one day in Athens itinerary. Even if you need to take a metro, a 24 hour pass is just 4 euros per person, which is very reasonable (but excludes the journey to the airport).

One day in Athens

Where to Stay in Athens

If you only have one day in Athens (and one night), I’d make sure to stay as central as possible. Being near to the main sites, and to a metro stop, will really help you maximise your time in Athens.

Syntagma Square is considered the heart of Athens. From here it is walking distance to the Acropolis, but you can also nip there in two stops on the metro too.

There are some excellent hotel options covering all price ranges located in the Syntagma Square area:

Budget hotels in Athens:

  • Arethusa Hotel – a budget hotel with an excellent central location
  • Kubic Athens – a modern hotel with lots of conveniences
  • Amalia Athens – a good choice for location and comfort

Mid-range options in Athens:

  • Melia Athens – a dependable hotel chain for a great stay
  • The Athenian Callirhoe Exclusive Hotel – this hotel offers luxury a great price
  • Elia Ermou Athens – super close to the Acropolis
  • The New Hotel – home to the incredible Art Lounge, a restaurant I highly recommend in Athens. Also packed with quirky art and awesome design

The best luxury hotels in Athens:

  • Intercontinental Athenaeum – another excellent hotel from the IHG group
  • King George – this iconic hotel is a truly regal stay
  • Hotel Grand Bretagne – except a truly special stay here

Also, Airbnbs in the city are often good too, so don’t forget to check these out also.

Where to stay in Athens

Top Things to Do in Athens

Athens is one of the best cities in Europe to explore on foot. Even with just one day in Athens, you’ll be pleased to know you can visit the Acropolis and many of the main historic sites in this time.

The city is of course one of the oldest in the world, and no visit is complete without visiting some of the ancient sites. Even if you’re no history buff, it’s incredible to wander amongst such impressive sites and architecture.

The Acropolis was built in 5th Century B.C and is today one of the most famous Greek monuments. People come from across the world to lay eyes on these impressive ruins, and to explore them in person. The Acropolis is actually a complex of sites, including the Theatre of Dionysos, the Parthenon and the Odeon of Herodes.

One day in Athens

In particular, the Parthenon blew me away. Considered a symbol of both Greek democracy (which was born here), and acknowledged as one of the most significant cultural monuments in the world, the Parthenon is something else. Do note however, that ongoing reconstruction efforts are taking place so whilst the monument is beautiful, your view will have scaffolding covering a large portion of it.

One of the best things about the Acropolis is the unbelievable views visitors are afforded. Stretching across the whole city of Athens and towards the Aegean Sea, it is surely breathtaking.

Things to do in Athens

Finally, do not miss out the incredible Panathenaic Stadium which hosted the world’s first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Aside from visiting historical sites in Athens, the city has several vibrant and cosmopolitan neighbourhoods that definitely have to visited. From picture-perfect Plaka, home to excellent shopping and characterful tavernas, to buzzy Monastiraki Square. Visiting the colourful quarter of Anatofika nestled under the Acropolis is also a must do!

If you’re looking for some green space, don’t miss stopping in the National Gardens near to Hadrian’s Arch and home to the Zappio Palace.

Another area not to miss (and likely you’d be staying near to here too), is Syntagma Square. A great spot for people watching, it is also home to the Greek Parliament building which was built in the mid 1800s. It was originally the residence for King Otto, who was the first monarch of modern day Greece. .Every hour, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Expect some high kicking – surprisingly from men wearing short kilts.

Places to Eat and Drink

Art Lounge – Exceptional views and truly brilliant food. The Kritharoto is unbelievable and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life! It’s a kind of risotto, with slow cooked pork, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese and lemon. Just wow!

best places to eat in Athens

Just Made 33 – excellent sandwiches and toasties. Location on Google Maps here .

Falafellas – not too far from Syntagma Square, this place makes the best falafel dishes in town. Located on Google Maps here .

Baba au Rum – a cocktail bar you have to visit, especially as it’s listed on the world’s top 50! Located on Google Maps here .

Six Dogs – this awesome inside/outside eatery is very popular with locals and tourists. A great place to eat and drink from day to night. Location on Google Maps here .

A for Athens – Located on Monastiraki Square, this bar has a perfect rooftop location for sunset and Acropolis views. Location on Google Maps here .

Couleur Locale – this bar is popular with locals, partly because they must be the only ones that can find it! I walked past the entry a couple of times before finally realising it’s tucked away location. Great staff and great drinks, I highly recommend. Location on Google Maps here .

48 Urban Garden – a great spot for brunch in, you guessed it, an urban garden. Dine on wooden benches and enjoy delicious food surrounded by vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers. Google maps here .

For local cafes, I recommend strolling along Ermou, the long road connecting Syntagma Square and Monastiraki Square.

best places to eat in Athens

Things to Do in Athens at Night

Rooftop bars are a big thing in Athens, especially since so many of them have incredible views of the Acropolis. There are plenty dotted all over the city and non-hotel rooftop bars will definitely be more affordable.

If beer is more your thing, make sure to stop by Barley Cargo for craft ales galore. Google maps here.

Later into the night, one of the main areas for locals to go to for nightlife is the Gazi area.

where to drink in Athens

One Day Self-Guided Walking Tour Itinerary in Athens

7.30am: Leave your Athens hotel

Well, with one day you need to get started early. Coffee shops, cafes and bakeries open early at Athens so I’d straight to one to get a freddo cappuccino – an amazing iced Greek coffee. Also, I recommend popping into a supermarket/convenience store and pick up water and morning snacks.

one day itinerary for Athens

7.50am: Go to the Acropolis

The Acropolis should be the first stop on one day itinerary. Not only does the midday heat make exploring the Acropolis quite challenging, but the crowds that descend on the Acropolis from 10am onwards make sightseeing here almost unbearable.

It opens at 8am, so I’d recommend getting to the gates for 7.50am and being first in line. The ticket booth is located at the south slope, which is also the one you come to from the metro station.

Top tip: Buy your multi-attraction day pass the day before if you can. Just scan your way in at exactly 8am when the gates open. However, note this pass is one-use only so don’t visit the evening before and try to visit again the next morning .

Or you can buy your tickets online in advance, and join a small group tour. Check rates here.

The Acropolis is actually an ancient complex made up of several temples, the most famous of which is the Parthenon. We found 2 hours to be sufficient time at the Acropolis. Make sure to take in the amazing views across the city from up here.

one day Athens itinerary

10am: Make your way to Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus

After the Acropolis, head down Amalias Avenue towards Hadrian’s Arch and visit the Temple of Zeus which is located behind. Although it is one of the biggest ancient temples of the Greek-Roman Empire, we actually didn’t need very long to look around here. Maybe 15 minutes maximum.

sightseeing in Athens

10.45am: Head to the Panathenaic Stadium

From here, continue along Amalias Avenue and turn left at the end, and you’ll see the epic Panathenaic Stadium. Entry to this stadium isn’t included in the 5 attraction pass, so you’ll need to buy separate entry at the gate. I would say this was 100% worth it and we ended up spending more than hour in the stadium. Between climbing the stands, to running on the track and posing on the podium, we ended up spending a long time here. It was such fun!

Panathenaic stadium in athens

12pm: Walk towards Plaka for lunch

Walking back towards Plaka, I recommend walking through the National Gardens. Plaka has some excellent cafes for lunch, although all are open for breakfast and dinner too. We had a great meal at Trattoria in the main square.

Take a browse of the kitsch souvenir shops and stroll along the main shopping street of Adrianou. Don’t forget to get some post lunch gelato!

Plaka can be considered the heart of the old city – in fact, Plaka practically was the city when Athens became the new Greek nation’s capital in 1834.

This area is marked by narrow laneways that weave between Neoclassical mansions, Byzantine churches and traditional tavernas.

where to eat in Athens

2pm: Explore Anafiotika

This cool and hip neighbourhood is literally located in the hillside beneath the Acropolis. We stumbled across it by accident, as we wandered out of the Plaka area. Only afterwards did I realise it was Anafiotika. It’s totally different to the rest of Athens, with whitewashed buildings and brightly coloured doors and gardens. We came across brilliant street art too.

Do be mindful that this is residential area, and people are doing all kinds of normal things like laundry and gardening. I would advise being quite quiet and respectful.

2.40pm: Stop by the Library of Hadrian, the Roman Agora and the Ancient Agora

Visit The Library of Hadrian, the Roman Agora and the Ancient Agora. The latter stop is a particularly interesting attraction in Athens to visit – it’s literally the birthplace of democracy and the first ever House of Parliament.

4pm Cocktails at Monastiraki Square in Athens

Although the square is very famous in Athens, you don’t actually need too long here. The A for Athens bar is located here however, which is great spot for late afternoon cocktails. Nearby is the Monastiraki Market, which is an excellent flea market to spend an hour or so perusing. You can buy all kinds of unusual goods here, as well as plenty of vintage items.

cocktails in Athens

6pm Freshen up back at hotel

You will almost definitely feel the need to shower and freshen up after a full day exploring the city. Wash the dust off and get ready for a lovely evening in the city. Also, if you’re departing Athens early the following morning then use the time to prepare for this too.

7pm Dinner and sunset at rooftop restaurant

Many restaurants in Athens offer spectacular rooftop views of the Acropolis, since it sits on a hill overlooking the whole city. The Acropolis is beautifully lit up and you won’t struggle to find an impressive shot of the ruins.

We chose to have dinner at the incredible Art Lounge in The New Hotel by Syntagma Square, following a recommendation from another travel writer. Well wow, not only was the view spectacular but I had one of my favourite meals of my entire time in Greece here!

rooftop restaurants in athens

Visiting Athens for longer than one day?

If I had longer in Athens, or if I was returning to Athens for the second time, these are the other places I’d visit or activities I’d do:

The Athens Riviera. Did you know Athens has beaches? And gorgeous beaches at that! You can even get to the beaches in Athens on public transport via metro to Elliniko station on Line 2 and then a bus. People don’t even really realise but you could easily spent longer in Athens by combining city and beach!

Athens city hop-on hop-off bus . A great way to see even more of the city, and with a guide sharing lots of unusual and interesting facts. Buy your bus tour tickets here.

Mount Lycabettus. This large hill rises sharply right in the middle of the city of Athens. You can see Mount Lycabettus from all over the city, as it’s the tallest hill in Athens. Yet not so many people choose to climb it. Not only does it offer incredible views, but there’s also a tiny church, Agios Georgios at the summit.

A guided city tour . Whilst it’s liberating and fun to explore the city at your own pace, sometimes it’s great to do a city tour with a local. Not only can you learn about Athens from their perspective, but they’ll always show you hidden spots and share lesser known facts.

Visit the neighbourhood of Exarchia. I didn’t have enough time to visit this district, but it’s known for its bohemian population and leftist views towards the government. I hear its streets are packed with alternative stores, creative art/graffiti and inexpensive tavernas.

Lake Vouliagmeni . This unique lake is a bit of a lesser known gem near to Athens. The lake is known for its healing springs and thermal spa. Impressively, people often swim year round in this lake. Not only does it have wellness benefits, but it’s beautiful too!

The National Archaeological Museum. Definitely somewhere to consider if you have more than one day in Athens, as it can take around 4 hours to visit. It isn’t located close to the other sites in Athens, but it has a comprehensive set of artefacts for history fans.

The New Acropolis Museum. This museum provides another wonderful learning opportunity and to view artefacts that were excavated from the slopes of the Acropolis. It is located just across the street from the Acropolis.

Temple of Poseidon . For some reason, I thought this located right next to Athens. But it isn’t. The Temple of Poseidon is more than an hour’s journey from Athens, so it’s a great one to join a tour. Check rates for tours to the Temple of Poseidon here.

Athens in One Day

So that’s my complete guide to visiting Athens in one day, as well as a 1 day itinerary for the city. Hopefully this covers everything you need to know before visiting this awesome city. Whether it’s a brief stop on a Greek island hopping itinerary, or one day in Athens during a cruise, this guide should hopefully detail all of the best things to do in the city in the time you have.

Athens is of course, the perfect starting point for any Greek island hopping itinerary. And if you’re planning to visit several Greek islands, then make sure to check my detailed  guide to Santorini  as well as my Milos travel guide here . These are two islands not to be missed!

If you’re keen to find quieter and more remote islands, then make sure to check my guide on lesser known Greek Islands here !

Feel free to drop me a line if you would like any advice or further recommendations on visiting Athens.. If you’ve enjoyed this 1 day Athens itinerary, then please do share using the below links!

Wanna see more? Check my Instagram  here , my Facebook  here  or my Twitter  here !

top attractions to see in Athens

Disclaimer: This visit to Athens was entirely paid for by myself, and there was no involvement from the tourism board or a hotel. This is an independent guide.

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This is a good list for one day however I would not recommend just visiting for just one day. There are so many amazing ruins and Athens is such a great city. I have met so many people over the years that told me to get in and out of it. I, however, could have spent a month here and it may not have been long enough. I loved every second in Athens and in Greece. Thank you for helping first-timers with their trip to Athens! Your list of hotels and places to eat are great!

Thank you for your comment! I totally agree – but as you say for a first-time visit to Greece island-hopping, a day or two in Athens is the perfect introduction to Greece life. I would definitely go back for longer as a standalone trip though! 🙂

You captured the city so well. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for your comment! 🙂

We were planning a trip to Italy and the Greek Islands this year (on hold for the moment!!) and Athens wasn’t at all on my list of places I wanted to visit, but now I’m glad our trip is on hold because I think I want to visit Athens! I love the detail in your article and your photos look beautiful.

Thanks Fiona – it sure is a cool city. A day or two before island-hopping is ideal!

I’ve heard Athens nightlife is lots of fun! Hoping to make it there next year as I’m planning a big family vacation and we want to do the islands! So maybe before 🙂

That would be epic!!

This is a wonderful and helpful post on Athens! I remember going there myself, but wish I added in some of these activities, including watching the guards switch over at the Acropolis!

You’ll have to go another time! 🙂

Did you walk everywhere or use other transportation! This is a great guide, using it for our trip in a couple weeks!

Brilliant itinary. We are going next weekend and found this so helpful. Thank you

Very well organized writeup for 1 day Athens tour. I was actually looking for this type of review that would be helpful for my short stay in Athens. I will also visit Peloponnese region as that region has many ancient ruins more than Atehns. Thanks for your concise perfect tips.

Can we do athens or trip of athens, Santorini trip with kids?

Absolutely! Just perhaps avoid peak summer months due to heat and crowds 🙂

Thanks so much for the info, it helps planning my trip =)

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An Adventurous World

The Ultimate 1 Day in Athens, Greece

This post contains product affiliate links. These are mainly on items/hotels/tours that I personally endorse & love. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, but at no extra cost to you.

Do you only have 1 day in Athens? From visiting the Acropolis to exploring Monastiraki Square, this is the ultimate 1 day Athens itinerary!

1 day in athens

Let me guess. You’ve only got 1 day in Athens and you’re wondering whether that’s enough time to see the city? Well don’t worry, because this is the perfect blog post for you!

I know that 1 day in Athens might seem like rushing it, but you’d be surprised at how much you can pack into a day. After all, this is a city that’s made for sight-seeing with some of the most amazing monuments in the world.

athens 1 day itinerary

That’s why in this blog post I’ll tell you all about the must-see attractions to visit, how to get around the city, and exact timings for your 24 hours in Athens so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

I will say that this is a very different Athens itinerary from most of the others you’ll read because I really want to show you how much this city has changed. Put it this was – there’s a lot more to see other than the Acropolis and museums.

If you follow this guide then you’re in for an incredible day in Athens!

Planning your summer holiday to Greece? Then check out guides to the best day trips from Athens and what to eat in Athens too!

Are you planning an amazing weekend in Athens? If so, you may want to book your hotels and tours asap to ensure availability. Here are some links to quickly help plan your trip!

Best hotels and apartments in Athens:

  • Gatsby Athens (top rated 5* hotel)
  • The Stanley (top rated 4* hotel)
  • Exarchia House Project (top rated 3* hotel)

Best activities and tours in Athens :

  • Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket (top thing to do in Athens)
  • Athens: Street Food Tasting Tour
  • Electric Bike Tour with Acropolis Visit

what to do in athens

Let me say this now – I love Athens, and I think it’s one of the coolest cities in Europe at the moment.

My love affair with Athens started 18 years ago (funnily enough when I was 18-years-old – long before my days as a travel blogger).

On that trip I explored Athens with wide-eyed innocence, drinking in the sights and sounds of bustling city was so new and exciting to me.

Even then though, I got such a sense of history. This is one of the oldest capital cities in the world, and you can almost feel that was you walk the smooth marble steps around the Acropolis and ancient agora.

athens one day

Fast forward 18 years and the city has changed a lot. Even though it still acknowledges the past, it has morphed into this incredibly cool and contemporary city with one-eye firmly on the future.

There are these boujie cocktail bars dotted around the city, modern art galleries with the works of Damien Hirst, and innovative architecture that shows the potential of Athens as one of the world’s best cities.

andros things to do

On this trip to Greece, I really wanted to explore a couple of the lesser-known islands of Andros and Tinos in the Cyclades, but I also wanted to see how much Athens had changed too.

With only one day in Athens, I was worried it wouldn’t be enough time to see the city, but I was wrong.

I loved being in Athens again, and it was great seeing how much this place had changed.

1 day in Athens, Greece

Let me just say this now – this Athens 1 day itinerary is a rough guide. You don’t have to do everything on the itinerary. In fact, I’d be damn impressed if you did!

Saying that, it is possible doing all of this in a day because I did it, so it all depends on you and how much energy you’ve got.

08:00 till 09:30 – Visit the Acropolis and the Parthenon

acropolis of athens

I am a bit of an ancient history buff, so naturally this is the first activity on my itinerary.

The Acropolis is not only one of the top things to do in Athens, it’s one of the best-preserved monuments in the world. Dating back over 2,400 years, the Parthenon shows the intricate architecture and simple beauty of a building that has stood the test of time.

This is where Aristotle, Pericles, Plato, Socrates and Sophocles would’ve walked. On this hill democracy, philosophy, theatre, and freedom of expression and speech was born. As a world we owe so much to the Athenians.

Even more amazing is the fact that early fortifications of the Acropolis date back well over 3,300 years. This is history, right here, and people always seem to forget that.

athens itinerary

Obviously it being one of the best things to do in Athens, it is super busy. That’s why you should get up early and beat the crowds.

Technically the site is open from 08:00 till 19:30, but it’s best to get in the queue around 07:45. Even at that time it’s busy with people, but it should be before the cruise and coach tours which arrive closer to 10:00.

Another benefit of going in the morning is you beat the midday heat too. During summer, it can be roasting on the Acropolis, and there isn’t any shade either.

10:00 till 13:00 – Go on a food tour with Alternative Athens

alternative athens food tour

I always say one of the best ways of getting to know a city is on a food tour. Not only do you get to try all the delicious local delicacies, but you also get a good overview of the city too.

From the Acropolis, I walked down to the Old Royal Palace to meet Andreas, our guide from Alternative Athens . The walk only takes about 20 minutes.

This food tour really was an odyssey through Athens’ best dishes, and we ate A LOT. My advice is to only have a light breakfast and turn up hungry.

On this Athens food tour we went to 7 different stops over the course of 3 hours. We tried local olive oil, learned all about gyros and kebabs, discovered the difference between Greek and Turkish coffee, and it ended in a giant meze lunch with our new found friends.

delicious greek food

I really enjoyed trying all the different olive oils, and obviously no trip to Athens is complete without a tasty gyros (a pita bread stuffed with meat, onions, tomatoes and sauce).

Also, this tour took us to places like Varvakios Market and Spice Street which you just wouldn’t discover on your own while walking around the city, so you really do get to discover a different side of Athens.

One of the best things about this food tour is its basically breakfast and lunch taken care of. Also, our guide Andreas told us loads of recommendations on where to go later on in the day. Win win.

13:00 till 14:00 – Explore Monastiraki Square and the surrounding temples

monastiraki square

This food tour finishes up in Monastiraki Square, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Athens that’s right in the heart of the city.

Because you’ll still be absolutely stuffed from the food tour, I’d recommend walking around Monastiraki Square and the surrounding temples.

24 hours in athens

All within a short distance of each other are Hadrian’s Library, the Roman agora and the ancient agora which are well worth visiting. My favourite of these is the Roman agora with the Tower of Winds – this is considered to be the first meteorological station in the world!

Walking around Monastiraki Square is a cacophony of sounds. There are street artists playing music, local vendors shouting out their products, people meeting and greeting each other with hugs and kisses.

Also, there’s a flea market at Monastiraki Square selling everything from dresses to snow globes of the Parthenon to swords and Roman armour.

14:30 till 15:30 – Take in the modern art at the Public Tobacco Factory

alternative things to do in athens

Now it’s time to show you a very different side of Athens.

From Monastiraki Square, I hopped in a taxi (I used the Beat taxi app), and headed to the Public Tobacco Factory which was 15/20 minutes away.

As the name suggests, this giant building used to be a former tobacco factory built in 1930. Since then it has been used as a warehouse, political administrative building, and even as a concentration camp during WW2.

With a troubled and turbulent past, there is now hope for the future. This industrial landmark has undergone a huge restoration project, and it has been reborn as a major art space in 2021.

dream on public tobacco factory

My jaw dropped when I walked into the main hall. In keeping with it’s past, there is this austere industrial beauty to the building. Add in world-class installations from artists such as Damien Hirst and Annette Messager, and the place is completely unrecognisable.

The Dream On exhibition features 18 large-scale installations by artists from all around the world, and some of them are stunning. My favourite was a piece by Annette Messager with these tendrils of string hanging down from the ceiling.

If you’ve only got 1 day in Athens and want to do something different from all the other guides, then this is the place for you.

16:00 till 15:30 – Stroll around the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre

stavros niarchos foundation cultural centre

Next up we’re going to take in the architecture of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre . This is another 20-minute taxi ride away from the Public Tobacco Factory.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC) is the latest jewel in the cultural crown of Athens. It’s hard describing what the SNFCC actually is because it fulfils so many different uses.

Day to day, the two main uses of the SNFCC are as a giant library with over 800,000 books, and for the Greek National Opera with a number of state-of-the art theatres.

However, on site there are also a couple of cafes and a restaurant; there’s an outside courtyard where you can meet you friends and grab some food from the nearby food trucks; there are free events from concerts to festivals. It’s all of these things and more.

best viewpoints in athens

And that’s not even the best bit. If you take the lifts to the very top, there’s a sprawling rooftop park with some of the best viewpoints in all of Athens.

I couldn’t believe that there was this gorgeous park, with luscious green grass and trees dotted all over the place, on top of a building. I mean, come on, how cool is that!? This is modern architectural elegance as its best.

Opened to the public in 2016, the whole project cost US$860 million and it was a gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the Greek state. And now it’s a gift we can all share in and make use of.

18:00 till 19:00 – Go for sunset drinks at a rooftop bar

drinks athens

Continuing our Athens in a day, it’s time to head back to the hustle and bustle of Monastiraki (you guessed it, another 20-minute taxi ride away). Don’t worry, this is the last time you’ll have to catch a taxi!

Around Monastiraki there are so many cool bars and restaurants to explore. Over the last few years, rooftop bars have sprung up all over the place looking to outcompete each other for the best sunset view of the Acropolis.

For best out and out view, Ciel Athens is a really popular spot. If you can grab a seat right in the corner, then you’ve got the most amazing view of the Acropolis.

rooftop bar athens

However, I much preferred Couleur Locale . To get to this secluded spot, you have to walk through a little market and catch the lift to the very top. It very much feels like a speakeasy bar (just one that everyone knows about now).

Here you’ve got great views of the Acropolis, and there’s a great choice of cocktails too. For me, this is a must on an 24 hours in Athens itinerary.

19:00 till 21:00 – Have dinner at Ergon House

best restaurants in athens

A very short walk from Ciel Athens or Couleur Locale is Ergon House , one of the best restaurants in Athens right now.

This place was recommended to us on our food tour, and also by a couple of other followers who had been before.

Ergon House is a very new-age restaurant. It is a traditional taverna, a modern restaurant, a greengrocer, a butcher’s, a deli, oh, and it’s a hotel too. It’s a one-stop shop for everything from picking up a steak and a bottle of red to take home, to ordering a small bottle of ouzo and dining in.

It’s basically a modern-day agora celebrating the best of Greek cuisine and culture.

ergon house athens

While we were there, we had the tirokafteri feta cheese spread with olive oil & chilli peppers, beef “ kontosouvli ” kebab with potatoes, and a selection of Thessaloniki sausages with a tabouleh salad on the side.

The food was delicious, the atmosphere was buzzing, and naturally I loved it. This was definitely up there with the best restaurants I’ve been to in Athens.

21:00 till 22:00 – Have one more drink at The Foundry

where to stay in athens

If you’ve only got 1 day in Athens, I’d recommend staying at The Foundry .

Situated in the historic neighbourhood of Psyrri, The Foundry is a collection of urban luxury suites that fuses industrial design with exceptional, mid-century modern stylistics.

Each room is its own little apartment with kitchenette and living room, but they are also very private too with each one feeling like your own home away from home.

best rooftop bars in athens

There’s also a quaint rooftop terrace with stunning views over the city. All guests staying here get a complimentary cocktail, so make good use of it and kick back for the rest of the night.

My recommendation would be the Hephaestus cocktail, their take on a bloody mary with tequila instead of vodka. Just delicious and the perfect way to end the best 24 hours in Athens.

This post was in association with Visit Greece  promoting Athens and some of the lesser-known islands to visit in Greece. As always, views are entirely my own and without bias.

If you’re interested in learning more about Athens and why this is such a fascinating place to visit, then check out my fun facts about Athens here!

Are you planning a trip to Greece? If you have any questions about what to do in Athens, you can let me know in the comments below!

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The Ultimate 1 Day in Athens, Greece

About the Author

Macca Sherifi

Macca Sherifi is the founder of the multiple award-winning blogs An Adventurous World and the Great British Bucket List. Every month he inspires over 200,000 avid readers to travel the world.

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Greece Travel Secrets

ONE DAY IN ATHENS – A COMPLETE ITINERARY

1 day tour of athens

Athens is one of the oldest and most fascinating cities in the world. The birthplace of Democracy, Medicine, Theatre and Philosophy offers a lot to see and do . Ideally you would have at least 3 days in Athens to really do it justice but for people who are transiting or visiting on a cruise ship a single day may be all there is. Here’s how to make the most of that one day in Athens!

athens activities

When to visit Athens

The best times to visit Greece are April-May and September-October which is when the weather is lovely and the crowds are reasonable. High season is late June to early September.

Most visitors to Greece are going to visit Athens even if they are just transiting through for a few hours. Whilst it will be quite hot and crowded in July in August it is actually fairly quiet as the Athenians themselves head to the islands on holidays, along with many other Europeans.

Athens is operational year-round and even in winter it is quite a nice city to visit with beautiful decorations, processions, and festivals at Christmas time.

Athens Transfers

If you need to get from the Airport to the Ancient Centre and/or to Pireaus Port or vice-versa then it pays to book a private driver. There is nothing like coming off a long flight and seeing your name on a sign held by a friendly face and it is only a few dollars more expensive than a taxi.

Use these links below to book and use the code ‘GTS’ for 5% off tours or 10% off transfers!

things to do in athens

One Day in Athens itinerary

This one-day itinerary for Athens will start at the Acropolis and take in many of the main attractions and monuments of Athens in an easy, walkable route.

All up you will cover around 5 kilometres, almost all of it flat, and you can pace yourself at your leisure. You will see some truly magnificent ancient sites as well as some modern wonders.

If you are visiting from a cruise ship it is a good idea to make your way into the city centre well before your fellow passengers or join a private tour to take you. Most tour buses start to arrive at The Acropolis around 10.00am.

athens itinerary map

The Acropolis & Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis translates to “highest point of the town,” was the location of the thriving ancient citadel originally occupied by the Mycenaen kings.

As time passed, the Acropolis became home to several temples, shrines, and sanctuaries. The most famous of the temples is the temple to Athena, the Parthenon. There is also a theater and sanctuary for Dionysus on what is now referred to as the Southern Slope.

On April1, 2024 a new time-slot process has been introduced to try and minimise overcrowding. We recommend you try and arrive early before the sun and the crowds – booking a private transfer above will ensure this, and can explore this incredible site at your leisure. Many people would say you need 2 hours to explore the Acropolis although some, of course, will say much longer!

Visit the Acropolis Museum, right outside the south gate, directly afterward to get a deep understanding of how life was. It is full of artifacts from the site as well as being home to an ancient neighborhood underneath the modern structure. It truly is one of the great museums in the world!

We also highly recommend buying a ‘Combo’ Ticket which takes in 7 sites including the Acropolis at a bargain price.

Read our Complete Guide to visiting the Acropolis

one day in athens itinerary

Temple of Olympian Zeus

From the Acropolis Museum head east along Dionysiou Areopagitou to busy Leof. Andrea Siggrou Street where you will see the Temple of Olympian Zeus directly in front of you. You might like to take your time on this short journey as this part of the Plaka neighborhood is quite lovely and a little wander through the local streets will reap rewards.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was completed in 132 AD after being partially built and in limbo for over 600 years after its original conception.

It was originally built with 104 Corinthian-style columns of which today there are only 15 left. You will notice the temple from many high vantage points across the city and it is only a short walk from the center of town.

Opeing Hours : daily 8 am-7:30 pm

Cost : 6 euro

one day in athens

The National Gardens

On the other side of the Temple of Zeus is the beautiful National Gardens, a serene oasis in the heart of the city.

Spanning more than 15 hectares, this public park was commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838 and completed by 1840. It features lush greenery, winding paths, ancient ruins, and a variety of flora and fauna.

The gardens also house a small zoo, a botanical museum, a children’s library, a café and Zappeion Hall. It is a significant neoclassical building of historical significance used for meetings and ceremonies, as well as events, including exhibitions, conferences, and cultural activities. Its beautiful architecture and historical significance make it a notable landmark within the gardens.

Opening Hours : Always

Cost : free

one day in athens itinerary

Syntagma Square, Parliament and the Evzones

If you make your way north along the main road here you will reach Syntagma Square. A much nicer route is past Hadrians’ Arch and the Statue of Lord Byron and through the lovely National Gardens.

Syntagma is a famous meeting place for the city and is popular for concerts, protest marches, and other public gatherings.

Things to see at Syntagma Square

At the Eastern end, you will see the Hellenic Parliament Building which does conduct tours from time to time but they must be organised in advance. See their official website for more information.

Outside Parliament is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and it is guarded by The Evzones ( pronounced Ev-zon-ez), an elite unit of the Hellenic Army who, among other things, are known for their very distinctive uniform and elaborate march.

It is a great honour to be selected as an Evzones and the soldiers are selected according to their height, excellent physical condition, and psychological state as well as character and morality.

Each hour on the hour you can witness the Changing of the Guards which is an elaborate and very serious ritual that involves uniform inspections and the goose-step march the Evzones are famous for ( as well as their distinctive outfits).

If you are lucky enough to be visiting on a Sunday you can also see them raising the flag at The Acropolis at 10 am.

Hours : The Evzones change every hour on the hour

Cost : Free

ermou athens

Ermou pedestrian street

Ermou Street is the central pedestrian-only street that runs for 1.5 kilometres from Syntagma Square, west.

It is where all the big brand high-street stores are found, such as Zara, H&M, and Sephora, as well as numerous specialty shops, particularly fashion boutiques.

The street was one of the first modern roads in Athens and became a pedestrian zone in 1997.

Things to see on Ermou Street

There are numerous things to stop and see along this street but one of the most interesting is the Byzantine Church of Panagia Kapnikarea which is one of the oldest churches in Athens, having been built around 1050. It is right in the middle of Ermou street and impossible to miss.

Hours: usually Mon- Fri. 10:00 – 21:00, Saturdays 10:00 – 19:00

one day in athens

Cathedral of Athens

Parallel to Ermou Street walking towards The Acropolis is popular Mitropolis Street, where you will find the Metropolitan Cathedral of Annunciation (aka Metropolis), which is the main cathedral of Athens and all of Greece. It is also the seat of the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Athens.

Construction of the Cathedral began in 1842, but it was not completed for 20 years. Marble from 72 demolished churches in Greece was used, and 3 different architects worked on it during the construction process.

The 3-Domes Basilica has been the site of the coronation of Kings, important weddings, and state funerals.

The tombs of 2 saints are inside – Gregory V the Patriarch of Constantinople and Saint Philothei. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the much smaller Church of St. Eleftherios, often called Little Mitropoli.

The cathedral has been quite controversial over the years, with many criticizing its facade and design. It underwent full restoration over a 20 year period of economic hardship but was finally completed in 2016.

Hours: 7 am p.m. every day with mass on Sundays at 6:30am

plaka athens

The Ancient Agora, Monastaraki & Plaka

When you reach the end of either Ermou Street or Mitropolous Street you will be at Monastiraki Square , one of the busiest squares in Athens. It is home to a metro station, a famous flea market, Hadrian’s library,  and more, and is surrounded by tavernas, small shops, and market stalls.

Walking left through the square you will walk on to the Ancient Agora in an area called Agoraios Kolonoa or Market Hill. Agora means ‘market’ in Greek and this is where the ancient Athenians plied their trade and spent time with each other philosophizing, worshiping, and teaching. In fact, it is where Socrates taught and died and became the actual birthplace of democracy.

The ancient archaeological site today is an expansive green site and is quite unusual as a train line runs through it.

Things to see in this area

Highlights include the Temple of Hephaestus , one of the best-preserved temples in Greece, and the Stoa of Attalos , the Hellenistic version of a shopping mall and today home to a fascinating museum and thousands of artifacts from the late Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman periods.

1 Apr – 31 Oct Mon-Sun, 8:00-20:00

1 Nov – 31 Mar Mon-Sun, 8:00-15:00

Cost:   10 Euro or 5 with reduced rates for seniors and students/children  

If you walk towards the Acropolis from the Agora you will enter the charming neighborhood of Plaka ( which means ‘tablet’). This is the most touristic area in Athens but also one of the prettiest. Many people say it reminds them of the islands with the brightly coloured buildings, swathes of bougainvillea and many souvenir shops, tavernas and cafes.

It is worth spending an hour or two wandering around Plaka and you will have possibly already seen some of it when walking from the Acropolis/Museum to Syntagma. Some of the streets are closed to traffic and it’s a very pleasant area to get lost.  

COMBO TICKET

There is a new improved Combination Ticket launched in 2024 that includes entry to the Acropolis and six other archaeological sites. You only need to visit two of the main ones to justify the price, although there are no discount concession prices.

one day in athens - markets

Central Market

Head back through Monastiraki Square and cross Ermou Street heading up Athinas.

After a few blocks, you will come across the Central Municipal Market, also known as Varvakios Market, which is bordered by Athina, Evripidou, and Sophocleous Streets.

Much of the market is indoors and there you will find many butchers, fishmongers, and other vendors selling a wide variety of fresh food.

The market has been in operation since 1886 and is the modern market that largely replaced the Ancient Agora nearby.

In the adjacents streets and alleyways, you will find many small businesses selling Greek products ranging from flowers and plants, herbs and spices, delicatessen lines, tea, wine, fruit, vegetables, and more.

There are also many small bars, cafes, and tavernas with excellent, authentic snacks and meals on offer. It’s easy to spend several hours in this area of Athens.

6:00am to 5:00pm (this can vary from vendor to vendor)

Closed Sundays

Cost : Free    

things to do in Psyri

Psyri and street art

Head west on Evripdou Street and turn left into either Agiou Dimitriou, Eschilou, or Aristofanous streets all of which will take you into Iroon Place and arguably the heart of Athens most lively and most interesting neighborhood, Psyri.

Things to see and do in Psyri

Psryi is home to a plethora of cafes, tavernas, bars and shops and some of the best food in Greece. At night it becomes very busy and dynamic with live music playing and dancing in the streets is not uncommon.

The street art in the area is quite incredible too and it’s where a whole revolution of graffiti as art began during the economic crisis that gripped Greece around 10 years ago.

You will also find the streets are home to many small artisan shops with craftsmen making handmade leathergoods, fashions and homewares.

Agiou Anargiron is home to many of our favourite tavernas and is car-free. Grab an early dinner or late lunch here either before or after visiting the rooftop bars.

