fun things to do in Athens, Greece

Once the beating heart of the Greek Empire, today Athens is overflowing with stories and legends. Ancient meets modern in a surprisingly agile way, giving this inviting capital creative energy that will have you returning for more.

For thousands of years, the city has been known for its cultural output, producing music, art, politics, and some obscure little trends such as the Olympics and democracy.

And while you can still explore that history at length, the city’s evolution after the height of the Greek Empire has been just as impressive.

Sightseeing in Athens isn’t all about temples. After you’ve visited classical landmarks like the Acropolis and Ancient Agora, make sure you leave time for the more unusual things to do in Athens. Snorkeling, cooking classes, and Segway tours are all worthy contenders.

Sure, you’ll see plenty of amazing ruins and marvelous statues, but you’ll also find lively museums, beautiful beaches, and a whole variety of famously delicious food and drink.

And while the city itself is full of delights, it’s also a great homebase for day trips to archaeological sites, unspoiled wilderness, and fascinating settlements with an energy all their own.

Get ready for adventure!

1 – Gaze out over Athens from the Acropolis

Acropolis, Athens

Don’t leave Athens without making a pilgrimage to the Acropolis. This iconic hill is the city’s centerpiece – you can see it from every corner of the capital.

Climb up to the top of this ancient citadel for the best views in town. Then experience a dose of true Greek antiquity, as you wander around the mighty Parthenon temple.

Learn more about Acropolis tickets price.

2 – Admire ancient artifacts at the Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum, Athens

Discover archaeological treasures as old as time itself in the Acropolis Museum. This is where all the findings from excavations on the Acropolis are displayed, keeping the heritage close to home.

You’ll see over 4,000 exhibits dating from the Bronze Age right through to Byzantine Greece. Highlights include friezes, statues and pots from the Parthenon.

3 – Visit the world-famous Parthenon

Parthenon, Athens

Dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Parthenon temple has watched over the city since the 5th century BC. A symbol of wealth and power, this imposing religious site was the largest in Greece and now one of the most visited tourist attractions in Athens.

Wander around one of humankind’s greatest architectural achievements and follow in the footsteps of legendary Greek heroes. Go early or late to avoid the heat of the day.

4 – Visit the Temple of Athena Nike

Temple of Athena Nike, Athens

This Greek temple is like no other you’ll have seen. The Temple of Athena Nike commands a strategic position upon the Acropolis, and looks more like a fortress than a place of worship.

This is the earliest Ionic temple in the area and was a protective sanctuary, as well as a religious site.

5 – Explore Ancient Agora …

Ancient Agora, Athens

This archaeological site sits just below the Acropolis and was formerly a gathering place for markets and general assemblies.

Used for centuries by the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, today Ancient Agora is a testament to the societal structure of these civilizations.

6 – And don’t miss the Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

Perched serenely on the northwestern side of the Agora of Athens, the Temple of Hephaestus is one of the best-preserved heritage buildings in Greece. Dedicated to the ancient god of fire, the temple is a superb example of Doric architecture.

It’s survived earthquakes and invasions, and was used as a burial ground for Europeans in later years. The columns are particularly impressive.

7 – Discover the past at the Agora Museum

Agora Museum, Athens

While exploring Ancient Agora, make sure you pop into the museum. It’s packed with exhibits from local excavations and is housed in the majestic Stoa of Attalos – see if you can count the towering columns!

Check out everyday artifacts used way back in the Stone Age as you wander around the Agora Museum. There are sculptures and mosaics too.

8 – Ride to the summit of Mount Lycabettus

Mount Lycabettus, Athens

Hop on the funicular and ascend to the top of Mount Lycabettus for the ultimate city view. Feeling energetic? Then hike 300 meters up through the pine-forested slopes instead.

See if you can spy the Acropolis and the coast of Piraeus from the rocky limestone summit. Then pose for selfies with Mount Pentelicus in the background.

9 – Visit the National Archaeological Museum

National Archaeological Museum, Athens

A treasure trove of classical artifacts awaits heritage hunters who enter the National Archaeological Museum. Gasp in awe as you come face to face with the golden funerary mask of Agamemnon and check out Bronze Age frescoes from Santorini.

There are also objects rescued from a shipwreck dating back to the 4th century BC, and a whole host of vases, sculptures, and even hieroglyphs.

