Athens isn't just a holiday in Greece, it's a slice of Greek paradise - just waiting for you to explore its superb natural beauty and rich history! Whether you like to top up your tan, or visit cultural sites, Athens certainly has something for every kind of holidaymaker.
The Greek capital of Athens is well-known for its Olympic history and the UNESCO protected fortified area of Acropolis, and it's still a hustling, bustling city with plenty to see and do. You'll be delighted to know that Athens is blessed with glorious Mediterranean sunshine throughout the year, too. It can get up to 33°C during the summer, so you'll want to seek out a shady taverna at midday - the perfect excuse for a refreshing drink! Athens is also ideal if you want to catch some late-year sun, with temperatures of up to 15°C in the winter months.
Athens holidays are all about the history and culture, and the can't-miss site is the Acropolis. Located just under half an hour away from the city centre on a rocky outcrop, you'll be able to get an amazing view if you climb up to the top. Just don't forget to bring your camera! You can also learn more about the region's culture at Acropolis Museum, or visit the iconic former temple of Parthenon, dedicated to the mythological Greek goddess of Athena. History fans will love visiting the National Archaeological Museum, which is one of the world's most important museums. You can enjoy spending time admiring the world's finest collection of Greek artifacts.
Don't want to miss an opportunity to hit the beach? There are lots of beautiful sandy beaches within easy reach from Athens to enjoy. The extremely popular Vouliagmeni and Varkiza beaches are both less than 40 minutes away, perfect if you want a full day of sunbathing! If you prefer a more active time at the beach, you can visit the beach watersports centres and get involved in a wide range of activities.
When visiting an iconic destination like Athens, it can be difficult trying fit everything in to your itinerary. Which is exactly why an open bus tour around the city is such a good idea. When the heat gets a bit too much, you can ride the funicular rail car to the top of Lycabettus Hill, where you'll be able to get a superb panoramic view of Athens. For a relaxing afternoon, take a leisurely stroll through the pedestrianised area of Plaka and explore the fantastic jewellery shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Or, if you're looking for a family-friendly day of fun on your holiday to Athens, why not discover the wildlife at Attica Zoological Park, under 40 minutes away from the city centre.
When you fancy stopping by a restaurant for something to eat, you'll find a fantastic selection of restaurants serving an array of international cuisine around Athens, but we really recommend that you treat your tastebuds to authentic local dishes in the quaint tavernas. Must-try Greek dishes include meze appetisers with taramosalata, tzatziki and dolmades, as well as moussaka and calamari by the plateful! Finish off your meal with baklava, a yummy combination of flaky filo pastry with layers of honey and nuts. A popular choice of tipple is the fabulous aniseed-flavoured ouzo aperitif, or you can try the local retsina wine or a refreshing beer for the perfect end to your evening.
The vibrant nightlife in Athens is perfect for any party animal looking to enjoy an unforgettable evening of live music, drinks and dancing. Gazi, Psirri, Metaxourgio, Monastiraki, Theseion and Kolonaki are all popular areas in Athens if you're looking for an entertaining evening. You'll find lots of lively bars playing all kinds of music, including traditional Greek music, as well as rock, pop and jazz. If you're after a quieter night, why not explore the bars in the laid-back village of Plaka, which is only 10 minutes from the city centre.
At Hays Travel we have over 37 years of experience in booking memorable holidays, and we offer a variety of getaways to Greece, so there's something for everyone. We have also been voted the UK’s Best High Street Travel Agent, so you can rest assured that your Athens holiday is in safe hands! Great value and customer service are our specialty, so speak to a member of our team to start planning your perfect trip.
Things To Do
There are lots of things to see and do on a holiday in Athens. Mix with the wildlife at Athens Zoo. Climb up and explore the ancient Acropolis and Parthenon. Walk through African rainforest, in the heart of the city, at the National Gardens. Escape the heat of the day with a ride on the funicular rail car to the top of Lycabettus Hill. Take an open bus tour to the port of Piraeus and explore the Piraeus Archaeological Museum and the Nautical Museum. Shop with the locals at the bustling Agora-Athens Central Market. Take a ride out to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Watch the changing of the guard and admire the Parliament Building on Syntagma Square. The New Acropolis Museum boasts five floors of artefacts, sculptures and exhibitions. The locals in Athens like to party with the nightlife getting going around 10pm. Hip areas to take in include Gazi, Psirri, Metaxourgio, Monastiraki, Theseion and Kolonaki. You will hear everything from Greek, rock and ethnic to Latin, pop and jazz music in the bars and nightspots. For traditional Greek evenings head to the bars of the Plaka.
Food & Drink
You can eat your way round the world in the city of Athens. Whether you?re looking for fast food, Italian, Chinese or Indian fare there is plenty to tempt your tastebuds. And, of course, there is the traditional food on the menus in the tavernas. Start your meal with a meze of appetisers including taramosalata, tzatziki and dolmades, followed by traditional Greek favourites of mousakka or calamari, with baklava for dessert. Aniseed-flavoured Ouzo is the preferred aperitif and Retsina wine is the popular accompaniment to any meal.