Experiencing Athens in just 3 days is no easy task. That is exactly why we've charted out the best possible itinerary to experience Athens in 3 days. This 3-day Athens itinerary has crafted covering attractions, essential experiences, and leisure in mind. Highlights and essential tips have also been provided for each halt that you make. You're free to use this 3-day Athens itinerary however you like. At the end of it all, you can thank us for offering a wholesome experience of Athens in 3 days!
3 Days in Athens - How To Spend Your Time
Athens In 3 Days - Detailed Itinerary
A Quintessential Slice of Athens
The Acropolis is easily the highlight of Athens! The Theatre of Dionysus is special because it’s considered to be the world’s first theater. The Athenians were all about Athena – after all, they named their city after her. She was considered the goddess that would stand by Athens in the time of war. Athena has several forms, but the one honored here is called “Athena Nike” where “Nike” means “Victory” in Ancient Greek.The Erechtheion is most famous for its Caryatids, which are the columns made of female figures, located on its South porch. Odeon of Herodes Atticus, built between 160AD – 174AD, “Herodeon” as it’s called by locals was a tribute to the late wife of Herodes Atticus.
- The best time to visit the Acropolis is as early as possible. In reality, that means you should aim to get there at least half an hour before opening time.
- The Acropolis has two visitor entrances. The main one on Rovertou Galli is right beside the parking lot, and as a result, it’s the one used by tour groups. In summer, it’s not unusual to have to wait an hour or more in line there once the buses start rolling in.
Early Access Guided Tour to the Acropolis of Athens
Headout Price: €31.50
Once you leave the Acropolis, you can walk towards the Areopagus, also called “Mars Hill”. This is the location where St. Paul is said to have delivered a famous speech to the Athenians explaining that their gods were all wrong, more or less, in Acts 17:24. In classical times, this was the site of the Council of Nobles and the Judicial Court, that mainly dealt with homicide. One of the most iconic hills in Athens is Areopagus, known in Greek as Areios Pagos. Offering spectacular views of the Acropolis, it’s a well-visited landmark.
- You can visit any time you like and there is no ticket for this place. If you visit during the day, it is best that you visit the Acropolis first and then on your way down, you can relax and enjoy the view on the hill.
- Be extra cautious when you are visiting this monument because it is very slippery. If you are wearing unsuitable shoes try to use the wooden stairs.
Epic Getaways From Athens
It's time to visit the Acropolis Museum. You will be amazed to see the best museum in Athens and one of the most important museums globally, housing every object found on the Acropolis. The Acropolis Museum was voted the sixth best museum in the world according to Trip Advisor’s traveler’s choice awards. Sixth in the world! In case you’re wondering, the Acropolis Museum ranked below Musée d’Orsay, but above the Louvre! Fancy, huh? Back on Areopagitou street, you will immediately see the popular Acropolis museum on your left. Here, you can see several artifacts that have been discovered around the Acropolis.
- Skip-the-line tickets: These tickets help you skip the line and explore the museum at your own pace. You can couple it with an audio guide if you want your space, yet need some guiding.
- You can choose a tour of the museum and be guided by a local who will spill the tea about the museum-like no one else. A tour of the museum can also be combined with the Acropolis of Athens city tour, giving you the best of both worlds at a steal.
Skip the Line: Acropolis Museum Tickets
Headout Price: €17
The Ancient Ruins Of Athens
Museum of Cycladic Art
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Ancient Agora of Athens
The Museum of Cycladic Art is a museum in Athens, Greece. It is one the most important museums in Greece and holds an extensive collection of artworks that date from 3200 BC to 1100 BC. Located in the center of Athens, on the southern side of Kifissias Avenue, it is the only museum in Greece which is dedicated to the collection and preservation of prehistoric artworks from 2900 BC to 2000 BC. The museum was established by the Archaeological Society in 1966, with an additional aim to "promote and conduct archaeological research into the lives of the inhabitants of the Aegean islands from prehistoric times to about 323 BC"
- It is recommended that you buy the entry tickets online, especially if you intend to go during the peak season.
- You can grab lunch at the Cycladic Café inside the museum which offers a range of freshly made of food!
- Museum of Cycladic Art hours of operation: Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat: 10am-5pm, Tue 11am-5pm, Thur 10am-8pm.
- Visit the Museum of Cycladic Art, a living cultural institution in the center of Athens.
- Focused on the promotion of Aegean & Cyprus' ancient civilizations, this museum is a must-visit.
- Housing and displaying a private collection of Dolly and Nikolaos Goulandris's antiquities, there is much to uncover.
- Today it is one of the most comprehensive collections of Cycladic art in the world.
- Look at prehistoric figurines, sculptures, inscriptions, pottery, jewelry, terracotta figurines, and painted vases.
- This highly interactive exhibition is well worth a visit when in the city.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus was built by a man named Caliphates and later restored by another Athenian name Pheidias, who also renovated the Parthenon right next door. This ancient temple underwent massive changes over the years, expanding and shrinking in it's size as it exchanged hands. Built to act as the centre of ancient Athens, 16 of the very original columns still stand today. It remains an archaeological site of great importance in Greece even to this day and should definitely be a part of your 1-day stop at Athens. Guided tour of the Temple of Olympian Zeus is available online!
