Athens, the capital of Greece, is a modern city where ancient art is mixed with new architecture.
There are many attractions to visit in Athens and, below, you will find a suggested itinerary that might be useful when planning your holiday.
The itinerary touches on the city’s major points of interest, which can be visited in 2/3 days.
Let’s discover them together!
Athens what to see
The itinerary for the first day can only start from the Acropolis, Athens‘most famous attraction.
Don’t miss the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike.
To avoid the heat, if you go in summer, and the hordes of tourists, it’s best to arrive at opening time. Go to article
Theatre of Herod Atticus
After visiting the Acropolis, you can head to the Theatre of Herodes Atticus, one of the oldest theatres still in use.
It hosts several performances and festivals throughout the year.
The Theatre of Herod Atticus was built in 161 by the Greek consul of the same name in memory of his wife, the Roman aristocrat Regilla Aspasia, who had died the previous year.
As it is still in use, the inside of the theatre is not accessible so, to admire this masterpiece of theatre architecture, you have to stand at the top of the Acropolis and take a look underneath. Very nice!
Athens what to see: Ancient Agora
From the Theatre of Herodes Atticus, take Adrianou Street to get to the Ancient Agora, the second most important attraction in Classical Greece.
The Ancient Agora covers an area of 12 hectares, at the foot of theAcropolis.
This is where the philosopher Socrates was sentenced to death and where the concept of democracy was developed.
You can visit the Tower of the Winds, built in the 1st century B.C. by Andronicus, a Syrian astronomer, thanks to major restoration work financed in 1930 by the Rockefeller family.
In the past, the tower was used as a public solar and hydraulic clock.
Hours Ancient Agora – Open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in winter, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in summer.
Tickets – 4.00 euro. There are cumulative tickets with the Acropolis – See here.
The Acropolis Museum is the most famous exhibition centre in Athens.
It collects all the material found during excavations and, inside, you can get information about the history of the various finds and the area itself.
MuseumHours – Daily from 8am to 8pm.
Ticket price – Full price €10.00 or skip-the-line Acropolis Museum ticket – click here.
What to see in Athens: Plaka and Monastiraki
After this immersion in culture, the advice is to spend the rest of the day walking around the main shopping streets of Athens, such as Monastiraki and Plaka, which are very characteristic.
You can walk down Ermou Street from Monastiraki Square to Syntagma Square and the Greek Parliament, and Adrianou, which is teeming with souvenir shops on the east side and restaurants with views of the Acropolis on the west side.
In Plaka we found the nicest Greek tavernas.
Don’t miss a walk to Anafiotika, a small area of Plaka located on the hill of the Acropolis.
Anafiotika was built in the 19th century by craftsmen from the island of Anafi who were called in to restore the Royal Palace .
Anafiotika is very characteristic indeed!
It is made up of steep narrow streets winding between blue and white houses, coloured in summer by bougainvillea.
Second day in Athens
Temple of Olympian Zeus
The second day in Athens could start at the Temple of Zeus Olympios, if possible very early in the morning, as there are no trees to offer shelter from the sun.
The Temple of Zeus is the largest temple in ancient Greece, located between the Acropolis and Syntagma Square.
Of the 104 Corinthian columns (each 17 metres high and 1 metre 70 cm in diameter), only 15 unfortunately remain standing.
OpeningHours – 8.30 am to 3 pm, Monday to Saturday.
Tickets – €3.00 or combined ticket with the Acropolis – See here.
From the Temple of Zeus, you can walk 700 metres towards Syntagma Square and watch the changing of the guard, which takes place every day at every hour.
The Greek guards are dressed in the peculiar uniform of skirts and booties with pom-poms, so it’s a very characteristic experience!
What to see in Athens: National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is the second largest museum in Athens and one of the most important in the world.
Inside you will find sculptures and artefacts ranging from the Neolithic to the Classical Age.
The most interesting sights to see are the Head of Zeus, the bronze of Poseidon and the golden masks including the funeral mask of Agamemnon.
Where to eat near the National Archaeological Museum in Athens
Atitamos, 500 metres from the National Archaeological Museum, is a typical little restaurant with traditional Greek dishes. Truly exquisite!
Info National Archaeological Museum
How to get there – Metro line 1, stop Victoria.
Opening Hours – Daily from 8am to 8pm, closed 25-26 December, 1 January, 25 March, Orthodox Easter Sunday and 1 May.
Ticket price – 15.00 euro – For a skip-the-line ticket, click here.
Your second day in Athens could end by enjoying a beautiful sunset from Lycabettus Hill, from which you have one of the best views of Athens.
You can climb it on foot, following a steep path, or by cable car from Kolonaki.
At the top, you will find the small chapel of Ágios Giórgios, a café and a restaurant.
What to see in Athens in 3 days
If you have three days to visit Athens, you could add Kerameikos or the Necropolis of Ceramico.
Kerameikos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Athens and is located in the north-west of Athens, in the Ceramico district.
The name derives from the presence of the numerous potters’ workshops that processed ceramics (keramos).
It was the first cemetery in the Greek capital.
Inside the archaeological site, one can see the bull of Dionysus of Kollytos and a reproduction of the Stele of Dexileos.
This archaeological site is also in full sun, so in summer, if possible, plan to visit when it opens.
Address – Ermou 148. From the centre of Athens, it can be reached by bus No 21.
Opening hours – Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets – 8.00 euro. There is a cumulative ticket with the Acropolis – See here.
Athens in 3 days: Cape Sounion
Cape Sounion lies about an hour from Athens and is a promontory on which stands the temple dedicated to Poseidon.
At its foot is a bay with turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea and golden sand.
Archaeological excavations brought to light the magnificence of this temple in 1906.
The 18 remaining columns are made of marble and the order of the capitals is Doric.
The view from the promontory is breathtaking! Very impressive even at sunset.
The ticket price is 10.00 euro for adults, free for the under-18s.
To get to Cape Sounion, you can rent a car or join a GetYourGuide tour that includes a pick-up service from your hotel, a guided tour of the Temple of Poseidon, and a free tour with swimming in fine weather. Click on the banners👇
For car rental, on the other hand, you can compare the offers proposed by rental agencies and save 70% by booking your car on the DiscoverCars portal.
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