Visiting Athens: what are the 7 best things to see and do in the capital of Greece and one of the oldest cities in the world?
From the temple of Zeus to the magnificent pines covering the slopes of the Muses hill, the capital of Greece, Athens, offers some of the most beautiful and important cultural attractions known on Earth.
If you are planning to explore Greece, you should definitely visit Athens during your stay. In order to help you to organize your travel, I put together a list of the best things to do in Athens.
Stroll at the Acropolis and the Parthenon
The Acropolis is the place where you can find the most of the vestiges to see in Athens. Located in the center of Athens, the site has at its top the most famous temple of all, the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.
The discovery of the Acropolis and its ruins is enough to remind you of all your history lessons!
Go for the National Archaeological Museum of Athens
Not only one of the best museum in Greece, it is one of the most important and exciting museums in the world. This museum contains beautiful and influential works from the Bronze Age cultures described by Homer, to the Golden Age of Ancient Greece and beyond.
The temporary closure of a part of the museum in 1999 provided an opportunity to embellish the exhibition which has already a priceless value.
Walk in the city center
There is not better option that walking in the old Athens city center to discover how its heritage is still living know. One of the best options is to do one of the numerous Free Tours in Athens.
Based on donations at the end of the tour, free tour guides are usually explaining History on a funnier and on a more entertaining way than traditional paid tours, without affecting quality. They will also provide you local and practical tips to enjoy your stay during the next days.
Take a break at the beach
If you want to swim near Athens, it is also possible! Following the direction of the Lake Vouliagmeni, you are on the right track. The best beaches are in the south of the city.
Here are the most beautiful ones from the nearest to the furthest from the center of Athens: Votsalakia, Alimos, Glyfada, Voula, Kavouri, Vouliagmeni, Kokkino Limanaki, Varkiza. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Enjoy a panoramic view on Athens
The Lycabettus is a hill that stands in the middle of Athens, and offers you a breathtaking view of the city. A funicular takes you to the summit where the Chapel of St. George is located.
Try some delicious Greek Food and drinks
Tired of visiting all these museums? Try a coffee on the Greek way prepared with instant coffee diluted with water and added with ice. You can try it sweetened or not. Want something to eat with you coffee?
Try the favorite snack of the Athenians: the Koulouri. These sesame seed-coated bread rings are a delight to snack. It’s a bit like pretzels or bagels. You find them everywhere, sold in the street.
Otherwise, you can try a bougatsa, a pastry garnished with a kind of pastry cream, sprinkled with cinnamon, just delicious. Of course, the Greek cuisine includes many succulent dishes such as Tzatziki or Moussaka.
You want more?
Getting to know Athens on a single weekend is certainly not enough, even a short stay. But if you have time, you should go see these other places in Athens:
- The Benaki Museum;
- The district Kerameikos (Ceramics), district of potters;
- The Museum of Cycladic Art;
- The Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens;
- Museum of the Acropolis of Athens;
- The Gazi quarter for its nightlife;
Have you been to Athens? What are your favorite things to do? Let me know in the comments section below!