Things to do in Athens

Explore The Best Of Athens In One Day With This 24 Hour Itinerary

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Athens, a very historical city located in Greece, was established around 3,400 years ago. It is an important city because of its contributions to the evolution of society over the millenia and is also considered the birthplace of democracy, philosophy and the core of the Western civilization.

It is a sprawling city, around 789 square, and is full of stunning architecture that dates back to years ago. A city that has seen the rise and fall of many civilizations but has withstood the tests of time, it has a lot to offer for visitors and locals alike. While it may not be possible to cover everything in a single day if you happen to be in the short city, we have curated the perfect itinerary for you, centred around a crucial part of Athens where the most important sites are all clustered close to each other!

1 Day in Athens - How To Spend Your Day


Athens In A Day - Detailed Itinerary


AM

Morning - Bear Witness to Athens Bursting to Life

Run Time

Syntagma Square

Price

Lycabettus Hill

Duration

Museum of Cycladic Art

Athens in 1 day
Athens in 1 day
Athens in 1 day
Try to grab an early breakfast before heading out. If you're a late-breakfast type of person, Syntagma Square has a variety of cafés and restaurants for you to dine at.

The Syntagma Square

MORNING 7:45 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Popular Square in Athens

Close to Other Attractions

Free

The main square in Athens is called Syntagma Square, and it is a very big tourist attraction because of the Greek Parliament building that sits there. The area around the park has been updated into a beautiful garden since most of the buildings have been destroyed by bombs during World War II.

Travel Tips
  • Best to head here early because you can watch as the Square becomes busy, a whole new side of Athens!
  • If you get to the Parliament building, every hour, there's a change of guards, the Evzones, who are tasked with guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  • If you've missed breakfast, the Syntagma Square has plenty of choice café for your morning coffee and breakfast! Public Café & GC George Café are among the top rated choices.

Lycabettus Hill

MORNING 9 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Highest Hill in Athens

Amazing Views from the Top

Free

Athens is a heavily populated city, yet Lycabettus Hill stands out for its forested hills. At 918 feet tall, the hill was originally covered in pine trees and provided excellent views of the surrounding land below. The hill is named after Apollo Lyceus , one of Apollo's many epithets that honors him for his prophetic abilities. It is located at the highest point in Athens, Greece; in fact, since Lycabettus Hill has usually maintained its elevation above sea-level (at least in comparison to other nearby geographical features), it makes this location one of the highest points not only in all of Europe but throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere. Out of the seven hills that constitute the original layout of ancient Athens, Lycabettus Hill is now one of five remaining peaks.

Travel Tips
  • The uphill trek can take anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes.
  • Giving yourself two hours will give you the time to enjoy the pine-tree dotted trail.
  • Make sure you carry water and some snackables so you can make it to the top and still be able to enjoy the spectacular view from the peak.

Museum of Cycladic Art

MORNING 11:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Top 5 Athens Attractions

History

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"

Travel Tips
  • 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.
Best Safety
Museum Of Cycladic Art Tickets
Tickets
Museum Of Cycladic Art Tickets
from
€8
  • 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.
PM

Afternoon - Exploring The Ancient Ruins Of Athens

Run Time

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Price

The Acropolis

Duration

Ancient Agora of Athens

Athens in 1 day
Athens in 1 day
Athens in 1 day
After a quick lunch, continue your tour through Athens. Cover 3 top historic attractions in Athens you do not want to miss out on at a go! Pro tip: a combo tour of the three sites with the Ancient Athens Pass would be ideal.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

AFTERNOON 1:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1.5 HOURS

Top 10 Athens Attractions

Historic Landmark

Walking Tours

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!

Travel Tips
  • 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.
Temple of Olympian Zeus Ticket with Skip-the-Line Access and Audio Tour
Tickets
Temple of Olympian Zeus Ticket with Skip-the-Line Access and Audio Tour
from
€12.15
  • 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.

