Athens Holidays

Your Athens holiday

With its first settlements beginning around 3000 BCE, Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world. Characterized by its resilience, the city has been invaded, occupied, and destroyed numerous times over by conquerors, empires, and armies throughout the centuries.

Originally a centre of Mycenaean civilization, Athens was ruled by kings until 1400 BCE when social unrest pushed through a new constitution that laid foundations for democracy.

When Cleisthenes came to power in 508, he set up electorates to choose representatives in the city’s governing council, marking the birth of democracy.

Athens’ Golden Age began in the 5th century BCE, which was a time of advances in architecture, art, drama, and philosophy. The city was home to great minds such as Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates.

Wars with Sparta, northern Macedonian domination, and the conquests of Alexander the Great marked the 3rd and 4th centuries BCE for Athens until the Romans subsumed the city into its empire in the 2nd century.

Under Ottoman rule from 1458 to 1833, Athens suffered the looting, destruction of ancient monuments, and general decline. The War of Independence in 1833 liberated Greece as a country and Athens became its capital.

The Germans occupied Athens during the Second World War. Afterwards, the city experienced a large population spike. Greece joined the European Union in 1981, which helped investment, but in recent years the city has struggled with traffic, pollution and economic instability.

Book a flight to Athens today to take a trip to the cradle of Western civilisation.

The city at the cultural core of Ancient Greece, Athens is a place of mythological gods, the birthplace of democracy and philosophers Plato and Aristotle, the site of the first modern Olympics, and home to incredible monuments like the Parthenon.

Athens today is as culturally vibrant as its past with bustling streets and cafes, a plethora of theatres, and a nightlife that would make the Olympian gods blush.

So plan your weekend in Athens now!

Holidays Deals

Athens Holidays

Fresh Hotel Athens

4 stars
4.4 / 5 24 reviews
Hip and bright Athens hotel with minimalist rooms and a rooftop loungeThe Fresh Hotel Athens attracts a stylish young clientele with free high-speed wireless Internet access and a hipster rooftop scene. In an up-and-coming neighborhood, this modern hotel is within walking distance to metro stops and major Athens attractions. Guests make use the fitness center, steam room and sauna, and many hit the lobby restaurant for breakfast. Head to the ninth floor Air Lounge to sun by the rooftop pool, dine on aromatic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine or order cocktails while ambient music plays in the background. HighlightsFitness center, sauna and steam roomBreakfast restaurant in the lobby and rooftop open-air restaurant for lunch and dinnerSeasonal rooftop swimming pool with barFree high-speed wireless Internet access in guest rooms RoomsThe 133 cozy rooms and suites at the Fresh Hotel Athens offer a refreshing experience amid minimalist décor. Expect mod pops of saturated colors, designer furniture and custom lighting schemes. All accommodations include mini-bars, in-room safes, LCD TVs with satellite channels, slippers and complementary bath toiletries. Free high-speed wireless Internet access at the Fresh Hotel Athens makes it easy to connect with friends or tweak travel plans. FeaturesThe helpful reception desk staff at the Fresh Hotel Athens is happy to steer guests to the correct metro stop to reach the airport and how to make the most of the bustling café culture in Athens. The staff also provides recommendations for nearby restaurants, bars and the club scene. From the sleek, chic and centrally-located Fresh Hotel Athens, guests walk to the Plaka area, Omonia Square, Syntagma Square, museums, Monastiraki market or the meat and fish market, with the fruit and vegetable stalls just across the street. TransportationAthens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (25 mi/40.2 km) AttractionsAcropolis and Parthenon (0.7 mi/1.1 km)Syntagma Square (0.7 mi/1.2 km)National Garden of Athens (1.1 mi/1.7 km)Athens National Art Gallery (1.5 mi/2.4 km)Piraeus Port (6.7 mi/10.8 km)HELEXPO Conference Center (6.8 mi/10.9 km)Mediterranean Exhibition Center (10 mi/16.2 km)Glyfada (11.1 mi/17.8 km) BusinessFree high-speed wireless Internet access in guest roomsBusiness centerThree conference rooms
Value 10% Lunch or Dinner Discount - rooftop restaurant
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Hotel only
Nightly rates from £69.16

