Ruta 8
Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion in Athens

5 Must-do activities
in Athens

Some people wonder what else there's to do in Athens apart from visiting the Acropolis.

The city has plenty of museums and ancient ruins to visit, but we wanted to get a general idea of what the city is about apart from its mesmerizing history.
With a few days to explore and trying to make the most of activities in the open air, we found that there´s much more to Athens than ancient pillars.
  • Plaka

    Athens has many different neighbourhoods with character and something to offer.

    Plaka was once known as the Turkish quarter of Athens and today is filled with nice tavernas, cafes and souvenirs stores. It can be a bit touristy, but the area is tranquil, and you won´t have a problem to find a place to eat here.

    Plaka was our first stop and felt like a soft landing. Eating at a restaurant to the sound of a mass from a local Orthodox church felt like direct immersion into the local culture.

    Neighbourhood Plaka
  • The Acropolis

    The centrepiece of Athens. An ancient city built with several sites and different purposes on elevated ground for its defence. The Acropolis is a can´t miss on two counts: its importance in history and ingenious architecture.

    Despite the continuous maintenance work around the Parthenon you can still get the sense of how imposing the site was by its sheer size.

    View to the Parthenon
    Tips: Checking more information about the site before visiting is essential.
    For learning more about the Parthenon architecture, we’d suggest watching this video
    If you want to learn more about the history visit this page

    Old Temple of Athena The Odeon of Herodes Atticus
    Tickets to enter Acropolis cost 20€ or 30€ if you want to combine entry to these other sites: Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Kerameikos and Aristotle’s School.
  • Psiri

    A visit to Athens isn't complete without coming to this cool neighbourhood.
    Psiri stands out for its street art and quirky bars and shops.

    Psiri neighbourhood -Barret bar street Street art in Psiri neighbourhood

    The vibe here is awesome and if you like graffiti, exploring the streets just off from the Monastiraki metro station will keep you entertained. We liked it so much we came back twice.

    Me standing next to a graffiti
    Tip: Our favourite bar was Barret.
    Location:
  • Changing of the guard

    If you think only the British are known for the changing of the guard, think again. Two presidential guards, known as Evzones, guard the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square below the Hellenic Parliament.

    Every hour, on the hour they change positions slowly to activate the circulation after one hour standing still, in a coordinated movement.

    3 Evzones walking towards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    Watching their performance with such discipline and their elaborate costumes was one of those experiences in Greece that made us feel on the edge of the eastern world.

    Did you know?
    The formal uniform worn on Sundays refers to the Greek war of Independence against the Ottomans in 1821 and their skirt has 400 folds which represents the 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

    Tip: On Sunday morning at 11am there´s a ceremonial change of guard with many more pom-pons.
    Location:
  • Anafiotika

    If you´re longing to experience the relaxed atmosphere of the villages from the Greek islands, then a visit to Anafiotika is a must.

    This tiny neighbourhood touching the elevated grounds of the Acropolis offers great views over Athens and feels completely detached from the rest of the city which makes it so special.

    narrow lane with red window in Anafiotika Views to Athens from Anafiotika and a cat resting on the roof

    Exploring the narrow lanes with small houses and colourful windows made us forget for a moment we were in a big city.
    You can also expect to find some graffit here.

  • Walking tour

    On our last day, I had a walking tour arranged with Georges from Athens free walking tour. Unfortunately, we were caught by a heavy shower and couldn´t do the walk.
    Still, Georges agreed to come and meet us at a bar and after a quick chat about Greece´s history and financial crisis, we had no doubt the walk would have been informative and worthwhile.

    Georges used to work as an archaeologist before the crisis and now runs the tours in Athens. A must-do for our next visit.

    If you´re still not convinced, you can check their reviews on Tripadvisor.

Where to stay

Airbnb - Cozy room near Acropolis