City of Athens: From Ancient Marvels to Modern Wonders – Your Ultimate Guide to an Epic Hellenic Adventure!

Athens

A complete travel guide to Athens from the team at Greeklist.

1. Introduction to Athens

Welcome to Athens, the city where the whispers of ancient gods intertwine with the vibrant heartbeat of modern life. Nestled against the backdrop of cerulean skies and the majestic Aegean Sea, Athens invites you to step into a realm where time-honored history meets contemporary allure. As you tread through the cobblestone streets, each echoing with tales of bygone eras, you’ll find yourself entangled in the spellbinding allure of a city that stands as the cradle of Western civilization.

Named after Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare, and craftsmanship, the capital of Greece promises an unforgettable journey where ancient myths and modern rhythms converge, leaving an indelible mark on your travel tale.

Athens awaits – let the odyssey begin!

2. Athens: A brief history

The city’s roots delve into antiquity, with the 5th century BCE representing a pinnacle of intellectual and artistic achievements during its Golden Age. Athens, synonymous with the birth of democracy, reached new heights under great leaders like Pericles and witnessed the construction of iconic structures like the Parthenon. However, this zenith was followed by the tumultuous Peloponnesian War, resulting in Athens’ decline.

The subsequent Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods marked a continuous evolution of the city’s identity. Ottoman rule left its imprint during the Middle Ages until the 19th century, when Athens played a pivotal role in the Greek War of Independence and the city’s liberation in 1822. The establishment of Athens as capital of Greece in 1834 by King Otto, gave back to the city its ancient identity as the heart of Greece. In 1896, Athens witnessed the revival of the Olympic Games, hosting the first modern edition and bringing together athletes from around the world in a celebration of international sport.

In the 1940s during the German occupation, the resilience of the Athenian spirit shone through with the emergence of a robust resistance movement. The city became a hotbed of anti-fascist activities, with courageous individuals and groups resisting the occupier.

In 2004, Athens welcomed the world for the Summer Olympics, a momentous event that combined ancient traditions with modern excellence, leaving a lasting impact on the city’s global standing and infrastructure. Today, Athens seamlessly weaves its ancient legacy with a dynamic present, showcasing a blend of historical treasures and contemporary vitality.

If you are a history buff, check here for the full history of Athens!

Pericles
Pericles
King Otto of Greece
King Otto of Greece
Athens 1896 Olympics
Athens 1896 Olympics

3. Getting to Athens from United Kingdom

Traveling to Athens from the United Kingdom is convenient, with direct flights available from major airports. Athens International Airport (ATH) serves as the primary gateway, offering a smooth and comfortable entry into the heart of Greece. Whether you choose a direct flight or a connecting one, your journey will be filled with anticipation for the wonders that await in Athens.

Direct Flights from UK to Athens

For quick & direct flights, Skyscanner indicates enticing return fares, with prices starting as low as £156, available from London, Bermingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Connecting Flights from UK to Athens

For those seeking flexibility or potential cost savings, Skyscanner indicates enticing return fares, with prices starting as low as £43, departures are available from 14 key UK cities such as London, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

4. Best Time to Visit Athens from the UK

The best time to visit Athens from the UK is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) seasons when the weather is pleasant, and tourist crowds are relatively smaller. This allows you to explore the city comfortably and fully appreciate its beauty without the intense summer heat.

You can check 10-day weather conditions for Athens here.

5. Top Destinations and Attractions in Athens

In Athens every street corner echoes with the footsteps of ancient gods and philosophers. It is a living tapestry of history that presents a dazzling array of iconic destinations that seamlessly blend the past and present. From the majestic Acropolis, a testament to classical grandeur, to the chic glamour of Glyfada, Athens is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be unveiled. Join us on an exhilarating journey through these iconic places, where each step is a leap through time, and every site tells a story etched in the annals of human civilization.

