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.

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