What to do in Athens in 24 hours: The ultimate guide

Discover Athens in Just 24 Hours

If you only have one day to explore Athens, there’s no need to worry. With so many exciting sights and experiences on offer, you can still make the most of your time in the Greek capital. From ancient sites to modern marvels, vibrant neighborhoods to authentic eateries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, if you’re wondering “What to do in Athens in 24 hours?”, keep reading and we’ll guide you through the best things to see and do. Remember, this is just the start of your Athenian adventure – you’ll want to come back for more!

Read on to explore our top picks for an unforgettable day in Athens.

What to do in Athens in 24 hours: The ultimate guide

What to do in Athens in 24 hours

Exploring Athens in a day can seem like a daunting task, but it’s doable with the right plan. Start your day with a trip to the Acropolis, a historical landmark that’s become the face of Athens. You can climb up to the top of the hill and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Parthenon. To make the experience more enjoyable, wear comfortable shoes and carry a bottle of water as it gets hot during the day.

After getting your dose of history, take a leisurely walk through the charming neighborhood of Plaka. You’ll find plenty of shops selling unique souvenirs, cafes, and restaurants. If you’re a food lover, don’t miss out on trying some of the local delicacies like souvlaki, pastitsio, or moussaka. Plaka is also home to the Benaki Museum, which houses some of the finest collections of Greek art and history.

If you’re feeling adventurous and have time, take a stroll through the colorful Monastiraki Flea Market. Here, you can find all sorts of trinkets and unique items that will make great gifts for friends and family back home. The market is vibrant and bustling with both locals and tourists, so be prepared for the crowds.

Finally, end your day with a visit to the iconic Syntagma Square. This central hub of Athens is home to the parliament building and the famous changing of the guard ceremony. Watching the guards march to the sound of military music is a spectacle not to be missed. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Greek president who occasionally passes through this area.

In conclusion, with a well-planned itinerary, it’s possible to explore Athens in 24 hours. With the Acropolis, Plaka, Monastiraki Flea Market, and Syntagma Square, you can catch a glimpse of the stunning ancient and modern sides of Athens.

Explore the Acropolis and Parthenon

Exploring the Timeless Wonders of the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens

If you only have 24 hours to spend in Athens, then exploring the Acropolis and the iconic Parthenon should be at the top of your list of things to do. These ancient wonders of Greece are steeped in history and offer a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage and architectural prowess.

The Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens is a rocky outcrop that towers above the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site is home to several ancient ruins, including the Greek Temple of Athena Nike, Propylaia, Erechtheion, and of course, the Parthenon.

As you climb the steps to the top, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of the city below and the surrounding hills. It’s a good idea to set aside at least a couple of hours to explore the numerous ruins at the Acropolis, but be prepared for crowds during peak tourist season.

The Parthenon

The crowning glory of the Acropolis is undoubtedly the Parthenon, an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The temple is a symbol of ancient Greece and is regarded as one of the world’s most renowned and enduring structures.

Constructed in the fifth century, the Parthenon’s facade is adorned with intricate marble sculptures and reliefs. Unfortunately, much of the temple has been damaged over the years, including by an explosion in the 17th century, but it remains a must-visit attraction in Athens.

Pro Tip: Book your tickets to the Acropolis and Parthenon online in advance to avoid queuing for hours and save yourself some valuable time.

In conclusion, exploring the wonders of the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens is truly an unforgettable experience, even if you only have 24 hours to explore the city. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring a hat and plenty of water, and be prepared to soak in the rich history and beauty of Greece’s ancient heritage.

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Wander through the Ancient Agora

Uncovering the Magic of Ancient Athens

Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the world’s most historic cities. Despite its modern developments, Athens proudly preserves relics from its glorious past, amongst which the Ancient Agora is a must-see. It is a site steeped in history and culture that dates back centuries ago, and an excellent way to learn how the Greeks shaped the world as we know it today.

Let the Adventure Begin

If you only have 24 hours, don’t hesitate to add the Ancient Agora to your list of things to do in Athens. The highlight of this ancient site is the Temple of Hephaestus, which is one of the most robust temples still standing. Use an audio guide or take a tour to learn more about the temple’s history and how it survived the ravages of time.

The Ancient Agora is full of ruins, including an exquisitely-preserved Stoa of Attalos that dates back to 150 BC. The stoa houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora, a fantastic space that showcases several ceramics, jewels, and inscriptions from the Ancient Greek world. Plan to spend a minimum of two hours here to experience the full magic of the Ancient Agora.

Pro-tip: If you’re planning to spend a whole day here and other archaeological sites in Athens, get a combined ticket, which grants access to six other ancient sites in Athens.

Rekindling the Past

Visiting the Ancient Agora is like taking a trip back in time. Not only do you get a chance to see how the Greeks lived in their time, but you also get an opportunity to witness history come alive. The Ancient Agora was once a bustling metropolis and the heart of political, administrative, and social activities.

