Hills of Athens Panoramic
Three famous hills of Athens. Straight ahead, Lycabettus Hill towers above the city as the highest point of Athens. Crowds gather on Areopagus Hill. A couple enjoy the scenery from Pnyx Hill. Photograph: Why Athens

WHAT to do in Athens

There are endless possibilities and things to do in Athens to suit a wide range of interests but as always it comes down to that precious commodity called time. We’ve compiled and curated the very best of what to do and things to see including, attractions, museums, shopping and other leisurely activities for you to get the most out of your visit to Athens. So get your walking shoes on, pack some sunscreen and get ready to explore this fascinating metropolis.

Athens attractions

It goes without saying that you really must see the Acropolis and set aside at least half a day to do so. It is unlikely that you will get to see all of the Athens attractions in one visit, particularly if you want to go at a reasonable pace, smell the roses and enjoy the modern side of Athens as well.

Things to do in Athens: museums

You can read about Athens museums in our ‘Museums’ category. History buffs will have an absolute field day particularly when it comes to the Acropolis Museum. Ranked as one of the best museums in the world, the collections from the Greek Bronze era to the Roman and Byzantine periods are truly exceptional. It’s a good idea to attend the museum before you go to the Acropolis, as it will put a great deal of what you will see in and around the Parthenon into perspective. Museum guides are also available in several languages.

Things to do in Athens: shopping

For those wanting to squeeze in some shopping therapy, we have divided our shopping category into two. In our ‘Where to Shop’ category, we provide a curated list of shops that are first and foremost Athenian. You will find stylish Greek fashion labels and independent designers. If you’re looking for a special keepsake to take home and remember Greece by, our ‘Souvenirs’ category features authentic Greek gifts that are lovingly made in Greece.

Things to do in Athens: leisure & experiences

We’re all for site seeing and exploring but somewhere in your trip you may just want to relax and enjoy the city as the locals do. In our ‘Leisure’ category, we’ve listed some stand out places to go and relax including one of the oldest places to sip a coffee in Athens, along with the best place to spend the day swimming. If you want to meet some locals and find out more about the city, its culture and history, we’ve selected some of the best-structured day tours.

  • Hills of Athens Panoramic

    The Hills of Athens

    For walkers, hardcore hikers or simple nature lovers, the hills of Athens offer a delightful opportunity to escape the city and appreciate Greece’s varied, inspiring, age-old landscape. In ancient Athens, these monumental natural elevations, sharply distinct from their surrounding terrain, were usually not inhabited but reserved for sacred, ceremonial or governmental purposes. More than a…

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  • acropolis museum parthenon gallery

    The Acropolis Museum

    Officially opened in 2009, the Acropolis Museum has been consistently rated as one of the best museums in the world. Devoted to the Parthenon and its surrounding temples, it is cleverly perched above Athens like a luminous box and the perfect sanctuary for the ancient artefacts that were found in and around the Acropolis.

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  • Byzantine Museum Athens

    The Byzantine and Christian Museum

    Where: Central, walking distance from Evangelismos metro station
    Why Go: For the largest collection of Byzantine art
    We Loved: Rare 13th Century icons and the museum’s building and surrounding courtyard
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  • Museum of Cycladic Art Athens

    Museum of Cycladic Art

    The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens showcases a fascinating collection gathered by the late shipping magnate Nicholas Goulandris and his wife Dolly. Expanding over four levels, the artworks give real insight into the ancient civilisations of the Cycladic Islands. The remnants of these ancient societies from 3200-2000BC, gives telling information on how ancient Greeks…

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  • Athens War Museum Why Athens

    Athens War Museum

    Where: Central, walking distance from Evangelismos metro station
    Why Go: A fascinating look at Greece’s war efforts through the ages
    We Loved: The outdoor exhibit that allows you to peer inside the aircrafts used by the Hellenic Air Force
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  • Benaki Museum Athens Gallery

    The Benaki Museum

    Where: Central, walking distance from Evangelismos metro station
    Why Go: A beautiful setting for one of the best private collections in Athens
    We Loved: The decorative objects used in daily life through out Greek history and the reconstruction of stately rooms found in 18th century mansions
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