Athens Travel Guide

Introduction to Athens

Book cheap flights to Athens and discover the city that launched a thousand myths.

Ancient history and contemporary culture meet in the Greek capital. An open-air museum soundtracked with lively conversation and clinking ouzo glasses, there's never a dull moment in the city centre. Locals navigate around millennia old monuments and selfie-stick wielding tourists as daily life in Athens rolls on: as it has for four thousand years. Away from the tourist buzz, revamped industrial-chic neighbourhoods like Gazi and Rouf lend the city plenty of hipster-cred: alongside trendy hotels and vibrant nightclubs.

The Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens: A hilltop citadel dating back to 500 BC.

National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum: Home to Greece's most important artefacts (and a great place to escape the summer heat).

Plaka

Plaka: A historic neighbourhood in the shadow of the Acropolis. Expect pedestrian friendly streets, talented buskers, and a huge array of pottery shops

 

Other things to do in Athens

Walk in the footsteps of Plato and Socrates in the Agora, marvel at the grandeur of the ruined temple of Zeus, Instagram the Parthenon, and check out some of the city's more modern attractions.

Get a taste of island life in the Anafiotika neighbourhood, with its whitewashed buildings and bougainvillea, or embrace gentrification at its finest in Gazi. The quarter's gasworks is now a cultural space, Technopolis, and hipster hangout GazARTE draws crowds to its arthouse cinema and rooftop cocktail bar. After seeing the classics in the National Gallery, explore contemporary art at the Benaki Museum's Pieros Street Annexe. Pick up some unique souvenirs in Monastiraki Flea Market before nabbing some vintage finds in the winding lanes of Psiri.

If you book car hire at Athens Airport you can go a bit farther afield and discover some of Attica's top attractions. Sounio National Park, the Temple of Poseidon, and Marathon are all less than an hour's drive from Athens. 

Our top 8 things to do in Athens features further inspiration.

Eating and drinking in Athens

Greek cuisine is fresh, zingy and simple. Greeks love to eat, and Athens boasts its fair share of restaurants: from boisterous neighbourhood tavernas to chic Michelin starred restaurants like Varoulko Seaside and Funky Gourmet. For a posh take on Greek fare, head to Psarras. Open since 1898, it's one of the few restaurants in Plaka that attracts a local crowd. For down-to-earth dining visit a magereika. These neighbourhood restaurants cook home-style feasts that any Greek grandma would be proud of. Neo-tavernas serve a contemporary twist on Greek classics: find them in Gazi and Metaxourgeio.

Athens climate

Athens has a Mediterranean climate and is warm throughout the year. Summer temperatures can easily soar above 30°C.  August is the hottest month, and December is the wettest month.

When to go to Athens

Summer in Athens is extremely hot: in terms of temperature and popularity. The Hellenic Festival takes place from June to August, featuring live music and theatre performances. Spring and Autumn are a great time to visit. You're more likely to find cheap flights, the weather is mild, and the summer crowds are nowhere to be seen. Winter in Athens can be rainy, but there are some fantastic hotel deals on offer. Just remember to bring an umbrella.

Flying to Athens

Athens has one airport, Athens International (ATH). Regular flights to Athens are available from a number of British cities including London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

 Athens International Deals

Hotels in Athens

Car hire in Athens International

Images by flickr/Aaron_S.