Greece is a dream destination: rich history, excellent food, breathtaking scenery, a relaxed way of life,the beach … What more could you ask from a getaway? There truly is something for everyone in the mesmerizing country. However, wherever your Greek holiday takes you, you will most certainly spend at least one day in Athens as it is home to Greece’s largest airport as well as the gateway to the Greek Islands.
An overview of Athens
With human presence dating back to the 11th and 7th millennia BC, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities. It also gave rise to democracy, classical Greece, and western culture. This rich history comes to life when you visit Athens, although if you only have 24 hours to spend there.
Today, Athens is the capital of Greece, with a metropolitan population of approximately 5 million people. It is the southernmost capital on the European continent and Europe’s warmest major city.
In Athens for One Day Itinerary
Because Athens is rich in magnificent sights and history, spending only one day there will keep your agenda quite packed. Without further ado, let’s dive into a guide of how to spend 24 h in Athens.
Begin the Day at the Parthenon
The Parthenon, Athens’s most iconic sight, is a must-see even if you just have one day in the city. Because of its spectacular location on the Acropolis Hill in the heart of Athens, it appears on practically every postcard and photograph of the city. During your visit to the Parthenon, you will also have the opportunity to explore:
This structure houses a remarkable statue created by Socrates, the famed philosopher.
Formerly home to many different deities and divine ancestors, is supposed to have once housed a golden lamp that could run for a whole year with only one recharge.
The Athena Temple Nike
Discover the conservatives and innovators of ancient Athens, as well as the protective function of the Acropolis in ancient Greece.
Get a bird’s-eye view of Athens.
Because the Acropolis and the Parthenon are popular, avoid long lineups by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour of the Acropolis to discover more about its history and significance.
Pro tip: Get there early – The Parthenon opens at 8 am, and it is the best time to visit to avoid crowds + you’ll also beat the crowd of the tour buses!
Estimated time: 1H approximately.
Participate in a Free Walking Tour
Walking tours are amazing. They provide opportunities to learn more about a city’s history and stories from the past to the present, and they are also very cost efficient. You simply tip what you believe the tour is worth at the conclusion. If you just have one day in Athens, this is a terrific way to explore the attractions as well as take amazing pictures of the infrastructure.
While there are many free walking tours in Athens, we recommend the one below as it covers all of the key city landmarks and begins early in the day. Expect to learn the following:
- Hadrian’s Gate
- Zeus’ Temple in Olympia
- The National Gardens, Panathinaiko Stadium, Syntagma Square, and the changing of the guards ceremonial are all located in Athens.
Estimated time: 3 H approximately.
Visit Some Local Markets and Eat Lunch
To become acquainted with Athens in a single day, you must visit not only the tourist attractions but also some of the local markets. The center market, or Varvakios Agora, is an excellent venue to witness Greek culture in action.
People will haggle over anything a Greek kitchen may require: meat, olive oil, spices, and so on. There are also some excellent tavernas for a snack or lunch.
Estimated time: : 2 H approximately.
Enjoy a Greek Dinner in the Plaka District
For dinner, the Plaka district is a lovely pick, as it is one of Athen’s oldest neighborhoods.
In the winter, when the sun sets earlier, pick a spot for drinks and then proceed to dinner. As the sun sets earlier in the summer, you may wish to combine supper and beverages.
There’s a maze of cobblestone streets with boutiques, cafes, and wonderful architecture. Wander around, taking in the ambience and perusing the menus until you find something that sparks your interest.
After dark, go to Monastiraki Square
One of Athens’s biggest squares, it’s the ideal site to end your one-day visit. There will be street entertainers and a variety of items for sale, ranging from souvenirs to apparel.
More Advice for Your 24 Hours in Athens
Here are a few pointers to help you make the most of your day trip to Athens.
- Carry cash (Euros) at all times. Many establishments will not accept credit or debit cards. Fortunately, there are numerous ATMs located across the city.
- Pickpockets should be avoided. They are very active in Athens, especially in crowded cafes, squares, and the metro.
- Tipping is optional, especially at restaurants. Restaurant employees are given a fair wage, but you are welcome to tip for excellent service.
- In Athens, tap water is safe to drink. In fact, public fountains may be found all over the city. Bring a reusable water bottle to remain hydrated while exploring the city.