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Athens is one of the oldest cities in Europe and it is so culturally rich and interesting that definitely worths a 2-3 night stay. There are so many things to do in Athens and so many attractions that you may end up coming back to explore more attractions and museums.
Like any other European capital, Athens is no exception to an abundance of museums and culturally rich attractions for any type of traveller (solo, couples, honeymooners, seniors, families, kids etc)
I was actually born and grew up in Athens so below I am going to give you all the ins and outs of this fascinating city!
So, in a nutshell the best things to do in Athens are:
But there is even more so keep reading…!
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So, without further ado, these are the best things to do in Athens:
Acropolis and the Parthenon temple are basically the bes thing you can do in Athens and it’s the only thing you should do if you have very limited time in the capital of Greece.
There is a single ticket to enter all areas and buildings.
You can purchase your tickets for Acropolis/Parthenon online through the official webpage:
In general the following 2 groups can enter for FREE:
I will be honest with you and admit that Athens is not the most beautiful city in the world. Yes, there are beautiful neighbourhoods (like Plaka, Monastiraki, Anafiotika, Psyri etc) but the city was developed wthout any proper planning and urban design back in the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s.
Also, bear in mind that apart from the areas that are directly linked to archaeological sites and/or museums the centre of Athens hasn’t seen much love and it is surprisingly the less developed area of the city and it would feel degraded and abandoned if it wasn’t for the tourists…
To understand that you need to ask any young greek living in Athens why nobody actually would choose to live in downtown Athens but everyone prefers the suburbs. Most big businesses are also outside of Athens.
The best area to stay in Athens is Plaka neighbourhood.
Plaka is situated very close to the famous Acropolis temple, the Acropolis Museum, Syntagma Square, Ermou shopping district, the bars and clubs of Gazi and Syntagma Square and of course the greek Parliament.
If you have ever seen a picture from Athens, then chances are it was from Plaka…
The thing with Plaka is that you won’t find large chain hotels and resorts but rather smaller (and cuter) boutique hotels and apartments.
While staying in Plaka, you will be in 20 mins walking distance from all major attractions in Athens, so location wise it is perfect.
Other safe and cute areas in Athens that you can definitely stay and explore:
The great thing about Athens is that all major attractions are within 30 mins walking distance between each others. So…that’s great!
If you stay in Plaka, Koukaki, Syntagma, Kolonaki, Psiri and around the Acropolis Temple in areas such as Thission, Filopappou or Petralona then you are within 20-30mins walking distance from any major attraction in Athens.
The main attractions in Athens are (in no particular order):
Plaka neighbourhood is also the best area to stay in Athens with your family. It is super safe, very quiet and you will have everything at your doorstep.
Apart from Plaka, other great areas to stay with your family in Athens are: Kolonaki and Petralona. They are both safe and quiet residential neighbourhoods.
Plaka is considered the most romantic and cute neighbourhood but it may feel very touristic sometimes.
The perfect area to stay in Athens for a young couple is Plaka and the Filopappou area. This is becasue they are both very cute, quiet nad in close proximity to all attractions and romantic walks.
BUT if you are not the romantic type and you just want a chilled area that won’t break the bank then stay at Koukaki area (see it on Google Maps).
Koukaki doesn’t have the cute alleys that Plaka has but it has lots of perfect flats with even 30-40 euros per night and it is very close to all main attractions and museums. It is also a safe residential area with lots of good restaurants around.
Apart form the romanic dinners under the stars with Acropolis views one of the most romantic things you can actually do (only in the summer months though between June – September) is to watch a movie under the stars at an Open Air Cinema. This is one of the most famous ones in Athens
The best area to stay in Athens on a budget is Koukaki. The area is not that touristic as Plaka is and it has hundreds of available flats you can book on booking.com.
Koukaki is a safe and quiet residential area in the centre of Athens. It has lots of cute traditional greek restaurants to eat from (though not the cutest or with the best views) but most importantly it will give you the opportunity to walk everywhere.
You can literally walk to the best bars of Athens and you can go back home without calling an UBER!
How cool is that for a European capital?
The prices there are considerably lower than in Plaka and Kolonaki and you can easily find a 1-bed flat for about 40 euros per night even during the high season (May-October).
Athens is an amazing city with a million things to do and amazing cultural sites with thousands of years of history.
The best area to stay in Athens is Plaka neighbourhood which is also the most touristic but also the cutest of them all.
You can also stay in areas such as Koukaki, Kolonaki, Monastiraki, Petralona or Filpappou.
If you want to stay at one of the most unique hotels in Athens then stay at Coco-Mat Athens BC.
If you only have limited time in Greece then don’t spend more than 2 nights in Athens and that only if it’s your frst time in Greece.
Yes, I love Athens as it’s my birth city but I truly believe that you will be better off if you spend your precious days on a greek island.
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