Athens is quickly becoming one of the most accessible cities in Europe, and with the rise of budget airlines its not expensive, either to get there or once you arrive.

As a country, Greece has received a lot of bad press for its part in the decline of the Euro and its impact on the recession, but you wouldn’t know it, not in Athens. Its still a city deep in history and culture, with a thriving spirit and nightlife ready to rival most capital cities in Europe.

And for us Brits, the mainland is somewhat forgotten as a tourist destination, with the majority choosing island destinations such as Crete, Rhodes or Corfu.

So if you do decide to break the mould, be original and book your trip to Athens, what is there to do? Where do you go? How do you get the most out of your trip? We came here for one week, and I don’t think it was possible to have crammed any more in if we tried, so here’s the best things to do in Athens, according to us!

Athens In a Week – FAQ

Is a Week in Athens Too Long?

Not at all! A week in Athens allows you to immerse yourself in its history and culture without rushing. You’ll have enough time to visit major attractions, explore local markets, and enjoy Greek cuisine.

Additionally, this duration provides opportunities for day trips to nearby islands or historical sites, ensuring a well-rounded experience of the region.

Is Athens Safe?

Athens is generally safe for tourists, but like any major city, it’s wise to stay alert and take standard precautions. Be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded places.

It’s advisable to avoid less touristy areas late at night. The city is well-equipped with tourist police who are helpful in case of any concerns.

Short on time?

Here are the quick things you need to know for your trip to Athens

➡️ Search for the best Tours on Viator & GetYourGuide
➡️ Look at luxury and affordable Hotels on Booking and Expedia
➡️ Options for Car rental
➡️ The best travel insurance for Greece
➡️ Check the flight prices from the UK or the USA
➡️ Make sure you have your e-SIM!

Each offers unique value and special deals tailored just for you. Don’t miss out on these when travelling to Athens!

What is the Best Way to Get Around Athens?

The best way to get around Athens is by using its efficient public transport, including the metro, buses, and trams.

The metro is particularly useful for reaching major attractions. For shorter distances, walking is a great option as many historic sites are concentrated in the city center.

That being said, if you want to make the most of your time for your week in Athens, I highly recommend checking out these guided tours below with an expert guide.

Best Tours in Athens

Where to Stay in Athens

Here’s a list of great places to stay in Athens:

Luxury: Electra Palace Athens

For the perfect hotel where to stay for a week in Athens, Electra Palace is a super choice! You’ll be in a central location right in front of the Acropolis, and the rooms are just stunning and very comfortable.

There’s an on-site restaurant and rooftop bar to enjoy in the evening, and a succulent breakfast to enjoy in the morning. All in all, for those travelling for convenience, this is the best hotel in Athens.

Mid-Range: Adrian Hotel

A more affordable hotel in Athens, which still ticks all the boxes for most travellers, is Adrian Hotel. Right near all the major tourist attractions, you’ll have a simple yet clean room, and a rooftop terrace with views of the Acropolis.

Also, you’re right next to dozens of bars, restaurants, and shopping options, and that’s excellent when spending one week in Athens!

Budget: New Amaryllis Hotel

While New Amaryllis Hotel is a budget option, it’s a lovely hotel with air-conditioned rooms with private bathroom and decent location, not far from the Acropolis and the Plaka district.

Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, a seating area, and a comfy bed, and you’ll love this place as a base for your week in Athens.

Amazing Things to Do in Athens for a Week

We’ve discussed the essentials about Athens, but I now want to cover all the best things to do in Athens when staying for a week. Ready? Go!

Visit The Acropolis

Simply the thing to see in Athens, every where you turn you can’t miss the mighty Parthenon towering over its Athenians, reminding visitors of Athens’ place in history and giving you a serious sense of insignificance. The walk to the top is easier than it looks, and you can access it from any side.

It’s one of those rare places where you can’t take enough photos, I’ve only experienced that before at the Opera House in Sydney.

You could spend a week on the Acropolis and get lost in the architecture and history of these incredible ancient structures.

The most famous, the Parthenon, dedicated to the Goddess Athena, was started in 447 BC and completed in 438 BC. Yes 438… BC!! Just take that in for a second.

Okay it was later destroyed and rebuilt, but still. Its an incredible tribute to the power of Ancient Greece and the Athenian Empire. Be sure to take some time to experience the Acropolis museum on your way down and you’ll get brilliant photos of the Temple of Zeus with the Parthenon as your backdrop.

