Athens City Guide

Athens, Greece

So you’ve decided to visit Athens, the cradle of western civilization and you’re wondering now why I’m even bothering with this post since there are loads of other Athens city guides that you can find online? To be honest, this guide is based only on my personal experiences having visited the city thrice but I do plan on visiting it more in the future. This will be my own personal guide to remind of the things I’ve done and places I’ve been which I loved and hopefully, I’d be able to do all these all over again. I’m writing this though just in case someone else out there would be interested, you never know. 🙂


Country: Greece      

Airport Code: ATH      

Currency: EUR      

Area Code: +30    

 Time Zone: UTC+02:00


By metro: We’ve always chosen this option whenever we’re going to the city center of Athens from the airport. It’s the easiest and most economical way to get there. The price for one ticket is EUR10.00 but they do give a discount of EUR1.00 each if you’ll be buying two tickets. They also have a discounted return ticket of EUR14.00 per person if you’re going to stay in Athens for less than a week. To catch the Metro from the airport arrivals hall, go through exit #3, cross the street, escalate to the skybridge, walk to the station to buy tickets, and follow Metro signs down to the platforms.

Don’t forget to validate your ticket before going down to the platform and boarding a train (there are validation machines at the top of the escalators in the ticket hall). Failure to validate your ticket at the start of the journey can mean a fine of up to €120. The ticket inspectors are rigorous and won’t hesitate to call for police assistance if you start to object.

Athens, Greece -

By bus: Bus service is provided 24/7 including holidays and the price for each ticket is EUR6.00 per person. I haven’t personally done this though as I do prefer taking the metro instead.

By car/taxi: From the airport, there should be a fixed price for the taxis going into the city center according to a new law. It is EUR38 during the day (5:00-24:00) and EUR50 during the night (0:00-5:00). Going back to the airport, we prefer to take a private car/taxi from the hotels that we’re staying in. The rate is between EUR45 to EUR55 per way which already includes the toll fee of EUR2.80.




Kolonaki is a wealthy and upmarket distric of Athens which offers so many options for dining, drinks and of course shopping being the city’s leading shopping area. It’s very lively at night and also walking distance to some of the tourist spots you can find in Athens.


Nearest Metro Stations: Evengelismos and Megaro Mousikis


During our last visit to Athens, we stayed in Kolonaki Boutique Apartment which is a gorgeous 2 bedroom private apartment. It was very good for us as we were 4 adults traveling together.


The Kolonaki Boutique Apartment
Omirou 36, Athens, 10672, Greece



Plaka is the old historical neighborhood of Athens lined up with jewelry stores, restaurants and cafes. While it’s a very touristic area, it’s still one of the prettiest and nicest neighborhoods in the city in my point of view. I do love staying here as it’s very centrally located and depending on where you are, you get a view of the Acropolis.


Nearest metro stations: Syntagma and Monastiraki


We’ve stayed in two hotels in Plaka, the first one was Central Hotel during our very first visit in Athens. A very modern hotel with a rooftop restaurant offering a breathtaking view of the Acropolis. The second one was Athens Diamond Hotel, which is a very modern and well-kept property and very close to the shopping district of Ermou Street.


Centra Hotel
Apollonos 21, Athens, 10557, Greece


Athens Diamond Hotel
24 Voulis and Mitropoleos Street, Athens, 10563, Greece


Athens has a very good transportation system linking all of the tourist sites together. It’s also a very pedestrian-friendly city so walking from point a to point b won’t be a problem. However during summer, exploring the city of Athens by walking can be a bit masochistic so I suggest that you take a hop on/hop off bus tour to explore it. Of course it’s highly recommended to have a tour guide with you but because I was traveling with my senior citizen Aunts during my last visit, I didn’t think that a walking tour around Athens would be good for them specially during summer. So we took a hop on/hop off bus tour with City Sightseeing for the price of EUR18 per person.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Acropolis, Athens, Greece

If you went to Athens and didn’t go to the Acropolis, did you really go to Athens? The answer is no. If there’s only one thing that you should do in this city it should be to visit the Acropolis. Even if you’re not into history or architecture, it will leave you breathless as soon as you see it (partly because you have to climb up a steep hill to get there). Its grandeur is undeniable, you absolutely and definitely cannot miss it.


I’ve written a separate post on how to visit the Acropolis like a boss, you can read it here.