10 – Run around the Panathenaic Stadium

Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

Built for the 1896 Olympic Games, the Panathenaic Stadium is a reconstruction of the 330 BC version. Made of marble, it has stood the test of time and is one of the most popular places to visit in Athens.

The stadium was used for some events during the 2004 Olympics and boasts views of the Acropolis from the loftier seats.

11 – Feel scholarly at Hadrian’s Library

Hadrian's Library, Athens

Built way back in 132 AD by one of Rome’s most famous emperors, Hadrian’s Library was once crammed floor to ceiling with rolls of papyrus scrolls. Not much remains of the building today, but the ruins are impressive, nonetheless.

It’s located on the northern side of the Acropolis, so it’s easy to fit in as you’re visiting other nearby sights.

12 – Discover picturesque Monastiraki

Monastiraki, Athens

This charming neighborhood will have your camera working in overdrive — it’s one of the prettiest places in Athens. Wander through the narrow Monastiraki streets, popping into family-run shops for souvenirs and ice-creams.

Come on a Sunday for the famous flea market and pick up a bargain — or spend a sunny afternoon at a pavement café in the shadow of some of the city’s ancient sites.

13 – Get spooked in the First Cemetery of Athens

First Cemetery of Athens

Feel the hairs on your neck stand to attention, as you take a walking tour around the city’s oldest cemetery. The final resting place of both Greeks and foreigners, this serene sanctuary boasts eminent statesmen, artists and writers as its residents.

Watch out for the shade of a ghostly undertaker who is said to haunt the First Cemetery grounds at night.

14 – See the sights on a segway tour

segway tours in Athens

Rolling around the fabled city streets by Segway is one of the more unusual things to do in Athens. Don’t worry if you’re a Segway virgin, you’ll soon get your balance.

Be the envy of fellow travelers as you rock up to the Acropolis and Ancient Agora on your new wheels. You’ll see twice as much in half the time!

15 – Enjoy a hop-on hop-off bus tour

bus tours in Athens

Take the stress out of sightseeing and join a hop-on hop-off bus tour around Athens. You can alight at all the major landmarks, so this is an easy way to explore the Acropolis, the Temple of Zeus, and the Parthenon.

Want to know more about what you’re seeing? Then the guided commentary will answer all your questions.

16 – Check out the Temple of Erechtheion

Temple of Erechtheion, Athens

Back up on the Acropolis, you’ll find another archaeological gem. Made of marble, the ancient Greek Temple of Erechtheion has been used as a church, a palace and a house for the harem of a Turkish commander.

Today the highlight is the elegantly carved Porch of the Maidens, who seem to bear the weight of the building on their shoulders.

17 – Browse the Cycladic Art Museum

Cycladic Art Museum, Athens

In this hidden gem, you’ll discover the largest collection of prehistoric Aegean art in the world. The Cycladic Art Museum is home to over 3,000 exhibits, with the Cycladic marble figurines being the jewels in the crown.

Admire the abstract simplicity in many of the works, and draw comparisons between them and more modern artists like Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

18 – Photograph the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

There’s not much left standing of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, but the towering columns that are left really pack a punch. Built in the 6th century BC, the temple has weathered war, storms, and political tyrants over the years.

You can walk here from the city center and combine it with visits to nearby Hadrian’s Arch and the Panathenaic Stadium.

19 – Taste Greece on a food tour

food tours in Athens

On this fun food tour, you’ll be scouring the historic streets of Athens for tasty treats. Swing by the local market and breathe in the scent of spices and fruits. Then follow your nose to bakeries, restaurants and delis for some serious sampling.

Will you prefer the bougatsas (pasties) or loukoumades (honey dumpings)? Leave room for some olives too.

20 – Travel through time at the Benaki Museum

Benaki Museum, Athens

Founded by art collector Antonis Benakis, this well-presented museum offers an almost complete chronology of Greek history. You’ll be amazed at the vibrant coloring of the Neolithic vases, and the unusual folk costumes courtesy of the Ottoman rule.

Pop up to the highest floor of the Benaki Museum and check out the unusual weapons recovered from the 19th-century Greek War of Independence.

21 – Visit the Temple of Poseidon

Temple of Poseidon, Athens

Perched on the southern tip of the Attica peninsula, the Temple of Poseidon is one of the most iconic things to see near Athens. The temple is impressive, but the views of the Aegean Sea are even better.

Come here at sunset for a dash of romance and see if you can find the column graffitied by famous poet Lord Byron.

