Best Things to Do in Athens, Greece
Athens has definitely stolen our hearts and our bellies! As a kid, I always loved learning about Ancient Greece, so it was so cool seeing the ruins in person! As an avid traveler, I know many say to skip Athens, however, I highly recommend spending at least a day in the city! Therefore, here are the 8 best things to see and do in Athens, Greece.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Best Things to Do in Athens, Greece
- 1. Acropolis Ancient Ruins
- 2. The Panathenaic Stadium
- 3. Temple of Olympian Zeus
- 4. The Athenian Agora
- 5.Library of Hadrian
- 6. Acropolis Museum
- 7. Explore the Flea Market and Streets of Plaka
- 8. Areopagus Rock for Sunset
- Best Way to Get Around Athens, Greece
- Looking for More Things to Do in Athens?
1. Acropolis Ancient Ruins
Did you even visit Greece without stopping at the famous Acropolis? The best tip I could give you is to arrive for the opening, which is 8 am. If not, you’re likely to hit huge crowds.
If you plan on spending 4 days in Athens (like me) I’d recommend getting the 3-day pass; it’s worth it! The pass also allows you to see tons of other ruins all around Athens!
Once you go through the gate, get ready to explore the Odeion of Herodes Atticus Parthenon, Athena Nike, and Erecthion just to name a few ruins. It’s truly breathtaking and by far one of the best things to see in Athens!
Address: Athens 105 58, Greece
Hours of Operation: 8 AM – 8 PM
2. The Panathenaic Stadium
Ready to walk in the footsteps of champions? With just a 5 euro admission, enjoy access to the entire stadium and a headset that provides the history as you make your way around.
Get ready to walk up the giant marble steps, sit in the royal marble chairs, run down the track, stand on the pedestal of champions, and (my favorite) walk down the tunnel where so many athletes had walked before!
If that wasn’t cool enough, through the tunnel is a room that holds all the Olympic torches! Oh, and did I even mention the amazing views of Athens you will see when walking up the Panathenaic stadium?! The Panathenaic Stadium easily makes the list of best things to do in Athens!
Fun fact: the Panathenaic stadium is the only stadium built completely of marble!
Address: Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou, Athina 116 35, Greece
3. Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus was by far one of my favorite ruins in Athens. I love the details of the Corinthian columns, the little wildflowers growing around them, and all the space to walk around the columns.
Did you know the Temple of Olympian Zeus was one of the largest in this time era? The temple originally consisted of 104 columns (20 columns on the side and 3 rows of 8 on the end).
Around 5 AD deterioration started due to natural causes and human activity and of the original 104 columns, 16 had survived until 1852 when a storm made one column fall over. It can be seen laying on the ground now. You can also get a glimpse of Hadrian’s arch and gate.
Address: Athens 105 57, Greece
4. The Athenian Agora
Next, explore the compounds of Athenian Agora. Agora meaning market place played a huge role as an economic center in ancient times. This is where the wealth and influence of classical Athens were visible.
The Agora was also a spot for ancient Athenians to hang out, conduct business, and where the famed philosophers doused their listeners with wisdom such as Socrates.
You can find tons of statues and ruins throughout the Agora making it one of the best places to see in Athens!
Tip: Don’t forget to walk to the top to explore the Temple of Hephaistos. You will also be rewarded with an epic view overlooking Athens!
While here, you can also visit the Stoa of Attalos which is found inside the Athenian Agora. The Sota of Attalos is a beautifully lined column building with pieces of artifacts displayed throughout the space.
Address: Adrianou 24, Athina 105 55, Greece
5.Library of Hadrian
I now welcome you to Hadrian’s Library. The marble is so blinding here, don’t forget your stunna shades. In the same area, you will also see the Church of Saint Asimatos and Tetraconch Church. “It was built according to the view by Hercules the Perfect of llliricum (AD 407-412) or by the Empress Eudocia, former Athena’s daughter”.
This spot is full of history and lots to see with instagramable views. It was also way less crowded than the Acropolis!
Address: Athens 105 55, Greece
6. Acropolis Museum
If you visit any museum in Athens, let it be the Acropolis Museum! The entire museum is built above the Makriyianni settlement by concrete columns with the ground level featuring a glass floor to enable views of the archaeological grounds below.
Marvel over some of the most important Ancient Greece treasures while here!
Some of the top things to see at the Acropolis museum include:
- Archaic Period: Venture through the Archaic period of a 6th-century kore (statues of young women) with delicate designs, traces of paint, and beautifully draped clothes along with many other wonderful artifacts.
- Next, check out the 5 Caryatids which were smashed by a Turkish canyon ball but mainly survived. You will recognize them immediately from the replica atop the Acropolis!
- After, visit one of the most impressive areas in the museum, the Parthenon Procession. It’s located on the 3rd level of the museum with floor-to-ceiling glass windows letting in lots of natural light and stunning views of Athens. Enjoy walking around the Parthenon procession which is at eye-level across a stunning 525 foot (160 meters) long frieze.
Address: Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athina 117 42, Greece, admission is 5 euros ( some days out of the year are free!) and hours and dates for free admission click here!
7. Explore the Flea Market and Streets of Plaka
This list wouldn’t be “the best things to do in Athens” without including the exploration of the streets in Athens. You will find lots of great shopping and amazing local food around the Flea Market.
Tip: Don’t forget to stop by Hans and Gretel Sweets for the most amazing waffle ice cream cones or wander down the most picturesque streets in Plaka. If you’re around during sunset, stop into one of the many rooftop restaurants for an amazing view of the Acropolis all lit up!
8. Areopagus Rock for Sunset
Finally to end my 8 best things to see in Athens is the Areopagus. Enjoy an amazing sunset located right below the Acropolis! The Areopagus rock offers panoramic views making it perfect for the most epic sunset.
Just as an FYI, this spot is usually crowded, but with reason! You will find locals and tourists alike taking in the views from here.
Address: Athens 105 55, Greece
Best Way to Get Around Athens, Greece
The best way to explore Athens is on foot! The main attractions in Athens are all relatively close. Additionally, you can take their subway system which is easy and very clean. You can also use the bus system or hire a car.
I would not recommend renting a car while in Athens.
Looking for More Things to Do in Athens?
Want more stuff to do? Check out my “4 Day Athens Itinerary” where I break down our whole Athens trip including a beach day!