The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Athens in 3 Days

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Athens in 3 Days

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Athens in 3 Days is a great starting point for anyone looking to explore the city. But we believe that with our help, you can create an even more unforgettable experience in just three days. Athens is a city full of history, culture, and stunning architecture, and we are excited to share our insights on how to make the most of your trip.

Discovering Athens: A Journey Through 3000 Years of History and Culture

Socrates Greek philosopher

Athens, a city that has been inhabited for over 3000 years, is nestled at the heart of the Mediterranean. It is a true gem of European history and culture, filled with some of the most significant cultural and historical attractions, perfectly embodying the essence of Greece.

Every step you take and every street you wander in Athens leads you to a fascinating monument or a reminder of the grandeur of its ancient heritage and the city’s transformation. Athens is where Western civilization was born, a beacon of the ancient world, and a delightful tourist destination where philosophy, democracy, and theater took their first steps.

Walking on the same streets as Sophocles and teaching in the same place as Socrates once did, makes Athens the ideal city for history buffs and travelers ready to be mesmerized by the rich history that surrounds them. However, Athens has more to offer than its historical ruins and ancient sites. It is the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity that makes it alluring. Witness how the Acropolis towers over the concrete jungle, how an ancient temple sits adjacent to a clubbing zone, and how a ruin could be right next to a modern café.

Your three-day visit to Athens can be a unique and fulfilling experience, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s extensive history and culture, as well as enjoy its sprawling cafes, restaurants, quirky neighborhoods, street art, bars, theaters, museums, and so much more. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. Therefore, we recommend the following things to do in Athens to make the most of your trip.

Getting to and from Athens Airport

Athens Airport
, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Athens International Airport is situated southeast of Athens, around 33 km away. The airport can be conveniently reached by using the Athens Ring road (Attiki Odos). The journey from the city center takes 30-45 minutes, depending on the traffic.

For travelers who prefer public transportation, Metro Line 3 connects the airport to Syntagma Square, and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes. The trains operate every 30 minutes, seven days a week, from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm. The one-way ticket costs €9, while the return ticket costs €16. Similarly, express buses are also available, running 24/7, connecting Athens International Airport to Piraeus Port and Intercity Bus Terminal. The one-way bus ticket costs €5.50, and there are four express bus routes to choose from.

The suburban railway or Proastiakos connects Athens Airport to Larissis Station, the central Athens railway station, in about 45 minutes. Trains leave the airport every 15-25 minutes, and passengers can transfer to the Athens Metro network at Doukissis Plakentias station, using the same ticket.

Private Airport Transfer with Welcome Taxi: You can pre-book a car online before your arrival and find your driver waiting for you at the arrivals with a welcome name sign and a bag with a bottle of water and a map of the city, saving you the hassle of finding a taxi/bus/metro. There is a flat rate of 40 EUR from the airport to the city center, and if you arrive from midnight until 5 am, the price increases sharply to 55 EUR.

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Athens in 3 Days

Exploring Athens in 3 Days: The First Day

The Acropolis


The Acropolis is undeniably one of the most preeminent and significant ancient Grecian edifices, and it also claims its place among the most notable and paramount historical structures worldwide. Overlooking the remainder of the metropolis, this monument is a tangible manifestation of Athens’ magnificence and grandeur. Its name, the upper city, derives from the fact that people dwelt there since 5000 B.C., utilizing it as a means of natural defense to evade adversaries due to its sheer magnitude.

The Acropolis serves as the very cradle of democracy, and it remains an influencer of contemporary societies, a source of fascination for visitors worldwide for thousands of years. Upon entry via the Beule Gate, a trip through the Propylaia entrance shall unveil the Temple of Athena Nike.

The Theater of Dionysus

“Theatre of Dionysus” by Scott AblemanFlickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Constructed during the fourth century B.C., this open-air theater is the earliest and most ancient architectural temple out of the three situated on the Acropolis. It is deemed the birthplace of European theater and one of Athens’ earliest preserved establishments. It functioned as a venue for performances, marking the inception of the art of drama, where the great Greek tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides were staged. It was capable of accommodating 17,000 spectators and was used not only for performances but also for festivals honoring the god Dionysus.

Odeon of Herodus Atticus

Odeon of Herodus Atticus
Sjaak Kempe from Groningen, The Netherlands
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This exquisitely crafted theater was erected by Herodes Atticus, the Roman philosopher, and educator, in memory of his beloved wife. A visit to this wonderous piece of architecture provides the chance to experience the Athens Arts Festival, concerts, and classical tragedies that are renowned for their acoustic quality.

