AthensGreece

Image for Plaka which includes outdoor eating, night scenes and dining out

Visit Athens

East meets West and classic meets contemporary in this iconic European capital.  Athens is the crown jewel of Greece and a fascinating city for any visitor.

The history of Athens is world-renowned. Ancient attractions such as the Acropolis, Parthenon, Agora and Dionysus Theatre, created during the Greek Golden Age, have influenced architecture throughout the Western world.

The Athenian Acropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is instantly recognisable. Sitting high above Athens on the Acropolis Rock, this 5th-century site and its majestic temples were created to pay tribute to the gods and demonstrate the supremacy of Ancient Greece. It continues to impress today, but make sure you visit early in the day to avoid the burn of the scorching summer sun.

Entering the Acropolis via the towering columns of the Poplyaia, you won’t fail to be impressed. On your way, you’ll see the unmissable Parthenon or ‘Temple of the Virgin,’ a famous national symbol, dominating the Athens skyline. This was once the most elaborate temple in Greece, framed by classic Doric style columns, with ornate friezes and sculptures. Inside, sat a precious statute of the city’s protector-goddess Athena made of ivory and gold.

Below the Parthenon sits the notable Dionysus Theatre. This grand mosaic-tiled, open-air theatre was the set of many Greek tragedies and plays and is one of the world’s first theatres. See the marbled seats of the elite and dignitaries, including Roman emperor Hadrian’s exclusive seat.

Another noteworthy site, the modern Acropolis Museum, houses many ancient sculptures and artefacts for even more insight into early Greek civilisation. The museum’s star attraction is the beautifully displayed Parthenon Marbles depicting scenes of ancient Athens. If you are lucky, you might even see live restorations and excavations at this impressive living museum.

If you love museums, Athens has all sorts. The National Archaeological Museum is one of the most prestigious in the world. Founded in the 19th-century, it contains the most comprehensive reference of Ancient Greek culture with more than 11,000 exhibits.

At the heart of civic life in Athens was the must-visit Roman Agora. Although difficult to imagine from its ruined remains, it contained the city’s busiest marketplace, libraries, courts and baths. It is purported as the birthplace of democracy, where public meetings took place and where Socrates once addressed his public. A guided tour of this popular site is recommended to fully appreciate its history.

Of course, there’s more to Athens than its monuments. The cosmopolitan capital has a real mix of traditional and modern. You can enjoy upmarket shopping, drinking and dining in luxurious surroundings, or traditional hospitality in Greek tavernas that have also stood the test of time. Athens is full of restaurants, and Greek cuisine is notoriously rich and moreish. Make sure you wind down after a day’s adventuring and enjoy some fresh fish, salty feta and juicy olives.

Where to stay in Athens

Ancient Agora showing a city

Athens City Centre

4.5/5Wonderful!(457 area reviews)

Known for its fascinating museums, charming cafes and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Athens City Centre. Top attractions like Syntagma Square and Benaki Museum are major draws. Catch the metro at Panepistimio Station or Syntagma Station to see more of the city.

Athens City Centre
Plaka featuring street scenes, night scenes and dining out

Plaka

4.5/5Wonderful!(112 area reviews)

Enjoy this historical Athens hub that offers extensive shopping and dining, intermingled with ancient attractions such as the library of Adrianos.

Plaka
Mount Lycabettus which includes mountains and a city

Kolonaki

4.5/5Wonderful!(64 area reviews)

You might take some time to check out the abundant dining options in Kolonaki. Spend some time visiting top spots like Mount Lycabettus, and catch the metro at Megaro Moussikis Station or Evangelismos Station to see more of the area.

Kolonaki
Athens which includes heritage elements, heritage architecture and building ruins

Monastiraki

4.5/5Wonderful!(85 area reviews)

Visitors to Monastiraki love its fantastic nightlife, and you can check out Monastiraki Flea Market and Hadrian's Library. If you want to see more in the area, you can get around town on the metro at Monastiraki Station.

Monastiraki
Omonia, Athens, Greece

Omonia

3/5(90 area reviews)

The ample dining options and fascinating museums are just a few popular features of the neighbourhood. Make a stop by Omonia Square or National Theatre of Greece while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Omonoia Station to get around town.

Omonia
Acropolis Museum which includes a city

Koukaki

4/5Very Good!(13 area reviews)

Visitors to Koukaki love its fascinating museums, and you can check out Acropolis Museum and Emotions Museum of Childhood. If you want to see more in the area, you can get around town on the metro at Akropoli Station.

Koukaki

Top hotels in Athens

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Athens Luxury Suites
Athens Luxury Suites
4 out of 5
12 Avramiotou St., Monastiraki, Athens, Attica
£60
per night
Feb 1 - Feb 2

Located in Athens City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Church Of Agia Irini and Ermou Street. Monastiraki Flea Market and Tzisdarakis Mosque are also within ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (386 reviews)

"I had a fantastic weekend, warmly recommended! Close to all the major sceneries. But still in a Quiet area/street. Also, the small building size makes it cozier as well. The room was big and suitable for a family with four persons without a problem."…"

Reviewed on 25 Jan 2020

Athens Luxury Suites
Sofitel Athens Airport
Sofitel Athens Airport
5 out of 5
Athens International Airport, Spata-Artemida, Attiki
£132
per night
Feb 14 - Feb 15

Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Factory Outlet Airport and 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Metropolitan Expo. Vorres Museum and Attica ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (4,666 reviews)

"Beautiful room, friendly service and convenient location"…"

Reviewed on 24 Jan 2020

Sofitel Athens Airport
Athens Gate Hotel
Athens Gate Hotel
4 out of 5
10 Syngrou Avenue, Athens, Attiki
£71
per night
Feb 5 - Feb 6

Located in Athens City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Greek Evangelical Church, Arch of Hadrian and Temple of Olympian Zeus. Theatre of Dionysus and Choragic ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (2,876 reviews)

"Great locación, beautiful view , closed to many attractions, restaurants, museums and stores"…"

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2020

Athens Gate Hotel

Popular things to do in Athens

Acropolis
Image for Acropolis

Acropolis

4.5/5(294 reviews)

The ancient Greek city rises like a phoenix from the city center of modern Athens, lighting up at night in splendid glory.

