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In the streets of Exarchia
In the streets of Exarchia | ©Thomas Gravanis / Culture Trip
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How to Spend 5 Days in Athens, Greece

Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 26 March 2018
This is it. You’ve booked your plane ticket and hotel and are ready to embark on a fun adventure in the Greek capital. But with its collection of archaeological sites, museums, art galleries, laidback cafés and bars on demand, you might not know how to start exploring Athens. Here is a 5-day itinerary in the Greek capital where you get to see the city highlights and enjoy the best of what Athens has to offer.

Day 1

Start off with the biggest landmark in Athens, the Acropolis. This complex of temples perched atop the Sacred Rock offers a fascinating insight into ancient Greece, as well as fantastic viewpoints over the city. The site includes the Theater of Dionysus, built in the 4th century B.C. and the Odeon of Herodus Atticus. Once you are done sightseeing, make your way to the historic district of Plaka, where you can wander the small streets lined with old and renovated neoclassical mansions. Don’t forget to climb your way through Anafiotika, the charming Cycladic-like district under the Acropolis. End the day in the vibrant square of Monastiraki for some people-watching before having dinner in the colorful neighborhood of Psyrri.

Anafiotika-Athens-Greece
View of Athens from Anafiotika | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip

Day 2

Start the day early with a visit to the Acropolis Museum after a delicious breakfast. Head to Takis bakery where you can select a variety of pastries and goodies before heading across the street to Drupes & Drips for a coffee. Once you are done with the museum, head towards Hadrian’s Arch and the often-forgotten site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Next, set off to the Marble Stadium or Kalimarmaro to learn all about the fascinating history of the stadium and the modern Olympic Games before going the Zappeion and the National Gardens. Make your way towards Syntagma square and the Parliament house before heading to the Museum of Cycladic Art. End your exploration with a refreshing drink at the museum’s cafeteria or head to the busy Syntagma square for a well-deserved dinner downtown.

Zappeion, Athens, Greece
Zappeion, Athens, Greece | © Thibaut Démare/ flickr

Day 3

This is the day where you can combine some sightseeing and architectural wonders. Start off at the Benaki Museum, where you will learn about the Greek culture from prehistory to the 20th century. Afterwards, make your way to Panepistimiou avenue where you can discover the impressive neoclassic buildings of the Numismatic Museum, the University, the Academy and the National Library before making your way to the National Archaeological Museum on Patission Avenue. You can definitely take advantage of your position and wander the streets of Exarcheia where you will get to see some of the best examples of Athenian street art before dark.

Exarchia Neighbourhood-Athens-Greece
Exarchia Neighbourhood | Thomas Gravanis / © Culture Trip

Day 4

Time to get acquainted with the Monastiraki and Thisseio districts, filled with ruins of the Roman Agora, the Tower of Winds and the Stoa of Attalos. Stroll around the impromptu lines of street vendors in Thisseo before wandering the flea market and the antique shops surrounding the Abyssinias square. Stop for a quick souvlaki break on the square before exploring Psyrri by day. Hop on the metro green line and head towards Piraeus to discover the picturesque district of Kastella, where it feels like time has come to a standstill. Jump off at Faliro and make your way to Mikrolimano, lined with fish shops and restaurants, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch along the waterfront. Follow the meandering streets taking the time to admire the old charming houses before making your way down to the port of Piraeus to catch the metro back to the city. Opt for a small taverna in Plaka where you can dine under the stars.

Mikrolimano, Piraeus
Mikrolimano, Piraeus | © Simon Schoeters/Flickr

Day 5

Take a welcome break from the busy city, by heading out towards Cape Sounio to see the Temple of Poseidon. The drive allows you to pass through the Athenian Riviera and along the coast before reaching the sacred site on the Attika peninsula. Take the time to explore, breathing in the fresh air while admiring the views. Have lunch there or at a nearby taverna before making your way back to the city. Take it easy and do some souvenir shopping, revisit a beloved area or simply relax.

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Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion | © India Doyle