Insider Tip: To avoid the crowds and the sweltering heat, it is best to visit the Acropolis archaeological site as early as possible, particularly during the summer months.

Discover Athens’ Ancient Monuments: Ticket Packages, Tours and Must-See Sites

Athens is one of the most historically rich cities in the world, and it has an abundance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites to prove it. From the stunning Acropolis to the awe-inspiring Temple of Zeus, Athens has it all. However, with so much to see and explore, it can be overwhelming for visitors to plan their trip to Athens, especially with the crowds that flock to these historical sites throughout the year. Fortunately, there are various ticket packages, tours, and must-see sites that will help you make the most of your time in Athens.

Ticket Packages

Athens offers a special ticket package for visitors that want to explore most of the ancient monuments. The package costs €30 for a full ticket and €15 for a reduced ticket and is valid for five days. The ticket package includes entry to the Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, and South Slope of Acropolis.

If you want to visit these sites without having to wait in line, you can buy the Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket. This ticket costs €5 more than the standard package but will save you time and hassle, especially during peak season.


If you only want to visit the Acropolis, tickets cost €20 from April 1st to October 30th, and €10 from November 1st to March 31st. You can buy tickets online at the official e-ticketing service of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. However, it’s important to note that the Acropolis is one of the most popular sites in Athens, and it can get incredibly crowded, especially during peak season. To beat the crowds, it’s recommended that you visit the Acropolis at its opening time, 8:00 am.

Guided Tours

If you’re interested in a guided tour of the Acropolis, there are several options available. One highly recommended tour is the No-Crowds Acropolis Tour & Skip the Line Acropolis Museum Tour by the company Take Walks. This tour gets you into the Acropolis for the first viewing of the day, so you can beat the crowds and the heat. It also includes a skip-the-line tour of the Acropolis Museum.

Another great option is the Best of Athens tour, which takes you to the Acropolis for the first viewing without any crowds, as well as the Ancient Agora and a walk around Plaka. This tour is only 4 hours long, so you can see the best of Athens without having to spend the entire day sightseeing. Plus, with the combo pass that you get, you have access to five more top Athens attractions for the next five days.

Acropolis Museum

New Acropolis Museum
Erik Drost
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Acropolis Museum is consistently rated as one of the top museums in the world. It’s devoted to the Parthenon, and visitors can learn about Athens, and the surrounding temples, and marvel at the beauty of the museum itself. The museum features large glass panes that allow light to illuminate the entire space and provide wonderful views of the ancient and modern parts of Athens.

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus
“The Temple of Olympian Zeus” by Kevin PohFlickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Temple of Zeus is an impressive ruined temple located in central Athens, also known as the Olympian. It was built to honor Zeus, the father of all of the Olympian gods, and was so massive that it took over 700 years to build. Visitors can check out the remains of Roman houses, the city walls, a Roman bath, and the giant ivory and gold statue.

Exploring Athens in 3 Days: The Second Day


Athens is a city that has a rich history and culture. On the second day of your trip, you will experience some of the city’s most notable sites, from the ancient Agora to the bustling Monastiraki Market. Let’s explore the best things to do and see in Athens on your second day.

Visit the Ancient Agora Start your day by visiting the Ancient Agora, which was the center of social, economic, political, and intellectual activities in ancient Athens. The Agora was once home to schools, markets, shops, and statues. It was also the place where Socrates used to lecture young students at the Stoa of Attalos II.

Strolling around Agora is a journey through history and time. You can wander aimlessly around greenery and ancient ruins that were once a part of Ancient Athens’ essence. Lastly, you can also check out the Temple of Hephaistos, which is the best-preserved temple of antiquity. The Agora is included in the special ticket package of 30 €.

Walk to Syntagma Square From Agora, head to Syntagma Square.

Syntagma Square
Syntagma Square

As you move from Agora to Syntagma, you will experience a shift from the ancient pulsating heart of the city to the new one. This square is what keeps the city going; it is its beating center and its main transport hub.

Don’t miss the War Memorial of the Unknown Soldier, which is dedicated to all of the unknown soldiers who died during the wars. You can also take a stroll through the National Garden to the Parliament Building, where the Changing of the Guard Ceremony takes place. Every hour exactly, the changing of the guard takes place where the presidential guards dress in their traditional uniform to pay tribute to all of the war victims.

