3 Days in Athens Travel Guide
Photo: Body Expressions in Athens (Flickr cc)
This is a three days guide to Athens, with a perfect 72 hours plan that will guide you on the best way to enjoy this amazing city. It includes all tips, maps, costs and information on the destination. Thus, you will feel like you have your best friend with you, showing you around Athens.
This guide is written by local experts and travel bloggers who live or visit Athens often. You will get only the best option on where to stay, where to eat, what monuments to see, how to move around Athens. And it will help you to enjoy this vivid city at its best.
This guide includes maps which you can access in their online format, on Google maps. They will enable you to navigate towards them while you are in Athens.
You will find this guide useful if you are a solo traveler, or a couple or a group of friends traveling together to Athens. Families traveling with kids to Athens may also find a lot of useful details for planning their trip.
Have fun in Athens and let’s start!
General Information on Athens
Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the oldest cities in the world with a recorded history of at least 3,000 years, consisting the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. Today, the metropolitan area of Athens is the economic, political, industrial and cultural center of Greece.
The city has the 8th position in Europe’s largest urban areas and is surrounded by three mountains, the Penteli, the Parnitha Mountain and Imittos and 12 hills: Acropolis, Philopappus, Observatory Hill, Lycabettus, Pnyx, and Tourkovounia.
Land Area: 39 square kilometers
Urban area: 412 square kilometers
Religion: Orthodox Christianity, Catholic Christianity, Islam, Judaism
Currency: Euro (EUR)
- 1EUR= 83,75INR
Climate: Mediterranean climate
Do I need a Visa to visit Greece?
In general, vacationing in Greece, which is a European Union Country, for less than three months, a travel visa is not required. All that is needed is a valid passport. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date of your return from Europe.
Members of the EU only need a passport or ID card to travel between countries.
For further information, please check the official site of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece:
1st Day in Athens
Arrival at Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport of Athens, which is 34 km east of the city center.
Take the luggage and pass from passport control; it does not take more than 10 minutes.
There are various ways to get to the city center. It depends on the amount you can afford. We recommend taking the metro. The operating hours are between 6:30 am and midnight.
Where can I find Currency Exchanges and Cash Machines (ATMs)?
In the Arrivals hall outside the baggage claim area.
How you can reach the metro of Athens in the Airport
After you have reached the Arrivals’ Hall, take the elevator and go to the exit two at the Departure Hall. Walk at the rolling walkway for just a couple of minutes and you will find a rail station. The station is served by both the Athens Metro and the Suburban rail service (‘proastiakos’). Take the line 3 of the Metro and stop at ‘Syntagma’ stop. The trip from the airport to Syntagma takes about 40 min.
You can obtain the metro paper map from the kiosk where you buy the ticket.
Athens Metro map:
The Athens Metro map is available for your reference here: http://www.ametro.gr/files/images/AM_Athens_Metro_map_July_2013_gr_LG.jpg
You can also check the timetable of the metro routes here: http://www.athensairporttaxi.com/en/busmetro_metro_en.htm
Before entering the metro station, it is necessary to buy a ticket for 8EUR per person (one-way ticket).
Where can I buy an Athens Metro ticket?
You can purchase a ticket to the metro station of Athens:
– From the cashier’s kiosk in the metro station
– From automatic dispenser that vends metro tickets. You can find them near the ticket window, inside the metro station.
Photo: Machines selling Metro Tickets
Tip: Euro coins and notes are necessary, to pay your fare on the Metro.
Beware of pickpockets
Take any valuables out of your pockets and put them under your clothes (a neck pouch is best). Having a seat is also a good way to reduce the danger from pickpockets who are most active on the crowded trains and metros.
Where to Stay in Athens
Athens is a city of different aspects. A walk around the famous historic triangle Plaka, Thission, Psyri and the modern luxurious department stores and fancy restaurants near the Greek Parliament at Syntagma Square, reveals the coexistence of different areas.
Map of Athens: http://www.greece-athens.com/maps/
The hotels near Syntagma Square seem to be an excellent option for a tourist to live in- both the historic spots and the modern aspects of the city are reachable by walk.
Where to Stay in Athens: “Central Hotel.”
Address: 21, Apollonos street, Plaka, Athens, 10557, Greece, Tel: (0030) 210 3234357 – 9
Website: Click to Read the Reviews on Booking.com and Book It Online
Photo: Central Hotel in Athens
Cost: 80EUR for a double room
The rooms are clean, great value for money and most important the location is perfect, only a few minutes’ walk from the main tourist spots such as Acropolis, Roman Agora, and Greek Parliament.
How to get to the hotel:
At start take the metro from the Airport Metro Station to Egaleo (line 3) and get off at Syntagma stop. Go out of the metro, walk to the Syntagma Square with direction to Ermou Street. After 50m turn left onto Nikis street, go straight for 120m and then turn right onto Apollonos Street. Walk about 200m and you will find the ‘Central Hotel’ on your left.
11:00: Accommodate yourself in the hotel and start your day visiting the famous monuments of the city.
The Acropolis, and the Parthenon in particular are the most characteristic monuments of the ancient Greek civilization. They continue to stand as a symbol of democracy and the beginning of the Western civilization.
Here you may find the historical map of the city: http://www.greece-athens.com/files/historical_center_map.pdf
How to move in Athens by Metro
Here you can check the costs of all public transport options: http://www.oasa.gr/content.php?id=tickets&lang=en
Go back to the metro station of Syntagma, take the metro with direction to Elliniko and stop at Acropolis stop (next stop). Get outside of the metro, walk right at Makrigianni str. And then turn left at Dionisiou Areopagitou str. In a few meters, you will find the entrance of Acropolis.
Acropolis timetable: Everyday 08.00-19.00 Last admission 18.30
Tickets’ costs: Full: 12EUR, Reduced: 6EUR
Tickets are available only at the ticket office.
Valid for: Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis
Free admission days:
-6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)5 June (International Environment Day)18 April (International Monuments Day)18 May (International Museums Day)
-The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
Reduced admission for:
-Greek citizens and citizens of other Member – States of the European Union aged over 65 years old by showing their ID card or passport
-Students of Higher Education Institutes and equivalent Schools from countries outside the EU by showing their student ID
-The accompanying parents on educational visits to elementary schools.
Free admission for:
–Cultural Card holders
-Journalists with a journalist identity card
-Members of Societies and Associations of Friends of Museums and Archaeological Sites throughout Greece with the demonstration of certified membership card
-Members of the ICOM-ICOMOS
-Persons accompanying blind and physically challenged
-The escorting teachers of schools and institutions of elementary, middle school, high school, university and graduate level education during their visits
-The official guests of the Greek government, with the approval of the General Director of Antiquities.
-Tourist guides after demonstrating their professional identity of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
-University students and students at Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent schools of Member – States of the European Union and students at Schools of Tourist Guides, by showing their student ID
-Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age
For further information about Acropolis, check this link: http://www.acropolisofathens.gr/aoa/the-acropolis/monument/#sthash.1pgPDOAU.OQaXwSFD.dpuf
15:00 – Visit the Acropolis Museum.
It is at the opposite side of the Metro Acropolis and very close to the Acropolis entrance.
Here you may find all the useful information you may need to visit the museum: http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/content/useful-information
19:00 –Dinner at the Greek Taverna “Tzitzikas and Mermigas.”
Take the metro from the metro station Acropolis to Anthoupoli (red line) and stop at Syntagma (next stop). Go out from the station, pass the Syntagma square, turn left and then right at Mitropoleos str. In about 50m you may find the restaurant.
Greek Taverna: Tzitzikas and Mermigas
12-14, Metropole’s str., Syntagma, Athens
Cost: 20EUR per person
Here you may taste typical Greek dishes. See our guide at the end for more information.
21:00 – Enjoy the Greek Nightlife – Have a Drink in “Rock n Roll.”
Go to Kolonaki district, an upscale residential area northeast of Syntagma with many cafés, boutiques, and galleries. Just 10minutes by walk from the metro station of Syntagma.
Go to Filikis Etairias Square and have a drink at one of the famous spots of the city:
Visit Bar: Rock n Roll, 14, Platia Filikis Etairias, Kolonaki, Athens, Tel.: (0030) 210 7220649
Cost: 8-10EUR per person for a drink
01:00 am –Return to the hotel.
1st Day in Athens Map
Below you can find all the suggested places in a Google Maps format, for your easy reference:
Get this map online at https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zg5djDmJ6KII.kDk1IVa81cj4&usp=sharing
If you are interested in getting the full travel guide, for all the three days in Athens, you can get it by clicking here.
The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in Athens, in 2016
Astir Beach: A Guide to the Best Beach in Athens
Where to Stay in Athens in 2016: The Best Areas and Top 20 Hotels
What are the must-try dishes while you are in Greece – How to Eat like a Greek!
Athens to Santorini: Should you get a flight or a ferry?
The Absolute 10 Best Day Trips from Athens