According to recent studies that have taken place solely inside my head, there is not one single soul that has visited Greece and didn’t fall in love with it immediately. The glorious sun, the omnipresent sparkling sea, and the impressively delicious cuisine are good enough reasons to make you consider relocating for good.
With so much potential at your disposal, the thought of visiting Greece might sound intimidating in terms of finding the best things to do, see and experience. That’s why we have accumulated a list of 10 things to do in Greece if you want to have an authentic experience and a lot of stories to tell afterward.
Go to the Acropolis
The Acropolis - credits: Aerial-motion/Shutterstock.com
I know it sounds like the biggest cliche, but visiting the Acropolis -and the Acropolis Museum- should be among the top thing of your bucket list. Even if you don’t consider yourself as a history geek, the imposing sacred rock of the Acropolis and the architectural greatness of the Parthenon won’t leave you untouched; it is no coincidence the Acropolis is considered the most important archaeological site in Greece and one of the most important in the world! If you want to have a fun and educated experience without wasting your time, opt for a private Acropolis and Acropolis Museum tour or a Mythology Tour of the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum and the Temple of Zeus.
Stroll the city center
Ι get that spending all the days of your leave on the Greek islands is tempting, however, as a local, I cannot stress enough the importance of spending at least a couple of days in the Greek capital. Exploring the picturesque neighborhood of the city center will help you get to know the city and explore the daily habits of the locals; there’s nothing quite like walking through the city streets that will make you understand the local culture better. A scenic stroll around Plaka and Anafiotika, shopping-therapy on Ermou street, a casual drink at Koukaki, souvenir shopping at Monastiraki Square, and a picnic at the National Gardens are only a few of the experiences you will have the opportunity to delve into during your stay at the historic city.
Visit a farmer’s market
The Greek land is famous for providing its people with a limitless supply of quality produce, something that the farmer’s market tradition in Greece celebrates! ‘Laiki agora’, as the Farmer’s Market is called in Greek, is a long-established institution that has its roots in ancient times, where local producers put up their stands on a weekly basis on designated streets across Greece to sell their fresh and aromatic goods. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit your neighborhood’s farmer’s market during your trip to Greece to try the fresh ingredients the locals use to create traditional Greek dishes. It’s a very unique experience and the taste of the crop will reward your choice.
Explore at least one Greek island
Nas beach in Ikaria island: NDT/Shutterstock.com
While Athens is definitely worth your time, you can’t possibly come to Greece and not visit one of its many magnificent islands. Depending on your needs and desires, there is a Greek island for you; from the vibrant Mykonos with its wild nightlife to the alternative destination of Ikaria with its infamous ‘panigiria’, you’ll have the time of your life exploring the daily life, traditions, and customs of the locals in whichever destination you choose. Discover what is the right Greek islands for you, pack your backs and be ready to get stunned by the magical landscape and striking beaches that dominate the view of every Greek island on the map.
Swim in one of the magnificent Greek beaches
You’ve seen the pictures, you know the deal: the Greek beaches are a sight to behold. Even for the locals -who should be used to them by now- the beaches in Greece never lose their allure, especially on a hot summer’s day when all you want to do is take a dive in the calming blue waters and escape the heat. One of the big assets of Greece is that no matter where you are in the country, there is probably a brilliant beach in close proximity to you (unless, of course, you’re up on the mountains). Obviously the Greek islands have been blessing with countless of beautiful beaches; the beaches in Crete, Naxos, Milos, Paros, Mykonos, and Santorini are known to be some of the best in the world, however, there are plenty of beaches near Athens that are also worth your time and can be combined with an exploration of Athens’ Riviera. Don’t forget that due to Greece’s beautiful weather you’ll most likely have the opportunity to visit Greece’s beaches even during fall and spring; make sure to pack multiple swimsuits, you’ll need them!
Go for a hike on a Greek mountain
Despite being famous worldwide for its unmatched beaches, Greece does the unimaginable: it combines sea and mountain with sea and you shouldn’t neglect to experience both aspects of the country. Therefore, apart from your swimsuit, you should also pack your hiking boots and set on a hiking adventure on a Greek mountain. The Menalon Trail, the mountain hiking path that runs through Gortynia, in Arcadia, the heart of Peloponnese, Mount Athos, the Samaria Gorge, one of the top sites in Crete, or even Mount Olympus the emblematic home of the ancient Greek Gods are perfect for a hike or just a visit. However, if your time is limited, you don’t need to stray far from Athens; a short hike on Lycabettus will give you the opportunity to marvel at an incredible panoramic view of Athens that will leave you breathless and will set your Instagram on fire!
Have a wild night out
Greece is the country that never sleeps, instead, it parties all night long! Especially on the weekends, the locals love to let their hair down and enjoy the company of each other until the early morning hours. The Greek nightlife is something you should experience at least once during your Greek trip; after all, it is fascinating to observe what the locals of a different culture do for fun. From traditional Greek music to rock gigs, you can find whatever your heart desires! Understandably, there is a much bigger variety of things to do at nighttime in Athens, however even if you choose a village on the mainlands of Greece or a Greek island, you’re sure to have a lovely time; just keep a positive attitude and a cheerful mood! If you want to have an easy introduction into the Greek nightlife, join the Athens nightlife tour in Koukaki neighborhood; letting the locals lead the way is your safest bet!
Indulge in street food after a wild night out
Souvlaki wraps - credits: gioiak2/Depositphotos.com
Here is a little local secret I’ll let you know: if you’re past your twenties, 80% of the reason you make the bother to go out, is to get the opportunity to taste mind-blowing street food afterward. The Greek street food is unsurprisingly something to write home about and not trying should be illegal. The famous souvlaki, homemade burgers, hot dogs, and crepes will be the comfort food you need after the exhaustion of the day sets in and if you’ve drunk one too many, it will help you ease the blow of the hangover the morning after!
Taste as many Greek flavors as possible
Staying in the theme of gastronomy, it’s time to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the impeccable, delectable, unforgettable Greek cuisine. Praised across the world, the riches of Greek gastronomy are not a secret and tasting them should be a top priority for you when visiting Greece. The local products, such as cheese, honey, and olive oil, and the traditional dishes, such as mousaka and pastitsio to name a few, are thankfully not hard to find at all if you know where to look for. But even if you don’t, don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for! Indulge in an Athens for foodies tour or an Athens night food tour with wine-tasting and get the chance to discover traditional eateries only the locals know and enjoy mouthwatering delicacies and local wine varieties.
Dance like a local
Traditional dancing at a Greek panigiri - credits: NDT/Shutterstock.com
Express your joy and excitement for coming to Greece through dancing! Dancing is said to improve the condition of your heart and lungs, increase muscular strength, endurance, and fitness, increase your physical confidence and improve your mental health, among others, so why not join the locals for a swirl? You can even have the experience of a Greek folk dance lesson followed by a traditional dinner on our Zorba inside me: Greek Dance Lesson and Dinner. Don’t hesitate to leave your worries behind and try relaxing the Greek way; you’ll be saying ‘opa’ in no time!
Leave the excuses behind, hop on a plane and come put to practice the list of the 10 things to do in Greece above. You’ll be googling the cost of buying a house in Greece in less than 3 days’ time; wanna bet?