Athens travel guide

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Introduction to Athens

Welcome to Athens! This capital and largest city of Greece is a bucket list destination, home to many famous attractions, including Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon, and Acropolis Museum.

Traveling to Athens is especially rewarding for anyone eager to connect with locals and learn more about their unique culture and traditions. The city was named after Athena. Greek is the official language in Athens.

Easily accessible from Athens International, Athens is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in Greece any time of the year. Before booking a flight to Athens, it's helpful to know that the city observes the UTC+02:00 time zone.

Discover the day-to-day life of the over 643.5 thousand people who call Athens home and explore the city’s fascinating history, rich culture, and distinct architecture. Dive deeper into the heart of the city's heritage, traditions, and community events by exploring the official website of Athens.

History of Athens

Known as the cradle of Western civilization, Athens boasts a rich and fascinating history dating back to the Neolithic age. In the 5th century BC, it was the epicenter of the Golden Age of Greece, when intellectual and artistic endeavors thrived, and landmarks such as the Acropolis and Parthenon were constructed.

Athens is also the birthplace of democracy, with the city-state introducing a system of government that greatly influenced Western politics. The city played a significant role in the Hellenistic period, Roman era, and Byzantine times.

After falling under Ottoman rule, Athens regained its independence in the 19th century and was declared the capital of Greece. Throughout the 20th century, Athens experienced rapid growth and urban development, transforming into the vibrant metropolis we see today. Despite its modernity, Athens proudly preserves its historical heritage, providing travelers a unique blend of the ancient and the contemporary.

Top services in Athens

On this page, you'll find all the top travel services in Athens, Greece. Enjoy the convenience of planning and booking every detail of your trip to Athens, including flights, accommodations, activities, and more, in one place.

Discover the cheapest and most popular flights offered by a variety of airlines that fly to Greece. Check out the best things to do in Athens by browsing over 3878 top-rated tours available to you in the city. Compare the rates and services of the 6 types of stays and 15 car rental companies offering CDW insurance coverage.

Experience the best of Athens with an expertly curated and fully customizable itinerary. Get answers to questions about the routes and services offered in Athens from our free 24/7 customer support. We make it easy for you to find and book every detail of your trip to Athens with this travel guide.

Continue reading this Athens travel guide to learn how you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable vacation in the city of Athens!

Best time to visit Athens

The best time to explore Athens is during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November). These periods offer pleasant weather conditions with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 28°C, ideal for sightseeing and exploring the city's rich historical sites such as the Acropolis. Springtime coincides with the Greek Easter celebrations, a cultural spectacle that brings Athens to life with processions, festive meals, and fireworks. Autumn is the time of the Athens Authentic Marathon, a major event attracting runners from around the world. Both these seasons also see fewer tourists, which means less crowded museums and archaeological sites. If you visit in the summer (July-August), be prepared for high temperatures that can reach 40°C, but on the bright side, the Athens & Epidaurus Festival offers a series of concerts, theatre performances, and cultural events. Although winters are mild with occasional rain, it's the least popular time for tourists. Regardless of when you decide to visit, remember that the best time to explore Athens also depends on your personal preferences and interests.

Weather in Athens

Athens, the vibrant capital of Greece, experiences a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The summer period, from June to August, sees daytime temperatures often climbing into the high 30s°C (90°F), with abundant sunshine. Autumn, from September to November, is pleasantly warm with less crowded tourist sites. The winter season, from December to February, is generally mild with temperatures rarely dropping below 10°C (50°F), although occasional rains are common. Spring, from March to May, is arguably the best time to visit with comfortable temperatures and blooming landscapes.

Although Athens is a year-round destination, it's worth considering these seasonal variations when packing. During the summer, lightweight clothing, hats, and sunscreen are essential, whereas in winter, a raincoat and warmer clothing would be beneficial. Despite the city's generally pleasant climate, heatwaves can occur in the summer and occasional snowfall may happen in winter. Always check the forecast before your trip to ensure you're adequately prepared.