Nearest metro station: Acropoli
Entrance Fee: EUR20.00 per person



I’m not really into museums but the Acropolis Museum is so beautiful, informative and unique that I really have to recommend it as well to anyone who’s visiting Athens. A visit to the Acropolis Museum before going to the Acropolis itself is one of the best tips I can ever give anyone because it tells you the story of the site and gives you a preview of what you’re about to see. There’s a very famous cafe on the second level of the museum which was highly regarded by everyone but I personally thought that it’s overrated – bad food, bad service and overpriced but sure, the view from the cafe is amazing!


Nearest metro station: Acropoli
Entrance fee: EUR5.00 per person


TEMPLE OF ZEUS, Athens, Greece

For whatever reasons, I love visiting this site whenever I’m in Athens. It’s possibly because it’s not as crowded as the Acropolis and it offers a great photo opportunity with the Parthenon looming in the horizon. It’s a colossal temple dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Only its ruins remain standing today though but it can still give you an idea of how grand it must’ve been during its time.


Nearest metro station: Acropoli
Entrance fee: EUR6.00



The official changing of the guards in front of the Hellenic Parliament happens every Sunday at 11am but of course they change every hour during the day. The photo above was taken during a normal day at 5pm but it was still impressive to watch. The guards are called Evzones, a special unit of the Hellenic Army and they guard the Monument of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Hellenic Parliament and the Presidential Mansion. Each guard had to stand perfectly still for 60 minutes and as they do the change, their synchronized movements are carried out in a very slow motion to protect their blood circulation after 60 min of immobility.


Nearest metro station: Syntagma



The National Gardens of Athens is a beautiful park located right in the middle of the city. We spent a few hours here during our last day in Athens just to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Being inside it makes you feel like you’ve been transported outside of Athens, lush greenery, ponds, children’s playground and a cafe can be found here.


Nearest metro station: Syntagma


Athens, Greece

I love walking around Plaka area day or night, it’s vibrant and very lively specially at night. My favorite place to have coffee there is Central Cafe, there’s really nothing special about it but the location is very good for people-watching which is my favorite thing to do.


Nearest metro station: Syntagma and Monastiraki


ATHENS, Greece

Ermou Street is possibly the most famous shopping street in Athens, although I don’t really like shopping – I do love walking along this street. During one of the days that I was wandering around it, I came across a performance of Greek traditional dancers and at some point, they were dragging people to join them. I was of course dragged, the most random and most fun experience I’ve had in Athens. Yes I know, very touristic. Lol.


Nearest metro station: Monastiraki and Syntagma



For souvenir shopping, there’s no other place to go but Monastiraki flea market. It’s an open air market with stalls selling unique souvenirs. Open everyday but Sunday is its peak time, don’t forget to ask for a discount or better yet, try to speak Greek. I got discounted prices from one shop there just because I tried to speak Greek to the saleslady. :p


Nearest metro station: Monastiraki


Thisseo, Athens, Greece

Thisseo is my favorite district in Athens to visit for dinner and drinks. It becomes very lively at night specially with the view of the Acropolis in the distance. Yes, it’s touristic but I’m more than willing to be a tourist in this place.


Nearest metro station: Thissio


The highest point in Athens, it looks like a cone with an icing on top and you can see it from the Acropolis itself. You can reach the top of this hill by car, furnicular or by foot although I wouldn’t recommend the latter if you’re as lazy as I am. At the top, you get a sweeping view of the whole of Athens.


Nearest metro station: Evangelismos


As previously mentioned, I’m not an expert of Athens so the restaurants I’ll be mentioning on this post are only the ones that I’ve personally tried and the ones which I will definitely visit if ever I get the chance to visit Athens again. If you need some expert advice, you may want to visit My Greece, My Travels website as she lives in the city and has tried numerous restaurants in every neighborhood.



I just love sitting in one of the outdoor tables of Centrale Cafe. We used to go there for coffee every morning during our first visit in Athens and we just had to go back there on our second and third visit. I think having our morning coffee here would be our tradition whenever we’re in Athens.


Evaggelistrias 2, Athina 105 63, Greece
Nearest metro station: Syntagma and Monastiraki


in town cafe, athens, Greece

We passed by In Town Cafe during our first night in Athens and it immediately caught my attention. The decor was quirky and very cozy, we just had to have a meal there so we visited it on our last day. Food was great although we didn’t really order traditional Greek dishes. I will surely visit it again when I’m back in Athens.