HOURS : 10:00 am to sunrise

Further reading: A Complete Guide to Psyri

If you are in Psyri for lunch or dinner our two favourite tavernas are Nikitas , a tiny little place with no menu that only sell the specials of the day, and Lithos , a large taverna with a huge menu and great service. If you are after coffee or something sweet Nancy’s Sweet Home on Iroon Place has a mind-boggling array of enormous cakes and pastries and around the corner, Little Kook is a themed cafe and one of the most photographed places in Greece!

1 day tour of athens

Rooftop Bars

Athens has a wonderful bar scene and the rooftop bars in particular really showcase the city at its best.

Whilst some may feel the streets still have too many abandoned and graffiti-covered buildings heading to the rooftops above them see the city in a new perspective, particularly if Acropolis views are on hand.

There are some excellent rooftop bars in and near Psyri such as A for Athens , 360 Cocktail Bar,   Couleur Locale , and Pella Inn which you can combine with dinner in Psyri. Many are quite small though so it can pay to book ahead.

Other great rooftop bars across the city include Anglais Athens , MS Roof Garden , Thea Terrace and the famous rooftop at Athens’s most expensive Hotel, the Grande Bretagne.

The Clumsies does not have a rooftop but is considered one of the best bars in the world and is definitely worth a look if you have time.

Spending one night in Athens?

As you can see there is a lot to see and do in Athens and it really is a fabulous city. Many people visit each year and still have not unlocked a fraction of the hidden gems it holds. There is a LOT to see and do !

If you are able to spend a night as well as your day in Athens then it pays to stay somewhere central in one of the more popular areas and, if your budget allows it definitely book somewhere with that iconic Acropolis view !

Our favourite areas to stay are Plaka, Monastiraki, and Psiri.

Further reading:

Where to stay in Athens

Acropolis View Hotels

Athens Airport Hotels ( and the Riviera and East Coast)

the foundry hotel athens

The view from the roof garden at The Foundry Hotel in Psyri

Tours of Athens

If you would prefer to do an organised tour of Athens rather than a self-walking tour there are several great options around, and many are far better value than those that cruise ships offer if that’s how you are arriving.

There is an excellent Hop-on Hop-Off bus that takes in all the main sites are well as those further away from the historic centre, including the Athenian Riviera ( the Red one has the most stops – see below). There are also segway tours of the main attractions and a very popular small group tour on electric bikes as well.

If you would like a guide to show you around then there is a great 3-hour guided walk through Plaka and Monastiraki which includes entry to the Acropolis.

If you love food tours then Athens is the places to do them and we highly recommend the Ultimate Tour at Athens Food on Foot . Use the code ‘ greecetravelplanning’ for 10% off!

And for a completely bespoke experience we recommend our private drivers who can take you to all the sites that require transport, and more, including pick up and drop off from the airport or ferry terminal. Use the code ‘GTS’ when booking for either 5% off tours or 10% off transfers!

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1 day tour of athens

The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

The Perfect One Day in Athens Itinerary – Your Guide to The City

Written By: The Planet D

Updated On: May 26, 2024

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to explore Athens in just one day? We are here to tell you that it is possible! Many people fly into Athens and only spend a day or two before catching a flight or ferry to the Greek Islands, but Athens is a magical city that deserves more time. However, in today’s world, everyone is running short on time, so we have put together the perfect one day in Athens itinerary to help you make the most of your stay.

Table of Contents

One Day in Athens Itinerary

Athens in one day itinerary

Morning – History

To plan your 1 day in Athens itinerary, you should purchase the Acropolis and 6 archaeological sites, including the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Ancient Agora, and Temple of Olympian Zeus. Aristotle’s School and the Keramikos Ancient Cemetery,

  • Entry to the Acropolis of Athens only on your preferred date and time slot
  • One-time entry to each site with the same ticket
  • Athens Old Town (Plaka) self-guided audio tour
  • Acropolis and Parthenon self-guided audio tours (if option selected)

You have five calendar days from activation to use this pass, so if you are spending more time in Athens, you can book timed entries to see each of these attractions first thing in the morning or later in the day.

Athens in one day Acropolis

Most likely, every Athens itinerary you’ve read will tell you to head straight to the Acropolis, and they are correct! The Acropolis is the star of Athens, and it should be the first place to visit. Going to the Acropolis first thing in the morning helps you beat the crowds and beat the heat!

Plan to get to the Acropolis at 7:30 a.m. We highly recommend booking a hotel with breakfast included, and most start breakfast at 6:30 or 7 a.m., so you should be fine. The Acropolis opens at 8:00 a.m., and you need to book your timed entry in advance. So do that right now. Times book quickly, and you will want to make sure you get your slot.

Exploring the Acropolis in Athens

We’ve stayed at many places in Athens, but during our last visit, we loved the Astor Hotel for its location, view of the Acropoli, and price point—it didn’t break the bank! If you are staying longer in Athens, read our complete guide for Where to Stay in Athens.

Deb at the Parthenon in Athens

We booked the Acropolis and 6 main archaeological sites combo, which still works. It is the best way to see Athens in one day as it gives you 1 timed entry to each site with the same ticket. You will need to plan wisely to be on time for your entries, but trust me, you will want to see it all!

The rules are constantly changing and can be a little unclear, so go to the ticket website and to our blog post How to spend a day at the acropolis to see what the updated rules are. We will continue to monitor it as Greek tourism changes its mind.

You will want to spend about 90 minutes admiring the Acropolis and its other temples, including the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. The Odean Theater is still in operation today, and it is spectacular to see. 

The Odeon Theater Athens Greece

At the bottom of the Odeon, there is a fountain where you can fill up your water bottle; make sure to do that as it will continue to heat up as the day goes on.

You’ll then start making your way downhill to see The Theatre of Dyonisis and other monuments as you return to the city center.

Ancient Agora

Ancient Agora in Athens

Book your timed entrance to the Ancient Agora for 10:00 or 10:30 am. This will give you time to take in the highlights of the Acropolis beforehand.

From the Acropolis, you will walk downhill for about 15 minutes to the Ancient Agora and temple of Hephaestus. You will pass the Acropolis Museum, but time is of the essence, and if you want to visit the Museum, save it for later in the day. It is open until 9:00 p.m.

The Ancient Agora is the best preserved ancient ruin in the city. We found it more impressive than the Parthenon, especially in the morning light. Make sure you walk around it to see it from all angles. 

It was founded in the 6th century BC. The Ancient Agora of Athens was originally used as a meeting place or a place to congregate. Actually, the word Agora translates into “an assembly of the people.” The main highlight here is the Temple of Hephaestus, which is stunning. The intricate details and beautiful fluted columns make this temple one of the must-sees in Athens, especially if you love Greek architecture.

Stoa of Attalos

Stoa of Attalos at the Ancient Agora in Athens

Make sure to go inside the Stoa of Attalos. This is the museum with those rows of columns. They were restored in 1954, and it is a beautiful place. Plus, it is shaded, so you can cool off before moving on. 

I think you only need 1 hour to 90 minutes here. There is a nice museum inside that has air conditioning that you can check out as well.

Roman Agora

Entrance to the Roman Agora in Athens

Book your timed entry for 11:30 or 12:00 pm. The Roman Agora is included in your pass.

After you have visited the Ancient Agora, you will come out to plenty of outdoor cafes lining the street. If you want to have lunch now, this is a great place to do so. However, we suggest moving on to see the Roman Agora. Yes, there are two Agora’s.

The Roman Agora is only a short walk from the Ancient Agora, and it is good to see this before the mid-day heat gets to become too much. You don’t need a lot of time here, but it is worth going into see.

We really loved the Roman Agora because you can walk among the ruins and get up close to the ancient pillars and arches. It takes about 30 minutes to explore.

Hadrian’s Library

Hadrians Library in downtown Athens

Hadrian’s Library is just next door, and your ticket includes entry to that. Built in AD 132, the pillars and wall are still standing. It has an impressive history, but today, not much is still standing, so you only need about 15 minutes to visit here. Plus, it is on your way to Monasteraki Square, which is your next stop for lunch!

Midday / Lunch: Greek Cuisine and Local Culture

Lunch in Athens on your one day itinerary

1:00 pm is the time you will finally sit down for lunch. If you have a clear idea of your schedule, we suggest booking a table in advance because we aren’t having you stop at a street vendor or sidewalk cafe. You are going up to overlook Monastiraki Square with a bird’s eye view of the Acropolis.

Monastiraki Square is surrounded by rooftop bars and restaurants, and we suggest A Is for Athens . It overlooks the square and has the straight on view of the Acropolis. It is open for Brunch from 11:00 am.

one day in athens itinerary video

There are other rooftop bars around the square, and if you only have one day in Athens, we suggest eating all your meals at one of the restaurants with a view. You can also eat at MS Roof Garden and Hyper Astrobar. These restaurants are an event unto themselves, looking at the Acropolis and over Monastiraki Square.  

Athens in One day itinerary afternoon

Whew, it has been a busy morning, but you will be happy to have seen all of these ancient wonders. Now, you can relax and enjoy the energy of Athens in the afternoon.

Monastiraki Square

Monastiraki Square in Athens

2:00 pm ish…After lunch, join the hustle and bustle of Monastiraki Square, where street performers entertain, food stalls offer authentic Greek food, and plenty of shops are ready to help you purchase your perfect Athens souvenir. There is a flea market right off Monastiraki Square that is worth visiting.

Monastiraki is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens, and this is where you will start your afternoon walking tour.

Ermou Street

Walking along Ermou street in Athens

Ermou Street is a 1.5 km pedestrian-only street connecting two of Athens’s largest squares, Monastiraki Square and Syntagma Square. It is a fun place to people watch and do a little shopping. If you need water or snacks, it’s a great place to replenish your mid-day stroll.

There are plenty of shops and restaurants, and make sure to stop at the Church of Panagia and Old Byzantine Church, which is free to enter. No photographs inside though and they are very strict about this. I simply had my phone in my hand and a old woman guarding the church nearly swatted it out of my hands.

Syntagma Square

Looking down Syntagma Square in Athens

Syntagma Square is the main Square of Athens, where there is always something going on. Usually, when you walk up to this square, there is a protest, event, or large gathering happening. At the top of the stairs, the Greek Parliament Buildings stand front and center.

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the guard in athens

If you happen to be at the square at the top of the hour (hopefully you have walked here by 3 pm), you can see the changing of the guards, which is quite interesting. It happens every hour, with the most impressive one taking place on Sundays at 11:00 a.m.  

Syntagma Square Subway

Inside the Syntagma Square Subway or Metro

Syntagma Square Metro is the main metro station in the city, and you can hop on the subway from here to your next destination. However, even if you don’t ride the subway, go inside to see the archaeological exhibition. When building the metro line, they found significant relics, including a mosaic floor from the 5th century, an ancient aqueduct, pottery, lamps, and even human bones. The museum is free to visit and is worth checking out.

Panathenaic Stadium

Panathenaic Stadium Athens

From Syntagma, you can hop on the subway or call an Uber to take you to the Panathenaic Stadium. Located on the east side of the National Gardens, the Panthenaic Stadium was the site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896. The entire stadium is made out of marble, and it is spectacular to see. The site itself has even more historical significance as in the 6th century BC, it was home to the Panathenaic Games, which were a precursor to the Olympic Games.  

You can pay to go inside and walk around or you can just admire it from the outside. The choice is yours.

Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch

Athens One Day Itinerary Temple of Olympian Zeus

As you walk back toward the city, you will come upon the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which is free to enter with your pass. It has been under construction for a while, but its columns are definitely worth seeing. With only one day in Athens, though, we suggest simply looking at this from the outside and instead walking to Hadrian’s Arch.  

Hadrian’s Arch was built by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 132 AD. It is still standing, and you can walk directly under it, leaving the quiet complex of the Temple of Olympian Zeus to a bustling, busy street.

Cocktails and Sunset

One day in Athens Itinerary Sunset Cocktails

Athens Gate is a great stop for another rooftop view of the Acropolis from the opposite side of Monastiraki Square. It also overlooks the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian offering what we think is one of the best views in Athens. This is a great place to enjoy the sunset as you sip on cocktails and appetizers to keep you going until your late dinner, or you can have dinner here and relax for a couple of hours on the terrace.

Acropolis Museum 

One day in Athens Itinerary Acropolis Museum

If you took our advice and skipped the Acropolis Museum this morning, you can now make your way to the amazing museum for a short visit. The Acropolis Museum is just a short walk from Athens Gate and is open until 8 pm.

Even if you don’t go inside to tour the museum properly, it is worth seeing the outside and going into its foyer to walk over the glass floors that reveal archeological discoveries that are on display under the foundation. 

If you have an hour, you can get a taste of the museum, but to really explore it you’ll need 2 or 3 days in Athens and that is another Athens itinerary.

Dinner in Plaka

Athens One Day itinerary Dinner in Plaka

From the Acropolis Museum, you are a hop, skip, and a jump from the most picturesque neighborhood in Athens, Plaka. Find yourself a rooftop restaurant or, if you are rooftopped out (which is impossible), order some authentic Greek cuisine at one of the many establishments located here in Plaka. We have an entire post on the best Greek food to help you choose from the menu here.

There are plenty of dining options in Plaka as it is one of the main tourist areas in Athens and one of the oldest neighborhoods. Point A Acropolis Point has beautiful views of the Acropolis, giving you yet another angle from which to see this ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site. You are only in Athens for one day, and trust me, you will never tire of seeing this view. 

Having fun enjoying the nightlife in Athens

If you want to keep the night going, head back to Monestaraki Square to enjoy the nightlife between there and Syntagma Square. 

Exploring the streets of Athens

Wow, what a day in Athens! From the ancient echoes at the Acropolis to the stunning sunset views from Athens Gate, this 1-day Athens itinerary is nothing short of epic. Sure, you are going to be exhausted, but you may never come back. Wouldn’t it suck to miss out on the ancient ruins of this fascinating city?

Read more about Athens and Greece

  • 16 Best Day Trips from Athens
  • Where To Stay In Athens – A Guide To The Best Neighborhoods
  • The Best Things to Do in Athens, Greece
  • 30 Best Things to Do In Greece

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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About The Planet D

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The Geographical Cure

One Day In Athens Itinerary: What To Do In 24 Hours

Ready to walk in the footsteps of thousands of years of history? Check out this one day in Athens itinerary, a city that’s steeped in tradition and dubbed the Cradle of Western Civilization.

Athens is a city with passion and edge. It has some of the best Greek ruins on the planet.

Athens has a reputation for being a tad gritty, and it is. But the grit gives the city a distinctive flavor. In any event, the hotel, culinary, museum, and street art scenes are all on fire and sure to please visitors.

Athens cityscape from the Acropolis

Overview Of One Day In Athens Itinerary

Here’s a quick snapshot of what you’ll see in Athens in one day:

  • Acropolis + Parthenon
  • Odeon of Herodes Atticus
  • Theatre of Dionysis
  • Hadrian’s Arch
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Plaka district
  • Syntagma Square
  • Acropolis Museum
  • National Museum of Archaeology

Pinterest pin for one day in Athens itinerary

Before You Go: Here’s How To Plan Your Visit To Athens

If you’re in a hurry, below are some of the top tours, hotels, and experiences for Athens. Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting!

Best Tours & Experiences:

  • Best of Athens tour
  • City tour + Acropolis Museum
  • Acropolis + Acropolis Museum tour
  • Plaka neigh borhood tour
  • Food & wine tasting tour
  • Local’s hidden gems tour
  • Street art tour

Best Hotels :

  • Four Seasons
  • The Modernist
  • Gatsby Athens
  • King George
  • Grande Bretagna
  • Xenodocheio Milos

ruins of the Roman Agora

One Day In Athens Itinerary

Here’s how I recommend spending one day in Athens. You can add or subtract attractions depending on your pace of travel. You can also easily spread this itinerary out over 2 days.

I also give you must now tips for visiting Athens, including how to get around and where to eat and stay. And more options if you have extra time.

For efficiency, you may want to consider booking the Athens MultiPass to the top attractions or the unlimited Museum Pass .

the Parthenon, a must visit with one day in Athens

1. Acropolis

Start your one day in Athens itinerary with the Acropolis , the city’s #1 attraction and a historical site that you just can’t miss. It opens at 8:00 am. If you arrive early, you’ll be able to beat some of the crowds.

The term Acropolis refers to the hill on which the Greeks built the most monumental ancient complex in existence. Its monuments are proud survivors of war, plunder, and time.

Built between 447 B.C. and 432 B.C., the Parthenon is the most important building in the Acropolis complex. It’s a marble temple dedicated to the goddess Athena and was once the center of religious life.

The Parthenon was decorated with the finest art of its day, conceived and carved by master sculptor Phidias. The east and west pediments had magnificent friezes depicting a continuous narrative of the Athenian gods.

the Erechtheion

Over the years, the friezes were mostly pilfered. Some, dubbed the  Elgin Marbles , are in the British Museum in London. The rest are in the Acropolis Museum in Athens, which you’ll visit later.

The Acropolis is also home to three other monuments: the Erechtheion, the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike.

The elegant little Erechtheion sits adjacent to the Parthenon. The temple has an Ionic columned facade on the north porch and was a shrine to both Athena and Poseidon.

A large statue of Athena once held court inside. But the real treat is the Porch of the Maidens on the south side.

The are six famous caryatid figures who seems to be holding up the porch. The drapery of their gowns is beautiful. You can see them up close and personal in the Acropolis Museum.

Erechtheion

The Propylaia was the grand gateway to the Acropolis. Archaeologists believe it was built to reinforce the Acropolis’ defenses. It was most likely a highly protected bastion guarding the city’s treasures and wealth.

The Temple of Athena Nike was dedicated to Athena as the goddess of victory. It’s the smallest temple on the Acropolis, perched on a cliff in the southwest corner.

Like the Erechtheion, it’s an Ionic temple. It was once a grand hall flanked on two sides by Doric porticos. The most important feature of this tiny temple is a frieze depicting Athena Nike fixing her sandal. 

the well-preserved Temple of Athena Nike

You’ll definitely want to book your Acropolis tickets online in advance. Otherwise, you’ll waste part of your one day in Athens in long lines, possibly hours in the summer.

Click here to book a skip the line ticket that also includes the Acropolis Museum. You may want to book a guided tour. This 1.5 hour tour takes you to the Parthenon and the other ruins around the Acropolis that I describe below.

You can get to the Acropolis by walking up the steep hill from the Plaka neighborhood. The entrance is above the Rock of Areopagus. Alternatively, you can take Dioysious Aeropagitou, a large pedestrian street that begins at Hadrian’s Arch.

  • Address : Athens 105 58
  • Tickets : € 20
  • Hours : 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, closing at 5:00 pm in the winter months
  • Pro Tips : How long you spend at the Acropolis depends on your interest in ancient ruins. An hour is the absolutely bare minimum. Some visitors prefer 2-3 hours. You obviously cannot step on or touch the ruins.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

2. Odeon of Herodes Atticus

After you’ve seen the main complex, there are several other ancient sites scattered nearby that are worth seeing.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is large ancient theater located on the slope of the Acropolis. Built in 161 A.D., it’s one of the finest and best preserved theaters from the ancient Roman world.

The 4500 seat theater is fully restored and today is where the annual Athens Festival takes place. You can get a great shot of the theater as you are climbing up to the Acropolis.

READ : Nutshell History of Ancient Rome

  • Address : Dionysiou Areopagitou
  • Tickets : To enter, you have to buy a theater ticket.

1 day tour of athens

3. Theatre of Dionysis

The Theatre of Dionysis is even older than the Odeon. It was built in the 5th century B.C., and discovered in the mid 18th century. In fact, it’s the oldest Greek theater in the world.

The stone theater is famous as the birthplace of the Greek tragedy. The front row seats used to be thrones and you can see reliefs on the stage depicting the life of Dionysis.

There isn’t much left of the ancient ruin. But, still, it represents thousands of years of history. If you don’t want to take the time to go inside, you can see it on your way down from the Acropolis.

  • Address : Mitseon 25
  • Tickets : Entry is free with your Acropolis ticket
  • Hours : Monday through Thursday 8:00 to 8:00 pm. Friday throughs Sunday open until 10:00 pm.

Hadrian's Arch

4. Hadrian’s Arch

This arch was erected by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 131 A.D. He intended it to make the dividing line between ancient Athens and a more modern Athens conquered by Rome.

It resembles the type of triumphal arches you may have seen in the Roman Forum . But it’s much simpler.

The 2nd century A.D. monument was erected in honor of Hadrian, one of the greatest of the Roman Emperors . You have a beautiful view of the Acropolis through the arch.

  • Address : Leof. Vasilisis Amalias 50
  • Tickets : Free

Temple of Olympian Zeus

5. Temple of Olympian Zeus

Next, head to the Temple of Olympian Zeus , another must see landmark with one day in Athens. The temple is in the northwest part of the Acropolis overlooking the ancient agora.

Built between 174 and 132 B.C., it was once one of the largest temples in the ancient world. It was dedicated to the king of the gods, Zeus.

Hadrian completed the temple. It once had 20 limestone Corinthian columns on each side.

The inner cella held a giant gold cult statue of Zeus and was surrounded by even more columns. From afar, it would have appeared like a forest of columns.

The temple was destroyed by invading barbarians and 6th century A.D. earthquakes and never rebuilt. One of the giant columns is sprawled across the grass giving you a sense of how massive it was.

Click here to book a skip the line ticket.

  • Address : 2 minute walk from Hadrian’s Arch
  • Tickets : € 6
  • Hours : From November through March, the temple is open from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. From April through October, the temple is open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm

street in the Plaka neighborhood, a good spot for lunch during your one day in Athens

6. Plaka Neighborhood

The Plaka is the most ancient and atmospheric neighborhood of Athens. Most of it is completely pedestrianized. You’ll find cafes, shops, and colorful immaculate homes.

This is a good place to stop and have lunch. Many of the restaurants are quite touristy, but there are still some good ones.

Psaras Tavern has reliable food and Acropolis views. 2Mazi offers up inventive takes on classic Greek cuisine (have the tarts and make a reservation).

Avocado is a casual vegetarian-vegan spot. If you’re in a hurry, they do take out. And you can always get delicious seafood in a cone to go from Zisis .

You could also wait and have lunch at the rooftop restaurant of the Acropolis Museum, which is one of the next stops on this one day in Athens itinerary. From the restaurant, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the Acropolis and its archaeological sites.

1 day tour of athens

7. Syntagma Square

You should take a quick peak at Syntagma Square. It’s on the border of the Plaka district and the very heart of modern Athens.

This is where you’ll find the 19th century Greek Parliament building. You’ll see soldiers marching solemnly in traditional uniforms of skirts and pom-pom slippers. The changing of the guard takes place every hour on the top of the hour.

Behind the square is the posh Kolonaki district. This is a prime spot for shopping or people watching at glamorous cafes.

If you didn’t eat in the Plaka, you can also find some good restaurants just off the square like Mono or Dionysos Zonar’s .

Right off Syntagma Square you’ll also find a bar called The Bar in Front of the Bar. This is a good place to come back for some classic cocktails before dinner.

Acropolis Museum, another must visit with one day in Athens

8. Acropolis Museum

Now, it’s time to hit a couple of Athens world class museums. In 2009, Athens opened a gorgeous new museum, the Acropolis Museum .

Designed by French-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the museum is a gorgeous $200 million state-of-the-art building. It stands as a rebuttal to the UK’s claim that Athens had nowhere to properly store and display the  Elgin Marbles .

Those marbles came from Parthenon’s frieze and were carried off my Lord Elgin in the early 1800s. They were later placed in the British Museum . The Acropolis Museum recreated copies of those friezes for display.

1 day tour of athens

Apart from these missing wonders, the Acropolis Museum is home to over 5,0000 year old artifacts excavated from the Acropolis, including the rest of the frieze statuary that stretches 525 feet.

The artifacts are installed in the Parthenon Gallery, a glass chamber with wraparound windows that faces the Parthenon itself.

The first level of the museum is also interesting. There, you’ll find the remains of an ancient city dating from sometimes during the 5th to 12th century B.C.

It was discovered and excavated when building for the museum began. Among other treasures are a marble bust of Aristotle from the 4th century and a two-sided Roman coin of Brutus, Julius Caesar’s assassin.

Click here to book a skip the line ticket to the Acropolis Museum. You can also book a 3.5 hour private tour of the museum and the Acropolis.

  • Address : Dionysiou Areopagitou 15
  • Tickets : € 15
  • Hours : 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, last admission 7:30 pm
  • Pro Tip : I would budget 1-2 hours for the museum, more time if you’re a super fan of ancient archaeology.

gold mask of a king, formerly thought to be Agamemno

9. National Archaeological Museum

If you have any time left in your one day in Athens, head to the National Archaeological Museum . Honestly, this encyclopedic museum may even be superior to the Acropolis Museum.

This museum is an absolute history buff’s nirvana. It houses one of the world’s largest and most priceless collections of Greek antiquities.

Kouros in the National Archaeological Museum

The museum’s most celebrated display is the Mycenaean Antiquities. Other treasures include a bronze statue of Zeus, a king’s gold funeral mask, the marble statues of the Kouros, and the requisite bust of Emperor Hadrian.

By the time you leave, you’ll get a lesson on the evolution of Greek art from the Mycenaean to the Classical periods.

Click here to book a skip the line ticket to the museum.

  • Address : 28is Oktovriou 44
  • Tickets : 15 €
  • Hours : Monday from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Tuesday through Sunday 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

Cafe in the Plaka district

10. Evening

For dinner, you have some good choices. Athens gastronomy has dramatically improved in recent years and foodies will be delighted.

Be forewarned, the Greeks eat late. It’s common to wait until after 9:00 pm for dinner.

I mentioned some great restaurants above, but I’ll just mention a couple other. You’ll want to make reservations for these.

Linous Soumpasis & Co puts a contemporary twist on fresh dishes and offers a three course set meal. Gastone is a more casual place that’s part Greek taverna and part diner. Papadakis is an organic restaurant in the Kolonaki neighborhood.

Nolan is probably Athen’s best restaurant. It’s a Michelin-starred restaurant in a central bistro with Asian fusion and Greek food. Try the soba noodles with smoked salmon in tahini sauce!

Nolan restaurant

You can always start with a classic Greek drink like Ouzo or Retsina.

Some classic Greek dishes you can try include moussaka (eggplant casserole), rabbit stew, grilled octopus, or souvlaki (spit roasted meat). For dessert, you can feast on baklava (layered pastry) or loukoumades (honey puffs).

If you arrived in Athens late in the day, you can also book a nighttime walking tour that includes dinner or a guided tuk tuk tour .

Little Kook in the Psiri neighbourhood

Athens is known as “the city that never sleeps.” It has a lively nightlife and the citizens stay up late. Even during the week, you could go on a late night bar hop.

Psiri is a good neighborhood for this. In fact, you may want to eat at Little Kook. It’s a well known restaurant for its over-the-top whimsical, seasonally themed decorations.

These are immersive decorations that spill out onto the street. During the holiday seasons like Halloween and Christmas, they are especially extravagant.

murals in the Plaka district

Practical Guide For Spending One Day In Athens

Here are some must know tips for planning 1 day in Athens itinerary.

1. How to Get To Athens

The easiest way to get to Athens is to fly there. Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) is about 20 miles from the city center.

There are direct flights form Athens from most of the major European cities. There are also direct flights to Greece from six US cities during high season, like New York City or Washington D.C .

After you land in Athens, you can pick up some euros in the airport.

You can get into city center by taxi, metro, or bus (the cheapest and slowest option).

Taxis may rip you off. To avoid any chance of this, I recommend booking a private transfer from the airport.

Monastiraki Square

There is no Uber per se in Athens. Uber is simply part of the existing taxi system. You can download the Uber Taxi app.

There are several cruise companies that also dock in Athens. And you can book a private transfer to get to the historic center from the ship terminal.

2. How To Get Around Athens

With just one day in Athens, you’ll only explore the historic center with the main monuments. For this, you can walk everywhere.

But Athens also has a modern metro system.

If you’d like to have fun zooming around the city, you could book a guided Segway tour , a guided bike tour , or electric bike tour . There’s also a hop on hop off tourist bus .

Hotel Grande Bretagna

3. Where To Stay In Athens

Athens has a blossoming hotel scene and there are some fabulous places to stay for your one day in Athens.

Built in 1874, the Grande Bretagna is a landmark European hotel where opulence and grandeur reign supreme. It’s also right in Syntagma Square. You’ll find restored antique interiors, a courtyard garden, and a rooftop restaurant with views.

The Four Seasons is a lively hotel with modern rooms with private balconies. But the outdoor spaces, with 3 pools and beachfront, are the highlight.

The Modernist in Kolonaki embodies its name. The hotel has a minimalist Danish decor in a palette of soft black and gray, with rooms of various sizes. It’s known for its balconies, great breakfasts, and rooftop terrace.

Gatsby Athens is an Art Deco inspired hotel and an homage to the novel The Great Gatsby . With its sophisticated and cool decor, it’s a contrast to the more conventionally elegant hotels in Athens.

colorful houses in Plaka

King George in Syntagma Square is a beautiful hotel that I’ve stayed in before. It’s known for great service and understated luxury (though it has a rather grandiose lobby).

Xenodocheio Milos is one of the newest and most elegant additions to the Athens hotel scene. It bills itself as a “gastronomy 5 star hotel.” There are spacious modern rooms with white and wood decor.

4. When To Visit Athens

Athens is a year round destination and lively at all times of the year. But the warm sunny days make spring and fall the best time to visit.

The city is pretty dang hot from mid-June to late August. I’ve practically melted when visiting in the summer. And, of course, that’s when most of the tourists visit.

Athens can also make a lovely winter break. You’ll still have bright fairly mild days, though there is always a chance of rain. If you’re visiting then and it does rain, simply add more museums to your itinerary.

ancient ruins in Athens with the Plaka neighborhood in the background

5. Is One Day in Athens Enough?

I’ve been to Athens several times in my life. I think one day is sufficient to see the main attractions, especially if you are in a hurry to head off to the Greek Islands.

To be frank, Athens is not my favorite European city. Outside the central tourist area, it’s a bit gritty for my taste, with a sprawl of modern buildings.

As a young solo traveler, I was almost pickpocketed there (so maybe that colors my view). I have liked the city more upon each visit. It’s just not as conventionally attractive as someplace like Florenc e .

BUT Athens does have some absolute marquee sites and has gentrified somewhat, so does does deserve a full day of your attention. And you should definitely visit at least once in your life!

Pittaki Street

6. Is Athens Safe?

Like any major European city, Athens has its fair share of petty crime. But violent crime is relatively rare. That said, I would be more on my guard here than in Paris , Vienna , or London for sure.

Keep an eye on your valuables, be sure to check that your restaurant bill is accurate, and be vigilant if you are taking public transportation.

Stay on the beaten path. The safest part is the historic center where you’ll spend most of your one day in Athens. The further afield you go, the sketchier and less safe it becomes.

Of course, even in the touristy parts, you have to look out for scammers. Beware of locals approaching you asking for something. And there are pickpockets in the streets at the foot of the Acropolis.

National Gallery

7. More Than One Day In Athens?

If you have more than 1 day in Athens, there are plenty of other attractions to keep you busy, including some wonderful museums and archaeological sites.

The National Gallery is the city’s newest cultural jewel. The museum was just given a 60 million euro facelift and overhaul.

With an illuminating glass facade, it consists of four floors. The first three explore the evolution of Greek art over the centuries. The fourth floor houses European art, including works by Picasso and Mondrian.

The Benaki Museum is a complex of museums scattered around the city devoted to Greek culture. The main museum is housed in an ultra-modern building of marble and glass. You can take in the prehistoric Ancient Greek and Roman exhibits in the permanent collections

1 day tour of athens

The Benaki Islamic Museum is more of a hidden gem on the other side of town. It houses an extensive collection of ceramics, jewelery, art, and design dating as far back as the 8th century.

You can also visit some of Athen’s more offbeat museums:

  • Numismatic Museum (collection of an archaeologist),
  • Museum of the History of Greek Costume (devoted to Greek dress)
  • National Historical Museum (specializing in the War of Independence)
  • National Museum of Contemporary Art (5 floors of modern art and a rooftop terrace with views)

The Ancient Agora (market) is is a must see too. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the Acropolis.

The highlight there is the Hephaisteion, a temple devoted to the god Hephaestus . It’s a well preserved structure, dating from 450 B.C., which remains much today as it was originally built.

the Hephaisteion

For a more modern “agora,” head to the Stavros Niarchros Foundation Cultural Center . It was designed by world famous architect Renzo Piano.

There is an architecture tour at 10:00 am daily. There’s a great view of Athens from its canopy roof.

For other archaeological marvels, you can journey outside Athens. One option is to take a half day trip to the Temple of Poseidon , which is about 40 miles from Athens.

Built in 444 B.C., the temple was designed and built by the same architect as the Hephaisteion. It’s not as well preserved, but 16 of the gleaming white marble columns remain.

Temple of Apollo in Delphi

Alternatively, you can also take a guided day trip to Delphi . It’s a religious sanctuary dedicated to Apollo. It’s the second most popular attraction in Greece and most popular day trip from Athens.

You can admire the Temple of Apollo, the Ancient Theatre, and the Tholos of Delhi. There’s also a fine Archaeological Museum with 14 rooms. The most famous piece is a perfectly intact bronze sculpture of the Charioteer of Delphi.

You’ll want to pre-book a skip the line ticket to the archaeological complex. You can also book a combination ticket for the complex and the museum.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my one day in Athens itinerary. You may enjoy these other Europe city itineraries:

  • 3 days in Paris itinerary
  • 3 days in Vienna itinerary
  • 3 days in Rome itinerary
  • 3 days in Barcelona itinerary
  • 3 days in Seville itinerary
  • 3 days in Florence itinerary
  • 2 days in Venice itinerary
  • 2 days in Madrid itinerary
  • 2 days in Dubrovnik itinerary
  • 2 days in Lisbon itinerary
  • 2 days in Porto itinerary

If you plan to spend 1 day in Athens, pin it for later.

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2 thoughts on “One Day In Athens Itinerary: What To Do In 24 Hours”

Great article, thanks for all the information! We are traveling to Greece this summer, our first destination is Athens, so we found a lot to know 🙂

Than you Adri! I’m glad it was helpful. Have a blast!

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Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by Leslie Livingston

Sofia Adventures

One Day In Athens Itinerary: The Ultimate Athens Guide In 24 Hours

One Day In Athens Itinerary: The Ultimate Athens Guide In 24 Hours

Looking for the perfect one-day in Athens itinerary?

For many first-time visitors to Greece, a quick stopover in Athens whilst on route to exploring the gorgeous Greek isles is usually their first and only introduction to this incredible city.

With so much history, culture and charm, you really should be spending at least two to three days at a minimum to really get to grips with the city.

Regardless, if you are pressed for time, you can certainly still see many of the major sights and attractions to get a feel for ancient Athens! In this guide, I’ll provide a rundown of all the key essential information you may need to plan for a perfect day in Athens!

No time to read it now? Pin it for later!

1 day tour of athens

>> Read Next: Athens or Thessaloniki: Which Mainland Greece City is Right For You? <<

Where to Stay in Athens

Greece - Athens - Acropolis with Parthenon, the theater of Herodion Atticus under the ruins of Acropolis and cityscape of Athens, Greece.

We get it, Athens is too pretty to spend only a day there. So if you’ve fallen in love with the city, and you decide, last-minute, to stay for the night, then why not check these hotels. If you want, this accommodation guide to Athens will give you even more choices, or you can also read this article if you’d like to book a room with unforgettable Acropolis views.

With only 24 hours in Athens, you’ll want to stay somewhere that isn’t too far from the main attractions and has easy access to the public transportation system. Plaka is one of the best places to stay in Athens for sightseeing. You can check hotels in Plaka here or take a look at these places:

Budget: If you’re looking for a budget hotel in lively Monastiraki, book a stay at  Fivos Hote l. Located right by Monastiraki Station, the hotel has free wifi and ensuite bathrooms. Check out prices and availability at Fivos Hotel here .

