The best itinerary for 3 days in Athens

the most injured and the most celebrated of cities
Lord Byron (1810)

Ancient Athens was a city way ahead of its times. Today it is reduced to rubble and ruins. Nonetheless present-day Athens will intrigue you!

Athens is seldom on the list of the top destinations for a European city break for many people. People hop by just to head to the many Greek islands in the summer. Athens has no La Sagrada Familia or Eiffel Tower. But it makes up for it with its 2500 year old ruins. So while we could see why people give little attention to this city in their tourist map, we do think it deserves better chance and especially so in its mild, pleasant winter!

Our must-see sights in Athens

  • Acropolis and nearby ruins, in particular
    • Parthenon
    • Theater of Dionysus, Odeon of Herodes
    • Ancient Agora, Temple of Hephaistos
  • Acropolis Museum
  • Walk along the streets of Anafiotika, Plaka, Monastiraki, Psiri
  • Climb up the Lycabettus hill for the view over Athens
  • National Archaeological Museum
  • Syntagma Square and Change of Guards in front of the parliament

How many days?

We recommend a minimum of 2 days. 3 days would be optimum.


We went in the beginning of December. During the day it was nice, sunny and almost what we call “T-shirt weather” while the evenings got much cooler. If the winters are this mild, we couldn’t imagine scorching under the summer sun especially since there is a lot of walking to do. All tourist shops and restaurants were open. But major attractions had shorter opening hours. So our advise is to start your day early. Sunset was around 5.30pm.

Getting to the city

Getting to the city from the airport was fairly easy. You can take the X95 bus for 5 euros or the metro for 8 euros. Both go to the Syntagma square, the heart of public transport in the city, and both take about 45–50 minutes. The bus runs 24 hours.

Day 1

  • Plaka
  • Monastiraki
  • Acropolis Museum
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Day 2

  • Acropolis
  • Roman Agora
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Day 3

  • Ancient Agora
  • National Archaeological Museum
  • Lycabettus Hill
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6 things to try and buy in Athens

  • Try the gyros (Greek equivalent of Doener Kebab) and koulouri (Sesame seed bread) from one of the many road side vendors.
  • Try mousakka in a traditional clay pot. We liked the one in Athinaikon, a classy but reasonably priced restaurant in the Monastiraki area.
  • Strained yogurt with honey—a rather unique taste.
  • Try one of the many cakes soaked in sugar syrup such as revani or Greek baklava.
  • Interested in Greek carpets? There are a few shops in Plaka which bring in carpets from Crete.
  • Want to get custom made sandals for less than 40 euros? Head to the Poet Sandalmaker. Choose your favourite model and then it is a quick 10 minute process. We are eagerly waiting for the summer to test ours out.
The best kolouri of Athens