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Athens
Travel Guide

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

Top hotels in Athens

The Pinnacle Athens
The Pinnacle Athens
5 out of 5
75 Eolou & Evripidou, Athens
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Located in Athens City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Athens Central Market and Ermou Street. Syntagma Square and Monastiraki Flea Market ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (152 reviews)
Cool Boutique/Art hotel

"Great rooftop and interior design. I stayed in a double room- I got 2 single beds connected.. instead of king size as booked. Room wasnt too big on the first floor with not much of a view. Service is good .. clean and very Covid aware. The cleaning stuff are great. The breakfast is ok, nothing too ..."…"

Reviewed on 12 Nov 2020

The Pinnacle Athens
Cecil Hotel
Cecil Hotel
2 out of 5
39 Athinas Street, Athens, Attiki
The price is £37 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

Located in Athens City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Athens Central Market and Ermou Street. Omonia Square and Monastiraki Flea Market are ...

3.7/5Good! (646 reviews)
Rooms fine, staff nice, awful breakfast.

"Everything in room fine and as expected. Clean, comfortable bed and pillows. The balcony option isn't worth the extra though as it's really just a shelf and the entire space is taken up by the aircon unit so not really a balcony at all. I like Cecil and have stayed before and will again. The breakfast ..."…"

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2020

Cecil Hotel
Sofitel Athens Airport
Sofitel Athens Airport
5 out of 5
Athens International Airport, Spata-Artemida, Attiki
Free cancellation
The price is £136 per night from 3 Mar to 4 Mar

Situated in Spata-Artemida, this luxury hotel is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Metropolitan Expo, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Factory Outlet Airport and Vorres Museum. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,230 reviews)

"Friendly staff from the Reception people to the bartender. Greek Hospitality at its best"…"

Reviewed on 25 Feb 2021

Sofitel Athens Airport
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Athens

Marina Alimos Hotel Apartments
Marina Alimos Hotel Apartments
3 out of 5
1 Davaki St. & 14 Poseidonos Avenue, Alimos, Attiki
The price is £54 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

Situated by the sea, this apartment building is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Alimos Marina, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Flisvos Marina and Stavros Niarchos Foundation ...

4.1/5Very Good! (82 reviews)

"The picture showing the view is factually correct, but no mention is made of the high pitch traffic just below the window and between the seashore. High volume noise making the opening of any windows impossible which makes the apartment uncomfortable due to the high heat as a result of air conditioning ..."…"

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019

Marina Alimos Hotel Apartments
Athens Studios
Athens Studios
4 out of 5
3A Veikou St, Makrigyianni, Athens, Attiki
The price is £40 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

Located in Athens City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Acropolis Museum, Acropolis and Temple of Olympian Zeus. Parthenon and Syntagma ...

4.1/5Very Good! (638 reviews)
Good value great location.

"Good value great location near the Acropolis museum and Plaka. Stuff is helpful. I asked for a double bed instead the 2 single connected that i got and was upgraded to a top floor room with a nice balcony. Breakfast is basic."…"

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2020

Athens Studios
Olympus Residence
Olympus Residence
4 out of 5
14 Pafsaniou Str., Athens, Attiki

Located in Athens City Centre, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Goulandris Museum of Modern Art and Panathenaic Stadium. Temple of Olympian ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (255 reviews)

"They seriously think of what would make your stay special and memorable"…"

Reviewed on 12 Dec 2020

Olympus Residence
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Athens

Top things to do in Athens

Reviews of Athens

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
436
5 - Excellent 55.8258642765685%
4 - Good
281
4 - Good 35.97951344430218%
3 - Okay
51
3 - Okay 6.530089628681178%
2 - Disappointing
12
2 - Disappointing 1.5364916773367479%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.12804097311139565%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

13 Mar 2020

Athens is a beautiful city with lots to see and do and the people are warm and welcoming!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Mar 2020

Great city to feel welcome by its citizens. Just amazing!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

6 Mar 2020

Great city. Lovely hosts.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Mar 2020

I love Athens. It has friendly and laidback feel and lots of personality. Things just happen: religious processions, street music, etc.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

28 Feb 2020

There is a lot to see in Athens. You turn a corner and there is another interesting historical something to explore. The people are friendly and the food is amazing. Nothing was expensive. Like all big cities, it's really busy even in winter.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

22 Feb 2020

The only reason to go to Athens is to see the ancient ruins. Modern Athens is an ugly city blighted by traffic.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Athens

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An Insider's Guide to Athens

An Insider's Guide to Athens
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A Coffee Lover's Guide to Athens

A Coffee Lover's Guide to Athens

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