Chic Hotel Athens

4 stars
4.1 / 5 35 reviews
Updated vintage building in central Athens Chic Hotel Athens, a 4-star hotel (opened November 2009) located in the heart of Athens, in a classical 19th-century building, combines the atmosphere of the classical period with the technology of the 21st century. The four-story building has been completely renovated and turned into a modern hotel on a prime spot on Piraeus Street and the famous Omonia square.  Highlights Stylish hotel in historic buildingFree Wi-Fi accessMeeting/banquet facilities Rooms The 35 rooms fall into 3 categories: double rooms with queen beds, high-tech rooms with digital entertainment, and junior suites. The rooms, including non-smoking and smoking, feature the ample natural light, modern design and devices, and wood furniture. All rooms come equipped with free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen satellite television, telephone, individual air conditioning and heating, desk, hairdryer, and orthopedic mattresses and cotton sheets offering an unforgettable sleep. Features Chic Hotel Athens, in a desirable central location on Piraeus Street and Omonia square, brings sleek contemporary style to a neo-Classical 19th-century building. The hotel staff arranges and organizes every wish of guests, from baby cot and laptop or car rental to sightseeing tours, museum tickets, and airport transfers.  Transportation Athens International Airport (25 mi/40.2 km)Athens Larissa train station (0.7 mi/1.1 km) Nearby attractions The Acropolis (4.7 mi/7.5 km)National Archaeological Museum (0.5 mi/0.8 km)Ancient Agora Museum (1.3 mi/2.1 km)
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Nightly rates from £44.98

President Hotel

4 stars
4.1 / 5 10 reviews
Welcome at President Hotel, the highest hotel in the heart of Athens.Located on the main thoroughfare that leads to the commercial, business and tourist areas of the Greek capital as well as the two metro stations only a breath away, ensures a quick and comfortable access to all city sightseeing, to business meetings, to medical visits, to family gatherings, to sports exhibitions, to theatres and cinemas.Highly standard services offered in hotel are bound to make your stay at President Hotel a pleasure 24hour Reception Service, room service, laundry, foreign exchange office, mail service, car rental, taxi, organizes tours, medical care, wireless internet access throughout the communal areas, groom service, wake up call service, business center, guest car park with capacity 400 parking seats. The recently renovated 513 rooms are well equipped to fulfill your demands soundproof windows, independently controlled air- conditioning, mini fridge, smoke detectors, direct phone line, wireless internet connection, satellite and Pay TV, electronic room locks, safety deposit boxes, hair dryer as well as 17 specially equipped rooms for wheelchair access. The hotel provides amenities like Lobby and Reception.
Flight + Hotel
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Hotel only
Nightly rates from £47.34

Marina Hotel Athens

3 stars
2.7 / 5 13 reviews
Our 81 room hotel is located in the heart of Athens recently renovated in a modern way to provide a safe and comfort environment to every tourist or business guest while it's remaining an ideal choice for sight seeing and Entertainment. Vacation, Business ,Shopping and Pleasure are the top reasons to make a booking in Marina hotel. Our staff will provide its best effort to make you feel like home while at the same time you enjoy a unique accommodation, cleanness and a friendly service. The hotel is easy to be approached by metro or bus from the airport, port, bus and rail stations. Acropolis and the new museum, the National Archaeological Museum, as well as the majority of the archaeological places and cultural spots are in a walking distance from our hotel. Athens is famous also for its nightlife. Staying with us, your are also in a walking distance from the most popular restaurants and night clubs in the city. The beautiful Athenian beaches and sea sides can be reached easily and fast using the public transportation located in the next block from our hotel. However, If you decided to experience one of the Greek islands, the main port of Piraeus is only 30 minutes away.
Flight + Hotel
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Hotel only
Nightly rates from £29.96

Airotel Stratos Vassilikos Hotel Athens

4 stars
2.7 / 5 9 reviews
Hotel which was renovated recently with ulterior purpose to initiate a new vision in accommodation and relaxation. It addresses to businessmen of high standards like you! Endless meetings, responsibilities and problems can be exhausting and you seek for a place to change your mood, to escape the grey pictures of every day routine, a harmonious environment. And this we have achieved! You will know the difference from the hotel's facade. Inspired from the Italian Renaissance and combining a frugal exterior decoration. We have replaced the front desk with a reception lounge in order to welcome you in a warm and friendly environment. We have also created special lighting which reinvents objects and corners, along with creating an impressive "garden" of colors, by choosing the floral style for wall-papers and furniture. Bold contrasts, and intense impressionism and hyper realism touches, result to an environment where modesty and minimalism can be found. Beauty, simplicity and imagination are dominative elements of the hotel and overthrow what you knew up to now, by creating a postmodern and avant-garde environment. Remarks: Lunch or dinner is available with 11 Euro / person as supplement payment on the spot R.T.E. 0206K014A0029500
Value STAY 3 NIGHTS 20% OFF
Flight + Hotel
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Nightly rates from £38.89