Whether exploring the ruins, asking questions, or just daydreaming, a visit to the Ancient Agora is a chance to explore history and get lost in a world long past. So, don’t shy away from the challenge of experiencing Athens in 24 hours. Let the adventure begin and witness the past come alive!

Visit the National Archaeological Museum

If you have only 24 hours in Athens, visiting the National Archaeological Museum should be at the top of your list of things to do. One of the largest museums in Greece, it houses an extensive collection of artifacts from prehistoric times to late antiquity.

As you explore the museum, you’ll come across fascinating exhibits like the prehistoric collection showcasing the Cycladic figurines and frescoes from Akrotiri in Santorini. The Mycenaean collection, which includes the iconic mask of Agamemnon, is equally impressive. You can also view the Bronze Age gold jewelry from the royal tombs in Mycenae or the famous Antikythera mechanism, considered the world’s oldest analog computer.

The ancient Greek art collection features vases, sculptures, and pottery arranged chronologically to offer an insight into the evolution of Greek art. Among the highlights is the statue of Zeus and the bronze statue of Poseidon that was discovered in the Aegean Sea. Additionally, the museum features art from the Byzantine era, such as the famous mosaics from Thessaloniki and the early Christian art collection that includes ivory and silver artifacts.

Overall, the National Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for those who want to learn more about the ancient history of Athens. With a variety of exhibits and artefacts, it will take you on a fascinating journey into the past, offering a glimpse into the city’s cultural heritage. Once you have finished exploring the museum, you can head to one of the nearby cafes to relax and reflect on the incredible discoveries you have just witnessed.

Take a stroll through the colorful Plaka neighborhood

Explore the Vibrant Plaka Neighborhood in Athens

If you only have 24 hours to spend in Athens, you must visit the picturesque Plaka neighborhood. Plaka is an old historical area located under the Acropolis hill. You can stroll through the colorful pedestrian streets and enjoy fantastic views of the city from the hills. It is a magical place that will give you a taste of ancient Greek history, culture, and architecture.

The Historic Charm of Plaka

Plaka is a perfect place to explore the traditional Greek charm. It is a maze of narrow alleys, flower-covered balconies, and unique shops selling handmade souvenirs, pottery, jewelry, and local street food. You can visit many beautiful landmarks, such as the Ancient Agora, the Tower of the Winds, or the Lysicrates Monument. These historical monuments are ancient ruins that reflect the Greek civilization’s richness that you can’t miss.

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Tip: A unique experience that we suggest is having a cup of Greek coffee at a traditional Greek café. Taste the Greek culture and enjoy the stunning view that the neighborhood has to offer.

The Real Greek Atmosphere

Plaka’s ambiance is filled with the sounds of music, laughter, street shows, and authentic Greek music. Make a stop at one of the restaurants that serve local dishes, including Moussaka, Souvlaki, and Tzatziki. By nightfall, the streets light up with colorful lights giving you the impression of being in an enchanted world.

Tip: Make sure to visit Anafiotika, a small neighborhood hidden on the top of Plaka. You can access this Greek island-style neighborhood by heading west after passing Mnisikleous St.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, if you’re planning a short trip to Athens, you can’t miss visiting Plaka. The neighborhood’s historical charm, lively atmosphere, and fantastic views will make your trip unforgettable. Exploring these neighborhoods will give you an exceptional chance to experience authentic Greek culture and food in just 24 hours.

Discover the trendy Psirri district

Discover the Vibrant and Chic Psirri District in Just 24 Hours

If you’re visiting Athens and want to experience the city’s trendy and lively side, make sure to allocate some time to explore the Psirri district. Located northwest of Monastiraki, this area was once associated with factories and warehouses. Still, it has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years and has transformed into one of the city’s most fashionable and lively neighborhoods. Here are some must-do activities to make the most of your 24 hours in Psirri.

Explore the Urban Street Art Scene
Walking through the streets of Psirri, you can’t help but notice the abundance of eye-catching street art. Colourful murals from both local and international artists adorn the walls of the buildings, creating a unique urban atmosphere. Spend some time wandering the streets and alleys to take in the vibrant and often thought-provoking artwork.

Indulge in the Local Foodie Scene
Psirri is home to some of the best and most authentic eateries in Athens, where you can sample traditional Greek food and enjoy a contemporary twist on classic dishes. Feel the taste of traditional Greek souvlaki at the famous To Koulouri tou Psirri or dine at the luxurious rooftop terrace of A for Athens. Follow the tradition of Greek coffee, aforesaid by Nikos Kazantzakis, the writer of “Zorba the Greek,” in a cozy café like Kiouzin or Ta Serbetia Tis Marikas.

Shop for Unique Finds
Psirri has become a hub for boutique shops and artisanal stores, making it a perfect place to find unique souvenirs or gifts. You’ll find stores such as The Secret Port, where you can find handmade leather sandals and bags, vintage shops like Free Shop, and craft shops such as Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum.

