There are so many exciting things to do in Athens, it can be difficult to decide what to do. Athens is an iconic destination, steeped in ancient history and filled with delicious dishes. Yet many people only stay in Athens for a day or two before heading to one of the Greek islands.

This list will help you decide what to do in Athens during your stay — regardless of the length of your visit. I’ve been to Athens twice and I love the city, it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Greece.

Here are the top 12 things to do in Athens, Greece.

1. Climb to the Acropolis

Seeing the 5th century Acropolis is the most popular thing to do in Athens.

Of course, this means that everyone wants to go there, including visitors from cruise ships. My advice is to arrive early. The site opens at 8 a.m. and cruise passengers arrive around 10 a.m.

Most people visit the Acropolis to see the Parthenon, but there are several other things to see on the hill, including the Erechtheion, the Arrhephorion and the temple of Athena Nike.

From the Acropolis you can see a lot of Athens and you can look down to the sea.

To learn more about all the awesome history, join a private walking tour. The tour also takes you to the museum (below). There are different types of tours you can do, click here to find out more about a much-loved skip-the-line tour.

2. Visit the Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum is one of the most beautiful museums I have ever been to. It is filled with natural light, which illuminates the artifacts well.

Here you can see the replicas of the Parthenon frieze up close. The balcony of the cafe also offers a beautiful view of Athens. More information about the Acropolis can be found on my blog.

Before or after visiting the Acropolis, be sure to visit the Acropolis Museum. It is not far from the entrance to the Acropolis and the entrance fee is in winter and summer.

The queues here can be huge, to avoid the queue, buy your ticket in advance. Alternatively, you can buy an all-inclusive ticket to the museum and the Acropolis here.

3. Visit Hadrian’s Library

This library is not a library in the sense that we know today, it was a place of study, not a place for lending books.

Hadrian’s Library was built around 132 AD. built to house documents and reading rooms. There is not much left, but you can clearly see the layout of the library and there is excellent signage.

The entrance fee. Hadrian’s Library is located in the Monastiraki district, not far from the Acropolis.

4. Go to Edem Beach

Going to the beach is one of the least known things to do in Athens, because most people think that you have to go to the islands to enjoy the beach. Although it is not one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, it is still a great place to relax and enjoy the sea.

Bring your own towel and umbrella if you want one, as there is no one available. You can have a good meal at the Edem tavern located on the beach.

To get to Edem beach, take the green tram on Syntagma Square and take it towards Askllipiio Voulas, and get off at the Edem stop. The 24-hour tram ticket costs and there is no charge for the beach.

5. Discover the decorations of Little KooK

I discovered little crazy during my last trip to Athens. Every holiday season it is decorated both inside and outside the restaurant. When I was there, it was decorated for Halloween.

Little KooK is primarily a dessert cafe, but the main attraction is the decoration. This is probably the most instagrammable place in Athens next to the Acropolis!

6. Take a Street Art Tour

Street art is easy to find in Athens and ranges from classic graffiti to modern street art.

Although you can find a lot of them on your own in the Plaka area, this tour shows you 5 cool neighborhoods that are less known to tourists.

This alternative tour is much appreciated and a lot of fun. In addition, the time of the tour is not strict — if everyone is having a great time and is eager to move on, you can continue to explore more street art and discover hidden gems.

Keep your camera or phone ready to take pictures. Click here to find out more about this experience and to book.

7. Going to the rooftop bar (the best thing to do in Athens at night)

For the best view of the Acropolis at night, be sure to have a special cocktail, beer or glass of plonk on a rooftop terrace! With this fun local experience, you will visit 3 different rooftop bars, while enjoying drinks, food and a great conversation with new friends.

All tables are booked in advance, so you don’t have to wait in line at all. If you are looking for cool things to do in Athens at night, this is a good option. More information can be found here.

8. Eat the best yoghurts and Souvlaki

O Thanasis is one of the most popular places to eat in Plaka. It is so popular that even the Greeks eat here. The best to eat is Yogurtlu, which is a beef kebab covered with yogurt on a bed of pita bread.

The Yogurtlu is big enough to share with someone and costs you only. The people of O Thanasis are friendly and non-intrusive. Souvlaki is also one of the best in the city.

9. Visit the Benaki Museum

A visit to the Benaki Museum is one of the best cultural things to do in Athens.

The Benaki Museum is a museum of Greek culture, ranging from prehistory to the 20th century. The collection includes pieces from houses, large sculptures and smaller objects such as swords and historical documents.

The museum is located a few steps from Syntagma Square. It is located in a beautiful neo-classical building and you can enjoy a coffee and the view from the cafe. Skip-the-line tickets to the museum can be purchased here in advance.

10. Smash things in the Limba Rage Room

Are you a little stressed out? Need a little anger? Limba Rage Room is the perfect place to do it.

You buy a package (including plates, bottles, a TV tube and glasses), and you crush them! This is a great way to relieve stress and one of the most unique things to do in Athens.

There are different packages for every budget. Don’t worry, they will give you protective clothing to wear. It is located on the street of Little mad.

11. Have a Greek coffee

Enjoying a freddo cappuccino is one of the must-do things in Athens. This is just one of the three classic Greek cafes, there is also a frappe and a freddo espresso.

The frappe is not like a Starbucks frappe, but is made with instant coffee, water and sugar (if desired).

The freddo cappuccino is an espresso topped with sparkling milk.

The freddo espresso is just an espresso swirling on ice. All these coffees contain a lot of caffeine, but since they are all served cold, they are perfect on a hot day in Athens.

12. Visit the Museum of Cycladic Art

The Museum of Cycladic Art houses one of the most complete private collections of Cycladic Art. This is especially nice to see if you are not visiting any of the Cyclades during your trip to Greece.

Most of the artifacts are pieces of marble, including bottles, plates and stands. There are also metal objects. The pieces of marble are usually white, which makes them awesome in their simplicity.

This museum in Athens is open Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00, Thursday from 10:00 to 20:00, Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.

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