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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo by 'Bobby H' and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
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.
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.
Photo by George E. Koronaios and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
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
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
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
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.
A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.
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