22 – Stroll the sleepy streets of Anafiotika

Anafiotika, Athens

This tiny Athens neighborhood is part of ancient Plaka. Whitewashed houses with brightly-colored window frames cling to the side of the Acropolis, creating a scene beloved of photographers.

Thanks to its Cycladic architecture, the vibe in Anafiotika feels more like an island than a city. Check out some of the Byzantine churches and a 17th-century monastery – modest clothing is advised if you wish to enter.

Directions in Google Maps

23 – Go snorkeling at Cape Sounion

Cape Sounion day trips from Athens

Perched dramatically on a headland that juts into the Aegean Sea, the Temple of Poseidon is just one reason to check out Cape Sounion. Spend the morning scrambling around the ruins and soaking up the incredible views.

Then plunge into the inviting clear water for a spot of swimming or snorkeling off uninhabited islands. Linger longer for the sunset.

24 – Escape the city chaos and go abseiling at Incuse CHAOS

abseiling in Athens

Drive about an hour from Athens for an abseiling adventure and conquer a giant crater, known as Incuse Chaos. It is an uncommon natural wonder situated in the Kamariza region near Lavrion city in. This remarkable formation takes the shape of a concave heart-shaped crater. Legend has it that the crater was formed as a result of a meteorite impact that occurred during the late 18th or early 19th century.

25 – Soak up the sun on the Athens Riviera

Athens Riviera, Greece

Did you know that Athens has its very own golden beaches? Tear yourself away from the temples for a few hours and head down to the Athens Riviera for some serious fun in the sun.

Harness the wind on a catamaran cruise, snorkel in secluded bays, or feast on fresh garlic mussels in the local taverns.

26 – Take a day trip to Delphi

Delphi day trips from Athens

Gracing the slopes of Mount Parnassus, Delphi is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece. Centuries ago, people would travel here to listen to the prophecies of Apollo, relayed by a high priestess.

Legend has it that Delphi is the center of the Earth, so come and stand here yourself, and feel the mythical magic that surrounds this famous sanctuary.

Read more about Best Day Trips From Athens.

27 – Discover hidden districts on a street art tour

street art tours in Athens

Venture well off the beaten tourist trail and let art draw you into a completely different side of Athens.

Your artist guide will introduce you to some of the city’s most colorful neighborhoods, where electrifying graffiti and thought-provoking murals tell a story few visitors get to hear.

Don’t miss the flying elephants or the giant unicyclist!

28 – Go scuba diving at Nea Makri

scuba diving in Athens

Discover the beauty of the underwater kingdom as you propel yourself along the seabed at Nea Makri. You’ll be swimming with colorful fish as they dart along the sandy bottom – can you keep up with them?

The waters are warm with crystal-clear visibility making this a great spot for beginners. Dive from the shore or a boat, with no prior experience required.

29 – Browse the Central Municipal Athens Market

Central Municipal Athens Market, Greece

One of the top things to do in Athens for foodies is to hang out at the Central Market. Mooch around the stalls and soak up the vibe, letting the aromas entice you in.

Marvel at the dazzling array of spices, cheeses and honey, then taste some of the local delicacies in one of the restaurants. Go in the morning for the energetic vibe.

Directions in Google Maps

30 – Visit the monasteries of Meteora

Meteora day trips from Athens

Hop on the train and head up to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora, where towering rocks stand like sentinels along the valley. Perched on top of these cliffs is the second largest monastic community in Greece.

You can hike up some of these immense rocky pillars and visit the monasteries in the clouds. Check out hermit caves and wall paintings too.

31 – Admire vintage cars at the Hellenic Motor Museum

Hellenic Motor Museum, Athens

Strap into a simulator and feel the thrills of Formula 1 racing as you fly around the track at the Hellenic Motor Museum. Then imagine yourself behind the wheels of gleaming 19th- and 20th-century classic cars.

You’ll get to wander through a car workshop, learn about the evolution of the automobile, and discover transport-related exhibits from 300 BC!

32 – Eat dinner in the sky

Dinner in the Sky, Athens

Food always tastes better outdoors, but what about at 165 feet in the air? Dinner in the Sky Athens is your ticket for the most unusual evening out ever.

Settle into your seat and ascend skywards for your 6-course Greek banquet. As you sip wine and watch the chefs prepare your meal, feast your eyes on the Acropolis as sunset floods the horizon.

