Spending one day in Athens is great. The capital of Greece is an amazing city. It has an interesting history and there are many things to do. Furthermore, it is one of the most beautiful places in Greece.
Also, Athens is a small city. So you can do a lot in one day!
In this itinerary for 24 hours in Athens, I show you where to go and when to go there. With this guide, you can make most of your time in Athens!
Also, I start with some basic information that can be useful when you are traveling to Athens. Besides the itinerary, I outline how to get to Athens, how to get around in the city, and where to stay.
How to get to Athens?
There are several ways to get to Athens. You can do so by airplane, train, and ferry.
The most popular way to get to Athens is by airplane.
Many airlines go to Athens International Airport. Both airlines flying within Europe, and airlines serving destinations outside of Europe.
From Athens International Airport it is about 20 kilometers to the city of Athens. There are several ways to get to the city center.
First, there is a train and metro station next to the airport terminal. From here you can take metro line 3 of Athens to reach the city center. The journey takes about 40 minutes.
Second, there are buses with direct connections to the city center.
Third, you can access the city center by car or taxi. There are good roads connecting the airport to the city of Athens. You can rent a car at the airport. Furthermore, there are many taxis waiting for you to take you to the city center.
The train is a good way to visit Athens from other places in mainland Greece. This is often faster than the airplane and more convenient.
For example, you can go from Thessaloniki to Athens in less than 4 hours.
There are no direct international train connections to Athens. But if you transfer in Thessaloniki it is possible to get to Athens from abroad.
For example, there is a train connection between Sofia, Bulgaria to Thessaloniki.
Another common way to reach the city of Athens is by ferry. The port of Piraeus is the largest port of Greece and one of the largest in Europe. From the port, it is a short ride by metro or taxi to reach the city center of Athens.
This is one of the best ways to get to Athens from the Greek Islands. Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, and many more islands all have direct connections with Athens.
Getting around in Athens
It is very easy to get around in Athens.
The city center of Athens is small and most sights are near each other. Thus, it is often most convenient to walk everywhere. That's also a fun experience, because the streets, buildings, and shops look lovely.
If you're only one day in Athens, this is also a way to see more of the city.
But what if you want to get somewhere faster or if you can't walk everywhere yourself?
Well, Athens has great public transport.
The metro network in Athens is convenient. It allows you to move around fast and to get to places a bit farther from the city center. For example, if you want to get to the port of Pireaus, the metro is most convenient.
There are also buses and trams in parts of the city. Depending on where you need to go, these can be good options.
Besides that, you could also take a taxi.
Where to stay in Athens?
Athens is small and there is a good network of public transport. Thus, it doesn't matter a lot where you are staying in the city of Athens. You can get everywhere very fast.
But if you want to have the best experience, I recommend staying in the city center. The area of Plaka and the area surrounding Monastiraki are lovely!
There are many great accommodations and hotels in Athens. For example, this is the view from an Airbnb in Athens.
Itinerary for one day in Athens
With this itinerary your 24 hours in Athens are wonderful!
It's the morning of your day in Athens. There is a lot to do this day. Let's start!
There are many breakfast places in Athens. When you walk through the city center you'll definitely stumble upon a place you like!
If you want yogurt for breakfast, you should go to Yogolicious! This is a great place to taste delicious Greek yogurt. And you can choose all the topping you want.
Furthermore, it is near the next activity of this itinerary for Athens!
The first sight of this itinerary is the Acropolis. If you visit in summer, going here at the beginning of the day is best. That's because it can get very hot in the afternoon.
The Acropolis is the most famous sight in the city and going here is a great activity in Athens. This is the old citadel of Ancient Greece. In fact, it is about 2500 years old! There were many temples and important buildings on this site in the past.
You can learn a lot about the history of Athens at the Acropolis. The interesting history is one of the reasons why you should visit Athens.
Furthermore, the most well-known building on the Acropolis is the Parthenon! The Parthenon is a former temple for the goddess Athena. It's an impressive building to see and it is about 2500 years old. Furthermore, it is one of the most important buildings of Classical Greece.
The Acropolis is also one of the best photo spots in Athens!
It's so impressive to see the old site by yourself.
Furthermore, the hill of the Acropolis is one of the highest points of the city! So from the top, you have one of the best views in Athens!
Another beautiful thing at the Acropolis is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This is an old Roman theater and is almost 1000 years old. Nowadays, there are many performances here.