Mitropoleos 26-28 Athens

Nearest metro station: Syntagma


Taverna To Remoutsiko

Taverna to remoutsiko, Athens, Greece

Located in the suburbs of Agios Dimitrios, Taverna To Remoutsiko is the best restaurant we’ve ever dined in Athens. It was packed with locals, I bet they were wondering how we even found it being a tourist. All kinds of meat cuts displayed at the refrigerated area near the entrance of this taverna is their way of telling you that their expertise is meat dishes, they’re not wrong. Great for meat lovers like we are, don’t miss their lamb chops. We’re definitely going back there everytime we’re in Athens, it’s worth the taxi fare. 🙂


Agios Dimitriou 120, Agios Dimitrios, Athens 17341, Greece


abibayio, Athens, Greece

We found Abibayio by accident as we were walking along the pedestrian path of Herakleidon in Thissio. It was completely when we arrived, possibly because the loud music being played by the bar right across it was deterring the diners to dine there. As it gets later in the night though, the place gets busier and busier while the bar across it becomes emptier. Lol. Traditional Greek dishes were served, don’t miss the seafood pasta as pictured above.


3, Hrakleidon St Athens, Thissio, Greece
Nearest metro station: Thissio


Geia sou (pronounced as Ya sou!) : Hello/Goodbye
Kalimera : Good morning
Kalispera : Good afternoon
Kalinikhta : Good night
Efharisto : Thank you
Parakalo : You’re welcome/Please
Nai (pronounced as Neh) : Yes
Oxi (pronounced as Ohi) : No
Sygnomi (pronounced as Seegnomi) : Sorry/Excuse me


Getting Around. The metro is the best and most economical option to go around Athens, it’s very easy and convenient to use. Also, all of the major spots that you’d want to visit as a tourist will have a metro station nearby. The price for each metro ticket is EUR1.40 which you can use multiple times for the next 70 minutes. Don’t forget to validate your ticket at the start of your journey as if you get caught without validating it, you might pay a hefty fine. If you plan to use the metro multiple times during the day, you can purchase their 24-hour valid ticket which costs EUR4.00 per person. This needs to be validated only once at the start of the trip.

Athens is also very pedestrian-friendly, you can walk around quite easily but probably not during summer. Taxis are abundant but just like any other major cities, they will charge tourists differently. We once paid EUR12 for a cab ride when it was just me and my Aunts taking it but when we took the same route with The Greek Mister, we only paid EUR5. Lol.

Learn The Basics. Greeks are very nationalistic and they do appreciate it if you at least try to greet them in their language. I’ve received discounts for coffee and souvenirs just because I tried to speak Greek so you never know what you’ll get if you do.

Time Difference. Greeks are generally laidback people, don’t be offended if someone shows up late as they won’t mind as well if you do the same. Lunch is at 2pm and dinner is at 9pm. Siesta time is between 4-6 so don’t call anyone between those times.

Mind Your Fives. Avoid raising your hands to someone with your palms and fingers open. This is a very offensive gesture called moutza, equivalent to giving them the middle finger. If you need to demonstrate the number 5 with your hand, do it with your palms facing you.

It’s A Chimney. Every single person I met in Greece are smokers and even if there’s a non-smoking sign in the restaurant or bar you’re in, they will find a way to be able to smoke. Just a bit of warning to the non-smokers out there.

Tipping: Tipping in Greece is generally not necessary however it’s normal to round up the bill to the nearest full euro.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert of Athens and I don’t claim to be. The above guide is based on my experiences during my numerous visits in this city. This is not a complete guide as I’ve only featured the ones that I have personally visited (specially for the tourist spots). There are much more things Athens has to offer and I’d be updating this post whenever I discover something new.

Pin it for later:

You Might Also Like:

Athens, Greece

Athens City Guide

So you’ve decided to visit Athens, the cradle of western civilization and you’re wondering now why I’m even bothering

Read More »


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
  • Ticking the Bucketlist March 17, 2017 at 17:20

    Such a useful post…I would love to revisit Athens and go to the flea market. When I went the first time, there wasnt enough time to shop…this time I will make sure I budget for it. The change of guards is so much fun…we stayed in a hostel and could see it from our terrace 🙂
    I also want to go to the temple of Posidon…though I know its a litle far and few people go there !

