Top Things to Do in Athens for a Thrilling Weekend Escape

Ah, Athens! A city steeped in history, culture, and a vibrant modern lifestyle. As the heartland of ancient Greece, Athens is a city that captivates the imagination and engages the senses. With a rich history dating back over 3,000 years, this city is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, iconic landmarks, and vibrant neighbourhoods. But Athens is not only about history; it’s also a city that knows how to live. Its bustling markets, inviting tavernas, and pulsating nightlife make it one of Europe’s most exciting cities.

There is no shortage of things to do in Athens. From exploring ancient ruins to savouring delectable Greek cuisine to immersing yourself in the local art scene, the city offers a plethora of experiences. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art lover, or just a curious traveller, Athens is a thrilling escape that promises an unforgettable weekend.

Join me as I take you through the top things to do in Athens, Greece, for a weekend full of adventure, culture, food, and fun.

Historical Attractions: Things to Do in Athens

Let’s start our journey with the city’s historical attractions, the main reason many travellers flock to Athens. A visit to Athens would only be complete with a trip to the Acropolis, the ancient citadel that dominates the city skyline. Here, you can marvel at the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion, which are stunning examples of classical Greek architecture.

The Parthenon temple was built between 447 and 432 B.C.

Not far from the Acropolis is the Ancient Agora, once the heart of public life in ancient Athens. Wandering through these ruins, you can almost hear the echoes of Socrates and Plato, who once walked these grounds. Close by is the Roman Agora, another testament to Athens’ rich historical past.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the National Archaeological Museum, home to one of the world’s greatest collections of ancient Greek art and artifacts. From Mycenaean gold to Minoan frescoes, this museum is a must-see for history enthusiasts.

Food and Drink: Culinary Things to Do in Athens

If you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat! Greek cuisine is renowned worldwide for its fresh ingredients, simple preparation, and mouthwatering flavours. Start your culinary adventure with a visit to the bustling Varvakios Market, where you can sample the freshest seafood, fruits, vegetables, and local delicacies.

For a taste of traditional Greek dishes, head to one of the many tavernas in the Plaka district. Here, you can savour moussaka, souvlaki, tzatziki, and other Greek classics while enjoying the lively atmosphere.

Greek restaurant in Plaka neighbourhood.

Don’t forget to try the local wines. Greece has a long history of winemaking, and Athenian wines are a testament to this tradition. Whether you prefer a robust red or a crisp white, you will surely find a wine that complements your meal perfectly.

Art and Culture: Unmissable Things to Do in Athens

Athens is a city that breathes art and culture. From its ancient ruins to its contemporary art scene, Athens is a city that celebrates creativity in all its forms. The Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art are just a few of the city’s cultural gems.

If you’re a fan of street art, then you’re in luck. Athens has a vibrant street art scene, with colourful murals adorning the city’s walls. Areas like Metaxourgeio and Psirri are particularly renowned for their street art.

To experience Athens’ vibrant music scene, head to one of the city’s many live music venues. Whether you’re into traditional Greek music, jazz, rock, or electronic music, there’s a place for you in Athens.

Nightlife: Exciting Things to Do in Athens

When the sun goes down, Athens comes alive. The city’s nightlife is as diverse as it is exciting. Whether you want to sip cocktails in a swanky rooftop bar, dance the night away in a pulsating club, or enjoy live music in a traditional bouzouki, Athens has it all.

Thissio neighbourhood of Athens.

Popular nightlife districts include Gazi, Psirri, and Exarcheia, each with its unique vibe and character. But wherever you choose to spend your evening, you’re guaranteed a night to remember.

Outdoor Adventures: Natural Things to Do in Athens, Greece

Despite being a bustling city, Athens offers plenty of outdoor activities for nature lovers. Hiking up Mount Lycabettus, the city’s highest point is a must-do. The panoramic view of the city from the top is simply breathtaking.

If you’re a beach lover, Athens won’t disappoint. With the Aegean Sea on its doorstep, the city is surrounded by beautiful beaches. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or partake in water sports, there’s a beach for you in Athens.

National Garden.

For a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, visit the National Garden. This lush oasis in the heart of the city is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Shopping in Athens: A Shopaholic’s Guide

Athens is a shopper’s paradise. From high-end boutiques to vintage shops to bustling markets, the city has something to offer every shopper. Ermou Street is the city’s main shopping street, home to both international brands and local boutiques.

Monastiraki Flea Market.

If you’re looking for unique souvenirs, head to the Monastiraki Flea Market. Here, you can find everything from antiques to handicrafts to vintage clothing.

For a taste of luxury, venture to Kolonaki, an upmarket district known for its designer boutiques and high-end stores.

Family-Friendly Activities: Things to Do in Athens

Athens is a great city to explore with kids. The city offers a plethora of family-friendly attractions and activities. The Athens Zoo, the Allou Fun Park, and the Hellenic Children’s Museum are just some places kids will love.

For a fun and educational experience, take your kids to the National Gardens, where they can learn about the local flora and fauna. Another great option is the Attica Zoological Park, home to over 2000 animals from around the world.

Tips for Planning Your Weekend in Athens

Planning a weekend in Athens is easy with a little preparation. First, decide on the main attractions you want to visit. Then, plan your itinerary around these attractions.

Travel in Athens is relatively easy, with a well-connected public transportation system. The metro, buses, and trams are efficient ways to get around the city. Alternatively, you can rent a bike or simply explore the city on foot.

Finally, remember to immerse yourself in the local culture. Try the local food, learn a few Greek phrases, and engage with the locals. This will make your Athens experience even more enriching.

Athens Travel Cost

Grecotel Pallas Athena.

Here’s an estimate of a weekend budget for three classes in Athens: economy, mid-class, and luxury. Please remember that prices can vary depending on the season, exchange rates, and personal preferences.


  • Accommodation: €40-80 per night for a budget hotel or hostel.
  • Meals: €10-20 per meal in inexpensive restaurants or street food.
  • Transportation: €9 for a 24-hour ticket for public transportation.
  • Attractions: €10-20 for entry fees to museums and attractions.
  • Total: Approximately €150-250 for the weekend.


  • Accommodation: €80-150 per night for a comfortable hotel or a private room in a mid-range hotel.
  • Meals: €15-30 per meal in mid-range restaurants.
  • Transportation: €9 for a 24-hour ticket for public transportation.
  • Attractions: €10-20 for entry fees to museums and attractions.
  • Total: Approximately €250-400 for the weekend.


  • Accommodation: €150-300+ per night for a luxury hotel or boutique accommodation.
  • Meals: €30-50+ per meal in upscale restaurants.
  • Transportation: €9 for a 24-hour public or private transportation ticket.
  • Attractions: €10-20+ for entry fees to museums and attractions.
  • Total: Approximately €400+ for the weekend.

These estimates cover basic expenses such as accommodation, meals, transportation, and attractions. Additional costs are not included, such as shopping, nightlife, or specific luxury experiences. Allocate extra funds for any unforeseen expenses or specific preferences you might have.

Please note that these are rough estimates, and prices can fluctuate. It’s always a good idea to check current rates, make reservations in advance, and research any special events or seasonal variations that might affect prices during your visit to Athens.

Why Athens is a Must-Visit City

In conclusion, Athens is a city that has something for everyone. Its rich history, vibrant culture, sumptuous cuisine, and exciting nightlife make it a must-visit city. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a chance to immerse yourself in a different culture, Athens is the perfect destination for a thrilling escape.

Are you ready to explore this fantastic city? 


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