The Acropolis of Athens

AFTERNOON 1:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2.5 HOURS

Historic Landmark

Family Friendly

The Acropolis of Athens is a flat-topped rock, about 150 feet high, situated about two miles from the city center. The term acropolis means 'high city', and is something of a misnomer because the Acropolis in fact stands within an ancient citadel or fortified town. In ancient times it was known as "the stronghold", which was not only an observation of its physical characteristics but also a reference to the people who inhabited it. With its magnificent temples and imposing structures, is one of the most important places in classical history. Its influence on architecture, art and politics continues even today. There are numerous archaeological remains on the Acropolis including temples, altars, urns and statues.

Travel Tips
  • 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!
Best Safety
Athens Acropolis Skip the Line Tickets with Parthenon Entry
Tickets
Athens Acropolis Skip the Line Tickets with Pa...
from
€13
Best Safety
Ancient Athens Pass with Skip the Line Entry to Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus
Tickets
Ancient Athens Pass with Skip the Line Entry t...
from
€32.85
Best Safety
Acropolis Guided Tour With Skip-the-line Entry
Tours
Acropolis Guided Tour With Skip-the-line Entry
upto 10% off
from
€55 €49.5
Best Safety
Early Access Guided Tour to the Acropolis of Athens
Tours
Early Access Guided Tour to the Acropolis of A...
from
€31.5
Best Safety
Skip the Line Athens Acropolis Museum Tickets with Optional Audioguide
Tickets
Skip the Line Athens Acropolis Museum Tickets ...
from
€7
5% Cashback
Acropolis & Acropolis Museum: Ancient Athens Tour With Skip The Line Tickets
Tours
Acropolis & Acropolis Museum: Ancient Athens T...
upto 10% off
from
€80 €72
Best Safety
Acropolis Hill, Museum & Parthenon Tickets With Mobile Audioguide
Tickets
Acropolis Hill, Museum & Parthenon Tickets Wit...
from
€24.75
Acropolis Museum: Skip-the-line e-Ticket and Audio Tour
Tickets
Acropolis Museum: Skip-the-line e-Ticket and A...
from
€13.5
Best Safety
Skip-the-Line: New Acropolis Museum & Panathenaic Stadium Tour
Tours
Skip-the-Line: New Acropolis Museum & Panathen...
from
€59
Best Safety
Pristine Parthenon: Acropolis Tour & Skip-the-Line Acropolis Museum Tour
Tours
Pristine Parthenon: Acropolis Tour & Skip-the-...
from
€79

The Ancient Agora of Athens

AFTERNOON 4:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Historic Landmark

Family Friendly

Ancient Ruins

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.

Travel Tips
  • 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.
Ancient Agora: Skip-The-Line with Audio Tour
Tickets
Ancient Agora: Skip-The-Line with Audio Tour
from
€16.2
  • 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 5 Hours

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, with an audio-guided tour.

PM

Evening - Strolling Through Central Athens

Run Time

Monastiraki Flea Market

Price

National Archaelogical Museum

Duration

Athens in the Night

Athens in 1 Day
Athens in 1 Day
Athens in 1 Day
After an arduous afternoon spent sightseeing in the open, relax as evening dawns and go through the quieter motions of the city, still bustling with life.

The Monastiraki Flea Market

EVENING 5:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

Busy Athenian Hotspot

Flea Market

Antiques

The Monastiraki Flea Market was created because merchants needed a market place after the establishment of Athens city limits. Since so many people were moving there from outside Athens to work in large factories, they needed something to sell their belongings. While there are many flea markets in the city now, the Monastiraki Flea Market is a local favourite! Every inch is filled with either vendors or shoppers! Plates and pottery can be found lining one whole side of the walls, as well as old toys, computers and records. You can strike very good deals for antiques here! There are so many reasons to go to this market! It is open every day except Sundays from 10am to 5pm and the best part is that everything is already haggled down.

Travel Tips
  • The market closes at 6 PM and is not open at all on Sundays.
  • While everything is mostly already dead cheap, you can still haggle, especially at the end of sellers' shifts.
  • The Market is located on the Monastiraki Square, practically adjacent to teh Agora. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars should you choose to grab a bite.

National Archaelogical Museum

EVENING 6:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 1 HOUR

One of the Best Museums in the World

Top 10 Athens Attractions

National Archaeological Museum of Athens was established in 1866 and it is also known simply as the National Archeological Museum. It contains a very rich collection that belongs to ancient Greece, with more than 120000 exhibits. This museum is one of the best in the world and is a must-see. You could spend hours here, but to cover all the principle artefacts, an hour will suffice.

