Athens is not only the capital of Greece, it is also one of the oldest cities in Europe and is considered one of the most popular destinations in the world due to its warm climate. Due to its geographical location, embedded between mountains and sea, the Athens summer months (June to September) are often characterized by so-called "heat waves" of about 40° degrees. You want to discover Athens? Looking forward to extensive sightseeing tours? The best time for Athens is in spring and winter, when it is not quite so hot. Then there are not so many tourists in the city and the attractions in Athens are less crowded. Especially at the Acropolis very pleasant!
How many days in Athens?
Hardly any other city in Europe offers you such a wealth of sights as Athens. This is where antiquity and modernity meet and take you into a varied world of historical sites and modern art and culture. But most of the sights are located near the Acropolis. The best sights, great markets and shopping and the one or other nice restaurant visit, you can do in Athens in 3 days. Those who can stay longer will also find time for a trip to Delphi and a bicycle tour through Athens.
The most beautiful view in Athens
One of the most beautiful views in and over Athens you will undoubtedly get from the Acropolis. From the hilltop fortress, surrounded by ruins and sites, you can see almost the entire city of Athens. Especially at sunset you will remember the play of light between the individual buildings, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Nike and the Parthenon. Great photo motif!
Restaurant-Tip: Museum for Greek Gastronomy
Those who as a German tourist think of Greek food will probably oftenly have gyros with a mountain of tzatziki and chips in mind. But those who have already been a guest in the Mediterranean stronghold of pleasure know that Greek food has a lot more to offer. If you would like to experience a culinary speciality on your exploratory tour of Athens, you should definitely visit the "Museum of Greek Gastronomy". Here you will learn all about the traditional and modern gastronomy of Athens and at the same time feast on a fantastic Mediterranean menu. Great concept!
Shopping tour: The most beautiful districts in Athens
Shopping is possible almost everywhere in Athens, but there are some minor differences in the respective shopping streets and shopping miles. Ermou Street, for example, is in the centre of Athens, but is more suitable for shopping junkies with a high budget. Most popular is the shopping mile around Monastiraki Square. Starting with smaller shops and beautiful boutiques, up to the well-known chains, there should be something for every taste and purse.
Locomotion in Athens
Getting around Athens is easy. Taxis are cheap and public transport is by bus and electric trolley bus. You can recognise the stops by their colours: At the blue stops the buses stop, the yellow stops are the trolleys. All public transport in Athens must be waved in. Recently, the Greek capital also has a metro. Tours on your own is nothing in the way here! By the way, a day ticket for the entire local transport costs 4,00€, a single ticket 1,40€. However, there is a special price of 8,00€ for the trip to the airport.
Top 10 sights in Athens that you should not miss
The Acropolis is one of the absolute highlights on your tour of Athens and has been a UNESO World Heritage Site since 1986, not without reason. Here you can immerse yourself in the history of the ancient Greeks and experience a glimpse into the past that you will never forget. The Acropolis houses several temples, including the Erechtheion, the Temple of Nike and the Parthenon. Although they are only ruins, the tour through the Acropolis is an absolute must.
2. The Acropolis Museum
In 2009, on the edge of the historic town fortress, the new Acropolis Museum opened. Since then it has attracted around 5 million visitors a year to its halls. The museum only displays exhibits found on and around the Acropolis. Almost 4000 objects can be visited here. The Acropolis Museum is already one of the most popular exhibitions in the world.
The Plaka is the oldest quarter of Athens and was the centre of the city until the 19th century. When you wander through the narrow streets of the district, antiquity seems within reach. The foundation walls of many houses date back to the time of the ancient Greeks. Nowadays Plaka is mainly known as a nightlife and tavern district and is popular with tourists and locals alike. A highlight of this quarter is also the "Tower of the Winds", a 13-metre high tower from the 1st century BC.
Monastirakithe market district in the old town, is the scene of one of the most popular shopping miles in Athens. Not only are there a string of shops, but also small traditional and modern souvenir shops where you can buy wonderful souvenirs. After an extensive stroll through the shops, enjoy a coffee or a small snack in one of the bistros on Monastiraki Square.
The Olympieion in Athens is the temple of the Greek father of the gods Zeus and is only half a kilometre away from the Acropolis. Even if there are only ruins on the present site, you will feel as if you have been transported back to ancient times. Should not be missing on any sightseeing tour in Athens.
The Agora was in its time the most important meeting place of the so-called polis and one of the most important places of the initial democracy in Greece. If you want to take a great photo of the Acropolis, this is the best place to do so. In the late afternoon the light conditions are especially beautiful.
7. National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is one of the most prestigious museums in the world. The most important art treasures of Greece are exhibited here. The Greek treasures date from prehistory to late antiquity. A trip to the museum is considered a welcome change from the hot temperatures in Athens. A visit is highly recommended!
8. Syntagma place
Right in the centre of Athens, Syntagma Square lies at the foot of the Royal Palace. It is named after the Greek constitution and has been a political arena in Greece ever since. Almost no city tour doesn't stop here for a short stop.
9. Dionysus Theatre
The Dionysus Theatre is located near the Acropolis and in ancient times was not only considered the most famous theatre in Athens, but also one of the most important theatres in Greece. According to tradition, the site was even the birthplace of the entire Greek theatre and was consecrated to the god of wine and lust - Dionysus - after its completion. In 2010 the restoration of the theatre was started with loving attention to detail.
10. Street art scene
The street art scene in Athens is one of the most famous art scenes in Europe and can be found almost everywhere in the capital of Greece. Whoever thinks only of graffiti or graffiti is wrong. Greek street art is to a large extent a true masterpiece that attracts and amazes even art connoisseurs from all over the world. What originated as a protest during the economic crisis has been transformed into true art and today it is impossible to imagine Athens without it. On your tour of Athens, keep your eyes open to catch a glimpse of at least one of these works of art.