© Yukai Du / Culture Trip

The Insider Guide To Athens

The birthplace of democracy, the cradle of western civilisation, the home of philosophers Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and more. So much is heaped on the shoulders of the Greek capital, but it doesn’t disappoint. Even if you only have a passing interest in history, there’s much to see and do here – so let our young Athenian insiders show you round their neighbourhood.

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Πάμε! The Main Attractions

If you’re starting with the old stuff, the Acropolis of Athens comes top. This ancient citadel looming over the whole city is where you’ll find the Parthenon. Imagine, if you can, the statue – now lost – of Athena Parthenos, Athena the maiden, who gave the city its name. The views go for miles up here – to the west you can see the Aeropagus, a huge rocky outcrop that is mentioned in the Bible, and to the east is the Temple of Olympian Zeus, near modern-day Syntagma Square. Remember, this is the southernmost capital city in Europe, so start early to avoid the heat. The cool, air-conditioned Acropolis Museum on your way back down is where the marbles, exterior friezes that wrapped the Parthenon, are laid out. The museum itself sits over a Roman villa that you can admire through glass under your feet. For culture lovers, the National Art Gallery specialises in Renaissance and post-Byzantine art, while the Technopolis, housed in a former gasworks, is now a museum and cultural venue. Opera fans can come here to enjoy the museum space dedicated to Maria Callas. The historic centre, or Plaka, is pedestrianised, so easy to amble through and enjoy the delights of Greek food and drink. And if all that sounds too slow, head to Glyfada for a banging night scene, with bars and clubs lining the beach. This is a party city, too, you know. Read on for our local insider tips.

Explore Neighbourhoods

Neighborhoods in Athens

FAQs About Athens

The top things to do in Athens include the Acropolis, Panathenaic Stadium, National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum. See a full list here:

The Must-Visit Attractions in Athens.

Try the Foundry Suites, Ergon House, or Hotel Grande Bretagne – all found in this list of

The Best Hotels in Athens.

Just two hours away, you can reach the stunning Greek islands of Aegina, Hydra, Spetses, or Agistri. For more see here:

Stunning Greek Islands Within 2 Hours From Athens.

Authentic Greek restaurants include Klimataria, Anapsiktirio, Athinaikon and Díporto are all popular. See here for a list:

The Best Authentic Greek Restaurants in Athens.

The Temple of Hephaestus, the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion and Kerameikos Cemetery. For a full list, see here:

Must-See Historical Sites in Athens.