Lisa Brown, Excursions Specialist

"While the ancient wonders of Athens continue to draw visitors from around the world, there is plenty to experience in this city beyond antiquity. Visit one of the many street markets brimming with fresh foods and souvenirs or explore the northern Acropolis streets of Anafiotika with its bright, whitewashed mansions, then top your visit off with a climb to the Temple of Poseidon overlooking the sea for a spectacular sunset."

Athens at a glance

Notably one of the world’s oldest cities, Athens is a metropolis of imposing, majestic architecture, astounding museums and a vibrant city heart that beats true to both past and present. Juxtaposed amongst iconic, ancient sites, visitors will find a modern, chaotic shift in the city, striving to engage with a contemporary world.

Known as the cradle of Western civilization, Athens political and cultural influences have been profound, while its heritage is widely recognized in iconic sites such as the Parthenon and Acropolis. With a history dating over 3,000 years, it’s easy to see why Athens is constantly working to renew its urban core.

A treasure, both ancient and modern, Athens is an unforgettable short break destination.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Iconic sites
  • Historical attractions
  • A bustling city break

Getting around

Much of Athens’ city centre has been pedestrianized, allowing many of the popular sites to be more accessible by foot. Public transport in the city centre includes buses, an underground metro and trams.  

Dining in Athens

Eating out in Athens is a popular past time. Taverna tradition dictates a smorgasbord of no-frills eateries where it is ordinary for dinner to be served as late as 9 or 10pm. High-end restaurants can also be found in the city, along with a mix of international cuisines.

Must-try local dishes:

  • Koulouri – a circular shaped sweet bread topped with sesame seeds, often eaten for breakfast
  • Moussaka – a lamb and aubergine based dish served with a béchamel sauce
  • Tiropita – a flaky cheese pie made with buttered phyllo pastry

Osprey Holidays top tips

We suggest a visit to the "Acropolis" a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Athens designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Athens hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Customer reviews
Judith , January 2017

The hotel Plaka was very good with a great breakfast. The staff were all very nice and friendly. We would certainly recommend the hotel.

Important information
Population 11,306,183
Languages Greek
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Go to the Monastriraki flea market on a Sunday morning for an eclectic shopping experience.

Distance from airports
Athens International 33 km
Railway stations
Stathmos Larissis

Things to do in Athens

  • The Acropolis: This UNESCO World Heritage Site rises spectacularly above the centre of the city.
  • Kanellopoulos Museum: An imposing mansion with artefacts from every period of Greek history.
  • National Art Gallery: Greece’s main gallery hosts major exhibitions and houses a fine collection of Greek art, including works by El Greco.
  • Varvakios Agora: This vibrant market is a sensory and gastronomic delight - great local tavernas!
  • Plaka: Below the Acropolis, this maze of narrow,  cobbled, medieval streets twists through ancient sites, squares and lovely Byzantine courtyards.