A Fascinating Mix of History, Art, and Cuisine
Athens is Greece’s capital city, located in the southern part of Greece in the European continent. The capital of Greece is a favorite destination for travel lovers worldwide. The museums, temples, and monuments show its most significant history, while beaches, beautiful sceneries, nightlife, and exquisite cuisine give you the ideal experience for your trip.
Athens is also a reasonably cheap destination in Europe to visit. About 18 million tourists visit this city every year.
Besides the world-famous landmarks, there are more things that you can enjoy in Athens. Having a strong coffee in a cafe with a great view will make you relax in the historic heart of Greece.
History of Athens
Athens’s history goes back over 3000 years in terms of its inhabitation. It became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first Millennium BC. The culture here had a sophisticated development which led to building up the foundation of Western civilization. Athens brought up the concept of democracy, which changed the world from a monarchy political system to a Democratic political system.
The History of this city always has links with the mythology of gods, and it still displays in the city’s landmarks.
This is not a platform for describing Athens’s history, as it needs ample room. So, you are welcome to have an idea of how the history of the city is shown by visiting this wonderful city with our guidelines.
How to reach Athens
Athens has a Mediterranean climate with hot sunny summers and mild, rainy winters from December to mid-March. June, July, and August are the summer months here. The hottest month is August, with an average temperature of 28.7°C (84°F).
In the summer, Athens is the hottest city in all of Europe. The coldest month is January at ten °C (50°F). In the city’s north, snowfalls happen more frequently; in the city’s center, the Acropolis becomes whiter with snow more quickly than in the lower part of the city. The wettest month is December, with an average of 97.6mm of rain. Did you know that the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was in Athens on 10th July 1977, at 118.4 °F?
Things to do in Athens.
This is the number one place to visit in Athens, Greece. One of the reasons to visit the capital of Greece by travellers from all over the world is to see the Acropolis. The Acropolis is a famous ancient site in the world, located on a rocky outcrop in the city center. You can see the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike in the Acropolis.
The Parthenon is not only the most famous building in the Acropolis but also one of the most famous buildings in the world. This was built to honor the Greek goddess Athena Parthenos (the patron of Athens) and has since served as both a Christian Church and an Islamic Mosque. Scaffolding will likely be there when you visit the Parthenon because substantial renovations have occurred there since 1975.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is an ancient theatre located on the southwestern slope of the Acropolis. It was constructed in 161 AD in memory of his wife and was used as a music concert venue until it was destroyed in 267 AD. The building was restored in the 1950s and continues to be a popular music concert venue, with performers like Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Frank Sinatra, Nana Mouskouri, Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballé, and Andrea Bocelli. Seeing a concert here will be one of the best things to do in Athens!
The Theater of Dionysus of the Acropolis is dedicated to the Greek God of drama. As you sit on the stone benches, it’s simple to picture yourself witnessing one of the first classical Greek plays.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus & Hadrian’s Arch
One of Athens’s most spectacular historical sites is the Temple of Zeus. Also, it is one of the largest ancient temples of the Greek-Roman Empire. It’s fantastic to see the massive columns of the Temple of Zeus in Athens, and there are some tremendous viewpoints where you can capture the Temple and the Acropolis in the same picture.
Also, The Temple of Olympian Zeus is not far from Hadrian’s Arch, a stunning building on one of Athens’ principal thoroughfares. It was constructed as a tribute to Hadrian, the Roman emperor, for his services to the city.
The Acropolis and its slopes, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Olympieion, Kerameikos, and Aristotle’s School are all included in the 5-day combined attractions ticket, which is one of the top things to do here. E-tickets are available here.
Or else, you can buy a combined ticket at the Temple of Olympian Zeus to see many archaeological sites in Athens without queueing for too long.
Plaka and Anafiotika
If you are interested in small cafes, cute houses, cobbled streets, and the scent of freshly brewed coffee, then you must visit Plaka and Anafiotika, the neighbourhood areas of Athens. These two areas are the best examples of ancient architecture and society of Athens. Without any doubt, You can also visit the Cine Paris at night for outdoor movie screenings, as this is best in Athens.
The Acropolis Museum
If you are interested in history and archaeology, visiting the Acropolis Museum is one of Athens’s best things to do. It gives an excellent picture of what the Parthenon and other structures on the Acropolis might have looked like thousands of years ago.
Without seeing the Acropolis Museum, the visit to Athens will be incomplete. This museum is the most visited in Greece. Since its public opening in 2009, this architectural marvel has continuously been ranked as one of the top museums in the world.
A cafe inside the museum offers a fantastic view of the Acropolis. It’s a nice spot to stop for a coffee or a meal.
Syntagma Square, the Parliament, and the Evzones
The Parliament of Greece is in Syntagma Square, and you can find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament Building. The Parliament was initially constructed from 1836 to 1847 and was King Otto’s residence. This splendid building has been home to the Parliament of Greece since 1929.
The changing of the Guards is one of the best free things to see here. These Guards are called Evzones; they are full-time soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument to all Greek soldiers who died at war. The changing of the Guards happens every hour, on the hour. You are allowed to take pictures with them.
Every hour, on the hour, the Guards are changed. You are welcome to take pictures with them, but we ask that you do so with respect.
