48h in Athens
Athens is the city where ancient history meets modern charm. From the most imposing archaeological sites like the Acropolis to vibrant neighborhoods full of art, culture, and gastronomic delights, this city has everything for a fun weekend getaway.
From the airport to downtown Athens
You can get to the center by cab, bus or metro.
The easiest and fastest way is by metro. Here you take line M3 (every 30min) to Monastiraki Square or Syntagma Square which takes about 40 min. Make sure you buy a ticket for Athens + airport at the ticket machines, which costs €9. This is also the line you can take to get to Piraeus port from where all ferries leave.
By bus is another option and also the cheapest. The Airport Express Bus X95 takes you to Syntagma metro station in about 60 min. A ticket single ride costs €5.50 and can be purchased at the ticket counter, located near the buses.
What to do in Athens?
Athens has something for everyone: for the person who loves history, culture, and good food.
The Acropolis is the hill that can be seen over all of Athens. Of all the buildings located on the Acropolis, the Parthenon is the largest and most famous. You can also visit the Propyleeans, the Temple of Nike, and the Erechteion. Next to the latter grows an olive tree that was once said to have been given to the city by the goddess Athena. The female statues of the Erechteion are copies; the original statues are in the Acropolis Museum.
On the flanks of the Acropolis, you can also visit the Dionysus Theater. This theater is the oldest theater in Europe and the cradle of ancient tragedy.
Some tips for your visit to the Acropolis:
- Book your tickets online in advance. You can choose between tickets just for the Acropolis or a combination ticket for the Acropolis and 6 other archeological sites throughout the city
- Go very early: make sure you are at the entrance before opening time. That way you won’t have to share the Acropolis with thousands of people (for a while anyway)
- Enter through the entrance at the ticket office. Groups and buses also enter at the other entrance, so it may be busier there.
- Go directly to the Acropolis and then go down to see the other things as well
- Wear comfortable shoes, preferably not slippers as the stones are quite uneven and can be slippery
- In summer, be sure to wear a hat and use plenty of sunscreen; there is almost no shade. Also, be sure to bring plenty of water
This was a marketplace (agora) built between 19 and 11 BC at the expense of Julius Caesar and Augustus. The complex consisted of a square surrounded by stoa, stores, and workshops. It was previously used for trading purposes but then became a secluded area surrounded by a wall of limestone. Admission is included in the combination ticket.
In addition to the Roman agora, there is also the Agora of Athens. In ancient times, this was the center of the city: here were all the important buildings for administration and also the markets and religious festivals took place. There is still much to see in the Agora today. The best preserved building is the temple of Hephaistos, built entirely in marble. Admission is included in the combination ticket.
Hadrian’s library is located near the Roman agora. It was a walled complex surrounded on 3 sides by a colonnade. In some rooms the scrolls were kept and there were also some reading rooms. Admission is included in the combination ticket.
Temple of Zeus
The Temple of Zeus was the largest temple in Greece and was dedicated to Zeus. It stands on the south side of ancient Athens, where gods had been worshipped since prehistoric times. This admission is also included in the combination ticket
Located in the heart of Athens, this stadium is the Olympic stadium of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It was built entirely in marble and seats 50,000 spectators. Due to its specific shape, it is currently no longer suitable for athletics or soccer games. It can still be visited, of course; every day from 8 am to 7 pm (in winter until 5 pm). It is recommended to visit the stadium in the morning or evening. Admission costs €5 for people over 6 years old or €2.5 for students and people over 65).
Every morning from 7h30 to 9h you can also walk around there (more info on the website)
The Acropolis Museum displays archaeological finds from the Acropolis and its slopes. The museum is located at the foot of the Acropolis. The collection includes 4,000 objects and is arranged chronologically in 5 sections.
In this museum, you can also admire 5 of the 6 original caryatids from the Erechteion.
The museum is open every day except January 1, Orthodox Easter Sunday, May 1, and December 25 and 26. Tickets are €10 between November 1 and March 31 and €15 for the rest of the year. You can buy tickets online or at the box office.
National Archaeological Museum
In this museum, you can admire one of the largest collections of Old Greek art from Greece.
The museum is open every day except 1 January, 1 May, Orthodox Easter Sunday, and 25 and 26 December. Tickets cost €6 tussen 1 november en 31 maart en €12 voor de other period. You can buy tickets online or at the box office.
The Plaka is a popular district between Monastiraki and Syntagma and to the north of the Akropolis. Het is supergezellig met de vele winkeltjes en restaurantjes. But due to its popularity, it can be a bit overcrowded.
The Psiri district is a modern neighborhood full of restaurants, cafes, and street art. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens and had a bad reputation in the 1980s and 1990s. This changed in the run-up to the 2004 Olympics and now it is one of the city’s trendy neighborhoods.
Syntagma and Monastiraki Square
Syntagma Square is the largest and most prestigious square in Athens. The Greek Parliament building is also located here. Another lively square is Monastiraki which is connected to Syntagma by the Ermou shopping street.
Lycabettus and Filopappou hills
There are also several natural viewpoints in Athens. Lycabettus Hill is located in the middle of Athens and is the highest hill. You can get to the top via several trails and a cable car. Filopappou hill is lower than Lycabettus but you have a better view of the Acropolis.
Where to eat (and drink) in Athens
Greek cuisine is really fantastic: fresh vegetables, fresh cheeses and super tasty meats. The city has so many restaurants, from budget to gourmet. Here are a few recommendations:
Located in the hip Psiri neighborhood, Zampano has an extensive breakfast/brunch menu. The protein pancakes and French toast are definitely worth a try. The restaurant itself is nicely decorated and the service is quick and friendly. It can get busy on weekends, so reserving a table (online) is recommended.
The Brunchers is not far from Monastiraki Square. There are mostly many egg dishes on the menu, from classic to modern. But beyond that, of course, there are pancakes and various healthy bowls on the menu.
Located in the Plaka, Anefani also has a super nice rooftop terrace. Enjoy classic Greek cuisine there: Greek salad, mezze and gyros as well as tasty salads.
Perfect for a quick bite: delicious pita gyros, salad, and tzatziki. And it’s budget-friendly! Not the most cozy restaurant, but perfect if it’s allowed to go fast.
This jazz bar is again located in the Psiri neighborhood. Although you can also eat there, we only enjoyed the cocktails. Super friendly service and very cozy to enjoy a drink outside.
A small wine bar in downtown Athens with a nice variety of wines by the glass. They have orange wines themselves (white wines where the grape skins stay in contact for a long time.
Have you been to Athens yet?
All useful links at a glance for your next trip to Athens
✈️ Find plane tickets to Athens
???? Find the best hotels in Athens
⛺ Find the best Airbnb in Athens
???? Book an all-in rental car in Athens
✅ Book tickets for attractions in Athens
???? Buy the best travel guides about Athens
Maybe these articles are also interesting?
Some of these links are affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, Travel Eat Enjoy Repeat will earn a small commission. This will cost you nothing extra.