Your ticket will also include the famed marketplace of ‘Agora’, the Monastiraki side of the Acropolis, spanning over a few sites there are many more Ancient wonders to be found.

I’m not going to lie, visiting on my own was nice but I saw other people with an expert guide and I was really jealous for a bit, and I highly recommend you book a guided tour to hear the stories behind this incredible place!

See the Sunset From Mount Lycabettus

Mount Lycabettus, at 277 metres above sea level is the perfect place to get the best view over Athens, and a great sunset spot.

There is a funicular railway that will run you to the top, but its not a difficult walk and only took us 30 minutes, why not burn off that gyros wrap and Ouzo from the night before?

Once at the top you can enjoy panoramic views of the city, and its only then that you get an idea of its shear size. At the top you’ll find a large open air theatre and a restaurant with a great view, although the prices are as steep as the walk up!

You can also drive most of the way up and stop in the car park for a moment of romance with your other half.

Enjoy Greek Food

After spending 8 weeks living and working on the Island of Kos 8 years ago, I was particularly excited about the Greek food.

Since then its always been one of my favourites, and we have very few Greek food restaurants in England.

Our first Greek food experience was at an authentic restaurant a short walk from Monastiraki on Mitropoleos street, you’ll find mostly locals and some tourists here, its a bustling street full of thriving restaurants, all reasonably priced, and we sampled a few.

It was here, eating my favourite dish, an open pork gyros kebab with a tzatziki side and bottle of Mythos, with a Greek duo playing live acoustics beside us, that I thought ‘This is Athens’.

Like I said before, I lived in Greece for 2 months, and I was already familiar with the amazing food here.

That being said, if that’s your first time in Athens, I highly recommend you get a food tour with a local Athenian to explore hidden gems and the absolute best food!

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Take a Boat Trip to Hydra, Poros, and Aegina

A boat trip to Hydra, Poros, and Aegina is a super fun day out, and you can’t skip it when planning a week in Athens!

Each island has its own unique character and attractions, making this trip a highlight of any Athens visit.

Our first stop, Hydra, greets you with its car-free streets and lovely harbor, where donkeys are the main mode of transport. Wander the stone paths, browse through art galleries, and enjoy a coffee by the water.

After relaxing and discovering Hydra for a quick stop, we head to Poros, a small island known for its lush pine forests and sandy beaches.

Before going back to Athens, Aegina awaits with its rich history and famous pistachio groves. Here, you can visit ancient temples or sample some of the best pistachios and local sweets.

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Go to a Football Match

Nothing captures the spirit of Athenians quiet like the intense rivalry between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, the two biggest clubs in Athens.

Known as the ‘derby of eternal enemies’. Its not a match many travellers would get to experience, and reports like Europe’s maddest derby by the BBC paint an unfair picture of the fans.

I managed to get tickets for just €50, I sat with Olympiakos fans, felt their passion, and discussed their hatred for their rivals, something I can deeply relate to growing up between Portsmouth and Southampton.

There have been problems here in the past, but since away fans were banned from the game 6 years ago, they’ve seen a lot less problems particularly in terms of hooliganism and fighting off the pitch.

My tip – if you do manage to get tickets to any game, at Olympiakos or Panathinaikos, be sure to ask where the hardcore regular fans sit, often behind one of the goals, as this is where the flares and fireworks are normally set off, so you’ll probably want to avoid it.

Lake Vouliagmeni

Visit Lake Vouliagmeni for a fun and relaxing day. It’s a warm, natural lake near Athens, great for swimming and chilling out.

The water feels nice and has minerals that are good for your skin. Also, around the lake, there are beautiful trees and places to sit and enjoy the view – Doesn’t it feel like a great place to escape the chaos of Athens!?

It’s like a little peaceful spot away from the busy city, perfect for taking cool photos and having a good time with friends or family.

The entrance fee is 16 euros but it includes a lounger and an umbrella, which makes it pretty affordable, and the overall experience is definitely worth it!

Take a Day Tour to Delphi

A day trip to Delphi couldn’t miss on this list of things to do in Athens for a week!

Once considered the center of the world in ancient Greek times, Delphi is a place rich in history and mythology.

Other than being an amazing day trip with a knowledgeable guide, you’ll get a Virtual Reality kit so you can see all the temples, treasuries, and statues in their former glory!

