Athens, the capital of Greece, boasts about being one of the most representative spots of Ancient Greek Spirit, reflecting the Greek culture of many centuries. From Ancient Greece and the Byzantine times to the Ottoman Rule and Modern History, the city exhibits invaluable archaeological remnants, picturesque pathways, neoclassical buildings and traditional mouth-watering flavours with the perks of the Greek weather. If you are visiting Athens just for three days, we are here to point out some useful tips for your trip to the Greek capital and, of course, the best ways to spend those days to the utmost.
Where to stay
After you have arranged how to get to Athens, the first thing to take care of is where to rest your weary body at nights. The best area to focus on when it comes to choosing where to stay in Athens is the city center.
Most of the archaeological sites, main shopping areas, and traditional restaurants come together around the famous hill of the Acropolis, where the heart of Athens beats. Plaka, Thision, and Monastiraki are areas strongly recommended so that you have everything in a stone throw away, especially when your visit in Athens is as short as three days.
Getting around Athens
- If you fly to Athens, what you will certainly need by the time you land, is to buy a 3-day tourist ticket for 22€. This ticket provides you with unlimited travel by all transportation means in Athens (all lines of Metro and ISAP, suburban railway, tram, trolley, and public buses) including one return trip from/to the airport by metro or “express X” bus for three days.
Get the metro's blue line, and get off either at Syntagma Square or Monastiraki, depending on where you are going to stay. Bear in mind that you need about 45 minutes to get from the airport to the city center and vice versa.
- If you choose to come to Athens by boat, you can buy a 24-hour ticket for 4.50€ which includes unlimited city travel by all transportation means (excluding Airport lines). When you get off the boat, hop on the port bus that takes you outside the port area just opposite of the ISAP Station. You can take the ISAP and stop at Monastiraki Station. The journey from the port to the city center takes about 40 minutes. Otherwise, you can take a cab, but make sure you do not spend more than 20 euros on that.
- Depending on your needs and preferences you might also consider to move around Athens by taxi or rent a car. If you choose to take a taxi, make sure you are not charged more than the actual cost of your journey. Renting a car is a wise choice, only if you plan getaways out of Athens or choose to stay out of the city center. In general, the Greek capital has a tremendous problem with traffic, so avoid getting around the city center by car.
For more details and updates about public transport in Athens, please visit the official Athens Transport website or check out our Athens transfers.
8 extra tips for your Athens trip
- Pack wisely! Check the weather forecast before you visit Athens. Depending on the time of the year, you might need a jacket and an umbrella or just the lightest of your clothes.
- Comfy shoes will back you up for sure, as you might walk a lot if you want to make the most of your Athens trip.
- If you visit Athens during the summer months, invest in some good sunscreen and a hat. In addition, avoid staying under the sun, especially if you are not used to sun exposure.
- Bear in mind that Athens offers a non-exhaustive list of fashion choices for every taste and budget. Hence, you could shop for high-quality clothes and shoes in the city at very good prices. Our suggestion is to get an empty suitcase with you, so you can go back home full of Greek goodies, from Greek souvenirs to food and natural products!
- Depending on your idiosyncrasy, you might want to experience a different Athens. Athens is here for every taste. Just find yourself a knowledgeable local and you are going to have the time of your life. Our team can help you with that and organize personalized tours in Athens tailored to your unique preferences.
- When you organize your itinerary for your visit to Athens, make sure you have enough free time for any possible variations or spontaneous wanderings around the city.
- Please visit the official website of all archaeological sites and museums in Athens to check up-to-date information about opening hours and tickets.
- While enjoying your time in Athens, beware of your personal belongings. Unfortunately, there is a considerable number of pickpockets in busy metro stations, like Syntagma Square and Monastiraki. Be careful when you go through Omonia Square and try to avoid this area during the night.
