What to see in Athens in one day

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Athens is one of those cities that we all hear of, even often, during our school career. Athens is a city of great historical and cultural interest, and certainly worth a visit at least. Its history is known: named in honor of the goddess Athena who, according to legend, swore to protect her and to make her very rich and powerful. Here it was also adopted the first democratic form of government. The crisis that has upset the country in recent years has not affected its beauty: if you want visit Athens, follow us to discover this wonderful city with ours one day itinerary.


  1. Athens day itinerary: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Athens: Afternoon
  3. Athens day itinerary: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

Athens day itinerary: Morning

1 - Acropolis

Let's start with breakfast at Little Tree Books & Coffee, Kavalloti 2, for an average cost of around € 8,00. The visit to Athens cannot but start from the Acropolis, which dominates the whole city from above. The Acropolis is, without doubt, the symbol of Athens (but also of the entire country) and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. To reach it, you can use the red subway line getting off at the Akropolis stop.

As you go up the hill, you will come across two theaters, including the Odeo of Herodes Atticus, recently restored and suitable to host concerts and performances even today. Once at the top you will find an incomparable spectacle of the city, with its expanse of white houses that seem to have no end. The panorama is "interrupted" by the port of Piraeus, the starting point for the Aegean Sea and theater of great naval battles.

The majestic gateway to the Acropolis, called Propylaea, will lead you inside, where the first thing you will notice is the Erechtheion with the loggia of the Caryatids, the famous statues in the shape of a woman. From here, we meet the Parthenon, a true star of Athens. Going down the hill you will meet the theater of Dionysus and what is left of the Temple of Zeus, what it once was one of the largest in Greece. In fact, today only 15 of the original 104 white marble columns remain.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 650 m / 10 min
  • Places visited: Acropolis (about € 12,00) with Odeo di Herodes Atticus Amphitheater, Erechtheum and Loggia of the Caryatids, Parthenon, Theater of Dionysus, Temple of Zeus.
  • Skip the line to the Acropolis Museum Athens, Acropolis and Acropolis museum with admission
  • Where to have breakfast: Little Tree Books & Coffee, Kavalloti 2

One day itinerary in Athens: Afternoon

1 - Syntagma Square and Monastiraki

Once you get off the Acropolis hill, head towards Syntagma square, the center of the modern city of Athens, where the Hellenic Parliament building. The building is the former palace of the King, of which only the library is open to the public. It is also easily accessible by metro, here you can also assist at the changing of the presidential guard, with the famous "evzones" and their particular uniform: it is a short skirt and shoes with pompoms, inspired by the warriors of the mountains who fought the war of independence. The changing of the guard takes place every hour, right in front of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

From the square you can quickly reach one of the liveliest neighborhoods in the city, the Monastiraki. Here you can have lunch at O ​​Thanasis, Mitropoleos 69, una typical Greek tavern, with an average cost of about € 25,00.

2 - Shopping and Agora

After lunch, dedicated to shopping in the neighborhood, you will find many shops selling typical products and souvenirs, but not only. Go to the Agora, the ancient town square which, after the Acropolis, is the most important part of old Athens. It was in this square that the Athenians met, discussing trade, philosophy and politics. The entrance to the square is included in the ticket for the Acropolis (from € 32,00 per person), here you can visit some of the most splendid temples of ancient Greece, including that of Hephaestus, or the great Stoà (colonnade) of Attalo.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,6 km / 31 min
  • Places visited: Syntagma square and changing of the guard (free), Monastiraki district (free), Agora (entrance included in the Acropolis ticket)
  • Athens City Pass Acropolis Museum of Athens: entrance and city tour Guided tour of the ancient Agora and Agora Museum
  • Where to have lunch: O Thanasis, Mitropoleos 69

Athens day itinerary: Evening

1 - Archaeological Museum and Dinner

Usually, during the visit of a single day to a city, visiting museums is not recommended. In this case, however, it is not possible to miss the National Archaeological Museum. This is the largest museum in the whole country and houses the most complete collection of Hellenic art in the world. You will find yourself in front of a very beautiful building, built in the Ionic style, as evidenced by its imposing colonnade. Among the most important finds you will surely recognize the Golden Mask of Agamemnon, seen several times in history books, or the bronze statue of Artemisio's Cronide. If you are a curious visitor you will also have the opportunity to see the mysterious up close Antikythera machine, the tool that is considered the first computer in the world. The ancient Athenians, thanks to this object, could calculate the solar and lunar cycles, as well as those of the known planets, but it was also used to establish the cadence of the Olympics!
The museum's collection also offers food for thought on the current situation of a country like Greece, with a glorious past, a difficult present and an uncertain future.

For dinner you can go to the Plaka district, the most touristic in the city, where you can eat at the restaurant that bears the name of the district, located in Farmaki 4, with an average cost of about € 22,00. After dinner, enjoy the liveliness of the area, which it offers numerous bars and entertainment.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,2 km / 55 min
  • Places visited: National Archaeological Museum (€ 7,00), Plaka district (free)
  • Where to dine: Plaka tavern, Farmaki 4

Before leaving: useful tips

  • Shifts: despite being a large city, it is possible to visit Athens comfortably on foot, as the historic center and all the main attractions are concentrated in a relatively small space. For more information take a look at how to get around Athens - info, costs and tips.
  • Weather: it is of the Mediterranean type, very similar to that of Palermo. Winters are therefore mild and moderately rainy, summers are hot and sunny. However, it can happen that in winter, more precisely from December to mid-March, some incursions of cold air from the Balkan peninsula bring cold and rain, sometimes even snow.
  • Public transport: do not accept offers from illegal taxis. If necessary, use public transport such as urban and suburban buses, metro, suburban trains and trams. You can buy a 90-minute ticket, valid on buses and other public transport, at a cost of € 1,00.
  • Possibility of stay: if you decide to extend your holiday, take a look at the offers for accommodation in Athens

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

Unfortunately, due to the limited time available, we had to give up some attractions. Here we report some of them.

  1. Acropolis Museum. It is a modern structure where artifacts found only in the Acropolis are kept, including part of the Parthenon friezes and the original Caryatids. The rest of the exhibits are found in the British Museum in London.
  2. Panoramic points. The city has many hills and, each of them, offers an extraordinary vantage point. For your day in Athens you just need to enjoy the view from the Acropolis.

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