Athens is an ancient city, that today is a vibrant world capital. Athens is a city synonymous with Democracy, philosophy, oratory skills and many other concepts in the minds of the world. But is much more than that. Athens grew to become an important city, that combines its natural position with millennia of history!
Along with all the ancient and newer monuments, Athens hosts some of the best bars and nightlife experiences in the world. It features beautiful promenades for walking and biking. It has a number of excellent rooftops and elevated spots for relaxing and observation.
One can stay in Athens for weeks and not be able to explore every nook of this magnificent city. Even locals may not know all the best things to do in Athens. We would try to figure out some of them, for travelers who have limited time in the Greek capital.
Things to do in Psirri and Monastiraki
Psirri and Monastiraki are the most central neighborhoods of Athens. Right in the historic center, they are inhabited since ancient times and have kept their lively atmosphere. Things to do there include:
- Have a walk in the very picturesque small alleyways of the area. Full of Greek taverns, gift shops, uniquely decorated coffee houses, pastry shops & street art, they are truly a mosaic!
- Stay in one of the most premium and exclusive Athens boutique hotels. Many older historic mansions are now concept boutique hotels, with amenities that rival the older, established chain hotels. Winners of architectural and design competitions, those boutique hotels are products of the creativity and passion of their owners!
- View the Acropolis of Athens from one of the roof bars and roof gardens of the area. Monastiraki and the surrounding area is at the foot of the Acropolis Hill. Thus, they have the privilege of an unobstructed view of one of the most important monuments in the world!
- Discover the numerous thematic and concept bars & restaurants. It is like they engage in a contest of creativity with one another for the most unique, peculiar design feature. Most of them are instantly recognizable by a local and all have a theatric quality in them. In Athens, you can drink your cocktail in bars that resemble theater scenes! Isn’t it wonderful?
- Have you already spent many days visiting every tourist attraction in Athens? Escape Rooms are one of the most fun activities in the center of Athens. It is an interactive form of alternative entertainment that will test your mind skills in the most fun and unique way. Smart scripts, creative scenarios, and puzzles guarantee one of the best experiences you had in your life. The game starts by the time you are locked in a room full of clues and hidden elements. You only have 60 or 90 minutes to use the clues, solve the puzzles, break the secret codes and escape the room. Use your imagination, logic, and intuition to escape with your team. Escape rooms are the perfect activity for video game lovers, families and travelers that just want to have fun.
Things to do in Syntagma & surrounding area
Syntagma square is the central square of Athens. It is the location of the Greek Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a place of solemn remembrance. It is also the site of the most famous and luxurious hotels of the city, parts of international chains. Things to do in Syntagma and the area surrounding the square include:
- Observe the changing of the Presidential Guard each hour in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Members of the Presidential Guard with traditional uniforms, perform this ceremony of precision moves every hour, every day.
- Have a walk in the National Gardens and the Zappeion Gardens. Places of peace and quiet, one couldn’t believe they are in the heart of this bustling city!
- Explore the Pillars of Olympian Zeus and the Hadrian Gate, two Roman monuments of Athens that blend in with their surroundings.
- Have a view in the Panathenaic Stadium, the place of the first modern Olympics in 1896. Why not run a lap on this sacred ground for inspiration if you are an athlete?
Things to do in the North suburbs
The North suburbs of Athens are an upscale area, for higher-income residents. The headquarters of many Greek corporations are here, in impressive buildings. Also, exclusive schools and colleges, great shopping malls and open parks make them like scenery out of a movie! Things to do in the north suburbs include:
- Visit the park of Kifissia during the annual Flower Exhibition. Hundreds of different flower and plant varieties make the exhibition a view to behold! Colors, scents, and light create perfect memories that will forever stay in your mind.
- Go to all the different shopping malls and shopping arcades of the north suburbs. They all have easy access through public transportation and large, multi-leveled parking spaces! They offer food, shopping, and entertainment all in one. Some of them have exclusive features like the sole official shop of a brand in Greece; great 3D cinema screens; ethnic and fusion food options; special events for kids and adults. You can spend an entire day in one and never take notice!
- Go walking to discover all the older or more modern mansions of Greek celebrities. Politicians, industrialists, artists and media personalities all live here, some of them in guarded houses. Buildings of impeccable architecture and modern features, you can always marvel at them, if you cannot get so close. You can, of course, take photos of them, as many paparazzi do each day!
Things to do in the South suburbs
The south suburbs of Athens are called the “Athens Riviera” and not without reason. They lie parallel to the sea, breathing the breeze of fresh air coming from the Aegean. Open and green spaces and parks dot the suburbs, where locals jog, walk their pets and relax. Stylish coffee houses and restaurants with international awarded cuisine cater to a diverse clientele. Things to do in the south suburbs include:
- Have a walk parallel to the sea, in the continuous promenade near the tram tracks. You begin from Piraeus and you pass though gardens, marinas with expensive yachts, 5-star hotels, mansions belonging to ship-owners. As you walk the sun sets and the cool of the sea reaches you.
- Visit the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a breathtaking complex of buildings, gardens, and ponds. It is home to the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera, and other institutions. Hundreds of cultural events take place here every year and it is the favorite spot of all Athenians. It is one of the most Instagrammable places in Attica. Believe me, if you have Athenian friends, you’ve probably seen it on their feeds!
Taste the different kinds of “souvlaki”, burgers, ribs, etc in the South. The locals in this area really know how to eat good meat and where to eat it. Many restaurants and burger joints are famous all over Greece and each evening they are filled with people. Their food portions are sometimes huge!