Travel Tips
  • The museum stays open till 8 PM so you can take your time exploring it.
  • It is a walkable distance away from the Monastiraki Square.
National Archaeological Museum: Skip-The-Line e-ticket with Audio Tour
Tickets
National Archaeological Museum: Skip-The-Line e-ticket with Audio Tour
from
€14
  • A convenient entry e-ticket ensures you enjoy a hassle-free visit.
  • Admire the rich collection of Greek artefacts, from prehistoric times to late antiquity.
  • Explore the museum in your own time with a self-guided audio tour.
  • Must-see relics include the mask of “Agamemnon”, the bronze statue of Zeus or Poseidon, the horse rider.
  • Don't miss seeing the ancient Dipylon Amphora, the Sphinx statue, and the complex of Aphrodite and Pan.

Athens at Night

NIGHT 8 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 to 4 Hours

Quaint Neighbourhoods

Authentic Local Experience

Night life in Athens is a sight to see. You can take a walk through one of Athens' funkiest neighborhoods, Psirri, and also try a hand at Greek cuisine in one of the many restaurants that dot the streets. If you want to end night on a high, the Karitsi square has some excellent local bars where you can try some cocktails made with local herbs and spices.

Psirri is a multi-ethnic and lively neighbourhood and lies south of Monastiraki square. It is located right at the entrance of Athens' historical centre and is mainly known as an area with many cheap bars and restaurants (particularly those towards the south). Psirri's history goes back centuries and one of its oldest structyres is the city's slaughterhouse, which dates back to before 1870. With time, the area has become a bohemian paradise for young people who like metal (traditionally heavy metal) music or other alternative subcultures like punk or industrial. The biggest groups of Psirri residents are arty hipsters and working-class Athenians whose roots go deep in the local and national history.

Travel Tip
  • Psirri is a very lively hub with plenty of Greek tavernas and pubs, so scope them out if you want to make the best choice!
  • If you want a more specific approach to this in the interest of time, you can book yourself a tour that covers Athens by Night Sightseeing, and ends with a great Greek meal!

Spend A Day In Athens Under 100 Euros


There are different ways of going about spending your day in Athens. You can either opt for an organized tour that will take care of your tickets, guide and transport or you can buy indiviual tickets for each attraction that you'd like to see. Either way, here's an approximate budget of how much a day in Athens will cost you.


The Hop-On Hop-Off

This would be a great, yet organized way of ensuring you hit all the significant sites in the city. the Hop-on Hop-Off Classic Tour will allow you try out four different routes through Athens, and includes stops at the port city of Piraeus, the Acropolis and Temple of Zeus.

Note: This tour does not include entrance fees.


Self Guided Tour

If you prefer to explore the city at your own pace, here are the details of simply the tickets alone:

Morning : Syntagma Square, Lycabettus Hill, Cycladic Museum of Art
€14
Afternoon : Temple of Zeus, Acropolis, the Ancient Agora
€28
Evening : Monastariki Flea Market, the National Archaeological Museum, Athens by Night
€10

Total

€52

Some Useful Things to Know:
  • Taking the cable car up the Lycabettus Hill, including ascent and descent, and a discount at the Lycabettus restaurant, costs €7. It is free on foot, but the trek is a bit tedious.
  • The Cycladic Museum of Art has an interesting pricing system. Visitors aged between 27 and 64 is required to pay an entrance fee of €7, but half-priced tickets are sold on Mondays at €3.50. Students and seniors over 65 are charged €3.50 as well, and under 18, entry is free.
  • The Acropolis Ticket price includes some sites around the Acropolis, including the ancient agora, theatre of Dionysos, Kerameikos, Roman Agora, Tower of the Winds and the Temple of Olympian Zeus and is usually valid for a week.
  • Summer and winter prices may differ for some sites, so make sure to check.

Recommended Experiences for your 1-day Athens itinerary

The Ancient Athens Skip-the-Line Pass

The Hop-on Hop-Off Classic Tour

Athens by Night Sightseeing

Athens One-Day Itinerary: A Map


More Athens Guides


Here are a few detailed guides that will help you plan your trip to Athens better.

Rome in 1 Day - Itinerary