What to do with your time in Athens!
Athens has many things to see and do, it’s just narrowing down what to do that can be difficult, especially when you have a limited amount of time. To help you out we have collated a list of the ten best things to do while visiting the city. With this list you”ll easily fill up an itinerary for your time in the capital that will incorporate all the sun, seaside, history and culture that it has to offer.
☞ Related: 2 Days In Athens The Way A Local Would Do It
Indulge In The Coffee Culture
When you arrive in Athens, as with anywhere in Greece, you’ll be delighted by the sheer number of coffee places available to you. Whenever you’re in need of a pick me up, coffee won’t be far away. Some coffee stores are quiet, quaint and stylishly decorated, others are bustling hubs for tourists who are also grabbing a traditional snack. Some are frequented by the younger generation, having been deemed as Instagram-worthy, while others may be shabby and uninviting, but a local favourite. Greeks know how to do coffee and when you hit that afternoon lull, overwhelmed by the sightseeing that travelling entails, a cold cappuccino will really hit the spot on a scorching summer day. To stop for a coffee is to indulge in some Greek culture. Their ability to approach life at a slower more relaxed pace is easily attributed to such rituals. So, sit down, place your order and embrace the chance to catch your breath.
Watch The Changing Of The Guard
Every hour on the hour, the changing of the guard occurs outside Parliament in Syntagma Square. Here you will see the guards, known as Evzones which are a unit of the Hellenic Army, standing rigid and unflinching in front of the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, which commemorates all the unknown soldiers who lost their lives at war. After their hour of guarding is complete, they are replaced by new soldiers in a traditional ceremony in which they perform a series of coordinated moves. This is a popular thing to do for tourists, so you’ll need to get in early for a front-row view.
Go To The Outdoor Cinema
The open-air cinema in Athens offers you the perfect opportunity to embrace the balmy summer evening weather while watching a classic movie under the stars. While there are many around the city, the Thision cinema is renowned for its wonderfully central location near the Acropolis, and here you can even catch a glimpse from your seat! Showing times are at 20.30 and 23.00, so there is plenty of time to grab some dinner and a drink before you watch a late-night screening. Thision cinema has a relaxed feel, that makes you feel right at home. Their store has all the essential movie snacks so you can buy an ice cream or some popcorn before you settle in to watch the show.
Do A Walking Tour
I find walking tours are a great way to orient yourself when arriving in a new city.
The tours usually take about 2 to 2 and a half hours and pin point the main monuments and attractions of Athens. You’ll be guided through the city by expert locals that are fun, enthusiastic and often quite humorous, making for a fun and entertaining way to learn something new.
There is an incredibly diverse range of walking tours available that will cater to everyone’s needs and even to different languages. You can go on food tours, historical tours, mythological tours, museum tours even street art tours.
Most tours come at a fixed price, however for the free walking tours you simply need to sign up and attend. All they ask in return is for a contribution in the form of a tip at the end of the tour, which is an affordable way to gain some great knowledge of this fascinating city.
Do A Bike Tour
If you’re looking for something different to do, why not try a bike tour?
The advantage of a bike tour is that you’re probably able to cover more ground and see more of the city when compared with walking. While there are many different tour possibilities, you may be wondering what is one to do. Our suggestion is COCOMAT.bikes, a company that offers a fun and informative way to see the city all while getting some exercise and cruising about on their wooden eco-friendly bikes. Their guided ‘Ancient Tour’ will take you around all the highlights of Athens, including some lesser known spots.
Visit The Acropolis
When you ask what there is to do in Athens, this will often be the first response you get. The Acropolis lies at the heart of the city. It’s preserved, treasured and frequented by over a million visitors each year. Be sure to climb its slopes, enjoy the beautiful views of the city and take in the extraordinary architecture and history that is the Parthenon. The Acropolis might be the main ‘to do’ on your Athens buckelist and we don’t blame you. What we will tell you is that, as well as the Acropolis, there are also many other important archaeological sites that must not be missed.
Head to the Coast
- Athens has stolen the hearts of many. Will you let it steal yours? Let us know what the most compelling thing on this list for you.