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Weekend in Athens. What to do and see in 2 or more days. Best places

Weekend in Athens

Stopover for many tourists, thanks to the presence of one of the busiest ports in Europe, Athens cn reserve pleasant surprises; above all, if you were to opt for a stop of at least a couple of days before (or after) your destination, which, all probability, should be an island of the Cyclades or the Dodecanese.

Making a judgment about this city is quite difficult: Athens loves or hates itself. It is an objectively beautiful city, with monuments of incomparable majesty, authentic masterpieces that time has not scratched.

Athens is a fascinating, bewitching and mysterious city. Athens is a city to discover: not only for the most famous jewels, but also for the most remote corners. Only in this way can you discover the beautiful Piazza Syntagma, the beating heart of the city, or the picturesque and crowded neighborhoods of Psiri, Plate e Monastiraki. It does not matter if his glorious history is as if he were drowned in front of the wild frenzy of the human being who ended up luring it with cement, overcrowded suburbs, smog and delinquency. This is part of the contradictions of a city that, like it or not, gives angles and views absolutely unforgettable.


There is no visit to the city that does not contemplate the Acropolis; ancient Sacred City, with temples and shrines, a true natural fortress perched on top of a hill. Even today, it fascinates with the timeless beauty of its temples. Although there are no longer the sculptures of the past; despite the continuous, and endless scaffolding that has always been the background of the landscape; despite the smog and the hot heat during the peak hours of the summer months. If you probably have to stop during the summer months, we highly recommend visiting early in the morning or late afternoon; in the summer, right here, you reach the hottest peaks of heat in all of Europe!

Weekend in Athens Parthenon

The Acropolis does not need any introduction. Eternal symbol of Philosophy and Democracy, recognized World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1987; groups such a number of sites of absolute value and value, of which only the list would suffice, to remain open-mouthed.

1 – PARTHENON: majestic and solemn, rises at the center of the Acropolis; it is considered in all respects, the masterpiece of Greek architecture. The Doric Temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena, built on the initiative of the Athenian general Pericles, strikes for the perfection and proportion of the forms and the line. An authentic wonder. On the feet, stands the Acropolis Museum, inaugurated only in the 2009, which preserves several sculptures. Others, together with various exhibits, are instead preserved in the most important European museums such as the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris.

2 – Ancient temple of ATENA POLIÀS, dedicated to the cult of the Goddess, whose foundations remain visible, and numerous architectural elements of the Doric order.

weekend in Athens

3 – ERETTEO: ancient and elegant Archaic Temple, dedicated to Athena Poliàs, a Poseidon Erechtéus and to the Athenian heroes. A masterpiece of Ionic style, with an asymmetrical plan, with six columns on the east front and four embedded in the west wall. Do not miss the Portico of the Korái, also known as Portico delle Caryatids, one of the most famous monuments of the ancient world. The Caryatids represented the ambassadors of Athena in the world.

4 – STATUE OF ATHENA PROMACHOS: just in this point of the map above, it seems that stood the monumental statue, over 7 meters high, of the Goddess Athena holding a huge spear in his right hand. The statue was destroyed shortly after being transferred from this place.

5 – PROPILEI: literally, they are “what stands before the gate”. They represent the monumental entrance to the sacred enclosure, formed by a central body with six Doric columns, and two marble wings.

6 – TEMPLE OF ATHENA NIKE: rises on the extreme western spur of the sacred area, and is one of the main monuments. An Ionic Temple with rectangular blocks of limestone, built to guard the statue of Athena Nike Aptera, victorious goddess without wings.

7 – Sanctuary of Aegeus
8 – Sanctuary of Artemide Brauronia or Brauroneion;
9 – Calcoteca;
10 – Pandroseion;
11 – Arrephorion;
12 – Altar of Athena Poliàs;
13 – Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus;
14 – Pandion Sanctuary;
15 – Odeo of Herodes Atticus;
16 – Stoa of Eumene;
17 – Sanctuary of Asclepius or Asclepieion;
18 – DIONISO THEATER: it was the most important of the Greek world between the 5th and 4th centuries ac, and home to many works in this same period. Completely destroyed in the Byzantine period, it was brought to light during the excavations at the end of the 19th century. The orchestra is well preserved;
19 – Odeo of Pericles;
20 – Sanctuary of Dionysus.

The Acropolis is open every day from October to March from 08:00 to 15:00, and from April to September from 08:00 to 20:00. The standard rate entrance ticket costs €20 and allows access not only to the Acropolis but also to the ancient Agora, the Roman Forum, the Kerameikos cemetery and the Temple of Zeus. Above all, we would like to point out FREE ENTRANCE on the following days: 06/03, 18/04, 18/05, 05/06, 28/10, the last weekend of September and EVERY FIRST Sunday of the month from November to March!

To reach the site by public transport, just take the Metro and get off at the stop Acropolis o Monastiraki. For all the info and updates you can also refer to the official site from this link.

Postponed the visit of the Agora for the second day of the Athens Weekend; after so much culture, it’s time for a break. Reach your hotel (if possible a central structure), take a shower, and leave at a time Plaka. It’s a beautiful and picturesque neighborhood, which, although purely tourist, is really fascinating, with its narrow streets and the silhouette of the Parthenon visible from above.

Plaka, is full of small hotels and souvenir shops. The walk from the stop Monastiraki offers beautiful views; houses and neoclassical buildings, unique colors and scents … splendid facades of museums, the splendid monument of Lysicrates, a small round temple with six columns, and an idyllic place for a walk. Plate, is also the shopping district and small souvenir shops; do not stop at the first and always try to bargain on the price, as you usually do in these areas.

