Things to do in Athens

things to do in Athens

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that I was in Athens over half term. Or if not – surprise! I went to Athens!

Autumn is a great time to visit Athens. It’s a city for walking around and visiting ancient temples, and the temperature was around 26 degrees, so not too hot for walking in. It’s a very, very busy city, with streets thronged non-stop with people and traffic.

Here are some things to do in Athens, if you’re looking for ideas:

  • Visit the two Sephoras!
    Athens Sephora haul
    Yeah, you thought I was going to come straight in with The Acropolis didn’t you? Look, I know this is a bit shallow when you’re in one of the world’s richest cultural destinations, but we don’t have Sephora in the UK so you gotta get it where you can.
    Whilst the historical sites were the main point of our visit (the teenager is studying Classics), my only real research was to establish that there are two Sephoras in Athens, and one of them was three minutes from our hotel. Shopping is a major pastime in Athens, from vast flea markets to high end couture. And the Sephora is pretty generous with their sample game. Also check out the Korres shop. As this is a Greek brand, they have lots of products you can’t get in the UK.
  • Visit The Acropolis
    things to do in athens - visiting the Acropolis
    Well you’ve got to, haven’t you? This is the site that everybody visiting Athens has to visit, and so it’s one of those places that’s constantly busy. Get there as early in the day as you can, and buy the combined ticket that gives you access to other museums too. Allow most of the day for a trip here, because you will want to visit the Acropolis Museum too. Though be careful if you have mobility issues, since there is a lot of walking over stony ground.
  • National Archeological Museum
    Widely regarded as one of the world’s most important museums, this is the place to go to for all the top quality statues with no noses. It’s very much a traditional museum in that there’s a lot of gazing at stuff and not much interaction, so younger children might find it dull. But other than that, there’s room upon room of amazing ancient artifacts. Allow at least two hours for a visit.
  • The tortoises of Athens
    tortoises in athens
    I gave an actual squeal of delight when I unexpectedly found a wild tortoise rambling around an ancient ruin. They’re really cute little fellers and they wander around all over the place. There are plenty of cats roaming wild too, but come on, we’ve all seen cats. I don’t know why these guys don’t get more attention. The statues with no noses get put on t shirts and all the rest, but really the tortoises of Athens are the stars of the show.
  • Stay at Met34
    This is where we stayed, and I would definitely give it a wholehearted thumbs up, especially if you are travelling as a family. It’s a boutique hotel with just 7 rooms, right in the centre of Athens. The rooms are actually spacious two bed apartments, with every amenity you could want (great wifi). Very quiet too, which was a welcome respite in a busy city.

This just gives you a flavour of what we did. We were in Athens for three and a half days and it was enough to get round all the major sites. It’s a big city, but the central area is very compact and easily walkable.

Have you ever been to Athens? Would you like to go one day? Leave a comment or a question below, I’d love to hear from you

  • Kamilla Haaland

    Great post. Athens is absolutely on my bucket list!

    paperplanemag.no

    • Definitely go some time! I didn’t find it to be hugely expensive to get there, though if you eat out a lot and get sucked in to the shopping it can add up.

  • Jenny Kearney

    I’ve never heard of Sephora before but it sounds like somewhere I would visit (as well as all the ancient ruins!).

    • It’s kind of like Disneyland for beauty products, a bit like Superdrug but more fun. We don’t have them in the UK, I guess because Boots and Superdrug have already got that market cornered, so I always make a point of going there when I’m abroad.

  • Great pics and I love that Sephora was one of your go to places in Athens. I’d love to visit someday to enjoy all of the above!

    • It’s really fun Rachel, well worth the trip. Because we don’t have Sephora in the UK I always make a point of going there if I’m in Europe.

  • Recently Had no idea that Anthens so incredible, there are so many places to visit. It`s still popular place for travelers.

    • Can’t see too many ancient ruins! They really are wondrous and well worth making the trip.

  • Cali Clarke

    I was there earlier this year – not much time for sightseeing as we were meeting up with a cousin who lives there but we did go to the changing of the guard (Sundays only IIRC) which was good fun (although stinking hot as midday in May). And so Sephora either 🙁

    • You need a return trip for a bit more sightseeing Cali. You can do the best of it in 3 or 4 days with plenty of time for shopping to.