  • Vlad August 15, 2016 at 12:18

    I need to visit Athens and the Greek Islands soon, hopefully next year. Saved your great guide for when I’ll visit. Do you know what is the weather like in winter? #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 21:13

      Cold but not that cold. :p The coldest they had was 0 degrees but when I went there during winter it was more in the range of 10 to 14 degrees.

  • Umberta August 14, 2016 at 11:41

    Thanks!! I’m saving this post as well for my upcoming trip to Athens!! :)))

  • Elizabeth (Wander Mum) August 12, 2016 at 01:30

    Brilliant guide! Some great detail in there and fab photos too. I’m very keen to visit Athens – I’ve never been. Will be referring to this when I do. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 21:28

      Thank you Elizabeth, you should definitely visit Athens next. 🙂

  • Ahila August 10, 2016 at 08:03

    I have pinned it for referring to when I visit Athens. Would you recommend visiting Athens in winter – Nov/ Dec?

    • Pinay Flying High August 10, 2016 at 22:32

      Thank you Ahila, it may be a bit rainy during those days but for me it’s absolutely fine. I live in the Middle East so rain is always welcome for me. Lol.

  • Brooke of Passport Couture August 10, 2016 at 05:46

    Nice tidbits and tips for Athens! I was glad you mentioned details about neighborhoods to stay in and cafes to taste. The food looks amazing! Thanks for this extensive guide.

    • Pinay Flying High August 10, 2016 at 22:36

      Thank you Brooke! I hope you’ll find it useful when you visit Athens. 🙂

  • Cathy (MummyTravels) August 9, 2016 at 23:20

    Some great tips – I’ve visited Athens a couple of times but never felt that I properly wrapped my head around the city, so would love to keep exploring. #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High August 10, 2016 at 22:37

      Thank you Cathy. Me too, I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface of Athens just yet. :p

  • Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) August 9, 2016 at 21:25

    This is a fantastic guide. I’ve been to Athens a few times but only briefly each time. There’s so much still to explore. I shall definitely be saving this for when I do. #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High August 10, 2016 at 22:38

      Thank you Clare, I do agree with you. I think it has so many things to offer. I can’t wait to go back again. 🙂

  • Lia August 9, 2016 at 19:54

    Wow great guide! Pinning it for later 🙂

  • Ava @ My Meena Life August 9, 2016 at 19:32

    This seems like a very thorough guide and your pictures are great! #citytripping

  • Lolo August 9, 2016 at 18:58

    What a thorough guide to Athens! I’ve always wanted to visit and never knew where to start whenever I’ve looked around and thought about visiting! I’ve definitely saved this!! #CityTripping

    • Pinay Flying High August 10, 2016 at 22:40

      Thank you! Hope you’ll find it helpful when you do visit. 🙂

  • Rebecca August 9, 2016 at 13:43

    What a comprehensive guide! It’s always better getting recommendations straight from travellers and not what everybody reads in a guidebook. Nice photos, that seafood pasta is really tempting. #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High August 10, 2016 at 22:41

      That’s true Rebecca. I always look for other traveler’s personal experiences when exploring a new place. 🙂

  • Erin Gustafson August 9, 2016 at 11:58

    Fantastic list – definitely saving for later! It has been many many years since I have been to Athens, I am excited to share with my children. This list will be a huge help! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    • Pinay Flying High August 10, 2016 at 22:42

      Thank you Erin. You have to make it happen soon!! 🙂

  • janna August 6, 2016 at 21:20

    i often read about santorini but not so much from athens. thank you for this comprehensive guide to the city! i love that you put so much information in this packed guide, making it easier for people who might visit athens in the future!

  • Samantha August 6, 2016 at 14:17

    Athens looks so beautiful! I love reading guides like this!! You gave such a great breakdown on what to do, see and eat – kudos!! By the way you take some stunning photos, too! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Pinay Flying High August 5, 2016 at 12:37

    Thank you very much Chantell, I’ll be waiting for your post about Athens next year. 🙂

  • Vyjay August 5, 2016 at 08:59

    Athens is such a charismatic place, I would love to get there some day. I am fascinated by Greek history and mythology and know for this I need to head to Athens.

  • Andrea August 5, 2016 at 03:13

    Gorgeous pictures and I LOVE how you spell out exactly what to do! I honestly wish more posts were this direct lol 🙂

  • Briana August 5, 2016 at 00:12

    Great blogpost! Very informative, easily accessible layout, and nice accompanying photos. I am in L.O.V.E. with all things Greece and constantly want to go back to keep exploring. Athens is one of those cities you can spend weeks in and still feel like you haven’t seen everything. Great info!