Local tip for visiting Athens

The insider tip for visiting Athens is to navigate the city like a local, utilizing the city's well-connected and efficient public transport system. While Athens' historical marvels like the Acropolis or the Parthenon are known to all, not many tourists are aware that they can access these sites using public transport. The Athenians often use the Metro, buses, and trams to commute, which not only reduces travel expenses but also provides a more authentic experience of the city. Additionally, this is a greener way to travel, reducing your carbon footprint. The Metro also doubles as a mini-museum, with many stations hosting exhibitions of artifacts unearthed during their construction. So, while on your way to a historical site, you might stumble upon another piece of history in the metro stations. Remember to purchase a transport card for unlimited travel within a certain period, making your journey hassle-free. This insider tip is bound to make your Athenian adventure more memorable and immersive.

Learn more about Greece

With destinations such as Athens, a trip to Greece needs no further explanation. Spanning over 131,957 square kilometers, Greece is an expansive playground of discovery, offering a wealth of diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and captivating experiences awaiting exploration. From bustling metropolises to historic towns and modern urban hubs, Greece has something to enchant every traveler.

In Athens alone, travelers are spoiled for choice with an array of experiences and world-famous attractions such as Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon, and Acropolis Museum. Thus, a trip to Greece becomes essential. Whether you're drawn to historical sites, natural wonders, or vibrant cultural experiences, Greece offers an abundance of treasures waiting to be discovered.

There's so much to explore and uncover in Greece. Click or tap the link below to discover more about Greece and its offers.

What to see in Athens

Photo of panoramic view of the popular seaside, south Athens.

Expect an exhilarating journey through Athens, a haven brimming with attractions to suit every traveler’s taste. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, and delectable cuisine, Athens offers an abundance of experiences waiting to be discovered. Dive into this ultimate Athens travel guide to uncover must-visit spots and get the scoop on what makes the city so special.

Top attractions in Athens

With its blend of traditional and modern culture, Athens is more than just a wonderful city in Greece. It's a hub for diverse experiences, boasting top attractions that range from historical landmarks to modern marvels, offering a glimpse into Greece's rich heritage and innovative spirit.

One popular place to visit in Athens is the unforgettable Acropolis of Athens. Considered one of the most well-known attractions in the city, a visit to this spectacular travel destination is something you shouldn't miss on your trip to Athens. This remarkable attraction is located at Athens 105 58, Greece, and is open for visitors Monday - Sunday, between 08:00-20:00.

For more information about what you can expect during a vacation in Athens, check out our list of top attractions below. Discover the best places to visit in Athens, including the fascinating Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon, Acropolis Museum, Athens National Garden, and Ancient Agora of Athens.

Map of attractions

Take a closer look at the city map below for the exact locations of all the top attractions in Athens.

Things to do in Athens

Photo of skyline of Athens with Monastiraki square and Acropolis hill during sunset.

You've explored Athens's top attractions and marked them on your map. So now, it's time to delve deeper and discover the top things to do in Athens. These activities not only offer excitement and adventure but also provide unique insights into the city's culture and heritage. Take your experience to the next level by checking out the best sights with a knowledgeable guide, embarking on fun adventures unique to Athens, or learning more about the city's rich history and traditions.

Discover the most popular tours and experiences in the city below.

Most popular experiences in Athens

A visit to Athens gets more exciting with memorable experiences. And the city is just perfect for that, with plenty of fun activities. Bus Tours, Historical Tours, Ports of Call Tours, and more are just some of the options you could explore to fully immerse yourself and make the most of your time.

In this travel guide, we've included some of the best things to do in Athens, adding a special touch to your journey in this vibrant city. Explore bustling markets, embark on scenic hikes, sample local delicacies, or immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of Athens. Browse this diverse array of unforgettable experiences Athens offers and let your adventures begin!

Top tours & tickets starting in Athens

In Athens, travelers are spoiled for choice with a dazzling array of 25 categories of top-rated tours and tickets. But among this sea of options, one category reigns supreme: Trips & Excursions.

Trips & Excursions offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Athens. For example, the fantastic Delphi Full Day Private Trip From Athens With Lunch Overlooking the Sea .

