Athens is a city that has it all – stunning ancient ruins, vibrant modern culture, and a rich history that spans over 3,000 years. As the birthplace of democracy and home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, it’s no wonder that Athens has become a popular tourist destination. From the iconic Parthenon perched atop the Acropolis, to the bustling streets of the Plaka neighborhood and the beautiful beaches of the Saronic Gulf, there is so much to see and do in this city.
However, with its growing popularity as a travel destination, it can be difficult to find ways to experience Athens that don’t involve large crowds and long lines. That’s where this guide comes in. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 activities and things to do in Athens that are off the beaten path, and that will help you avoid the crowds while still getting the most out of your vacation. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s ancient ruins, experiencing its modern culture, or immersing yourself in its natural surroundings, this list has something for everyone.
So if you’re planning a trip to Athens and want to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time, read on for our top recommendations for things to do in the city. From hidden gems and lesser-known neighborhoods to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, these activities will give you an authentic and memorable Athens experience.
Explore the hidden neighborhoods of Athens: Anafiotika, Psyrri, and Gazi
- Experience the charm of narrow streets and colorful houses, relax in charming squares and plazas, sample local cuisine at restaurants and cafes, and shop for unique items at local boutiques and shops.
- These neighborhoods are generally less crowded than the more touristy areas of the city.
- These neighborhoods can be busy during the day, but tend to be less crowded in the evenings.
- These neighborhoods are all located within walking distance of the city center, and are easily reachable by foot or public transportation.
Escape the crowds at the ancient ruins of the Agora in Athens
Looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path activity in Athens? Look no further than the ancient ruins of the Agora. This fascinating site was once the center of ancient Athens, and it’s a great place to learn about the city’s rich history. Plus, it’s much less crowded than the more famous Acropolis, so you can really take your time and explore without feeling rushed. Here’s what you can expect when you visit the Agora:
- Explore ancient ruins and artifacts, and learn about the history of ancient Athens
- Take in beautiful views of the city from the Agora
- Avoid the crowds by visiting the Agora instead of the more popular Acropolis
- To avoid the busiest times of day, try visiting the Agora in the afternoon
- Conveniently located within walking distance of the Acropolis, so you can easily visit both sites in the same day
Find peace and beauty in the National Garden of Athens
Looking for a peaceful and beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of Athens? Head to the National Garden. This stunning oasis is located right in the heart of the city, and it’s a perfect place to relax and unwind. The garden is home to a wide variety of plants, trees, and flowers, as well as a small zoo and a small lake. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds and enjoy some fresh air.
- Stroll through the National Garden and admire a wide variety of plants, trees, and flowers
- Relax by the small lake or visit the small zoo
- Escape the crowds and enjoy some fresh air in the heart of the city
- The National Garden is a free activity
Recommended: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket
The Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket is a must-have for travelers visiting Athens. This combo ticket gives you skip-the-line access to 7 of the city’s top sites, including the iconic Acropolis, the ancient Agora, and the Roman Agora. Not only will you save money with this combo ticket, but you’ll also save time by avoiding long lines. Immerse yourself in Athens’ ancient history and explore the city’s rich cultural heritage at your own pace. Don’t miss out on the breathtaking views from Acropolis Hill. Save money, save time, and fully experience Athens with the Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket.
- Save money and time with a combo ticket that includes 7 of Athens’ top archaeological sites
- Enjoy skip-the-line access to the Acropolis and other popular sites
- Explore the ancient and modern history of Athens at your own pace
- Don’t miss out on the breathtaking views from Acropolis Hill
Experience the grandeur of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens
The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a must-see ancient ruin in Athens that is often overlooked by tourists. Despite its lesser-known status, the temple is truly impressive and worth a visit for its size and grandeur. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Athens and get a sense of the city’s ancient past.
- Visit the impressive Temple of Olympian Zeus and learn about the history of Athens
- Experience the grandeur of this ancient ruin, which is often overlooked by tourists
- Take the opportunity to explore this lesser-known site and discover its unique features
Taste your way through Athens on a Street Food Tasting Tour
Join a Street Food Tasting Tour and discover the delicious flavors of Athens. Your foodie adventure starts at a pie shop, where you’ll taste traditional cheese pie or spanakopita made right on the spot with the freshest ingredients. You’ll learn why Greeks are crazy about souvlaki and have the chance to enjoy it with local beer at a local joint away from the crowds. Meat (or vegetables) wrapped in pita bread, juicy tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce make for a delicious and authentic experience.
Next, you’ll walk around Athens’ shopping district and find your way to a delightful boat-shaped Greek pizza place. You’ll discover a pastry shop with the best Greek donuts and loukoumades, drenched in honey and cinnamon. As you meander the streets of lively Psyrri, an Athenian district full of artistic and creative power, you’ll enjoy street art, vintage shops, designer stores, and cute cafes.
At an old bakery, you’ll discover the source of fresh and warm bread sesame rings, found in every food stall around Athens. Finish your street food tour with sweet memories of scrumptious local desserts, topped with golden syrup, sweet spices, and special flavored ice cream.
- Taste traditional Greek pies and souvlaki, and enjoy local beer
- Discover the best Greek donuts and pizza in Athens
- Explore the vibrant streets of Psyrri and taste fresh sesame bread rings
- Finish your tour with scrumptious local desserts
Maximize your time in Athens with a Full Day Private Tour
Looking for an ultimate way to experience all that Athens has to offer? Look no further than the Athens Full Day Private Tour. Departing from your hotel, you’ll make your way to the Acropolis in a private vehicle, where you can stroll through the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Temple of the Athena Nike, the Propylaea, the Erechtheum, and the Parthenon. You’ll also have the chance to take in views from Lycabettus Hill and explore the neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki. With hassle-free pickup and drop-off from your Athens hotel, a private vehicle and driver, and a comprehensive tour of the ruins of Acropolis, this tour truly has it all.
- Experience all of the highlights of Athens in a single, convenient tour
- Depart from your hotel and visit the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, and the neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki
- Travel comfortably in a private vehicle with a driver
- Enjoy hassle-free pickup and drop-off from your hotel