Mid-range: If you want more traditional accommodation, stay at the Kimons Athens Hotel in Plaka. The rooms are cozy and there’s a roof terrace that guests can enjoy. Check out guest reviews, prices, and availability at Kimons Athens Hotel here .

Luxury: To enjoy a bit of luxury in Monastiraki, check into the four-star Emporikon Athens Hotel on Agia Irini Square. The rooms are sophisticated and swanky, with a traditional take on comfort. Check out guest reviews, prices, and availability at Emporikon Athens Hotel here .

How To Get Around Athens In A Day

Greece - Athens - Ancient agora athens greece

Getting around the capital city is easy.

If staying centrally, the city is easily walkable, especially for this one-day Athens itinerary.

Additionally, there are plenty of transit options provided. Take a look at some of the popular modes of transportation around the city to enjoy the top things to do in Athens .

Metro and Bus

The metro is considered one of the best ways to get around the city. It’s a cheap and reliable service and takes you within walking distance to some of the top attractions.

To save money, you should buy a day pass for €4.50, or you can purchase a 90-minute ticket for €1.20 – excluding airport transfer. Another inexpensive option to get around the city is the bus system.

Alternatively, you can take the tram. There are three tram lines that run between downtown Athens and some coastal destinations like Moschato, Glyfada, and Palaio Faliro.

A taxi is the most reliable and safe way to get around the city. Keep in mind most taxis are metered, and you won’t know what your trip will cost in advance.

Athens used to have Uber, but now it’s been replaced by Taxibeat. We recommend downloading the app before going to avoid any taxi issues.

Hop-Off Hop-On Bus

Finally, if you want to get a combination of sites to see with a group, book a hop-on hop-off bus ticket  and explore the city of Athens.

Where To Eat In Athens

Greece - Athens - Traditional greek dishes in a tavern in the old town of Athens (Plaka), Greece

What better way to immerse yourself in the unique culinary heritage of the famous Mediterranean menu, than indulging in different Greek cuisines?

Apart from strolling the streets with an abundance of superb eateries, take a look at some of these exquisite restaurants to satisfy your tastebuds – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast – Yiasemi

Start your day the right way and enjoy homemade tarts and delicious pies at this quaint traditional cafe-bistro, before venturing out for the day.

Lunch – 2Mazi

This restaurant captures the essence of classical Greek cuisine. Enjoy fresh salads, perfectly cooked fish, and amazing tarts. 

Dinner – Art Lounge

The Art Lounge is situated in Syntagma Square and provides delicious cuisine. A must-try is the Kritharoto , a delicious type of risotto, with sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and slow-cooked pork, yum!

What To See In Athens In One Day

Set your alarm clocks for a bright and early day to explore the ancient wonders around the spectacular city. You’ll want to squeeze as much into your one day as possible, before heading off to a magical island adventure, like the popular route from Athens to Mykonos .

Let’s dive straight into the ultimate city guide to Athens in a day.

Ancient Acropolis

Greece - Athens - The Erechtheum, an ancient Greek temple on the Acropolis near the Parthenon in Greece. Shot on winter day with bright blue sky with some cloud. The Caryatid statues and sacred olive tree are visible.

When visiting Athens, the first stop on your one-day itinerary should be to Greece’s crown jewel, the Acropolis . An ancient complex that was built in the 5th-century and is made up of several structures.

Try and aim to leave your hotel by 7:30 am, so that you can get to the Acropolis as soon as it opens at 8 am. This way, you can avoid the crowds, and have time to absorb the historic sites.

Start exploring the Acropolis from the south slope. As you enter, you’ll first find the Theatre of Dionysos and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Climb the marble steps to the top of the hill. There, you’ll find ruins of the grand Parthenon, and a spectacular view of Athens below.

Your walk around the spectacular grandeur structures should take about 2-hours. You can book your tickets in advance, or join a small group tour . You can buy multi-site tickets for €30 (recommended), or you can purchase a single ticket to the Acropolis for €20.

As you leave the Acropolis, stop at the Areopagus Hill. Here you can get a sight of the Ancient Agora, where Socrates developed his philosophy.

>> Read Next: When Is the Best Time to Visit Greece? <<

Plaka Neighborhood

1 day tour of athens

Once you’re finished exploring the magnificent Acropolis, make your way to the city’s oldest and most colorful neighborhood, Plaka. It’s one of the best places to visit in Athens and you can also do it with a walking tour of the city, this one is a great value for money opportunity because it also includes a visit to the Acropolis. 

Plaka is a pedestrian-friendly area lined with charming restaurants, cafes, and fascinating architecture. Stroll along the shopping streets of Kydathineon and Adrianou. Interrupt your stroll and spend some time in an authentic Greek cafe. Along your way, keep a lookout for antiquated Athens sites such as the Byzantine churches, museums, and 19th-century homes. 

The Temple Of Olympian Zeus

1 day tour of athens

From Plaka, it’s a quick 10-minute walk to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, a large temple that was built to honor the gods. It was completed in 131 AD, and today it houses 15 remaining Corinthian columns. Also on-site, you’ll find the remains of ancient Roman bathhouses and Hadrian’s Arch.

Learn about the fascinating history of the Temple of Olympian Zeus with a self-guided audio tour . Alternatively, if you’re interested in Greek mythology and legends, take a small-group walking tour to learn more about the Plaka neighborhood, Hadrian’s Arch, and the Temple of Zeus.

Although this is one of the largest ancient temples of the Greek-Roman Empire, you don’t really need to spend much time here – a maximum of 15-minutes. A single ticket entrance fee is €6, or you can use the combination ticket.

>> Read Next: The 3 Best Greek Islands Near Athens & How to See Them in One Day <<

The National Gardens

Your next stop on the itinerary is the National Gardens, neighboring the Temple of Olympian Zeus. On-site you’ll find the Zappeion Exhibition Hall, which was built in the 1880s for the first Olympic Games. The hall plays a significant role in Greek history and is certainly worth taking a look inside.

To get from the National Gardens to your next stop, you can use the closest metro station to the Monastiraki Metro Station.

The Library of Hadrian

1 day tour of athens

Located in the heart of the city, next to the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library was created by the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, in 132 – 134 AD. With its grandeur facades and large surrounding walls, it was clearly built to impress.

The building was used to store important legal and literary works. It also included lecture halls and served as a place for schools of learning and philosophy debates.

Combination tickets for the Acropolis are included here, otherwise, a single entry costs €6. Like most archaeological sites, opening times are from 8 am-8 pm, daily.

Ancient Agora

A 3-minute walk from Hadrian’s Library is the Ancient Agora. It was once the political and business hub of the Greek capital, and on the north side, it houses the 5th-century Temple of Hephaestus and Athena.

A single ticket entry fee to the Ancient Agora is €12 unless you have a combination ticket.

>> Read Next: 10 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Visiting the Acropolis <<

Roman Agora

1 day tour of athens

Your next stop will be a quick 5-minute walk from the Ancient Agora to the Roman Agora. These ruins date back to the 1st-century, during the reign of Julius Caesar and Augustus.  It was once used as a commercial marketplace and is well worth the visit.

Another fascinating part of this site is the octagonal Tower of Winds , a Pentelic marble clocktower.

A single entry ticket to the Roman Agora is €6; otherwise, you can use your combination ticket to enter.

Monastiraki Square

1 day tour of athens

As your one day in Athens comes to an end, head to the Monastiraki Square.

It’s around 3-minutes walking distance from the Roman Agora and is a great place to shop around for souvenirs and enjoy the hustle and bustle of street musicians and street vendors.

5 Things to Bring with You to Greece

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If you’re planning a trip to Greece, you’ll want to pack all the normal essentials, but here are a few things we strongly recommend bringing that may not have crossed your mind. For more packing tips, check out our complete  Greece packing list.

–  A physical guidebook, on paper or Kindle . We love  Lon ely  Planet  Greece  for this region and strongly recommend it to supplement blogs. Blogs are great, but a combination of a blog and a guidebook is key to having the best access to information easily at your fingertips.

–  A water bottle with a filter . While generally, the tap water in most of Greece is drinkable, we generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any funny-tasting water on your stomach that could make your trip unpleasant! There are places in Greece, especially on the island, where the water tastes like minerals.

We recommend  the GRAYL water bottle  – it filters water perfectly in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc.

–  Motion sickness pills . Santorini roads are winding, especially around the coast. If you have a weak stomach as we do, save yourself and bring some  non-drowsy motion sickness pills .

–  Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, TP & other Balkan transit needs.  Bathrooms in the Balkans tend to be… how can we say it?… not so well-stocked. Save yourself the disappointment and bring a mini-rescue pack of  wet wipes  &  hand sanitizer .

–  Travel safety items . We think Greece is safe to travel to, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry  money belts , but neither Allison nor I use these. Instead, we both carry the same  PacSafe anti-theft backpack .

It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also strongly recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.

Read More:  Essential Greece Packing List: What to Wear & Pack for Greece

More Greece Travel Resources

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First read our guide to  planning a trip to Greece , which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a separate guide to  tipping in Greece  so you know what to give to different servers and staff while you’re here.

Next, you’ll want to read our all-season  Greece packing list .

If you are still trying to figure out your Greece itinerary, check out our guides on  where to go in Greece , the best places for  island hopping in Greece , and when is the  best time to visit. 

If you know you’ll be spending time in Athens, check out our  Athens Instagram guide , the  best Athens day trips , and our complete  Athens hotel guide.  We also have a guide to the  best things to do in Athens in winter . 

Check these  Athens safety tips  for a hassle-free trip. We are currently working on our mega-post of things to do in Athens as well as our itineraries, so stay tuned! 

We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our  Greece  and  Balkan  travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have  travel insurance  for traveling in Greece, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world!

Allison and I have both been paying customers of  World Nomads  for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption. 

While Greece is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe. The saying goes “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” and we think it’s true!

>>  Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here  <<

Pin this Guide to Enjoy the One Day in Athens!

1 day tour of athens

About the Author

1 day tour of athens

Born and raised in South Africa, Marco Santos from Travel-Boo , together with his partner moved to sunny Lisbon over 3 years ago. With an absolute love for Europe, he is on a mission to rediscover his own Portuguese heritage along the way.

Marco has set out to blog and share his passion for traveling through and exploring both Portugal, Spain, and throughout Europe, through his blog Travel-Boo.

You can follow along on Facebook , Pinterest , Instagram , and Twitter !

1 day tour of athens

Originally from California, Allison has been living in Bulgaria for the last two years and is obsessed with traveling around the Balkans. She has been published in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, Matador Network, and the Huffington Post. She loves befriending dogs, drinking coffee, geeking out about wine, and cooking food from around the world.

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1 day tour of athens

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One Day in Athens – The Ultimate Athens 1 Day Itinerary

Trying to see Athens in one day? Athens, the captivating capital of Greece, is where ancient history meets modern allure. I visited Athens twice in 2023, and trust me when I say that one day in Athens is a very short amount of time. You could spend a month in Athens and not get bored – but with a well-planned itinerary, it is still enough time to see most major Athens attractions and landmarks.

In order to ensure that you maximise your time in Athens, I’ve created this Athens 1 day itinerary to help you make the most of your time in the Greek capital. This itinerary will allow you to immerse yourself in Athens’ rich heritage, savour its culinary delights, and explore its coolest neighbourhoods. So, grab a notebook and pen, because we’re about to get into it. Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Athens, Greece.

Table of Contents

Athens at a glance

Many people dismiss Athens as being no more than a point of entry when visiting the Greek islands. They cite the Acropolis as the only thing that Athens has to offer, but trust me when I say that there are so many reasons to visit Athens ! Nestled between the hills and embraced by the Aegean Sea, Athens is a living testament to the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, and the arts. As you step foot in this historic metropolis, prepare to be transported through time, to a place where myths and legends intertwine with contemporary urban life, creating a tapestry of cultural richness.

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From the iconic Acropolis, crowned by the majestic Parthenon, to the ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, every step you take will unveil a chapter of Athens’ fascinating story. But Athens is more than its countless archeological sites. Modern art galleries, trendy cafes, bustling markets, and eye-catching street art are woven into the fabric of the city, and beyond all of its historical and cultural treasures, Athens is a city of warm hospitality, where strangers are welcomed as friends in the Greek spirit of philoxenia . To me, Athens is a cross between Tirana , capital of Albania, Palermo , the beating heart of Sicily, and Valencia , my home in Spain for 18 months. So, if I’ve piqued your interest, then just keep on reading to discover how to spend one day in Athens.

How to spend 1 day in Athens

8:00am – the acropolis.

Your one day in Athens has to begin with a visit to the iconic Acropolis. Rising majestically above the cityscape, the Acropolis is an architectural wonder that has stood the test of time, a testament to the incredible achievements of ancient Greece. The Acropolis is more than just a collection of ruins; it is a window into the rich heritage and cultural legacy of Greece. This archaeological site holds the remains of several ancient structures that once adorned the sacred hilltop. As you wander through its marble pathways, you’ll be transported back in time, imagining the glory of Athens during its Golden Age.

The crown jewel of the Acropolis is undoubtedly the Parthenon, an awe-inspiring temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Its grandeur and architectural brilliance will leave you speechless as you marvel at the intricately carved sculptures and Doric columns that have survived for centuries. Other notable structures inside the Acropolis include the Erechtheion, with its enchanting Caryatid Porch, the Propylaea, a monumental entrance gate which offers a glimpse into the grandeur that awaited visitors in ancient times, and of course the Temple of Athena Nike, perched on the southwestern edge, exuding grace and elegance.

Visiting the Acropolis first thing not only ensures that you beat the crowds (cruise ship tourists tend to arrive at around 9:30am), but you’ll also avoid the scorching midday heat. The Acropolis opens at 8:00am, so arrive just beforehand to start your 1 day in Athens off right. Get your Acropolis tickets with skip-the-line entry here. If you’d prefer to have a guided tour of the Acropolis, this tour is a great option .

parthenon at the acropolis

10:00am – Explore Anafiotika

If you’re trying to discover Athens in one day, you have got to squeeze in a trip to Anafiotika. Anafiotika is a small, pedestrian-only neighbourhood located just up from the entrance of the Acropolis, making it the perfect place to visit when you’ve finished exploring the ruins. Anafiotika is a photogenic neighbourhood with Cycladic architecture that will make you feel as though you’ve escaped to a Greek island! Despite its proximity to the tourist district of Plaka, Anafiotika is a haven of calm and tranquility, and when I decided to take a stroll there, the only other person I came across was an old man sitting outside his home, who told me I was free to explore all the narrow alleyways that I wanted! There are no shops or tourist restaurants here – Anafiotika is a purely residential neighbourhood, home only to locals and cats – but it’s more than worth exploring.

anafiotika athens

10:30am – Brunch

By this point, you’ll most definitely have worked up an appetite, and luckily for you, you’re a stone’s throw away from dozens of great eateries. Wander back down from Anafiotika and you’ll find yourself in Plaka, where there is an abundance of tavernas, cafes, fast-food joints, and more. For a traditional Greek gyros to enjoy on-the-go, head to Meat The Greek , or for a sit-down meal, Klepsydra is a picturesque little taverna very close to the Acropolis serving up hearty and authentic Greek specialties. If you want something a little lighter, Yiasemi is a beautiful little café with a simple breakfast menu of toast, yoghurt, granola, and omelettes.

pastitsio

12:00pm – Explore Plaka

Now you have a full belly, it’s time to explore the district of Plaka a little more. Plaka is the oldest part of Athens, as well as one of the most touristy areas, and it’s easy to see why. Teeming with boutiques, tavernas, Neoclassical architecture, and friendly street cats, this historical neighbourhood has been inhabited since ancient times, and you should spend an hour or so just taking a stroll and soaking up the atmosphere. Be sure to pick up some souvenirs in Plaka – you can buy everything from olive oil cosmetics to leather sandals, evil eye talismans, and various spice mixes (I got a large selection of these!). You can also find the Roman Agora here, as well as the Temple of Hephaestus, and the Orthodox Church of Panagia Kapnikarea. If you want to explore these archaeological sites, allow another hour.

plaka athens

2:00pm – Little Kook

About 15 minutes away from Plaka by foot, Little Kook is a café and dessert shop unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Three times a year, the entire theme of the place is changed (at Halloween, Christmas, and spring), along with a new menu to reflect the new theme. The attention to detail is awe-inspiring, and you could spend an hour just trying to take it all in. When I visited Little Kook, they had an Alice in Wonderland theme. I ordered a white Sangria with strawberries, and my friend ordered a white chocolate ‘frosty’ drink with strawberry sauce, salted caramel, and a donut on top.

little kook athens

3:30pm – Monastiraki

Monastiraki is another cool district in Athens worth exploring. Begin your explorations on Monastiraki Square, where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of Athens. In the centre of the square is Tzistarakis Mosque, which was built in 1759. Since 1975, Tzistarakis Mosque has housed a remarkable collection of pottery from Greece, Cyprus, Ottoman and modern Turkey. Inside the Mosque is information and photos about the artists and the historical significance of the building.

Next to the Mosque are the remains of Hadrian’s Library (132 AD), as well as the small Church of the Pantanassa, which used to be a nunnery during the Byzantine era. Before you leave the square, don’t forget to buy a bag of fresh strawberries from the vendor just outside the metro station – they really are delicious! As you explore the network of alleyways that make up Monastiraki, you’ll almost feel as though you’re in an Arab souk. Antique shops, quirky alternative stores (think witchy shops, vintage clothing, records, and old books) and dive bars line the streets, and to me, Monastiraki feels a bit like Camden Market. Abyssinia Square (also spelt ‘Avissinias’) is the hub of all the antique furniture, gold and silver pieces, and other eclectic bits and bobs (broken rocking horse, anyone?), and if you’re lucky enough to be in Athens on a Sunday, this is where you’ll find a proper flea market. A cool place to stop for a drink here is El Tropicana , a cool cocktail bar with outside sofas and free popcorn!

monastriraki athens

6:30pm – Discover Athens rooftop bars

An absolute must-do in Athens is to enjoy a drink at one of Athens’ many rooftop bars, which all overlook the Acropolis. I went to Thea Terrace , a sleek and sophisticated bar and restaurant on the roof of the Central Hotel, and the views were breathtaking.

athens rooftop bars

8:00pm Dinner at a traditional taverna

For a traditional Greek taverna experience, head to O Thanasis on Monastiraki Square for plates piled high with meat, Greek music, singing, and dancing! My friends and I had a fantastic evening here, and we thoroughly enjoyed not only the food, but the dancing as well! Another place I recommend for dinner is Avli Restaurant . You might have to queue awhile to get in, but the small plates here are absolutely delicious, and the prices are super affordable. The trick here is to order a bunch of plates to share, like you would in a tapas restaurant.

yogurtlu

10:00pm – Party in Psiri

Psiri (also spelt  Psyri  and  Psirri ) is the place to be in Athens when the sun goes down.

Countless wine bars, cocktail bars, and restaurants line the streets of Psiri, and in my opinion, it has an even cooler vibe than Plaka. The best thing to do here is simply walk around and see where takes your fancy!

Athens travel tips

  • Athens is a big city, but most of the major attractions are very close to one another, and I’ve structured this itinerary in a way that means can easily do everything on foot.
  • Athens is the hottest capital city in mainland Europe, so prepare accordingly!
  • Athens is not only very hot, but it also gets incredibly crowded in the summer months. I recommend visiting Athens in the shoulder season (the months just before and after summer), when the crowds are thinner, the prices are lower, and the heat isn’t quite as stifling.
  • The best way to get to the centre of Athens from the airport is by metro. The journey costs 9 EUR (or 16 return), and takes about 40 minutes.

Is Athens safe?

One of the biggest points of contention about Athens is whether or not Athens is  safe . Some tourists, especially solo female travellers, say that they felt unsafe in Athens, and while I’m never going to discount somebody’s experiences, what I  will  say is that the numbers show that Athens is a very safe city, and I prefer to go by the numbers rather than people’s self-reported feelings, because we all observe things differently. On the whole, Athens is a very safe city (you can  read my post about safety in Athens   for more detailed information).

You should watch out for pickpockets, especially around touristy areas like Monastiraki Square and the Plaka district. In terms of areas to avoid, Omonia has a bad reputation, and this part of the city is generally where people are talking about when they reference homeless people and people using drugs in the street. During the daytime, it’s perfectly safe here, but you wouldn’t really have a reason to be here as a tourist unless your accommodation was located here. Other areas to avoid in Athens are Vathi Square and Viktoria Square, but they are not in the centre of town and therefore not places you would accidentally stumble upon.

athens street art

Best Athens tours

If you only have one day in Athens and you’re worried about seeing everything on such limited time, you might want to book a tour or excursion. This could be a walking tour to ensure you see all the major Athens landmarks, a food tour to introduce you to Greek cuisine , or even a guided tour of the Acropolis to make the most of your experience. My picks for Athens tours are the following: Athens Instagram Tour: The Most Scenic Spots Athens: Greek Cooking Lesson & 3-Course Dinner Athens Gourmet Food Tour Athens: Guided Urban Street-Art Tour Athens Riviera: Catamaran Cruise with Meal and Drinks Athens: Dinner in the Sky Experience All of the above tours are the highest-rated on GetYourGuide, which is the platform I always use when booking tours.

Where to stay in Athens

If you only have one day in Athens, choosing accommodation in the right location is essential. When I visited Athens, I stayed in the residential neighbourhood of Pagrati, and while it was a great place to spend a week, if I only had 1 day in Athens, it would have been too far out of the way. You want to be in close proximity to all of the major Athens landmarks and attractions, especially if you’re going to wake up early for the Acropolis!

The perfect neighbourhood in this case then, would be Plaka. Here, you are a stone’s throw away from the Acropolis, Anafiotika, loads of cool bars and restaurants, and a short stroll away from Psiri. Here are the best accommodation options I found in Plaka (I applied search filters to ensure that only the top-rated ones are included!): Check out top-rated Plaka hotels on Booking . Check out top-rated Plaka hotels on Expedia .

One Day in Athens | Final Thoughts

Hopefully by now, you’ve got a great idea of how to spend your one day in Athens. This 1 day Athens itinerary not only allows you to see the major Athens landmarks, but also to explore the coolest neighbourhoods, try the best Greek food, and really get a feel for the city. If you have any questions about seeing Athens in a day, please don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments section below, and I will do my best to help! Until next time, XOXO

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One Day In Athens 2024: The Best Itinerary

One day in Athens might not feel like enough time to do this iconic city justice, but if you’re worried about missing any of the highlights then we’ve got the perfect itinerary for you.

We were lucky enough to have several days to explore the capital but it gave us time to take note of the things you simply have to see or experience, and the things you can save for your next visit.

Athens is a city steeped in history, brimming with vibrant energy, and overflowing with cultural treasures. Get ready to immerse yourself in the ancient wonders of the Acropolis, wander through charming neighborhoods, savor delectable Greek cuisine, and discover the city’s unique blend of past and present.

Join us as we embark on a whirlwind adventure, capturing the essence of Athens in a single day. You might be wondering if Athens is worth visiting for just one day, but let’s dive in and make every moment count!

exploring ancient ruins in one day in athens

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Table of Contents

One day in athens, the best places to stay in athens, getting around athens, best one day tour of athens, places to eat and drink, one night in athens, what is the most popular thing to do in athens, is athens a walkable city, can you explore athens on your own.

a view of the parthenon in athens on a one day visit

If you find yourself with just one day to explore the enchanting city of Athens, fear not! While it may be impossible to experience all the wonders this ancient metropolis has to offer in such a short time, we have crafted an itinerary that will allow you to immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine that define Athens.

We’ve stripped down what we considered the absolute highlights of our stay in Athens and condensed them into one day to make the perfect itinerary for a short stay here.

From iconic landmarks and archaeological marvels to bustling markets and charming neighborhoods, get ready to make the most of your day in this captivating Greek capital.

If you’re having second thoughts make sure you read through some of the most famous quotes about Greece to convince you it really is the best holiday destination!

One day in Athens itinerary:

Acropolis – Start your day early and head straight to the Acropolis, the crown jewel of Athens. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, and soak in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city below.

Explore the other ancient structures on the hill, such as the Temple of Erechtheion and the Theater of Dionysus.

The Acropolis is Athen’s main attraction so it can get pretty busy. As you only have one day here and no time to waste, grab a skip the line ticket before you go and walk straight in.

Plaka – Descend from the Acropolis and venture into Plaka, Athens’ oldest neighborhood. Meander through its narrow, labyrinthine streets lined with charming neoclassical houses, boutiques, and local tavernas.

Stop by the Anafiotika district, a picturesque enclave with whitewashed houses reminiscent of the Cycladic islands.

If you started the day early then grab an ice cream here to keep those energy levels up!

Ancient Agora – Just a short walk from Plaka, visit the Ancient Agora, a bustling marketplace in ancient times.

Explore the well-preserved ruins, including the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos. Take a moment to imagine the vibrant trade and intellectual discussions that once filled this historic site.

Monastiraki – Make your way to Monastiraki Square, a vibrant hub of activity. Here, you’ll find an array of traditional tavernas and modern eateries.

Indulge in a delicious Greek lunch, savoring local delicacies such as souvlaki, moussaka, and freshly baked pita bread. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with a glass of refreshing ouzo or a sip of the traditional retsina wine.

National Archaeological Museum – Take a short taxi or metro ride to the National Archaeological Museum, one of the world’s most important collections of ancient Greek artifacts. Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing displays of sculptures, pottery, and precious artifacts that span thousands of years of Greek history.

Syntagma Square – Head back to the city center and visit Syntagma Square, the central hub of Athens. Witness the changing of the guards ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the evzones, traditional Greek soldiers, display their iconic uniforms and precise movements.

Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful National Gardens, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the bustling city.

Plaka Souvenir Shopping – Before the day comes to an end, return to Plaka for some souvenir shopping.

Explore the colorful shops offering an array of Greek products, from handmade ceramics and olive oil soap to exquisite jewelry and local artwork. Don’t forget to haggle and find a special memento to remind you of your time in Athens.

Sunset at Mount Lycabettus – For a memorable finale to your day, make your way to Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens.

Ascend by foot on a hiking tour where you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of the city bathed in the warm hues of the setting sun. Capture the moment and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Sky Dinner: For a meal to remember eat at Athen’s revolving restaurant suspended in the sky for the most incredible views of the city.

You’ll enjoy a 6-course meal of modern and traditional Greek dishes with unlimited wine, beer, and soft drinks, but the real highlight will be the view of the lit-up acropolis from above.

✔ Book the sky dinner experience here

Athens has a huge range of accommodations, from budget to luxury. With only one day here you will want to stay pretty central to avoid any long walks into the action. Here are some of your best options:

Electra Metropolis: Located in the heart of Athens, this 5* hotel is perfect for a treat night in the city. The rooftop pool has gorgeous views over the city and the rooms are comfortable and modern. This hotel has the wow factor.

✔ Book your stay now

CityBee: This property is located in the centre of Athens so it’s perfect for a short stay here. You’re within walking distance of everything you could need, but it’s also quiet in the evenings so you can be guaranteed a good night’s sleep!

statues in athens museum

Getting around Athens is relatively easy, thanks to its well-developed transportation system. We found we mostly walked or used the Metro, but there are several other options too depending on what suits you best.

  • Metro: The Athens Metro is a convenient and efficient way to travel within the city. It connects major neighborhoods, historical sites, and the airport. The metro operates from approximately 5:30 am to midnight on weekdays (extended hours on weekends). It consists of three lines: Line 1 (Green), Line 2 (Red), and Line 3 (Blue). Tickets can be purchased at the stations or through ticket machines.
  • Bus: Athens has an extensive bus network that covers the entire city. Buses are a great option for reaching destinations not served by the metro. The bus system operates from early morning until midnight, with some routes running 24/7. Tickets can be purchased onboard from the driver or at kiosks.
  • Tram: The Athens Tram runs along the city’s coastline, providing a scenic way to travel. It connects the city center with the southern suburbs and operates from early morning until midnight. Tram tickets can be purchased at ticket machines or onboard from the conductor.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available throughout the city. They can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi ranks. Taxis in Athens are yellow and equipped with meters. However, it’s always a good idea to ensure the meter is used or negotiate the fare before starting the journey. It’s a more expensive way to get around but often quicker and more convenient if you have little time.
  • Rental Car: If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can rent a car in Athens. However, keep in mind that traffic in the city can be congested, and parking can be challenging. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and parking regulations before renting a car. We wouldn’t recommend this option unless you plan to explore outside of Athens. Discover Cars is our go to place to look for hire cars in Greece.
  • Walking: Athens is a compact city with many attractions located in close proximity to each other. Walking is a pleasant way to explore areas such as the historic center, Plaka, and Monastiraki. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for some uphill walks in certain areas.
  • Bicycles and Electric Scooters: Athens has seen a rise in bike-sharing services and electric scooter rentals. Look out for bike stations or scooter rental companies around the city. These options provide a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around, especially for shorter distances.

It’s worth noting that the Athens Transportation Ticket (Ath.ena Ticket) is a smart card that can be used for multiple journeys on all public transport modes. It offers cost savings compared to individual tickets and can be recharged at various locations.

Overall, with the diverse range of transportation options available, you can easily navigate Athens and explore its many attractions with convenience and ease.

ancient ruins through the bars of a gate

By far the most popular and well-rated tour of Athens is this full-day tour . In fact, you had better book quickly because it sells out quickly (we tried to book on the day and were too late!)

It takes you to all the main sights in Athens, including the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, and the neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki. Basically, everything we would advise you to do with one day in Athens!

One of the benefits of this tour is that all the transport and tickets are arranged for you so it’s completely hassle-free. You’ll have air-conditioned transport to run back to (which you will be so thankful for in the summer, one of the best times to visit Greece !) and an expert tour guide too.

If you only have one day in Athens then it is well worth booking this tour. It will ensure you get to see all the highlights in this beautiful city in comfort and without any stress!

✔ Book the full-day tour of Athens in advance here

ancient pillars in athens

Everyone raves about Greek food and we were exactly the same, until we spent four years here. We really struggled to find anything but the same old dishes (even more limited as vegetarians). That is, until we went to Athens.

Athens is a culinary paradise, offering a wide array of dining options that showcase the rich flavors of Greek cuisine. From traditional tavernas serving authentic dishes to modern restaurants experimenting with innovative flavors, you will find everything here. The variety is incredible!

Here are some of our favourite spots, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with most places here.

Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani

This cozy deli and restaurant in the heart of Athens specializes in cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and traditional Greek flavors. Indulge in a selection of meze (small plates) accompanied by a glass of wine or ouzo.

Funky Gourmet

For a unique and memorable dining experience, head to Funky Gourmet, a Michelin-starred restaurant that pushes the boundaries of Greek cuisine. Enjoy a tasting menu of innovative dishes that blend traditional flavors with modern techniques.

Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Psirri, Kuzina offers contemporary Greek cuisine in a stylish setting. Taste their flavorful dishes made with local ingredients, and don’t miss their delectable desserts.

Step back in time at Diporto, a hidden gem tucked away in a basement near the Athens Central Market. This traditional taverna has been serving home-cooked Greek dishes for over 100 years. Expect hearty, no-frills food that locals adore.

For breathtaking views of the Acropolis, head to Strofi, located near the Theater of Dionysus. This classic Greek restaurant serves up traditional dishes with a modern twist. Don’t miss the chance to dine on their rooftop terrace.

Remember, these are just a few examples of the culinary delights Athens has to offer. Exploring the local neighborhoods and following your senses will lead you to many more hidden gems and delicious dining experiences throughout the city.

a view of athens on one night in athens

Athens comes alive at night and although we’re not usually night owls we loved it here after dark. Whether you prefer exploring ancient sites, enjoying a night out in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, or indulging in live music and entertainment, here are some suggestions on how to spend a memorable night in Athens:

Dinner in Plaka

Begin your evening with a leisurely dinner in the charming neighborhood of Plaka. This historic area is dotted with traditional tavernas and rooftop restaurants offering stunning views of the illuminated Acropolis. Enjoy delicious Greek cuisine accompanied by local wine or ouzo.

Rooftop Bar Experience

After dinner, head to one of Athens’ trendy rooftop bars to enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline. Popular choices include A for Athens Rooftop Bar, Couleur Locale, or 360 Cocktail Bar. Sip on craft cocktails or enjoy a glass of Greek wine while taking in the mesmerizing panorama.

Nighttime Acropolis Visit

For a unique experience, visit the Acropolis at night. The ancient site is beautifully lit, creating a magical ambiance. The Acropolis is open until late during the summer months, allowing you to explore the ancient wonders in a quieter and cooler atmosphere. Don’t miss the chance to witness the Parthenon glow against the night sky.

Psirri and Gazi Nightlife

Athens boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, particularly in the neighborhoods of Psirri and Gazi. These areas are packed with stylish bars, clubs, and live music venues. Dance the night away to international beats or experience traditional Greek music and bouzouki performances. We didn’t experience this first hand but we hear it’s the place to be!

Monastiraki Night Market

If you’re a fan of late-night shopping and vibrant street life, head to Monastiraki Square and explore the bustling Monastiraki Night Market. The market offers an eclectic mix of shops selling everything from vintage clothing and unique souvenirs to artisanal crafts and local street food.

Cultural Performances

Immerse yourself in Greek culture by attending a live performance. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, located beneath the Acropolis, hosts various concerts and theatrical performances during the summer months. Alternatively, check out the program at the Athens Concert Hall or the National Opera House for classical music and opera shows.

Late-Night Food Adventures

Indulge in a late-night food adventure by exploring the food scene in Athens’ central neighborhoods. Visit the popular street food spots in Monastiraki, such as Thanasis or Kostas, for mouthwatering souvlaki and gyros. Alternatively, head to Exarchia or Kerameikos, where you’ll find trendy eateries and bars serving a variety of cuisines.

Plaka Night Walk

Take a leisurely stroll through the atmospheric streets of Plaka at night. The neighborhood takes on a different charm in the evening, with its narrow alleys illuminated by lanterns and the sound of traditional music wafting from tavernas. Explore the shops, enjoy live Greek music, and soak up the enchanting ambiance.

Remember to consider the local transportation options and plan your return to your accommodation safely. Athens has a well-connected night bus network and taxi services readily available for your convenience. We stuck to the main tourist areas and didn’t feel unsafe exploring after dark but we were sensible as always in an unknown city.

one of the important historic buildings in athens

Here are some of your most asked questions answered!

The most popular thing to do in Athens is undoubtedly visiting the Acropolis and its iconic landmark, the Parthenon.

The Acropolis is an ancient citadel perched on a rocky hill overlooking the city, and it holds great historical and architectural significance. Exploring the Acropolis allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history of ancient Greece and marvel at the well-preserved structures, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Erechtheion, and the Propylaea.

The Acropolis represents the pinnacle of classical Greek civilization and is considered one of the world’s most important archaeological sites.

Visitors from around the globe flock to Athens to witness the majestic ruins and experience the sense of awe inspired by this ancient wonder. The Parthenon, in particular, is an iconic symbol of Athens, with its grandeur and architectural splendor standing as a testament to the glory of ancient Greece.

While the Acropolis is the highlight, there is more to see and do in Athens. The city is also known for its vibrant neighborhoods, such as Plaka, Monastiraki, and Psirri, where you can wander through charming streets, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy traditional Greek cuisine in quaint tavernas.

Other popular attractions include the National Archaeological Museum, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Ancient Agora.

Athens also offers a thriving cultural scene with world-class museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues. The Athens Concert Hall and the National Opera House are renowned for their performances, while the vibrant nightlife in areas like Gazi and Psirri attracts both locals and tourists.

In summary, while Athens offers a wide range of attractions and activities, visiting the Acropolis and exploring its ancient wonders, especially the Parthenon, remains the most popular and iconic thing to do in the city.

It’s an experience that allows you to connect with Greece’s rich history and marvel at the architectural marvels of the past, and it really should be the first thing you see with one day in Athens.

If you have longer in Greece then consider visiting some of the best beach towns in Greece , or embarking on a 10 day Greece itinerary .

a view of a pretty old buiidling in athens, greece

Athens is a city that can be explored on foot, especially in its central areas. Many of the major attractions, such as the Acropolis, Plaka, Monastiraki, and Syntagma Square, are within walking distance of each other, making it convenient to navigate the city center on foot.

Walking allows you to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, discover hidden corners, and stumble upon local gems.