Here are some of the top Destinations and Attractions in Athens:

  • Acropolis and The Parthenon: Ascend the marble steps, entering the timeless embrace of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon’s pillars whisper ancient tales. Marvel at the city of Athens sprawling beneath, each column a testament to classical brilliance. In the golden glow of sunset, the Acropolis transforms into a living canvas, casting shadows that dance with the echoes of history
  • The Acropolis Museum: Delight in the contemporary brilliance of the Acropolis Museum, designed to complement the ancient artifacts it houses. Marvel at the meticulous displays, including sculptures and artifacts, providing context to the Acropolis’s historical narrative.
  • Plaka District: Wander through the charming Plaka district, where narrow cobblestone streets wind past neoclassical buildings, inviting you to explore traditional Greek tavernas, artisan shops, and lively street markets. Embrace the lively atmosphere, filled with the scent of local delicacies and the sounds of street musicians.
  • Ancient Agora: Step back in time at the Ancient Agora, a historic marketplace and civic center. Discover well-preserved structures like the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos, offering insights into daily life in ancient Athens. Let the remnants of classical architecture transport you to the heart of ancient Greek democracy.
  • Syntagma Square and the Hellenic Parliament: Experience the ceremonial Changing of the Guard at Syntagma Square, where the Hellenic Parliament building stands as an architectural marvel. The square serves as a central hub, surrounded by luxury hotels, cafes, and high-end boutiques.
  • Monastiraki Square: Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Monastiraki Square, surrounded by eclectic shops, bustling flea markets, and a backdrop of the Acropolis. Discover unique finds, from antiques to handmade crafts, and savor the diverse flavors of Athens at the local eateries lining the square.
  • Mount Lycabettus: Ascend Mount Lycabettus for unparalleled panoramic views of Athens. Whether by a leisurely hike or a scenic funicular ride, reach the summit to witness breathtaking sunsets over the cityscape, creating a magical ambiance against the Aegean backdrop.
  • Technopolis – Gazi: Experience the vibrant nightlife and cultural events at Technopolis in the Gazi district. This former gasworks complex now hosts concerts, exhibitions, and trendy bars, making it a hub for the city’s artistic scene.
  • The Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens: Also known as the Cathedral of the Annunciation, stands as a magnificent symbol of Greek Orthodoxy in the capital. With its neoclassical architecture and intricate detailing, the cathedral serves as a spiritual and architectural landmark at the heart of Athens.
  • Glyfada: Athens’ chic coastal enclave, where the azure Aegean Sea meets upscale sophistication. With its fashionable marina, designer boutiques, and trendy cafes lining the palm-fringed promenade, Glyfada invites you to savor a luxurious seaside escape. Immerse yourself in the allure of this cosmopolitan suburb.
  • Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro): Step into history at the Panathenaic Stadium, the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Marvel at the marble structure and imagine the roar of the crowd during ancient athletic competitions.
  • Church of Saint Dimitrios Loubardiaris:Named after Saint Dimitrios, the church boasts an intriguing history, dating back to the 12th century. Its distinctive feature is the roof adorned with red tiles, resembling a pyramid. The church played a role in the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century and continues to be a symbol of resilience.
  • Filopappou Hill: Located southwest of the Acropolis, offers panoramic views of the city and features the impressive Philopappos Monument, a classical mausoleum built in honor of the Roman senator Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappos. It stands as a historic and scenic landmark, inviting visitors to appreciate both its cultural significance and breathtaking vistas.
  • Piraeus Port and Mikrolimano: Venture to Piraeus, Athens’ bustling port city, and explore the picturesque Mikrolimano harbor. Enjoy fresh seafood in waterfront tavernas and soak in the maritime atmosphere.
  • Ermou Street: Located in the heart of Athens, is a bustling shopping thoroughfare renowned for its trendy boutiques, international brands, and vibrant atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike. This iconic pedestrian street seamlessly blends modern retail with historical charm, offering a diverse and lively shopping experience.
  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center: Immerse yourself in art, culture, and green spaces at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. Admire the modern architectural design while exploring the Greek National Opera and the National Library of Greece, surrounded by lush gardens and reflective pools.
  • Byzantine and Christian Museum: Journey through the Byzantine era at this museum, where religious artifacts, icons, and intricate mosaics provide insight into the cultural and artistic legacy of Byzantium.
  • Dexameni Square: Discover the bohemian charm of Dexameni Square, surrounded by art galleries, quaint cafes, and a nostalgic open-air cinema. The square’s eclectic ambiance offers a delightful retreat, inviting you to soak in the creative spirit of Athens.
  • Marina Flisvos: Visit Marina Flisvos, a modern marina in Paleo Faliro, offering a picturesque setting for yacht watching, waterfront dining, and a variety of recreational activities.

