Awesome Athens short breaks 2021
Sitting on the Saronic Gulf in the south of the country, the Greek capital is an historic thriving metropolis. With buzzing bars and ancient sites, holidays in Athens are equal parts fun and fascinating.
Athens is a fantastic city break destination. Whether you’re looking for wild nights out, long days of sightseeing or simply the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new and exciting culture, there’s a side of this urban centre for everyone. The enormous UNESCO-listed Acropolis, built in the 5th century BC, looms large over the modern network of shopping streets and residential neighbourhoods, where you might spend an evening tasting fine Greek wines in a traditional taverna or fill your days browsing flea markets and boutiques.
Art in Athens
Athens has an incredibly cool contemporary arts scene. Small-scale, independent galleries dot the city, putting on exhibitions from local and internationally renowned artists. Don’t miss a visit to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, too, which has visual works by the likes of Ilya Kabakov and video installations by Bill Viola.
Book with confidence
Why book Athens holidays
Must-visit historical sites
Acropolis, Parthenon, Erechtheion, Temple of Athena Nike, Temple of Hephaestus
Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora & Museum of the Ancient Agora
Cultural hotspot not to miss
Stroll down the twisting old alleys of Plaka – perfect dining spot too
Sample the local food
We love a bit of spanakopita (spinach, feta, onions folded in pastry) in the mornings & sizzling souvlaki at lunch
Lush natural wonders
Admire Athens from above, atop Mount Lycabettus
Hit the nightlife & bar scene
Head to Psiri, Athens’ nightlife quarter
Most popular Athens hotels
Your guide to Athens holidays
Top 5 things to do in Athens
With a host of compelling attractions and diverse neighbourhoods to explore, Athens holidays offer an exciting introduction to Greek culture.
- On a sticky summer day, there’s no better place to find refreshing shade than in the beautiful, leafy National Gardens. A small zoo with peacocks and goats will entertain the kids.
- Spend a morning browsing at the Monastiraki flea market, where tight alleyways are packed with stalls and shops selling antiques, handicrafts and handmade jewellery.
- Explore the Plaka neighbourhood, one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas of the city, where beautiful shuttered homes are cloaked in tumbling bougainvillea and cafe seating spills out onto the streets.
- For spectacular views over the city, take a hike up its highest peak: Lycabettus Hill. There’s a cable car for those short on time, and an excellent Greek restaurant for refuelling at the top.
- After dark, the Psyri neighbourhood is where Athens’ really comes alive, with bars and restaurants hosting revellers to the early hours and music tavernas playing traditional live music.
Historic highlights in Athens
A city that was once at the centre of Western civilisation, Athens has incredible historical remains.
- The jewel in Athens’ crown is the Acropolis, a 5th-century BC citadel that’s home to some of the key historic sites in the city. See the Parthenon, a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, and the towering limestone columns of the Hekatompedon Temple. The Acropolis Museum, on the southeast slope of the hill, offers fascinating insights into this period of the Ancient Greek civilisation.
- Beneath the Acropolis is the Theatre of Dionysus, an amphitheatre dating from the 6th century BC that once seated 15,000 people on its tiered seating.
- If art and artefacts are your thing, head to the Museum of Cycladic Art where you’ll find over 3,000 objects of Cycladic, Cypriot and Greek origin, from vases to weapons and more.
- Sitting among the designer stores on Ermou street is Kapnikarea, an 11th-century Byzantine brick church. Inside, colourful murals and mosaics adorn the walls.
- It’s not all about ancient history in Athens. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a poignant dedication to Greek soldiers who died during war. Time your visit with the hourly changing of the guard ceremony.
What our local experts say
Eat your way around Greece
Mmmmmm. Greek cuisine, part of the famous Mediterranean diet, is among the freshest and most delicious in the world. Expect seafood plucked straight from the sea, locally reared free-range meat from the inland hills, an endless variety of flavour-packed fruit and vegetables, and a huge choice of cheeses and cured ...Continue reading
Your Athens questions answered
The best time to visit Athens is during spring (March through May) and autumn (September through November), when the weather is warm enough and the crowds of summer can be avoided.
Top Athens hotels
5 Star Hotels
4 Star Hotels
- Hotel Palmyra Beach
- Athens Gate Hotel
- Candia Hotel
- Areos Hotel
- Novus City Hotel
- Tropical Hotel
- Melia Athens
- Electra Hotel
- Novotel Athenes
- Ramada Attica Riviera
- Golden Coast Hotel & Bungalows
- Apollonia Hotel Apartments
- Athens Status Suites
- White Lotus Luxury Accommodation
- Athenian Riviera Hotel & Suites
- Wyndham Athens Residence
- Acropolis Plaza Smart Hotel and Spa
- Vitruvius Smart Hotel & Spa
- Athenaeum Eridanus Luxury Hotel
3 Star Hotels
2 Star Hotels
1 Star Hotels
What our customers say
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Prices last checked at 12:57 5 March 2021