However, it’s important to note that Athens is a sprawling city with a mix of narrow streets and hilly terrain, particularly in some neighborhoods like Plaka. While walking is a great way to explore the historical sites and bustling areas, it may not be feasible or practical for longer distances or when visiting more remote locations.

Remember that Athens also has a well-developed public transportation system, including the metro, buses, and trams, which can help you reach farther destinations or navigate the city more efficiently.

These modes of transportation are also useful for reaching attractions outside the city center, such as the National Archaeological Museum or the Athens Riviera.

It’s worth mentioning that during peak tourist seasons, certain areas of Athens can become crowded, so be prepared for larger crowds, especially around popular landmarks.

Additionally, be mindful of the uneven surfaces and cobblestone streets, which may require comfortable footwear and caution while walking. We saw some people attempting heels and it really didn’t look fun!

Overall, while Athens is generally walkable in its central areas, it’s advisable to combine walking with the use of public transportation for a well-rounded exploration of the city, especially with only one day in Athens.

This way, you can make the most of your time and easily access attractions that are located a bit farther from each other.

Yes, you can absolutely explore Athens on your own. Although Adam and I were there together I would have felt totally comfortable here exploring on my own.

The city offers a wealth of attractions and activities that can be easily navigated and experienced independently. The public transport system is user-friendly, but even if you were daunted by it there is always a friendly local around to help you out, and if all else fails so much of Athens is within walking distance.

While exploring Athens on your own is an exciting prospect, it’s always a good idea to practice basic travel safety precautions. Be mindful of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and familiarize yourself with local customs and regulations.

Additionally, having a map, guidebook, or a reliable travel app can help you navigate the city and make the most of your solo adventure.

Remember, traveling alone gives you the opportunity to connect with the city on a personal level and create your own memorable experiences. So embrace the freedom and embark on an unforgettable solo exploration of Athens!

Where To Next?

If you have more time to spend in Greece then you might be wondering where to head to after Athens. There are so many beautiful places here that it’s a tough decision, but here are some of our absolute favourite spots:

  • Monemvasia : You can drive here from Athens and it’s one of the most spectacular places we’ve ever been. Make sure you climb the rock at sunset for insane views.
  • Greek island hopping: Take up one of the most popular things to do in Greece and head off on a Greek island hopping extravaganza . You won’t regret it!
  • Lindos in Rhodes : Lindos is one of our absolute favourite spots in Greece. Combine it with a visit to Rhodes town for a holiday to remember.
  • Sailing in Greece : Up for a little adventure? Why not hire a sailboat and explore some of the best islands of Greece . There are tonnes of charter companies that operate out of Athens.

Conclusion: One Day In Athens

In conclusion, spending one day in Athens offers a taste of the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. While a single day may not be enough to explore every corner of this ancient city, it is still possible to make the most of your time and create a memorable experience.

Hopefully our one day in Athens itinerary has shown you just how much you can actually see in a day.

While one day may only scratch the surface of Athens’ offerings, it can still provide a glimpse into the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and culinary delights.

Athens, with its ancient treasures and modern charm, promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return and explore more of its wonders.

Don’t forget to pack the essentials for your trip to Greece !

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1 day tour of athens

What to do in Athens in One Day – The Perfect Itinerary

When you visit Athens in one day, you need a plan.

I have put together this simple itinerary for one day in Athens, so you can see all the main attractions and eat some delicious Greek food, too.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary , some experienced hints and tips , or just craving a delicious food adventure , we’ve got you covered!

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One Day in Athens - Acropolis from above

Table of Contents

What to see in Athens in one day?

Is one day in Athens enough?

Yes, it is! As with any major European capital , you can easily spend 2 or 3 days in Athens, but if you have just one day, don’t worry. You can see all the major attractions in Athens in one day. And if you prefer, you can book a guided tour of the Acropolis.

I have some recommendations for the best tours in Athens below, too.

Many visitors stop in Athens for one day as they are heading to the Greek islands (can’t blame them – they are epic) and of course, there are those who visit Athens in one day on a cruise ship.

Of course, if you have more time, don’t miss our  Greece in two weeks for any budget guide . So let’s get started.

One Day in Athens Itinerary - Parthenon

Places to visit in Athens in one day – The Perfect Itinerary

This itinerary focuses on the main attractions in Athens, with some time to enjoy the tasty Greek food and perhaps pick up some souvenirs. Finish your day with a delicious dinner, rooftop bar and maybe check out Athens at night. And if you want to hang out with locals, go to one of the outdoor cinemas.

I have added some ideas on timings so you can plan your day better. With one day, I recommend getting up early and if your hotel doesn’t include breakfast, ask for the closest bakery to grab delicious greek pies with coffee, maybe try  Freddo cappuccino  – a local iced Greek coffee.

1. Acropolis

We are staring with a bang. If there is one site you should not miss during your visit to Athens, then it is the Acropolis. 

Book your tickets online the day before so when the entrance opens at 8 am, you are the first one in. Trust me, it is amazing to see before the groups of tourists arrive.

HOT TIP for tickets for the Acropolis:  You can book a single entry online here (20 Euro in summer, 10 Euro in winter). So make sure you book your ticket beforehand so you don’t have to wait in line at the entrance.

You might want to buy the Multi-site ticket for 30 Euro which includes: Temple of Zeus, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Keramikos Cemetery and Lyceum of Aristotle.  I actually think the best way to spend the extra money is to book a guided tour of the Acropolis and then walk to the Temple of Zeus, Agora and Hadrians Library and decide if you wish to go in (these sites can be seen from the outside so you can decide if it’s worth it).

IMPORTANT : Use the  Southern Entrance  to enter the Acropolis complex rather than the main entrance. It’s less crowded and you will walk through Dionysus Sanctuary and visit the Dionysus Theatre  on the way to the top.

Athens in One Day - Dionysus Theatre

Please note : Entrance is free for Young European citizens up to 25 years old (with current identification to prove age and nationality) all year round and a few others (check online).

The true symbol of Greece, the Acropolis dates to the 5th century and essentially it is an ancient complex comprised of several temples, the most famous of them is the Parthenon , dedicated to the Goddess Athena.

There are 2 options to enjoy Acropolis more in-depth:

  • Buy an Ebook on Athens so you get some background information. If you visit the Acropolis independently, you will probably spend 1 hour to 1.5 hours up here.
  • Book a guided tour! Here are 3 recommendations:

If you love history then the Acropolis Museum near the Southern entrance can be worth a visit. Entrance is $10, which is not included in the multi-site combo ticket. There is a lot of information here and it houses more than 3000 artefacts, most importantly the Caryatid Statues.

Something to consider if you are in Athens on a very hot summer day, you might want to visit the Acropolis early and then learn more about it in the museum. 

Alternatively, this ticket gains you entrance to both the Acropolis and the Museum .

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2. Temple of Olympian Zeus & Hadrian Arch 

After seeing the Acropolis, walk toward the Temple of Olympic Zeus and Hadrian Arch, along the pedestrian street of Dionysius Areopagitou.

Both sites are only 10 minutes walk and are must-see sights during your one day in Athens. The Temple of Olympian Zeus was the largest in Athens and it took 7 centuries to build.

Athens in One Day - Temple of Olympian Zeus

You will probably spend 30 minutes admiring the Temple of Olympic Zeus and Hadrian Arch. If you don’t have a combo ticket , the entrance is 8 Euro.

Athens in One Day Itinerary - Hadrians Arch

From here it is not far to walk towards Panathenaic Stadium. The stadium was originally built in the 4th century BC and restored for the first modern Olympic games in 1896.

But you will most like be hungry for lunch, so it’s up to you if you wish to add this detour.

Otherwise, it’s time to explore Plaka and have lunch. As part of your Athens in one day, you will be walking a lot today, so keep hydrated and have enough food to keep you energetic. 

3. Plaka and lunch

Ok, I admit it. Plaka is filled with tourists, cheap souvenirs and sometimes it can be just all too much, especially during the summer heat. But since seeing all the main sights when visiting Athens in one day are close to Plaka, it means you will definitely pass through and it’s worth it. 

Plaka is the old historical neighbourhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets with plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops. Plaka is built on top of the residential areas of the ancient town of Athens. It is known as the “Neighbourhood of the Gods” due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites. 

Athens in One Day Itinerary - Walking through Plaka

Where to Eat in Plaka?

Despite the tourists, Plaka does have great vibes. Of course, you can get something simpler for lunch, but if you feel like sitting down for a meal we recommend Psaras Taverna . Expect around 10-15 Euros for the main meal.

You might also eat at Taverna Saita for classic Greek food or Scholarchio for tapas-style Greek food. Since you have only one day in Athens, eat as much Greek food as you can.

Athens in One Day Itinerary - Psaras Taverna

4. Ancient Agora and Roman Agora & Library of Hadrian

Refuelled after lunch we continue to Agora. Explore ancient Agora first and learn more about the way Ancient Grees used to live. 

This is the heart of ancient Athens’ civic life and the birthplace of democracy and you can brush up on the most important Greek thinkers: Socrates, Pluto and Aristoteles.

The multi-entry ticket includes entry to all three sites.

From here take a short walk towards Monastiraki (Μοναστηράκι)

Athens in one day - Monastiraki

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5. Walk through the Monastiraki (Μοναστηράκι) 

The Monastiraki neighbourhood is known for its shopping vibes and on Sunday it turns into a flea market.

There is also a traditional restaurant called Bairaktaris if you haven’t had lunch in Plaka, this is a good option. 

One day in Athens - Bairaktaris Tavern

Otherwise, stop at Dope Cafe for some strong coffee and a little sweet pick up. 

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1 day tour of athens

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6. Athens Central Market

After all the sightseeing and history, it is time to explore the main central market where Athenians come to shop for their produce. The central Athens food market occupies a large block between Athinas, Sofokleous, Euripidou and Aiolou Streets.

There are a few special places to look out for:   Karayiannis  is a great spot for meze—the Greek version of tapas (try marinated anchovies, smoked mackerel).   On Athinas Street is  Mokka , a historic coffee specialist and roastery housed in this 19th-century building since 1922. Try some of their speciality coffees.

The fresh meat section is a bit overwhelming with the smell, so you might prefer to skip this part and at least have a look at the fish market – prawns, squid and all the types of fish you might find in Greek restaurants are sold here daily, as fresh as possible.

One Day in Athens - Central Market

A part of the market was being renovated in March 2022 to be hopefully open soon – it will most likely host the vegetable and fruit market.  Some shops close at 3 pm, others are open until 6 pm. The market is closed on Sunday.

From here take a stroll to Syntagma Square .

7. Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square is the main square in Athens and another must-see place on your Athens in one day itinerary. The Greek parliament is located here, but most visitors come here to see the Changing of the Guards knowns as Evzones.

Every hour on the hour  two Evzones Guards go off duty and two new guards go on duty. The changing of the Guards is very elaborate on Sunday at 11 am, so if you happen to be in Athens on Sunday it’s worth coming here.

 The Evzones guard both the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which remembers the thousands of Greek soldiers who were killed in the war and the Parliament building. They stand still for the hour, only to break out into an eccentric marching kicking their legs in slow motion high as possible.

Athens in one day - Changing of the guards

That concludes your one day in Athens and you might feel like a quick shower and refresh at the hotel before heading out for the evening.  

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8. Evening in Athens – Cinema under the stars  

Another great way to enjoy the evening in Athens is to go to one of the open-air cinemas. Relax in a chair and enjoy a movie with some snacks and drinks,s

  • Cine Thisionis  – it’s considered to be Europe’s most beautiful open-air cinema. 6 to 8 Euros per ticket.
  • Cine Dexameni –  On Wednesdays, Dexameni offers two tickets for the price of one.
  • Cine Paris  – Warm cheese pies and view of the Acropolis.

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9. Enjoy a Drink at a Rooftop Bar

Evenings in Athens are special. Especially in summer when the days are long, is the perfect time to head to one of the many rooftop bars and enjoy the sunset with a drink.  

Check out 360 Cocktail Bar, Skyfall Cocktail and Food Bar or Thea Terrace Bar offering magnificent views over the city centre and the Acropolis.

Where to stay in Athens

Athens has a great range of accommodations that will suit every budget. I have stayed in Athens a few times over the years, everything from nice hotels, Airbnb to the budget ones in different areas.

Since this article focuses on Athens in one day, I assume you might be staying only two nights. In this case, staying near the Plaka area or Syntagma Square would be the best, you can walk to all the main sights. 

If you are after a hipster area with some boutiques and designer shops stay in  Koukaki.

But as Athens has a very efficient and cheap metro system (and taxis at night should you need them), and if you are on a budget, you might choose one of the simple hotels near  Metaxourgeio station. This was a working-class area that had seen many immigrants settle here, so it might have a different feel to Plaka or Syntagma. 🙂

Here are some recommendations:

Where to Stay in Syntagma Square:

Budget: Hotel Byron – Prime location in Plaka very near Syntagma Square. Breakfast is served on the rooftop garden with amazing views over the Acropolis.  The rooms are small, but this hotel has everything you need.

Mid-Range: Enattica Suites – Located in the heart of Athens. Fantastic room facilities and generous size. Close to some great cafes and restaurants an excellent mid-range hotel.

Luxury: Athens Mansion Luxury Suites – Perfect location in the centre of Athens City district, all rooms at this lovely property offer city views. The breakfast here is superb; don’t miss it! A top choice for a very comfortable stay to see Athens in one day.

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Where to Stay in Plaka : 

Budget: Metropolis Hotel – This small and friendly hotel is located in the Plaka district of Athens. Enjoy the rooftop terrace with fantastic views over the Acropolis.

Mid-Range: Contemporary Apartments in Plaka – Spacious, clean, and quiet rooms, these apartments are popular. Situated in the heart of Plaka and close to the best restaurants, bars, and cafes – the location is unbeatable.

Luxury: Electra Palace Athens – A wonderful location in the heart of Plaka district – the views of the Acropolis from this hotel is magnificent. A superb buffet breakfast is included in the rate and an on-site restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine. Highly recommended.

SEARCH MORE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN PLAKA

And that’s it. One day in Athens might be all you need to see this ancient city’s main highlights, taste some Greek food, and enjoy the sunset. 

Travel Tips for Greece

We have many travel guides and tips for Greece—this is such a beautiful country!

Here’s our perfect itinerary for spending one day in Athens . We also recommend visiting these best restaurants and places to eat in Athens .

Read our best tips in this post about how to spend two weeks in Greece on ANY budget .

Greece is among the cheapest countries to visit in Europe and is also one of our top 10  countries for food lovers .

Check out these five delicious Greek recipes to cook at home.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Greece. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View options for eSIM in Greece or view the regional Europe eSIM (which covers 39 countries).

If your travels in Greece are part of a larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries , offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM . The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

Want to travel in Greece with like-minded travellers? View the best deals on group adventures in Greece .

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

Travel Planning Resources

✈️ Flights : We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.

🏨 Accommodation :  Booking.com is our preferred platform for booking hotels and accommodation. We use Vrbo to book apartments and long-term stays.

🏥 Travel Insurance : We recommend Heymondo ( Get 5% off Heymondo)  & SafetyWing

🚌 Transportation : Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go.  

🚘 Car Rental : We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.

👫 Group Tours :  G Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar .

📸 Day Tours & Trips :  GetYourGuide  & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

📚 Lonely Planet: The Best Range of Travel Guides & Ebooks , and FREE Shipping! (use code RACHELDAVEY10 for a 10% discount)

🎒 Luggage :  Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack  or  Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack:  Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good  power bank .  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers .

🐶 Become a House Sitter:  Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation worldwide. Use our invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE  &  Revolut  are the best online accounts that let you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. Both are so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

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✅ Check out our Travel Gear  and  Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

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1 Day in Athens, Greece: A History Lover’s Itinerary

Athens, Greece is amazing. I landed here for the first time after spending 2.5 weeks backpacking through Morocco and I honestly could have kissed the ground when I arrived and started to explore the city (you can read my real thoughts on female travel in Morocco here ). Yes, Athens has a couple rough bits and yes, you do need to be aware of pickpockets, but I’ve visited a couple of times now and really enjoyed my time there. The lively squares filled with tavernas, the street art hidden around the corners, the cheap food options, and, of course, the incredible ancient history. I have heard plenty of mixed reviews but, in my opinion, Athens is definitely worth a visit, at least for a day. From the Acropolis to the museums, the squares and the ruins, here’s how to spend 1 day in Athens, Greece.

Getting to Athens

1 day tour of athens

Getting to Athens is pretty easy and possible by several modes of transportation.

You can arrive by plane, which is self-explanatory. The airport lies about 45 minutes outside the city centre, but you can hop on a train that will take you downtown. It runs pretty regularly, but not throughout the night so be sure to check the schedule ahead of time.

You can also arrive by ferry. Athens actually has two ports, (so keep this in mind, especially when booking ferries to/from the islands), however, Pireaus Port tends to be the most popular. Again, the train/metro connects Pireaus Port to Athens city centre.

It is also possible to arrive by train, bus, and of course, car. Needless to say, there are lots of options to get to Athens.

If you are coming to Athens as a group, or at an odd time, I highly recommend pre-arranging a transfer. They aren’t cheap, but they are better than taxis. Taxi drivers in Athens have a reputation for scamming tourists pretty badly. You can book a transfer between the hotel and airport here.

Getting Around Athens

Athens is a big city, but the parts you are probably the most interested in seeing are in the heart of the city and easily reached by foot. If walking isn’t really your thing, or if your mobility is a problem, you can take the metro around or consider taking one of the hop on hop off city bus tours. These buses will take you to all the main attractions and areas and have the added benefit of being aboveground so you can do some site-seeing along the way. It’s a great way to see the city, especially for those who only have 1 day in Athens.

How to Spend 1 Day in Athens, Greece

1 day tour of athens

Early Morning at the Parthenon

Start your day early and head to the Parthenon for opening time, which is 8am. This is THE best time to visit to skip the crowds and get the Parthenon to yourself and I’m kicking myself for not listening when people told me that (I went before sunset and it wasn’t insane, but it wasn’t great). You’ll probably spend about an hour here, maybe more if you are a die-hard history fan. Just be careful climbing the steps- they are super slippery. Get your skip-the-line tickets to the acropolis here.  

Join a ‘Free’ Walking Tour

I love free walking tours and think they are the best way to see a new city and, for those who only have 1 day in Athens, a free walking tour is a great way to see the highlights. This tour has an option that starts at 10am not too far from the Parthenon and the Acropolis, so you can definitely make it in time. The tour lasts about 3 hours, takes you to the main areas including The Temple of Olympian Zeus, Plaka, Monastiraki, Stytagma Square, Hadrians Arch, the National Gardens and more. You’ll also get to see the changing of the guard and some great viewpoints. It’s a lot of walking, but perfect for site-seeing on a short amount of time. PS: Don’t forget to tip!

Grab An Authentic Greek Lunch

By now, you’ll probably be pretty hungry and possibly be in need of a break which means it’s time to grab lunch. There are plenty of restaurants and tavernas around Athens that will cater to tourists, but if you are looking for something easy, cheap, and local then consider getting a Greek pie or gyros.

Greek pies are savoury and come in a variety of flavour though spinach and cheese is one of the most popular (and delicious). Gyros are another cheap and delicious choice; grilled meat (you can normally choose between chicken, beef, or lamb) stuffed in a pita with tomato, onion, tzatziki, and French fries. Both of these meals should cost you around 5 euros or less and can be found all over. For your best bet, ask your guide from your walking tour where he/she recommends before you leave.

Tip: Tap water is safe to drink in Athens and there are some public fountains around so bring a reusable water bottle.

Head to the Acropolis Museum

If you’re up to learning some more about the Acropolis, then head to the new Acropolis Museum. There are a couple of permanent exhibitions full of treasures, relics, and artefacts. There is also an excavation site which can be seen through the glass floors of certain parts of the museum. Get your skip the line tickets to the Acropolis Museum here.

Check out some More Ruins

If you chose to join the free walking tour, you’ll have passed by many areas filled with ruins that you can return to and explore on your own (for a price of course). Personally, I recommend visiting the Temple of Hephaestus. For me, I found it even more impressive than the Parthenon (at least up close). It dates back to the 7th century and is incredibly well preserved.   It’s also my favourite place to get views of the Parthenon which, in my opinion, is best seen from below. 

Explore Monastiraki Square and the Surrounding Neighbourhood

1 day tour of athens

This was my favourite neighbourhood in Athens and while the square itself can be insanely busy, it does offer some pretty incredible views looking up to the Parthenon.

Monastiraki Square is also known for the flea market (though it’s not actually a flea market). It’s one of the best places in the city to shop for souvenirs and feels a little like a Middle-Eastern Bazaar. From books to t-shirts, jewellery to knickknacks, you can find all kinds of things in this area. Some of it is good quality, some of it is fake and made in China. Even if you aren’t planning on really shopping, it is fun to explore. Just keep an eye on your belongings in the crowds.

Take some time to meander down the nearby street as well. In this area, you’ll find some cool street art, funky cafes, and boutique shops. I wandered around here a lot on my own and felt very safe as a solo female traveller in Greece. 

Grab a Sunset drink and a meal overlooking the Acropolis

As your 1 day in Athens comes to a close, you should find somewhere to watch the sunset and grab dinner. Remember, Greeks eat much later than North Americans so a sunset meal in the summer is the norm.

There are lots of restaurants in Athens, however, one spot that kept coming up as recommended by the locals was Couleur Locale, which is located in Monastiraki. This bar with a view serves up yummy cocktails as well as snacks and meals. Locals and tourists alike come here as it’s the perfect place to then see the Parthenon all lit up at night which is easily one of the best things to see in Athens.

Where to Stay for 1 Day in Athens

1 day tour of athens

Spending the night? There is no shortage of accommodation options in Athens suitable for a variety of budgets. As mentioned earlier though, Athens can be a bit sketchy in parts so please take the time to read reviews and check the areas of the hotel or hostel (or Airbnb) you choose to stay in.

Looking for some suggestions? Consider:

Hostel: City Circus Athens (I stayed here, cool hostel with awesome rooftop views)

Midrange hotel: Adrian Hotel Athens or Central Hotel

Luxury hotel: Grecotel Pallas Athena or Electra Metropolis

Note: Depending on what time you are leaving; it may actually be cheaper to stay at a hotel near the airport or port if you are flying out early in the morning. Taxi rides to either are very expensive when the metro isn’t running. I stayed Holiday Inn Athens Attica Airport Hotel when I left Greece which is close to the airport and has a free shuttle, it worked out pretty well.  

Have More Time? Consider these Day Trips from Athens

1 day tour of athens

One day in Athens is do-able, but it is fast-paced and there is more to see if you have the extra time. Personally, I found my one day in Athens to be enough for me and choose to spend my extra day going to Delphi on a day trip. It’s quite far; 3+ hour drive each way, but it was pretty incredible and definitely worth it.

Book your day trip to Delphi here . 

Other day trip options include:

  • A Full Day Sailing Tour  
  • The Temple of Poseidon 
  • Day Trip to Meteora

Athens is a great city, and while I’ll be quick to admit that for me, the highlight of my Greek itinerary were the islands, I absolutely think Athens is a must. Besides, when you can see and do so much with only 1 day in Athens, why wouldn’t you take a little time to explore it?

Ready to Book Your Trip?

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Please do not travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to use it multiple times throughout my travels and it has saved me thousands of dollars. You can learn more about travel insurance  here . If you are looking for a provider I love and recommend  SafetyWing . For Canadian readers, take a look at  SoNomad.

Book your accommodation

I love and recommend  booking.com  for accommodation. They have a range of hostels, guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. Plus, the platform has a great loyalty program that means the more you book, the more you can save. 

Book your tours

My go-to tour provider that I love to recommend is  GetYourGuide . They have options all over the world and partner with local companies for everything from day trips to food experiences and even airport transfers. 

Get connected

If you want to have data while travelling for online maps or any other needs, an esim is one of the easiest solutions. I’m a big fan of Airalo and have used their sim cards around the world from Brazil to Uzbekistan, Greece to the USA. It’s really easy- you download the app, pick what country you want an esim for, and after you purchase it follow the installation instructions. You can use promo code HANNAH3326 to save $3USD on your next esim purchase. 

Not sure what to pack?

I have destination-specific guides for some countries but you can also check my  travel essentials  and  camera gear  if you are looking for some ideas. 

Looking for a travel buddy?

Check out my group trips!

One perfect day in Athens

Wow, all the information you provided was very informative. I just booked flights for Athens for my family in November! Yay! I was getting a bit overwhelmed with researching where the best places to stay, visit, etc. as this will be our first visit to Athens and I am so glad I found your post.

Yay! so glad to help 🙂

[…] up for a busy day, you can absolutely see the highlights of Athens in a single day (check out my 1 day in Athens guide for my suggestions). I do however suggest staying on the mainland for a second day to go […]

[…] the ferries are not cheap. I took two ferries during my time in Greece. The first of which was from Athens to Paros (4 hours) then Paros to Santorini (3 hours). Athens to Paros cost me over $70CAD after the […]

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How to Spend 1 Day in Athens

How to Spend 1 Day in Athens, Greece: Itinerary for First Time Visitors

Julia June 7, 2022 Greece 7 Comments

Greece is a dream location: rich history, delicious food, stunning scenery, laid back lifestyle… What more could you want in a vacation? There is literally something for everyone! Wherever your Greek vacation will take you, you’ll likely find yourself with at least 1 day in Athens. It’s home to the largest airport in Greece as well as the jumping off point to the Greek Isles.

Disclosure:  Some of the links below may be affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Table of Contents

An Overview of Athens

Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities with its earliest human presence starting between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. It is also the birthplace of democracy, Classical Greece, and Western civilization. This deep history comes alive when you visit the city, even if you only have 24 hours in Athens.

Today, Athens is the capital of Greece with an estimated metropolitan population right around 5 million. It is the southernmost capital on the European mainland and the warmest major city in Europe.

Over the years, it has also become one of the largest economic centers in southeastern Europe, and it boasts the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world – Port Piraeus.

This all comes down to say, Athens is a city well worth visiting! While you may hear mixed reviews on the city, I highly recommend it, just make it part of a bigger trip. You will not want to spend all of your time in Greece in Athens. Just a couple of days will do. In fact, just one day in Athens can be enough!

The Acropolis

One Day in Athens Itinerary

Athens is full of amazing sights and history, so having only 1 day in Athens will keep your itinerary pretty busy. With no time to waste, let’s get started!

Start Your Day at the Parthenon

The most famous sight in Athens, the Parthenon, is a must visit, even with just 1 day in Athens. It’s featured in almost every postcard and picture of Athens due to its stunning location on the Acropolis Hill in the middle of Athens. During your visit to the Parthenon, you’ll also be able to explore:

  • Propylaea: This building is the sight of a famous statue made by Socrates, the famous philosopher.
  • Erechtheion: Home to many different deities and divine ancestors, the Erechtheion is said to have once had a golden lamp that could burn for a whole year with only one refuel.
  • Temple of Athena Nike: Learn about the conservatives and innovators of ancient Athens and the defensive role the Acropolis played in ancient Greece.
  • Belvedere Viewpoint: Get a panoramic view of Athens.

As the Acropolis and the Parthenon are popular, avoid the lines, and buy a ticket online before you go. Alternatively, you can visit the Acropolis with a guided tour to learn more about its history and significance.

Time Needed: ~1 hour

Pro Tip: Get there early! The Parthenon opens at 8 am, and it is the best time to visit to avoid crowds. And, you’ll beat the tour buses!

Greek Statues

Join a Free Walking Tour

I’ve taken walking tours around the world, and highly recommend them. They offer opportunities to learn more about the history and stories of a city from past to present, and they are affordable. At the end of the tour, you simply tip what you think the tour is worth. It’s a great way to see the highlights if you only have 1 day in Athens.

While there are a LOT of free walking tour options for Athens, I recommend this one as it covers all the major city sights and starts early in the day. You’ll cover:

  • Hadrians Arch
  • The Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • The National Gardens
  • Panathinaiko Stadium
  • Syntagma Square and the changing of the guards ceremony
  • And so much more

If you know you want to do the free walking tour, book in advance to let them know you’re coming.

Meeting Point: Hadrian’s Arch at 9:45am everyday; Other times available

Time Needed: ~3 hours

Prefer a different type of tour? Try a Greek Mythology Tour for families or a food walking tour around the city.

Visit Some of the Local Markets & Grab Lunch

Getting acquainted with Athens in just one day will require you to visit not just the tourist attractions but also some of the local markets. The central market, or Varvakos Agora, is a great place to see the Greek culture come alive.

You’ll find people haggling over everything a Greek kitchen may need: meat, olive oil, spices, etc. Additionally, there are some fantastic tavernas to grab a snack or lunch.

Time Needed: ~2 hours including lunch

Wind Your Way Through the City to the Acropolis Museum

Since you saw many of the famous ruins of the city during the walking tour, spend the afternoon getting a real feel for the city by exploring the beautiful streets of Athens on your way to the Acropolis Museum. Don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path.

Visit the Acropolis Museum

Spend some time learning more about this historic city at this archaeological museum that focuses on the findings of the Acropolis. This modern museum features the story of the Acropolis throughout the centuries. Purchase tickets before you go to skip the lines.

On the top floor you’ll find marble art depicting the birth of Athena, the flight of Athena with Poseidon over the land of the Acropolis, and the yearly procession during the festival to honor the goddess Athena.

If you’re an archaeology buff, you may need up to 3 hours to take it all in, or if you really just want the highlights, an hour in the museum will be enough.

Time Needed: 1 – 3 hours depending on your interest in archaeology

Reward Yourself with a Sunset Drink with Views of the Acropolis

After a very busy day in in Athens, it’s time to slow down and enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful and historic city. Throughout Athens there are lots of rooftop bars, street cafes, and balconies that face the Acropolis. They are perfect for grabbing a drink during sunset and making memories to last a lifetime.

In the winter when the sun sets earlier, find a place for drinks to watch the sunset and then head to dinner. In the middle of summer, you may want to combine dinner and drinks as sunset runs closer to 8:30 pm.

Enjoy a Greek Dinner in the Plaka Neighborhood

It’s time to treat yourself to some delicious Greek food. Let’s head to the Plaka neighborhood. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens.

Here you’ll find a maze of cobblestone streets featuring boutiques, cafes and amazing architecture. Wander through enjoying the atmosphere and checking out menus until you find somewhere that lights your fire.

I highly recommend settling into a street cafe so you can watch the hustle and bustle of the streets. And, while you’re at it, make sure to try some classic Greek foods!

Time Needed: ~2 hours

Visit Monastiraki Square after Dark

One of the main squares in Athens, it’s the perfect place to complete your 1 day in Athens. You’ll find street entertainers, and all kinds of things for sale from souvenirs to clothing.

Monastiraki Square in Athens, Greece

Transportation Options for Getting around Athens

The central area of Athens that most tourists will stick to is easy to explore on foot. There are several pedestrian streets throughout the city, and you get to take in all of the sights as you go.

If you only have one day in Athens, you’ll be able to take in all of the “must-see” attractions this way. If you don’t fancy walking, there are other options for getting around Athens.

Athens Metro for the Budget Traveler

The metro system in Athens has a limited reach but offers some important options to common tourist destinations: The airport and the port. Also, integrated tickets are just 1.40 euro and cover a 90 minute period of transportation, or 4.50 euro for a 24 hour pass.

It is affordable, especially as you main mode of transportation during your 1 day in Athens! Just remember to validate your ticket before heading to the platform.

  • Line 1 (M1 – Green): Runs from Port Piraeus to Kifissia through the city center. You can take this line to reach the port.
  • Line 2 (M2 – Red): Runs from Anthoupoli to Elliniko through the city center.
  • Line 3 (M3 -Blue): Runs from Agia Marina to Doukissis Plakentias to the Athens Airport. You can take this line to the airport. However, there is an extra charge to take it to the airport. Tickets run 10 euros one way.

Other Budget Options: Buses and the Tram

There are alternatives to the metro, like the buses and tram, but the metro is the most straight forward. Both of these are also included in the integrated ticket that uses the metro, so you can jump from one to another at no additional charge, as long as your ticket covers the time limit in which you are traveling.

There is also an airport bus route that only costs 6 euros, making it the cheapest way to get to and from the airport. You simply board the bus and buy it from the airport bus driver.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus to Conveniently See the Tourist Sights of Athens

The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus is a great option for seeing as much of Athens in 24 hours as possible. You’ll stop at all the main tourist sights around the city and have the onboard audio guide to learn more about the city and its ancient history.

Taxis in and around Athens at Any Time of Day

Bright yellow taxis are considered inexpensive in Athens, but they also come with some challenges. For one, taxi fare fraud is not uncommon. Insist on the use of the meter. If they refuse, find a different taxi to avoid being charged an astronomical fee. Also note that they can drive a little crazy, but overall accidents are rare.

I personally recommend only resorting to taxis if you are traveling during a time that other modes of transportation are difficult, like early morning or late night.

The Streets of Athens

Additional Tips for Your 24 Hours in Athens

Here are a few tips to make your day trip in Athens as successful as possible.

  • Always carry cash (Euros). Many places do not accept credit or debit cards. Fortunately, there are plenty of ATMs around the city.
  • Beware of pickpockets. They are highly active in Athens, particularly in busy cafes, squares, and the metro.
  • Tips are optional particularly in restaurants. Restaurant staff are paid a proper salary, but you can tip for good service if you wish to.
  • Tap water is safe to drink in Athens. In fact, you’ll find public fountains spread throughout the city. Take a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated as you take in the city.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Where to Stay in Athens

While the city is compact and it’s easy to see the highlights with just 1 day in Athens, I highly recommend you spend the night and then continue on your travels in the morning. This is for two reasons:

  • Seeing all of Athens in one day will leave you tired! Don’t rush it more than you need to.
  • Seeing the Acropolis lit up over the city is part of the Athens experience.

Fortunately, there are plenty of accommodation choices in Athens and you can find one to meet any budget. My biggest recommendation is to pay attention to the location as there can be some seedy parts of the city, and you want to feel safe! The best way to do this is of course to read the reviews.

Here are a few recommendations to get you started.

Best Hostels in Athens

Ideal for solo travelers on a strict budget, hostels offer an inexpensive place to stay with the added bonus of social activities. In most cases, you’ll be sharing a room and a bathroom with other travelers. Here are the best hostels in Athens: Athens Backpackers , Thanasis Place , and Athens Hub Hostel .

Best Budget Hotels in Athens

Want more privacy but on a strict budget? Check out the private rooms available in these hostels or try one of these budget hotels: Selina Athens Theatrou , Pella Inn Hostel , and Kimon Hotel Athens .

Best Mid-range Hotels in Athens

Visiting Athens on vacation? Here are some affordable hotels that provide the comforts you are looking for: Urban Frame Hotel , Emporikon Athens Hotel , and Athens Utopia Ermou .

Best Luxury Hotel in Athens

If budget is not a concern, consider splurging on a luxury hotel in Athens. There are many to choose from and will give you prime locations and amenities. Recommendations include Hotel Grande Bretagne , King George Hotel , and Athens Ikon.

The Changing of the Guards in Athens, Greece

More Than 1 Day in Athens? Take a Day Trip

Greece offers endless opportunities to learn history first hand and fill your belly with delicious Greek food. If you have more than 1 day in Athens, you can find plenty to keep you busy within the city, or you can take a day trip from Athens to a number of stunning nearby locations.

1. Day Trip to Delphi, the Home of the Oracle of Delphi

Located just over 2 hours away from Athens, Delphi is an easy add on to Athens. It is a UNESCO World Heritage city and offers a lot of historic sights, including the Oracle of Delphi.

2. Day Trip to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon

Located just an hour away from Athens is Cape Sounion. Here you can discover the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula, featuring the important archaelogical site, the Temple of Poseidon. You can also catch an amazing sunset over the Aegean Sea.

3. Day Trip to the Historic Sites of Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Nafplio

About 2 hours outside of Athens you’ll find a cluster of important historical sites. Take in the ancient ruins of Mycenae – a Unesco World Heritage site, the Venetian Palamidi fortress in Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece, and the ancient theater in Epidaurus.

