Complete Guide to Things to Do in Athens - Must-See Places

Spencer Davis, Unsplash
October 7
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover the best things to do in Athens and have an unforgettable experience in the capital of Greece. Don't miss out on the must-see attractions of this fascinating city.

When you think of mythical adventures, timeless history, and vibrant culture, only one city comes to mind, Athens. Drenched in a rich past and redefining the modern European charm, Athens offers a lot more than just being a mere witness to centuries-old narratives. Things to do in Athens range from exploring ancient sites to indulging in traditional Greek food.

An authentic Athens guide will tell you, this city is not just about archaeological sites. It has an innumerable 'hidden secrets' waiting to be discovered by you. Wondering what to see in Athens? The city itself unfolds like a story, with every street, every building having its own tale to tell. The best places to visit in Athens are those where you lose track of time and become a part of the city's narrative.

Get ready to be enthralled by the magic of Athens, where history and modernity come together in an extraordinary symphony. So pack your bags and set out on the journey of a lifetime.

1. Acropolis of Athens

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a stone structure with trees in the background
Acropolis of Athens / Spencer Davis, Unsplash

The Acropolis of Athens is a must-visit destination if you have the opportunity to travel to Greece. Perched high on a hill, it offers a panoramic view of the city of Athens and houses an impressive collection of ancient temples.

One of the most prominent buildings is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Its classical architecture and detailed sculptures are a major attraction for history and architecture enthusiasts.

You will also find other monuments such as the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Propylaea, which will transport you to ancient Greece and allow you to explore its rich history and culture.

2. Plaka Neighborhood - Athens

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a narrow alley way with a lamp post in the middle
Plaka Neighborhood - Athens / silversea, Unsplash

Plaka Neighborhood is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Athens, located just below the Acropolis. It is known for its narrow cobbled streets and traditional architecture, which will transport you back to ancient Greece. Strolling through Plaka feels like traveling in time, with its medieval charm and vibrant atmosphere.

In Plaka, you will find numerous taverns and traditional restaurants where you can taste delicious Greek cuisine, such as the famous souvlaki and moussaka. It is also a perfect place to enjoy a coffee or a drink on one of its cozy terraces, while you walk around and observe the daily life of Athenians.

You can't miss a visit to the Acropolis Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts and sculptures from ancient Greece. You will learn more about the history of Athens and marvel at the masterpieces of the Greek civilization.

3. Monastiraki Flea Market

Food and Markets

Monastiraki Flea Market is one of the most iconic and famous places in Athens. Located in the heart of the city, this bustling market is the perfect place to experience authentic local life and discover unique treasures.

With its narrow cobblestone streets, antique shops, and street food stalls, Monastiraki Flea Market offers a vibrant and colorful mix of culture, history, and tradition. Here you will find everything from vintage clothing and handicrafts to delicious Greek culinary specialties.

Explore its labyrinthine alleys, bargain with local vendors, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this magnificent market. Plus, you can enjoy a stunning view of the Acropolis while soaking up the unique atmosphere of Monastiraki Flea Market.

4. Panathenaic Stadium

Historical Monuments and Architecture$$$
black and beige stadium
Panathenaic Stadium / Teddy O, Unsplash

The Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the Olympic Stadium of Athens, is one of the must-see attractions in Athens.

Built in the 4th century BC, this stadium has hosted the ancient Olympic Games and other sporting and cultural events throughout its history.

Today, visitors can explore and visit this impressive stadium, which offers a fascinating glimpse into Athens' sporting past and present.

5. Ancient Agora of Athens

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a group of stone pillars sitting side by side
Ancient Agora of Athens / Liligance, Unsplash

Discover the Ancient Agora of Athens

There's no better way to immerse yourself in the history of Greece than by visiting the impressive Ancient Agora of Athens. This public space was the epicenter of political, commercial, and social life in the ancient city, and it still preserves traces of its glorious past.

As you wander through the Ancient Agora, you'll be able to admire the breathtaking temples, such as the Temple of Hephaestus, as well as the majestic stoas, which were covered porticos used as marketplaces and meeting places. You'll also find monuments like the Gate of Hadrian and the Tower of the Winds, which will transport you to ancient Greece.

6. Acropolis Museum

Museums and Art Galleries
a person standing on a walkway with their reflection in a puddle
Acropolis Museum / Arno Senoner, Unsplash

The Acropolis Museum is one of the top destinations to explore the ancient history of Greece. Located near the iconic Acropolis, this museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and sculptures dating back to the classical and Hellenistic periods.

The museum is divided into several thematic galleries, including sculptures from the Parthenon and other ancient temples. The displayed pieces provide a detailed insight into the skill and talent of the ancient Greek artists. Additionally, the museum's architectural design is stunning, with large windows allowing natural light to enter and offering panoramic views of the city.

Visiting the Acropolis Museum is a fascinating experience that will immerse you in the history and culture of ancient Athens. Don't miss the opportunity to explore this cultural treasure during your visit to the city.

7. Mount Lycabettus

Natural Spaces and Parks$$$
green palm tree near city buildings during daytime
Mount Lycabettus / Courtney Hall, Unsplash

Mount Lycabettus is one of the top tourist attractions in Athens. Located in the heart of the city, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

Standing at X meters tall, Mount Lycabettus is the highest point in Athens. It is an ideal place for a peaceful and relaxing stroll away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

In addition to its natural beauty, Mount Lycabettus also has a rich history and cultural heritage. At the top of the mountain, you will find the chapel of St. George, a sacred site that attracts visitors from all over the world.

8. National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Museums and Art Galleries$$$
woman statue
National Archaeological Museum of Athens / Mika Ruusunen, Unsplash

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is a hidden gem in the heart of the city. With an impressive collection of over 11,000 artifacts, it's the perfect place to immerse yourself in the history and culture of ancient Greece.

The museum houses a variety of artifacts, from sculptures and ceramics to ancient jewelry and weapons. Each room tells a different story, allowing you to explore and learn about different periods of Greek history.

If you're a history and archaeology enthusiast, this is a must-visit. The National Archaeological Museum of Athens will transport you through time, offering a fascinating glimpse into life in ancient Greece.

9. Syntagma Square

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Syntagma Square is one of the must-visit places in Athens. Located in the city center, this square is the perfect starting point to explore everything the Greek capital has to offer.

Known for its beautiful buildings, Syntagma Square showcases impressive architecture that reflects Athens' rich history and culture. Here, you can admire the Hellenic Parliament, a majestic neoclassical building that houses the Greek Parliament.

In addition to its architectural beauty, Syntagma Square is also a popular gathering place for locals and tourists. You can enjoy a lively atmosphere, with shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore.

10. Temple of Olympian Zeus

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a tall pillar with a statue on top of it
Temple of Olympian Zeus / Athens at a Glance, Unsplash

Discover the majestic Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens.

Located in the center of the city, this ancient temple is one of Greece's most important landmarks. Built in honor of the god Zeus and considered one of the architectural wonders of the ancient world, the temple offers stunning views both during the day and at night.

If you're looking for things to do in Athens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus should definitely be on your list.