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Grand Promenade

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 29 March, 2024

If you have only a day to spend in Athens, you can cover most of the city’s ‘greatest hits’ by wandering through the Grand Promenade that rings the Acropolis.

Designed to link all the main sights of ancient Athens in a single pedestrian zone, beautifully landscaped walkways are punctuated by exceptional monuments. There are contemporary attractions, too: al fresco cafés, street art, and friendly stray dogs.

Start at Hadrian’s Arch. Wander along Dionysiou Areopagitou, pausing to take in the ancient amphitheatres Herod Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus, and the modern Acropolis Museum.

Continue on Apostolou Pavlou passing the rock of Pnyx on your left where the Athenian citizens used to gather listening to orators from Themistocles to St Paul.

A longer, signposted diversion at the junction of Dionysio Areopagitou and Apostolou Pavlou leads you to the alleged ‘Socrates’ Prison’, and to the top of Philopappou hill with bird’s eye views of the ancient sites below.

Back on Apostolou Pavlou and in about 500 yards you’ll spot the ‘Thission’ (a misnomer as it was a temple to the god Hephaestus), one of the best-preserved Doric temples anywhere in Greece.

Here you can divert into the Agora, the ancient Greeks’ shopping mall and civic hall as well as its fine museum where you can see ceramic voting slips, reminders of the city’s democratic past.

Backtrack to Thission and finish at the overlooked cemetery of Kerameikos, which has an amazing collection of tombstones and statues.

Who to go with: tour operators

9

Cemetery of Kerameikos

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Tourists walk around the Cemetery of Keramikos

Experience

This site – reached from metro Thission and not Kerameikos – comprises the ancient Athenian cemetery and a well-preserved part of the city walls with two important gates, as well as a small museum. The site evokes the lived ancient city better than any other monument, bar the Acropolis.

Adult price 10

Good for age: 18+

Climb Philopappou Hill

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Two people sit atop Filopappou Hill and look over the city

Experience

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.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 2-3 hours

Hadrian’s Arch

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Tourists stand and admire the Corinthian columns of Hadrians Arch

Experience

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.

Good for age: 18+

Museum of the Ancient Agora

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Exterior pillars of the Ancient Agora

Experience

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

Good for age: 18+

Odeon of Herod Atticus

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The empty Odeon of Herodes Atticus Roman theatre on the Acropolis

Experience

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

Good for age: 13+

Temple of Olympian Zeus

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

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

Experience

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

Good for age: 13+

The Ancient Agora

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

Ancient Agora ruins in the daytime

Experience

The beating commercial heart of the ancient city, in continuous use from the 6th century BC to the 6th century AD, when the Slavic invasions devastated and depopulated Athens.

Adult price 7

Good for age: 18+

Pnyx Steps

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

A view of the Pnyx steps with the Acropolis in the background

Experience

Hidden among the pine trees at the base of Philoppapou Hill are these stone steps where Pericles, Themistocles and Saint Paul addressed the Athenian crowds. The world’s first recorded democratic assembly and the (unofficial) birthplace of democracy.

Good for age: 18+

Thission (Temple of Hephaestus)

  • Athens, Central Greece, Greece

The exterior of the Temple of Hephaestus on a clear day

Experience

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

Good for age: 13+

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 3 kilometres

Getting there & doing it

Take the metro to the Acropolis Metro station, and head to Hadrian’s Arch from there. The walk ends at Kerameikos – from where it’s an easy stroll to the Thission metro station.

Car-free and relatively flat, the path is ideal for cycling. You can hire a bike with Athens by Bike.

At your first port of call, ask for a multiple entry ticket that gives you access to most of the major archaeological sights. It will save you a fortune.

When to do it

Avoid the searing midday heat in high summer, as there’s little shade en route. Most archaeological sites close early, especially in winter, so don’t set off too late.

The experience is very weather-dependent. Clear, bright days are best. Don’t bother if it’s raining.

Who to go with: organised tours

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Athens Highlights: a Mythological Tour

  • Athens

Athens Highlights: a Mythological Tour

Viator

History & Myth meet in Athens! Discover the greatest landmarks of Athens & their surrounding myths! Enjoy a unique mythological tour, suitable for all ages, that will help you understand how Athens became the mythical city we know today.