33 – Get on your bike and see the sights

bike tours in Athens

Make those legs earn their keep as you pedal through the historic streets of Athens on easy cycling paths. You’ll be stopping at key landmarks to learn about the city’s past, with plenty of stories and legends to keep you entertained.

Cycle around the base of the Acropolis, breeze past the fountains in Omonoia Square, and stop at Ancient Agora.

34 – Explore the Archaeological Site of Kerameikos

Archaeological Site of Kerameikos, Athens

This ancient cemetery and potter’s district is a great place to get up close to Greek excavations. In Kerameikos, you can wander around the ruins, getting a sense of what life was like hundreds of years ago.

There are thousands of tombs here, and there’s a small museum showing off the unearthed funerary offerings. Keep an eye out for ghostly goings-on.

35 – Learn the secrets of Mediterranean food at a cooking class

cooking classes in Athens

Is there a better way to discover Greek culture than through a culinary journey? Enroll in a hands-on cooking class for an adventure in Mediterranean flavor.

Start with a trip to the market for fresh ingredients, before heading to the kitchen where the real work begins. Signature Greek dishes like tzatziki, eggplant pies and baklava are all on the menu.

36 – Visit the archaeological site of Mycenae

Mycenae day trips from Athens

Looking for the ultimate day trip from Athens? Then head to Mycenae in the Peloponnese and wander around one of the great centers of ancient Greek civilization.

This is the kingdom of the fabled king Agamemnon, one of the major players in the Trojan War. Don’t miss the famous Lion Gate as you walk alongside the towering walls.

37 – Discover Attica Zoological Park

Attica Zoological Park, Athens

Be wowed by wolves and make friends with monkeys at the Attica Zoological Park, one of the best family things to do in Athens. The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals all waiting to get acquainted.

You can walk inside giant aviaries and travel through the African savannah where giraffes and zebra roam. Watch out for the jaguars and rare white lions.

38 – Walk in creative footsteps at the Theatre of Dionysus

Theatre of Dionysus, Athens

Carved into the southern slope of the Acropolis, Dionysus was the very first theater in the world.

Imagine sitting in the stone seats at the Theatre of Dionysus, watching the sun go down behind the cypress trees as performers strutted their stuff down on the stage. It was magical then, just as it’s enchanting today.

Directions in Google Maps

39 – Explore the past at the Roman Forum of Athens

Roman Forum of Athens

Constructed under Emperor Augustus in the 11th century BC, the Roman Forum was the trading hub of the city. Highlights today include the Tower of the Winds and the stunning western gate, both of which have stood the test of time.

This former administrative center will remind you of the Forum in Rome, with its avenues, buildings and temples.

40 – Chill out in the Saronic Islands

Saronic Islands day trips from Athens

Fancy some beach time? Just a short ferry ride from Athens, the Saronic Islands feel a world away from the city bustle. Enjoy a day trip or stay a little longer.

Here you can sail to hidden lagoons for swimming and picnics, or amble through cobbled streets admiring the local architecture. The water is clear, and the welcome is warm.

41 – Climb Philopappos Hill

Philopappos Hill, Athens

Enjoy a breath of fresh air, as you climb through the pine groves that carpet Philopappos Hill. Named after a Commagene prince and benefactor of Athens, the Philoppapos Monument that sits on top of the hill is also his resting place.

Take a closer look at the intricate frieze on the façade, and soak up the views, which are particularly spectacular at sunset.

Directions in Google Maps

42 – Have a day out in dreamy Argolis

Argolis day trips from Athens

Take a break from the city on a day trip to the Argolis peninsula in the picture-postcard Peloponnese. Breathe in the countryside scents, as you drive through orange and olive groves on your way to the ancient cities of Argos and Mycenae.

Check out the beehive tombs, crumbling citadels and scenic amphitheaters. Then meander along the coastal roads for showstopping views.

43 – Stroll the streets of Plaka

Plaka, Athens

Escape the bustle of the city center and head up to leafy Plaka. Exploring the winding alleyways of this enchanting neighborhood is one of the most relaxing things to do in Athens.

Take photos of the bougainvillea-draped houses, and tuck into meze platters at pavement cafes. Shopping is fun here too, with ceramics, jewelry and exotic spices all up for grabs.

44 – People-watch in Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square, Athens

Bordered by five-star hotels and the Old Royal Palace, Syntagma Square lies at the heart of modern Athens. Come here to admire the regal Parliament building and see the changing of the guard – just like in London but with different uniforms.