Athens has countless memorable places to visit, it’s up to you to become a modern Odusseus and discover them!

The Parthenon
The Parthenon
Monastiraki
Monastiraki Square
Kallimarmaro
Kallimarmaro
Philopappou Hill
Philopappou Hill
Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens
Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens
Syntagma Square
Syntagma Square
Church of Saint Dimitrios
Church of Saint Dimitrios Loubardiaris
Mount Lycabettus
Mount Lycabettus
Floisvos Marina
Marina Floisvos
Ancient Agora
Ancient Agora
The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum

6. The Best Beaches close to Athens

The capital of Greece, is surrounded by a stunning coastline offering a variety of beautiful beaches. These beaches are easily accessible from the city, providing locals and visitors alike with a refreshing escape. Here are a few notable beaches close to Athens:

  • Vouliagmeni Beach: A tranquil oasis in the Athenian Riviera, Vouliagmeni Beach offers crystal-clear waters, sandy shores, and upscale beach clubs, creating a serene retreat just a short drive from the city.
  • Astir Beach (Astera Vouliagmenis): Nestled in the heart of Vouliagmeni, Astir Beach provides a luxurious seaside experience with its pristine sands, azure waters, and exclusive amenities, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Schinias Beach: Venture eastward to Schinias Beach for a more expansive coastal experience. Backed by a pine forest, this Blue Flag beach offers golden sands and shallow waters, ideal for families and nature lovers.
  • Varkiza Beach: Embrace a family-friendly ambiance at Varkiza Beach, where shallow waters, beachside playgrounds, and a variety of waterfront dining options create a welcoming environment for all ages.
  • Kavouri Beach: Unwind at Kavouri Beach, where a series of interconnected coves provide a natural haven. Surrounded by pine trees, this beach offers both sandy stretches and rocky outcrops, catering to diverse preferences.
  • Nea Makri Beach: With quaint tavernas lining the waterfront and views of the sparkling Aegean Sea, Nea Makri Beach invites locals and visitors alike to unwind in a tranquil escape, making it a delightful addition to the coastal treasures near Athens.
  • Anavyssos Beach: Known for its long sandy coastline, Anavyssos Beach is popular among windsurfers and beachgoers looking for a lively atmosphere. The beach is well-equipped with facilities and beach bars
  • Kineta Beach: Heading west from Athens, Kineta Beach awaits with its pebbly shores and clear waters. The beach is known for its tranquil setting, making it a serene escape for relaxation.
  • Porto Rafti Beach: Located southeast of Athens, Porto Rafti Beach boasts a charming coastal town and sandy beaches. It’s a popular destination for locals seeking a weekend getaway.
Porto Rafti Beach
Kavouri Beach
Nea Makri Beach
Nea Makri Beach

7. Best places to eat in Athens

Embark on a gastronomic journey through Athens, where ancient flavors intertwine with modern culinary brilliance. From charming tavernas to chic rooftop restaurants offering panoramic city views, Athens beckons with a diverse tapestry of dining experiences. Get ready to indulge your palate in the vibrant markets, traditional eateries, and upscale dining establishments that make the Greek capital a haven for food enthusiasts.