Price €54

Min age 0

Rating 4.81 / 5 [1718 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Athens Electric/Regular Bike Tour+Optional Acropolis Guided Visit

  • Athens

Athens Electric/Regular Bike Tour+Optional Acropolis Guided Visit

Viator

See the sights of Athens in this fun and easy 9km journey by regular or electric bike. During this 2.5 hour relaxed pace tour on quiet streets and narrow paths, we make stops at many of the must-see sights of Athens, including the Ancient Agora, Roman Forum and the Athens Cathedral.    Gain local insight to the city and enjoy a modern view of Athens without missing the amazing ancient part. Should you wish to combine the cycling tour with a guided visit to Acropolis then the Bike tour + Acropolis option is the right option for you! This way, not only you will have a complete overview of the city from a local’s perspective, but you will have also expanded your knowledge around the rich history of the monumental Acropolis.

Price €32

Min age 12

Rating 4.96 / 5 [1664 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Best of Athens City Segway Tour

  • Athens

Best of Athens City Segway Tour

Viator

Athens is brimming with incredible sights to see and when you don’t have much time, they can seem like too many! Now with our Best of Athens Segway Tour, you don’t have to miss out. With this combo semi private tour that covers the Ancient and Modern Athens, you’ll be able to ‘see it all’ and then some! Sights covered include well-known spots such as the Mars hill, the hill of Acropolis, ancient Agora, Panathinaikon stadium. We’ll even have time to visit incredible hidden sights that most visitors miss out on. After that, the only thing left to do would be maybe some shopping!!!!!! If you are looking for a fun, eco-friendly way to discover the best that Athens has to offer in just a few hours – we’re sure you’ll love this Segway Tour! You’ll cover more ground and see more without the effort it would take to cover the same route on foot. All tours depart from and end at our office near the Acropolis museum where a bathroom, free Wifi and water are available to all of our guests.

Price €95

Min age 12

Rating 4.91 / 5 [136 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Website >

Athens By Night Private Tour

  • Athens

Athens By Night Private Tour

Viator

Athens is transformed in the evening. The monuments are golden against the skyline and the Athenians come out to play in the cool night air. Visit the Acropolis and do a panoramic city tour of the Highlights of Athens or enjoy a panoramic drive in the city, seeing the monuments illuminated in the night (depending on the option you will book), before being taken to a Greek traditional tavern for dinner as pre- discussed by yourself and your driver.

Price €115

Min age 1

Rating 4.83 / 5 [136 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Best of Athens Half Day Private Tour

  • Athens

Best of Athens Half Day Private Tour

Viator

Explore the timeless wonders of Athens and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history and culture as we journey through iconic landmarks. From the majestic Acropolis, where the Parthenon stands as a testament to ancient civilization, to the historic Plaka district with its charming streets and vibrant atmosphere, this tour encapsulates the essence of Athens. Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the Erechtheion and delve into the heart of ancient Athens at the Agora, once the bustling marketplace and agora of Athenian democracy. With personalized attention from your expert guide, uncover hidden gems and fascinating anecdotes that bring each site to life. • Take the hassle out of seeing Athens with the freedom of a private tour • Get the personalized experience of a private tour • Customize the itinerary to suit your interests and preferences • Gain a thorough perspective of Athens' key landmarks • Enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned private car with WiFi available onboard

Price €110

Min age 0

Rating 4.79 / 5 [97 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

1

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Athens

  • Central Greece, Greece

Athens parthenon lit up at night

Destination guide

Antiquities galore, contemporary culture, scintillating nightlife and fantastic food: there’s something for everyone in Greece’s cosmopolitan capital that’s continuously reinventing itself.

Round-ups

1

Round-ups that include this experience

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Inspiration

From traversing sand dunes, to walking on glaciers, through canyons, up mountains and along ancient city walls, here’s our round-up of the world’s best walks. Each walk can be tackled in a day or less with a moderate level of fitness and no technical ability.