Athens also offers plenty of budget-friendly tours and activities that promise travelers a unique experience. This experience costs around 3 EUR.

Elevate your upcoming Athens adventure with unforgettable experiences by booking top-rated tours in the city. Uncover the finest tours, activities, and tickets awaiting you in Athens right below.

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Search for things to do in Athens

Discover the best things to do in Athens. Choose from 3878 fantastic tours and activities available in the city.

Select your dates and number of travelers in the search bar below to receive the best recommendations for your vacation in Athens. Click the green button to view your options and discover a variety of exciting things to do in Athens.

What to eat in Athens

In Athens, your taste buds are in for a delightful journey as you explore the city's gastronomic offerings. From the bustling Varvakios Market to the upscale dining establishments in Kolonaki, the best places to eat in Athens offer a blend of traditional and contemporary Greek cuisine. For an authentic taste of Athens, don't miss the souvlaki stands found throughout the city, particularly in the Monastiraki district. These skewers of grilled meat wrapped in pita bread are a staple of the local street food scene. For a more refined dining experience, visit the Michelin-starred restaurants in the Syntagma district, where you can indulge in moussaka, a delicious eggplant and ground meat casserole, and dolmades, rice wrapped in vine leaves. Seafood lovers should head to the Mikrolimano harbor in Piraeus, known for its fresh fish tavernas. Remember to pair your meal with a glass of ouzo, Greece's iconic anise-flavored aperitif. With its rich culinary traditions and diverse dining options, Athens promises an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.

Best free things to do in Athens

Experience the timeless grandeur of Athens without breaking the bank. Among the best free things to do in Athens, exploring the iconic Acropolis is a must. While the entry fee to the monument itself isn't free, you can marvel at its magnificence from numerous vantage points around the city. Next, stroll through the vibrant neighborhood of Plaka, a labyrinth of cobblestone streets lined with vibrant homes, quaint cafes, and colorful graffiti art. Don't miss a trip to the National Garden, a lush, tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, home to over 500 species of plants and animals. For those keen on history, the changing of the guards at Syntagma Square is an unforgettable spectacle, embodying centuries-old traditions. Finally, enjoy the sunset at Areopagus Hill, a natural podium offering panoramic views of Athens, a memorable way to end your day. Doing all this, you'll realize that the charm of Athens isn't just in its ancient ruins, but also in its lively streets, lush parks, and stunning views, all for free.

How to get to Athens

International travelers can fly to Athens by booking flights with Aegean, Olympic Air, SKY express, Volotea, and Hahn Air, offering flights to Athens International. From the arrival airport, travelers can choose from various public and private transfer options to Athens.

For those seeking the best flight ticket deals to Athens, knowing the cheapest travel times and which airlines offer the most affordable flights is helpful. Luckily, we provide this information to help you discover the cheapest and most popular flights to Athens. Go to this page to compare all flights to Athens.

Find cheap flights to Athens

Photo of famous Astir Beach in south Athens, Vouliagmeni, Greece.

Booking budget-friendly flights to Athens is a crucial part of planning your trip to the city. This section will guide you through the process, helping you find the best deals for your journey.

Booking in advance is a smart move when traveling to Athens. Airlines release their best deals months ahead of departure, so early birds catch the lower fares. Consider flexible travel dates while planning your visit to the city. Mid-week and off-peak seasons often offer more wallet-friendly options.

To help you find cheap flights to Athens, you can use the powerful booking widget below. Enter your departure city, choose between round trip or one-way, pick your fare class, select travel dates, and specify the number of travelers. Click "Search" and the widget will do the rest. You'll see a list of flights matching your criteria, making your trip to Athens even more convenient.

Fine-tune your search with filters to sort by price, airline, layovers, and more. Once you've found your ideal flight, click "Book" and you'll be redirected to the booking page to complete your reservation. Enter your payment details and receive a confirmation – it's that simple!

Remember to book ahead, stay flexible, and utilize the widget's features to make your journey to Athens both affordable and unforgettable.

Popular flights to Athens

Travelers visiting Athens can easily access the city via Athens International, offering direct connection to 22 destinations worldwide. To streamline your travel planning process, explore the most popular flights to Athens below. Discover direct routes from major international hubs and convenient connections tailored to suit your travel preferences. Click to delve into the diverse array of flights available to Athens and embark on an unforgettable journey.

Where to stay in Athens

Photo of Parthenon temple at sunset. Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

An essential factor to consider when traveling to a new place or country is accommodation. While visiting a city as fantastic as Athens is always exciting, any avid traveler knows that accommodations often make or break the vacation experience. The best place to stay in Athens usually depends on travelers' needs and preferences. However, booking accommodations in central Athens offers a ton of benefits.

Staying in the heart of the city allows you to easily walk to many of the top sights and dining areas in Athens and cut down on your travel expenses. Centrally located accommodations are also an excellent choice for travelers in Athens planning to go on a quick tour or drive to the neighboring regions.

In Athens, you'll find 6 different types of places to stay, catering to every taste, budget, and reason for travel. For example, honeymooners or travelers on a romantic getaway in Greece can experience the ultimate relaxation at one of the luxury hotels in Athens. Travelers whose purpose is sightseeing can also find plenty of mid-range and budget-friendly hotels in the city, allowing access to many of the top attractions in Athens.

Learn more about the most popular places to stay and the top-rated hotels in Athens in the following sections.

Popular types of accommodation in Athens

A trip to Athens means opportunities to relax at any of the 6 different types of places to stay in the city. While each type offers varying amenities and rates, there is no denying that Athens provides a great selection of lodging options ready to cater to every kind of guest.

Among all the choices available in the city, Stanley is one of the top picks of travelers in Athens. Stanley is a 4-star stay with an average rating of 9435 stars out of 5 from 4 guests. The hotel is located at Odysseos 1- Karaiskaki Sq and boasts many great utilities, including restaurant, sauna, and bar.

Budget accommodations are also incredibly popular among travelers in Athens. Cheaper alternatives allow travelers to save on accommodation costs and have more to spend on other experiences.

In Athens, travelers looking for an economical yet top-rated place to stay usually choose Hotel Katerina. For approximately 66 EUR, guests can book a comfortable Single Room at this popular hotel, which also offers air conditioning, bar, and more.

Below is a list of all 6 different types of places to stay in Athens. Select the type you prefer to compare options under each category and find the best accommodation.

Top hotels in Athens

Hotels are travelers' go-to accommodations in Athens for the unique experience they provide. Besides offering basic amenities, many hotels in Athens provide meals and extras, such as shuttle services, spa facilities, tour desks, and other services. But because not all hotels in Athens are created equal, finding the best in the city often requires careful research. For your convenience, we've done all the research to make it easier for you to check out all the top hotels in Athens.

Electra Metropolis Athens offers the most luxurious rooms and is perfect for travelers looking for the ultimate 5-star hotel experience in Athens. If comfort, convenience, and affordability are your non-negotiables, check out Stanley, the top 4-star hotel in the city. When all you need is a pleasant place to rest and sleep in between your activities in Athens, the highest-rated 3-star hotel, Amazon Hotel Athens, is for you.

Below is our hand-picked list of the best hotels in Athens. Travelers are encouraged to book early, as these hotels quickly reach capacity. Click the arrows or swipe the list to see each hotel's ratings, reviews, locations, rates, and more. You can read detailed descriptions of each hotel in Athens by clicking the cards.

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Search for accommodation in Athens

Finding the perfect stay for your visit to Athens is made easy with our search tool. With just a few clicks, explore a range of available hotels and accommodations, complete with prices and amenities for easy comparison. Simply input your check-in and check-out dates, along with the number of guests and rooms needed. Start planning your trip to Athens effortlessly now!

Car rentals in Athens

Photo of traveler girl enjoying vacations in Athens, Greece.

