Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens

Athens

There are plenty of fun things to do in Athens, as well as the obvious attractions like visiting the Acropolis, the Plaka, or the National Archaeological Museum. Sometimes the little fun things might only take a few minutes but can really add to the pleasure of a visit.

Here's our list of ten fun things to do in Athens, some of which are free or inexpensive. All of them will add something to your visit to Athens. Try to fit in as many as you can.

Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens

Sunset on the Acropolis in AthensSunset on the Acropolis

See the Sun Set on the Acropolis

Areopagus Hill

There are sunsets and then there's watching the golden glow of the sun going down and illuminating the pinkish granite of the 2500-year-old Acropolis from the top of the Areopagus Hill.

Photograph a Running Statue

O Dromeas

O Dromeas means The Runner and this remarkable statue stands in the middle of a traffic island 1.5km east of Syntagma Square and across from the Athens Hilton. It took sculptor Costas Varotsos six years to put together the thousands of pieces of jagged broken glass which, together, make the shape of a running figure, as if racing into the wind.

Athens Central MarketAthens Central Market

Dine in the Athens Central Market

Central Municipal Athens Market, Filopoimenos 4

To enjoy authentic Greek cooking at cheap prices, forget the tourist areas and head for somewhere like the Oinomageireio H Epirus (Epirus Tavern) restaurant in the city's main market and taste the best moussaka you'll ever eat.

Evzone Soldier in Athens

Snap Yourself with an Evzone

Monument of the Unknown Soldier, Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias 133

The Presidential Guards known as Evzones guard the Monument of the Unknown Soldier outside the Hellenic Parliament building. They're used to being photographed, and having people pose next to them, so don't be shy, but do be respectful.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus in AthensOdeon of Herodes Atticus
Photo by 'Bobby H' and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

See a Play in One of the World's Oldest Theatres

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Areopagitou Dionisiou

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, at the foot of the Acropolis, was built in 161 AD and is still in use today as a performance venue. The best time is in summer during the Athens and Epidaurus Festival when you might see anything from classical Greek drama to rock stars like Sting.

Swim in a Lake that's also a Spa

Vouliagmenis Lake

The Vouliagmenis Lake is less than 30 minutes from the city centre, near the Athenian Riviera, and acts as a natural hot spa. It is fed by underground thermal springs and by warm water from the sea, and it also disappears in an underground cave system that has still not been fully explored.

Apostolis Pavlou street in AthensApostolis Pavlou
Photo by George E. Koronaios and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Walk in the Footsteps of St Paul

Areopagus Hill

Apostolou Pavlou is a pedestrianised street that follows the route that the Apostle Paul took when he visited Athens to preach on the Areopagus Hill. You'll be rewarded for the climb by photos over the city and of the Acropolis.

The Panathenaic Stadium in AthensThe Panathenaic Stadium

See where the Olympic Games was Reborn

Panathenaic Stadium, Leoforos Vasileos Konstantinou

The Panathenaic Stadium was used for the first modern Olympic Games, held here in 1896. It's still a remarkably elegant piece of architecture, tempting everyone to take 'just one more photo'.

The Monastiraki Flea Market in AthensThe Monastiraki Flea Market

Buy a Souvenir at the Monastiraki Flea Market

Monastiraki Square

Many cities have flea markets but you've never seen anything like Monastiraki every Sunday morning. Running for miles from Monastiraki Square, it's a mix of western market and eastern bazaar where you can buy anything from old typewriters to video games, from watches to bicycles, from religious icons to pornography.

The National Garden in AthensThe National Garden

Escape the Heat in a Royal Garden

National Garden, Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias 1

The former Royal Garden, now the National Garden, is full of shady nooks and benches to help escape the summer heat for a while. Take a picnic and join the locals, and enjoy the ancient remains, all for free.

And here's a map showing you where all these fun things to do in Athens can be found.

See our other Athens pages...

  • 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.

  • Athens Culinary Tours

    Athens culinary tours are among the food walking tours offered by an unusual company, Culinary Backstreets.

  • Piraeus

    Piraeus is the port of Athens from where many ferries to the Greek islands depart, and it also has an Archaeological Museum and the Hellenic Maritime Museum.