Explore the Panathenaic Stadium

Panathenaic Stadium
Panathenaic Stadium

After visiting Syntagma Square, head to the Panathenaic Stadium. This stadium was constructed in the 4th century B.C. and is the only stadium in the world that is made entirely of marble and can hold up to 60,000 spectators today! The stadium hosted events and competitions where male athletes competed, and it is also the place where the Olympic Games were born in 1896.

Discover the Psiri neighborhood

Psiri Neighborhood in Athens
Psiri Neighborhood in Athens

The Psiri neighborhood is one of the quirkiest, trendiest, edgiest, and most fashionable neighborhoods in Athens. Wander around and you will be able to see not only wonderfully authentic craftsmen’s stores but also a lot of street art that evolved due to the economic crisis.

Make sure to look out for Alexandros Vasmoulakis and Vangelis Hoursoglou, who brought public art into the streets for the first time. Also, don’t miss the chance to check out art galleries like Sarilla 12 and AD Gallery.

Visit Monastiraki Square and Market

Athens Central Market
View of Monastiraki Square
C messier
CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After exploring Psiri, head to Monastiraki Square. This lively square is home to a flea market and is full of colorful murals and street art. The Monastiraki market is one of the most diverse markets you will encounter, offering interesting merchandise from ancient vinyl, handcrafted artifacts, jewelry, and trinkets to mass-produced quirky t-shirts and souvenirs.

You’ll find rare books, leather goods, traditional products, musical instruments, and so much more. After you’re done, grab a coffee at one of the many cafes that dot the streets.

Explore Athens Central Market

Athens Central Market
Athens Central Market
Herbert Ortner
CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Athens Central Market, also known as Varvakeios Agora, is a great place to experience Athenian culture and food. This glass-roofed building houses two sections, one for meat and one for seafood, where you can find the freshest produce and see locals rushing to make purchases. It’s a bustling market full of vendors shouting out prices and customers haggling for the best deals.

National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum
George E. Koronaios
CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re interested in ancient Greek art, the National Archaeological Museum is a must-visit destination. It’s one of the most important museums in the world and features exhibits from archaeological sites all over Greece. This museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of ancient Greek art, making it a great spot for history buffs and art lovers alike.


Exploring Athens in 3 Days: The Third Day

Day Three of Your Athenian Adventure: Exploring the Islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina

After two days of exploring Athens’ top attractions, it’s time to venture out and discover the surrounding cities. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a full-day cruise to the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina.

Aegina Island: Everything You Need To Know
Aegina Island


The boat itself is impressive, with a capacity of up to 600 people, spacious lounges, bars, audiovisual systems, a modern kitchen, and a VIP cabin. As you leave the hustle and bustle of Athens behind, you’ll feel a sense of relaxation as you take in the stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

Your first stop is Hydra, a picturesque island with charming stone mansions, beautiful alleys, crystal-clear waters, and scenic pathways. You can opt to take a walking tour of the island or simply soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

Next, you’ll head to Poros, a leafy island filled with fragrant lemon groves and green pine forests. The island’s tranquility and calm atmosphere will leave you feeling at peace.

The final stop on your island adventure is Aegina, known for its pistachio groves and beautiful beaches. Here, you can take a bus to explore the Temple of Aphea and the Byzantine monastery of Agios Nektarios.

While on the cruise, you’ll be treated to a delicious buffet-style lunch of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.

Budget Hotels in Athens: Where to Stay in Greece’s Capital

Views of the Acropolis of Athens from Syntagma
Views of the Acropolis of Athens from Syntagma
CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you planning a trip to Athens, Greece, but hoping to avoid spending a fortune on accommodation? Fortunately, there are many budget-friendly options in Athens that provide both comfort and style. In this article, we will take a closer look at the best budget hotels in Athens, including their locations and amenities, to help you find the perfect place to stay during your visit.

Athens is a lively and dynamic city that offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. Whether you’re interested in exploring the ancient Acropolis and Parthenon or wandering through the charming neighborhoods, there are endless possibilities for things to see and do in Athens. However, finding affordable lodging in the city can often prove to be a challenge. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best budget hotels in Athens that offer cozy rooms, exceptional amenities, and great value for your money.


When it comes to choosing a budget hotel in Athens, location is key. You want to find a hotel that is close to all the main attractions and public transport links. The following neighborhoods are great options for budget travelers:


Plaka is a charming neighborhood located in the heart of Athens. It is known for its narrow streets, neoclassical buildings, and traditional tavernas. Plaka is also home to many budget hotels that offer comfortable accommodations at affordable prices.


