Athens

Athens is a top vacation destination and the Greece Travel Secrets Athens pages have information on hotels, museums, Athens airport and all the best things to do.

Athens: The Old Reflected in the New
Photo by Donna Dailey

Athens, Greece's capital city, is a top vacation destination. The Greece Travel Secrets pages on Athens havs information on Athens International Airport (including Athens Airport Hotels), car rental, the Athens weather (including what to do in Athens in the rain!), entertainment in Athens, the history of Athens, public holidays and events, Athens for kids, the best views in Athens, the best hotels, all of the best things to do in Athens - and much more!

Athens is one of Europe's top city break destinations. New chic boutique hotels seem to open every few months, there are now many fine-dining restaurants (some with Michelin stars), and some of the visitor attractions have had a major make-over in recent years too.

There are new museums, expanded museums, a sleek metro system, expanding pedestrian areas in the city centre, and the general buzz that you only get in a city where things are happening – good things.

The Publishers of Greece Travel Secrets in Athens

Don't miss this visual tour of Athens with photos by Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets.

Many people visit Athens as a shore excursion from a cruise ship, and others for a day or two as part of a longer vacation. In both cases the two must-see sites are the National Archaeological Museum and the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis.

There's usually time for a stroll around the streets of the Plaka, one of the oldest parts of Athens, although the Athenians themselves tend to prefer the newer areas like Psyrri and Gazi. You should also visit Syntagma Square, preferably timed so that you can see the Changing of the Guard.

Athens even has a mountain (well, technically a hill) right in the centre of the city. See our pages on Mount Lykabettos and on Kolonaki about how to get to the top.

We encourage you to stay for longer, though, and try to fit in some other sites, including several brilliant museums, like the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the War Museum, and the Benaki Museum.

We've visited Athens many times and have written several guidebooks to the city, including Essential Athens, Essential Spiral Athens, CitySpot Athens, and the Berlitz Guide to Athens. We love the city, and always have done.

In the National Archaeological Museum: Photo (c) Donna Dailey

Alternative Athens Tours

Take a look at the website of Alternative Athens, who organise city tours and experiences with a difference: ceramics workshops, street art walks, enjoying a home-cooked meal with an Athens family... and more. You can read more about their tours and experiences on our Athens Walking Tours page.

Where to Stay in Athens

Other Athens pages

  • Greece Travel Secrets gives its choice of the best hotels in Athens from budget and moderate options through to 5-star luxury choices.

    The Best Hotels in Athens

    Greece Travel Secrets gives its choice of the best hotels in Athens from budget and moderate options through to 5-star luxury choices.

  • This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

    A Drive around Attica

    This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

  • If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

    Where to Eat in Athens and Piraeus

    If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

  • Athens in the rain isn’t something you’re likely to experience but here are suggestions for things to do in the rain in Athens including museums and shopping

    Athens in the Rain

    Athens in the rain isn’t something you’re likely to experience but here are suggestions for things to do in the rain in Athens including museums and shopping

  • This walk around the Kolonaki neighbourhood of Athens starts and ends in Syntagma Square and takes you to several museums, Kolonaki Square and Mount Lykabettos.

    A Walk around Kolonáki

    This walk around the Kolonaki neighbourhood of Athens starts and ends in Syntagma Square and takes you to several museums, Kolonaki Square and Mount Lykabettos.

  • In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!

    My Athens: a Portrait by Travel Writer Mike Gerrard

    In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!

  • The best things to do in Athens, Greece, include top archaeological sites like the Acropolis and must-see attractions such as the National Archaeological Museum

    The Best Things to Do in Athens

    The best things to do in Athens, Greece, include top archaeological sites like the Acropolis and must-see attractions such as the National Archaeological Museum

  • Amusing children in Athens is easy as there is lots to do including a children’s museum, planetarium, beaches, and easy excursions to the nearest islands.

    Amusing Children in Athens

    Amusing children in Athens is easy as there is lots to do including a children’s museum, planetarium, beaches, and easy excursions to the nearest islands.

  • Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

    Syntagma Square

    Syntagma Square or Constitution Square is the main square in Athens and has a metro station, the Greek Parliament building, hotels, cafes, and a post office.

  • The Changing of the Guard in Athens takes place outside the Parliament building at the top of Syntagma Square and is a must-see for visitors.

    Changing of the Guard in Athens

    The Changing of the Guard in Athens takes place outside the Parliament building at the top of Syntagma Square and is a must-see for visitors.

  • The Athens National Historical Museum is in the former Greek Parliament building and houses an archive of historical artefacts and documents.

    Athens National Historical Museum

    The Athens National Historical Museum is in the former Greek Parliament building and houses an archive of historical artefacts and documents.

  • The Athens War Museum is a fascinating look at Greek history through the lens of warfare from ancient battles to the Greek War of Independence and World War II.

    Athens War Museum

    The Athens War Museum is a fascinating look at Greek history through the lens of warfare from ancient battles to the Greek War of Independence and World War II.

  • The best views in Athens include views from the Acropolis and of the Acropolis from the top of some of the city’s several hills and from hotels and restaurants.

    Best Views in Athens

    The best views in Athens include views from the Acropolis and of the Acropolis from the top of some of the city’s several hills and from hotels and restaurants.

  • If visiting Athens it helps to know when major events and public holidays take place, as some shops and attractions may be closed, but to be there at times like Easter can make for a magical trip.

    Athens Events and Public Holidays

    If visiting Athens it helps to know when major events and public holidays take place, as some shops and attractions may be closed, but to be there at times like Easter can make for a magical trip.

  • Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

    Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens

    Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

  • Athens International Airport is east of Athens city centre with its own Metro train station, buses to Athens and Piraeus, taxis and car rental offices.

    Athens International Airport

    Athens International Airport is east of Athens city centre with its own Metro train station, buses to Athens and Piraeus, taxis and car rental offices.

  • The Athens Byzantine and Christian Museum is housed in a beautiful villa with an underground wing and lovely gardens too.

    Athens Byzantine and Christian Museum

    The Athens Byzantine and Christian Museum is housed in a beautiful villa with an underground wing and lovely gardens too.

  • Mount Lykabettos is the highest hill in Athens and provides some of the best views of the city, with a funicular cable car the easiest way to get to the top.

    Mount Lykabettos

    Mount Lykabettos is the highest hill in Athens and provides some of the best views of the city, with a funicular cable car the easiest way to get to the top.

  • The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

    Cape Sounion and the East Coast

    The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

  • Greece Travel Secrets visits the Monastiraki Flea Market, followed by Sunday lunch at Sigalas on Monastiraki Square

    Monastiraki Flea Market

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Monastiraki Flea Market, followed by Sunday lunch at Sigalas on Monastiraki Square

  • The Athens Agora or ancient market is a must-see site and one of the best things to do in Athens with its restored arcade building, the Stoa, and its museum.

    Athens Agora

    The Athens Agora or ancient market is a must-see site and one of the best things to do in Athens with its restored arcade building, the Stoa, and its museum.

  • This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

    Greek Architecture

    This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

  • The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the original Athens Olympic Stadium, built for the 1896 Olympic Games and open to the public for jogging and photography.

    Athens Olympic Stadium

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the original Athens Olympic Stadium, built for the 1896 Olympic Games and open to the public for jogging and photography.

  • The Athens Museum of Cycladic Art houses a remarkable collection of Cycladic figurines and other items and is one of the best museums in Athens.

    Athens Museum of Cycladic Art

    The Athens Museum of Cycladic Art houses a remarkable collection of Cycladic figurines and other items and is one of the best museums in Athens.

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