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Best experiences:

The Acropolis

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
Acropolis Hill at sunset

Dazzling ancient citadel, perched on a hilltop rising above the city, housing some of the most impressive ancient buildings in the world.

Adult price: £9

Best for ages 13+

Acropolis Museum

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior of the museum among other Athens buildings

A jaw-dropping array of antiquities – all the Acropolis’ treasures – in one very modern museum designed by starchitect Bernard Tschumi.

Adult price: £4

Best for ages 13+

Grand Promenade

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
The exterior of the Temple of Hephaestus on a clear day

A unique and extraordinary 3km pedestrian promenade peppered with world-class antiquities – triumphant arches, ancient amphitheatres, Greek temples, and ‘Socrates’ Prison’.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 3 kilometres

National Archaeological Museum

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior of the museum with the Greece flag flying on top of the building

The largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the best in the world, with a collection ranging from Mycenaean-era jewellery to some of the best-known classical sculptures.

Adult price: £5

Best for ages 18+

Plaka

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
A sunlit street with empty outdoor seating in Plaka

The heart of old Athens, Plaka has an authentic charm with winding lanes, shady squares and atmospheric Byzantine churches.

Best for ages 18+

Athens’ best food & drink

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
A Greek sesame bread ring koulouri (greek bagel) held in front of Athens' main shopping street

From simple ouzerias and street food trucks to Michelin-starred restaurants, Athens showcases the very best of traditional and contemporary Greek cuisine.

Best for ages 18+

Duration: -

Delphi Archaeological Site and Museum

Delphi, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
Delphi Archaeological Site and Museum

Lying on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, the sanctuary of Delphi is one of the most evocative and intriguing archaeological sites in Greece – and the most popular excursion out of Athens.

Adult price: £10

Best for ages 18+

Athens Epidaurus Festival

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
Athens Epidaurus Festival

World-class performing arts festival staged in spectacular venues, from ancient amphitheatres to converted factories.

Best for ages 18+

Duration: 4 months

When: June-October

Frequency: annually

Odeon of Herod Atticus

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The empty Odeon of Herodes Atticus Roman theatre on the Acropolis

This Roman-era Odeon was built by a wealthy private citizen Herod Atticus in memory of his wife in 161 AD and originally served as an indoor venue for 5,000 people. It was restored in the 1950s and is used for music and theatre performances throughout the summer.

Adult price: £17

Best for ages 13+

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Mount Lycabettus

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Lycabettus hill on a summer day

The tallest of the capital’s seven hills, Mt Lycabettus towers over Athens. Take the funicular to the summit for panoramic city views, and lunch or dinner at an excellent fine dining restaurant.

Adult price: £6

Best for ages 18+

Sunset at Cape Sounion

Lavrio, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
Sunset over the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio.

Unforgettable sunsets overlooking the atmospheric temple of Poseidon., where the Cape juts out of Attica to the Aegean Sea.

Best for ages 18+

Marathon (Marathonas)

Marathon, Central Greece, Greece

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Bucket List Experience
The tumulus (burial mound) which was erected near the battlefield, with a few trees and mountains behind

The poignant site of the battle of Marathon, 25 centuries ago, that marked a clash of civilisations and provided the name for the famous long endurance race (Marathon).

Best for ages 18+

The Roman Forum

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The forum on a sunny day

Built by Emperor Augustus between 19 and 11 BC, the Forum was Athens’ trade centre, evolving into the city’s administrative hub by 3 BC. The two highlights are the Western Gate and the Tower of Winds, a 39-foot-high clocktower-cum-weathervane with a frieze depicting eight wind deities, thought to be the world’s first meteorological station.

Adult price: £2

Best for ages 18+

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Climb Philopappou Hill

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Two people sit atop Filopappou Hill and look over the city

A lovely 1-hour walk on marble footpaths through pine forests to the summit of this small city hill, offering the best views of the Parthenon without the crowds.

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 2-3 hours

Theatre of Dionysus

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The Theatre of Dionysus visible from above

Just below the Acropolis complex, an ancient amphitheatre was the largest theatre in Athens with a capacity of 17,000. First built in the 6th century BC, it operated continuously for 1,000 years, until it was abandoned.

Adult price: £10

Best for ages 18+

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Folk dancing in Athens

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

View of two people dancing in traditional dress

An institution since 1953, the Dora Stratou Dance Company performs daily folk dancing shows in summer, in the eponymous open-air theatre on Philopappou Hill. Eye-opening as well as hugely entertaining, this is the best folk experience in Athens.

Adult price: £13

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 2 hours

When: June-September

Frequency: daily

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Museum of the Ancient Agora

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Exterior pillars of the Ancient Agora

Housed in the restored Stoa (covered walkway) of Attalos, this is probably the second most interesting museum after the Archaeological one; the most intriguing displays are the clay voting tablets with carved names, a reminder of Athenian democracy.

