9 Recommended Tours in Athens

There are landmarks on every corner in Athens
There are landmarks on every corner in Athens | ©Cavan Images / Getty Images
Photo of Nicholas Baker
3 February 2020

Athens is a city steeped in culture with iconic landmarks on every corner. Whether you’re looking to explore ancient landmarks, indulge in great food and wine, or simply bask in the sunshine and the beautiful views along the coast, the Greek capital offers a plethora of things to do.

Free Walking Tour of Athens

Historical Landmark
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Panathenaic stadium in Athens, Greece
©Gatsi / Getty Images

Uncover the beauty of Athens by joining a free walking tour that starts at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral and ends around Athens’s flea market. Led by local guides, you’re taken to key spots around the city, introducing you to some of its history, culture, food and shopping. The three-hour tour is ideal for getting the lay of the land, seeing some of Athens’s most popular tourist attractions while giving you the opportunity to interact with the locals.

Athens: Alternative Neighbourhoods Half-Day Walking Tour

Historical Landmark
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Antiques and Secondhand shop
©Hemis / Alamy

Once you’ve seen the major sights of Athens there’s still plenty more to explore. This three-hour tour of alternative neighbourhoods takes you away from typical tourist traps and introduces you to boho bars and authentic boutique shops that show visitors Athenian culture. Starting off three times per day, you’ll get to see the city like never before, discovering hidden markets and secret restaurants, while learning about the history of the city from locals who have lived it.

Athens Original Street Art Tour

Art Gallery
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Greece, Athens, graffiti in Psiri district
©Greek photonews / Alamy

Athens may not be a city that you associate with street art, but don’t let the ancient architecture overshadow the more modern works of art that are on display. See the city like never before by joining the street art tour led by a real street artist who will take you around three of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.

Athens: 3-Hour Gods, Myths & Legends Tour w/ a Local

Historical Landmark
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Sculptures, pediment on the roof of Zappeion megaron in Athens,Grrece
©Stratos Giannikos / Alamy

You can’t visit Athens and not learn about the ancient Greek gods. Not only will you hear the tales of mythical gods, but you’ll also see the sights and structures that inspired them, from spectacular views of the Acropolis to discovering lesser-known spots like the Varvakios Market. This private tour starts at the Trilogy of Athens, a complex of three elegant buildings representing the 12 Olympian gods.

Athens: Morning Bike Tour

Natural Feature
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Bicycle leaning
©PPAMPicture / iStock

Seeing the sights of Athens may be too much to handle by foot, making this morning bike tour the perfect way to explore the city’s most popular attractions including the Panathenaic Stadium, the National Gardens and the picturesque streets of Plaka at the foot of the Acropolis. The three-and-a-half-hour bike tour starts at 9.30am, meaning you can avoid the midday heat and busier city crowds while still having time to grab breakfast beforehand. No more than 12 people are allowed on each tour, leaving plenty of opportunities to ask your guide for insider tips.

Original Gourmet Food Tour of Athens

Market, Greek, $$$
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(FILES) An undated general view taken on
©Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP / Getty Images

If you’re looking to indulge in authentic Greek cuisine, you need to hit the streets. This gourmet food tour introduces you to all the mouth-watering delights that Athens has to offer. The four-hour tour starts with a traditional Greek breakfast in a 100-year-old café, but be sure to leave plenty of room to sample loukoumades (Greek donuts) and custard-filled filo squares, as well as pies, olives, meats and cheeses. Ideal for foodies, you’ll visit traditional stores, hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving local favourites, and the local meat and fish markets.

Athens Old City: Wine Tasting Experience

Wine Bar, Greek
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The ancient Greek gods were known to drink wine when celebrating, and now you can too on this small, semi-private wine tasting experience. Starting at 6pm, this one-and-a-half-hour tour offers an introduction to Greek wines, their history and regions, paired with tales of Dionysus – the Greek god of wine. As you sample five local wines while overlooking the legendary Acropolis, you’ll learn how to be the perfect sommelier.

Athens Coastal Bike Tour

Natural Feature
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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.
©Milangonda / Getty Images

Athens is a city that sits on the coast, meaning that stunning blue oceans are a stone’s throw away from the city centre. Take advantage of the breathtaking views and add some sea breeze and ocean views to your trip with this coastal bike tour. Starting in the centre of Athens, this four-and-a-half-hour morning bike ride takes you along the length of the Athens Riviera, giving you plenty of time to admire the deep blue water of the Saronic Gulf. Just remember to keep your eyes on the road. Stops along the tour include the SNFCC New Opera House, National Library of Athens and the luxurious Flisvos Marina, with a pit stop at Kalamaki Beach.

Athens: Sailing Cruise along the Coast

Natural Feature
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Dive off a yacht moored in a secluded cove
Dive off a yacht moored in a secluded cove | © Lemonan / Getty Images

You don’t necessarily need to stay in Athens in order to enjoy the sights of the city. Spend the day swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing with views over the stunning Athens coastline. Starting at 9am, the five-hour morning cruise will sail towards Vouliagmeni Bay, past the Athenian Riviera and out off the coast where you’re free to swim or simply snack on authentic Greek tapas and have a cheeky glass of Greek wine.

This article is an updated version of a story created by Ethel Dilouambaka.

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