If you’re into people-watching, pull up a pew at one of the cafes and settle in for an entertaining afternoon.

Directions in Google Maps

45 – Have a blast at Allou! Fun Park

Allou! Fun Park, Athens

Embrace a dash of whimsy as you enjoy a rip-roaring family day out at Allou! Fun Park – Greece’s largest amusement attraction.

Hold onto your hats as you ride the Loop It roller coaster, and don’t look down on the Shock and Drop tower plunge.

Younger thrill-seekers love taking a spin on the Ferris wheel and zooming around on the bumper cars.

46 – Explore Athens on a coasteering adventure

coasteering in Athens

Get the most fun out of your trip in Athens with coasteering activities – as swimming is not enough, scramble through the rugged cliffs and jump into the sea! Discover the breathtaking Sounion National Park from every perspective. Rising majestically over the southern tip of Attica, the Temple of Sounion stands as a tribute to the region’s formidable forces. Immerse yourself in the coastal wonders of Sounion as you traverse a dynamic nature trail.

47 – Test your detective skills on a scavenger hunt

scavenger games in Athens

This one is for all aspiring super sleuths looking for unusual things to do in Athens. Search for missing archaeologists, uncover buried treasure and unravel Greek myths on your mission to get to the finish line.

You’ll be following cryptic clues to offbeat landmarks, where solving puzzles is your key to completing the quest. Do you have what it takes?

48 – See the Epidaurus theater on a day trip

Epidaurus day trips from Athens

Never has a theater had such a dramatic backdrop as the one in the small village of Epidaurus. This countryside backwater in the Peloponnese hides one of the best-preserved Hellenic theaters in Greece, and it’s still in use today.

Take your seats for some ancient Greek drama, and marvel at the superb acoustics, as well as the mountain views.

49 – Visit the Byzantine and Christian Museum

Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens

Athens isn’t short of museums, but this one is particularly special. Wannabe archaeologists love visiting the Byzantine and Christian Museum for its dazzling array of gems and unraveling of the Greek timeline.

Keep your eyes peeled for hundreds of documents, frescoes and sculptures. The building is pretty impressive too, with Neo-Renaissance architecture and manicured gardens to admire.

50 – Drive jeeps around Marathon Lake

Marathon Lake, Athens

Buckle up for the ride of your life, as you bounce along the backcountry trails around Marathon Lake. You’ll be navigating through rivers and olive groves, and checking out churches and ancient theaters along the way.

Ramp the adventure up a notch and take the wheel yourself to explore well and truly off the beaten track. Can you handle the adrenaline?

51 – Be amazed at the Museum of Illusions

Museum of Illusions, Athens

Let your eyes play tricks on you, as you delve into the mind-bending world of the Museum of Illusions. Your senses won’t know what’s hit them because nothing is quite what it seems.

You’ll be defying the laws of gravity in the Reverse Room, and walking upside down in the Rotated Room. Stand on top of the infinity well if you dare!

52 – Fill your lungs with fresh air at the National Garden

National Garden, Athens
View of the inner yard of Zappeion mansion with its beautiful peristyle, in the National Garden of Athens

Not far from Plaka, the National Garden is a serene leafy haven that’s a world away from the concrete and marble of Athens.

Previously the Royal Garden, this park has all the pergolas, palms and peacocks you could wish for. There’s a botanical museum to explore, and kids love meeting the wolves and monkeys in the small zoo.

53 – Take a day trip to Corinth

Corinth day trips from Athens

Corinth was one of the first European cities to embrace Christianity and is famous for its rich archaeological heritage. Here you can follow in the footsteps of St. Paul and explore the celebrated Temple of Apollo.

The highlight is the mighty Corinth Canal where you’ll learn how the ancient Greeks pulled ships between the two seas. The canal makes it much easier today!

54 – Get hands-on at the Hellenic Children’s Museum

Hellenic Children's Museum, Athens

Set your imagination free, as you browse the mind-boggling displays in the Hellenic Children’s Museum. It’s more an activity center than a museum, and kids relish having a go at the interactive exhibits.

There’s dressing up in old costumes in the attic and a marketplace with stores and workshops to explore. Fun and educational, this family-friendly attraction is great on a rainy day.