Here are our top picks for places to eat in Athens:

  • Minnie: Wine Bar, Cafe, European Cuisine, Vegetarian Friendly
  • Capana: Pizza, Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine, Vegan & Vegetarian options
  • Dalliance:Wine Bar, Cafe, European & Mediterranean Cuisine, Vegan & Vegetarian options
  • Balthazar: Sushi, European & Mediterranean Cuisine,Vegan & Vegetarian options, Gluten-Free options
  • Noel: Bar, Cafe, Dinner, Vegetarian & Vegan Options
  • Just Made 33: Cafe, Greek, European & Mediterranean Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Options
  • Varoulko: Greek Cuisine, Seafood, Healthy, Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Options
  • Odori: Pizza, Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options
  • Salumaio: Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Vegan, Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Options
  • Artisanal: Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine, Vegan, Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Options

Feel free to check for more excellent options on Tripadvisor!.

5  Must-try dishes in Athens

Here is our top-5 pick of dishes that you must try during your stay in Athens:

  • Moussaka: A quintessential Greek dish, moussaka is a layered casserole of eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel sauce, baked to golden perfection. Each forkful is a symphony of flavors and textures.
  • Souvlaki: A street food favorite, souvlaki features skewered and grilled meat, usually served in pita with tomatoes, onions, and a drizzle of tzatziki. It’s a delicious and convenient option for on-the-go dining.
  • Spanakopita (spinach pie):   Delight in layers of flaky phyllo pastry embracing a filling of spinach, feta cheese, and aromatic herbs. Spanakopita is a savory pie that showcases Greece’s mastery in pastry-making.
  • Saganaki: Savor the crispiness of saganaki, a pan-fried cheese dish typically made with kefalograviera or graviera cheese. The outer layer is golden and crunchy, while the inside remains delightfully gooey.
  • Gemista: Gemista, or stuffed vegetables, showcase the bounty of Greece’s harvest. Tomatoes, peppers, or zucchinis are filled with a flavorful mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat, creating a satisfying and wholesome dish.
Gemista
Gemista
Souvlaki
Souvlaki

For an extensive guide in Greek cuisine, check here!

8. Outdoor Activities in Athens

In Athens, the city of ancient wonders and modern vibrancy, the allure extends beyond historic ruins and bustling markets. From epic hikes with panoramic city views to seaside escapades the city unfolds as an outdoor playground for the intrepid traveler. Whether you’re scaling ancient hills, indulging in waterside delights, or simply strolling through historic gardens, Athens beckons with a symphony of outdoor activities, promising exhilarating moments and unforgettable memories at every turn. Let the city’s energy and nature’s wonders intertwine as you embark on an adventure that transcends time and captivates the soul!

Here are some interesting activities:

  • Mount Lycabettus Hike: Ascend Mount Lycabettus for panoramic views of Athens. The hike offers a scenic route, or take the funicular for a leisurely journey to the summit, where breathtaking vistas await.
  • National Garden Stroll: Find serenity in the heart of Athens at the National Garden. Wander through lush greenery, discover hidden lakes, and encounter ancient ruins within this peaceful oasis.
  • The Presidential Guard Change: A captivating spectacle at Syntagma Square. The Presidential Guards called “Evzones” blending rhythmic movements, synchronized drills, and vibrant ceremonial attire, creating a dynamic and visually stunning activity that reflects the essence of Greek heritage and national pride!
  • Segway Tour: Explore Athens effortlessly by joining a Segway tour. Glide through historic neighborhoods, parks, and iconic sites, enjoying a unique and entertaining perspective of the city.
  • Sunset at Cape Sounion: Take a short trip to Cape Sounion for a mesmerizing sunset at the Temple of Poseidon. The ancient ruins against the backdrop of the Aegean Sea create a magical and romantic atmosphere.
  • Acropolis Tour: Explore the pinnacle of ancient Greek civilization at the Acropolis, where the iconic Parthenon stands proudly amidst archaeological treasures, offering an immersive encounter with the cradle of Western civilization.
  • Kayaking in Vouliagmeni Lake: Experience tranquility by kayaking in Lake Vouliagmeni. Nestled amid natural surroundings, the lake’s mineral-rich waters provide a unique paddling adventure.
  • Attica Zoological Park: Enjoy a day at the Attica Zoological Park, located near Athens International Airport. Explore themed sections, encounter exotic animals, and participate in educational programs for a family-friendly outdoor adventure.
  • Alou Fun Park Thrills: Discover family-friendly excitement at Alou Fun Park in Athens, featuring a diverse range of attractions, from thrilling rides and games to vibrant entertainment, promising a day of laughter and adventure for visitors of all ages.
  • Flea Market Exploration: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Monastiraki Flea Market. Wander through narrow alleys, discover unique treasures, and experience the eclectic energy of this bustling market.
  • Open-Air Cinema Nights: During the summer months, attend an open-air cinema screening. Enjoy classic films under the starry Athenian sky, often with iconic landmarks in view.
  • Athens Bike Tour by night: Join a guided bike tour to explore the city’s landmarks, including the Acropolis, Plaka, and Syntagma Square. It’s an active and immersive way to discover the historical and cultural gems of Athens, under the Greek night-sky.
  • Yoga in the Park: Attend outdoor yoga sessions in parks of Athens. Engage in a rejuvenating practice surrounded by nature and the city’s energy.
  • Outdoor Photography Expedition: Capture the essence of Athens through an outdoor photography expedition. Join guided tours that take you to iconic landmarks and hidden gems, perfect for photography enthusiasts.
Allou! Fun Park
Allou! Fun Park
Presidential Guard
The Presidential Guard “Evzones”
Attica Zoological Park
Attica Zoological Park
Monastiraki Flea Market
The National Garden
The National Garden

9. Day Trips from Athens

Escape the urban rhythm of Athens and embark on day trips that unfurl the tapestry of Greece’s rich heritage. From the ancient oracle at Delphi to the sun-soaked tranquility of Hydra Island, each destination whispers stories of mythology and history. Stand before Poseidon’s Temple at Cape Sounion, traverse the cobbled lanes of Nafplio, and marvel at the Corinth Canal’s engineering marvel.

These day trips promise a glimpse into the diverse facets of Greece, inviting you to explore, discover, and embrace the timeless allure beyond the city limits:

  • Cape Sounion: Embark on a scenic drive to Cape Sounion and marvel at the Temple of Poseidon. Perched on the edge of the Aegean Sea, this historic site offers breathtaking views and a romantic sunset experience.
  • Aegina Island: Sail to Aegina, one of the Saronic Islands. Explore the vibrant port, indulge in local pistachios, and visit the ancient Temple of Aphaia, a hidden gem surrounded by olive groves.
  • Nafplio: Immerse yourself in the charm of Nafplio, a picturesque town known for its Venetian architecture. Stroll through narrow streets, visit Palamidi Fortress, and relax by the sea.
  • Hydra Island: Set sail to Hydra, a car-free island exuding timeless elegance. Wander through the charming harbor, explore vibrant art galleries, and savor fresh seafood by the waterfront.
  • Ancient Corinth and the Corinth Canal: Discover ancient Corinth and its archaeological site, then stand in awe at the engineering marvel of the Corinth Canal, connecting the Aegean to the Ionian Sea.
  • Chalkida: Gracing the narrow strait of Evripos, captivates with its Old Bridge connecting the mainland to the island of Evia. Explore this seaside town, where lively waterfront tavernas, historic sites, and the mesmerizing phenomenon of the changing currents create an enchanting blend of tradition and modern allure.
  • Delphi: Venture to the ancient sanctuary of Delphi, nestled on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Explore the archaeological site, visit the Temple of Apollo, and absorb the mystical ambiance of the Oracle.
  • Poros Island: A jewel in the Saronic Gulf, beckons with its azure waters and neoclassical charm. Explore winding paths, absorb the tranquility of Lemon Forest, and let the island’s unhurried pace unveil a serene escape, just a ferry ride away from Athens.
  • Sounion and Lavrio: Combine a visit to Cape Sounion with a stop in Lavrio. Explore the mining history of Lavrio and enjoy the picturesque harbor before witnessing the sunset at Sounion.
Aegina Island
Aegina Island
Corinth Canal
Corinth Canal
Delphi
Delphi
Nafplio
Nafplio
Cape Sounion
Cape Sounion
Hydra Island
Hydra Island

10. Accommodation Options in Athens

Athens provides a range of accommodation options to suit every traveller’s preference. From luxury hotels with breathtaking Acropolis views to cosy boutique guesthouses in Plaka, you’ll find the perfect base for your Athenian adventure.

