History of Athens
Discover the best of Ancient Athens
Check out these hot Athens highlights
The best things to do with kids in Athens
Popular activities in Athens
Planning your Athens visit
Eastern European Summer Time
Weather and when to go
From clear, turquoise ocean to buzzing clubs and bars, to towering ancient temples, Athens has it all - all year round. If crowds make you crazy, try visiting between late April and mid-June, when the weather is mild and the crowds are much thinner. If you’re there in July and August, get your sightseeing done early, before the midday heat makes you want to do nothing but eat gelato in the shade. In July it's common for temperatures in Athens to soar to 37 °C. In the winter temperatures tend to stay around 5 to 13 °C, with lots of sun.
Spot the best places to eat in Athens by the crowds of locals waiting for tables. Cheese fans will like the crispy saganaki, a crunchy fried pastry packed with Gruyère. Hummus is unavoidable, and moussaka is a must - an eggplant and potato dish with a minced meat bottom and Béchamel on top. Spanakopita is also popular, a filo pastry rammed with spinach and herbs and cheeses. Cooking for yourself, or looking for Greek snacks? Stock up at the lively Central Market - just watch out for the sheep’s heads in the meat section.
Athens, with its 6,000-year history, is one of the world’s oldest cities. You can cover all the major archaeological sites on various self-guided or guided tours through the 3-km pedestrian zone. Most people want to get up close to the Acropolis, which casts its mighty shadow over Athens from the hill. Join a tour for the lowdown and don’t forget to say hi to Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, in the Parthenon. The best time to see these ancient sites is in the late afternoon, when temperatures are cooler and you can catch the sunset.
What to do in Athens for 3 days
LEGO marvels at Acropolis Museum
Want to see a Greek wonder immortalized in LEGO bricks? Head to the kid-friendly Acropolis Museum, where the cradle of Western civilization is explained and made fun for everyone. Witness excavated treasures and exhibits from the 5th century BC, through to the 5th century AD. Pose with archaic statues and see them from all angles, enhanced by beams of sunlight. And see the most important artifacts unearthed via archaeological excavation in Eleusis.
Hilltop wonders at the Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis, an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop, has been studied for centuries, but no one really knows how they built it. The best way to see and ‘feel’ it is by taking a tour, when the history and purpose of each temple on the sacred rock of the Acropolis will be explained. Imagine what it was like to watch a show at the crumbling Dionysus Theater in the 5th century BC. Learn about the chief shrine to Athena at the Parthenon, and see the views of Athens from the precipice - make sure to wear your non-slip shoes!
Rev your engine at The Hellenic Motor Museum
When you’ve ticked off all the ancient wonders, change gears and check out over 100 amazing cars at the Hellenic Motor Museum. From vintage cars to classics, there’s a huge collection here to impress any Top Gear or motor fan. Explore three floors and see cars from the 19th and 20th centuries. From models that are now out of action like Avions Voisin, Delage, and Lagonda, to cars that are still on the roads, like Bugatti, Ferrari, and Aston Martin, they’re all waiting to rev your engine here.
Get around easily on the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Athens
Athens can be crowded and hot, and you’ve got a lot to see. The best way to get around it in comfort is with an all-access hop-on hop-off bus pass. Valid for 24 or 72 hours, you'll have access to three lines and dozens of buses - no waiting around for cabs in the heat. Stop at the Parthenon, the antique market, the museums, the Port of Piraeus and more. Multilingual audio guides fill you with history and trivia as you go, and you get two walking tours and two photography tours of the city.