55 – Eat cake at Little Kook

Little Kook, Athens
credit to Little Kook

This whimsical café is a bit of an insider secret, so let’s keep Little Kook under wraps! Quirky doesn’t even begin to describe this fairytale-inspired coffee shop, which appeals to kids of all ages!

Step over the threshold into a dream world of cake and ice cream, on a theme of dragons, witches and princesses. Décor is seasonal so there’s always something new to see.

56 – Kayak to hidden beaches

kayaking in Athens

One of the fun things to do in Athens for outdoor lovers is to go sea kayaking on the Riviera. You’ll start with a short briefing session before taking to the water for an epic adventure.

Get up close to towering cliffs and see ancient monuments from the water. Then drift languidly into secret bays for swimming and sunset photos.

57 – Climb down the via ferrata Arma of Athens

via ferrata in Athens

Do you love climbing and rappelling on rocky mountains, but don’t want to take risks? Try the via ferrata of Athens in the Parnitha National Park, commonly called Arma. With the aid of steel paths and cables, navigate the beautiful mountain with enhanced safety.

Even if you have limited climbing experience, you can explore and enjoy the thrill of climbing in a controlled and secure environment.

58 – Discover the Museum of Greek Children’s Art

Museum of Greek Children’s Art, Athens

The pioneering Museum of Greek Children’s Art is one of the more unusual attractions in Athens. Exclusively featuring works by budding artists under the age of 15, the museum showcases over 10,000 individual exhibits.

Inspired by nature and the architectural heritage of their homeland, the young creators have come up with some mind-blowing 3D works, as well as paintings and sketches.

59 – Soar above Plataies on tandem paragliding flight

paragliding in Athens

See the Attica region like a drone with tandem paragliding, as you just enjoy the front view while your instructor handles the wing. Marvel at stunning valleys and mountains, as you fulfill your dream of flying.

Just an hour’s drive from Athens, you can start your paragliding experience from Plataies Boeotia and Kandili Megara.

60 – Savor the views from Aeropagus Hill

Aeropagus Hill, Athens

This pine-clad rocky outcrop towers over Athens, enshrouded in myths and legends. Once a place of murder and home to the high court, today Aeropagus Hill gives visitors a superb bird’s-eye view of the city.

The serenity is infectious, and once you’ve scampered up the polished marble steps to the top, you’ll want to linger awhile.

Directions in Google Maps

61 – Go day-tripping to Aegina island

Aegina island day trips from Athens

You’ll find the blissful island of Aegina in the heart of the Saronic Gulf, just a short hop across the water from Athens.

Bursting with eye-catching Neo-Classical buildings, dreamy seafronts and ancient sights, Aegina should be at the top of your day trip list. The jewel in the crown has to be the majestic Temple of Athena Aphaia.

62 – Explore the beaches of Athens by paddleboard

paddleboarding in Athens

Never been stand-up paddleboarding before? Don’t worry, you’ll soon be in control of those wobbles. Soak up the scenery as you glide serenely along the coastline, and strike some poses if you dare.

When you fancy a rest, just land at one of the secluded beaches and go for a dip in the warm sea.

63 – Spoil yourself at the spa

spas in Athens

It’s important to spoil yourself a bit on vacation, and Athens offers plenty of spas that will do the trick!

Whether you prefer aroma oils, straightforward massages, or a little bit of everything, there are some excellent options all over town.

Try the face and body treatments at Apivita Beehive Spa, the hydrotherapy and beauty regimens at TS Beauty Spa, or the luxurious traditional treatments of Cape Sounio, located next to an ancient temple devoted to Poseidon.

64 – Be entertained at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens

Love a good amphitheater? Then you’ll be right at home in this vast Roman concert arena. Athenians have been watching performances at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus for over 2,000 years, and now you can too!

Bag a prime spot for a concert on a summer evening and try not to get too distracted by the views over ancient Athens.

65 – Sail over to Hydra

Hydra day trips from Athens

Hydra is one of the closest islands to Athens, making a day trip here a piece of cake. Car-free Hydra is a real charmer, with elegant mansions, lots of donkeys and boats bobbing up and down in the harbor.

Take a walk along the seafront in Hydra Town, visit the museums, then paddle in the turquoise waters that lap against the shore.

66 – Explore Stavros Niarchos Park

Stavros Niarchos Park, Athens

Overlooking the bay of Faliron, the Stavros Niarchos Park is a delightful green space with landscaped trails and a playground where kids can burn off some energy. Stroll through lavender gardens and along olive avenues, enjoying the peace and quiet.

