athens, greece, aerial view

Athens is the capital city of Greece, part of the European Union. It is the largest Greek city, with around 50% of the population living here. 

Located in a peninsula in the southern part of Greece, Athens is surrounded by the Aegean Sea, the Evoikos Gulf, the Saronic Gulf, the Gulf of Corinth. By land, Athens has Mount Pendeli and Mount Parnassus in the north, Mount Hymettus to the east and Mount Egaleo to the west.

The Greek Capital has a Mediterranean climate, with an average of 250 days of sunshine per year. December is the wettest month, while January is the coldest. July is the driest month, while August is the hottest.

If you are wondering when to visit Athens, keep in mind that since it is one of the most important cities in the world from a cultural point of view, there will always be lots of other tourists. However, try to avoid visiting Athens during the summer months, as the Greek Capital becomes busier with everyone passing through the city on their way to the Greek islands. In addition, it’s very hot. Therefore, it’s probably best to visit Athens during late spring, or early autumn.


Free Athens travel guide: Table of contents

  1. How to get to Athens
  2. Getting around Athens
  3. History of Athens
  4. What to see in Athens
  5. Neighborhoods of Athens
  6. Eating in Athens
  7. Day trips from Athens
  8. Currency, banks, and ATMs
  9. Health and safety in Athens

How to get to Athens

carry on bags and personal items to take when you get to athens from the airport

From the airport

Find out how to get to Athens from Eleftherios Venizelos Athens International Airport.
Get to Athens from the airport!

how to get to athens from the port of piraeus

From the port

Find out how to get to Athens from the ports of Piraeus, Rafina or Lavrio. 
Get to Athens from any port!

railway image cover for how to get to athens by train

By train

Find out how to get to Athens using national and international railway services.
Get to Athens by train!


Getting around Athens

the subway - athens public transport

Public transport + map

Find out how much tickets cost and choose the most convenient option for the length of your stay.
Try public transport!

taking a taxi as private transport in Athens

Athens private transport

Thinking about taking a taxi in the Greek Capital? Or perhaps about renting a scooter or a car?
Check out your options!


Keep in mind that all the main monuments, archaeological sites, and museums are placed in the center of the city of Athens. Athens can easily be visited by walking from one touristic attraction to the next!


History of Athens

You can see reflections of the complicated past of Athens at every step: in archaeological sites, museums, and streets. It’s useful to learn a bit about the history of Athens before traveling to the beautiful Greek Capital.
Check out the quick timeline!


What to see in Athens

athens archaeological site

Archaeological sites

Explore what remains of ancient Greece by visiting the incredible archaeological sites of Athens.
Visit the sites!

Athens museum display

Museums

Discover famous Athens museums, but also interesting niche ones.
Visit museums!

woman in Athens art gallery

Art galleries

Discover the large art galleries of Athens, plus some small, beautiful private ones.
Visit the art galleries!


Byzantine church in Athens

Top 5 churches in Athens

These 5 churches in Athens are beautifully built, and they all have lovely stories to tell.
See the Byzantine churches!

old books in an Athens library

Libraries & bookshops

Visit the great libraries of Athens and explore the lovely bookshops of the Greek Capital.
Discover Athens for book lovers!

the Zappeion, one of the important buildings of Athens

Buildings & parks

Important buildings and parks to know about before wandering the streets of Athens.
Discover important landmarks!


Athens streets at night

Squares & streets

Take a stroll on lively streets and get lost in the busy squares of the Greek capital.
Wander on Athens streets!

Athens market

Markets

With fresh Greek produce, flowers or handmade goods, they really give you a taste of true Athens!
Explore Athens markets!

Athens travel guide map

Electronic map of Athens

A handy electronic map for the budget traveler, with all the important landmarks of Athens.
See the map of Athens!


When planning your trip to Athens or anywhere else in Greece, keep in mind the following Greek national holidays: 1 and 6 January, 25 March, the first Monday after the Greek-Orthodox Easter, 1 May, the Monday after Pentecost, 15 August, 28 October, 25 and 26 December. On these days you should expect most places to be closed.


Neighborhoods of Athens

Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece

Plaka / Acropolis Area

The most well-known area in the Greek Capital is the Acropolis of Athens and the streets of Plaka.
Explore the Acropolis area!

Monastiraki Square in Athens, Greece

Monastiraki

Take a stroll on busy streets with colorful shops or stop at a tavern with a view over the Ancient Agora.
Discover Monastiraki!

Apostolou Pavlou Street in Thissio, Athens

Thissio

Explore the Athenian’s favorite neighborhood to grab a coffee or take an afternoon stroll.
Discover Thissio!


Philopappos Hill in the Koukaki district of Athens

Koukaki

Hike up Philopappos Hill and visit the prison of Socrates. You can also have a strong Greek coffee in a traditional café.
Explore Koukaki!

Draught beer poured in a bar from Syngrou Fix

Syngrou-Fix

Visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art, then explore the establishments of the cheap foodie district of Athens!
Explore Syngrou-Fix!


Eating in Athens

eating in greece at a greek taverna

Eating in Greece

Learn about Greek food establishments and when the Greeks like to eat.
Eat in Greece!

traditional greek food: gemitsa

Traditional Greek food

Taste authentic, mouth-watering traditional Greek food and delicious Greek drinks.
Discover Greek cuisine!


Day trips from Athens

Explore the Saronic Islands, Peloponnese, and many other amazing destinations from Athens!
Travel outside Athens!


Currency, banks, and ATMs

Greece adopted the euro in the year 2002. No other currency is accepted.

Banks are normally open from Monday to Thursday between 08.00 and 14.30 and on Fridays between 08.00 and 13.30. There are also some banks which are open until later. Here is a short list:

Alpha Bank
Opening times: Alpha Bank is open from Monday to Friday between 08.00 and 18.00, and on Saturdays between 10.00 and 15.00.
Addresses:
– Patriarchou Ioakim 2, Athina 106 74, Greece | See on map
– Leof. Kifisias, Neo Psichiko 154 51, Greece | See on map

Eurobank
Opening times: Eurobank is open from Monday to Friday between 10.45 and 17.00, and on Saturdays between 10.15 and 16.30.
Address: Mall of Athens – Andrea Papandreou 35, Marousi 151 22, Greece | See on map

Piraeus Bank
Opening times: Piraeus Bank is open from Monday to Friday between 08.00 and 18.00, and on Saturdays between 10.30 and 16.30.
Address: Μητροπόλεως 9, Αθήνα, Athina 105 57, Greece | See on map

ATMs are easy to find on the streets of Athens if you prefer having cash on you. If not, credit and debit cards are accepted in larger hotels, restaurants, and shops. However, when crossing paths with a smaller, family-owned business, you might have to use cash. If you don’t have cash on you and you’re in a smaller establishment, do check if they accept card payments before ordering your food, for example.

If you are going on a day trip from Athens, it might not be as easy to find an ATM so make sure you have enough money on you when you leave.

Personal checks are not accepted.


Health and safety in Athens

Tap water

The water quality in Athens is very good. Therefore, you can safely drink tap water. You can save money and promote sustainable tourism by refilling your bottle as necessary instead of buying a new one from a shop.


Pick-pocketing

Pick-pocketing and minor theft are as common in Athens as in other major cities in the world, where tourists are abundant. Avoid being a victim and:

  • don’t display your valuables while riding the public transport
  • keep your valuables in a bag that you keep to your front in crowded places
  • make sure you don’t leave your bag in the car if you rent one
  • don’t keep your ID/passport/important documents with your money
  • don’t keep all your money in one place
  • don’t wear expensive jewelry.

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