4. Day Trip to the Famous Rock Formations and Byzantine-era Monasteries in Meteora

The stunning scenery of Meteora is well worth a visit, but it will make for a long day trip from Athens. Depending on the mode of transportation, it will take 4 to 5 hours to get from Athens to Meteora. In Meteora, you’ll find captivating rock pillars with monasteries precariously perched on top of them.

5. Visit some of the Greek Isles on a Day Cruise to the Saronic Islands

After exploring Athens in one day, you may be ready to hit the Greek Isles! If you’re short on time, take a day trip vs. heading out to the more famous islands of Santorini and Mykonos .

Learn more about these awesome day trips and more in 6 Best Day Trips from Athens, Greece: Ruins, Islands, History, & More!

Plan Your Trip to Greece Beyond Your Day in Athens

Chances are your one day in Athens is just the starting point of your trip in Greece. From there, I recommend heading down to the Greek Isles for some of the fantastic white washed buildings and blue dome buildings you’ve come to associate with Greece. Here are some resources to start your planning.

  • 6 Best Day Trips from Athens, Greece: Ruins, Islands, History, & More!
  • One Week in Greece: A First Time Visitor’s Itinerary
  • Santorini Travel Guide for First Timers: 10 Things to Know Before You Go
  • 25 Top Things to Do in Santorini, Greece
  • 16 Money Saving Tips for Santorini: Visiting Santorini on a Budget
  • Where to Stay in Santorini, Greece: Fira or Perissa?
  • How to Rent a Quad in Santorini to Explore the Full Beauty of the Island
  • What to Expect of Mykonos

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One Day Itinerary in Athens, Greece

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I have always wanted to go to Athens! These photographs are all absolutely gorgeous and it’s only making me want to go more!

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I’d love to visit Greece! A day in Athens would definitely be on my Greece bucket list as I love a city break. Thanks for the great guide, I hope I get an opportunity to visit soon!

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I was supposed to visit Athens two years back had to cancel due to emergency. This is very helpful blog for when I plan again.

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This is a perfect itinerary for one day in Athens. We went to Greece a few years ago and while we loved Athens – its history and people and food and culture, there are so many wonderful places to visit and things to experience in this beautiful country (like the ancient Mycenae ruins, Tolo and Olympia – and so much more).

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Athens seems like such an amazing place. This guide will really come in handy for my next trip!

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I’m planning to visit Athens as soon as we can travel again, so I will save this page in order to take some useful notes for my trip. I was also reading about the temples and other cities you mentioned they are nearby, and wow, there is so much to see that I didn’t even know about!

I might book a day tour to visit at least one of those places, because they look amazing!

In addition, I was also trying to find a free walking tour in Athens and there are plenty of them (including the one you mention). The problem is that now they cannot assure that any of the walking tours will take place.

Thanks again for this useful content!

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Definitely! Greece is such an amazing country and offers so much to see. It’s definitely hard to fit it all into one trip! Hopefully by the time you head to Athens the walking tours will be up and running regularly again as it’s a great way to learn about the city and its history. Safe travels!

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Logo of Sunny Athens website showing a design of Parthenon and sun

Athens in 1 Day: Easy and Simple Itinerary

How to spend 1 unforgettable day in Athens. The 19 best spots of the city and their pins on Google Maps, so you don’t miss a thing.

Last updated: 05 Jun 2024

Is 1 day in Athens, Greece, enough to have an excellent first taste of the city and create unforgettable memories?

Definitely, yes, if you are ready to take enough walks to explore its top attractions, which are up to 2,500 years old.

What will you need?

First of all, good mood. Don’t worry; the sunny weather in Athens will significantly help you.

Secondly, the appetite to wander in one of the world’s oldest cities.

Third, and most importantly, the following easy and reliable itinerary, designed after a lot of research to help you enjoy your trip to the fullest.

The recommended route

Smart tips for your trip:

  • The starting point is Syntagma Square. However, the recommended route is almost circular, so you can start from whichever point serves you best.
  • If you can stay in the city center, do it! Here you can find Athens best areas for your accommodation . If you are in a hurry, check the recommendations below.
  • For your convenience, I have added links to all points of interest. Each of them leads to Google Maps to add them to your map and make sure that you won’t miss anything.
  • The itinerary is quite tight and assumes that your visits to archeological sites will last about 1-1.5 hours. Therefore, if you feel that it’s too much for you, I recommend the points you can skip at the end of the article.
  • Save money by choosing the proper admission to archaeological sites. More in the first time in Athens survival guide .
  • If you have more days, then from the top menu, you can choose the days that suit you best.

Where to Stay For 1 Day In Athens

Where to Stay in Athens Greece: Plaka

Staying in the city center is a must if you visit Athens only for one day.

Two great neighborhoods are Syntagma and Plaka.

In a nutshell, Syntagma offers some of the best hotels in the city :

  • Best Luxury Hotel: Hotel Grande Bretagne .
  • Best Mid-priced Hotel: Classic by Athens Prime Hotels .
  • Best Budget Hotel: Mosaikon .

Plaka, on the other hand, is more scenic, with houses at least 100 years old :

  • Best Luxury Hotel: Electra Metropolis .
  • Best Mid-priced Hotel: Amazon Hotel .
  • Best Budget Hotel: Crafoord Place Hostel Athens .

Now, let’s start our walk:

1. Monument to the Unknown Soldier

Athens in 1 Day: Monument of the Unknown Soldier

Why : Any tour in Athens could not but include Syntagma Square, the center of modern Athens. The Hellenic Parliament and the Monument of the Unknown Soldier are located above the square. Get your camera ready for the picturesque Evzones, also known as Tsoliades, who symbolically guard the Unknown Soldier Monument.

2. Athens National Garden

National Garden

Why : The National Garden is the most famous garden in the heart of Athens; don’t miss crossing it as you head to Panathenaic Stadium. Locals often come here to exercise, read a book, or play with their children, as it is an ideal refuge from Athens’ heat and traffic.

3. Panathenaic Stadium

Panathenaic Stadium

Why : The first imposing ancient attraction of your walk is the Panathenaic Stadium. Athenians usually call it Kallimarmaro, meaning “Beautiful Marble”. It was built in 330 BC and used as the first modern Olympic Games stadium in 1896. Nowadays, it hosts only selected concerts and sporting events, such as the Athens Classic Marathon’s finish.

4. Zappeion Hall

Zappeio Hall

Why : Opposite the Panathenaic Stadium, you will find the Zappeio Hall. It started its operations in 1888, and in 1896 its circular atrium housed the fencing events of the first modern Olympic Games. Today it is one of Athens’s most important neoclassical buildings, hosting exhibitions and conferences.

5. Temple of Olympian Zeus

Athens in 1 Day: Temple of Olympian Zeus

Why : The gigantic Temple of Olympian Zeus is a must-see in Athens’ center. It was devoted to Zeus, the “Father of Gods and Men”, who ruled the Gods of Olympus. Note that its construction began in the 6th century BC, but it was completed about 700 years later, in the 2nd century AD.

6. Hadrian’s Arch

Athens in 1 Day: Hadrian's Arch

Why : Two minutes away from the Temple of Olympian Zeus, you can find the 2,000-year-old Hadrian’s Arch. It was founded around 131 AD, probably to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in Athens, a great benefactor of the city. If you want to modify your itinerary, it is worth checking out at night as well, as its lighting is impressive.

7. Dionysiou Areopagitou str.

Dionysiou Areopagitou

Why : Leaving Hadrian’s Arch, cross Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias and proceed to Dionysiou Areopagitou Str. It’s one of Athens’ most beautiful pedestrian areas, just below the Acropolis, leading you to some great attractions. Do not forget to grab an ice cream or an iced coffee for your walk here, as the locals usually do.

8. Theatre of Dionysus

Theatre of Dionysus

Why : Your first stop as you go up the Acropolis hill is the ancient Theatre of Dionysus. It is considered the first theatre in the world and has been associated with the birth and development of drama. Euripides, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Menander, wrote their tragedies and comedies to be performed at this site.

9. Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Why : The next stop in your “Athens in 1 day” itinerary is the well-known Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It was built by the Athenian benefactor Herodes Atticus in 161 AD, in memory of his Roman wife Appia Annia Regilla, and it was renovated in 1950. It is an excellent reason to return to Athens and enjoy an unforgettable concert here.

10. Acropolis of Athens

Acropolis panoramic view

Why : Walking a little further, you will find the Acropolis of Athens’s entrance. Only a few places on our planet can give you what Acropolis has to offer, so take 1-2 hours and enjoy 2.500 years of history and unique views over the city. Check this combo ticket if you want to skip the line and save time.

11. Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum

Why : Just a few meters back along Dionysiou Areopagitou Str., it’s time to visit The Acropolis Museum . Don’t think about it and get in: you will be amazed, but try to spend up to 1-1.5 hours here. It’s the best museum in Athens and one of the most important museums globally, housing every object found on the Acropolis.

Popular Reads 1. What to pack for Athens all year long: the ultimate list 2. First time in Athens survival guide: did you know? 3. Hidden gems in Athens: unique and unusual ideas

12. Apostolou Pavlou Str.

Why : After the Acropolis experience, your promenade continues on Apostolou Pavlou Str’s pedestrian area. If you want a break, the surrounding cafés and restaurants are ideal for enjoying your coffee or lunch . I usually visit The Underdog for great coffee and decent brunch . If you prefer a place with a great view, then check out the rooftop of Chocolat Royal .

13. Ancient Agora of Athens

Scenic view of the Ancient Agora of Athens, with the Temple of Hephaestus and Pnyka in the background.

Why : As you walk to Apostolou Pavlou Str, the most significant attraction you will encounter is Athens’s ancient Agora. Here was located the financial center and the central gathering place of the city of ancient Athens. Take an hour and enjoy a walk among numerous notable monuments.

14. Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus

Why : One of the most significant sights in Ancient Agora of Athens is, without doubt, the Temple of Hephaestus. According to mythology, Hephaestus was the god of fire, volcanoes, and metallurgists. His temple is one of the few ancient temples to be almost entirely preserved, partly because it was transformed into a Christian church.

15. Stoa of Attalos

Stoa of Attalos

Why : Another notable landmark in the Ancient Agora of Athens is the Stoa of Attalos. Reconstructed between 1953 and 1956, it will allow you to imagine what the buildings were like in ancient Athens. Nowadays, it houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora; don’t miss the upper floor view.

16. Roman Agora

Athens in 1 Day: Tower of the Winds

Why : Once you have completed your walk through Ancient Agora, proceed to Adrianou street and go up to Athens’s Roman Agora. This city’s central market during Roman times was built between 19 and 11 BC. The most remarkable ancient sight to see here is the impressive octagonal Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes. Also known as the Tower of the Winds, it is considered the world’s first meteorological station.

Athens in 1 Day: Plaka

Why : Leaving the Roman Agora, you now enter the famous neighborhood of Plaka. Let yourself go here and enjoy the route, walking in whichever picturesque alley you like. As you wander, you will find many restaurants and cafes to pause for a breath; my favorite cafe is Klepsydra , where they serve traditional Greek coffee. Take your time, but make sure you won’t leave before visiting Anafiotika (read below).

18. Anafiotika

Anafiotika

Why : Welcome to the “island of Athens”! Anafiotika is a tiny neighborhood under Acropolis Hill, which looks like a dreamy village on a Cycladic island. It was built by workers from the island of Anafi, who came to Athens in the middle of the 19th century to help with King Othon’s palace’s construction, today’s Greek Parliament.

19. Baklava

A baking dish of baklava with peanuts.

Why : I’ve saved the best for last. You can’t leave Athens without trying baklava, one of the finest local desserts . Mitropolitikon is only a few blocks away, and it’s one of the city’s oldest and most elegant pastry shops. Their tiny baklava is a must-try — it literally melts in your mouth. It’s definitely not to be missed.

Athens In 1 Day: Summary

The above walk should be enough for you to have a full 1 day in Athens and get a great first taste of the city.

However, if you find the itinerary too stressful, you can skip the points from 12 to 16.

While leaving the Acropolis Museum, head directly to Plaka instead of continuing to Apostolou Pavlou Str. This way, you will have more time for food, coffee, and shopping.

On the contrary, if you believe you can add a few more things to your day, then after Anafiotika, visit Ermou Street for shopping.

Finally, if you decide to add one more day to your 1 day trip to Athens, we’ve got you covered.

Here, you can find a more comfortable 2-day itinerary in Athens with many extras like Filopappou Hill and the Koukaki neighborhood.

Do not also forget to check the 10 best neighborhoods for your stay in Athens for additional reliable accommodation options.

Plan Your Trip Stay : Booking.com (best prices, great support) Airport : Welcome Pickups (pre-booked, reliable airport transfers) Drive: Rentalcars (compare prices, free cancellation) Connect : Airalo eSIM (cheap data) Do : GetYourGuide (unique tours & activities) Fly: Skyscanner (find the cheapest flights) Explore: GuruWalk (free walking tours worldwide) Protect: SafetyWing (affordable travel insurance)

Sunny Athens is reader-supported. Some of the links above may be affiliate links for which I may receive compensation if you click, at no cost to you. This does not influence my evaluations. Learn more in Advertise Disclosure .

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2 thoughts on “athens in 1 day: easy and simple itinerary”.

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My companion and I will be spending a full day in Athens on August 4 (after returning from Santorini). We are both in our 80s and won’t want to do a lot of walking. What do you suggest as a tour for a good part of the day? Is there an English-speaking private tour guide who has a car and can take us around?

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Thank you for your comment.

I recommend the following two options, depending on the time you have available:

A) Half-Day Athens Sightseeing: https://sunnyathens.com/athens-highlights-half-day B) Full-Day Athens Sightseeing: https://sunnyathens.com/athens-highlights-full-day

One of the significant benefits of these private tours is that you can customize the stops, as well as the amount of time you spend at each location. They also include hotel pickup and dropoff service, facilitated by a professional English-speaking driver.

Despite the flexibility of these tours, please remember that some walking will still be necessary. Additionally, only tour guides licensed by the Greek Ministry of Culture are permitted inside the Acropolis, which means your driver will not be able to accompany you there.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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One Day in a City

24 Hour Travel Itineraries to Make the Most of a Day in a Destination

Best One Day in Athens Itinerary: What to See in Athens When Short on Time

December 5, 2023 By Gina Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here .

Best Things to Do in Athens in Just 24 Hours

Athens, Greece: Ancient history within a vibrant metropolis

Athens is a chaotic, sprawling city. Athens can be dirty and loud and crowded, but it’s the perfect place for immersing yourself in history and seeing ancient ruins. With just one day in Athens, you have a good chance of departing the Greek capital feeling a bit defeated. But this 24-hour Athens itinerary is here to help make sure that doesn’t happen!

I’ve explored Athens as a backpacker and during a cruise port of call. I’ve got a good pulse on what it means to explore this massive city when short on time and what you can’t miss with some insider tips to get around strategically. Athens, despite its mishmash of streets and smoggy air, has pockets of genuine travel magic. There are spots that have spectacular pieces of history residing in them that look practically untouched – a feeling that the city just built itself around them and kept going on its sprawling way. And then there’s the Acropolis, which has a mystique completely together with and separate to the rest of Athens.

So let’s get into that itinerary so you can also discover what makes Athens one of the greatest places to visit in Europe.

One Day in Athens Itinerary

If you have one day in Athens, know you won’t be able to see it all. Focus on getting a feel for the ancient history of the city, which sometimes means digging deep and keeping your mind focused while you navigate the city. Here’s what to do to leave Athens feeling a bit more in touch with ancient civilization and present-day Greek culture.

The sprawl and wonder of Athens, Greece

Start Your Day at the Ancient Acropolis of Athens

Athens has an easy to navigate metro system. Take it to the “Akropoli” stop on the red line to begin your day in Athens among ancient Greece. This will take you into Athen’s old town neighborhood, which is where many of the ancient ruins are located, including the famous Acropolis.

The Acropolis is one of the main attractions in Athens and obviously a big draw for visitors. It is a great place to start exploring this iconic city. Plus, the earlier you can get there to beat crowds the better. 

The Parthenon at the Acropolis is a good place to start your 1-day itinerary in Athens.

The Acropolis was developed in the 5th century and was the breeding ground for some of the most innovative ideas of the time. It is often said to be the birthplace of democracy, an idea which developed from the conversations had on the land of the Acropolis. Or perhaps in the buildings; the creation of the Acropolis was comprised of architectural wonders that still influence building design to this day.

The most famous of these structures is the Parthenon (built in 438 BC). Socrates’ old stomping grounds is a must-see for every new visitor to Athens. The Parthenon was built during the height of the city-state’s power and was dedicated to the goddess Athena. The Parthenon is considered one of the greatest examples of ancient Greek architecture and has been a symbol of Athens for centuries.

Temple of Athena Nike

One of the other must-see site at the Acropolis is the Temple of Athena Nike, another stunning example of ancient Greek architecture. It’s known for its intricate amphiprostyle design and beautiful friezes, particularly the one depicting the goddess Nike. Built in the 5th century BC, the temple was dedicated to the goddess Athena Nike, who was believed to bring victory to the city.

When visiting the Acropolis, prepare yourself for crowds. Even in off seasons, the site can be overrun with an overwhelming amount of tourists.

One Day in Athens Itinerary Tip: To spare yourself from the line leading up the winding pathway to the Acropolis at the main entrance, head farther down the hilly street to the lesser-traveled south slope entrance.

Crowded Line: This is what you want to try and avoid while at the Acropolis.

The southeast entrance is a short walk through some of the Acropolis grounds of the south slope that have ancient statues and an old, crumbling — but still impressive — theater on them. You’ll be walking through trees, getting great glimpses of city views, and it’s surprisingly tranquil. It’s a good path to take as well because you’ll be walking through an area of the Acropolis that doesn’t have a lot left to it (such as the theater), but what it does have is authenticity.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

To see a still-operating amphitheater with ancient Greek vibes head to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a spectacularly built amphitheater located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis. Constructed in 161 AD by the wealthy Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, the Odeon has an interesting history. It was used for musical and theatrical performances, and could seat up to 5,000 people.

Over the centuries, the Odeon fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. However, in the 1950s, it was restored and now hosts concerts and other performances during the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, which takes place every summer. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a testament to the rich cultural history of Athens and continues to be an important cultural landmark today.

More Tips for Visiting the Parthenon

Most of the signs around the Acropolis tell you about the reconstruction instead of the history. Which is why it’s important to rent the audio guide or bring a detailed guidebook with you while walking around the Acropolis. Unless you’re a history major, you probably won’t have much of an idea what you’re looking at otherwise.

You can also just head over to the edge and bask in wonderment. When gazing at the views cascading out from the top of the Acropolis, it’s interesting to think what it must have looked like to Plato and Socrates when they were looking out from this very spot thousands of years ago. It even has a view of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the next spot on this itinerary.

Athens may be a huge, sprawling, crowded metropolis, but it sure is magnificent. A view from atop the Acropolis -- Temple of Zeus and the old theater in the background.

When leaving the Acropolis, leave from the southeast entrance I mentioned before, where you’ll exit back into the streets of Athens. From there, it’s a short walk to the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Located right in the middle of busy roads creating a sort of roundabout are the ancient ruins that once made up the Temple of the Olympian Zeus.

Take care when crossing the street to get to the park for these ruins. There are drivers and mopeds galore. Once inside the park, you’ll find what could be a peaceful place to ponder history is marred by the sounds of the cars zooming by.

Despite the cacophany of motors and honks, the ruins are impressive. A massive green lawn encircles giant columns, the twirling intricate design still noticeable on the top of some of them. Others are aged with areas crumbled out. Several of the columns have toppled over, giving the site a precarious air, as if the other columns could tumble over in a domino-fashion at any moment. 

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was at one time a massive temple, though it is mostly in ruins today. It was completed in 132 AD after being partially built and in limbo for over 600 years after its original conception. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is worth a visit to see the way the columns of the temple have decayed a bit like dominoes over the centuries.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was originally a building with 104 Corinthian columns; today there are only 15 left.

A fallen, broken column at the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Roman Agora

The Acropolis isn’t the only ancient Greece neighborhood to explore during your day in Athens. The Roman Agora is antoher must-see site.

The Roman Agora was built in the 1st century AD by the Roman Emperor Augustus and served as the commercial and civic center of Athens during the Roman period. The area was designed to be a grand marketplace with shops, public buildings, and a temple dedicated to the goddess Nemesis.

One of the top sites to see at the Roman Agora is the Tower of the Winds, which is an ancient clock tower that dates back to the 1st century BC. It is an impressive structure with intricate carvings and impressive engineering. Another must-see site is the Gate of Athena Archegetis, which is a beautifully preserved gateway that was built in the 1st century AD.

The Roman Agora is located just a short walk from the Acropolis of Athens. Visitors can easily walk between the two sites since it’s just under a mile walk.

Panathenaic Stadium

If you love watching the Olympics, you’ll want to make time in your 1-day itinerary in Athens to visit Panathenaic Stadium.

The Panathenaic Stadium is a historic landmark that is one of the most famous sights in Athens for sports fans. Built entirely of marble, the stadium was first constructed in the 4th century BC and was used to host the Panathenaic Games, a major athletic event held in ancient Greece. It is still the only stadium made completely out of marble standing today.

Panathenaic Stadium was later restored in 1896 for the first modern Olympic Games, and has since been used to host a number of other international sporting events. It even hosted the Olympics once again in 2004.

Visitors to the stadium can take a tour of the grounds and learn about its rich history, or even run a lap around the track themselves. The stadium is an impressive example of ancient Greek architecture and a must-see destination for anyone visiting Athens.

The Plaka Neighborhood

The Plaka is considered to be the “old town” area of Athens. Located close to the Acropolis, it has kept much of its original character and I found that it seems a world away from the urban sprawl that occurred to the rest of the city.

The Plaka consists of many shops and cafes. You’ll find lots of al fresco options for dining as well.

Amidst all this are historic sites and ruins, such as the Tower of Winds, which served as a meteorology station in the first century. You’ll also encounter what are basically holes in the ground with fence around it showcasing pillars and the remains of ancient buildings under the ground. If short on time, I wouldn’t bother paying to walk through these. You can glance at them through the fence and it’s best to save your time for exploring the larger archaeological sites in Athens.

Bordering The Plaka is the Monastiraki flea market, a great place to browse through shops, barter, and pick up some souvenirs.

The Museums of Athens

You’ll also get a taste of a more urban, gritty part of Athens walking to the museum from the metro stop. Ruins abound in Athens. Visiting all of them could easily take up your entire time if you only have one day in Athens. Instead, stray into the more modern part of Athens and visit the museums.

If you decide views and a reconstructed Parthenon didn’t quite do it for you, head over to the Acropolis Museum to see all of the really old ancient artifacts.

The Acropolis Museum used to be conveniently located on-site at the Acropolis with the entrance included in the ticket fare. In 2008 it was moved to its own museum and now cost extra to visit. I still fund it worth my time on my most recent visit to Athens since I find it interesting to see some of the historical pieces that were excavated from the Acropolis.

An example of ancient art you can see are the Caryatids. The six women columns (known as the Caryatids) you see holding up the Erechteion temple while visiting the Acropolis grounds are actually a replica. The original statues are located in the Acropolis Museum.

One Day in Athens Itinerary Tip: To streamline your day in Athens, go to the Acropolis Museum in between your visits to the Acropolis of Athens and the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Bronze statues of Zeus (or possibly Poseidon - the experts can't decide) at the National Archaeological Museum.

If all this original/duplicate stuff doesn’t really matter to you and it was more important to you simply to be on the Acropolis grounds, then with just a day to spend in Athens, I’d recommend skipping the Acropolis Museum and instead spending your time at the National Archaeological Museum , one of the most important museums in the world for showcasing ancient Greek art.

Syntagma Square and Parliament Building

Once you’re done with ancient columns and museums, it’s time to checkout Syntagma Square. This is also a great place to get a bite to eat if you’re getting hungry by this point.

Syntagma Square is one of the most famous and important squares in Athens, Greece. It is located in the heart of the city and serves as the focal point for many events and political demonstrations. The square has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century when it was first constructed. Originally, it was called the Palace Square and was situated in front of the Royal Palace. Today, it is known as Syntagma Square and is a popular tourist destination.

Syntagma Square is a popular destination so expect to find a bustling and lively atmosphere. The square is surrounded by many historical buildings and landmarks, including the Parliament Building, which is home to the Greek Parliament. The changing of the guard ceremony at the Parliament Building is a must-see attraction for visitors.

The square is also home to many cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it an ideal spot for shopping and dining.

Where and What to Eat in Athens

Two thumbs up for Greek food in Athens. Eating a feta and lamb stuffed pastry dish.

When it comes to what to see and do in Athens, don’t stop just at ancient sites; you can’t forget about the cuisine. Greek food consists of a lot of vegetables, a lot of meat, and a lot of feta. YUM!

Snytagma Square and Plaka are both good places to go to find restaurants serving up delicious Greek dishes, such as moussaka and souvlaki. Or try the simple, but famous Greek Salad — tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and feta with no lettuce, drizzled in olive oil. You also might want to order a cup of Greek coffee or a shot of ouzo, a popular Greek alcoholic drink.

You may only have one day in Athens, but you must make time to eat. Even if you’re on a cruise and have free food waiting for you back on the ship, eat in the city! Greek cuisine actually experienced in the country of Greece is an experience unto itself.

Athens Market Shopping

Athens is home to a number of vibrant markets that host different products and entertainment.

The Athens Central Market, also known as Varvakios Agora, is one of the oldest markets in the city. You can find fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, cheese, and a variety of other products. The market is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike with lots of busy energy.

It’s easy to spend hours exploring the different stalls and shops so don’t get sucked in if you’re on a time crunch with just a day to explore Athens! Give yourself a time limit and then see what exciting finds you’ll discover.

Like to hunt for bargains among vintage apparel and antiques? The flea market in Monastiraki is a great place to find unique souvenirs and vintage items. From antiques to clothing to jewelry to art, you never know what treasures you might find here. The market is open every day except for Sundays, and it’s a great place for shopping enthusiasts to spend some time in search of a one-of-a-kind item to bring back home.

The fish market, located in Piraeus, is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Here, you can find a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood, caught in the Aegean Sea and other nearby waters. The market is open early in the morning and is always bustling with activity. The merchants are friendly and happy to help you pick out the perfect catch for your next meal.

The Athens Nightlife

If you have 24 hours to spend in Athens, you’re in luck. Athens comes alive at night and you won’t have any trouble finding a bar or club to while away the hours until the early morning, of which Psiri is a popular neighborhood to head out in.

If dancing and doing ouzo shots isn’t your idea of a great night out, consider spending your night at the movies at Cine Paris .  This is no normal movie theater – it’s a rooftop, outdoor theater that has a bar and a view of the Acropolis, resulting in a pretty memorable way to watch one of Hollywood’s latest offerings.

Where to Sleep in Athens

Need a place to lie your head while in Athens? I have two recommendations. The first in the city center and the second in nearby Piraeus (ideal if you’re catching a ferry to one of the Greek islands the following morning).

Athens Hotel Option: Herodion Hotel

Herodion Hotel is a family-owned hotel centrally located in the Plaka neighborhood right by the Acropolis Museum and the entrance to the Acropolis (which will save you time if you’re short on time!). It has a relaxing terrace with incredible views of the Pantheon, plus bright, well-appointed rooms with air conditioning and turn down service. There is also an onsite bar and restaurant.

  • Click here for more pictures and rates for Herodion Hotel .

Piraeus Hotel Option: Hotel Ionion

Hotel Ionion may have basic looking rooms, but a stay there is escalated to memorable by the friendly, attentive staff, good breakfast, and close proximity to the harbor. It is also a great choice if you’re looking for a budget option while visiting Athens, but don’t want to stay in a hostel, and need a place to stay before catching a ferry in the morning. My sister and I stayed here after a day in Athens before leaving for Santorini early the next day.

  • Click here for more pictures and rates for Hotel Ionion .

One Day in Athens Tips for Cruisers

Visiting Athens during a cruise port of call? Here’s what you’ll need to know:

Where Your Ship Docks: Piraeus

When visiting Athens via cruise, your ship will dock in the city of Piraeus, which is only about seven miles from Athen’s top things to do. 

Getting From Piraeus to Athens: 

Though you may have a bit of a hike to get to it depending where along the harbor your cruise ship docks, the metro station in Piraeus is quite doable to walk to, and from there it’s just a 20-minute metro ride into the city center of Athens.

However, if you want to make things easier on yourself getting into Athens, consider a shore excursion. Most cruise lines that visit Athens have a large variety of excursions to do while in port, and you’ll be met by your tour guide right by the ship and taken into Athens on a comfortable, air-conditioned bus where you’ll begin exploring sites old and new. Many of these excursions also include a guided tour of the Acropolis.

Flying into Athens?

Here’s how to get to all these ancient Athens sites quickly:

Athens International Airport is located a little less than 20 miles outside of the city, but don’t let that distance intimidate you if you only have a day to spend in Athens. There are several well-established transportation options that can get you into the city center quickly and easily, whether you’re spending the night or just have a long layover in Athens.

While buses and taxis are available, the best way to get into Athens from the airport if short on time is to take the metro. The Athens Metro is a quick and inexpensive way to travel around the city, and it’s particularly convenient for those arriving at the airport.

The metro line that services the airport is called Line 3, and you can catch it from the arrivals level of the main terminal building. The journey takes around 40 minutes, and the trains run every 30 minutes from early in the morning until late at night. Plus, the metro is air-conditioned, which is a welcome relief during Athens’ hot summers. Once you arrive in the city center, you’ll be perfectly placed to start exploring all that Athens has to offer.

After trekking through Athens in the ancient footsteps of so many great and powerful thinkers, you may even find yourself a little wiser...pondering life on what's left of the seats of the old Acropolis theater.

Also heading to the Greek Islands during your trip? You may find these articles helpful:

One Day in Santorini One Day in Mykonos Renting 4-Wheelers in Greece

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I'm a former travel agency marketing director turned freelance travel writer. My editorial and copywriting work has been published on and in USA TODAY, Travel + Leisure, the Travel Channel Cities app, TripSavvy, and many more online and print publications. I especially love sharing my knowledge of traveling with limited vacation time, making the most of cruise ports of call, and vacationing with kids. I also enjoy sharing my favorite travel gear and products to make traveling easier!

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February 2, 2017 at

If you’re that short on time, I’d recommend taking a taxi from the airport to the city center and then taking the metro around.

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January 8, 2017 at

Thank you for this useful information. I am trying to figure out the best way to get around the city. I will have from 10am until 6pm to explore the city. I will be coming from the airport and will need to return there by 6pm to catch a flight to one of the islands. Any advise would be appreciated.

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December 7, 2016 at

Very useful info for one-day travelers. I would probably in Athens on 18th morning and have meetings for 2-days. Planning to stay in for another day i.e. 20th Jan. So in principle i would have one evening on 19th and afternoon of 20th. Can you please help me to plan the itinerary including travel modes to reach to this must visit places. This would be really helpful. Thanks in Advance.

August 27, 2016 at

Glad to hear you found it helpful, Filipa! Enjoy your trip!

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August 26, 2016 at

I will be in Athens for 1 day so this was really helpfull 🙂 Wish you all the best

Filipa from Portugal

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August 16, 2016 at

Very helpful article, thanks for the tips!

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January 11, 2016 at

I did! And thanks for your tips, i’ve almostbeen to all the mentioned places, and tried their food.. The Souflaki is amazing.. I had fun and was sad to leave after two days, so i stayed for a week! ????????

Next week going to France

Hi Nikita, how fun to be living in Rome for 6 months! If you are hoping to do Athens and Santorini in the same short trip, I would recommend flying to Santorini from Athens instead of the ferry since that’s going to eat up a lot of your time. Would probably be best to do one weekend in Athens and one weekend in Santorini since they’re really not that close to each other, though, since you’ll lose a lot of time traveling in between the two places in just two days. If you need tips for Santorini, check out my One Day in Santorini blog post, too –> https://www.onedayinacity.com/one-day-in-santorini/

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awesome site…really loved it…im gonna use it…im in Rome for 6 months on work assignment…i love travelling places…i wish to cover most of the countries in eupore…and my only issue is I can travel only on weekends….that means only 1 or 2 days to a country….you site is going to help me alot….i wish to visit greece in jan 2016 end….30th and 31st jan 2016…i wish to cover athens and santorini…really dont know how to go about it….it would be great if you could help….i have checked there are return flights to athens from Rome ….30th early mrng to athens and return on 1st feb early mrng…..i hope u could help me….thnks in advance…keep up the good work!

awesome site…really loved it…im gonna use it…im in Rome for 6 months on work assignment…i love travelling places…i wish to cover most of the ocunrties in eupore…and my only issue is a can travel only one weekends….that means only1 or 2 days to a country….you site is going to help me alot….i wish to visit greece in jan 2016 end….30th and 31st jan 2016…i wish to cover athens and santorini…really dont know how to go about it….it would be great if you could help….i have checked there is return flight to athens from Rome on 30th early mrng to athens and return on 1st early mrng…..i hope u could help me….thnks in advance…keep up the good work! 🙂 🙂

August 18, 2015 at

Hi Julie, I’m happy you found it helpful. Have fun in Athens!

Hope you enjoyed your time in Athens!

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Hi Gina We are in Syros at the moment (7 days at Azolimnos Boay hotel ????????????????) and off to Athens for two nights before we fly back to Australia. We are staying near the Acropolis and this information is perfect…thank you for taking the time to write this blog ????Julie

August 13, 2015 at

Traveling next week for two or three days to Athens.. Thanks for all these info! My program is set following to your given info..

June 22, 2015 at

Glad to hear you found it helpful. Hope you enjoy your time in Athens!

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June 19, 2015 at

Thanks for your suggestions, loved it, its exactly what my friend and I needed for our one day trip to Athens.

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December 15, 2014 at

This is a very nice thing that you are doing for the sake of others who would love to travel but are hard-pressed for time.

Thank you very much!

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November 16, 2014 at

Thanks for this info. We have a long wait between flights and want to spend time in Athens. We have done the Acropolis and the museum but not the Plaka. It sound like a nice place to spend a few hours and have a meal. Do you know how to get from the airport to Plaka? Is there a bus.

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May 5, 2014 at

I will visit Athens for the first time in July. Your info was exactly what I need….what to see, places to shop and food! I plan to bring your info with me…thanks!

April 17, 2014 at

Thanks Saeid!

Hi Janice, I walked to the metro stop in Piraeus from the cruise ship and used that to get around the city. However, depending where your ship docks in the harbor it can be a long walk to the metro stop. I’d check with your cruise line to find out where they’ll be docking and ask if there is a free harbor shuttle that takes you into the center of Piraeus, from which you can easily access the metro. Have fun!

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Very useful information for people like me who might want to have a quick look at top attractions in Athens.

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April 7, 2014 at

Any advise on how to get around on your one day? Heard about the blue/red bus that you can pick up in the port Piraeus — we are on that 11 day eastern Med cruise. Thanks

January 7, 2013 at

I love Greek architecture, too, Susan! So regal and impressive. And yeah, I was having fun with that last picture. 😉

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December 28, 2012 at

whenever I see any Greece place pictures always feel like I’m playing Age Of Empire Game. all their structures look same to me. anyways thanks for sharing and love your last picture there were you thinking.

November 12, 2012 at

Thank you so much, Donna! I hope you get to visit Athens someday soon, too.

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November 11, 2012 at

Wow. I am almost speechless of the first photo you took. It was perfect. I hope I could visit Athens soon.

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THE 10 BEST Athens Tours & Excursions

Athens tours.