As you explore the site, you will learn about the Oracle of Delphi, the Pythian Games, and other aspects of ancient Greek culture and history.

This immersive experience is not only educational but also incredibly engaging, and I couldn’t recommend it enough!

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Athens’ Central Food Market

Athens’ Central Food Market is a must-see for food lovers! It’s a big market where you can find all kinds of fresh food like fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables.

The place is always busy and full of energy, and I recommend coming before lunchtime to avoid all the crowds, especially in the summer.

You can see locals shopping and chefs picking the best stuff for their restaurants. Don’t miss out on tasting some local snacks from the small food stalls. It’s a great place to see the real, everyday life of Athens and try some yummy Greek food.

The Monastiraki Flea Market

The Monastiraki Flea Market is a fun place to explore. It’s like a big outdoor market where you can find all sorts of cool things – from old records and clothes to handmade jewelry and souvenirs

It’s in a busy part of Athens, with lots of people and a great vibe, and I’m sure you’ll find countless souvenirs here!

That’s right, you can find unique gifts but also try some street food, and maybe even bargain for a good deal. It’s a great way to spend a few hours, see lots of interesting stuff, and feel the lively spirit of Athens.

Check out Electra Palace Athens for the perfect stay in town!

They provide world-class service, stunning rooms, and incredible amenities.

Sign Up for a Tour to Meteora

Join our full-day tour to the mesmerizing Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its spectacular rock formations and ancient monasteries perched high above the ground.

This full-day tour from Athens not only takes you on a journey through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Greece but also allows you to explore the historical and spiritual significance of the Meteora monasteries.

You’ll walk through these historic sites, learning about the monks’ life and the history of these incredible structures.

Lunch is included, and you will indulge in a delicious traditional Greek meal at a local restaurant, where you can savor authentic flavors and enjoy the warm hospitality of the region.

This tour is an excellent blend of natural beauty, history, and Greek culinary delights, making it a memorable experience when spending a week in Athens.

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The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

possibly the best sunsets in Greece after Santorini. It is an hour away from Athens, but well worth the journey.

The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion is an awesome place to visit. It’s an old temple on a hill by the sea, and the view is amazing, especially at sunset.

It’s cool to walk around the ruins and think about how old they are. The place has a special feel to it, kind of peaceful and powerful at the same time.

Yes, it’s an hour away from Athens, but it’s totally worth the journey. Plus, you’ll get to see the Greek countryside outside of Athens!

Stroll Through Anafiotika

Walking through Anafiotika is like stepping into a small island village. It’s a cute neighborhood in Athens, right under the Acropolis, with tiny white houses and narrow streets.

This 19th century neighbourhood is on the northern side of the Acropolis Hill, and I recommend visiting after seeing the Acropolis!

The area is quiet and pretty, with lots of flowers and some great views of the city. It’s fun to just wander around, take photos, and feel like you’re far away from the busy city streets.

This hidden spot is perfect for a peaceful walk and a bit of daydreaming.

Travel with Curve

If you’re a traveller like me, make sure you check out Travel with Curve! A card that combines all of our card into one vis the App. Perfect for adventures!

So what is a Curve Card? Curve is a card that cleverly combines all of our accounts, including debit cards, credit cards and loyalty cards. And I get to give you a free £5 when you sign up!

Meaning we only carry one Curve Card, but we can spend on any existing card using the App. So it’s not an additional bank card. And a great feature is if you put a payment on one card by mistake, you have 90 days to switch it to another!

Some of the benefits of Curve:

  • The basic card and app are FREE
  • No need to top it up, because it’s connected to existing cards
  • Free withdrawals at ATMs abroad! On the Classic Card you get £200 a month to withdraw without fees. Curve Black is £400 and Curve Metal £600
  • Security: You can lock the card on the App and have up to £100,000 of Customer Protection per dispute
  • Free Worldwide Travel Insurance when you purchase Curve Black or Curve Metal! For as long as you have the card.
  • Curve Flex (coming soon!): This allows you to split any existing purchase made over the previous year into monthly payments. You can spread transactions into instalments that last either 3, 6, 9 or 12 months at 13% APR. This can free up money for that big trip you’ve been planning!

Get your FREE £5! Download the App, Verify your card, Make Your First Purchase as small as 1p, and you get £5!!

Conclusion

Want more? For more useful resources and websites related to Athens, take a look at the Athens Travel Guide section on Nomadic Notes.