Areopagus is a prominent rock located right next to the Acropolis of Athens. It’s also called Areios Pagos. The meaning of that is “Hill of Ares” from Ancient Greek. In Ancient times, a court tried cases of murder, assault, religious matters, and arson. There is a mythology that Ares was supposed to have been tested by the gods on Areopagus for the murder of Poseidon’s son Halirrhothius.
You can see the incredible sights of the Acropolis and the city center from here, which are beautiful at sunrise and sunset. You can have a lovely evening with the fantastic view, while the locals of Athens are playing music and drinking.
Panathenaic Stadium in Athens
This classical cultural monument of Greece is famous for hosting the original ancient and modern Olympic tournaments. Also, it is where the Olympic torch is lit for all the Olympic Games, Winter, Summer, and Youth, as well as the Athens Authentic Marathon.
Panathenaic Stadium’s history is directly linked to the modern Olympic games from 1896 until the Olympic Games in 2004. Also, its history spans centuries. Herodes Atticus built the original stadium in 300 BC and rebuilt it in the 2nd century.
You can also run around the stadium tracks and visit the Olympic Museum to discover more about the beginnings of this global sporting event.
This is an attractive place to swim in summer if you have time for a day or half-day trip. Lake Vouliagmeni is a natural lake located about 23km south of Athens. On a steamy summer day, it is a calming spot to be. It is said that the water in Lake Vouliagmeni has healing qualities.
You can dip in its lovely, refreshing water and drink at the cafe on the lake’s side. Vouliagmeni Beach is also nearby if you prefer the beach.
There are several beaches in Athens, where you can enjoy the sun and beach in summer. So, try to visit one of the beaches here in Greece;
Porto Rafti Beach
In the larger Legrena area, you may spend the evening in several bars and cafeterias. It is simple to go to Legrena using cabs and private buses.
Athens is a city which offers something for every taste. Indeed, there is a wide range of Greek specialties. Greek food has caught the heart of food lovers worldwide with its authentic recipes and famous Greek olive oil. Try to have some of the following dishes during your visit and double your experience;
Try these delicious cuisines at the restaurants during your visit. Here are some places you can go;
Ydria Café is a top-rated restaurant in the capital, minutes from the Roman Agora. Maiandros, a restaurant that’s a short walk from the Roman Agora. Also, you can try Karamanlidika, Kuzina, Arcadia, Oroscopo Restaurant, or Souvlaki Athinaiko restaurants in Athens to get a mouthwatering experience with Greek cuisines.
Nightlife in Athens
Both visitors and locals are engaged in nightlife in Athens, as it becomes a collection of posh hotspots. The quality food, creative cocktails, and modern and celebrity DJs have attracted people to the bars in Athens. Also, there is a unique and fantastic feature about the bars: they open during the day for coffee, snacks, or desserts and turn them into bars at night open until really late.
If you are interested in nightlife, you have many options like; The Clumsies, Drunk Sinatra, Baba au Rum, Six D.o.g.s, and Speakeasy. Also, you can find the Athens Nightlife on Kolokotroni Street, which runs from Syntagma towards Monastiraki, around the back of Agias Irinis Square.
Where to stay in Athens
As this city is a famous travel destination, you can find many options for your stay according to your preference. Some of the following Hotels can offer you if you prefer luxury style; Melina Athens, Athens Cypria Hotel, Leochares Lifestyle Apartments, Brown Acropol, and Hotel Fresh.
If you are concerned about your budget, try City Circus Athens, Minoa Athens Hotel, Hotel Exarchion, Pella Inn Hostel, and Selina Athens Theatre.
You can get the Athens city map from this link.
Use the applications that guide you with the map for self-guided walks in Athens.
This link will guide you to an application for public transportation.
This link provides you with car transport for travel or airport transfer.
Finally, we invite you to visit Athens to explore the city of exceptional history with the help of a clear picture we designed from this guide.
What was Athens famous for?
Athens is the birthplace of democracy, allowing people to govern their society. Additionally, Athens is home to numerous historical sites built during the Classical era, including temples and theatres.
Are three days enough to see Athens?
Three days is a fair amount of time to spend here, as per the size of the city. This allows you to explore attractive landmarks and gives you enough time to visit the major sights without feeling rushed.
Is Athens worth visiting?
It is one of the favorite destinations of tourists around the world. This is an attractive destination with superb restaurants and first-rate hotels while having ancient monuments to visit.
What is the best month to visit Athens?
March through May and September through November are ideal for visiting the city. These spring and fall months give pleasant weather, usually sunshine. Not to add, compared to the summer, there are fewer crowds and more opportunities to find cheap hotels and flights.
Does Athens have a beach?
While Athens is famous for its attractions, you can also discover many beautiful beaches there. We have suggested some beaches in this article that you can enjoy while you are here.
Do you tip in Greece?
In Greece, it is typical to round up the bill or tip between 10% and 15% of the total. This tipping custom includes restaurants, cab drivers, tour guides, and many more services.
Can you drink tap water in Greece?
Yes, you can drink tap water in restaurants, cafes, and bars in the major cities in Greece.
Do you need a car in Athens?
Since most of Athens’ significant ancient sites are close to one another, you don’t need a car to move around. Before even talking about how chaotic the roads and driving are, parking in the congested streets may be a big hassle.
Is Athens a walkable city?
Yes, it is. You can easily navigate the historic centre, and public transport is affordable.
Which Athens port is close to the airport?
Rafina port is the closest to the International Airport, while Piraeus port is the closest to the city center.