  • Historical & Heritage Tours
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1 day tour of athens

1. Acropolis and Parthenon Guided Walking Tour

1 day tour of athens

2. Athens: Acropolis, Parthenon and Acropolis Museum Guided Tour

1 day tour of athens

3. Greek Food Walking Tour in Athens

1 day tour of athens

4. Athens Half Day Tour, Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus & Hephaistus

1 day tour of athens

5. All Day Cruise -3 Islands to Agistri,Moni, Aegina with lunch and drinks included

1 day tour of athens

6. Athens Full Day Private Tour

1 day tour of athens

7. Athens All Included: Acropolis and Museum Guided Tour with Ticket

1 day tour of athens

8. Delphi & Arachova Premium Historical Tour with Expert Tour Guide on Site

1 day tour of athens

9. Athens Day Cruise: 3 Islands Tour in the Saronic Gulf with Lunch

1 day tour of athens

10. Meteora Monasteries and Hermit Caves Day Trip with optional lunch

1 day tour of athens

11. Full Day Private Τour in Athens

1 day tour of athens

12. Best of Athens Half Day Private Tour

1 day tour of athens

13. Athens & Acropolis Highlights: a Mythological Tour

1 day tour of athens

14. Acropolis monuments & Parthenon Walking Tour with Optional Acropolis Museum

1 day tour of athens

15. PREMIUM Semi-Private Athens Afternoon Food Tour & Wine Tasting

1 day tour of athens

16. 2 Hours Wine Tasting Odyssey in Athens

1 day tour of athens

17. Hop on Hop Off Classic tour of Athens, Piraeus & Beaches

1 day tour of athens

18. Delphi, Thermopylae, Corycian Cave 300 Spartans Tour from Athens

1 day tour of athens

19. Private Tour of Apostle Paul Footsteps in Ancient Corinth

1 day tour of athens

20. Private Tour Acropolis and Athens Highlights

1 day tour of athens

21. Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon Half-Day Small-Group Tour from Athens

1 day tour of athens

22. Luxury Catamaran Cruise from Athens with Traditional Greek Meal and BBQ

1 day tour of athens

23. Athens Greece Full Day private tour

1 day tour of athens

24. Get a Taste of Athens Food Tour

1 day tour of athens

25. Athens Acropolis and Parthenon Walking Tour

1 day tour of athens

26. Greek Cooking Class in Athens Including Rooftop Dinner with Acropolis View

1 day tour of athens

27. Biblical Tour Letters To The Corinthians St Paul’s Footsteps

1 day tour of athens

28. City Sightseeing Athens, Piraeus & Beach Riviera Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

1 day tour of athens

29. Athens 4-Hour Cooking Class with Central Market Visit

1 day tour of athens

30. Athens Evening Food Tour

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Best Tours & Things To Do in Athens

Greece › Athens › Athens Tours Updated: March 12, 2024 By Santorini Dave

See Also • Where to Stay in Athens • Best Hotels in Athens • Best Family Hotels in Athens • Best Museums in Athens • Best Archaeological Sites in Athens

Best Acropolis and Parthenon Tours in Athens, Greece.

The Parthenon (the building, pictured above), Acropolis (the entire site, which includes the Parthenon and several other structures), and Acroplis Museum (a stunning modern building, just down the hill from the Acropolis) are the must-see highlights of Athens. The Acropolis Private Tour and the Acropolis Small Group Tour are the best ways to visit and explore these sights.

The 11 Best Tours in Athens Original Greek Food Tour of Athens The single best tour for exploring the urban core of modern Athens. This is a fun walking tour of the best food and restaurants in central Athens. There’s also a stop at the iconic Central Market (fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, spices). You’ll get a good overview of the city’s culture (and a bit of history) while eating some great food with a friendly guide. There’s a 10am morning tour and a 2pm afternoon tour. I know I sound like a broken record on this but food tours are an awesome way to explore a new city. Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour with Entry Tickets A 4-hour small-group guided tour of the Acropolis, Parthenon, and nearby Acropolis Museum. Includes entrance tickets to both the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. (A huge advantage of doing a tour is that you get skip-the-line tickets. When you visit on your own you need to queue for tickets and that line can be insanely long.) The entrance to the marvelous Acropolis Museum, with the Parthenon visible in the background. Athens City Highlights Tour (Private Tour) This is a great private tour of the Acropolis and surrounding area (Parthenon, Erechtheion, Propylaea, Temple of Nike, Dionysus Sanctuary, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and Ancient Agora) and is the best way to see the highlights of Athens and learn the city’s history. Like all tours, your guide will have access to skip-the-line tickets for the Acropolis which allows you to bypass the long entrance queues. This tour is very flexible with time, duration, and route. Athens Original Street Art Tour Awesome tour of the graffiti and street art of central Athens. Many tours describe themselves as “off the beaten path” that only visit the expected top sights. This one really does explore a side of Athens tourists rarely explore or think about. Very cool and great for families with teens. Traditional Greek Cooking Lesson Great introduction to Greek food and how to make it. Recipes will be sent to you so you can prepare them at home. Very family-friendly. There’s also an excellent Night Food & Wine Tasting Tour . Private Wine Tour and Lunch The best wine tour from Athens with an excellent tour guide (usually Spyros – he really knows his wine). Includes hotel pick up and drop and a good quality lunch at a seaside taverna. Old Town Highlights Electric Bike Tour Fun and easy-going tour of the highlights of central Athens on simple-to-use electrick bikes. The 9 KM route takes in most of the top historic sights and tours Plaka and National Gardens. Tour starts at 10am in an easy-to-find spot in Plaka. A Bike Tour is a great way to see the highlights of central Athens. Athens Eco Tours (6 hours) Bespoke private tours exploring the natural heritage and biodiversity just outside the city, whether hiking, birdwatching, spotting butterflies and wildflowers among the monastaries, or seeking out the elusive Mediterranean monk seal. Tours are led by ecologists, botanists, biologists, and other environmental scientists, depending on the particular excursion. Delphi Day Trip from Athens (10 hours) Hotel pickup (in Athens) and transportation to one of the top historical sites in Greece. Tour guide and lunch included. There’s also a private Delphi tour if that’s what you prefer. Meteora Monasteries (12 hours) The Meteora is my favorite destination in mainland Greece. It’s spectacular. Delphi is great, but you do need to have a keen interest in Greek history to make it worth the trip. The Meteora, on the other hand, will appeal to anyone with a pulse. The dramatic and awesome setting is stunning. It’s very hard to visit the Meteora in one day unless you do a private Meteora tour . With this tour, you’ll get picked up from your hotel (in Athens) and make the 3-hour drive to the Meteora. A stop for lunch and a few other historical sights are built into the itinerary but most of the focus is on seeing the monasteries of the Meteora. There is also a cheaper Meteora tour that involves taking the train; an overnight tour that allows for a complete tour of all 6 monasteries (worth it if you have the time); and a combination tour that visits both Delphi and the Meteora . Full Day Tour & Sailing to Agistri, Moni, & Aegina (10 hours) Great boat tour of 3 wonderful islands a short boat ride from Athens. Lots of swimming and sunbathing. Includes traditional Greek lunch, made and served onboard. Highly recommended!

The Best Things To Do in Athens 1. The Acropolis and Parthenon One of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, this ancient hilltop citadel houses the remains of several temples, including the Parthenon. The Acropolis was inhabited from the 4th millennium B.C., though its most recognizable landmarks date to the 5th century B.C. The Acropolis site includes the Parthenon (a temple of Athena, goddess of wisdom, civilization, and war), Temple of Athena Nike (a temple to Athena, triumphant in war), the Erechtheion (temple of Athena and Poseidon – god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses), and more. On the way up to the Acropolis, you’ll see the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and pass by the trail to the Sanctuary of Dionysus, both on the slope of the hill beneath the Acropolis. Tickets to the Acropolis can be purchased on their own or bundled with the Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Acropolis Museum, the Roman Agora, and more. I strongly recommend doing a guided tour of the Acropolis . Guides will have skip-the-line tickets and lines can often be two hours long. If you’re part of a tour you’ll skip right by the queues. Best Acropolis & Parthenon Tours • Acropolis Tour (small group) • Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour (small group) • Acropolis Tour (private) • Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour (private) 2. Acropolis Museum This spectacular and relatively new museum is a highlight of a visit to Athens. It’s located a short walk from the Acropolis (head south down the hill towards the Odeon of Herodes Atticus), so the two sites are easy to visit together and complement each other well. (If you have 5 hours or less in Athens then visit the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum.) The museum houses and displays artifacts sourced from the Acropolis and its slopes, and rests upon huge pillars over the excavated ruins of an ancient Athenian neighborhood (which is included in the admission fee). There’s an excellent cafe on site, with terrace seating in the shadow of the Parthenon. Doing a guided tour of both the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum is a great way to save time (as tour guides will have skip-the-line tickets to both attractions). You can also buy skip the line tickets for the Acropolis Museum separately. 3. National Archaeological Museum The single best museum in Greece, loaded with archaeological treasures. It’s one of the few top attractions that isn’t a short walk from the Plaka/Acropolis area so you’ll need to take a taxi (5 minutes), metro (10 minutes, get out at Omonia station), or walk (about 25 minutes from Plaka or Syntagma Square). If you have only one day in Athens you might be forced to miss this. If you have 2 days or more then make an effort to get here. The experience is dramatically enhanced if you get a private tour guide to explain all the history and top exhibits. If you don’t do a tour then you can get tickets in advance here .

Best market and food tour in Athens.

Visit the charming and chaotic Central Market on the Original Greek Food Tour of Athens .

4. Plaka and Monastiraki These adjacent neighborhoods at the base of the Acropolis are filled with historical sites like the Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Temple of Hephaestus, and Stoa of Attalos. Largely pedestrianized throughout, Plaka and Monastiraki feature a fun and lively atmosphere that’s great for wandering, shopping, eating, and sightseeing. They’re also two of our favorite areas to stay in Athens , and are home to many of our favorite restaurants and hotels . 5. The Agoras Agora means marketplace in Greek, and there are two archaeological sites in Athens that house the remains and artifacts of these communal gathering spaces. Combination tickets to the Athens archaeological sites are available that include both Agoras, the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Library, the Acropolis Museum, and more. The Ancient Agora lies between Monastiraki and the base of the Acropolis. It’s easy to make out the ancient streets and squares here that were once the haunting ground of Socrates and Plato. This sprawling area includes sites such as the Temple of Hephaestus (shown above), the Stoa of Attalos (which houses a small and interesting museum), and the Byzantine Church of the Holy Apostles. Much of the Ancient Agora dates to the 2nd Century BC or even earlier. The Roman Agora was built during the reigns of Julius Ceasar and Ceasar Augustus in the 1st century BC. It has an impressive entrance (the Gate of Athena Archegetis), but not as much going on as in the Ancient Agora. The most famous structure in the Roman Agora is the eight-sided, marble Tower of the Winds: combination weather vane, water clock, and sundial, built by a Macedonian astronomer in the 2nd century BC. The Roman Agora lies on the border between the Monastiraki and Plaka neighborhoods of central Athens. 6. Changing of the Guard (Evzones) Every hour on the hour, there is a changing of the guard at the Hellenic Parliament building on Syntagma Square. The guards, known as Evzones, stand stock-still before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier until the ritual begins: a slow-motion dance of precision and strength. Usually, the practice involves two guards who are wearing a more understated version of the traditional uniform in khaki, black, and white (shown above). On Sunday mornings at 11am, however, visitors can expect to see many more guards and a more elaborate ritual, with Evzones led by a military band and dressed in the more traditional and colorful uniforms that are reserved for special occasions. (Interesting fact: the kilt of the Evzone uniform has exactly 400 pleats; one for each year of Turkish occupation.) It is free to watch the ceremony; arrive early on Sundays to secure a good view.

Changing of the Guard in Athens, Greece.

See the Changing of the Guard at the Unknown Soldier Monument on the excellent Private Guided Tour of Athens, Acropolis, and Acropolis Museum .

7. The National Garden A short walk from Syntagma Square and the Greek Parliament buildings, The National Garden provides a relaxing break from the chaos of busy Athens. Take a picnic, let the kids run around and watch the ducks and turtles (there’s a nice children’s playground in the garden’s southeast quadrant), or simply relax in the shade for a bit. In addition to the greenery, the National Garden also has some ancient ruins, Corinthian columns, mosaics, and a small botanical museum on site. And it’s free. 8. Temple of Olympian Zeus The Temple of Olympian Zeus dates back to the 6th century BC; it once featured over 100 17-meter columns and was filled with statues of gods and emperors, but after centuries of damage, only 15 columns remain standing. It is the namesake and most prominent feature of the Olympieion archaeological site, which also includes ruins of Roman baths, Classical residences, a 5th century basilica, and a portion of the city’s fortification wall. The well-preserved marble Arch of Hadrian (132 A.D.) sits just outside the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and they’re both only a 5-minute walk from the Acropolis Museum, making them an easy stop in the central area. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is included on the combination ticket of Athens archaeological sites. 9. Eco & Wildlife Tours There is more to Athens than ancient ruins. The city makes an excellent home base for trekking into the wilds of Attica and beyond, a welcome break from the crowds. Natural Greece offers several sustainable tours where travelers can participate in conservation efforts on land or at sea, while led by a team of environmental scientists. Day tours leaving from Athens may focus on birdwatching, wildflowers, butterflies, or hiking. Multi-day tours are best (though day trips are possible) for studying the ultra-rare Mediterranean monk seal (seen above), one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Private or small group tours available. 10. Athens Central Market A wonderful and lively slice of modern Athens. Meats, olives, feta, spices, olive oil, fruits, vegetables – you name it, it’s here. The adjacent side streets are lined with shops of all kinds. The excellent Original Greek Food Tour of Athens stops here and explains the markets origins and history. Located about 500 meters north of Monastiraki Square in central Athens. 11. Benaki Museum of Greek Culture Established in 1930, this well-curated collection of Greek artwork and artifacts (ranging from ancient to modern) is set in the beautiful neoclassical family mansion of Antonis Benaki, who also donated over 35,000 pieces of his own art collection. Along with paintings and sculpture, the museum houses terrific examples of historic Greek textiles, jewelry, and other cultural artifacts. The Benaki also maintains satellite galleries throughout Athens, which include the Museum of Islamic Art, The Ghika Gallery, and the Toy Museum. Located in central Athens near Syntagma Square, across the street from the Parliament building and the National Garden. Closed Tuesdays.

1 day tour of athens

The Athens’ restaurant scene is lively and fun. The Nighttime Food and Wine Tasting Tour is a great way to explore some of the best dining spots.

12. Monastiraki Flea Market On Mondays to Saturdays, the “Flea Market” adjacent to Monastiraki Square is mostly a collection of narrow pedestrian lanes lined with souvenir and sandals shops, but on Sundays people come from miles around to sell all manner of used, cheap, and antique goods: books, clothing, trinkets, toys, furniture, textiles, home goods, electronics, anything you can think of and then some. It’s crowded and cramped, but fun and free and always interesting; arrive before 11am to avoid the crush. The best stuff is usually found at the stalls crowded into the market’s epicenter at Avissinias Square, with lanes of quirky vendors branching out from there in every direction. 13. National Historical Museum The oldest of its kind in Greece, the National Historical Museum in Athens was founded in 1882, and has found its permanent home in the building that housed the Greek Parliament from 1875 to 1932. The museum’s permanent collection tells the story of Greek culture throughout the ages; corridors and rooms narrate different centuries and periods. Items on display include weapons, personal belongings and memorabilia from historical personalities such as Lord Byron, historical paintings by Greek and foreign artists, authentic manuscripts, and a large collection of traditional Greek costumes and jewelry from various regions of Greece. Located one block northwest of Syntagma Square. General admission fee is 3€, with free entrance on Sundays; closed Mondays. 14. Athens Churches Visiting churches in Athens offers a unique insight into Greece’s deep religious traditions and architectural beauty. From the historic significance of the Byzantine-era Panagia Kapnikarea nestled within Athens’ bustling district to the serene majesty of the Metropolitan Cathedral (pictured above) and it’s diminutive neighbor the “ Little Metropolis “, each distinct church is a testament to Greece’s rich spiritual heritage and artistic achievement. These sacred sites not only serve as places of worship, but also as testaments to the city’s centuries-old history and singular spaces in which art, history, and spirituality intertwine. Note that modest dress is required in Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries, which means avoiding exposed knees and shoulders for both women and men. If you’re wearing shorts, a short skirt, or a tank top, covering up with a wrap before entering is appropriate and appreciated. 15. Outdoor Cinema Watch a movie in the heart of Plaka under the lights of the Acropolis at Cine Paris rooftop outdoor theater. Films are typically American (in english) with Greek subtitles. Beer, wine, and light snacks are available. Tickets are sold at the theater box office only; we recommend queueing up early or buying tickets in advance, as shows often sell out. With theaters generally operating from May to October, outdoor cinema is a highlight of summer in Greece. More great outdoor cinemas in central Athens: Cine Thisio – Another excellent spot with Parthenon views, located on the Acropolis’ western side. Tickets sold at the theater only. Cine Aegli – Atop Zappeion Hall in the National Garden. Wonderful food and service. Tickets sold at the theater only. Cine Dexameni – In Kolonaki, at the foot of Lycabettus Hill. Online tickets available. 16. Hadrian’s Library Built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 132 A.D., this complex once housed three stories of books, as well as areas dedicated to academic instruction, reading, philosophical walks and reflection, and athletic recreation. The site also includes what is believed to be the oldest Christian church in Athens. Hadrian’s Library is located very near Monastiraki Square and is included on the combination ticket of Athens archaeological sites. 17. Panathenaic (Olympic) Stadium Also known as Kallimarmaro , this 50,000 capacity stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and was built on the site of the original stadium for the Panathenaic Games (330 BC), which were held every 4 years in honor of the goddess Athena. It is the only stadium in the world built entirely out of marble. The stadium continues to hold regular concerts in the summer, as well as host significant cultural, sporting, and ceremonial events. It is the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon, and during an Olympic Games year, it is the hand-off location for the Olympic flame from Greece. Enjoy impressive views of Mt. Lycabettus and the Acropolis by climbing to the top. Located in the district of Pangrati in central Athens, near the National Garden and the Temple of Olympian Zeus; about a 1km walk from Syntagma Square. Daily runs are held every morning from 7:30am to 9:00am. 18. Benizelos Mansion Located in the Plaka neighborhood, the Benizelos Mansion is the oldest surviving house in Athens, built between the 16th and 17th centuries. The residence’s original occupants were Athenian aristocrats with Byzantine roots, and their 2-story house gives modern-day visitors a sense of the traditions and lifestyles of wealthy Athenians before the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire. The house is also known as the House of Saint Philothei, in honor of the couple’s daughter, Revoula, a philanthropist and freedom-fighter for Greek women enslaved into harems by the Ottomans. Severely beaten and later succumbing to death from her injuries, she is revered as a martyr and has been canonized as Saint (Agia) Philothei, which translates to “friend of God”. The Benizelos Mansion is open limited hours, entrance fee is by donation and goes to charity. 19. Mount Lycabettus The highest point in Athens with dramatic panoramic views out over the entire city. Located across Plaka and Syntagma Square from the Acropolis (and shown here on the left), the 300 meter hilltop can be reached by foot or via a funicular tram that travels in a tunnel inside the hill. At the top sits the quaint and beautiful St George’s Chapel, an all-day cafe, and a panoramic fine-dining restaurant. 20. Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio This ancient site is an 80-minute drive southeast of Athens. It’s super interesting, but only worth the trip if you have 3 days or more in the capital (any less and your time is better spent in central Athens). The excellent Cape Sounion Small-Group Tour with Sunset Viewing includes hotel pick up from central Athens. 21. Voluntourism at Let’s Be S.M.A.R.T. This cat sanctuary south of the city has been caring for Athens many, many stray cats since 2011, nursing them to health and sheltering them until they can be adopted, often into homes abroad. Volunteers and veterinary interns are always needed to assist with daily operations of the shelter, feeding kittens, caring for elderly and infirm cats, aiding nearby feral cat colonies, and more. Multi-day stays at the shelter include accommodations, breakfast and lunch, organized activities, and more. Duties vary according the the volunteer’s or intern’s skill set and shelter needs.

Map of the best things to do in Central Athens, Greece.

The Best Places to Eat & Drink in Athens

Athens food and tasting tour.

Highly recommended: The Original Athens Food Tour – a great introduction to the city’s food and culture. Visit markets, top restaurants, specialty shops, and trendy neighborhoods.

22. Best Gyros and Souvlaki in Athens Athens is loaded with great restaurants , but for good cheap eats, nothing beats an authentic gyro from a local shop. There’s a strip of good gyro places just off Monastiraki Square (opposite the metro station). Our favorites in central Athens include Kostas and O Thanasis . If you have time, Kavouras in the Exarcheia neighborhood (and not far from the The National Archaeological Museum) and O Elvis in Kerameikos are worth seeking out. 23. Best Restaurant in Athens The best restaurant in the Plaka area is Psarras Taverna . With a magical setting and great traditional Greek food, Psarras (also known as The Old Tavern of Psaras) has been around since 1898 – and for good reason. It’s wonderfully romantic, with a casual vibe, great house wine, and live music on weekend nights. If you only eat at one spot in Athens, make it this one. Reservations are recommended for dinner. (+30 21 0321 8734) 24. Best Bar in Athens Warm and lively Baba Au Rum is my favorite place to get a drink in the tourist center. It’s world renowned for its excellent cocktails and often packed, but staff are friendly and helpful even when it’s busy. 25. Best Rooftop Bar in Athens 360° Cocktail Bar , the rooftop bar of Hotel 360° in Monastiraki, features signature cocktails, regional wine and food pairings, and killer rooftop views to the Acropolis. Go at sunset, but make a reservation in advance to secure a good table. (+30 21 0321 0006) 26. Best Gelato in Athens Coco’s has the best gelato in Athens. It’s worth seeking this place out when you’re wandering through Plaka. La Greche in Syntagma is also really good.

Best thing to do in Athens for first time visitor.

I know I’ve recommended a ton of stuff. If you’re still undecided, then remember the Parthenon and Acropolis are the must-see attractions for first time visitors to Athens. Doing an Acropolis Private Guided Tour is an awesome way to learn and explore.

About Santorini Dave

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Dave Love your site If I am interested in the private Acropolis tour with skip the line, are entry tickets included? If not how do we get those? Thanks

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Yes, they are usually included in a private tour. And even when they’re not tours have access to a faster ticket line when queueing for tickets.

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I have read so much about Delphi and Meteora and would like to join a tour so it is easy for us. Which is the best tour you would recommend and should I just do Meteora or both and should I do day or overnight trips? I looked and saw many tours are either large group or private tours only. Are there any that has a small group-small bus kind?

If I could only do one it would be the Meteora. Absolutely stunning! For both Delphi and the Meteora it’s much better to do an overnight trip and get to the sights early in the morning before the tour buses arrive. (And late afternoon after they’ve departed.) The Meteora tour I listed above is a private tour and very well done. Private tours are just about always worth the extra cost if it’s within your budget.

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Dave! Thanks for putting this together.

Would love to do a food tour, unfortunately, the “Original Athens Food Tour” is sold out on our day in Athens. Do you have another recommendation that tours good Greek food and restaurants in Athens?

Taste of Athens also does a very good food tour of Athens. Try them.

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Hi Dave, We need your advice on how to go to Delphi from Kalambaka. My plan is to stay 1 night in Kalambaka and the next day we will visit Delphi and back to Athens.

Thanks to you and this blog, it is very helpful!

Getting from Kalambaka (the Meteora) to Delphi involves taking the bus via Trikala. The route is different depending on the day but takes between 5 and 7 hours. The latest you can leave Kalambaka is 2pm. If you’re starting from Athens and want to visit both sights then the Delphi and Meteora tour is good value.

Is there a tour or event that we could see traditional Greek dancing and music in central Athens?

Thanks Santorini Dave!

This is a good tour for Greek dancing . Yes, it’s for tourists but the dancing is great and food very good. It’s a fun atmosphere.

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Your blog is very helpful. Thank you. I have a question. I have a spare day in Athens (after covering the Parthenon, Plaka, and area) and I really want to visit Meteora. I know it seems like overkill for one day. The other two options are the tour to Delphi or the 3 islands tour (Hydra, Poros, Aigina). Let me know what you would think about the one day trip to Meteora. Thanks again!

The Meteora is awesome. If you have the interest then definitely bite the bullet and make it happen. Yes, it’s a long day but unforgettable.

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Hello Dave,

I will be in Athen from Frankfurt in end of June, my flight landing in Athens @ 9:40PM. Do you think I will have enough time to catch a metro going to Monastiraki? Not sure how long the custom, and how far walking to buy a ticket and find metro. I believe the last metro train from the airport is at 11:30PM. Any tip and information is appreciated.

Yes, you should have plenty of time. It’s a short walk from the arrival terminal to the metro station (2 minutes). Just follow the signs and buy ticket from the electronic kiosk. Then down the stairs to the train. If your plane is late and you do miss the last train then buses run 24 hours a day.

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Hi Dave, love your site! Interested in your recommendation to hire a tour guide at the gates of the Acropolis. Do you negotiate a price for the tour or is it a set price?

Generally, the price is set but there is a little room for negotiation (sometimes).

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Love your website! My brother used it to plan his honeymoon, now I’m planning a girls’ trip for October. Our initial itinerary: Day 1: Leave US Day 2: Arrive in Athens Day 3: Athens Day 4: Ferry to Milos Day 5: Milos Day 6: Milos Day 7: Ferry to Santorini Day 8: Santorini Day 9: Santorini Day 10: Santorini/ Fly back to Athens Day 11: Fly home Any concerns with that itinerary? Also, since I haven’t booked flights yet, does it matters if the weekend we’re in Greece is in Athens or Santorini. I don’t love crowds, and hopefully going in early October will help that. But is there any concern that things will be closed or extra busy at either location? Sarah

Looks like a great itinerary. Milos will be quiet (but still mostly open). Athens and Santorini will be busy, but not crazy busy.

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Hi Santorini Dave, this is the best website on Greece by a wide margin. You’re a legend.

Would you recommend doing a tour of the Acropolis or is that something we can do on our own? Is it easy to get around and see?

I would recommend doing it with a small tour. It’s a totally different experience doing it on your own or doing it with a tour guide. It’s certainly easy to walk around the grounds on your own and look at the buildings (the Acropolis does not cover a large area). But unless you’re a Greek history major (with some art history) 90% of the sights and significance will be lost on you. Even with a detailed book it’s hard to match the insight and intimacy of a good tour guide. As I say, they seem like the same experience, but with a guide and on your own – you might as well be visiting a different attraction.

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Hi Dave, I am travelling to Athens, Santorini and Crete this September. I just found out that I am pregnant and I want to make sure I can eat the food (for example: pregnant women can only eat cooked meat and milk products that are pasteurized). Do you know if most cheese over there is made of pasteurized milk? It would be a shame to not be able to eat cheese since it is one of the main ingredients in sallads etc. Do you think “gyros” will be fine ? I think the meat is well cooked (not red), but not sure about hygiene. Any information you have would be much appreciated. Thanks! Lynn

All feta in Greece is pasteurized. The soft goat cheese that you might get at a farm-style restaurant is more likely to be unpasteurized.

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The blog is awesome. Thank you for all the suggestions. We are a group of 6 travelling to athens for 3 days in August. We were planning to take the hop-on hop-off bus with a 24 hour validity. Is it worth it or should be instead pick our locations and go there by Metro?

Thanks in Advance. Cheers Vaibhav

Personally, I would not do the hop on hop off bus tours. Most of the top sights in Athens are in the Plaka area and easy to get between on foot (actually the bus will not go near many of them). Most of the hop on/hop off tours do go by the Archaeological Museum which is great and not close to the other sights (but it’s also easy to get to by metro, taxi, or a 30 minute walk). Some tours go by the beaches and Piraeus but I wouldn’t waste time driving out to either in a bus. With only 3 days stick to the central area.

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What restaurants do you recommend to eat at when in Athens?

Psaras Taverna in the Plaka is my favorite. Outdoor tables spill down the steps and onto the sidewalk. Great atmosphere, great food. The best restaurant with views of the Acropolis in Athens is Strofi in Koukaki.

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My return flight from Santorini stops at Athens for 4 1/2 hours. We get to Athens for 7:30am and my flight leaves at noon. Do you think it’s enough time to go to see the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens?

Thanks, Julie

It’s possible but there’s some risk too. Assuming you have some luggage you’d have to store that at the airport (arrivals level, turn left out of baggage claim) which will take a few minutes. Let’s say you’re in a taxi by 8pm you could be to the Acropolis by 8:40 if traffic isn’t bad (Saturday and Sunday have lighter traffic). If you hurried you could do a super-quick tour of the sight in 30 minutes. Back in a taxi by 9:30 and back to the airport by 10:15 and you’re ok. But anything goes wrong and you don’t have much buffer room. And also the question of whether you have to check in for your onward flight, check baggage, or can you check in remotely on your phone and only have carry-on. I’m tempted to say, if your flight arrives on time then go for it, but just know you are taking some risk of missing your flight. But heh, the Acropolis – it’s awesome.

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I land in Athens at 4pm on Thursday, 8/31. I’m meeting friends in Mykonos Saturday 9/2 at 2pm, where I will stay until 9/8.

My questions is, how would you maximize the time in between? My 2 options are either stay in Athens Thursday night, and all day Friday. Or to fly to Santorini on Aegean as soon as I land, and then ferry over to Mykonos on Saturday. Which do you think would be the better option in this case?

Thanks so much for your help. Your site is so incredibly informative.

It depends on two things: First, do you have a preference for Athens or Santorini (I’m guessing not or you wouldn’t be asking). I think most people would prefer spending time in Santorini but Athens has plenty of great historical sights. And second, is there an Athens to Santorini flight you can get on Thursday afternoon. If not then I’d just stick with Athens and catch a morning ferry on the Saturday.

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Hi Dave – thanks for putting together all of your knowledge here, it’s been super useful. I am going to have a 5 hour layover at the Athens airport and I was wondering how best to use that time. I will have a few days in Athens later, so I was thinking of taking a taxi to one of the smaller coastal towns for a meal. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks! Heather

Glyfada is a trendy (and very Greek) beach town with lots of cafes and restaurants. It’s 30 minutes by taxi from the airport. That’s probably your best bet.

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We have four days. I can’t decide between a day trip to Cape Sounio, Corinth, or Delphi. We don’t mind walking or hiking, and each of these seems to have their attraction. Your suggestions? Rachael Sharp

My favorite day trip from Athens is Nafplio (the 3-hour food and walking tour is excellent), second is Delphi, Cape Sounio third.

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My sister and I will be travelling to Santorini, Mykonos and Athens this September. We fly in to Santorini quite late (9:00pm) for four nights (three full days). We have booked our accommodation in Santorini, but nowhere else at this stage. Our plan was to then catch a ferry to Mykonos and stay there for three nights (two full days), followed by a 9:00am flight to Athens for one night. We fly to London at 7:00pm the following night, so this would give us nearly two full days in Athens.

After researching flight options, I’ve realised that we could also catch a flight from Mykonos to Athens at 9:00am on the day we fly back to London. This would allow us to spend an extra night on Santorini or Mykonos and leave us with enough time in Athens (arriving 10:00am, departing 7:00pm) to see the Acropolis and Parthenon. I saw in one of your previous comments that it’s possible to store your luggage at Athens Airport.

My question is whether or not you would recommend spending the additional night on either Santorini or Mykonos? If so, which one – 5 nights (4 days) on Santorini and 3 nights (2 days) on Mykonos, or 4 nights on each? Or do you think it would be better to stick with our original plan and stay overnight in Athens? We’d really just be happy to visit the Acropolis and Parthenon, but I’d be interested to know if you would suggest spending the extra time in Athens to do the 5-hour Athens/Acropolis/Museum tour you’ve recommended above.

Thanks in advance for your help and for providing this extremely helpful guide!

Best wishes, Nick

I love Athens so having almost two full days there sounds just right (and Athens is great in the evening when the Plaka restaurants are bursting out onto the sidewalk and there’s a great atmosphere). That said, for most tourists, I think they would enjoy the extra day more on the islands than in the city. If you don’t mind a bit of grit and grime (and lots of graffiti) then spend the time in Athens. If you’re fine with a quick trip through the top sights of Athens then spend that extra day in Santorini.

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Hey Dave, My wife and I will be in Athens in mid June, and we were wondering if its possible to tour the Acropolis and museum with an audio guide (we did something similar in Rome and Pompeii in Italy). Or would you definitely recommend having a person guide us?

Thanks! Marc

Personally, I like a real-person guide so would definitely recommend going that way.

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I and my partner are planning for a honeymoon in November this year. Our dates are from November 6 to November 15. Is it a good time to travel in November? Jinal Shah

Athens is great in early November. Still warmish weather with little rain. Tourist spots are quieter than summer but everything is open year-round. Local culture feels much more vibrant outside of the tourist high season from May to October.

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Hi Dave – our family of 4 are travelling to Santorini (from Australia) in July to attend my brothers wedding. Our return flights have been booked such that we will have approx. 6 hours in Athens, as our flight arrives from Santorini at 10.30am Thurs 6/7 and departs Athens at 6pm (to Dubai). Rather than spending this time hanging out at the airport, is there anything in particular that you suggest that we do? Our 2 daughters are aged 11 and 8, and I was thinking that we hop on a train / bus and travel to downtown Athens for some exploring. However, very happy to be guided by you. Thanks for such a great travel site. Lydia

The highlight of Athens is the Acropolis and Parthenon. I would hop in a taxi and go straight to the Acropolis (ask the driver to drop you as close as possible). A tour guide of the Acropolis is very much worth getting. You can book these in advance or chance finding one at the entrance gate. Afterwards either head down the north side of the Acropolis to the Plaka to wander the narrow streets and get lunch. Or go down to the south side and go to the excellent Acropolis Museum. You’ll probably want to be in a taxi heading back to the airport by 3:15pm. There’s luggage storage at the Athens Airport – when you exit arrivals/customs turn left and go all the way to the end.

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Hi Dave, hoping for your valuable input. My friend and I are planning to visit Greece and Italy on August 31st til September 10th. I have been hearing that not much could be done in Athens, thus was thinking of the following itinerary below (I know you might not be able to comment on Italy, but the Greece part would definitely help me).

Thurs – arrive early morning in Athens and spend the day around Athens Friday – Take a flight/ferry to Mykonos Saturday – Mykonos Sunday – Mykonos to Santorini Monday – Santorini Tuesday – take a flight from Santorini to Florence/Rome

Is it even worth it to have both Mykonos and Santorini on our itinerary, or we can just choose one?

Reason why we packed everything together is it’s our first time to visit Greece and may possibly be a long time before we come back.

That sounds like a fine itinerary. But if you’re really not interested in Athens you could save time by flying Italy to Mykonos, ferry to Santorini, fly Santorini to Italy. Mykonos and Santorini are very different so it’s not unreasonable to include both.

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Dave: My family and I will be in Athens for 2 and half days, we land on saturday early evening and depart for Crete Tuesday afternoon. I have looked through your suggestions for Athens and plan to see the acropolis, acropolis museum, archeological museum, and the central market or maybe the Sunday market? Can you hire a guide at the acropolis for an informational tour or do you need to book in advance? If you can book there is that advisable and do you pay the guide’s entrance fee too? Which day would you go? Is the acropolis museum open every day? We will be there in two weeks so it will be mid march. We’d like to do more than wander at the acropolis, and feel a guide would be helpful. What do you suggest, we’d also like to avoid the most crowded days, is there a way to predict when it’s the busiest? Thanks Carla

Yes, there should be tour guides at the main gates of the Acropolis. They’re very good and definitely worth getting. You can arrange in advance if having a guide is a must.

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Dave, We are planing our trip to Athens, Santorini, and Crete in July 21017. We are planing to rent a car for Santorini and Crete. Would you suggest to book car a head of time or at time of arrival? And what are best rental places on Crete and Santorini? Nataliya

Booking after you arrive will be fine 95% of the time. There are rental companies on every street and they’re all the same: friendly, a little shady, but all’s good in the end. One exception is if you are flying into Santorini it’s often easier to have a rental car reserved for airport pickup so you don’t have to queue for a taxi. More car rental info here .

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Hi Dave, we are arriving to Athens at 2 am, our hotel is located in the Syntagma square, two blocks away from the bus station, is it safe to take the bus from the airport at 3 am? or should we take a taxi for sure? Thanks! Can´t stop reading your blog!

The bus itself is certainly safe. You might feel a little anxious as you walk to your hotel from the bus stop. I consider this a safe area but if you take a wrong turn or two you might be thinking, I wish we just took a taxi. So, I’d personally feel fine busing and walking but if you want easy and no-worries then the taxi is the way to go.

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Dave, Do you know anything about the Red Bicycle in Santorini?

Lee K Richman

Great little place in Oia. Nice patio and views. Good food but expensive – as most places with a view are. Make reservations.