There’s a large pool where you can rent sailboats and kayaks if you fancy a splash on the water. It’s a great place to cool off!

67 – Pay your respects at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier

Monument of the Unknown Soldier, Athens

One of the most moving things to do in Athens is to visit the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. This thought-provoking Art Deco monument beneath the façade of the Old Royal Palace is dedicated to fallen Greek soldiers.

The Balkan and Greco-Turkish Wars are both represented, as well as the First and Second World Wars.

68 – Freefall on a skydiving adventure

skydiving in Athens

Take a leap of faith as you step out of the plane and plummet towards earth. Don’t worry, you’ll be firmly strapped to an expert instructor!

Feel the rush of adrenaline as the chute finally opens, giving you time to take in those views. All too soon your feet will be back on the ground, but you’ll be on a high for days!

69 – Visit the Diomedes Botanical Garden

Diomedes Botanical Garden, Athens

The largest botanical garden in Greece is a haven of tranquility for those looking for a slice of nature and seclusion. Home to over 3,000 different plant species, the Diomedes Botanical Garden gives a great introduction to the diverse local flora.

Follow secret pathways to hidden glades and breathe in aromatic scents in the herb garden. Bliss!

70 – Enjoy island life on Poros

Poros day trips from Athens

Head out to sea on a day trip to the tiny island of Poros. It’s just an hour’s ferry ride yet feels a million miles from the Athens bustle.

Spend a blissful day exploring the pretty harbor of Poros Town, and chill out on the beach. Then check out the monastery, hike along pine-clad slopes, or go snorkeling in one of the bays.

71 – Contemplate contemporary art at the Frissiras Museum

Frissiras Museum, Athens

Here at the Frissiras Museum, you’ll discover the biggest collection of modern European paintings in the country. There’s cutting-edge 21st-century visual art on display, as well as human sculptures and figurative pieces.

The building is picturesque too, with its Neo-Classical design. There are over 4,000 exhibits to check out, so make sure you leave plenty of time.

72 – Enjoy a day trip to the Peloponnese

Peloponnese day trips from Athens

Far from the crowds of Athens lies a legendary rural peninsula dominated by rugged mountains and turquoise inlets. You’ll be exploring remote hill towns, medieval citadels and Venetian fortresses on this mini expedition around the Peloponnese.

Chill out on sandy beaches or plunge into the sparkling blue water for some well-deserved relaxation. This really is life!

73 – Taste the best Greek wines

wine tastings in Athens

Athens is home to some of the world’s oldest wineries, many with jaw-dropping views. Sipping a glass of vintage red in the shadow of the Acropolis is one of the most romantic things to do in Athens.

Get to know your grapes, listen to tales of the Greek god of wine, and pair a few glasses with local cheese for that finishing touch.

74 – Eat charcuterie at the Karamanlidika restaurant

Karamanlidika, Athens

Karamanlidika is an Athenian restaurant that pays homage to the culinary traditions of the Turkish migrants who fled here in 1923. Today the deli offers up delicious cured meats and aged cheeses sourced from artisanal producers all across Greece.

Book a table in the restaurant and be treated to sumptuous meze platters laden with pastourma, sausages and baklava. Yum!

75 – Picnic in the Pedion tou Areos

Pedion tou Areos, Athens

With echoes of the Champ de Mars in Paris, the Pedion tou Areos is one of the largest green parks in Athens. It was designed to commemorate the heroes from the Greek War of Independence.

Don’t miss the enormous bronze equestrian statue of King Constantine I or the 16th-century archangel temple. Come for a stroll or a picnic in the fresh air.

Directions in Google Maps

76 – Discover historic secrets at the War Museum

War Museum, Athens

Come face to face with military relics at the Greek War Museum in Athens. History buffs will love seeing galleries full of artifacts and documents from many of the major European conflicts.

You’ll see weapons from the Napoleonic Wars, uniforms from the First World War and flags that once led thousands of troops into battle. It’s both shocking and moving.

77 – Visit the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology

Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, Athens

Aside from being pretty good at building temples, the ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about science. See their hi-tech inventions for yourself at the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology.

Get your head around Plato’s hydraulic alarm clock and discover the world’s very first analog computer. There are early astrolabes, acoustic radars and musical instruments too.

78 – Raft through the wilderness

rafting in Athens

While the ocean tends to get the attention around here, you can also have some excellent river adventures!

