City Secrets

What to Do in Athens in 3 Days

Day 1 – Get Your Bearings of the City

Acropolis Museum

Don’t miss this! Visit the Acropolis Museum: Take an hour or so to get some history and view some of the preserved ruins of the Acropolis. The Acropolis Museum is a must see! The entrance and parts of the museum have glass floors that look down on ancient ruins.

The Acropolis’ artefacts were vacuumed up and magically strewn into place inside this heavenly museum. Among its treasures – balustrades from the Temple of Athena Nike, the original Caryatids from the Parthenon and remains from the Hekatompedon (the earliest Parthenon). Lunch at the Acropolis Museum: You cannot beat the view from the café at the museum. After you finish exploring the museum be sure to stop in for a bite to eat. It is on the second floor and the outdoor patio looks out to the Acropolis in the distance. It is absolutely stunning! Also, every Friday night the Acropolis Museum Café is open until midnight offering a specialty dinner. Stroll the Royal Gardens & Window Shop: Enjoy the beautiful gardens in the late afternoon. They’re fairly small so you can walk through them in under and hour. You can then walk to Syntagma Square and down Ermou Street to the main shopping areas. (Garden entrance free)Greek Dinner: Be sure to try a traditional Greek salad and Gyro Pita! It’s cheap, tasty and you can find them on EVERY corner!

Day 2 – Start Visiting the Archaeological Sites

Acropolis- Must See

After breakfast get an early start at the Acropolis. The cradle of western civilisation. Built on a rocky crag, this complex of ancient buildings is where great ideas about law art, philosophy and literature were birthed. Today, it remains an icon of European culture. Meander through the Propylaea, Erechtheum and Temple of Athena Nike, or visit the Parthenon at sunrise to watch the morning mist rise over Athens. Enter at the South entrance across the street from the Museum and explore the perimeter of the Acropolis on your walk up the Sacred Rock. The whole visit will take anywhere between 1-2 hours. The Ancient Agora: Take the north exit and walk down to the Ancient Agora. Parts of it have been beautifully restored and the museum is fantastic.

Where did Aristotle buy his olives? Our best guess is the Ancient Agora. This site was once the commercial and political heart of Athens. The reconstructed Stoa of Attalos houses the Ancient Agora museum where you can see what the Agora looked like. The shaded colonnades once echoed booming market vendors and orators sprouting their philosophies.

Lunch: I grabbed a light lunch of a feta filled crossaint and freddo cappuccino from one of the many cafés across from the Acrolopis metro station. It was a good power lunch to keep me going without filling up.

Walk to the Athens Flea Market: OK, think of a flea market. Now take away the market, and definitely take away the fleas. On most days these streets are lined with souvenir shops selling all manner of memento, check out the cheap souvenir shopping and grab some fresh fruit to snack on. There are little fruit stands all over selling inexpensive cherries, nectarines and pretty much everything you could imagine! Dinner: Dine in town in a traditional greek tavern and taste mousaka, tzatziki & feta cheese.

DAY 3 – Last Day of Sightseeing

Visit to The Temple of Olympian Zeus

The largest temple of the ancient ruins in Athens and conveniently located in the heart of the city. It won’t take long to visit the site but it is quite impressive. Be sure not to miss it! Snack Attack: Summertime in Athens is HOT! A delicious Greek icecream is advisable. Try it with cherry spoon sweets. Visit the Panathenaic Stadium: Rebuilt to house the 1896 Olympics, this stadium saw the dawn of modern-day athletics. The Panathenaic Games were held here from 566 BC onwards, with pentathlon, wrestling, and even chariot racing included in the contests. Our bonus tip is to climb to the top of the stadium for a perfect snapshot of the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis. Walk in Plaka Neighbourhood – Plaka’s appeal lies in its village-like atmosphere. Its small lanes are lined with 19th-  century houses, enticing cafés – and a fair few tourists. The Acropolis is the area’s showstopper, but spare some time for the smaller spots. The 4th-century Monument of Lysicrates is worth a stop, as is Hadrian’s, and an amble through the National Gardens. Dinner: Dine in Plaka Neighbourhood