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Athens

TRAVEL GUIDE

Athens GALLERY
2020 2020 Fodor’s Go List Destination

Athens

TRAVEL GUIDE

Athens GALLERY
2020 2020 Fodor’s Go List Destination

The Fodor's Five

The five things you need to know before traveling to Athens

# 1

Don't limit yourself to Central Athens.

Athens is a walkable city, especially the tourist areas around the Acropolis such as Monastiraki and Plaka. But there’s much more to this ancient town than these central spots. Move outside Central Athens and wander through the many dynamic Athens neighborhoods—you'll discover amazing dining, unique boutiques, and encounter the many local vibes that make this such a vibrant city.

# 2

Public transportation in Athens is affordable and easy to use.

There’s no doubt that public transport in Athens is inexpensive in comparison to other cities–it costs €1.20 for a 90-minute journey to anywhere in the city. With only three Metro lines, it's also remarkably easy to navigate. Plus, as ancient artifacts are in many Metro stations, you'll often feel like you're at a museum. If you're looking to get outside the city, trams will whisk you all the way to the coast within an hour. 

# 3

The dining scene isn't limited to moussaka and tzatziki.

With so many restaurants catering to tourists—especially in Central Athens—it’s not hard to find one that serves the classic Greek dishes, like the ubiquitous moussaka. But there’s more to Greek food than this time warn dish. There are also plenty of upscale restaurants, but as lovely as they are, don’t be lured only by the glitzy restaurants—there are plenty of hidden spots frequented by locals that will see you eating authentically.

# 4

There's a surprising amount of free things to do in Athens.

Visitors to Athens will naturally want to see the famous sites: the Acropolis and Parthenon; the Acropolis Museum; and the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. But there are plenty of free things to see in Greece's capital beyond the ancient sites, from street art tours to watching the changing of the evzones guards outside the Greek Parliament. You can meander the streets of the so-called "island village" beneath the Acropolis rock and sit and watch the sunset atop Areopagus–the Hill of Ares just by the Parthenon entrance.

# 5

Athens has a lot fantastic boutique hotels throughout the city, many with very reasonable rates.

Despite Greece’s recent financial crisis, new hotel builds are on the rise. In many Athens neighborhoods, it’s possible to find boutique establishments to suit all wallets. Not only are these cozy alternatives to large, impersonal hotel chains, they'll allow you to experience Athens' many local scenes.

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Top Neighborhoods

Why is Syntagma the best neighborhood in Athens?
  • You can watch the hourly changing of the guard outside the Greek Parliament
  • Take a stroll around Parliament Gardens, a respite from the noisy city
  • Go shopping along Ermou Street, Athens’s longest pedestrianized areas
  • Buy delicious street food from Falafellas, a favorite with the locals
  • Pop inside the 11th-century Byzantine Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea
What makes Gazi so great?
  • You can visit the 4th-century Keramikos Ancient Cemetery to see how ancient Athenians were buried
  • Wander the Industrial Gas Museum, which is great at night when the chimneys are lit up
  • Enjoy an elevated dining experience at Dinner In The Sky for a 360-degree view of the city
  • Take in a theatrical/cultural performance at Gazarte, then have a drink at their rooftop bar
  • Discover the eclectic Street Art of the area with a street art tour
What's there to do in Makriyianni?
  • You can visit the Acropolis Museum and marvel at the building’s architecture
  • Pay a visit to Hadrian’s Arch, built by the Athenians in 131 C.E. 
  • Walk around the Temple of Olympian Zeus, built to honor the King of the Gods
  • Enjoy an Acropolis view while eating simple Greek fare at Strofi Restaurant
  • Treat yourself to dinner at Dionysos Zonar’s Restaurant, at the foot of the Acropolis rock
What's special about Monastiraki?
  • You can walk around Varvakeios Market where the locals buy their meat, fish, and spices
  • Shop at the Flea Market, especially on a Sunday when locals bring their wares
  • Have a coffee or drink at T.A.F., a courtyard hidden behind an old wooden door and once a prison
  • Visit the Museum of Illusions and be tricked into thinking you’re smaller than you are
  • Buy a kebab or souvlaki on the run at O Thanasis
Why visit Kolonaki?
  • You can take the funicular up Lycabettus Hill—Athens’s highest point—for views of the city
  • Enjoy a sunset meal at Orizontes Restaurant atop Lycabettus
  • Shop high-end retail, including Apivita, Greece’s natural toiletry brand
  • Visit the 2nd-century Hadrian’s Reservoir, which once served the city’s main water supply
  • Pay a visit to the neoclassical Benaki Museum housing Greek works of art from prehistorical to modern times

Hotels

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Quickly find Athens Hotels and compare prices.

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Language

Greek

Nearby Airports

ATH

Electrical Outlets

200v/50 cycles; electrical plugs have two round prongs

Currency

Euro

Local Weather

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Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Language

Greek

Electrical Outlets

200v/50 cycles; electrical plugs have two round prongs

Currency

Euro

Nearby Airports

ATH

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Athens often feels like a furnace in summer, due to the capital's millions of circulating cars and shortage of parks. Mornings between 7 am...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Athens with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Athens often feels like a furnace in summer, due to the capital's millions of circulating cars and shortage of parks. Mornings between 7 am...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Athens with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Athens often feels like a furnace in summer, due to the capital's millions of circulating cars and shortage of parks. Mornings between 7 am...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Athens with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

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