    • Pinay Flying High August 5, 2016 at 12:39

      Thank you Briana! Like you, I’m in love with all things Greek. 🙂

  • Monica is The Wanderlusteur August 4, 2016 at 23:35

    I studied Greek architecture in my Art History class for fashion school, and loved admiring it in person a few years ago when I visited Athens. The city has so much to offer and your tips are a wonderful round-up of what one needs to know!

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:55

      Thank you Monica! It must’ve been a much more meaningful experience for you since you’ve studied it in school before visiting Athens. 🙂

  • Darling Escapes August 5, 2016 at 00:55

    Athens isn’t my most favourite city, but I’ve met some of th coolest people in the world there.

  • Tia Brown August 5, 2016 at 00:30

    Greece is high up on my bucket list – I want to visit so bad! This post will be very helpful for planning! XO

  • Angela Nicolas August 5, 2016 at 00:12

    I always dream to go to Athens. It has a great architectural designs. Thanks for this post

    • Pinay Flying High August 5, 2016 at 12:38

      Thank you Angela, you should make it happen. 🙂

  • Danielle Des August 4, 2016 at 20:38

    I’ve been saving Athens and Greece for my honeymoon, but since I don’t see that happening in any foreseeable future, I will do it this year! I would love to see Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill for sure. As always I love your disclaimer!

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:19

      Thank you Danielle, the disclaimer I think is very important. I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to be an expert of Athens when I haven’t even scratched its surface I think. :p

  • Jo August 4, 2016 at 20:36

    Oh wow I love this guide. It is so in-depth and it covers literally everything I can think of before visiting a place – just perfect. I love the pictures and how nicely the content is laid out – great work 🙂

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:19

      Oh yay! Thank you very much Jo, glad my hard work was noticed. :p

  • Anonymous August 4, 2016 at 05:36

    thanks for this Itinerary, I hope I could also visit Athens too. I love its architectural designs.

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:23

      You’re welcome, glad you found it useful. 🙂

  • PINAYSKATTEBASSE August 4, 2016 at 00:32

    When will I go??? And eat? And shop? And tour Athens? Hahaha. Siesta 4-6pm? I think I’ll stock some food befor siesta. LOL

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:36

      Oh the restaurants will be open during those times but we won’t be outside though because we too are having siesta. Lol.

  • Carrie August 3, 2016 at 21:46

    Geez, you posted a ton of good tips in here. I always realize I’m not sure about the local tipping customs when our bill comes and we’re face to face with the waiter. Now I’ll be better prepared when we go to Greece!

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:37

      Thank you Carrie, yeah they don’t really expect a tip but of course it would be great if they receive it but it’s not like in the US where tip is compulsory. :p

  • Flo August 3, 2016 at 20:31

    I would have never known about the “fives” rule! How interesting! The museums are absolutely amazing and I loved spending the afternoon there. I also loved having drinks at A for Athens – super delish cocktails!

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:38

      Yeah, the open-palm five is really very offensive to them but of course if you’re a tourist, they’d understand that you don’t really mean it. :p We went to A for Athens but I don’t know, I found it too…. commercialized? We went to the suburbs instead and had drinks where there were only locals around us. 🙂

  • Travel Pockets August 3, 2016 at 19:52

    Your photos are so beautiful. I’ve been to Greece, but didn’t get a chance to visit Athens. I definitely need to go and am bookmarking your post 🙂

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:39

      Thank you, you should definitely visit Athens next time. 🙂

  • Kelly | A Pair of Passports August 3, 2016 at 19:33

    Lovely guide! Athens is such an incredible city, and well worth a visit. You’ve done a great job depicting it here!

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:40

      Thank you very much Kelly, glad you liked it. 🙂

  • Marissa_My Greece, My Travels blog August 3, 2016 at 12:49

    Great list! Very useful information. Totally agree with the tips and tricks as a local. Yes, Greeks love it when you attempt the Greek language for sure…

    • Pinay Flying High August 4, 2016 at 23:42

      Oh yay! Thank you Marissa, good to know that a local agrees with me. 🙂

    Profile - Pinay Flying High

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Noemi, a Filipina who caught the travel bug at an early age and has never been cured. I blog about travel, food and my extraordinary mundane life in London with the Greek Mister.

    Latest Posts:

    Never Miss A Post!

    Subscribe To This Blog

    Subscribe to this blog: