How to Spend 24 Hours in Athens

Athens might look disorganized but it's delightfully chaotic. If you've only got 24 hours, here's how you can enjoy the highlights and feel the pulse of the cradle of Western civilization.

Athens might not be as colorful and cosmopolitan as Lisbon, but it doesn’t lack strong character or a special vibe. It might look disorganized and crowded but in the end, it’s delightfully chaotic.

Spring or fall is the best time to visit the Greek capital because the weather is warm and ideal for taking long strolls. After all, the best way to get to know a city is by walking. Even if you can only arrange a long layover, you should still be able to enjoy the highlights. Here’s what you can do in 24 hours in Athens to experience the real pulse of the city…on the run.

In the morning

A nice way to start your day is by visiting the Acropolis hill and the Acropolis Museum.
An essential stop for every traveler to Athens, the Acropolis hill stands above the city as a reminder of its glorious past and as a promise for a better future. This old citadel contains, among other ancient buildings, the impressive temple of the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron of the city from whom Athens 
got its name. Also, the new museum of Acropolis, which is considered to be one of the best museums worldwide, houses the artifacts found at the archaeological site of the Acropolis hill, so there is an organic connection between these two places.

The temple of Parthenon at Acropolis hill

In the afternoon

Anafiotika, right below the Acropolis hill, is like an island within the city and an ideal destination for local food tasting. This neighborhood is one of the oldest in Athens with small houses, yards full of flowers, and brightly painted windows and doors. It’s always amazing to walk through there, down the narrow paths and alleys with the smell of jasmine all around. Here you can taste traditional Greek dishes, like the famous mousakas (a plate with ground meat, potatoes, and eggplants in layers), gorge on sweets like baklava and galaktoboureko (a creamy custard pie in filo) and enjoy a strong Greek coffee.

Anafiotika, Athens

In the evening

Enjoy the sunset from Pnyka. This all-time classic spot offers a panoramic view of the city and is ideal for chilling during the golden hour. Tons of people, locals and foreigners alike, gather there catching the sunset, with guitars, beers (yes, you can drink in public places), and ice-cream. At this time, the city looks close and distant at the same time. It’s always a good idea to go there if you want to clear your mind and experience a sense of serenity and inner peace.

View from Pnyka

Right on the opposite side of Pnyka, there is another beautiful hill called the hill of Philopappou. It has an amazing view of the Acropolis and there are always some concerts going on, so you can lie on the grass and enjoy the music.

At night

Monastiraki – Psyrri. When it is getting warmer, the Athenians leave the jammed streets and climb up to the rooftops, where the atmosphere is cooler and the views are always better. Right in the center of Athens, in these two neighborhoods, you can find cafes and bars with amazing rooftops and breezy summer cocktails. My favorite is BIOS and A for Athens, but there are plenty to choose from.

View of Monastiraki

With a history that spans over more than 3,400 years, Athens knows how to reinvent herself over time. In the crossroad of three continents, the city seems a bit torn between the old and the new, eastern and western cultures, but these contradictions are part of its beauty. In the end, Athens is an influential city that never goes unseen. Despite your agenda, be sure to consciously immerse yourself in its rhythm and experience its special charm, and it will be an unforgettable experience.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
On Key

You May Also Like

A Long Weekend in Scotland

Flying to Scotland is cheap and easy thanks to budget airlines, so Atlas went exploring and have some tips for visiting Skye, the Highlands, and Edinburgh.

Golegã’s National Horse Fair

We caught the Feira Nacional do Cavalo in Golego and were blown away not only by the horses, but by the riding culture atop them.

Quinta da Regaleira

Sintra is the most popular day excursion from Lisbon, and Quinta da Regaleira is one of its most popular attractions. This, in case you hadn’t guessed, is for a very good reason: it is magical.

Palácio do Marquês de Pombal in Oeiras

The title Marquês de Pombal is more or less the same as Prime Minister, so it’s no wonder that this guy needed a snazzy palace to call his own whilst in office. 

Fábrica da Pólvora: The Explosive New Art Scene in Oeiras

Who would have thought that eight stops from Lisbon’s Rossio station in Barcarena, there’s a city of artist studios that laughs in the face of the co-working space concept, a green space, a killer buffet-style restaurant, an outdoor amphitheater, and an archeological museum all in the same complex?

Share your thoughts!

Newsletter

Subscribe to
the Atlas Lisboa Newsletter

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close