9 Things You Must Do When Visiting Athens

If you’re looking for a city with an incredible amount of history and culture to explore, Athens is the place for you.
Things to do when visiting Athens. Photo:Arthur Yeti | Unsplash

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With so many amazing things to see and do, you’ll be busy every minute of your stay! Here are eight of the best things to do when in Athens.

1. Visit The Acropolis

The Acropolis. Photo: Spencer Davis | Unsplash

The Acropolis is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, and for good reason. The ancient ruins are absolutely incredible, and the views from the top are breathtaking. I highly recommend visiting the Acropolis if you ever find yourself in Athens.

Even if you’re not particularly interested in history, I think you’ll be impressed by how well-preserved the ruins are. And if you are interested in history, then you’ll definitely want to spend some time exploring the Acropolis.

There’s so much to see and learn about, it really is a fascinating place. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as there’s a lot of walking involved. Trust me, it’s worth it!

2. Sample the local cuisine

Baklava. Photo: Ömer Haktan Bulut | Unsplash

When in Athens, be sure to sample the local cuisine! Greek food is delicious, and Athens is the perfect place to sample some of the best dishes. Try traditional favorites like dolma (stuffed grape leaves), Souvlaki (kebabs), and Baklava (a sweet pastry made with honey and nuts). Wash it all down with a glass of Ouzo, Greece’s national liquor.

3. Explore the Plaka neighborhood

Plaka. Athens. Photo: Despina Galani | Unsplash

The Plaka neighborhood is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Athens, and it’s easy to see why. This charming area is filled with narrow streets lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. Visitors can find everything from traditional Greek souvenirs to handmade jewelry and pottery. The Plaka is also home to several historical sites, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Roman Forum. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder the Plaka is one of the most popular places to visit in Athens!

4. Visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus. Photo: Marco Montero Pisani | Unsplash

The Temple of Olympian Zeus is one of the most impressive ruins in Athens. It was once the largest temple in the city, and its massive columns are still an awe-inspiring sight. The temple was built over a period of centuries, and its construction was never completed.

However, even in its unfinished state, the temple is a powerful reminder of the power of the ancient Greek gods. Visitors to the site can still see some of the original sculptures that adorned the temple, including a massive statue of Zeus himself. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a must-see for any visitor to Athens.

5. See the changing of the guard at the Parliament building

Parliament building. Photo: George Kourounis | Unsplash

The Parliament building in Athens is one of the most iconic landmarks in Greece. And when you visit, you can’t help but be impressed by the changing of the guard ceremony.

The guards are dressed in traditional uniforms and stand at attention as the Greek national anthem is played. Then, they perform a series of intricate maneuvers with their rifles. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Greek culture and history. And it’s definitely worth seeing if you’re in Athens.

Just be sure to check the schedule in advance, as the ceremony doesn’t take place every day.

6. Shop for souvenirs at the Monastiraki flea market

Monastiraki flea market. Photo: David Tip | Unsplash

If you’re looking for souvenirs that are uniquely Greek, there’s no better place to shop than the Monastiraki flea market. This open-air market is located in the heart of Athens, and it’s filled with stalls selling everything from hand-painted pottery to antique jewelry.

You can also find plenty of secondhand goods, including books, records, and furniture. bargaining is expected at the Monastiraki flea market, so be prepared to haggle with the vendors.

And even if you don’t end up buying anything, it’s fun to wander through the market and soak up the lively atmosphere.

7. Watch the sunset from Mount Lycabettus

Mount Lycabettus. Photo: Lazarescu Alexandra | Unsplash

Mount Lycabettus is the highest point in Athens and offers stunning views of the cityscape. Take a cable car or hike to the top of the hill to watch the sunset over Athens. You can also enjoy a meal or drink at one of the restaurants and cafes located at the summit.

8. Go for a swim at Vouliagmeni Lake

Vouliagmeni Lake. Photo: Black Iris Visuals | Unsplash

I always enjoy a swim, whether it’s in the local pool or out in the open water. When I’m on vacation, I always try to find a spot where I can take a dip. That’s why I was excited to discover Vouliagmeni Lake. This natural lake is fed by underground springs and is known for its therapeutic properties. The water is always a comfortable temperature, and there’s a lovely café overlooking the lake where you can relax with a drink after your swim. I definitely recommend taking a dip in Vouliagmeni Lake if you’re ever in Athens!

9. Take a day trip to one of the nearby islands

Hydra, Greece. Photo: Mauricio Muñoz | Unsplash

Athens is also a great base for exploring some of Greece’s stunning islands. There are many ferry and hydrofoil options available for day trips to popular destinations like Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, consider a trip to the island of Naxos. No matter which island you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

These are just a few of the many things you can do when visiting Athens. This vibrant city has something to offer everyone, so make sure to add it to your travel list!

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