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Top Things To Do In Athens: The City of Sunlit Splendour!

Top Things To Do In Athens: The City of Sunlit Splendour!

Athens, Greece, is the birthplace of western civilization. It was the home of major historical figures like Plato, Socrates, and Euripides. The city has a recorded history of more than 3,000 years, but it’s believed to be much, much older. This probably explains why there are so many incredible and amazing things to do in Athens.

Travelers from around the world venture to Athens to get a glimpse of the ancient culture that has influenced so much of the world. If you’re planning a trip to the historical city, you’ll want to make sure not to miss any unforgettable attractions.

In this article, we’re going to take a journey through one of the world’s most fascinating destinations and highlight all the top things to do in Athens. With these recommendations, you’re guaranteed a wonderful and informative trip.

Top Things To Do In Athens Greece
Top Things To Do In Athens Greece
Top Things To Do In Athens Greece

Day Trip To Delphi And Arachova

It might not be a surprise to hear Athens is the host of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delphi is known to be one of the city’s most remarkable ruins. It was a holy area where locals would come to be close to important figures in Greek Mythology. Historians now know that Delphi was specifically used to worship God Apollo and earth goddess Gaea – it’s often referred to as Apollo’s Sanctuary. The area later hosted the Pythian games–an event that happened every four years, when athletes would come and compete against each other. Sound familiar? These games were a precursor to the Olympics, and you can step foot where it all took place. 

Once you’ve taken in everything Delphi has to offer, make your way to Arachova, a nearby mountainous village. Arachova is known for its traditional Greek cheese Formaella. The small village has an interesting history to learn about and attractions to visit, such as a monastery.

The easiest way to get to both locations is to sign up for a full-day bus trip tour. You’ll have an informative guide who can help explain Greek Mythology, the vast importance of Delphi, and all the best spots to check out in Arachova.

Day Trip To Delphi And Arachova - Top Things To Do In Athens Greece

Dine At The Ethereal NYX Rooftop Restaraunt

One of the top things to do in Athens has to be to dine at the world-class NYX restaurant located on the hotel’s sumptuous rooftop. Here you can order Japanese-influenced cuisine, which you will be thinking about long after the last bite is gone. If you are looking for that one elegant and memorable meal that defines the trip – book a table here at sunset, and you will have it.

Here you will be treated to 360 views of the spirited city, with both majestic Acropolis and picturesque Lycabettus Hill outlooks – not to mention exceptional service. Exceptional, fresh, and raw produce features heavily in elegant dishes such as crispy tuna tartar, King Crab marinated with kosho sauce and marinated seabass ceviche infused with yuzu and green herbs.

The Academias Hotel Athens Review: Tranquility On The Edge Of Chaos! NYX Athens
The Academias Hotel Athens Review: Tranquility On The Edge Of Chaos! NYX Athens
The Academias Hotel Athens Review: Tranquility On The Edge Of Chaos! NYX Athens

The menu is sharing style, and one of those rare places that manages to perfect every dish yet still offer more choices than you could possibly try in one sitting, which is perfect as you will undoubtedly want to come back. You might book for the view, but you will return for the food – and the cocktails.

Oh yes, the cocktails here are next-level (in a city with an already exceptional cocktail game) and feature creative concoctions like the “Tears Of Negroni” (Skinos mastic liqueur, blended Vermouth, raspberry shrub, Campari, orange bitters) or the “Rooftop G&T” (Star of Bombay Premium Gin, rhubarb & vanilla shrub, tonic water, Nyx’s secret bitters)

Open until 1:00am from Thursday to Saturday; there is plenty of time to duck in for a pre-or-post dinner drink if you are short on time. Having one of the best views in the city, it is no wonder that so many people also choose to stay at the Academias Hotel Athens so they are only a short elevator ride away!

The Academias Hotel Athens Review: Tranquility On The Edge Of Chaos! NYX Athens

Watch the Sunset At The Temple Of Poseidon

The architecture of Athens is beautiful, and seeing the Temple of Poseidon at sunset can’t be missed! Poseidon’s temple is situated on the coast of Attica. The large structure, which is now just the remaining pillars that make up the perimeter, was made entirely out of white marble. Historians believe Athenians constructed the building sometime around 400 BC. Sailing was an important part of the city’s culture, and Athenians believed storms were caused by Poseidon’s wrath. The temple was a way to appease their god and hope for more favorable conditions. 

As the sun begins to dip, the temple has one of the region’s best views of the sunset. The epic structure provides a one-of-a-kind picture opportunity as the sky, clouds, and water explode in color. To make your life easier and to ensure you arrive for the sunset on time, tours are available where a guide will take you to the perfect spot in the area at the right time.

