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.

Sunset on the Acropolis in AthensSunset on the Acropolis

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

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 1.5 kms (about 1 mile) 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

Other Athens pages

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

    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.

  • Athens' Benaki Museum is one of the city’s top museums with an outstanding collection, especially of Greek and Egyptian artefacts, in a beautiful mansion.

    Athens’Benaki Museum

    Athens' Benaki Museum is one of the city’s top museums with an outstanding collection, especially of Greek and Egyptian artefacts, in a beautiful mansion.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

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

    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..

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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 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.

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

    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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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.

    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.

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

    Athens: Travel Information and Advice about Athens, Greece

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

  • 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 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 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.

  • 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.

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