OK, we’ll admit it - it’s not easy to distill ancient, amazing Athens into a nutshell, but we can certainly offer the must-see highlights of this big city that feels like a small town. For you list-makers and planners, here’s what you absolutely have to see while you’re there.
Visit The Parthenon
Check off one of the Seven Wonders of the World at this imposing temple that overshadows the Plaka neighborhood. It’s always there - as you’re driving in from the airport, lit up at night, or within actual reach when you visit the historic site. We think it’s best experienced after dark, or in the wee hours of the morning, when the temperature is cooler (if you’re visiting in the summer) and the crowds are thinner.
Take a walk back in time
Lace-up comfortable walking shoes and stroll along the Dionysiou Aeropagitou, one of Europe’s most beautiful pedestrian streets. The route passes below the Acropolis and takes you past the ancient Theatre of Dionysos (where works by Sophocles, Euripedes, and others were performed) and the Temple of Zeus. There’s a sense of old Athens here, with a smattering of modern architecture to admire.
Then, step into the future
One doesn’t immediately think contemporary and futuristic when contemplating the antiquities of Athens, yet the Acropolis Museum is one of the city's most significant contemporary architectural landmarks. Within this stunning institution, you’ll find approximately 4,000 priceless findings from many of Athens’ monuments.
Feel the pulse of the Plaka
As the oldest section of Athens and one of its most alluring, the Plaka neighborhood should be high on your to-do list. The village-like setting, where bougainvillea trails from balcony flowerpots and convivial cafes draw you in, brims with jewelry stores, boutiques, and tightly packed tavernas. From here, it’s a leisurely stroll to the Acropolis.
Experience a Greek drama
Just beneath the slopes of the Acropolis, the 5th-century, open-air Amphitheatre of Odeon of Herodes Atticus is host to operas, Greek tragedies, musical performances, and majestic ballets - all within an ancient stone setting. Bearing witness to a show here is a soul-stirring and unforgettable experience.
Don’t miss the Athens Riviera
Here’s an insider tip - spend a day on the Athens Riviera to the city's south. With its Hamptons vibe, spectacular sunsets, and captivating Cape Sounion, you be wooed by an Athens you didn’t even know was here. Consider spending the night at one of the glitzy beach resorts and treating yourself to a touch of Grecian luxury.
Is Athens in your sights? Let’s chat.