Go on An Island-Hopping Sailing Trip

Just off the coast of Athens, there are gorgeous islands waiting to be visited. The best way to get to them is by taking a sailboat. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about sailing because you can hop on a boat tour where the sailors will do all the heavy lifting for you.

The first island you’ll visit is Agistri–a stunning piece of land with pristine beaches and outdoor activities, such as swimming, kayaking, and hiking. If you’re feeling up for it, you can take a bike over to two of the nicest beaches on the island: Melalochori and Chalikiada Beach.

You’ll then head over to Moni Island. It’s a unique piece of uninhabited land that is teeming with deer, goats, rabbits, and peacocks. As your boat docks, you’ll chow down on a delicious Greek meal and have the chance to snorkel and swim around the boat. At last, you’ll make your way back, but not before visiting one last location: Aegina Island. It’s best known for its white stone houses, unforgettable cuisine, and picture-perfect beaches.

The sailing trip is a wonderful way to experience Athens’s islands and to explore the area as the ancient Greeks did.

Catch an Ancient Greek Theatre Performance

Greek is well known for its theatre performances. Researchers believe the spectacles began in the 6th century BC. The three primary genres were Tragedy, Comedy, and Satyr. Theatre became a big part of Athenian culture, and today you can find the remains of old venues where plays were performed. One of the main theatres is known as the Theatre of Dionysus. The outdoor facility could fit up to 17,000 people and was used for hundreds of years before it began to decay.

Although the original venue is no longer in use, you can still catch a Greek theatre performance in Athens. Just outside the museum of Acropolis, there are frequent play performances. They last for about an hour and are entirely in English. The actors perform a classic comedy play that will take you back in time and make you feel like you’re living in ancient Greece.

Book your tickets here and learn more about the performances.

Experience Plaka: Local Cuisine and Greek Dancing

Plaka is Athens’s oldest neighborhood, where you can experience and learn about ancient and contemporary culture. It used to be a hotspot for partiers when nightclubs lined the streets. The government eventually stepped in to clean up the scene and preserve the neighborhood’s beauty. Today you can walk the narrow streets and appreciate the town’s aesthetic. A majority of the streets no longer allow automobiles, which gives Plaka a more authentic feel to it. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to try the local cuisine and shops to pick up nice goods and little knickknacks.

When you’re in the area, it’s highly recommended that you visit one of the oldest tavernas in Athens: Kalokerinos Taverna. Once you arrive, you’ll have the opportunity to try a 3-course Mediterranean meal and watch live dancing, singing, and music performances. The taverna does its best to give you an authentic look into Athens’s culture. It’s a very fun experience to have. Take the pressure off reserving a seat and sign up for the experience here. A driver will pick you up from your accommodation and chauffeur you to the taverna.

Spend The Day At The National Archaeological Museum

Athens has been the site of unbelievable archaeological discoveries, so it only makes sense the city is home to the National Archaeological Museum–the largest museum in Greece. The site was planned to only feature findings from excavations during the 19th century, but instead, it slowly built up to what it is today.

The museum hosts a number of different collections of artifacts, such as prehistoric antiquities, sculptures, metalwork, vases, and Egyptian and Cypriot antiquities. These items date back thousands of years and represent some of the most important discoveries around the Greek area. In addition to its permanent collections, the National Archaeological Museum constantly rotates exhibitions to highlight different parts of history with new and exciting artifacts. Walking through the museum will feel like stepping back in time, and it’s one of the best, most cohesive ways to learn about the region’s history.

Check out what events are upcoming during the time you’ll be in the area. You might be just on time for an interesting art showing.

As you can imagine, this is a popular attraction in Athens. To avoid waiting in long lines, you can buy your ticket in advance here. Once you’re in, you can explore the different rooms and sections at your own pace!

Go Wine Tasting

Athens is not just known for democracy. It also has a reputation for having top-quality wine. While wine might not be as important as new political ideologies, it’s a fun aspect of the city to explore. In fact, Attica, a region is Athens, produces the most wine in all of Greece, with around 16,000 acres of vineyards.

Wine is even a part of Greek Mythology. Ancient stories say that Dionusys, god of wine and fertility, gave Icarius the knowledge of how to cultivate grapes, which then led to wine production in the area.

Within the city, you can join wine tasting tours, where a sommelier will take you on a journey through some of Greece and Athens’s award-winning wines. You’ll have excellent little snacks that are paired with each bottle to enhance the flavors of both products. If you’re new to the world of wine, you’ll leave the tasting session with a brand-new appreciation of vineyards, sommeliers, and, in general, wine.

Learn How to Cook the Local Cuisine

After enjoying endless delicious meals in Athens, you’ll start to ask yourself, how the heck can I make this at home? Well, the good news is that you can take a cooking class during your stay to learn the secret recipes to add to your arsenal. Let’s check out some of the typical cuisines of the area. 


