10 Local Things To Do In Athens
We lived two months in Athens, and we decided to make a list of the thing we would never be bored to do again and again. We love these places and the vibes they have. Do you believe in positive vibes when you visit a new place? For us, it’s one of the most important things.
So, forget about the classic visit at the museum and the organized tours, and be ready to discover the top 10 things to do in Athens to feel like a real Athenian!
1. VISIT THE ACROPOLIS AT SUNSET
Can you imagine that the Acropolis was built over 2,460 years old! That’s crazy! With the Parthenon, it’s the soul of Athens, the most important archaeological site to visit. It will cost you 20 euros, but it will be the best time of your stay, we are sure about it. They are both situated in Plaka, the most beautiful (but expensive) neighborhood in Athens. If you want to stay there during your holiday, don’t worry: book your hotel with Travala and save 25$! This old temple is just magic and when you will have a tour between these ancient ruins we hope you will have the same feeling of gratitude that filled our hearts. Are you ready to jump back into the history and admire these ancient art masterpieces?
Simple: it’s Greece national pride for a reason. You have to visit this incredible archaeological site if you are in Athens.
“The Erechtheion At Sunset”
“The Columns Hit By The Sun”
2. GET LOST IN PLAKA AND MONASTIRAKI
All those lights, those small cats sleeping everywhere, the purest air, the noise of the city that is further and further away: all this is Plaka and Monastiraki. Beside being free and always open, you will be able to spend there one full day walking and chilling admiring the true soul of the Greek capital. Have a tour from the ancient agora to the most secret streets: you will fall in love with this part of Athens. These areas, even if mainstream and popular, managed to conserve until our century the charm of their ancient soul, and that’s why we love them.
If you want to have a relaxing moment and enjoy a beer or read a book sat on some stairs with the view on the horizon, that’s the place for you.
“One Of The Many Churches In Plaka”
“Αγ. Αναργύρων, One Of Our Favourite Place”
3. REALIZE HOW ATHENS IS ENORMOUS FROM THE LYCABETTUS HILL
The Lycabettus Hill is the highest point of Athens, standing 277 meters above the sea. It is really well located and thanks to its position you will have a crazy view on Athens. It will not be a problem reaching it from Plaka: we recommend you to take a taxi to reach the top and to go down on foot after the sunset. We enjoyed one of our last sunsets in Athens there eating a nice hot dog. If you want to have a clearer idea of Greek history and culture, we advise you this guide. We really think that with a basic knowledge, you can really understand much more of the place you are in and live in a differently your vacation!
You simply have the best view of Athens and the Parthenon.
“The Beautiful Athens Skyline”
4. EAT ON THE MOVE
Don’t worry, in Greece you will not starve. It’s one of the most important things, it’s a Greek national pride: their cuisine! In Athens, there are so many bakeries offering you the best street food that you will want to eat only that. Moreover, the courtesy of the bakers will give you a positive charge to start your day. Our recommendations? Try the famous pie filled with spinach and cheese, you will not regret it. Another thing we loved was the Greek sesame bread rings with cheese and turkey inside. Feel free to take a look at our article about our 10 best local restaurant in Athens.
If you love the street food, that’s the best thing you can find in the city of Athens (with souvlaki, of course).
“The Tasty Greek Bread”
5. BUY VEGETABLES AND FRUIT IN KYPSELI LOCAL MARKET
Every Thursday you will be able to enjoy the best local market in the neighbourhood we were living in. If you are in Plaka or Monastiraki and you want to have a walk until it, you will surely discover a different part of Athens. The mix of colours, the strong voices of merchants and the chaotic atmosphere will make you live a real Greek experience. You can spend there half day and then if you will feel hungry, enjoy a Greek delight!
Do you want to live like a local? Then, you have to do that.
“Eddy Working From Plateia Agiou Georgiou”
“The Kypseli Local Market”
6. PLATEIA AGIOU GEORGIOU
This absolutely not touristy modern “agora ”was our favourite square to hang out during our stay in Athens. The must of the square? The restaurant “Οι Νοστιμιές της Μαίρης” for real Greek cuisine, “Kybélē” for a delicious modern Greek cuisine, “Jeanne Marie Cafe Bistro” for the courtesy of the staff and the best dessert with a refreshing lemonade with mastic and “Village” for the best cocktails. Around this square you will also find the art gallery “Snetha”. We also gave an interview to the founder of “Snetha”, so if you are interested in the art scene in Athens, it will be the best combo for you.
The best place where locals hang out.
“Plateia Agiou Georgiou's Church”
“Marie Jeanne, Our Favourite Coffee Shop”
7. ADMIRE THE CITY FROM THE AREOPAGUS
After visiting the Acropolis, just sit on the Areopagus to admire the vastness of Athens and talk with your partner or your friends. Having the possibility in our century to see all these ancient things is literally an honour. Spending some time on the Areopagus, will be the perfect end of your day. You will not regret it, but pay attention: wear sneakers because the rock is really slippery.
It’s a nice place to chill and admire the city after visiting the Acropolis.
“The View From Aeropagus”
“The Lycabettus Hill In The Background”
8. SPEND AN EVENING IN VIOLETA
Violeta is a bar quite far from the touristic center, in the area of Kypseli. If you are in Athens with friends and you want to spend an evening like a local, enjoy few beers and some basic dishes of the Greek tradition in this small bar. The energy and the courtesy of the owner, Kristos, will make your night unforgettable.
It’s a bar frozen in time and not fancy at all, but it has a soul (and it’s bloody cheap!).
9. WATCH THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD
A Greek national pride, located right in Syntagma Square: there you will be able to watch the changing of the guard. Eddy and I always made fun of them, but hey, they cannot even breathe! It’s a must if you are in Athens and it will immerse you in the Greek atmosphere. It’s the perfect thing to do if you have some free time during your day.
If you are taking a walk in the center and you are close to Syntagma Square, that’s the best thing to do. Take a look during the change of the guard: it will make you feel more united with Greek population and it’s definitely worth it. With courtesy, you can even take some photos of the guards.
10. SPEND YOUR WEEKEND ON THE COAST
Everybody knows that one of the most famous things about Greece is its blue sea. That’s why, our favourite part of the week was leaving Athens to join the seaside. We were taking the tram from Kasomoulē, not far away from the center (try the restaurant ΦΙΤΑ just close to the tram stop, it’s fabulous) and in 30 minutes we were in an absolute paradise. We are traveling with two backpacks and the cool thing is that we were able to use them also to go at the beach. If you want to check them out, here’s the one we have. A lot of beaches are free and always open so that you will not need an organized tour and you will be able to spend one or two days on the cost to relax yourself. Our favourite place? Vouliagmeni. Take a look at our article : best beaches close to Athens.
Relax, take it easy. Spend some days on the coast to regenerate yourself after the pollution and the chaos of Athens. Read a nice book, meditate in front of the sea and enjoy simple things.
“Let's Go On An Adventure”