Monastiraki is another popular neighborhood in Athens that is known for its vibrant street markets and lively atmosphere. It is home to many budget hotels that offer great value for money.


Syntagma is the main square in Athens and is home to many government buildings and museums. It is also a great place to stay if you want to be close to all the main attractions.

Best Budget Hotels in Athens

Athens Backpackers: A Budget-Friendly Hostel in the Heart of Athens
Athens Backpackers: A Budget-Friendly Hostel in the Heart of Athens

The following are some of the best budget hotels in Athens that offer quality accommodation at affordable prices:

Athens Backpackers

Athens Backpackers is a popular hostel located in the heart of Athens. It offers a range of dormitory rooms and private rooms at affordable prices. The hostel also has a rooftop bar with stunning views of the Acropolis. If you’re planning a trip to Athens on a budget, Athens Backpackers is the perfect choice for affordable and comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city. With its prime location, comfortable rooms, and friendly staff, Athens Backpackers is the perfect home base for exploring all that Athens has to offer.

Pella Inn Hostel

Pella Inn Hostel is another popular hostel located in the heart of Athens. It offers clean and comfortable rooms at affordable prices. The hostel also has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly accommodation option in Athens that doesn’t skimp on quality or convenience, look no further than Pella Inn Hostel. With its central location, comfortable rooms, and helpful staff, it’s the perfect home base for exploring all that Athens has to offer.

Acropolis View Hotel

Acropolis View Hotel is a budget hotel located in the Plaka neighborhood. It offers comfortable rooms with stunning views of the Acropolis. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy breakfast or a drink while admiring the view.

Hotel Plaka

Hotel Plaka is a budget hotel located in the heart of Athens. It offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities at affordable prices. The hotel is just a short walk away from the Acropolis and other major attractions.

Attalos Hotel

The Attalos Hotel is a comfortable and peaceful hotel located in the heart of Athens. Despite its central location, it’s within an easy walk of all the archaeological sites, making it the perfect base for exploring the city. The hotel’s rooftop bar is a particular highlight, offering guests a magnificent view of the Acropolis while they enjoy a drink.

Arethusa Hotel

The Arethusa Hotel is a tastefully decorated hotel situated in the charming neighborhood of Plaka. This hotel offers easy access to all the main sites, and the day starts with an American-style breakfast that can be enjoyed in your guest room. After a busy day of sightseeing, the hotel’s attractive roof garden, with its views of the Acropolis, is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Mid-Range Hotels in Athens

If you’re looking for something a little more modern, the 360 Degrees Hotel may be just what you’re after. This hotel is decorated with a neutral palette that accentuates the industrial design details, and it’s located right by the colorful flea market in Monastiraki Square. The hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant offer stunning views of the city both by day and night, and the hotel has a variety of rooms and suites that suit all budgets.

St George Lycabettus Hotel: A Chic Retreat in Kolonaki

The St George Lycabettus Hotel is situated in the chic Kolonaki district and offers individually styled guest rooms, most of which have private balconies. The rooftop swimming pool offers breathtaking views of the Acropolis, Mt Lycabettus, and the Saronic Gulf. The hotel also features a spa and gym for those looking for a little extra relaxation. La Suite Restaurant, located in the hotel, offers delicious Mediterranean cuisine.


Athens is a fantastic city with a rich history and culture. It can also be quite expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation. However, there are many budget hotels in Athens that offer quality accommodation at affordable prices. Whether you’re looking for a hostel or a budget hotel, there are plenty of options to choose from in Athens.


What is the best time to visit Athens?

The best time to visit Athens is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-June) and autumn (September-November). During these times, the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are smaller.

How much does it cost to stay in a budget hotel in Athens?

The cost of a budget hotel in Athens varies depending on the location and the time of year. On average, you can expect to pay between 30-70 euros per night.

Are budget hotels in Athens safe?

Yes, budget hotels in Athens are generally safe. However, it is always important to take basic safety precautions such as locking your valuables in a safe and being aware of your surroundings.

What amenities can I expect in a budget hotel in Athens?

Budget hotels in Athens typically offer basic amenities such as free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and private bathrooms. Some hotels may also offer breakfast, a rooftop terrace, or a bar.

Can I walk to the main attractions from budget hotels in Athens?

Yes, many budget hotels in Athens are located within walking distance of the main attractions. However, it is also easy to get around the city using public transport. The metro system in Athens is efficient and affordable, making it easy to explore the city.

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