To navigate Athens effortlessly, renting a car is an excellent choice. With your own wheels, you can explore every nook and cranny of the destination without relying on public transportation and even venture off the beaten path. On our website, you'll discover a selection of over 15 car rental companies in Athens, ready to provide you with the perfect vehicle for your travels.

Automatic cars for rent in Athens start at 10 EUR per day or 67 EUR per week. The cheapest automatic rental car is a Skoda Skala Automatic. If you prefer driving a manual car, you'll find multiple options for rent in Athens, starting at 3 EUR per day or 23 EUR per week. The cheapest manual rental car is a Fiat 500.

Learn more about the different types of cars you can rent in Athens, Greece below.

Popular types of cars for rent in Athens

Renting a car in Athens is a popular choice among travelers who want to explore the city at their own pace. A wide variety of popular car rentals are available to choose from in Athens, ensuring you find the best car for your travel plans.

Check out all the options available and book your car rental in Athens for your upcoming adventures in Greece below. All car rentals come with CDW insurance for added protection throughout your trip.

Search for car rentals in Athens

Get ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful city of Athens. Find the best deals on a variety of popular car rentals in Athens, Greece, or any other destination in Europe by using the search tool below.

Enter your pick-up and drop-off location, driver's age, and dates. Click the green button to view your options.

Popular destinations to visit after Athens

Photo of Piraeus, Athens, Greece. Mikrolimano harbour and yacht marina.

The city of Athens is just one of the many unique and scenic destinations you can visit in Greece. So if you're itching for another cultural adventure, a relaxing road trip, an action-filled city break, or a memorable weekend getaway, know that Greece has it all.

Each destination in Greece offers something unique to experience! Take the opportunity to visit other captivating places in Greece that are as magical as the city of Athens. The most popular travel destinations in Greece are listed below. Click on the name of the place you want to explore next to learn more about it.

All the best destinations in Greece

When unsure about where to go next, use the map below. This map shows the locations of all the best destinations in Greece. Use the map to plan your trip and find the best routes.

Transportation in Athens

Navigating Athens, the capital city of Greece, can be an easy and enjoyable experience. The city boasts an efficient public transit system, including an extensive bus network, trams, and the Athens Metro, which is not only an efficient means of transport but also a window into the city's history with its mini-museums at several stations.

Taxis are another convenient option, with numerous taxi stands across the city, or they can be hailed on the street. They are usually reasonably priced, making them an excellent way to get around especially if you're short on time. Rental cars are also available from numerous providers, although keep in mind that driving in Athens can be challenging due to traffic and parking limitations.

For a unique local experience, try the trolleys and electric buses, which have been a part of Athens' cityscape for decades. Or, for a more leisurely pace, horse-drawn carriages can be found in the more tourist-focused areas, providing a charming way to see the sights.

Domestic flights from Athens

Photo of remains of the Hadrian's Library in Monastiraki square in Athens ,Greece.

Experience the authentic charm of Greece by expanding your travels beyond the boundaries of Athens. Explore other destinations around Greece with a domestic flight. A domestic flight is typically a short-haul flight, with the longest duration not exceeding two hours. To find the best flights from Athens to other amazing locations in Greece, add the required details below and select 'Search' to view the best domestic flights in Greece for your chosen dates. You can also jump to the last section of this travel guide to find the most popular domestic flights from Athens.

Popular domestic flights from Athens

Travelers in Greece can catch flights to domestic airports in Alexandroupoli, Preveza, Chania, Kos, and Kythira. Domestic flights in Greece are operated by 9 airlines, including Aegean, Olympic Air, SKY express, Volotea, and Sky Express. There are around 48 scheduled flight routes operating to Athens on a weekly basis.

From Athens, travelers can book scheduled flights to 31 domestic destinations. The most popular flights from Athens depart to many top-rated destinations in Greece and are offered by Aegean, Olympic Air, and SKY express.

Search domestic flights from Athens

Traveling to another city or region in Greece? Use the flight search tool below to quickly find the cheapest one-way or round-trip flights from Athens to different local destinations.

Enter all the necessary information and click or tap on the Search button to see a list of the available domestic flights in Greece on the selected dates.

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