The early bird catches the worm! Get off your bedsheets early, have a good breakfast in Athens and make your way to the Acropolis. The site opens at 8.00 am, but when the clock strikes 10.30, it gets really busy and you might not be able to enjoy your tour to the cradle of the ancient Greek civilization. Get a 5-day pass for 30€ (or 15€ if you are eligible for a reduced ticket) and visit a number of archaeological sites including the Acropolis and the ancient Agora.
After that, you can grab a souvlaki and have a peaceful picnic at the National Garden of Athens next to Syntagma Square. You can walk through the maze-like pathways of the garden and admire some of the 500 different plant species.
Have some rest and get ready to visit one of the many open-air cinemas in Athens. Go to Thission Open-air cinema and enjoy a classic movie with the air full of jasmine and honeysuckle smells. The best part of Thission Cinema is the unbeatable view of the lighted Acropolis hill, appearing radiant behind the screen.
After a good movie, walk for 10 minutes towards Piraeus Street and try the Papoto cocktail in BIOS with a breathtaking view of Acropolis.
Tip! Join our Athens by night tour and discover the famous Greek nightlife!
Wake up early in the morning and hike up the Filopappos Hill – it only takes 15 minutes. Have a frozen yogurt and enjoy the panoramic view while the sun rises. Your next stop is the must-visit Acropolis Museum. Take some time to wander around the floors and admire the amazing exhibits. When you finish with your visit to the Acropolis Museum, you definitely need to drop by the National Archaeological Museum, which is easily accessible via metro. You can admire amazing collections and historical exhibits from all over Greece.
After all this bombardment of historical information, relax by enjoying traditional Cretan food in Rakolemono, which is a five-minute walk from Egaleo Station. Take the blue line from Monastiraki Station and you will be at Egaleo Station in 15 minutes.
Tip! Are you a foodie discovering Greek cuisine in Athens? Join us for our Greek Food tour and amaze your taste buds!
On your way back to the city center, make some time to ramble through Monastiraki, Plaka, and Psirri for some shopping. Discover unique souvenirs, natural cosmetics and quaint baubles in the picturesque roads of the Athens.
For your night wanderings, we recommend Oinoscent, an excellent wine bar close to Syntagma Square. Enjoy the friendly customer service and drink selected wine from a non-exhaustive wine list that changes every month for your palates only!
Morning till Evening
Waking up early is a must when visiting Athens. You don’t want to miss the day! Day three is all about the perks of Greek weather: head to the beach and enjoy the sun! Depending on your preferences, there is a wide range of beautiful beaches near Athens for you to visit.
If you don’t want to travel far to get to the beach, Glyfada beach is one hour away from the city center by public transport. You can enjoy the sun there and afterward make the most of the wide array of shopping choices, coffee shops, restaurants and cocktail bars in the area.
If you are willing to spend some more time to reach and visit a really nice beach, Karavi Schinias is a blue-flag awarded sandy beach with a lot to offer. From water sports facilities to beach bars and restaurants, it is the best beach to enjoy, while staying in Athens. It takes about an hour to get there by car or by bus from the city center. Have in mind that the beach is open from 9.00am to 9.00pm.
For your last night in Athens, go for an unforgettable food experience at Dinner in the Sky. It is close to Kerameikos metro station, hence easily accessible via public transport. You will be amazed by the breath-taking view of bustling Athens at night, while your palates go through shocking food experiences.
Alternatively, if you want to taste a more down-to-earth food experience with exceptional flavors and low prices, trigger your taste buds with some Greek mezedes in Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani (Τα Καραμανλίδικα του Φάνη). Not only can you eat amazing dishes, but you can also buy great sausages and ripened cheese.
Athens: where the western civilization set its roots and evolution; the city that actively shaped the world and beams as a beacon for all humankind. Three days are not enough to explore the city of the goddess Athena, but it is enough time to relish a moment in this historical and vibrating place. Enjoy your time in Athens and keep in mind that our expert team of locals is here to offer unique experiences through tailor-made tours just for you!