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Are there any bad areas that I need to be aware of in Athens? My hotel is located in the Syntagma Square and the markets and Acropolis are like 20 minutes walking distance. Ashley

Syntagma is a safe busy area and walking between it and the Plaka, Acropolis, or Monastiraki areas is generally fine, day or night. The main artery between Syntagma and Monastiraki is Ermou. Anything south of here feels safe. As you move north of Ermou you’ll encounter areas that feel sketchy. It’s not that they’re that dangerous but, especially as night falls, they’re not an area you want to wander about. If you want to go to the Athens central market (which is to the north) then walk Ermou to Athinas and turn right.

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Hi Dave, We are getting ready for our trip to Greece and will be starting in Athens, later Mykonos, Santorini and coming back to Athens for one night and fly home the following morning. We are flying from Santorini to Athens – we decided it’s a better option that taking a ferry back – but it seems the transportation from the airport to the hotel (in Piraeus) that night and morning after would add up to 120 Euros. We are thinking renting a car at the airport that night and returning it the following morning might be a cheaper option. What are you thoughts? Is it safe and easy to drive in Athens? The car rental seems to cost 40 euros and the parking would be 14. What should we be aware if we decided to go with a car rental instead of the private shuttle offered by the hotel. Thanks in advance!! PS: Love your blog!!

Natalia Rios

If cost is a concern then take the X96 bus from the airport to Piraeus for about 3€. Metro train requires a change at Monastiraki station and costs a little bit more – but is more pleasant.

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One day cruise to three saronic islands. a full day of fun, culture and culinary discovery.

One of the beauties of traveling to Athens is a captivating cruise to the magical islands of the Saronic Gulf. Athens Day Cruises offers you the beauty of a day cruise to three islands, Hydra, Poros and Aegina with the promise of a world of pleasures on board. Your Greek island cruise from Athens begins with the colors of the sea, fresh salt air and the gentle breeze of the Saronic Gulf to heighten your senses. Imagine a day filled with golden moments on a day cruise from Athens, island hopping from Hydra, Poros and Aegina, aboard Athens Day Cruises, spacious, 3-deck cruise ships with every comfort and convenience to meet your expectations.

Our live orchestra welcomes you on board with traditional Greek music and international favourites. You’ll enjoy an optional breakfast on deck and delight in our well-balanced menu with Greek local products, including fresh fruit, yogurt and local honey. Lounging on our decks is an exceptional experience surrounded by the legendary blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. You’ll appreciate many activities on board, such as listening to music while sipping your special cocktail, dancing and the fun of taking a Greek dance lesson. Our lunch buffet offers you an exceptional culinary experience featuring a variety of authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by local wines (optional).

You can shop in our Tax Free store with a wide selection of prestigious Greek and international brands. If a day trip from Athens to the Greek islands is top on your wishlist, Athens Day Cruises 3 island tour is the perfect match for your cruising enjoyment.

Our special interest tours led by multilingual guides introduce you to the history and culture of Hydra and Aegina, with all the fun to suit your mood. We welcome you to join us for a unique journey of the senses on Athens Day Cruises one day cruise to three Saronic Islands for a full day of fun, culture and culinary discovery.

1 day tour of athens

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Moments from hydra.

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MOMENTS FROM POROS

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MOMENTS FROM AEGINA

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Tours and Excursions in Athens

Early Morning Walking Tour: Acropolis & Acropolis Museum

Early Morning Walking Tour: Acropolis & Acropolis Museum

Delphi One Day Trip from Athens

Delphi One Day Trip from Athens

Athens One Day: Parthenon, Αcropolis Museum & Cape Sounio Including Lunch

Athens One Day: Parthenon, Αcropolis Museum & Cape Sounio Including Lunch

Athens City Tour with Acropolis & Acropolis Museum

Athens City Tour with Acropolis & Acropolis Museum

Sunset Tour: Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon

Sunset Tour: Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon

Multipass to Acropolis and 6 Archaeological sites of Athens

Multipass to Acropolis and 6 Archaeological sites of Athens

Epidaurus & Mycenae One Day Tour from Athens

Epidaurus & Mycenae One Day Tour from Athens

Poros - Hydra - Aegina One Day Cruise from Athens

Poros - Hydra - Aegina One Day Cruise from Athens

Two Day Delphi & Meteora Tour from Athens

Two Day Delphi & Meteora Tour from Athens

Early Access to the Acropolis & Parthenon Walking Tour

Early Access to the Acropolis & Parthenon Walking Tour

Cape Sounio Half Day Afternoon Tour

Cape Sounio Half Day Afternoon Tour

Four Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora

Four Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora

Athens Sightseeing & Acropolis Half Day Tour

Athens Sightseeing & Acropolis Half Day Tour

Athens Airport Arrival Private Transfer

Athens Airport Arrival Private Transfer

Athens Private Tour: Parthenon & Acropolis Museum Half Day City Tour

Athens Private Tour: Parthenon & Acropolis Museum Half Day City Tour

Three Days Classical Tour from Athens: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi

Three Days Classical Tour from Athens: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi

Early Access to the Acropolis & Plaka Old Town Walking Tour

Early Access to the Acropolis & Plaka Old Town Walking Tour

City Sightseeing Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

City Sightseeing Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Athens Private City Tour: Athens & Acropolis Half Day Tour

Athens Private City Tour: Athens & Acropolis Half Day Tour

Athens Private Day Tour: From Athens to Poseidon

Athens Private Day Tour: From Athens to Poseidon

About athens.

It goes without saying that no one can leave Athens if he hasn't visited "the sacred rock", Acropolis. What better chance to do it than the early access visit, far from the crowds with this small-group mythology tour. The Acropolis was home to temples and sanctuaries throughout recorded history and is a symbol of the city of Athens. Its religious importance was paramount to the ancient Greeks, and the buildings on the summit still capture the essence of their classical architecture. Delve into the great history and the impressive mythology of ancient Greece on this small-group walking tour. With an expert guide, stroll around the ancient ruins of the stunning, UNESCO-listed Acropolis. Admire incredible views of the Parthenon, a paradigm of architectural and artistic perfection, and learn about its history and importance for the ancient Athenians. Explore the Theater of Dionysus, the birthplace of dramatic and comic art, as well as the social and political heart of Athens in ancient times. Marvel at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and get a sense of ancient artistic interests. Get close to important sights, such as the Propylaea gateway, Erechtheion and Temple of Athena Nike. Pause to take photos of these glamorous ruins and learn their great history from your expert guide. Once at the summit of the Acropolis hill, take in the sweeping panoramas of the capital of Greece. Learn about the excavations and get an insight into the citadel's ruins. Acropolis is this historic place in Athens you cannot miss – so join us to explore its many different sites in the best way and become a history buff if you aren't already. Entrance fees: Acropolis admission ticket is being paid to the guide at the start of the tour offering skip-the-line access. Please note that a passport or ID card is required.

Thing to do in Athens

Attraction tickets & passes, full-day tours.

Acropolis & Parthenon Admission Ticket with Audio Guide

Acropolis & Parthenon Admission Ticket with Audio Guide

Admission Ticket for National Archaeological Museum with Audio Guide

Admission Ticket for National Archaeological Museum with Audio Guide

Admission Ticket for Acropolis Museum

Admission Ticket for Acropolis Museum

Alexander the Great: Pella-Edessa-Naoussa full day tour from Thessaloniki

Alexander the Great: Pella-Edessa-Naoussa full day tour from Thessaloniki

Athens Private Tour: Parthenon & National Archaeological Museum Half Day Tour

Athens Private Tour: Parthenon & National Archaeological Museum Half Day Tour

Top attractions in athens.

Parthenon

How many days should I stay in Athens?

It is a tricky question! Although there are so many things to do in the Greek capital that could keep you occupied for weeks, you should opt for at least 3 days if you want to see the city's highlights and explore the local food scene!

Is Athens a safe city? Should I avoid certain areas or neighbourhoods?

As with any other European capital, Athens is perfectly safe if you use common sense – just be street-smart and when walking alone, avoid using your phone or listening to music with headphones.

However, Athens, like any major city, has areas where you should be more cautious, especially at night:

  • Omonoia Square and Nearby Areas  

Note: Omonoia has undergone recent renovations but still suffers from a reputation for petty crime and a somewhat gritty atmosphere, especially after dark.

Note: Known for its bohemian and alternative scene, Exarcheia is vibrant and culturally rich but has a history of political demonstrations and a stronger police presence.

What is the weather like in Athens and what is the best time to visit?

The months between March and May, as well as September and November, are ideal for visiting Athens. The weather in the spring and autumn is pleasant, and sunshine is almost always prevalent . Not to forget, that there are fewer tourists, so smaller crowds and better flight and hotel prices than in the summer.

Is Athens a family-friendly destination?

Beyond good eating, Greeks have an inherent love of children which makes travelling in Greece an absolute dream for parents. Athens offers everything you would hope for when holidaying with children and a little planning will go a long way to get the most out of your visit to this vibrant city.

How reliable is the public transportation system in Athens?

The Athens public transport system is affordable, reliable and covers most of the city and suburbs . You can use all means of public transport using the same ticket (a single ticket costs €1.20 and is valid for 90 minutes).

How do I get from Athens Airport to the city center?

Landing at Athens Airport and looking for your way to downtown Athens, there are plenty of options available! Depending on your budget, time, and needs, you can choose between airport taxis, metro, and buses. Furthermore, a good deal of airport car rental companies operates at Athens Airport, while private transfers attract a significant proportion of Athens airport passengers.

However, the cheapest way is with the blue metro line M3. The M3 metro departs towards Nikaia twice an hour. Depending on the location of your hotel, after a 40-minute ride you can get off at the metro stop 'Syntagma' or metro stop 'Monastiraki'.

What are the best areas for shopping in Athens?

From elegant boutiques to alternative fashion stores & department stores, Athens has countless options that make it a top shopping destination! 

The best shopping areas in Athens are: 

Ermou Street

The most commercial street of Athens, in the historic triangle of the old city of the capital, hosts commercial stores with famous brands that attract a lot of people for a simple walk on the sidewalk, for food and drinks, and of course shopping.

An aristocratic district of Athens took its name because of an old 2-meter-high fish pole found in the area. Kolonaki has a large variety of sticks from famous fashion houses and customized accessories.

Voukourestiou

A breath away from Syntagma, the main street of Kolonaki is suitable for luxury shopping as some of the internationally renowned brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc. as well as branded jewelry stores.

Notos Department Stores

Notos, where shopping is a ritual and a need for the whole family and each person individually, generously gives you everything you ‘want’ by offering products from the biggest and most renowned Greek and international brands. 

Attica Department Stores

Since 2005, it has been the ultimate shopping destination until the final drop! Here all the latest trends and the biggest names in fashion give an appointment with modern consumers to meet their needs in fashion brands for women, men, and children.

Meteora Thrones – Travel Center

Meteora Thrones logo

1 day Meteora Tour from Athens with Local Guide

Best rated tour on tripadvisor, tour language.

English , Spanish

Starting Time

Departure point.

Athens Train Station (Larissis Station)

Pick up / Meeting Point

Across the road Theodore Diligianni Str

Highlights - Local Agency

  • Convenient transportation from / to Athens - Runs 365 days
  • The BEST 4 hrs panoramic Meteora tour in the area
  • Expert , local , English or Spanish speaking Tour Leader
  • See all 6 monasteries , visit 3 of them and the Hermit Caves
  • Plenty of stops for amazing photos
  • Optional Greek Lunch with local flavors and dishes

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Tour Description

Discover the magic of Meteora , Greece’s most incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site . Book now for an enchanting, unforgettable experience and discover the secrets of the area in a way that only a true local can guide you.

Departure from Athens

Your trip begins from Athens Train Station at 08:00  to Kalabaka with our lux coach – bus. Our professional English speaking driver will wait for you in the meeting point to begin your safe and comfortable trip. During the journey relax and admire the beautiful Greek landscapes and the scenic beauty of the Greek countryside.

Arriving in Kalabaka – Lunch Break

Arriving in Kalabaka around 13:00  our local, highly educated, Tour Leader will wait for you to welcome you and begin your 4+ hours Panoramic Midday Meteora Tour.

Firstly we will make a shortstop for food (there is an option to include lunch in your package) and relax from the trip. We’ve reserved the best bus stop under giant trees, overlooking the majestic landscape.

Guided Meteora Tour for 4+ hrs

Continue with an amazing, 4 hours Meteora tour, see all 6 monasteries  and visit inside 3 of them. Our  Tour Leader  will give you full attention and care. You will learn everything about this unique worldwide geological phenomenon, the creation of the rock formation, the history of the monasteries and the life of the monks. Plenty of photo opportunity stops and many secret places that only locals know will make your tour a lifetime experience. See also the  Hermit Caves of Badovas  exclusively in this tour. 

Break and departure back to Athens

In the end will head to Kalabaka, with a brief stop to prepare for the return trip back to Athens. The bus  departs at 18:00 from Kalabaka , and you will arrive in Athens around 22:45.

Depart in style on our lux bus - coach from Athens train station to Kalabaka and admire the beautiful Greek landscape during your trip

Our Local Tour Leader will await you at Kalabaka Bus Stop. Enjoy a brief stop for lunch , snacks , drinks , relax from the trip and refresh youself

See all 6 monasteries and visit inside 3 of them. Plenty of photo opportunity stops

The bus departs at 18:00 from Kalabaka and you will arrive in Athens at 22:45.

  • Roundtrip transportation from Athens by lux coach - bus
  • Highly educated , English or Spanish speaking Local Tour Leader
  • Full comprehensive , 4 hours , Meteora Tour
  • Visit all 6 Monasteries (3 of them inside )
  • See the Hermit Caves
  • Stops for panoramic views and photos
  • Free WI FI on the bus
  • Lunch (if option is selected - extra cost 10€ )
  • Pick up / Drop off from Hotel in Athens to the meeting point in Athens
  • Entrance fees of Monasteries (3 euro each) - ONLY BY CASH
  • Licenced Tour Guide – Guidance inside the Holy Monasteries
  • Lunch (if you don't add it as an extra)
  • Gratuities (optional)

Useful info - Meeting Point

  • Departure time : 08:00 am (please be at the meeting point at least 15 min before the bus departure)
  • Departure place : Athens Train Station (Larissis Station).
  • Meeting point : The bus will be waiting for you outside the train station on the road across the street. (Theodore Diligianni Street)
  • There will be a sign “METEORA THRONES – TRAVEL CENTER” on the window of the bus.
  • It is not necessary to print the voucher you can just have it on your phone
  • No bus ticket is required. Just give your name to the driver
  • Short stops during the trip from / to Athens

Departure and return point

Appropriate clothing for everyone is required to enter the monasteries. For ladies skirts by the knee or longer are required. No pants for ladies, no shorts, no sleeveless shirt. For men sleeveless clothing and shorts over the knee are prohibited.

We highly advice you to read our F.A.Q. page for more information.

Cancellation Policy

  • LAST MINUTE – Cancellation received more than 24 hrs before the tour will get a full refund
  • Cancellation received within 24 hrs before the tour will incur a penalty of 100% per person (no refund)

star rating

SPECIAL RATES

  • Child ( 4-12 yrs ): 42 €
  • Infant ( 0-3 yrs ) : FREE

LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEE NO HIDDEN FEES

1 day tour of athens

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How to Spend One Perfect Day in Athens

What to see and do, and where to stay, in Greece's capital city.

1 day tour of athens

Ready to explore all the best sights, hotels, and dining options on one perfect day in Athens? Here’s a quick itinerary for your next Greek getaway . 

Where to Stay

You might be exploring a historic city, but Xenodocheio Milos delivers modern comforts without sacrificing charm. It's on a mission to make you feel at home, no matter how short your stay is — like all of the best hotels in Athens . Rooms here come with high design touches like marble baths, bright wood floors, velvet soft furnishings, and ultra plush beds. But one of the hotel’s best features is found on its ground floor — its delicious dining venue offering Mediterranean breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rooms start at about $300 per night.  

Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

Where to Eat

Breakfast at Minu: Start your day with breakfast among locals at Minu , which comes with everything you need to fuel your Athens adventure. Minu is a bright, cheerful, and utterly adorable space. The shop also doubles as a concept store, so guests can pick up a few goodies while they wait for their coffee or breakfast. Snag anything from smoothie bowls to perfectly cooked eggs alongside a cappuccino or cold brew, or even a freddo for a cooling local treat. Coffees start at about $2, while main dishes start at about $8. 

Lunch at Papadakis: Papadakis , located in the Kolonaki neighborhood, is a love letter to Greek cuisine by famed chef Argiro Barbarigou, who pours her heart and soul into creating fresh, local dishes like her white grouper with truffle, greek salads, and a chickpea stew that cannot be missed. And it’s all served with an epic view. Expect to spend about $30 per person for a starter and a main. 

Dinner at Pharaoh: Pharaoh opened its doors in late 2022 and quickly became one of the hottest culinary destinations in the city. The restaurant is effortlessly cool, thanks to its soaring ceilings, spinning vinyl, and fun decor, which all match the contemporary meals made using a wood fire. The wine pairings are not to miss, as the restaurant's selection is all-natural. Dig into classics like grape leaves or a tomato salad, along with heartier plates of fish and potatoes. Apps start at about $7, while mains begin at $22. 

Make Art at Symposium: Symposium was founded by the father-son duo Georgios and Manos, who wanted to share their passions for winemaking and ancient Greek art. Visitors can come to get to know Manos better by taking his sculpting class, an hour-long lesson on how to create a rather cool ancient Greek face. Book your class time over Airbnb experiences starting at $28 per person. 

Take a Street Art Tour: Athens is full of fantastic free art. There’s also plenty of street art to see, and Awesome Athens Experience is ready to show you it all. The tour company offers tours with locals who will happily show you all the greatest creations and explain who each artist is and the significance behind their creations. The three-hour tours start at about $35 per person.  

Shop at Anthologist: Anthologist is the brainchild of travel tastemaker Andria Mitsakos, who’s traversed the globe in search of special items for visitors in Athens to pick up as the ultimate souvenir (and also works with the ever-helpful  DiscoverGreece.com  to help you plan epic Aegean adventures). Each piece offers the right bit of glamour and mystique, and everything supports artisans from Greece and beyond. Prices vary, but you can find small local trinkets starting at around $50. Just make sure to reach out ahead of time, as the shop is by appointment only. 

See a Show under the Acropolis: Each night, Webster University Library & Cultural Center puts on a fantastic performance underneath the lights of the Acropolis. The 60-minute performances showcase six major works of Ancient Greek literature so guests can get a little taste of the best. You’ll laugh, cry, and most certainly be highly entertained. Plus, every ticket comes with the bonus of a glass of wine for adults and water for kids. Grab a ticket on Airbnb Experiences for about $28 per person, but do book in advance as performances tend to sell out. 

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Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

Greece Travel Guide

Last Updated: June 6, 2024

Aerial view of  Greek town along the Mediterranean ocean, with mountains in the background

It’s also one of the more affordable countries on the Euro.

You can travel around Greece for a fraction of what you’d spend in other Western Europe, which is just one of the many reasons why I absolutely love visiting Greece.

I’ve been to Greece many times and have spent months exploring this country. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Visiting Greece is always the highlight of my summer European travels. There’s just something magical about this country. There’s an energy in the air and you can’t help but think, “Maybe I should never leave?” It sucks you in.

And, while the Greek islands get the most attention, the interior of the country — with its small towns, historic ruins, and mountain hikes — is too often overlooked and underappreciated.

So, while you may have a strong desire to stick to the islands, try to get to some of the places in the interior if you can. You won’t regret it.

This Greece travel guide combines all my knowledge and experience to help you plan an epic, affordable trip!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Greece

Click Here for Island and City Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in greece.

View of cliffside monasteries in Meteroa, Greece

1. Visit the Acropolis

Located in Athens , this magnificent hilltop complex from the 5th century BCE includes ancient buildings and ruins like the temple to Athena and the famous Parthenon. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is an excellent place to learn about the city’s history. You’ll also get to enjoy an expansive view of the skyline and the nearby ruins. During the summer, it’s swarming with tourists so get there early. Admission is 20 EUR, or for 30 EUR you can get a 5-day combined ticket that includes many other archaeological sites in Athens. For a guided tour, Athens Walking Tours runs guided tours for around 55 EUR (including admission) that skip the line.

2. Discover historic Crete

Crete has a long, long history. It was once home to the ancient Minoan civilization (which predated Greek civilization), and you can still visit the Bronze Age ruins of Knossos, the ancient capital of the Minoan empire (also considered the oldest city in Europe). The island is the largest in all of Greece and has beautiful beaches (including a beach with pink sand), plentiful hiking, quaint towns, and delicious food and wine. It’s affordable and because of the island’s size, you can still escape the summer crowds. Don’t skip this island!

3. Hike up Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus is the legendary home of the Greek gods. Any climb to Mount Olympus starts from the town of Litochoro, 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Thessaloniki. At 2,917 meters (9,570 feet) high, it’s the tallest mountain in Greece. The hike up is both strenuous and mystical. As you climb, it becomes abundantly clear why Greeks thought it was this mountain from which the gods ruled!

4. See Meteora’s monasteries

Meteora is famous for its monasteries that sit atop sheer rock mountains . They are a stunning sight to see and worth the steep trek up to the top. The monasteries date back to the 9th-10th centuries when Orthodox Christian hermit monks isolated themselves on the cliffs and in the many caves in the area. In the 12th century, the monastic community became more organized and in the 14th century the Great Meteoron Monastery was constructed (one of the ones that you can visit today). Although more than twenty monasteries used to perch on these sandstone cliffs, only six remain today. They are still active, with around 50 nuns and 17 monks living here. It’s a 3 EUR entrance fee per monastery.

5. Explore the islands

Other things to see and do in greece, 1. learn some history.

Greece is where western civilization began and everywhere you turn, you’ll find ruins that are thousands of years old. Start in Athens with the museums, the Acropolis and surrounding ruins in the Agora, and then set off to explore the ruins of Delphi, Sparta , Corinth, and Crete . There are also great archaeological museums everywhere to see artifacts up close and learn even more. This country is a history lover’s dream!

2. Explore Sparta

Sparta was the ancient rival of Athens and known for its fierce warriors (the entertaining but historically-inaccurate film 300 was based on the Spartans). The city has a long history and plenty of ruins to explore. There is no shortage of things to do , museums to visit, excursions to take, and places to eat when you visit the city. Be sure to check out the King Leonidas statue, visit the Archeological Museum, and explore the Diros Caves. I especially enjoyed the Museum of the Olive and Olive Oil, which takes you through how olives have become a staple of everyday life in Greece. It’s an often-overlooked city even though it’s only a 2.5-hour drive southwest of Athens. It’s a great place to learn some history without the crowds.

3. Attend the Athens Epidaurus Festival

Every summer, the Athens Epidaurus Festival hosts concerts and performance theater, including reenactments of famous Greek plays. There are operas, indie musicians, dance performances, lectures, and more. It’s a unique celebration of the performing arts in all their forms and worth your time if you’re in the city when it’s happening. Started in 1955, it’s one of the country’s top cultural events and runs for the whole summer (May-October). If it coincides with your visit, you’ll see just how proud the Greeks are of their past. Tickets for each performance cost as little as 5 EUR.

4. Soak up the sun in Corfu

The Cyclades Islands may get all the press but sunny Corfu on Greece’s west coast is also a good place to enjoy the beach too. It’s a popular destination for young backpackers, but once you get out of the main town, you can avoid them and their partying ways and get the island to yourself! There are plenty of quiet beaches, ancient ruins, and beautiful villages to explore. I especially recommend checking out the Achilleion a palace from 1890 as well as Nymfes Village, historic Corfu Town, and the incredible views from Angelokastro Castle. You’re just a stone’s throw away from Albania too.

5. Explore the Delphi Ruins

Delphi was a place of spiritual significance to the ancient Greeks. Located around 2.5 hours northwest of Athens, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is where the omniscient Oracle would contact the god Apollo and give his advice to those seeking good fortune. Although the eternal flame no longer burns inside the temple, a visit to the Temple of Apollo is obligatory if you’re nearby. Admission is 12 EUR and includes entry to the museum as well as the archaeological site itself (which includes far more than just the Temple of Apollo). There are a lot of day trips to Delphi from Athens starting around 48 EUR.

6. Explore Melissani Cave

This otherworldly cave grotto can be accessed by a short yet postcard-worthy boat tour. Located on the island of Kefalonia on the western side of Greece, here you can admire the seemingly magical ultramarine waters and the monumental walls that envelope you as you make your way through this hidden underground landscape. I love how you can see the lush forest and trees just above the cave walls. It’s totally surreal and the water is so clear that it looks like the boats are floating on glass. Admission is 7 EUR and includes the boat ride.

7. Hike the Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge in beautiful Crete is one of Greece’s National Parks and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. For outdoor enthusiasts, this is considered one of the best hikes in Greece. While it isn’t the shortest or easiest trek (it’s 16 kilometers/10 miles), the gorge does promise beautiful landscapes, fantastic photo opportunities, and a great workout. Along the way, you’ll see the White Mountains and the trek ends at the lovely beach town of Agia Roumeli. The whole trek takes 5-7 hours to complete so make sure you bring water, sunscreen, and a hat as the heat can be overwhelming. The views are worth it though!

8. Experience the Patras Carnival

Every year in mid-January, the city of Patras (located 2.5 hours west of Athens) hosts what is basically a month-and-a-half-long party that starts on January 17th and runs to the beginning of Lent. There’s a slew of events both major and minor, increasingly crazy weekends, treasure hunts, and various costume parades (which even feature floats). It’s a lively time and as the largest such festival in Greece, attracting tons of revelers. If you want to attend, it’s a good idea to make hotel reservations well in advance as things fill up.

9. Tour the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

The number one attraction in Crete , this museum also happens to be Greece’s second-largest archaeological museum (the museum in Athens is the largest). The artifacts here cover more than 5,500 years of history. One of my favorite pieces was a game board that dates all the way back to 1600 BC. The stunning collection here highlights the Cretan civilization (dating back from Neolithic times through to the Roman empire), with ancient pottery, jewelry, sarcophagi, colorful frescoes from Knossos, and more. Its Minoan collection is the most extensive in the world. You could easily spend hours here — especially if you love history like me. Admission is 12 EUR in the summer and 6 EUR in the winter.

10. Party on Ios

Ios has the wildest nightlife out of all the Greek islands. It is the summer party island where days are spent hungover on the beach and the nights are spent eating cheap food and drinking. If you don’t want to do that but still want to see Ios, it’s best to go to the eastern part of the island where it’s quieter. Don’t let Ios’ party reputation deter you from visiting though, it’s a beautiful, rugged island (and home to the grave of Homer, who wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey). It’s only busy from June-August so you can visit in the shoulder season to escape the party crowd.

11. Visit Thessaloniki

With more than 1 million inhabitants, Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city after Athens. Although it dates back to 315 BCE, a lot of the city was destroyed by fire in 1917 and then by bombing during World War II. The result is a combination of more modern European city urban planning alongside Early Christian, Roman, and Byzantine monuments. In fact, Thessaloniki has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites (15!) than any other city in Europe. Be sure to visit the White Tower, the Rotunda, the Arch of Galerius, and Galerius Palace as well as the many churches (such as the Hagia Sofia and Hagios Demetrios). There are also several great museums here, including the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Jewish Museum, and the Olympic Museum.

12. Go to Zakynthos

Just south of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea is Zakynthos , one of Greece’s most popular islands. With its soft, sandy beaches and charming villages, it’s easy to see why this island is a fan favorite. It can be busy, particularly in the summer, so head away from the main tourist area (go north, west or inland) or visit in the off-season to escape the crowds. Zakynthos is also a breeding area for loggerhead turtles and you can see them on Lagana Beach or on Turtle Island but take care to do so responsibly. Other activities include seeing the Blue Caves, Marathonisi Islet, and Shipwreck Beach (you’ll need to take a boat tour to get there). There are also tons of churches, monasteries, and ruins to check out too.

13. Visit Monemvasia

Monemvasia is a medieval castle town in Laconia on the coast of the Peloponnese, around 90 kilometers (56 miles) southeast of Sparta . It’s a spectacular island to visit as it is built into the side of a huge rock! Monemvasia was founded by the Byzantines in the 6th century and is a quiet town perfect for relaxing on the beach before dining under the stars at seaside taverns or on cobbled streets in the town. There are ruins to explore and a mosque from the 16th century now houses the towns Archaeological Museum. You can also walk out to the lighthouse for incredible sea views. If you’re into hiking, there are some trails that will take you past chapels and settlements up to hilltops to admire the views or down to secluded beaches.

14. Explore Ioannina

Next to Lake Pamvotida in northwestern Greece, Ioannina is a castle town that is bursting with museums. Don’t miss the Byzantine Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Silversmithing Museum (the area is well-known for its beautiful jewelry). Head to the castle at sunset for a peaceful end to your day. You can use the town as a base for exploring the nearby Pindus National Park, the Tzoumerka mountain chain, the Cave of Perama, and the Byzantine town of Arta as well. You won’t need more than a couple of days here but it is well worth stopping if you are passing through.

15. Go wine tasting

While Greece isn’t as internationally renowned for wine as other European countries such as France or Spain, it should be. The Greek wine-making tradition goes back at least 6,500 years and is still going strong. Wine regions are spread across the country, but Crete has one of the oldest wine-making traditions (and over 30 wineries to visit around the island), while the wineries of Santorini make for an interesting tour due to the way that grape vines must be grown here (to protect against harsh winds). Wine tours start around 50 EUR for a full-day tour.

16. Take a cooking class

Greek food is legendary. If you’re a foodie like me and want to learn more about the cuisine and culture behind it, try a cooking class . Bring a taste of your trip home by learning how to make some traditional recipes (including favorites like tzatziki and moussaka) while learning about the importance of each dish directly from a local chef. Cooking classes generally last 3-4 hours and cost 70-100 EUR.

17. Take a boat tour

A boat tour is one of the best ways to see the islands, especially as some beaches are only accessible by water. You can find these on most of the islands and they’ll take you to incredible places you can’t get to by car. Most tours also have stops for snorkeling and lounging on the beach, and many include drinks and lunch. Half-day tours start at 20 EUR, while full-day tours are around 30 EUR. Prices can vary greatly depending on where you’re taking the tour from.

18. Go diving

Diving has become increasingly popular in the Greek Islands. On Mykonos , Paradise Reef has a large variety of marine life, including sponges, barracuda, octopus, and starfish. Ios is popular with beginners due to its crystal-clear waters and relatively calm waves. On the other hand, Santorini has less marine life but tons of shipwrecks. Shore dives start around 50 EUR, while a two-tank dive on a boat starts around 70 EUR. You can also take a beginner discovery course for around 70 EUR or a variety of PADI courses starting at 65 EUR.

19. Tour an olive oil farm

  For more information on specific destinations in Greece, check out these guides:

  • Athens Travel Guide
  • Corfu Travel Guide
  • Crete Travel Guide
  • Ios Travel Guide
  • Mykonos Travel Guide
  • Naxos Travel Guide
  • Santorini Travel Guide
  • Sparta Travel Guide

Greece Travel Costs

Greek salad, olive oil, bread, and dip at a table by the ocean in Greece

A room in a budget hotel that sleeps two can be found for 40-60 EUR (expect much higher prices — up to 50% higher — during the summer). Amenities at these hotels typically include free Wi-Fi, TV, a private bathroom, AC, and sometimes breakfast as well.

On Airbnb, you can find private rooms for 25-45 EUR in many cities and entire homes (including studio apartments) start at around 50 EUR per night.

Food – Greece is known for its food. Think seasonal vegetables (like olives), seafood, grilled meats, bread, feta cheese, and yogurt — all the staples of a fresh Mediterranean diet. To eat cheap, stick with eating gyros, souvlaki, and kebabs. These cost 3-6 EUR and easily fill you up. If you’re on a budget, you can live off these for as little as 15 EUR per day.

At a casual restaurant that serves traditional cuisine, expect to pay around 8-12 EUR for a main dish like moussaka and about 3-6 EUR for a glass of wine. A Greek salad costs between 6-8 EUR. Fish is more expensive, costing around 17-22 EUR for the catch-of-the-day.

Most restaurants charge for bread. The price is between .50-1.50 EUR. A bottle of water is about 2 EUR.

Fast food (think McDonald’s) costs around 9 EUR for a combo meal. A large pizza costs 8-11 EUR while Indian/Middle Eastern/Chinese food can be found for around 7-8 EUR for a main dish.

If you’re going out for dinner at a traditional taverna, expect to spend between 12-25 EUR depending on how much food you get. After that, the prices go up depending on how fancy the restaurant is!

Beer is 3-5 EUR while a latte/cappuccino is 3-4 EUR. Bottled water from the supermarket is 0.50 EUR.

If you cook your meals, expect to pay 35-50 EUR per week for groceries including pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic staples. It’s easy to eat on the cheap in Greece.

Backpacking Greece Suggested Budgets

If you’re backpacking Greece, my suggested budget is 40-60 EUR per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel, eating cheap food, cooking some of your meals, doing only free activities like hiking and relaxing on the beach, limiting your drinking, and using local transportation to get around. If you’re visiting the Greek islands or traveling during peak season, expect to spend on the higher amount of that. If you plan on drinking, add 5-15 EUR per day to your budget.

On a mid-range budget of 100-130 EUR per day, you can visit some museums and ruins, stay at a private hostel room or Airbnb, eat out more, enjoy some drinks, take the occasional taxi, and rent a bike or scooter to get around.

If you keep your drinking and costly activities down, you can easily do this closer to 100 EUR per day. On the other hand, if you’re staying on one of the more expensive islands like Mykonos or Santorini and drinking a lot, expect to spend closer to 150-180 EUR.

On a “luxury” budget of 235 EUR or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out anywhere you want, drink as much as you want, do paid tours and more expensive activities (like diving), rent a car to get around, and generally enjoy the finer things in life! This is just the ground floor for luxury though. Expect to pay upwards of 50 EUR more per day on the islands.

Greece Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Greece is affordable. Sure, islands like Santorini and Mykonos are expensive but, for the most part, if you are “keeping it local” you aren’t going to spend a lot of money here. Here are my favorite ways to save money when you travel to Greece:

  • Use the Greek salad/bread rule – If the bread cover is .50 EUR or a Greek salad is less than 7 EUR, the restaurant is cheap. If the cover is around 1 EUR and a salad is 7-8.50 EUR, the prices are average. Anything more than that and the place is expensive. Use this rule to figure out how to eat at cheap restaurants.
  • Eat super cheap – Gyros and other street snacks only cost a few euros and can keep you full for around 15 EUR per day if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Rent a moped – It’s cheaper than a car and a fun way to see the various towns and cities — especially on the islands. You can usually rent a moped for around 15 EUR per day. Just drive carefully as Greek drivers tend to be aggressive.
  • Get off the beaten path – Greece is a cheap country and even cheaper when you get away from the touristy islands or popular destinations. Head off the beaten path and you usually see prices drop by 30% or more.
  • Book overnight ferries – Greece’s inter-island ferries can get expensive if you are visiting a lot of islands. Taking the overnight ferries can save you up to half off the normal price. Plus, it saves you a night of accommodation. Moreover, if you book the ferries around two months in advance, you can save up to 25% off the cost of your ticket.
  • Get a ferry pass – Eurail has a ferry pass that has 4- and 6-trip options. The only caveat is that you can only take Blue Star and Hellenic Seaways ferries. Those tend to be the larger, slower ferries and, depending on the islands, might require you to connect somewhere. You’ll need to research routes in advance to see if the pass is worth it. I would search routes on FerryHopper to see if it works for you.
  • Take public transportation – Buses, while sometimes running on inconvenient schedules, are the best way to get around Greece. Taxis are very expensive so minimize their use whenever you can and stick with the buses.
  • Visit in the off-season – July and August are the most expensive months, so skip the middle of summer if you’re on a budget. Prices will be significantly cheaper.
  • Stay with a local – Couchsurfing is a great way to get a free place to stay and meet locals. There are a ton of hosts throughout the country (I stayed with one in Athens) and it’s my favorite way to get to know the “real” Greece.
  • Buy wine at the store – You can buy a great bottle of wine for around 5 EUR at the store. It’s a lot cheaper than drinking at the bar.
  • Have an ISIC Card – To save on the cost of admission to museums and other tourist attractions, be sure to present a valid student card. The ISIC is typically accepted in places where a foreign student ID is not.
  • Go to museums on their free admission days – Most museums have some days when admission is free. Check the Odysseus Culture website for details as they vary from museum to museum.
  • Get combined tickets – Historical attractions in Greece are often priced so that it’s always a better deal to buy a combined ticket. If the sites you are going to offer one, buy it. It will save you money.
  • Use points for accommodations – If you have credit card points that can be used for cash, using them to book accommodation can save you a ton of money. This post has more information to help you with the basics so you can start collecting points now and use them on your trip .
  • Rent a car – Car rentals can be incredibly cheap in Greece. Prices start at just 20 EUR per day when booked in advance. Drivers need to be at least 21 and have had their license for one year. An International Driving Permit is also required. Discover Cars is an excellent place to find a car for your trip.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is generally safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in Greece

Greece has something for everything and you can often find small family-run operations on the islands. It’s not hard to even find budget accommodations with nice extra like pools either! The specific destination guides have more places but here are some my suggested places to stay in Greece:

  • Selina (Athens)
  • Athens Hawks Hostel (Athens)
  • BedBox (Athens)
  • Studio Eleni (Mykonos)
  • Caveland (Santorini)
  • Bedspot Hostel (Santorini)
  • Asterolithos Hotel (Santorini)
  • Rethymno Youth Hostel (Crete)
  • Intra Muros (Crete)
  • The Pink Palace (Corfu)
  • Francesco’s (Ios)
  • FarOut Beach Club (Ios)
  • Castle View Camping and Bungalows (Sparta)
  • Lakonia Hotel (Sparta)

How to Get Around Greece

View of a bell tower at the end of the busy narrow streets in the city of Corfu, Greece.