Syntagma Square
Image for Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square

4/5(241 reviews)

This square was built in ancient times and remains at the center of political and social activity in modern Athens. 

Port of Piraeus
Image for Port of Piraeus

Port of Piraeus

4/5(112 reviews)

Explore the waterfront in Piraeus with a trip to Port of Piraeus. Discover the lively bars and fascinating museums in this walkable area.

Acropolis Museum
Image for Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

4.5/5(319 reviews)

This modern museum is labor of love that has taken decades to complete and accommodates millions of visitors each year.

Parthenon
Image for Parthenon

Parthenon

4.5/5(391 reviews)

Step back in time and explore the ancient myths etched into the walls of the largest Doric temple in Greece, originally dedicated to the warrior goddess Athena.

Glyfada Beach
Image for Glyfada Beach

Glyfada Beach

4.5/5(52 reviews)

Nothing says holiday like spending a lazy day at Glyfada Beach, a popular beach in Glyfada. Amble around this family-friendly area's seaside and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Top activities in Athens

Skip-the-line Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour
Image for Skip-the-line Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour

Skip-the-line Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour

£43

Skip the lines and visit 2 of the most famous sites in Athens: the striking Acropolis reigning from the hill and the renowned Acropolis Museum. Meander through glorious monuments like the Parthenon, Nike Temple, and Ancient Agora.

Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

£17

Explore the ancient wonders of Athens on an unlimited hop-on hop-off bus tour. With a 24 hour or 3 day ticket, discover the Greek capital at your own pace.

Ancient Delphi Full-Day Trip
Image for Ancient Delphi Full-Day Trip

Ancient Delphi Full-Day Trip

£74

Greek mythology comes to life as you walk the roads of Delphi, considered by the ancients to be the center of the world. Admire Apollo’s temple as you hear tales of the city's famous oracle, visit a fascinating archaeological museum, and take in the magnificent terrain surrounding Arahova—a picturesque village on the slopes of Mt.

Poros, Hydra & Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch
Image for Poros, Hydra & Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch

Poros, Hydra & Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch

£85

Leave the mainland behind as you set sail across the Aegean to lose yourself in the ancient beauty of the Saronic Islands. Enjoy free time on the islands of Poros, Hydra, and Aegina, relax over a delicious buffet lunch, and be entertained by Greek music and dancing onboard the boat as you cruise between stops.

Skip-the-Line Acropolis & Athens Sightseeing & Museum Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Acropolis & Athens Sightseeing & Museum Tour

Skip-the-Line Acropolis & Athens Sightseeing & Museum Tour

£46

Listen to stories from your expert guide, which bring the city to life as you visit some must-see attractions in the comfort of a luxury coach. Skip the lines and wander through the site of the first-ever Olympic Games and the world-famous Acropolis.

Marathon Lake and Ancient Vravrona Tour
Image for Marathon Lake and Ancient Vravrona Tour

Marathon Lake and Ancient Vravrona Tour

£37

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Marathon Lake, Marathon Greece Marathon Dam was constructed between 1926 and 1929 and it was the only water supplier to Athens until 1959. It is 54m tall and 285m long and the reservoir has a maximum depth of 54m.

Reviews of Athens

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
408
5 - Excellent 55.13513513513514%
4 - Good
270
4 - Good 36.486486486486484%
3 - Okay
50
3 - Okay 6.756756756756757%
2 - Disappointing
11
2 - Disappointing 1.4864864864864864%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.13513513513513514%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 24, 2020

Great history and culture. Food is amazing also.

4/5 - Good

RayRob

Jan 7, 2020

Interesting city stepped in history which is well presented through the various monuments and museums and buildings.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 7, 2020

Nice historical city. Just some streets and houses looks little bit scary.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 6, 2020

Great place to visit for city & coast, and learn about ancient & modern culture; easy metro access to see sites; 5-day metro card for 9 euro to travel through city and to coastal locations. The book Eurydice Street gives a feel for culture & history.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 5, 2020

Chaotic, busy but lovely place for city break

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 4, 2020

The main museum and the Parthenon are stunning.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Athens

6 Instagram Tours to Capture Amazing #travelphotography
Image for 6 Instagram Tours to Capture Amazing #travelphotography

6 Instagram Tours to Capture Amazing #travelphotography

Stop scrolling through your feed and dreaming. You’re only a few clicks away from creating your own amazing travel photos.

How to Spend a Weekend in Athens, Greece
Image for How to Spend a Weekend in Athens, Greece

How to Spend a Weekend in Athens, Greece

It may be the cradle of Democracy, but with its hip nightlife and lively restaurants, Athens’ present is as intriguing as its past.

Other places like Athens

Kalamata
Image for Kalamata
Kalamata
Lisbon District
Image for Lisbon District
Lisbon District
Berlin
Image for Berlin
Berlin
Milan
Image for Milan
Milan