Adult price: £9

Best for ages 18+

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Monastiraki Flea Market

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Wares are spread out on tables and blankets on the floor under large parasols at the flea market

The closest Athens has to an oriental bazaar; from 10am each day the streets heave with every kind of stall – from antiques to clothes and bric-a-brac – then from 10pm the bars take over, making this the epicentre of Monastiraki’s nightlife.

Best for ages 13+

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Byzantine and Christian Museum

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The exterior of the museum, a white building with red tiled roof

A glorious introduction to the sacred arts of Byzantium. Icons, mosaics, textiles, murals and sculpture offer illuminating insights into this distinctive aspect of Greek culture. A newer wing houses temporary exhibitions that explore the influence of Byzantium on contemporary art.

Adult price: £7

Best for ages 18+

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Hammam Bathing House

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Exterior view of the Bath House of the Winds, a beautifully refurbished 17th-century hammam

One of the best places in the city to experience a proper Turkish hammam, with the baths housed in an elegant neoclassical mansion opposite the Islamic Museum.

Adult price: £2

Min age 18

Best for ages 13+

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Benaki Museum of Islamic Art

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

An exposition of artefacts in the museum

The best collection of Islamic Art outside the Muslim world, exhibiting a vast range of artefacts from intricately decorated prayer books to the reconstruction of a Cairo mansion reception room.

Adult price: £8

Best for ages 18+

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Cine Paris

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

People watching a film on an outdoor screen

On Kydathinaion Square, Cine Paris is one of the loveliest outdoor cinemas in Athens. If the film disappoints, you can just gaze at the Parthenon under the moonlight. Open May to October.

Adult price: £7

Best for ages 10+

Duration: 2 hours

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Mikrolimano

Mikrolimano, Central Greece, Greece

Mikrolimano

An amphitheatric harbour – and the best-looking spot in Piraeus – with shoulder-to-shoulder fish tavernas where you can taste the day’s catch.

Best for ages 18+

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Syntagma Square

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The exterior of the Hellenic Parliament building on Syntagma Square

Greece’s busiest square and scene of political demos, made famous by the world’s media during the Euro crisis. This is the frenetic, traffic-filled epicentre of Athens.

Best for ages 18+

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Temple of Olympian Zeus

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Tourists look small in comparison to the large ruins of the Temple of Zeus

Designed to honour Zeus, the head of the Olympian Gods, with the largest temple in Greece, construction started in 6th century BC. When it was finally finished (ca 131 AD) it comprised no fewer than 104 gigantic columns, although only a dozen or so remain today.

Adult price: £5

Best for ages 13+

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Brettos

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Patrons of Brettos bar smile at the camera. The bar behind them is lined with rows of multicoloured bottles up to the ceiling

Pop into Brettos, the oldest distillery in Athens, for a shot of ouzo or mastic liqueur. The cosy interior, lined with multi-coloured bottles and barrels, dates from 1909.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Hadrian’s Arch

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Tourists stand and admire the Corinthian columns of Hadrians Arch

Hadrian’s Arch was a monumental gate leading from Plaka to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, built circa 132 AD, it’s thought, to honour the Roman Emperor Hadrian for his many benefactions to the city.

Best for ages 18+

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Dafni Monastery

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The exterior of the monastery

The second UNESCO World Heritage site in Greater Athens after the Acropolis, this is an 11th-century monastery with superbly-preserved Byzantine mosaics.

Best for ages 18+

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Thission (Temple of Hephaestus)

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The exterior of the Temple of Hephaestus on a clear day

One of the best-preserved temples in Greece, mainly because it was converted to a Christian church early in its history, it was erected in the 5th century as a temple to the god Hephaestus.

Adult price: £7

Best for ages 13+

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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC)

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

People sit on steps outside of the centre

Although this ultra-modern building designed by Renzo Piano is a bit of a slog away in Kallithea, it’s worth visiting in summer for free outdoor concerts. In winter the indoor concert hall – with superb acoustics – houses the Greek National Opera.

Best for ages 18+

Duration: -

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O Kostas

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

A Greek souvlaki made with pita

As you walk around Monastiraki, pass by Plateia Eirinis and join the queue outside Kostas, the most famous hole-in-the-wall souvlaki-seller in Athens, with its secret-recipe tomato sauce.

Best for ages 18+

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Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

large hexagonal stone tower set amid Roman ruins in Athens

Athens’ Agora and the adjacent Roman Agora were the centre of the ancient city. The many monuments here include the massive Stoa of Attalos and housing a museum.

Best for ages 18+

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Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Pottery on exhibit in the museum

The fascinating 5,000-year-old Cycladic Art figurines, which have influenced artists from Giacometti to Ai Weiwei, are guaranteed to surprise and delight even the most seasoned of culture vultures.

Adult price: £6

Best for ages 18+

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Psomotiri

Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Food shelf with mediterranean herbs and jam in the local market

The best shop in town to stock up on organic Greek foodstuffs. Psomotiri at Kato Patralona Metro station sources produce directly from small businesses all over Greece.

Best for ages 18+

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