Buses – KTEL is the main bus operator in Greece. You can look up schedules and prices online, but their website is pretty outdated and you’re better off booking tickets at the actual bus station. Getting from Athens to Sparta takes around 3.5 hours and costs around 20 EUR, while Athens to Thessaloniki takes around 5.5 hours and costs around 42 EUR. Thessaloniki to Ioannina takes 3.5 hours and is 24 EUR.

Trains – Train travel in Greece isn’t great. Trains are unreliable and slow and there are only a few routes in the country between Athens and other major cities, like Thessaloniki and Patras. You’re better off driving or taking the bus. However, if you do get the train, a trip from Athens to Thessaloniki takes about 4.5 hours and costs at least 20 EUR.

Ferries – Because Greece has a lot of islands, you have to deal with taking ferries to get around. Expect to spend an average of 35 EUR per trip, though you could spend as little as 10 EUR if the islands are really close together. From Athens, most ferries to the Cyclades Islands start around 40 EUR.

Taking the overnight ferries can save you up to half off the normal price plus save you a night of accommodation so if you’re not in a rush, book those!

There are many different ferry companies, and most are created equal. High speed ferries or catamarans cost a lot more (book in advance). You can research routes and ticket prices using FerryHopper and gtp.gr .

If you’re ok traveling on the slower ferries and your routes match the available routes, the Eurail/Interrail ferry pass is worth considering as you’ll get discounts with this pass. Search routes on FerryHopper to see if it works for you.

Flying – Flying is a quick and affordable way to get around Greece and between islands (though not all islands have airports). A one-way flight from Athens to Santorini or Mykonos takes less than one hour and costs around 25-35 EUR. Flights can dip to as little as 20 EUR when booked in advance.

Scooter/Quad rentals – Renting a scooter or ATV is a really popular way to discover many parts of Greece, particularly the islands. It lets you explore at your own pace and is quite affordable. Scooter rentals cost between 15-25 EUR per day depending on the location and if it is peak season or off-season. ATVs cost around 38-50 EUR per day.

Car rental – Car rentals here are super affordable, starting at just 20 EUR per day for a multi-day rental. Expect manual transmissions. Drivers need an International Driving Permit before renting as well and need to be at least 21 years old. For the best rental car deals, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Greece

Peak season in Greece is from June-August. Temperatures hover around 33°C (92°F) and popular destinations like Santorini and Mykonos experience a huge influx of visitors. Prices increase during this time as well. But the overall atmosphere and weather are great during this time, so it’s still worth visiting during peak season.

Personally, I think the best time to visit Greece is shoulder season (March-May and September-October). It’s still warm during these times but there aren’t as many crowds and prices are cheaper. It’s also easier to meet locals during this time. There is more rain during this time of year, so pack for that. Overall, it’s a particularly great time to hang out in the Mediterranean.

Winter is from November to February. It gets cold and tourist crowds thin out considerably. There’s quite a bit of rain and temperatures vary quite a bit from north to south, with it sometimes dropping to 11°C (52°F) in some places (Athens sometimes gets snow). Many of the islands — particularly Santorini and Mykonos — almost shut down entirely during the off-season. In short, I’d skip a winter visit unless you’re only planning to visit museums.

How to Stay Safe in Greece

Greece is very safe for backpacking and solo travel. Violent attacks are uncommon. Petty crime is about the worst that could happen to you, specifically pickpocketing in Athens, where it is prevalent. Fortunately, Greek police have really cracked down on perpetrators. Nevertheless, be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables out of sight when you’re in markets, on busy streets, or when using public transportation.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here. However, the standard safety precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.). For specific information about a place, check out one of the many incredible solo female travel blogs on the web. They’ll give you tips and advice that I can’t.

You won’t find a lot of travel scams in the country but read this article on common travel scams to avoid so you know what to avoid.

If you go out hiking, always check the weather first. Bring sunscreen, water, and a hat. It can get incredibly hot here!

Be careful when driving as Greek drivers tend to be on the aggressive side and some of the roads aren’t very well maintained.

If you experience an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Greece Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • Ferry Hopper – If you’re looking to book your ferries, this website is an easy way to search the various companies, piece together routes, and book your tickets.
  • Take Walks – This walking tour company provides inside access to attractions and places you can’t get elsewhere. Their guides rock and they have some of the best and most insightful tours in all of Greece.

Greece Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Greece travel and continue planning your trip:

The 6 Best Hotels in Athens

The 6 Best Hotels in Athens

The 6 Best Hostels in Athens

The 6 Best Hostels in Athens

Where to Stay in Athens: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Athens: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

The Best Walking Tours in Athens

The Best Walking Tours in Athens

Traveling Greece: How Much Does It Cost?

Traveling Greece: How Much Does It Cost?

Fulfilling Childhood Dreams in Crete

Fulfilling Childhood Dreams in Crete

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Home / Destinations / Greece / How To Spend an Incredible 3 Days in Athens, Greece

How To Spend an Incredible 3 Days in Athens, Greece

Find the ride you need in.

Discover the best way to spend three days in Athens, Greece, with our itinerary highlighting the best of this ancient city. Read more now.

overview of Athens, Greece

The breathtaking city of Athens attracts 6.4 million tourists every year. You could spend weeks exploring its streets, but how many days do you need? Three days in Athens is just perfect. 

With the right three-day itinerary, you can fully explore this ancient powerhouse. 

Read on for everything you need to know about what to do in Athens, Greece, in three days, including the best historical sites, the perfect locations to take in the views, and top tips for trips, tours and tickets. 

  • What to Do in Athens for 3 Days?
  • Day 1: Seeing the City on Foot

Morning: A Slow Exploration 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Athens

Once you have decided how long to spend in  Athens , it’s time to explore! 

Start your three days with a walking tour to soak up the city’s atmosphere. There are free and paid options available online. But this  2.5-hour free tour , which starts at 10 am or 5 pm, is a great place to start. Rise early and take in the bustling city as it starts a new day. 

Then head over to Ermou Street for lunch before visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to watch the changing of the guard, which takes place on the hour. 

Next, take a short walk to the Panathenaic Stadium. The impressive structure was originally built for the Olympics’ predecessor, the Panathenaic Games. The entry fee costs just €5 ($5.50) per person. 

For a break from the sun, visit the National Archaeological Museum. The entrance fee is also €5 ($5.50), and the museum is home to one of the world’s most significant collections of antiquities. 

Pro tip:  It would take days to see it all, so pick your favorite period of history and dive in. 

Evening: Sunset Views and Dinner

Lycabettus Hill Athens, Greece

Once you have absorbed all the history, head to Lycabettus Hill to watch the sunset over Athens. You can take a cable car to the top, drive part-way up and walk the rest, or walk all the way to the top. 

If you want to walk, get there about an hour before sunset to allow plenty of time to reach the peak. The cable car costs €15 ($16.50) for two people, and the vendor only accepts cash. At the top of the hill, settle in to watch the sunset illuminate the Acropolis and enjoy a quiet drink at the Sky Bar. 

To get a taste of the city’s artistic side, take a 15-minute walk to Exárcheia, an area once home to Athens’s anarchists, revolutionaries, students, and artists. These days, it offers a mix of restaurants, bars, and bookshops to explore. It’s perfect for a quiet dinner and an evening drink to recover from a busy day. 

  • Day 2: A Historical Feast 

Early Morning: Climbing The Acropolis

far view of the Acropolis in Athens greece

Seeing Athens in three days is a big task. But it’s possible thanks to the Ancient Greeks clustering most key historical sites around the city center. You can tick most of them off in one day. Wear your comfiest shoes and stay hydrated. 

Start the day by getting to the Acropolis as early as possible. It opens at 8 am, and you should avoid walking across the peak at the hottest time of the day. The Acropolis, home to many temples and buildings, has overlooked the city for over 2,500 years. 

After climbing the hill, you’ll arrive at the Propylaia, the entryway to the famous site. 

It’s also home to the Temple of Athena Nike, one of many manifestations of Athena. 

Nike means victory in ancient Greek, and this is where Nike, the shoe company, got its name from. The temple’s marble structure is decorated with carved depictions of famous battles, such as the Battle of Marathon.

Mid-Morning: Exploring the Greek Classics 

Erechtheion Caryatids in Athens

After entering via an ancient stairway, the first building you’ll come to is the Parthenon, arguably the most famous ancient ruin in the world. Ancient Geeks built the temple to honor Athena, the patron goddess of the city, between 447 and 438 BCE. 

Because the temple is in a constant state of restoration, scaffolding often covers parts of it. Regardless of any steel jewelry, it is a stunning sight. 

On the north side of the Acropolis, you’ll find the Erechtheion, known for its Caryatids—columns made of female figures. Preservationists store the originals in the Acropolis Museum, but the replicas are still beautiful. 

Lunchtime: A Little Theater and a Cultural Cool Off 

1 day tour of athens

Next up, check out the world’s first theater—the Theatre of Dionysus. Some of Greece’s most famous playwrights, including Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles, tested out their plays here. 

It has held performances of everything from Oedipus at Colonus—what inspired Freud’s Oedipus complex theory—to Lysistrata, which tells the story of women stopping a war by refusing to have sex with their husbands. 

Afterward, stroll over to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a Roman-style structure. It can seat nearly 5,000 people and is still used today. Keep an eye out for events to attend in the summer. 

As the sun heats up, head down to the Acropolis Museum to soak up its many treasures—and to make use of its air conditioning. 

Pro tip : Avoid wearing a skirt or dress because many of the floors in the museum are see-through, meaning anyone who looks up could see a lot more than an ancient marble statue. 

Eat lunch at the museum’s highly-rated restaurant before your afternoon adventures. 

Afternoon Delights: Check Off the Must-Sees

Temple of Hephaestus Athens

At the foot of the Acropolis, you’ll find the Ancient Agora of Athens. The site is mostly in ruins, but with a little imagination, you can get a feel for Athenian life in the ancient city center. 

If you want more information, visit the Museum of the Ancient Agora too. 

Nearby, you’ll find the Temple of Hephaestus, or the Hephaisteion, one of the city’s best-preserved temples. 

Once you have left the Acropolis, walk towards the Areopagus, which offers impressive views of the Acropolis. It is perfect for a photo op for Instagram. 

To wrap up your day of time travel, check out Hadrian’s Library. Although Roman instead of Greek, the site is fascinating. It’s also home to three churches built on its ruins during the Byzantine Empire. 

Lastly, walk over to the nearby Monastiraki Square for some sustenance and take in the view of the illuminated Acropolis in one of its many rooftop bars, such as  MS Roof Garden . 

  • Day 3: A Slower Pace to Tick Off the Must-Sees 

Hadrians Arch and ancient building in the background in Athens, Greece

Start your last day leisurely exploring the shopping delights of one of the most luxurious neighborhoods, Kolonaki. 

Whether you have a luxury or backpacker budget, there is a shop to hit regardless of how many days in Athens you have. 

Next, head over to the Kerameikos Cemetery for a little more history. 

Some of the most famous figures are buried here, including Aristotle. 

Nearby, The Pnyx, a monument located on Filopappou Hill, offers more stunning views of the Acropolis. 

Lastly, check out Hadrian’s Arch on the way to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. 

Enjoy lunch at one of the many cafes that line Kolonáki Square before exploring more Athenian museums and galleries. 

The National Gallery is an excellent option for budding art critics, and the Byzantine Museum is home to a massive collection of items from the 3rd century AD to medieval times. If you’re tired of museums, spend the afternoon at the National Gardens instead. 

Wrap up your three days in Athens with some nightlife and head to Iroon Square in the Psiri neighborhood, home to countless bars and clubs open until the early hours. 

  • For Explorers with a Little Extra Time

Piraeus port near Athens Greece

Plenty of sites can be explored just outside the city limits for those who have time to do Athens in 4 days. 

If you want to stay close to the city, take a day trip to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon on the Athenian coast. 

Alternatively, visit the ancient port of  Piraeus , which has a bustling city center and a range of restaurants and ancient sites. 

A day trip to the Peloponnese is another incredible option. Start by visiting the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. Dedicated to Asklepios, the god of healing, ancient Greeks used the sanctuary as a therapeutic and religious center. 

While you’re in the area, stop by  Nafplio . It is one of Greece’s prettiest towns and the country’s original capital. 

If you want to get off the mainland, visit one of Greece’s many islands. Its most famous ones include  Mykonos ,  Santorini ,  Crete , and  Corfu . These islands are beautiful but busy. For a quieter trip, try  Paros ,  Kos ,  Milos , or  Samos . 

  • The Logistics: 

Transport and Accommodation

view of Kolonaki and city of Athens

Taxis in Athens are relatively affordable. The basic fee is €1.80 ($1.95), with an additional €0.90 ($0.99) charge per kilometer—0.62 miles. 

The city center is also extremely walkable. You can walk from one end to the other in 20 minutes. 

The high season is from April to November, so book early for the best deals, especially if you only have three days in Greece. For those who want a home-away-from-home experience, comfortable AirBnbs are scattered throughout the city. 

For hotel lovers who want to stay in the heart of the city, the best districts for hotels are Plaka and Kolonaki. Most hotels in the area offer views of the famous Acropolis—a hilltop littered with buildings, temples and relics from Ancient Greece.

Tours and Tickets 

Ancient Athens Greece

If you are an independent traveler, try exploring on your own schedule without a guide. But, if you prefer the idea of an expert, there are plenty of guided tours available to educate you about the historical sites and fill up three days in Athens, Greece.

Not many historical sites have free access. Tickets are a necessity. 

Prices increase between April 1 and October 31 and decrease between November 1 and March 31. If you’re only interested in the Acropolis and its slopes, opt for a single entry ticket, which most vendors sell for €20 ($22) in summer and €10 ($11) in winter. 

A combination ticket is the best option for travelers visiting all the main sites. Various vendors sell it for €30 ($33), and it’s valid for five days from the day of purchase. 

The ticket includes entrance to:

  • the Acropolis and its slopes
  • the Ancient Agora and its museum
  • the Kerameikos cemetery and its museum
  • the Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • the Roman Agora and the Tower of the Winds
  • Hadrian’s Library
  • Aristotle’s Lyceum

It’s the perfect option for both history nerds and tentative explorers.

  • Packing List Essentials for 3 Days in Athens 

narrow streets of Athens, Greece

Whether you are planning a trip to Athens in summer or winter, there are a few essentials you must throw in your suitcase for all trips to this wondrous capital city. Do not forget to pack:

Walking shoes with good grip : A trip is not the time to break in a new pair of shoes or to prioritize style over comfort. Pack a pair of walking shoes with traction because you will walk on both slippery and rocky terrain.

Cash:  While plenty of vendors take cards, cash will help you to avoid any extra fees and makes it easier to dish out tips. Plus, it’s usually quicker than waiting around for a card machine. 

Sunglasses and sunscreen:  Even if you visit in winter, prepare for the sun! Sun protection is essential all year round, especially when spending whole days outside. 

Theft-proof bag:  Crime rates in Athens are relatively low, but, like in all tourist hotspots, pickpockets are around. Put away your dainty clutch purse—it’s too easy to snatch—and carry a theft-proof backpack or fanny pack instead.

  • Wrapping Up Your Athens 3-Day Itinerary

Propylaia in Athens Greece

Whether you pick out your favorite bits or follow this itinerary to the letter, you’ll find magic everywhere after spending three days in Athens, Greece.

This stunning city blends modernity and ancient sites together perfectly. You will fall in love with its modern-day culinary delights and become a history nerd after just a few moments in its outstanding cultural offerings

Once you have completed your tour of the city, there are plenty of options for  traveling around Greece , such as hiring a car, joining an organized tour, or traveling by bus or train. 

You can cover the core parts of Athens with a three-day itinerary. But, if you have more time, stay for longer. There is always more to see, and you can avoid rushing through the best parts. 

With a relatively low crime rate, Athens is largely a safe city. Many solo travelers walk the streets without problems but stay aware of your surroundings. However, for female travelers, the Omonia area is best avoided. Although police presence has increased in recent years, it is a hotspot for street harassment. 

While the city is beautiful and worth visiting in summer, you must deal with very crowded streets. Athens is equally beautiful in winter, and there are far fewer people to contend with, as well as lower entry fees and more affordable hotel deals. 

Once you’ve drunk your fill of history, head to one of Greece’s many beautiful islands for some relaxation.  Mykonos  and  Santorini  are among the most famous, but  Ios ,  Sifnos , and Ithaca are smaller yet quieter options. 

Image of the author Hannah

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2024 NCAA baseball tournament bracket, scores, schedule: Super Regionals underway for College World Series

Sixteen teams remain in the ncaa tournament, and the eight-team college world series starts june 14.

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The 2024 NCAA baseball tournament is underway after the 64-team field was trimmed to 16 this week. Action in the Super Regionals runs through the weekend. On Friday, it was all about the ACC, as North Carolina and Virginia pulled out wins, but Florida State put an exclamation point on its 24-4 blowout over UConn.

The Seminoles blasted five home runs -- they finished with 18 hits -- while setting a Super Regionals record for most runs and largest winning margin.  

Top seed Tennessee was able to survive Evansville as AJ Causey was dominant from the mound. The Vols are now one win away from another appearance in Omaha. The eight winners of the best-of-three Super Regional matchups move on to the College World Series, which kicks off June 14.

Other top seeds, like Georgia, NC State, Kentucky, and Texas A&M opened their series is on Saturday. Of that group, only Georgia lost, having been routed by NC State. Elsewhere, Evansville got its win back with a 10-8 decision over Tennessee. Meanwhile, Kentucky blanked Oregon State, 10-0, in its matchup.

Here's a look at key dates as well as the upcoming schedule.

NCAA Tournament, College World Series dates

  • Regionals : May 31-June 3
  • Super Regionals : June 7-10
  • College World Series starts : June 14
  • College World Series finals : June 22-24

All games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU are available on fubo (try for free).

Super Regional schedule

(All games in Eastern Standard Time)

Friday, June 7

  • Florida State 24, UConn 4
  • Tennessee 11, Evansville 6
  • North Carolina 8, West Virginia 6 
  • Virginia 7, Kansas State 4

Saturday, June 8

  • Evansville 10, Tennessee 8
  • Florida State 10, UConn 8
  • NC State 18, Georgia 1
  • Florida 10, Clemson 7
  • Texas A&M 10, Oregon 6
  • Virginia 10, Kansas State 4
  • Kentucky 10, Oregon State 0 
  • North Carolina 2, West Virginia 1 

Sunday, June 9

  • Georgia vs. NC State, noon (ESPN2)
  • Clemson vs. Florida, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Evansville vs. Tennessee. 6:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Texas A&M vs. Oregon, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • Kentucky vs. Oregon State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

Regional Round schedule

Athens regional scores.

(Hosted by No. 7 national seed Georgia)

  • No. 1 Georgia 8, No. 4 Army, 7
  • No. 2 UNC-Wilmington 9, No. 3 Georgia Tech 0
  • Georgia Tech 4, Army 2
  • Georgia 11, UNC-Wilmington 2
  • No. 1 Georgia 8, No. 4 Army 7
  • Georgia Tech 3, UNC-Wilmington 1
  • Georgia 8, Georgia Tech 6 (10) (Georgia advances)

College Station Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 3 national seed Texas A&M)

  • No. 1 Texas A&M 8, No. 4 Grambling 0
  • No. 3 Texas 12, No. 2 Louisiana 5
  • Louisiana 12, Grambling 5
  • Texas A&M 4, Texas, 2
  • Louisiana 10, Texas 2
  • Texas A&M 9, Louisiana 4 (Texas A&M advances)

Chapel Hill Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 4 national seed North Carolina)

  • No. 2 LSU 4, No. 3 Wofford 3
  • No. 1 North Carolina 11, No. 4 Long Island 8
  • Wofford 5, Long Island 2
  • North Carolina 6, LSU 2 
  • LSU 13, Wofford 6
  • LSU 8, North Carolina 4
  • North Carolina 4, LSU 3 (North Carolina advances)

Charlottesville Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 12 national seed Virginia)

  • No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 4 Penn 2
  • No. 2 Mississippi State 5, No. 3 St. John's 2
  • St. John's 10, Penn 9
  • Virginia 5, Mississippi State 4
  • Mississippi State 13, St. John's 5
  • Virginia 9, Mississippi State 2 (Virginia advances)

Clemson Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 6 national seed Clemson)

  • No. 3 Coastal Carolina 13, No. 2 Vanderbilt 3
  • No. 1 Clemson 4, No. 4 High Point 3
  • High Point 10, Vanderbilt 9
  • Clemson 4, Coastal Carolina 3
  • Coastal Carolina 6, High Point 5
  • Clemson 12, Coastal Carolina 5 (Clemson advances)

Corvallis Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 15 national seed Oregon State)

  • No. 2 UC-Irvine 13, No. 3 Nicholls 12
  • No. 1 Oregon State 10, No. 4 Tulane 4
  • Tulane 3, Nicholls 0
  • Oregon State 5, UC-Irvine, 3
  • UC-Irvine 17, Tulane 7
  • Oregon State 11, UC-Irvine 6 (Oregon State advances)

Fayetteville Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 5 national seed Arkansas)

  • No. 1 Arkansas 17, No. 4 Southeast Missouri State 9
  • No. 3 Kansas State 19, No. 2 Louisiana Tech 4
  • Southeast Missouri State 9, Louisiana Tech 3
  • Kansas State 7, Arkansas 6
  • Southeast Missouri State 6, Arkansas 3
  • Kansas State 7, Southeast Missouri State 2 (Kansas State advances)

Greenville Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 16 national seed East Carolina)

  • No. 4 Evansville 4, No. 1 East Carolina 1
  • No. 3 VCU 1, No. 2 Wake Forest 0 
  • East Carolina 7, Wake Forest 6
  • Evansville 17, VCU 11
  • East Carolina 10, VCU 7
  • East Carolina 19, Evansville 6
  • Evansville 6, East Carolina 5 (Evansville advances)

Knoxville Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 1 national seed Tennessee)

  • No. 3 Indiana 10, No. 2 Southern Mississippi 4
  • No. 1 Tennessee 9, No. 4 Northern Kentucky 3 
  • Southern Mississippi 6, Northern Kentucky 0
  • Tennessee 12, Indiana 6 
  • Southern Mississippi 15, Indiana 3
  • Tennessee 12, Southern Mississippi 3 (Tennessee advances)

Lexington Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 2 national seed Kentucky)

  • No. 1 Kentucky 10, No. 4 Western Michigan 8
  • No. 3 Illinois 4, No. 2 Indiana State 1
  • Indiana State 6, Western Michigan 4
  • Kentucky 6, Illinois 1
  • Indiana State 13, Illinois 2
  • Kentucky 5, Indiana State 0 (Kentucky advances)

Norman Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 9 national seed Oklahoma)

  • No. 3 UConn 4, No. 2 Duke 1
  • No. 1 Oklahoma 14, No. 4 Oral Roberts 0 
  • Duke 6, Oral Roberts 2 
  • UConn 4, Oklahoma 1
  • Oklahoma 4, Duke 3
  • Oklahoma 6, UConn 4
  • UConn 7, Oklahoma 1 (UConn advances) 

Raleigh Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 10 national seed NC State)

  • No. 2 South Carolina 8, No. 3 James Madison 7
  • No. 1 NC State 9, No. 4 Bryant 2 
  • James Madison 8, Bryant 1
  • NC State 6, South Carolina 4
  • James Madison 2, South Carolina 0
  • NC State 5, James Madison 3 (NC State advances)

Santa Barbara Regional

(Hosted by No. 14 national seed UC-Santa Barbara)

  • No. 3 Oregon 5, No. 2 San Diego 4 (11)
  • No. 1 UC-Santa Barbara 9, No. 4 Fresno State 6
  • San Diego 7, Fresno State 5
  • Oregon 2, UC-Santa Barbara 0
  • UC-Santa Barbara 4, San Diego 2
  • Oregon 3, UC-Santa Barbara 0 (Oregon advances)

Stillwater Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 11 national seed Oklahoma State)

  • No. 3 Florida 5, No. 2 Nebraska 2
  • No. 1 Oklahoma State 19, No. 4 Niagara 7 
  • Nebraska 7, Niagara 5
  • Oklahoma State 7, Florida 1
  • Florida 17, Nebraska 11
  • Florida 5, Oklahoma State 2
  • Florida 4, Oklahoma State 2 (Florida advances)

Tallahassee Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 8 national seed Florida State)

  • No. 1 Florida State 7, No. 4 Stetson 2
  • No. 3 Central Florida 8, No. 2 Alabama 7
  • Stetson 4, Alabama 0
  • Florida State 5, Central Florida 2
  • Central Florida 5, Stetson 2
  • Florida State 12, Central Florida 4 (Florida State advances)

Tucson Regional scores

(Hosted by No. 13 national seed Arizona)

  • No. 3 West Virginia 4, No. 2 Dallas Baptist 1
  • No. 4 Grand Canyon 9, No. 1 Arizona 4
  • Dallas Baptist 7, Arizona 0
  • West Virginia 5, Grand Canyon 2
  • Grand Canyon 12, Dallas Baptist 10
  • West Virginia 10, Grand Canyon 6 (West Virginia advances)

Here's a link to NCAA.com's full bracket , which includes region vs. region pairings for the super regionals.

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IMAGES

  1. How to Spend 1 Day in Athens

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  2. Athens Full Day Sightseeing Tour in Athens, Greece

    1 day tour of athens

  3. One Day In Athens

    1 day tour of athens

  4. How to See the Best of Athens in One Day

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  5. One Day in Athens (Guide)

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  6. Athens City Tour & Acropolis Museum

    1 day tour of athens

VIDEO

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  3. Tour in Ancient Greece

  4. The Parthenon: (Part 5) A Tour of the Ancient Acropolis of Athens

  5. Experience Greek Paradise: The Ultimate 3-Day Tour From Athens ☀️

  6. My first day in Athens 🫶🏻🇬🇷 (Day 1) #travel #vacation #travelvlog #traveling

COMMENTS

  1. One Day in Athens: The Perfect 1 Day Itinerary for Athens

    (2023) One day in Athens is enough time to visit a surprising number of top attractions in the city, as well as soak up the culture & eat a ton of Greek food. Read on for my 1 day Athens itinerary! ... One Day Self-Guided Walking Tour Itinerary in Athens. 7.30am: Leave your Athens hotel. Well, with one day you need to get started early.

  2. 1 Day in Athens: The BEST 1 Day Athens Itinerary (2024 Guide)

    Contents: Why Athens. 1 day in Athens, Greece. 08:00 till 09:30 - Visit the Acropolis and the Parthenon. 10:00 till 13:00 - Go on a food tour with Alternative Athens. 13:00 till 14:00 - Explore Monastiraki Square and the surrounding temples. 14:30 till 15:30 - Take in the modern art at the Public Tobacco Factory.

  3. Athens in a day

    Start 11.30. Allow 2 hours. After leaving the Acropolis, it's time for a stroll on one of the most picturesque areas of Athens, Areopagitou Street. You will have probably realized by now that you can't really see Athens in 1 day - however, this walk is one of the absolutely must do things in Athens Greece.

  4. One day in Athens

    One Day in Athens itinerary. This one-day itinerary for Athens will start at the Acropolis and take in many of the main attractions and monuments of Athens in an easy, walkable route. All up you will cover around 5 kilometres, almost all of it flat, and you can pace yourself at your leisure. You will see some truly magnificent ancient sites as ...

  5. The Perfect One Day in Athens Itinerary

    Ermou Street. Ermou Street is a 1.5 km pedestrian-only street connecting two of Athens's largest squares, Monastiraki Square and Syntagma Square. It is a fun place to people watch and do a little shopping. If you need water or snacks, it's a great place to replenish your mid-day stroll.

  6. One Day In Athens Itinerary: What To Do In 24 Hours

    5. Temple of Olympian Zeus. Next, head to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, another must see landmark with one day in Athens. The temple is in the northwest part of the Acropolis overlooking the ancient agora. Built between 174 and 132 B.C., it was once one of the largest temples in the ancient world.

  7. One Day In Athens Itinerary: The Ultimate Athens Guide In 24 Hours

    Your walk around the spectacular grandeur structures should take about 2-hours. You can book your tickets in advance, or join a small group tour. You can buy multi-site tickets for €30 (recommended), or you can purchase a single ticket to the Acropolis for €20. As you leave the Acropolis, stop at the Areopagus Hill.

  8. One Day in Athens

    This 1 day Athens itinerary not only allows you to see the major Athens landmarks, but also to explore the coolest neighbourhoods, try the best Greek food, and really get a feel for the city. If you have any questions about seeing Athens in a day, please don't hesitate to reach out in the comments section below, and I will do my best to help!

  9. One Day In Athens 2024: The Best Itinerary

    It takes you to all the main sights in Athens, including the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, and the neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki. Basically, everything we would advise you to do with one day in Athens! One of the benefits of this tour is that all the transport and tickets are arranged for you so it's completely hassle-free.

  10. What to do in Athens in One Day

    7. Syntagma Square. Syntagma Square is the main square in Athens and another must-see place on your Athens in one day itinerary. The Greek parliament is located here, but most visitors come here to see the Changing of the Guards knowns as Evzones.

  11. 1 Day in Athens, Greece: A History Lover's Itinerary

    Join a 'Free' Walking Tour. I love free walking tours and think they are the best way to see a new city and, for those who only have 1 day in Athens, a free walking tour is a great way to see the highlights. This tour has an option that starts at 10am not too far from the Parthenon and the Acropolis, so you can definitely make it in time ...

  12. One Day in Athens Itinerary: A Definitive Travel Guide

    ONE DAY IN ATHENS: GET IN. There are three main ways to travel between the airport and city centre or Piraeus port; taxi, metro or bus. Taxi - the easiest and most convenient way to travel, taxis can be found just outside the airport terminal building. A taxi from the airport to Piraeus port takes about 40 minutes (no traffic) and costs €50.

  13. How to Spend 1 Day in Athens, Greece: Itinerary for First Time Visitors

    Also, integrated tickets are just 1.40 euro and cover a 90 minute period of transportation, or 4.50 euro for a 24 hour pass. It is affordable, especially as you main mode of transportation during your 1 day in Athens! Just remember to validate your ticket before heading to the platform.

  14. Athens in 1 Day: Easy and Simple Itinerary

    Athens In 1 Day: Summary. The above walk should be enough for you to have a full 1 day in Athens and get a great first taste of the city. However, if you find the itinerary too stressful, you can skip the points from 12 to 16. While leaving the Acropolis Museum, head directly to Plaka instead of continuing to Apostolou Pavlou Str.

  15. Best One Day in Athens Itinerary: What to Do When Short on Time

    One Day in Athens Itinerary Tip: To spare yourself from the line leading up the winding pathway to the Acropolis at the main entrance, ... Visitors to the stadium can take a tour of the grounds and learn about its rich history, or even run a lap around the track themselves. The stadium is an impressive example of ancient Greek architecture and ...

  16. One Day in Athens: How to See Athens in a Day in 2024

    Public transport in Greece is generally very good. Metro Line 1 (green line) connects central Athens to Piraeus and Kifissia. Line 3 (blue line) connects the city to the airport. Many of the main tourist attractions are located along line one (red line). A 90-minute ticket on the Athens metro costs €1.40.

  17. THE TOP 10 Full-day Tours

    Athens Day Cruise: 3 Islands Tour in the Saronic Gulf with Lunch. 830. The Greek islands are made for hopping, but visiting multiple islands in one day by ferry can be stressful. With this boat tour, set off from Piraeus on board an elegant wooden boat to explore the coastlines of Aegina and Agistri in one day.

  18. THE TOP 10 Athens Day Trips (w/Prices)

    Athens Day Cruise: 3 Islands Tour in the Saronic Gulf with Lunch. 824. The Greek islands are made for hopping, but visiting multiple islands in one day by ferry can be stressful. With this boat tour, set off from Piraeus on board an elegant wooden boat to explore the coastlines of Aegina and Agistri in one day.

  19. THE 10 BEST Athens Tours & Excursions for 2024 (with Prices)

    See the sights of Athens in just a day, without the hassle of plotting tram routes or negotiating with taxi drivers, on …. Free cancellation. Recommended by 98% of travelers. from. $244. per adult. 6. Athens Half Day Tour, Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus & Hephaistus. 200.

  20. 37 Best TOURS & THINGS TO DO in Athens, Greece

    Day tours leaving from Athens may focus on birdwatching, wildflowers, butterflies, or hiking. Multi-day tours are best (though day trips are possible) for studying the ultra-rare Mediterranean monk seal (seen above), one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Private or small group tours available.

  21. One Day Cruise from Athens to 3 Islands

    If a day trip from Athens to the Greek islands is top on your wishlist, Athens Day Cruises 3 island tour is the perfect match for your cruising enjoyment. Our special interest tours led by multilingual guides introduce you to the history and culture of Hydra and Aegina, with all the fun to suit your mood.

  22. Athens Tours

    Epidaurus & Mycenae One Day Tour from Athens Explore with your professional and passionate guide the remains of the ancient city of Mycenae, a major centre of Greek civilization from 1600BC to 1100BC and...

  23. 1 day Meteora Tour from Athens with Local Guide

    6. Child ( 4-12 yrs ): 42 €. Infant ( 0-3 yrs ) : FREE. Rate This! Best Offer - 52€ - English or Spanish language Meteora tour daily - See all Monasteries in a 4 hrs Panoramic tour only by us. Learn the mystical history from our Local Guide, stops at the most panoramic points for great photos.

  24. How to Spend One Perfect Day in Athens

    Take a Street Art Tour: Athens is full of fantastic free art. There's also plenty of street art to see, and Awesome Athens Experience is ready to show you it all. The tour company offers tours ...

  25. Greece Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    During the summer, it's swarming with tourists so get there early. Admission is 20 EUR, or for 30 EUR you can get a 5-day combined ticket that includes many other archaeological sites in Athens. For a guided tour, Athens Walking Tours runs guided tours for around 55 EUR (including admission) that skip the line. 2. Discover historic Crete

  26. How To Spend an Incredible 3 Days in Athens, Greece

    Taxis in Athens are relatively affordable. The basic fee is €1.80 ($1.95), with an additional €0.90 ($0.99) charge per kilometer—0.62 miles. The city center is also extremely walkable. You can walk from one end to the other in 20 minutes.

  27. 2024 NCAA baseball tournament bracket, scores, schedule: Super

    The 2024 NCAA baseball tournament is underway after the 64-team field was trimmed to 16 this week. Action in the Super Regionals runs through the weekend. On Friday, it was all about the ACC, as ...