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Top Things to Do in Athens and Surrounding Areas

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You have booked your flight to Athens and are looking for the top things to do in Athens and its close locations. Get ready for a trip that combines all kinds of things, from historical monuments and museums to modern-day experiences.

Athens is famous for its combination of antiquity and modernity. Besides Athens, there are plenty of trips you can take to nearby locations that have something unique to offer. It may be the food, the landscape, or the history. One thing is for sure, you will be amazed.

Things to do in Athens

While in Athens there are numerous things to do. We will mention some of the “must-do” such as visiting the Acropolis and Plaka.

Moreover, we will give you some insights about nice neighborhoods according to your taste.


The Acropolis is the landmark of Athens city. Built during the 5th Century B.C., this ancient citadel houses the Parthenon, a marvel of classical architecture that has stood the test of time.

You can walk through the ancient ruins while having a panoramic view of the city. While descending the Acropolis hill, take a walk through Dionysiou Aeropagitou Street, to find yourself at the Acropolis museum. 


Plaka is the oldest neighborhood of Athens. It consists of narrow streets full of shops and restaurants. The area is surrounded by ancient ruins from the Greek and Roman era, and blooming flowers.

There, you will have the opportunity to taste some authentic Greek cuisine and you can also spend some time shopping.

Lycabettus Hill

Lycabettus is a hill in the heart of the city. You can walk up from Kolonaki. The hill offers a breathtaking view of the city and an even more beautiful sunset view.

After that, you can go to Kolonaki, see one of the most popular neighborhoods in Athens, and have a cocktail or a meal in a fancy restaurant. 

Nice Neighborhoods

There are plenty of nice neighborhoods, with different vibes. Find the one that suits you best and explore it. Koukaki is an area near the Acropolis. It is a vibrant area full of small cafes and restaurants. Monastiraki is a bustling area with traditional tavernas, restaurants, and many shops.

From Monastiraki, you can take a walk to Syntagma Square, the central square of Athens, and see the Parliament. Below the Parliament, the National Garden is located. A green park, ideal for a walk, especially in the hot summer days, where you can walk and have a coffee below the trees.

From Syntagma, you can take the tram to Palaio Faliro, a neighborhood located 30 minutes from the city center. Besides its shops, this area has a large coastline where you can swim.

Things to do close to Athens

While there’s plenty to see and do in Athens itself, don’t forget there are some amazing spots just a short drive away. Renting a car is the best way to explore the surrounding areas. First of all, not all of these places are reachable by public transport, and secondly, you can visit them at your own pace.

Cape Sounion

Around an hour's drive from Athens, Cape Sounion is known for the Temple of Poseidon. Beyond the temple, there is also a nice beach. If you visit Sounion, stay until the sunset, and enjoy the sun getting lost in the Aegean Sea. 

Athens Riviera

Athens Riviera is a big coastline in the south of Athens full of different beaches. The most famous are Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni. Glyfada is famous for its palm trees and beach bars and clubs.

Vouliagmeni, besides the beach, offers a lake which is a natural spa, and is surrounded by a foresty scenery. In any case, whatever your taste might be, the Athens Riviera has a beach for you. From organized beaches, with beach bars to small hidden beaches.

Mount Parnitha

This mountain is located in the Northern part of Athens and is a perfect destination for hiking. The place is famous for its biodiversity since it is home to different species of animals and plants.

It has plenty of trails and pathways inside the forest. Moreover, you can take the cable car to enjoy the view of Athens from atop. 


Nafplion is in the Peloponnese, and it’s about two hours away from Athens. It is a trip worth doing because Nafplion is a picturesque city with Venetian Architecture. Moreover, it has charming narrow streets and a beautiful harbor.

You can walk up the Palamidi fortress, for a mesmerizing view and enjoy a meal by the sea. While returning to Athens, stop by the Corinth Canal. Snap a few photos of ships passing through the narrow waterway. If you are brave enough, you can also try bungee jumping from the canal. 

In conclusion, there are many things to do in Athens and close locations. While in Athens, you can visit the Acropolis, the Archaeological Museum, and many neighborhoods that offer a unique Greek experience.

When it’s about the day trips from Athens, there is a plethora of things you can do. From beaches to mountains, and smaller cities within a two-hour drive, you can rent a car and explore all the wonders offered.

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