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.

Sunset on the Acropolis in AthensSunset on the Acropolis

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

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.

Dine in the Athens Central Market

Athens Central MarketAthens 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.

Snap Yourself with an Evzone

Evzone Soldier in AthensEvzone Soldier in Athens

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.

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

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.

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.

Walk in the Footsteps of St Paul

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

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.

See where the Olympic Games was Reborn

The Panathenaic Stadium in AthensThe 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'.

Buy a Souvenir at the Monastiraki Flea Market

The Monastiraki Flea Market in AthensThe 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.

Escape the Heat in a Royal Garden

The National Garden in AthensThe 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.

Where to Stay in Athens

Some 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A History of Athens

    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.

  • 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.

  • Entertainment in Athens

    There's all kinds of entertainment in Athens whether you're interested in theatre, dance, classical music, jazz, Greek music, rock music, disco, opera or movies.

  • Easter in Athens

    Easter in Athens is, like everywhere in Greece, the biggest religious celebration of the year and this page tells you what to expect over the Easter weekend.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Best Cocktail Bars in Athens

    Two of the best cocktail bars in Athens, MoMix Kerameikos and The Clumsies, are making creative cocktails using that most Greek of Greek spirits, Metaxa.

  • 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.

  • Athens Weather and the Best Time to Visit

    The Greece Travel Secrets website looks at the Athens weather, the chance of rain, the climate in summer and winter and the best time to visit 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 to Santorini

    There are lots of flights from Athens to Santorini as well as a ferry service from Piraeus, with flights to Santorini leaving from Athens International Airport.

  • 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.

  • 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 Culinary Tours

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

  • 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 Hotels

    Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.

  • 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.

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