  • Artistic Athens

    This extract of Artistic Athens in the Lonely Planet book Culture Trails takes visitors on a journey through the artistic side of Athens..

  • 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 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

  • Monastiraki Flea Market

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

  • Monastiraki and Around

    Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Marathon

    The ancient site of Marathon and the site of the Battle of Marathon are in Attica and naturally about 26 miles or 42 kilometres from the centre of Athens.

  • Athens Walking Tours and Other Experiences

    Athens walking tours and other experiences like cookery lessons, ceramics workshops, dining with a family, and street art are available from Alternative Athens

  • 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

  • Athens Food Tours

    Athens Food Tours are being introduced by new company The Greek Fork, and will include tours of the Central Market, and the best street food.

  • 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.

  • Athens Eaters Guide

    Athens, an Eater's Guide to the City, is published by Culinary Backstreets, who do walking food tours in Athens and the book recommends the best places to eat.

  • Athens Dining Guide

    This Athens dining guide doesn't list restaurants but gives practical advice on types of eating places, tipping, hotel breakfasts and picnics.

  • Athens Car Rental

    Athens car rental options include almost all of the major international car hire firms such as Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Europcar.

  • Athens Airport Car Rental

    Athens Airport car rentals include Alamo/National Car Rental, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt, all with offices at the airport.

  • Athens Acropolis

    The Athens Acropolis has the city's most iconic building, the Parthenon, along with other historic buildings and is where the Elgin Marbles were taken from.

  • Athens: Travel Information and Advice about Athens, Greece

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

  • Pictures of Athens

    Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

  • National Archaeological Museum

    The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to see in Athens, and the best museum in the world for seeing Greece's archaeological treasures.

  • My Athens: a Portrait by Travel Writer Mike Gerrard

    In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets award-winning travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis, the National Archaeological Museum and eating!

  • 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.

Latest Posts

  1. A Sommelier’s Guide to Greece’s Most Exclusive Grape Varieties

    Best Greek Sommelier for 2019, Aris Sklavenitis offers his recommendations for rare, lesser-known indigenous Greek varieties: an exciting, unexplored territory for wine lovers.

    Read More

  2. Greece Extends Second Lockdown Until December 7

    Greece will extend its second nationwide lockdown until 6am on Monday, December 7, in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and limit the rising number of intubations and fatalit…

    Read More

  3. New Archaeological Museum to Open in Ermionida, Greece

    The Greek Culture Ministry recently announced plans to open a new archaeological museum in Ermionida, a municipality located in eastern Peloponnese.

    Read More

  4. Greece Among Top 3 Booking Choices for US Travelers

    Greece is among the top three international destinations that American travelers are booking, according to a survey on tourism recovery in the post-coronavirus era released by the United States Tour O…

    Read More

  5. Greece’s Air Traffic Controllers Call Off Strike, AEGEAN Reinstates Flights

    Unions representing air traffic controllers, electronic security engineers and aeronautical telecommunication officers in Greece announced that they were calling off strike action to take place during…

    Read More

  6. General Strike in Greece on Thursday to Affect Transport

    A 24-hour strike called by Greece’s main public sector umbrella union ADEDY for Thursday, November 26, will affect public transport in Athens and ferry travel.

    Read More

  7. Greece to Remain in Lockdown, Efforts Made to ‘Save Christmas’

    Greece’s government and health authorities expect the country’s second lockdown to continue into December, adding that it was too early to lift containment measures as Covid-19 is still spreading fast…

    Read More

  8. Qantas to Require Covid-19 Vaccination on All Int’l Flights

    Passengers wishing to fly internationally with Qantas will be required to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination, the airline’s CEO Alan Joyce said this week. The head of Australia’s flag carrier said…

    Read More

  9. Strike in Greece Causes Changes to AEGEAN, Olympic Air Flights

    AEGEAN and Olympic Air have announced flight cancellations and reschedules during November 25-27 due to industrial action announced by Greece’s air traffic control personnel and electronic security en…

    Read More

  10. Air Travel in Greece to Face Disruption Nov 25-26 Due to Strike Action

    Greece’s air traffic control personnel and electronic engineers have announced work stoppages on Wednesday, November 25 and a 24-hour strike on Thursday, November 26, which are expected to impact air…

    Read More