There are many more places that could have made this list, what was your highlight? Did you find any hidden gems? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below, thanks for reading.

Thank you to Curve for sponsoring this article!

21 thoughts on “Athens In a Week Itinerary and Epic Things to Do

  1. Alexandra C. says:

    Great photos, I also love the look of your posts. Great design! I can say that Greece is very high on my list. Some friends went there a few years ago and really enjoyed it. They rented their own boat and enjoyed the water as well. I have always wanted to ride on a catamaran, so perhaps on a future trip to Greece. Pinning this for reference. Thanks for sharing! -Alexandra

  2. Nina Travels says:

    I guess I will never have one week for Athens, but the post did give me some very nice ideas what to do, when I amback. I have been there for several times and cannotget enough of it, especially the old town and Acropola. I also LOVE the photos!! Happy travelling!

  3. Jamie T says:

    This post is excellent. Very informative and full of good ideas for anyone thinking of visiting Athens or Greece. The photos are really good and the content is very inspiring.

  4. George Traveler says:

    I wasn’t expect to read about the football part. But it is a great think to do. Nice article! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  5. Apostle M. says:

    Great article! It covers a lot of things that other relative posts don’t. I currently live in Athens for a few months and i can say that the diversity found in all the aspects of this city, is truly astonishing!Great places to eat and grab a drink or just walk and stare the magnificent ruins from a distant past. This city never stops amuzing me. I’d like to add a few more places(in the center or the suburbs) that everyone should definetly give a try:
    “Karamanlidika” — Delicatessen, Greek, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
    “Davinci Gelato” — The best gelato in the city
    “The Art Foundation”— A unique coffeeshop built inside an old, Othomanic Prison. Great coffee flavors!
    “Attica Zoological Park” —Excellent attraction for all animal lovers!

  6. Martin Barlow says:

    I have added Athens to my bucket list and plan to visit as soon as poss.
    Great photos and info for anyone new to the city.

  7. Hitch-Hikers Handbook says:

    Lovely blog, Scott! Glad to have connected with you on Twitter.
    Athens is such a great city and has so many things to offer! My favourite pastime was sightseeing, taking photos of the incredible monuments and strolling round the market. Shame we didn’t check out the boat trips, they sound fun!

    • Scott Tisson says:

      Thanks Hitch 🙂 Great to connect to you too!
      There was so much to see, I think I need to go back to take it all in, I don’t think I really scratched the surface when it comes to the monuments

  8. Esther says:

    That lake looks GREAT! Now I wanna go too. I highly recommend you visit Thessaloniki as well, such a fabulous Greek citybreak.

  9. Ignis Graecus says:

    Thumbs up from an Athenian (and Olympiacos fan!). Next time you visit Athens, do not miss to grab a cup of coffee at Flisvos Marina (accessible by tram), definitely a highlight of the city. Glyfada area (with some of the best beach cafes, bars and clubs) is also a must in the south. You should also pay a visit to northern Athens, especially Kifissia (metro green line), a beautiful green suburb with old mansions and high-class stores.

    • Scott Tisson says:

      Hey Ignis! Great to meet another Olympiacos fan (I was for the day!) 🙂
      I’ll be sure to check those places out next time, as I will visit Athens again in the near future, thank you for the comment

  10. George says:

    hi! Nice article, full of positive energy! Athens is a metropolis with many hidden things to see and experience. Don’t miss Kifissia in the northern suburbs, accessible easily with metro line 1. It’s an area full of art deco mansions, maple trees and flowery gardens, fancy stores, restaurants and coffee places and also museums! If you like shopping there is “the mall” also easily accessible with metro line 1, the “metro mall” in the south, the riverwest and McArthur discount village! Pay also a visit to the amazing Zoo near the airport of Athens!”Allou” fun park can claim easily a few hours of your time and offer great views of Acropolis from it’s high rise attractions!for drinks and clubbings numerous areas… I prefer Gazi (kerameikos metro station line 3) and Panormou area!(ps: friday and saturday night the metro closes at 2 am!)have fun and enjoy your stay in Athens!

    • Scott Tisson says:

      Hi George! Brilliant thank you for the tips, its great to have lots of options for things to do. I’ve made a note of these for next time, thank you for the comment 🙂

  11. Pingback: My Quest for a Real Gyro: From Chicago to LA to Athens – Partners in Fire

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