If you want to save money in Athens, you can buy an Acropolis Combo pass. With this pass, you have access to several sights.
After seeing the Acropolis, you can also go to the Acropolis Museum. But you don't have enough time for that if you're only one day in Athens. For that reason, it's not part of this itinerary.
After the Acropolis, go to the Areopagus.
This is a rock next to the Acropolis. In ancient Greece, there was a court at this place.
Nowadays, it is a place with a beautiful view. It is very popular with both locals and tourists. Thus, you should definitely go here if you're one day in Athens.
Also, it is free to visit the Areopagus. This makes it one of the best free things to do in Athens.
Ancient Agora of Athens
From the Areopagus, it is a short walk to the ancient Agora of Athens.
The building is beautiful to see and is a good example of an ancient Greek agora. In the past, this was a commercial and residential gathering place.
Visiting the Agora is a great addition to your experience of the city!
From the ancient Agora of Athens, you can walk to a lovely square in Athens. Monastiraki is a square where lots of people go and hang out. Furthermore, there are many restaurants and shops at this place. The atmosphere is great here.
Also, from Monastiraki, you can see the ruins of Hadrian's Library, which is cool! Everywhere you go in Athens, there are ruins of the past of Athens!
Furthermore, at Monastiraki, there is a smoothie bar with great smoothies. Its name is Chymopoieío or Juice Factory.
If you're one day in Athens, this is the perfect place for a delicious smoothie!
Roam around Plaka
From Monastiraki, you can go to Plaka. This is the oldest part of the city. Here you find lots of small shops selling all kinds of products. Furthermore, there are plenty of Greek restaurants in this area.
Roaming around here is a fun activity!
Lunch in Plaka
For some delicious sandwiches go to MIKRO POLITIKO! It is a small restaurant in Plaka. You can eat a pita here filled with whatever you like. I recommend the pita with falafel!
You can sit down or get takeaway.
Also, this place is near the next stop on this itinerary.
Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of the Olympian Zeus
Now it's time to go to another ancient ruin. The Temple of the Olympian Zeus.
When you go here from the lunch spot, you first pass by Hadrian's Arch. This is a monumental gateway. In ancient times there was a road going underneath it. The road went from the city center to the Temple of the Olympian Zeus.
The Temple of the Olympian Zeus is an impressive temple. It was the largest temple in Greece and it had one of the largest statues of ancient times. Moreover, there were 104 columns, which I imagine was very impressive!
Nowadays, there are fifteen columns left. These still look very impressive and are worth visiting!
From the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, you can walk to the Panathenaic Stadium. This is another popular attraction you should visit!
The Roman senator Herodes Atticus built this stadium out of marble about 2000 years ago. There is room for 50,000 people. In ancient times the Panathenaic Games were here. Also, the first modern Olympics were here.
Now it is time to relax a bit. And what better place to relax than in nature?
The National Gardens are a good place to relax! From the stadium, you can go to the National Gardens. This is a large park in the middle of Athens.
There are walking paths, benches, and places to drink something. Also, you can see different kinds of animals in some areas of the garden.
The National Gardens are next to Syntagma Square. This is the central square of Athens.
A remarkable building here is the Old Royal Palace. This building houses the Greek Parliament. Also, a fun thing to see here is the changing of the guard ceremony.
Syntagma lies at the end of the main shopping street of Athens. This is Ermou Street. You find here a lot of large stores. Also, it is busy here. There are often street musicians, which is amazing.
Moreover, Ermou Street goes to Monastiraki. If you use this itinerary, you already were there today. But you didn't go to Iceroll yet! You can have amazing ice cream at IceRoll that is unlike your regular ice cream!
When you are in Athens, you don't have to worry about finding a good restaurant. You'll find great restaurants in Athens everywhere.
I'd recommend going to the Plaka Stairs. This place is very unique. Here there are many places to have dinner all at a different level.
Moreover, this is a wonderful sight to see! Furthermore, the food is delicious!
Performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus
After dinner, a great thing to do is to go to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. From the Acropolis, you could see this place already. But it is very fun to go here and enjoy a show.
For example, there are amazing operas throughout the year. Also, the fact that you see a show in an ancient Roman theater is very cool!
Another fun thing to do in Athens is to go to a rooftop bar.
At Monastiraki, you find the 360 Cocktail Bar and the A for Athens Cocktail Bar. Both are great! And from the rooftop, you have a spectacular view of the Acropolis! It's the best way to finish one day in Athens!
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