Although now bustling and essentially modern, ancient Athens still remains the forefront of the city. As it was at the birth of democracy, the magnificent Acropolis and its iconic Pantheon still looks over the city today. This exceptional World Heritage Site is one of the top things to do in Athens and a definite must-see. The iconic Temple of Athena Nike has been attracting visitors since its construction and boasts stunning friezes and parapets of the goddess. Visitors can walk from the Acropolis down to the Agora, the once famed marketplace. Entry for the Agora can be incorporated with Acropolis hill site tickets. It is undeniable that these sites are the main Athens attractions and worth a visit on your holiday.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus
Built to surpass the Parthenon and the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and dedicated to the Olympian Zeus by Emperor Hadrian, this colossal project was never completed. Of the original 104 columns, only 15 remain but their 17m height gives a sense of the enormous scale of the temple, especially when illuminated at night.
The wooded Lycabettus Hill is a fantastic vantage point easily reached by foot or funicular. Boasting Athens’ highest point at 278m it affords splendid city views, and an open air theatre sited below the summit stages events in the summer. These events are a brilliant alternative option for things to do in Athens.
Three Island Cruise
Enjoy three islands in a day on a leisurely cruise to the fabulous islands of Hydra with its narrow cobbled streets and traditional craft shops, Poros, the smallest of the three islands and Aegina boasting a number of interesting sites to discover including a well preserved temple. This three island cruise is perfect for those wondering what to do in Athens and wanting to experience Greece and explore the surrounding area.
Explore further afield with a fascinating tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site Delphi, once the site of the most prestigious and authoritative oracle in the Greek world. Take in Castalia spring, the museum and the home of the oracle, the Temple of Apollo.
One of the world’s greatest museums, the National Archaeological Museum, contains a vast collection of ancient Greek treasures, and a 2000 year old shipwrecked mechanical computer from Antikythera. With the country’s rich heritage and fascinating history visiting the museums are great things to do in Athens. Additionally there are numerous museums and galleries in Athens, the most notable of which are: the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum exhibiting Greek and Egyptian artifacts, the Byzantine and Christian Museum which follows the development of art from the early Christian period through to the 19th century, and the New Acropolis Museum designed by internationally acclaimed architect Bernard Tschumi.