Experience the Nightlife Scene
At night, Psirri transforms into a lively hotspot for bars and clubs. With a vibrant atmosphere that caters to all tastes, you’ll find everything from craft beer bars like The Lazy Bulldog to the multi-talented Baba Au Rum, which has been ranked among the world’s best bars. For a more laid-back experience, visit the intimate Athens Heart bar or Psirri’s gay-friendly S-cape.

In conclusion, spending 24 hours in Psirri, Athens, will give you a glimpse into the vibrant and chic lifestyle adopted by trendy Athenians. The Psirri district is an excellent part of Athens to experience everything the city has to offer, from shopping opportunities to hidden indie bars, traditional eateries, and dynamic urban art.

Indulge in traditional Greek cuisine at a local taverna

There’s no better way to experience the rich flavors of Greece than to indulge in traditional cuisine at a local taverna. Lucky for you, Athens has no shortage of authentic spots to try.

Start your day off with some spanakopita, a savory pastry stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. You can find this classic dish at most bakeries and cafes throughout the city. Pair it with a strong Greek coffee for a true Athenian breakfast experience.

For lunch or dinner, head over to Oineas Taverna, a cozy spot near the Acropolis. Here, you can savor some of the best moussaka in town. Made with layers of eggplant, potato, and seasoned meat, this hearty dish is topped with a creamy bechamel sauce that will leave you wanting more. Don’t forget to pair it with a glass of local red wine for the full effect.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try some classic Greek meze dishes like tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber dip) or saganaki (fried cheese). These small plates are perfect for sharing with friends or sampling a variety of flavors on your own.

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In just 24 hours, it’s impossible to try all of the amazing food Athens has to offer. But by indulging in traditional Greek cuisine at a local taverna, you’ll have a taste of the city’s history, culture, and culinary legacy.

Watch the sunset from Lycabettus Hill

Experience a breathtaking sunset atop Lycabettus Hill

If you want to witness an awe-inspiring sunset view of Athens, Lycabettus Hill is the place to be. Standing at a height of 277 meters, Lycabettus Hill is the highest peak in Athens. You’ll get an opportunity to see the stunning panoramic views of the city, including the Acropolis, Piraeus, and the Saronic Islands.

How to get there

You can easily reach the top of Lycabettus Hill by a funicular or by climbing the flight of stairs. The funicular runs every 30 minutes, and the journey to the top takes only 5 minutes. However, if you want to experience the amazing sunrise atop the hill, the stairs are the best choice.

Tips: Wear comfortable footwear for climbing and bringing a bottle of water is a good idea.

The Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Lycabettus Hill is during sunset, when the whole city is bathed in a golden glow. The sun sinks behind the mountains, creating a mesmerizing view and get ready because the colours in the sky are just breathtaking. This is undoubtedly a must-visit location for photographic enthusiasts.

Fun fact: Lycabettus Hill was once populated by birds of prey, particularly hawks, and also got its name from the wolf.


In conclusion, watching a sunset from Lycabettus Hill is an unforgettable experience that should be added to your bucket list. It is an absolute must-do on the list of what to do in Athens in 24 hours. This attraction is an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of Athens and to admire the stunning views of the city.


Q: What are some must-see attractions in Athens if I only have 24 hours?
A: The Acropolis of Athens and its surrounding archaeological sites, the Parthenon, the Ancient Agora, and the National Archaeological Museum are all essential sites to visit.

Q: Is it worth visiting other museums and galleries?
A: It depends on your interests. If you’re interested in contemporary art, the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center are all fantastic options.

Q: Are there any particular neighborhoods or areas I should explore?
A: Plaka is a charming historic neighborhood that’s perfect for strolling, shopping, and dining. Monastiraki is another great area for street food, flea markets, and nightlife.

Q: Is it feasible to take a day trip outside of Athens in 24 hours?
A: Probably not, as you’ll want to spend most of your time exploring Athens. However, if you’re interested in an immersive cultural experience, you might consider a day trip to Delphi, which is about two hours away by car or bus.

Q: What should I eat and drink while in Athens?
A: Traditional Greek cuisine offers plenty of options, from meze plates and souvlaki to moussaka and spanakopita. Try some of the local wines, beers, and spirits, and be sure to indulge in some Greek coffee and baklava for dessert.

Q: How should I get around Athens?
A: Walking is the best way to explore the central areas of Athens. However, you can also take the metro, which is clean, efficient, and affordable. Taxis are another option, but be aware that traffic in Athens can be heavy at times.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, your ultimate guide on what to do in Athens in 24 hours. From exploring the grandeur of the Acropolis and Parthenon, to indulging in the traditional Greek cuisine at a local taverna, there is something for everyone in this ancient city.

Whether you are a history buff or just looking for a trendy neighborhood to discover, Athens has it all. Wander through the Ancient Agora, visit the National Archaeological Museum, or discover the vibrant Psirri district.

So, if you only have 24 hours to spare in Athens, don’t worry, there are still plenty of things to see and experience. And if you enjoyed reading our article, why not share it with your friends or on social media like Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you have an unforgettable 24 hours in Athens!

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