3 Days in Athens: The Best Itinerary for Your Visit
Table of contents
Start your 3 days in Athens by exploring the city's iconic Anafiotika and Pláka districts. These neighbourhoods are located next to one another and are situated between Ermoú Street and the Acropolis. You will feel like you have stepped back in time to a charming village as you explore the narrow pedestrian streets that are lined with pastel-painted houses, unique shops and restaurants serving up mouth-watering local dishes. Key points of interest to check out during your exploration include the Church of Kapnikaréa and the Church of Transfiguration of the Savior, or Metamorphosis Church. When you get hungry, head to Mnisikleous Street. It is known for its Restaurant Staircase, where you will find an array of eateries to choose from.
Athens is a history lover's dream, with an impressive number of ancient sites to explore. Before you head to the iconic temples, spend an afternoon exploring the best museums that the city has to offer. You have plenty of options. Some recommendations include the Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Spend the day exploring the awe-inspiring collections that these world-class facilities house. It is a great way to prepare yourself for visits to some of the historic sites where these artefacts were discovered.
No 3 days in Athens is complete without a visit to the city's ancient Acropolis. It is home to some of the most iconic temples from antiquity, such as the Parthenon. Built in 447 BCE, this massive structure is known for its imposing rows of Doric columns and its detailed engravings that can be seen along the edges where the roof once was. In its heyday, it was the largest temple complex in Classical Greece. Other points of interest on the Acropolis include the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and the Porch of the Caryatids. Before you head back down from this elevated position, take some time to simply enjoy the view. When you walk back down to street level, head to the location of the ancient Agora or marketplace. This area once served as the heart of everyday life during ancient times. Located within the area, you will find the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos. The Stoa is believed to have been the location of the trial of the philosopher Socrates in 399 BCE.
Wrap up the 2nd leg of your 3 days in Athens itinerary by exploring the best dining and nightlife that the city has to offer. You will find a vibrant food scene with eateries that range from street food vendors and traditional tavernas to upscale restaurants that offer a fine dining experience. Monastiraki and Ermou Street are home to a variety of sandwich shops, cafés, bakeries and souvlaki restaurants. Syntagma Square is the place to head if you are looking for a quick snack, as it is the location of some of the city's best street vendors. For a traditional meal, check out Tis Theatrou to Steki. It is known for serving small sharing plates at great prices. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer while you sample black eye bean salad, grilled meat, fava beans and pan-fried anchovies. If you are interested in a gourmet experience, check out Cookoovaya, Strofi Athenian Restaurant and Athénée. These establishments are known for serving delicious dishes that are prepared using the freshest local ingredients. After enjoying dinner, it is time to party the night away, and you have plenty of options to choose from. They range from cocktail lounges and bars to a variety of nightclubs. Grab a cocktail and enjoy the ambience at Baba Au Rum or visit Alexander’s Bar if you are looking for an upscale experience. Clubs like Bad Tooth offer live DJ sets nightly, while The 7 Jokers Coffee & Cocktail Bar is a rock bar that has a casual vibe and a great selection of spirits and draft beers.
Located to the northeast of Central Athens, you will find Mount Lycabettus rising to a height of 300 metres. It is the highest point around the city and another must-visit location. You can climb to the top of this limestone mount or take the funicular, which runs every 30 minutes. At the top, take some time to admire the panoramic views of the surrounding area. You will get a unique glimpse of the Acropolis from here and can also see the coast of Piraeus. Many also like to visit Mount Lycabettus at night when the city is lit up.
Wrap up your 3 days in Athens at the National Garden. Formerly known as the Royal Garden, the facility first opened in the 1830s and is south of the Old Royal Palace. It acts as a refreshing green space situated between the city's ancient monuments and its modern areas. There is also a small zoo that houses birds of prey, peacocks, monkeys and wolves. During your exploration, you will encounter traces of the historic city, such as random columns and mosaics.
Roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes to the northwest of Athens, you will find the ancient site of Delphi. This enchanting location is situated next to Mount Parnassus. In ancient times, this was the home of the renowned Oracle of Delphi that was visited by some of history's most famous rulers who wished to know what their futures held. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Greece's most popular tourist destinations and a great option for a day trip during your 3 days in Athens itinerary. Highlights include the Sacred Way and the Temple of Apollo. After doing some exploring, you can head to the Archaeological Museum of Delphi to learn more about the history of the location.
The 2-hour ferry ride to the island of Hydra is another excellent option for a day trip while enjoying a getaway in Athens. Known for its picturesque streets and its vibrant harbour, you will love the views of the Aegean Sea. If you visit on a hot day, take a refreshing swim before heading to a local taverna for a delicious meal. Hydra also has a vibrant nightlife scene for those who are looking to party.