Moussaka is a mouthwatering casserole made with veggies and meat. Usually, it includes eggplant, meat sauce, cheese, and spices. Some variations use potatoes, zucchini, and a range of other veggies. The dish is similar to lasagna without pasta. Your first bite will be something to remember.


A dish you’ll find in multiple parts of Greece, Spanakopita is a scrumptious Greek pie made with spinach and feta cheese. All that goodness is put in a butter pastry roll and baked in the oven. The result is a warm, flaky meal with a flavorful punch.


We all know how amazing tzatziki is, right? Well, you can expect to eat a lot of it in Greece. The ingredients list is relatively simple, but if you take a cooking class, your instructor will show you little tricks to take your tzatziki to the next level. You’ll blow people away at your next dinner party.


Cheese lovers are going to love Saganaki. It consists of kasseri–a great cheese–and is fried in a pan with a little flour and butter and served with lemon. Easy and delicious!

Cooking Classes

One of the most rewarding parts of traveling is being able to bring something new back with you. Cooking classes are a great way to do that. Check out these group cooking classes, which are one of the most popular options in Athens. Your instructors will send you home with a knowledge of simple yet outstanding recipes of local cuisine.

Check Out The Street Art

Once you arrive in Athens, it won’t take long to see that art plays a big part in the city’s culture. Over the last twenty years, street art has become widely popular. However, it was the country’s economic collapse that sprung street art to the next level. Walking through the city, you’ll stumble by dozens of murals with powerful messages attached to them.

If you don’t want to wander around aimlessly looking for art, you can sign up for a Street Art Walking Tour. A local guide will take you and a group to some of Athens’s most spectacular urban paintings. He or she will be able to explain the meaning of each piece, how long it’s been there, and how it symbolizes the area.

Ride Electric Bikes Into The Sunset

Athens may be an ancient city, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find the latest toys and technologies. One of the best ways to get a feel for the city is to go on a Sunset Electric Bike Tour. These nifty bikes make it easy to speed around town, soak in the views, and appreciate the history of Athens.

When you sign up for a tour, you’ll cruise around some of Athens’s top historical and contemporary attractions. As the sun shows signs of sinking, your guide will take you to a secret lookout point to get a once-in-a-lifetime view of the region. Don’t miss out!

Stay In Sublime Luxury At The Academias Hotel Athens

The Academias Hotel is a part of the Autograph Collection, which consists of top-tier luxury hotels independently owned under the Marriott umbrella. Academias Hotel was inspired by the philosophy, science, and arts that originated in Athens. Moreso, the facility is meant to be a contemporary interpretation of Plato’s Academy.

After spending a very relaxing few days at the property, I can confidently report that the hotel hit its mark….and I have greatly increased my knowledge of Greek philosophy! This hotel offers a refuge from the glorious chaos that Athens often presented, a place to recharge, regroup and relax before heading back out again to tackle this ancient city.

When you’re visiting a historical city like Athens, no one wants to stay far away from all the action, right? Well, on this property, you won’t have to worry about missing out on any of the attractions. The hotel is just a few blocks from Athens’s most beloved and visited ancient ruins.

The Academias Hotel Athens Review Greece

To give you an example of how accessible all these sights are, we took a 25-minute walk from the hotel to Parthenon, an ancient temple built in the 5th century BC. From there, we meandered over to other temples, museums, and historical sights. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get from the hotel lobby to the destinations I had read about in books and seen in documentaries.

There is a total of 60 rooms and suites on-site. You’ll have the choice between three different room styles and one suite option. I personally stayed in the deluxe room, called the Anesis.

Our room was elegantly designed and spotless. We loved opening the door to a freshly cleaned hotel room, plopping down my luggage, and hopping onto a perfectly made bed. As my body sunk into the cozy mattress, I couldn’t have been much happier, and I hadn’t even explored what else the room had to offer.

There were also flat-screen TVs, luxury bathroom amenities, a fully-stocked minibar and a pillow menu. Suites also offer living rooms and sofabed. On top of those, there is a rooftop restaurant/bar offering views of the Acropolis (NYX), a wonderful à la carte breakfast and a posh lobby bar. Other amenities also include a heated indoor pool, a spa and a gym. Supremely positioned with all of Athens highlights within walking distance, we can’t imagine a better place to stay than Academias Hotel Athens.

The Academias Hotel Athens Review
The Academias Hotel Athens Review
The Academias Hotel Athens Review
The Academias Hotel Athens Review Greece

Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens
Top things to do in athens

Final Travel Thoughts On Things To Do In Athens

The influence Athens has had on the world is staggering. From democracy to the Olympics, life as we know it would be much different if this society never existed. Today, there are ample opportunities for you to go back in time and learn the history and culture of the city. We hope you found a few activities in this list of things to do in Athens and that you enjoy your stay!