Here is our Top-10 hotel list for Athens:

Find more Greeklist exclusive Hotel deals for Athens and HotelBrain here!

11. Local Transportation and getting around in Athens

Athens boasts an intricate public transportation system, offering a seamless blend of efficiency and convenience. Let’s delve into the diverse modes of getting around the city:

  • Athens Metro: Efficient and well-connected, the Athens Metro comprises three lines – green, blue, and red – seamlessly linking neighborhoods, major attractions, and transportation hubs. Operating from early morning until late at night, it’s a reliable backbone for city exploration.
  • Buses & Trolleys: Extensive and integral to city mobility, Athens’ bus and trolley network covers both urban and suburban areas. Running from early morning until midnight, buses provide a convenient option for reaching destinations beyond the metro’s reach.
  • Trams: Discover Athens’ scenic charm by hopping on the Athens Tram, a delightful connection between the city center and coastal suburbs. Operating from dawn to midnight, it offers a picturesque journey along the captivating coastline.
  • Suburban Railway (Proastiakos): For ventures beyond Athens, the Suburban Railway seamlessly links the city with the broader Attica region and Athens International Airport. A convenient choice for exploring nearby towns and suburbs.
  • Taxi: Widely available and easily hailed, taxis are a ubiquitous mode of transportation in Athens, offering flexibility for spontaneous city explorations.
  • Car Rentals: While the city boasts an excellent public transportation system, renting a car provides unparalleled freedom, especially for those keen on venturing into the scenic outskirts of Athens.
  • Scooter/Motorcycle Rentals: Embrace the Athenian spirit by navigating its narrow streets on a scooter or motorcycle, a popular and convenient choice for exploring the city with agility.
  • Bike Rentals: As Athens embraces a bike-friendly culture, cycling enthusiasts can enjoy dedicated bike lanes and discover intriguing routes across the city’s vibrant landscape. Embark on a two-wheeled adventure to uncover hidden gems and scenic pathways here

Fun Extra: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours. Board the iconic Hop-On Hop-Off buses, a convenient and flexible way to navigate Athens. These double-decker buses take you on a curated route, allowing you to disembark at various points of interest and rejoin when ready.

Athens Metro
Athens Metro
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

12. Safety and Travel Tips for Athens

Ensure a safe and enjoyable trip with health and safety considerations. Familiarize yourself with local customs and etiquette to respect the island’s culture:

Follow these safety and travel tips to ensure a memorable and secure holiday season in the vibrant capital of Greece:

  • Emergency Numbers: Save these emergency numbers:
  • the local police (100),
  • medical emergency (166)
  • fire department (199).
  • British Embassy (+302107272600)
  • Healthcare Awareness: Familiarize yourself with the location of medical facilities and pharmacies in case of emergencies. We hope you won’t need them!
  • Public Transportation Card: Opt for a rechargeable public transportation card to effortlessly navigate the city using buses, trams, and the metro. This card streamlines your travels and can be easily recharged at kiosks or online.
  • Hydrate and Sunscreen: The Mediterranean sun can be intense during the summer. Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle and apply sunscreen regularly, especially when exploring outdoor attractions like the Acropolis or Athens Riviera.
  • Language: While most of the Greeks speak English, learning a few basic Greek phrases can enhance your interactions and show appreciation for the local language: Kalimera! (Good Morning), Ti Kanis? (How are you?), Efcharisto! (Thank You).
  • Comfortable Footwear: Athens is a city of exploration with ancient ruins and charming neighborhoods, so comfortable walking shoes are a must. From the Acropolis to Plaka’s cobblestone streets, comfortable footwear ensures you can fully enjoy your adventures.
  • Local Cuisine Exploration: Dive into Athens’ culinary scene by trying local specialties like moussaka, souvlaki, and baklava. Venture beyond tourist areas to discover authentic tavernas and markets offering a taste of traditional Greek flavors.
  • Greek Coffee: Sip the rich and robust flavours of Greek coffee, a cherished tradition served in tiny cups, embodying the essence of hospitality and conversation
  • Currency Considerations: The official currency is the Euro. Ensure you have some cash for small purchases, but credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are readily available throughout the city.
Greek Coffee
Greek Coffee