Serene and surreal scenery await you when you make the trek from Athens to Metéora during your holiday. It is important to note that this magical part of Northern Greece is located around 4 hours away, so you will need to get an early start. Take the train to Kalambaka. From this village, you can explore the spectacular rock formations and historic monasteries that Metéora is famed for. The first of these religious houses was constructed in the 14th century. This continued into the 16th.
Choose Holiday Suites Athens 4* for a city break spend in the heart of the Greek capital. The property is located on a historic street and boasts modern, stylish features. During your stay, you will be comfortably accommodated in a Junior Suite or a Junior Family Suite, with breakfast served each morning.
The hotel's facilities include a luggage storage service, Wi-Fi, 24-hour reception, a laundry service, a concierge service, a lift, air conditioning, 2 restaurants, a bar and a sauna.
What we like: We love the fact that this property provides you with access to the partner hotel's gym facilities and its outdoor swimming pool. You can also look forward to a 20 per cent discount at the on-site restaurants and bars.
The Royalty Hotel Athens 4* is a stunning boutique property that features 27 well-appointed rooms with the best amenities. The accommodation's rooftop café-restaurant is the perfect place to grab a drink while enjoying spectacular views of the Acropolis.
On-site features include Wi-fi, air conditioning, a laundry service, a concierge service, a 24-hour reception desk, a restaurant and a spa. Rooms are equipped with safes, mini-fridges, hairdryers, bathrobes and courtesy trays with tea/coffee.
What we like: We love the rejuvenating treatments that this hotel offers at the on-site Timeless Spa. It is the perfect place to head after exploring the landmarks, temples and neighbourhoods of Athens.
Choose from 25 luxurious rooms when you arrange your stay at the Classic by Athens Prime Hotels 4*. The property enjoys a city centre location that is ideal for a break spent exploring this historic region of Greece. During your getaway, you will be accommodated in a Deluxe Room with Hot Tub or a Superior City View Room.
The hotel's on-site features include Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a 24-hour reception desk, a breakfast area and a tour desk. Rooms come equipped with safes, hairdryers and balconies/terraces.
What we like: We love the elegant furnishing and sleek designs that characterise this chic hotel and make it an ideal place from which to base your 3 days in Athens. It is located near top attractions like the Acropolis, the Hellenic Parliament and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
The B4B Athens Signature Hotel 4* is a modern, boutique property that consists of 35 rooms and suites. It enjoys a location in the heart of the city with convenient proximity to the most popular points of interest.
Enjoy on-site features, such as air conditioning, a laundry service, Wi-Fi, 24-hour reception and 3 restaurant/bar facilities during your stay at B4B Athens Signature Hotel 4*. You will also find in-room amenities, such as mini-fridges, safes, coffee machines and hairdryers.
What we like: We love this property's impressive Rooftop Garden that offers stunning Acropolis views you can enjoy while sampling the finest Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
The Athens Tiare Hotel is a stylish property that overlooks the historic Omonoia Square. Its central location also places you just a few steps from the metro station. During your stay, you will be accommodated in an Upgraded Deluxe Fountain View Room with breakfast served each morning to help you start your day.
Hotel features include a fitness centre, 3 restaurants/bars, a luggage storage service, Wi-Fi, a concierge service and a 24-hour reception desk.
What we like: We love this property's central location in a historic area of the city and close to top public transportation options.
We have a few recommendations to help you get the most out of your 3 days in Athens booked through the travel team at Voyage Privé. To begin with, we suggest making use of the metro as it is the best way to get around the city. Although many places take card payments, you will also encounter some that do not. With this in mind, it is a good idea to carry a bit of cash when you are out and about. The local currency is the euro, and the official language is Greek. We suggest doing a bit of research when it comes to off-site dining. Avoid tourist traps and go to where the locals eat for an authentic experience. If you plan to take any electronic devices that use a UK outlet, you will need a travel plug adapter.
If you want to avoid the peak of the tourist season in Athens when prices are the highest, and the crowds are at their largest, we suggest booking from March to May or September to November. The weather is still warm and pleasant during these periods, and the attractions are less crowded.
Flights from UK travel hubs to Athens International Airport are available daily with an average in-air time of around 4 hours. As previously noted, the metro is a convenient way to get around the city. If you want to embark on any day trips, you can hire a car or take the train. Bus routes are another excellent option for getting around the city and beyond.
Athens is famed as a world-class destination for foodies, and there are some must-try suggestions for you to sample during your 3-day getaway. Authentic Greek souvlaki is a must. This mouth-watering grilled meat dish is made with marinated pork, beef, lamb or chicken and is usually served with salad and pita bread. Other recommendations include feta and spinach pie, the Greek doughnuts known as loukoumades and the unique sesame bread rings called koulouri. We also suggest that you sample the region's finest seafood options during your stay.