Experience the historical treasures of the birthplace of western-civilization by choosing from the best Athens sightseeing tours.
Searching for the ultimate Athens sightseeing tours? This guide helps you pinpoint standout tours, ensuring you experience Athens’ historical treasures and modern charm efficiently. Expect a curated selection of tours and practical tips tailor-made to enhance your discovery of Athens.
I’ve been living in Athens for about 9 years now, and have always found it to be an easy city to get around.
The historical center of Athens is especially easy to explore, as everything is within walking distance of one another. For those places that are further away, a good metro system will take you there.
While you can see Athens quite comfortably yourself (especially if you use my Athens 2 day itinerary), taking a sightseeing tour or two will definitely enhance your experience.
There’s plenty of choice:
- Guided walking tours around the Acropolis, as well as sites like the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Acropolis Museum.
- Bicycle tours of the historic center of Athens.
- Food tour of Athen sampling local delicacies and products.
- Athens street art tours
- Athens by night tours
Beyond historical tours, Athens offers varied experiences such as witnessing the Changing of the Guard, enjoying panoramic views from Mount Lycabettus, exploring the Athenian Riviera, and partaking in specialized private tours, photography, and eco-tours.
Related: Athens Travel Tips
Exploring the Majestic Acropolis: Guided Walking Tours
Perched high above the city, the Acropolis stands as an imposing testament to Athens’ rich past.
This ancient citadel, with its grand temples and monuments, truly is a sight to behold. As you navigate through the steep terrain, absorbing the sheer majesty of the Parthenon and its intricate details, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time.
Guided walking tours are highly recommended for a deep appreciation of these architectural marvels. These tours, led by knowledgeable guides, offer a more intimate and comprehensive exploration of the Acropolis and its landmarks, making them one of the best Athens tours to discover the city’s history and culture.
Unveiling the Acropolis Museum
A stone’s throw away from the Acropolis lies the Acropolis Museum, home to a plethora of artifacts from the hill. As you breeze past the lengthy queues with your skip-the-line ticket, you’ll be greeted by a wealth of archaeological treasures, from marble reliefs depicting Greek gods and goddesses to excavated ruins of an ancient Athenian neighborhood.
Each exhibit tells a story of the city’s glorious past, inviting you to learn more of its history.
National Archaeological Museum Tour
For those with a penchant for history, a visit to the National Archaeological Museum is a must. Regarded as the premier museum in Greece, it houses an extensive collection of archaeological treasures that span millennia. Whether you choose to walk, take a metro, or catch a cab, the museum is easily accessible from the Plaka or Acropolis area.
Engaging a private tour guide can greatly enhance your understanding of the exhibits’ historical significance. This will not only help you understand the context and relevance of the artifacts but also elevate your museum experience.
The Charm of Old Athens: Plaka & Monastiraki Districts
Away from the hustle and bustle of the modern city, the charming districts of Plaka and Monastiraki transport you to a bygone era. Here, every corner tells a story of the city’s past, with archaeological landmarks like:
- The Ancient and Roman Agoras
- The Temple of Hephaestus
- The Tower of the Winds
- The Byzantine Church of the Holy Apostles
Yet, it’s not just about the past. The bustling Monastiraki Flea Market, filled with books, antiques, and unique keepsakes, is a haven for shopaholics. And when hunger strikes, the streets of Plaka beckon with their array of eateries where you can savor authentic Greek cuisine amidst a lively atmosphere.
Discover more on a Food Tour of Athens
The Ceremonial Evzones: Changing of the Guard Tour
For an experience that’s uniquely Greek, witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Hellenic Parliament. This meticulously executed ritual showcases the precision and strength of the Evzones, Greece’s elite soldiers.
Every day at 11am, the Evzones, dressed in their distinctive uniforms, perform this ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, beneath the Parliament building. It’s a sight that’s sure to leave you in awe.
Athens From Above: Mount Lycabettus Experience
Climb up to Mount Lycabettus, the city’s tallest peak, for a sweeping view of Athens. According to Greek mythology, the hill was created when Goddess Athena accidentally dropped a rock she was carrying over the city. Today, it offers stunning views of Athens, including landmarks like the Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Panathenaic Stadium.
And if you’re in the mood for some food or drink, the summit is home to St George’s Chapel, an all-day café, and a panoramic fine-dining restaurant.
Athenian Riviera Escape: Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon Trip
If you’re looking for a break from the bustle of the city, escape to the Athenian Riviera with a trip to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Nestled on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea, the Temple of Poseidon is a sight to behold. This grand structure from the Golden Age of Athens served as a crucial religious sanctuary and a beacon of protection for sailors for nearly 2500 years.
