As the capital of Greece, Athens boasts for one of the most representative spots of Ancient Greek Spirit and the variation of Greek culture over the centuries. From Ancient Greece and the Byzantine Era 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 for three days only, 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 in Athens, 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 choose where to stay in Athens is the city centre.
Most of the archaeological sites, main shopping areas and traditional restaurants come together around the famous hill of Acropolis, where the heart of Athens beats. Plaka, Thision and Monastiraki areas are 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 when you land is to buy a 3-day tourist ticket for 22€. This ticket provides you with unlimited travel by all transportation modes in Athens (all lines of Metro and ISAP, suburban railway, tram, trolley and buses) including one return trip from/to the airport by metro or “express X” bus for three days.
Once you get the blue line in metro, you can 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 centre and vice versa.
- If you come to Athens by boat, you can buy a 24-hour ticket for 4.5€ daily that includes unlimited city travel by all transportation modes (excluding Airport lines) for 24 hours. When you get off the boat, get on the port bus that takes you outside the port opposite to the ISAP Station. You can take the ISAP and stop at Monastiraki Station. The journey from the port to the city centre 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 stay out of the city centre. In general, the Greek capital has a tremendous problem with traffic, so avoid getting around the city centre by car.
For more details and updates about public transport in Athens, please visit the official Athens Transport website.
8 extra tips for your Athens trip
- Pack wisely! Check the weather before you visit Athens. Depending on the time of the year that you visit the city, 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 on some good sunscreen and a hat. Also, avoid being under the sun in the afternoon, especially if your skin is not used to sun exposure.
- Bear in mind that Athens offers a non-exhaustive list of fashion choices for every taste and budget. So you could shop for quality clothes and shoes in the city at 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 see 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 organise personalised tours in Athens tailored to your unique preferences.
- When you organise your itinerary for your visit in Athens, make sure you allow 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 avoid this area at night.
The early bird catches the worm! Get off your bedsheets early, have a good breakfast in Athens and make your way to Acropolis. It 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 civilisation. 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 in the National Garden of Athens next to Syntagma Square. You can walk through the labyrinth-like pathways of the garden and admire the 500 different plant species.
Get 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 climb the Filopappos Hill – it only takes 15 minutes. Get 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 all 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 bombarding of historical information, relax and enjoy traditional Cretan food in Rakolemono, which is a five-minute walk from Egaleo Station. Take the blue line from Monastiraki metro 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 centre, 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 city centre.
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: go to the beach and enjoy the sun! Depending on your preferences, there is a wide range of beautiful beaches near Athens that you can visit.
If you don’t want to travel far to get to the beach, Glyfada beach is one hour away from the city centre by public transport. You can enjoy the sun there and afterwards 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 on travelling and visit a really nice beach, Karavi Schinias is a blue-flag awarded sandy beach with a lot to offer. From water sport facilities to beach bars and restaurants, it is the best beach to enjoy, when visiting Athens. It takes about an hour to get there by car or by bus from the city centre. Bear 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 in 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 the bustling Athens by night, while your palates go through shocking food experiences.
Alternatively, if you want to taste a more down-to-earth food experience with exceptional flavours 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 mature cheese.
Athens: where the western civilization set its roots and evolution; the city-owner of one of the seven world miracles and the cyclone eye of the Greek recession. Three days are not enough to explore the city of 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!