Temple of Zeus

On the eastern side of the square, you can see the bow of Hadrian and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The first is a monumental arch, similar to a Roman triumphal arch. The latter was considered one of the greatest Temples in all of Greece; today only some columns remain, the crepidoma and portions of the tripartite lintel. It’s walking in the direction of Syntagma Square that you will meet some places to stop for dinner; for the majority, they are tourist proposals. Simply choose according to your tastes; we recommend, however, Greek cuisine or, alternatively, the classic pita, tzatziki, souvlaki, salad and tomatoes!


Early morning wake up, abundant breakfast and away …. we leave for the second day of your Weekend in Athens. If it should be Sunday, do not hesitate and reach Monastiraki (with the metro, the homonymous station); it is the place where, every Sunday, the famous market takes place. It is a very popular appointment, where you can find anything.

Whatever the thing you are looking for, if you do not have to find it here …. it does not exist anywhere in the world! At least, that’s what they say in these parts. At the market it is used to haggle, in typical Athenian style; arm yourself with calm and good patience and never give in to the seller’s offer: you will be able to comb through the best price.

Temp Athens

A short walk from here, with a short walk, you reach the ancient Agora, today a beautiful green space with a spectacular view of the sacred area. Once upon a time it was the beating heart of commerce, and of the culture of Classical Greece; from here, the philosophical, political and social thought of the West started, of which, almost unanimously, Athens is recognized as being its cradle.

The best preserved building, even if only externally, of the whole agora and, perhaps, of Greece itself, is the TEMPLE OF EFESTO. It dominates from a hill to the west, with its 6 front columns and the 13 on the side. Dedicated to Athena and to the God of metallurgy, even if it is known as Thission, because the story of Theseus was reported on the frieze. The exterior is almost perfect, but the same can not be said of the internal structure.
The agora, with the exception of the Museum of which we provide details later, is open every day from 08:00 to 14:30 from October to March and from 08:00 to 19:00 in other months.

The excavations have brought to light the remains of ancient temples and buildings, of which little or nothing remains. There I AM ATTEMPTING, a two-story porticoed building, located towards the end of the Agora, is the only restored ancient palace in Athens. Dating back to the 138 AD it was built by the king of Pergamum, and today houses the Agora museum, which collects the stories, materials and exhibits of the city life of this site.

The building is open daily from 08:30 to 14:30. It is possible to buy the entrance ticket for the museum only at the cost of 4€, however, we recommend the ticket from 12€ that allows the visit also of the Acropolis, the Roman Forum, the cemetery of Kerameikosand the Temple of Zeus. We report, above all, the FREE ENTRY on the following days:
06/03, 18/04, 18/05, 05/06, 28/10, the last weekend of September and ALL THE FIRST Sunday of the month from November to March!
The area around the Temple and part of the Agora has been completely pedestrianized, and today it is a lively and crowded bustle of tourists, with cafes, bars and restaurants where we recommend stopping for lunch.


Photo ©, Thomas Wolf

For the Afternoon, obligatory stop at archaeological Museum, one of the most important archeology museums in the world, as well as the largest in Greece! THE‘Ethnikó Archeologikó Moussio, includes pieces of inestimable value from the Neolithic up to the Hellenistic and Roman period. The feeling of deja-vu will reign supreme; here, in fact, you can admire a few centimeters away, masterpieces that maybe you have scanned the books of art and ancient history. Unique collections. From the extraordinary frescoes of 1500 ac Housed in the 48 room, to the collection of ceramics, among the most precious and rich in the world; from the Mycenaean collection of the 4 Room, to the Cycladic collection of the 6 Room. A unique and indispensable heritage.

The Museum is open every day, in winter, from 13:00 to 20:00 (only on Tuesdays, from 08:30 to 15:30). In summer, from 08:00 to 20:00 (only on Tuesdays it opens at 15:00). The entrance ticket costs €12 in summer and €6 in winter. A special €15 ticket is available which also allows access to the following facilities: National Archaeological Museum, Byzantine & Christian Museum, Numismatic Museum and Epigraphic Museum.

Before dinner, we recommend going up Mount Licabetto; it is a limestone hill, located at over 270m above sea level, as well as the highest point of the whole city. Panoramic point of unique beauty, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of 360 degrees throughout the city. An ancient legend tells that the Lycabettus it was the work of the goddess Athena.
It is accessed via a steep path on foot or alternatively via the cableway; the latter climbs to the top with runs every 10 minutes at peak times, up to 30′. The ticket costs 7.00€ round trip. The nearest Metro stop for Licabetto is Panepistimio.


It is always a rather difficult task to make a selection of the places to visit in such a short time. From a subjective point of view, we recommend stopping at Syntagma Square, true fulcrum of today’s Athens. It is true that the Keramicos and the splendid Museum of Ceramics, with its numerous findings, deserves proper attention.


Photo ©, A.Savin

Syntagma Square, is the most famous square in all of Athens. With an area of about 25000 square meters, which overlooks the Hellenic Parliament Building with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; precisely in this place, the famous and picturesque Change of the Athens Presidential Guard is held at the precise stroke of every hour; you will see the Evzoni at work, which we have dealt with in a specific article that you can consult directly from here. The whole square is flanked by picturesque streets with restaurants, bars, cafes and numerous bars.

Syntagma Square is one of the 14 stops that is part of the special HOP ON HOP OFF BUS; the tourist bus allows you to comfortably tour the city, crossing the nerve centers. dall ‘Acropolis, passing through the Parthenon, Temple of Zeus National Library, archaeological Museum and the Stadium. We point it out as an alternative.
The ticket price is about €20.

Whether it is the beginning, or the end, of your trip to Greece, or a simple “touch and go”, it does not matter; we are sure that you will bring a beautiful memory of this city.

Good Weekend in Athens

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