- The average time usually spent here is about 2 hours, but with the guided tour, you'll get a quick run down of everything you need to know.
- Guided tour of the Temple of Olympian Zeus also allows you to skip the line!
- Since the tour is entirely open-air, make sure you check the weather forecast the day before.
- Enjoy this riveting audio tour at the Temple of Olympian Zeus with skip-the-line access.
- Explore the architectural intricacies of the ancient Greek temple.
- Listen to narrative storytelling that will pique your interest in Greek mythology.
- Learn about the legendary Theseus, who founded Athens after a gory bloodbath.
- Imagine the history of the city come to life at the site dating back over 2000 years.
- Picture what everyday life looked like in ancient Athens while visiting the balaneion, an ancient Greek public bath.
In ancient Athens, Agora was a central location for commerce, business and governmental affairs. The word comes from the Greek 'Agoreuo', which means "to speak to the people". It was an open space where people could gather and discuss politics or do business, surrounded by buildings that housed economic activity, public-serving institutions such as law courts, and the city's council.
The Ancient Agora of Athens began as a public place where people would meet to discuss politics or do business. Over time it became a centre for many things including living accommodations. There were small houses, shops, storage spaces along with temples to different gods around this area. It also had religious structures that held meetings and acted as places of worship. Around this area, there were council rooms where people could discuss political affairs, gather to gain information about the city, or sit in judgment over others.
- A self-guided tour is just as fun as a guided tour!
- Bring a bottle of water with you- there is a fair bit of walking through the site and you'll need to hydrate!
- Include in your plan, to visit the Museum of the Agora that is housed in the Stoa of Attalos, a.k.a, Royal Stoa.
- Enjoy a memorable visit to Ancient Agora.
- Avoid long queues with this exclusive skip the line entry to the attraction.
- Take an audio-guided tour through the attraction with the help of your mobile phone.
- Learn about the birth of Democracy at this historic location.
- Hear stories of famous Athenian individuals such as Pericles, Aristides, and Socrates.
Hack To Cover The Acropolis, Agora of Athens and Temple of Olympian Zeus in under 3 Days
These three sites are actually situated pretty closely, and are within walking distance of each other. You can get the Skip The Line Audio Guided Tour of the Temple of Olympian Zeus for just €34.9.
Likewise, you can skip the line at the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora as well. To make things even easier than this, you can get the Ancient Ruins Pass for €34.9 that will give you easy access to the Agora, the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis, and more, with an audio-guided tour!
The Best Part? This pass is valid for 5 consecutive days from date of purchase, so you can take your time with each site and also explore the nearby options!
Take a Day Trip from Athens
Day Tour from Athens: Napplio-Mycenae-Epidaurus
Headout Price: €100
An unexpected awe will fill your soul, located on the eastern Peloponnese, about 150 km southeast of Athens, the ancient town of Mycenae is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in Greece. Mycenae is an impressive archaeological site in the region of Argolis, 120 km southeast of Athens. It is believed that during the Roman Empire, Mycenae was a relevant touristic destination. Traces immortalized from time in the palaces of Mycenae.
- Booking an excursion in English is the most comfortable way to discover Mycenae.
- It is highly recommended to have a guided tour in Mycenae, it would be a shame to not learn about the center of one of the greatest civilizations of Europe.
Our buddy Pausanias, whose work helped identify Mycenae, also wrote about Epidaurus , describing it as a theater of symmetry and beauty. Its acoustics are world-famous, and is still used today to perform ancient drama plays. In fact, it’s considered to be the “most perfect” ancient Greek theater with regards to acoustics. There was literally a study done on it, including measurements and all kinds of science. The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus is part of a larger sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. People would come and sleep here, hoping to be healed by the gods as they rested. There were places to sleep, places to bathe, and obviously places to watch entertainment.
- You can book a day trip, which is the most comfortable way to explore the best of Epidaurus.
- Epidaurus is not as well connected to Athens as other nearby towns. You can book a tour online, or if you wish to visit Epidaurus, we recommend booking a guided tour or renting a car.
This sleepy seaside town has an epic past, as the first capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, back when the Greeks were fighting for independence from the Ottoman Empire. There are two main structures that are interesting for visitors, though both are comparatively modern: the Castle of Palamidi and the Bourtzi . Nafplio is just a lovely town with colorful buildings, lots of places to eat and enjoy a glass of wine, and the color of the water is superb. It’s an extremely popular day trip from Athens.
- Remember your sunblock and a bottle of water.
- Plan ahead, note the timings and schedule your visits.
- Wear good walking shoes for the cobbled streets and for the rugged parts of the forts.
More Athens Itinerary Options?
Don't have 3 whole days to spare in Athens? Check out our 1 day in Athens itinerary for further inspiration.
Here are a few detailed guides on Athens that will help you plan your trip well. Have a fantastic time exploring Athens in 3 days!