13. Interesting FAQs about Athens

Got any questions? We have your answers!

  1. What is the best time to visit Athens? Athens is ideal to visit in spring (April to June) or fall (September to October) when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities, and tourist crowds are manageable.
  2. How do I get from Athens International Airport to the city center? The easiest way is to take the Athens Metro (Line 3). Taxis and airport shuttles are also available for a convenient transfer.
  3. What are the opening hours for shops and restaurants in Athens? Shops generally open around 9:00 AM and close around 9:00 PM. Restaurants often serve lunch from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM and dinner from 8:00 PM onwards. Note that opening hours may vary.
  4. Are there any restrictions on photography at historical sites? In most cases, photography is allowed at historical sites, but flash photography may be restricted. Always check for posted signs and guidelines.
  5. Is tipping customary in Athens? Tipping is common in restaurants, with around 10% being customary. It’s also polite to tip taxi drivers and hotel staff for good service.
  6. Can I visit the Acropolis at night? Night visits to the Acropolis are limited but possible during specific events or seasons. Check with local authorities or tour operators for availability.
  7. Is it safe to drink tap water in Athens? Yes, tap water in Athens is generally safe to drink. However, if you prefer, you can also opt for bottled water widely available in stores.
  8. What are some lesser-known attractions in Athens? Explore Anafiotika, the charming Plaka neighborhood, and the National Gardens for a break from the bustling city. These offer a more local experience.
  9. What is the dress code for visiting religious sites in Athens? When visiting churches or monasteries, it’s recommended to dress modestly. Avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless tops, and consider carrying a shawl or scarf for covering shoulders if needed.
  10. Are there day trips from Athens worth exploring? Yes, consider day trips to Delphi, Cape Sounion, or the islands of Aegina and Hydra for a diverse experience beyond the city limits. Regular tours are available for these excursions.
  11. How can I experience Athens on a budget? Athens offers various budget-friendly options, including affordable street food, free walking tours, and complimentary admission to some museums on specific days. Explore local markets for reasonably priced souvenirs.

14. Conclusion

As the curtain falls on your Athenian sojourn, the memories woven into the fabric of this ancient metropolis linger like whispers through time. Athens, with its grand Acropolis standing as a sentinel to antiquity, invites you to immerse yourself in a cultural odyssey that transcends eras. Beyond the archaeological marvels and historic narratives, the heartbeat of the city pulsates through its lively neighborhoods, sunlit squares, and bustling markets.

Each stroll through Plaka’s labyrinthine alleys becomes a dialogue with classical echoes, and every bite of moussaka or sip of ouzo is a communion with Greece’s culinary prowess. The Athenian Riviera, with its azure embrace, adds a maritime cadence to your journey, offering both relaxation and coastal enchantment.

In the tapestry of Athens, the juxtaposition of ancient ruins against a contemporary cityscape tells a story of resilience, evolution, and timeless allure. The warm greetings of Kalimera and the spirited “Opa!” encapsulate the unparalleled hospitality that accompanies you throughout this Hellenic expedition.

We say goodbye to you with this song: I Athina Moy (My Athens).

Until we meet again, Kalo taxidi! (Have a nice trip!)

Dont miss our Travel guides for Thessaloniki, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos!

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