As you wander through the temple, marvel at its impressive marble structure, featuring a hexastyle design with six Doric columns at the front portico. And when you’re done exploring, why not relax and soak up the breathtaking views of the sea?
With Athens Tours offering day trips to Cape Sounion, experiencing this slice of paradise is as easy as packing a picnic and hopping on a bus.
Indulge in Greek Flavors: Athens Food Tours
You can’t leave Athens without sampling its culinary delights. From bustling markets to top-rated restaurants and trendy neighborhoods, Athens Food Tours offer a gastronomic journey like no other. As you sample popular dishes like:
- Pork Ribs
You’ll get a taste of Greece’s rich culinary culture and traditions.
So whether you’re a foodie or a casual traveler, these tours promise a culinary adventure that’s sure to leave you satiated and eager to explore more of the city’s food scene.
Dine Like a Local: Traditional Tavernas
Experience genuine local dining by visiting the city’s traditional tavernas. These establishments, which have their roots in ancient Athens, offer a taste of local cuisine in a warm and welcoming environment. From sampling Magirefta, Greek home cooking, to enjoying a Meze, a selection of small dishes, dining in a taverna is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Sweet Delights: Gelato and Dessert Spots
You can’t complete a culinary tour of Athens without treating yourself to the city’s delectable sweets. From the creamy gelato at Coco’s and La Greche to the traditional Greek desserts like galaktoboureko and baklava, Athens offers a sweet treat for every palate. So go ahead, treat yourself to a scoop (or two) of gelato or a piece of baklava. After all, you’re on vacation!
Illuminated Athens: Night Tours and Experiences
As dusk falls, Athens morphs into a city bathed in lights. The Acropolis, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and other landmarks are beautifully illuminated, offering a different perspective of the city’s iconic sights. If you’re looking to explore Athens under the cover of darkness, night tours are the way to go.
From the illuminated landmarks to the bustling nightlife, these tours in Athens capture the essence of the city after dark and are a must for any visitor.
Beyond the City: Day Trips and Excursions
If time permits, embark on day trips and excursions beyond the city’s borders. Day trips from Athens to significant historical sites such as:
As you journey through the Greek landscapes, you’ll be captivated by the beauty of its natural landscapes and the grandeur of its archaeological treasures.
Cultural Immersion: Private Tours and Shore Excursions
Private tours and shore excursions offer a more enriching experience. These tours, which can be tailored to your interests, offer exclusive access to the city’s cultural highlights, including:
- The Acropolis
- The Parthenon
- Lesser-known neighborhoods
- Local eateries
With knowledgeable guides at your disposal, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Greek culture and history, making your Athens tours discover experience all the more memorable.
Athens at Your Own Pace: Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours
Hop On Hop Off bus tours are perfect for those who like to explore at their own rhythm. These tours cover key sights including:
- The Acropolis
- The Roman Agora
- Hadrian’s Library
- The Acropolis Museum
This allows you to hop on and off at your leisure.
With flexible timings and multiple routes, these sightseeing tours offer a convenient and stress-free way to see all the sites, including the city’s top attractions.
From ancient ruins and bustling markets to traditional tavernas and gleaming beaches, Athens is a city that has it all. Whether you’re exploring the Acropolis, savoring a gyro, or watching the sunset from Cape Sounion, every moment in this city is an opportunity for discovery. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book your tours, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Athens.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days in Athens is enough?
Three days is a good amount of time to spend in Athens, allowing you to visit the main attractions without being rushed and to experience the city's highlights at a relaxed pace.
Should you do a guided tour of Athens?
Consider booking a guided tour to enhance your trip with deeper insights and local knowledge, especially if you want to make the most of your visit to Athens.
Is Athens a walkable city?
Yes, Athens is a highly walkable city, offering visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the city's unique culture by exploring on foot.
What are some recommended locations for photography in Athens?
Some recommended locations for photography in Athens include the Acropolis, Areopagus, Plaka, the Ancient Theatre, Parthenon, Anafiotika, and the streets of Athens. These spots offer excellent opportunities for capturing the city's beauty and history.
What are the public transport options in Athens?
Athens offers a variety of public transport options, such as the metro, buses, trams, railway, and trolleybuses, making it convenient for getting around the city.
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– Dave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who's been living in Athens since 2015. Over the years he’s helped thousands of readers plan their Athens sightseeing tours by providing a local’s insight into what to see and do in Athens.
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