With a rafting trip, you can see some truly breathtaking natural landscapes, with a little bit of adrenalin thrown in!

Head out on the Arachthos River to navigate some gentle rapids, while enjoying spectacular views of waterfalls and the jaggedly beautiful Tzoumerka Mountains.

It’s a perfect afternoon adventure!

79 – A meal in Athens is always lovely… especially when you’re dining on a rooftop!

best restaurants and rooftops in Athens

Check out the cheese and meat plates at Karamanlidika, the elegant fare at Lithos Tavern, or the hearty dishes at Tavern Klimataria.

Try contemporary Greek food at Hytra Restaurant & Bar, or the seafood at Orizontes Lycabettus.

Feast on cutting-edge veggie dishes at Tudor Hall, or Mediterranean meals at Metropolis Roof Garden; both spots offer great views of the Acropolis!

And don’t miss the excellent sights at Penthouse 21, the highest hotel rooftop in the whole country.

80 – Go on a pub crawl

pub crawls in Athens

You’ve tasted the powerful ouzo and sipped delectable wine, but have you ever tried Greek beer? It’s something of an institution among insiders, and you’ll soon understand why.

Skip the tourist traps and join your guide on a local-style beer tour or pub crawl. You’ll be stopping at some of the best rooftop bars and breweries to sample beers, cocktails and much more.

How to get to Athens?

Book a transfer to and from Athens Airport, and you’ll be dropped off right at your hotel!

Along with saving time and effort when you arrive, these services include helpful drivers that can give you the run-down on the city – a great way to start the trip!

You can also book a service at the end of your trip to get back for your flight with ease.

Where to stay in Athens?

At Electra Metropolis, the possibilities for leisure are endless, whether you’re sunbathing on the terrace, popping out to explore the nearby neighborhoods, or unwinding at the rooftop bar.

Grand Hyatt Athens is filled with glamor, with its contemporary restaurants, stunning views, and a pool and spa perfect for relaxing.

Hotel Lozenge offers gorgeous designs and easy access to top-notch boutiques nearby – and even a bike rental for further exploring!

Melia Athens boasts a spa, sauna, pool, and hot tub, so you can spoil yourself rotten… and if you want to go out, the nearest metro station is a five minute walk!

And at Athens Studios, you can kick back at the bar, admire the city scenery from the top floor, or take a stroll around the area to enjoy museums, restaurants, and the neighboring Acropolis!

Visiting Athens on a budget?

Free walking tours aren’t just wallet-friendly; they’re also a great way to fully experience the city and its stories.

Whether you’re exploring the worlds of renowned philosophers and the legends of gods or hiking up mountain paths for a new perspective on the area, you’ll be treated to awesome stories and a nice walk.

Be sure to tip your guides!

Where to go next?

If you are looking for the best places to visit in Greece, the city is great… but Greece’s islands are not to be missed!

While there are no wrong answers when choosing where to go, it’s worth checking out our list of some of the best Greek islands to visit right now.

But of course, each group has its own unique charms!

In the Cyclades Islands, you can enjoy awesome nightlife, mellow traditional villages, and plenty of watersports in Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, and Santorini.

Meanwhile, the Dodecanese Islands offer a nice mix of centuries-old history and gorgeous shorelines in Kos and Rhodes.

In the Ionian Islands, you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere and mixed European influences of Corfu; or head over to Crete, the biggest of all of the islands, for a mix of adrenaline-laced activities and gorgeous archeological sites.

You can also book some great multi-day trips from the capital itself, and explore nearby wonders such as the monasteries of Meteora and the legendary ruins of Delphi.

Final thoughts

From the temples to the mountains and everywhere in between, Greece’s capital hums with energy.

With every footstep, you are retracing the paths of Western civilization; with each sight, sound, and taste, you can enjoy its dynamic present-day form.

You’ll certainly never run out of amazing things to do in Athens… so start ticking some off your list!

Heather is a freelance travel copywriter and blogger based in the beautiful English Lake District. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years, having enjoyed roles in marketing, sales, content and even as a tour rep abroad. Her writing has appeared in several international publications, and she has partnered with tour operators and hospitality providers across the world to promote their services. Heather can often be found on safari in Kenya, haggling in the Moroccan souks or living the high life in Scottish castles. Back at home, she spends her time camping in the Cumbrian fells and playing the double bass.