Holidays in Athens
Experience all the very best of Greece on an exciting holiday to Athens. Modern and ancient cultures collide in this famous city, and whether you’re looking for a romantic city break or a getaway with the kids, the capital of Greece has it all. Explore unforgettable historical sites throughout your stay, from the Parthenon at the peak of the Acropolis, to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The neighbourhood of Plaka is unmissable for an authentic taste of Greek culture, and the perfect place to take a break and enjoy a glass of the local Retsina wine. Families will love The National Garden by Syntagma Square, and beach lovers won’t want to miss out on a visit to picturesque Vouliagmeni. Greece’s capital comes alive in the nighttime, too, so whether you fancy a quiet drink in a traditional taverna, or enjoying the lively clubbing scene at the city centre, you’ll love getting a taste of Athenian nightlife.
Top resorts in Athens
from £144 pp
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Average flight time: 3h 39m
When to go
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A visit to the Acropolis should be right at the top of your list of things to do in Athens. The Parthenon is one of the most famous Greek landmarks in the world, and culture buffs of all ages will love a trip to this ancient temple of Athena. For a taste of even more Greek history, the Acropolis Museum is well worth a visit, as is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, which still hosts theatrical performances to this day. Take a break from exploring Ancient Greece to enjoy some of the more modern attractions in Athens. The Parnitha National Park is a great spot to visit for outdoor activities, and you’ll have plenty of chances to try out a new watersport along the Aegean Coast. Climb Mount Lycabettus for some unforgettable city views, go bargain-hunting on Ermou Street, or enjoy a fun-filled family day out at Allou! Fun Park.
Wine and Dine
With so much Greek cuisine to try, foodies will be spoilt for choice on holidays to Athens. Head out into one of the local markets for an authentic taste of the city – koulouri, or sesame seed bread, is a favourite with the locals for breakfast, and hot dogs are also a popular street food. Thanks to the Mediterranean diet of the locals, you can expect to see plenty of fresh seafood dishes, from fish soup to grilled octopus. If you fancy a change from your typical Tzatziki and moussaka mezes, why not try horiatiki salata, a tasty Greek Salad? If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try a slice of baklava, or the delicious honey-soaked doughnuts called loukoumades. Whatever Greek food you decide to try, you can wash it down with a glass of famous Retsina wine, and of course, holidays to Greece wouldn’t be complete without a glass of ouzo.
There’s plenty of things to do in Athens to keep the whole family entertained. Kids will love learning all about Greek mythology throughout their holiday, so why not go on a tour of some of the city’s top sites? The neighbourhood of Plaka is a great place to start, as it’s home to the Temple of Zeus. The National Garden of Athens near Syntagma Square is another great place to take the kids – as well as a beautiful collection of plants, this public park also has a fun playground. One of the most popular family attractions in Athens is the Allou! Fun Park in Rentis, and with some exciting games, rides and amusements on offer, it’s easy to see why. The Attica Zoological Park is well worth a visit for little animal-lovers, too.
Action and Adventure
Athens has more than enough to keep active types entertained. Parnitha is just north of the city centre, and home to some great outdoor activities. Thrill-seekers can go on a caving adventure in the Parnitha National Park, or alternatively, mountain-bikers will find some great cycling routes around the forest. Bike tours are popular throughout the city, too, so whether you’re in the heart of the capital or out in the woods, you’ll have plenty of chances to explore Athens on two wheels. Golf lovers will have a great time teeing-off at the 18-hole course in Glyfada, and it’s only a short taxi-ride away from the city centre. Alternatively, why not head out to the coast and try out a watersport? With everything from windsurfing to deep-sea diving on offer, you’ll find something to please everyone.
Life's a Beach
Despite its status as a popular city break destination, you’ll find a whole host of beautiful beaches just half an hour’s drive away from Athens. Escape the hustle and bustle of the capital by hopping in a taxi, and exploring the Mediterranean coast. Vouliagmeni is a great place to start. This picturesque seaside town is popular with locals and tourists alike, and with a beautiful beach on offer, it’s easy to see why. Astir Beach is also close by, where you can sunbathe on goldens sands surrounded by pine trees as you soak up the Greek sunshine. South of Athens you’ll find the beach of Voula, plus a handful of bars and restaurants along the coast. Glyfada Beach in the south east gets pretty busy in the summer months, but it’s worth braving the crowds to spend a day at this scenic spot. Schinias Beach is a little further out, but a great spot for families and windsurfers.
Nightlife in Athens is something to rave about – this historical city takes on a new life in the nighttime, playing host to modern dance and techno music. The lively club scene in particular is popular with tourists. Party-goers can head into the centre of Athens, where they’ll find some of the city’s best superclubs, and even some world-famous DJs in the summer. You’ll find that many clubs won’t open until 11pm, and are only just starting to get busy by 1am, so you can expect plenty of late nights if you want to party like the locals. If the club scene isn’t for you, then there are plenty of more laid-back ways to enjoy an evening in Athens. The Gazi district of Athens is a cool place to hang out, with streets filled with art cafes and bars. Psiri, too, has a casual restaurant scene, perfect for enjoying an ouzo or two, and you’ll find traditional rembetika and bouzoukia bars scattered all over the city.
Thanks to its rich ancient culture and stunning scenery, holidays to Athens are ideal for a romantic trip for two. Explore the streets of Plaka before treating yourselves to a glass of Greek wine as you enjoy the views of the Acropolis from a rooftop bar? If you like staying active on your couples’ getaways, then a walking tour of Mount Lycabettus is unmissable. It’s well worth the climb for the city views alone, but you’ll also find a café at the peak, where you can stop and enjoy a frappe. Besides the exciting historical sites, Athens is also a great base for shopaholics. Just off of Syntagma Square, you’ll find Ermou Street, the biggest and busiest place to shop in Athens that’s home to a great mix of well-known high-street chains, and unique Athenian stores. It’s also close by to the popular. The quaint Monastiraki Square is the perfect place to get a taste of local Athenian culture, thanks to the cobbled streets and street musicians, and bargain-hunters won’t want to miss exploring the busy market stalls.
Holidays to Athens are all about culture, so history-buffs and art-lovers alike will have more than enough to explore. The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens is the main attraction, and no trip to Greece would be complete without visiting the ruins of this historic temple at least once. The Temple of Athena Nike is also on the Acropolis, and you won’t want to miss a tour of the Acropolis Museum. Other top attractions in Athens include the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an ancient stone theatre that still hosts performances to this day. The Ancient Agora of Athens and the Dionysus Theatre are two more historic sites, but if you fancy a break from ancient Greece, why not go on a tour of some the best bars and restaurants in Athens?