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An exciting way to spend a day in Athens
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Written by Natalie Barresi

Branded Content Creator

You made it to Athens, now what?

The capital of Greece has a lot to offer in terms of sights and activities. It goes without saying that in order to get the most out of your time in Athens, you will need to plan ahead of time. There’s a lot to see and do in the city that is considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization.

Is Athens worth a trip?

It’s not only the biggest city in Greece but one of the oldest cities in the world, it’s full of history, art, and incredible views of nature. Athens gives you a mix of ancient history with modern innovation and culture.

Add in the beautiful Mediterranean climate and vibrant energy of the city and it’s absolutely worth a visit. Not to mention the shopping opportunities and famous Greek cuisine, you definitely don’t want to miss the opportunity to experience Athens. 

How many days is enough for Athens?

One day is all you need! It can be complicated to do it all in a day, but it’s doable if you stick to a tight schedule. 

We’ve done the work for you. Here’s a detailed itinerary to help you navigate Athens’ must-see sights. It might seem like a very busy schedule, and it is! However, The beauty and history of Athens will make it absolutely worth the effort! So if you’re up for the challenge and want to fit the most in, keep reading!

The first thing you should do that would make everything easier would be looking into getting the Athens multi-site city pass, which allows you free access and discounts to various city attractions including the world famous Acropolis.

Acropolis of Athens

          • Arrival: 8:00 am
          • Time needed: 2 hours
          • Included in the multi-site pass

The Acropolis of Athens, the most famous Acropolis in the world, is a must-see for anyone visiting Athens. It’s recommended to arrive when the gates open at 8 am to beat the crowds and the heat, as it can get very hot and crowded later! The view of the city from the Acropolis is truly remarkable, and it’s an excellent way to start the day.

What was the acropolis in Ancient Greece?

Acropolis means “high city” in Greek in reference to multiple fortified strongholds that were built on the rocky, raised ground in Greece. The Acropolis of Athens is the most well known. The structures are built from a stone that dates all the way back to when dinosaurs still existed on earth.   

While the Acropolis is made up of many buildings with great significance, there are a few that are recommended the most that you should keep your eye out for so you don’t miss them! 

          • Parthenon (MUST SEE) which was built as a temple in honor of the goddess Athena and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest monuments.
          • Erechtheion is an ancient temple constructed in the Golden Age of the Athens to glorify the city 
          • Temple of Athena Nike is a temple that was built dedicated to the goddesses Athena and Nike.
          • Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a Roman theater made out of stone.
          • Theater of Dionysus is a site that was built to honor the god Dionysus where plays would be performed during celebrations.

Acropolis Museum

          • Time needed: 1 hour
          • Included in the multi-site ticket

After you’ve finished exploring and admiring the Acropolis’ ancient Greek architecture, you can pay a visit to the Acropolis Museum. The Acropolis Museum will provide you with an excellent overview of the Acropolis and you can even walk through an ancient neighborhood. It’s also air-conditioned, which you’ll appreciate by the end of this hike! 

Temple of Hephaestus

          • Included in the multi-site ticket

After the museum, make your way down the stairs and head to the Temple of Hephaestus, the best-preserved temple in Greece! This is about a 16-minute walk. Seeing this temple doesn’t take long at all, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

Why is the Temple of Hephaestus important?

It is the best preserved ancient temple in Greece and one of the best preserved ancient temples in the world. This temple, built in the 7th century, still stands almost completely intact. It was used as a place of worship until the mid-1800s which is why it has remained in such good condition.

It was dedicated to the god of metalworking and fire, Hephaestus. If you want to see it, you’ll have until 3 pm as the site closes two hours earlier than those at the nearby Acropolis. 

Ancient Agora of Athens

          • Included in the multi-site ticket 

Agora, in a literal sense, means gathering place. The Ancient Agora became a public space and can be called the birthplace of democracy. This place was the center of all life in the city. It is located beneath the Acropolis historical center. The main entrance is located on Adrianou Street. 

Monastiraki Square 

Monastiraki Square is an iconic landmark with a lively and festive atmosphere, so relax, unwind and enjoy a drink; you deserve it after all that walking! While you’re sipping your beverage, take a moment to admire the views of the Acropolis. 

After your drink, take a stroll around the neighborhood and sample some of the local street snacks to hold you over until lunch. Don’t worry; lunch will be here soon! While you’re here, you can also visit the Monastiraki flea market, where you can find a variety of unusual and vintage items at reasonable prices.

Head to Plaka for Lunch

It is finally time for lunch! Plaka, in the heart of Athens, just beneath the Acropolis hill, has many lovely restaurants and cafes where you can eat lunch. It’s a historical neighborhood with narrow cobblestone streets. 

If you’re looking for a souvenir, you’ll find plenty here! There are plenty of shops selling artisanal ceramics, jewelry and clothing. After you’ve finished eating, walk around the narrow streets and admire the buildings, architectural sites, and museums.

Hadrian’s Arch & The Temple of Olympian Zeus

          • Included in the multi-city pass

Next, make your way towards Hadrian’s Arch. The arch was built 131 BC to celebrate the arrival of the Roman emperor Hadrian as he had given many gifts to the city of Athens.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, located directly behind Hadrian’s Arch, is Greece’s most significant ancient temple. If you want an excellent Instagram photo with the Acropolis in the background, this is the place to go! You won’t need much time to look around here, so it’s definitely a good place to stop by. 

What was the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens used for?

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was one of the largest temples built in ancient times. It took centuries to construct it and it was damaged throughout different decades. It is now in ruins but its original purpose was to honor Zeus, the chief of the gods.

Walk through the National Gardens and head towards Panathenaic Stadium

Later make your way across the breathtaking national garden to the Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the very first international Olympic Games in modern history. This stadium is the world’s oldest and only stadium made entirely of white marble. While modern Olympic stadiums are much larger, this one will take your breath away.

Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square is Athens’ main square, located centrally close to many tourist attractions. The Parliament is located directly across the street from Syntagma Square. Soldiers are stationed here, guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier. The changing of the guards happens every hour, so make sure to be there when the hour changes if you want to see it.

If you have some time before the changing of the guards, you can go shopping on Ermou Street, which runs directly off the square. This is the main shopping street in Athens, where you can find designer boutiques, major department stores, and more!

If you’re not in the mood to shop and your legs are tired, grab a coffee or a drink and relax by the central fountain. The Central Fountain is also stunning at night, so if you have the opportunity, go see it!

Relax and celebrate 

Finish off the day by strolling through the area where there are plenty of spots to get great food. All you have to do is decide what to eat. If you can’t make up your mind, try moussaka which is known as Greece’s most famous food. 

Finally, congratulations! You made it through the day. Celebrate all your hard work from your day in Athens and enjoy the rest the night before you get your well deserved rest. 

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