Divani Caravel Hotel Athens

5 stars
4.4 / 5 9 reviews
Luxurious décor with amenities ideal for business or pleasureA member of The Leading Hotels in the World, the Divani Caravel Hotel Athens is renowned for its stunning blend of classic and contemporary design. Based in the center of Greece's capital, it is an ideal base for sightseers. Alternatively, visitors traveling for business reasons can take advantage of the business center and conference facilities available. The Divani Caravel Hotel Athens contains three restaurants serving a range of worldwide cuisines. The outdoor pool bar then provides a relaxing haven for a cocktail with a spectacular city backdrop. 3 Reasons to Stay:The largest hotel in the Divani Collection Business and conference facilities Menu a la carte served at the Constantinople Café Divani Caravel Hotel Athens RoomsThe Divani Caravel Hotel Athens rooms are elegant in décor, yet still comfortable in design. All the recently renovated rooms contain high quality furnishings. In addition, each affords stunning panoramas of the city. The hotel is composed of 471 rooms with 42 suites and two Presidential suites, all of which come with soundproof windows. Entertainment amenities include cable and satellite TVs, stereo music systems and fast Internet connection. As well as a minibar, there are also coffee and tea facilities. The bathrooms come fully equipped with a bathrobe, slippers, magnifying glass and hair dryer. There are two types of room for guests to choose from, executive and superior. The executive floor consists of 87 rooms and 11 executive plus suites. The standard rooms are composed of two single beds, while the superior rooms are available with a double bed or two single beds. Guests who stay on the executive floor can also take advantage of the Brown's Executive Lounge, with its complimentary breakfasts and refreshments daily. In terms of safety features, all the rooms have fireproof doors and electronic key card locks. At the Divani Caravel Hotel Athens, non-smoking rooms and rooms containing disabled facilities are available on request. There is also 24-hour room service and a doctor on call. Things to Do:National Gallery (0.1mi/160m) Byzantium Museum (0.4mi/700m) Museum of Cycladic Arts (0.5mi/850m) Kolonaki (0.8mi/1.3km) Syntagma Square (1.1mi/1.8km)
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Nightly rates from £70.67

Airotel Alexandros Hotel Athens

4 stars
3.8 / 5 20 reviews
Affordable Athens with free breakfast and high-speed wireless InternetFind smart value away from the tourist bustle at the Airotel Alexandros Hotel Athens. In an upscale area near the American embassy and the Athens Concert Hall, these affordable accommodations include free high-speed wireless Internet access in all guest rooms and a complimentary breakfast buffet. Set out on foot to visit Syntagma Square or the Kolonaki shopping area in just minutes. Back at the Airotel Alexandros Hotel Athens, guests take a seat at the on-site bar or under the arching ceiling in the Mediterranean restaurant. HighlightsFree high-speed wireless Internet access in all guest roomsComplimentary breakfast buffetOutdoor patioMediterranean cuisine restaurant with barMeeting facilities RoomsRooms at the Airotel Alexandros Hotel Athens are clean, comfortably sized and reasonably priced. Use the free high-speed wireless Internet access, order room service or check out the satellite channels and pay-per-view movies on TV. Some rooms feature a balcony and all accommodations include basic amenities, from complimentary toiletries and a coffee maker to a safe, air-conditioning, hairdryer and mini-bar. Suites boast a living room area and workdesk. FeaturesThe Airotel Alexandros Hotel Athens offers free high-speed wireless Internet access in guest rooms and a business center for guests in town on a work-related stay. In the Don Giovanni restaurant, lively colors and neo-classical furniture blend with marble, wood and stone finishes. Enjoy the Mediterranean menu and domestic wine list on the Airotel Alexandros Hotel Athens' outdoor patio in season. Complimentary newspapers, private parking and a nearby bus stop to the airport add convenience. TransportationAthens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (18.5 mi/29.8 km) AttractionsSyntagma Square (0.8 mi/1.3 km)Athens National Art Gallery (0.8 mi/1.3 km)National Garden of Athens (1 mi/1.6 km)Acropolis and Parthenon (3.1 mi/5 km)HELEXPO Conference Center (5.3 mi/8.6 km)Mediterranean Exhibition Center (9.3 mi/15 km)Glyfada (9.1 mi/15.2 km)Piraeus Port (9.4 mi/14.5 km) BusinessFree high-speed wireless Internet access in guest roomsBusiness centerThree meeting rooms accommodate up to 80 people
Value STAY 3 NIGHTS & 20% OFF
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Nightly rates from £37.95

Oscar Hotel Athens

3 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews
Oscar Hotel Athens offers lodging for holidaymakers and business travellers in Athens Greece at affordable prices. In February 2004, all rooms in the main building of Oscar Hotel were reconstructed and renovated. All the pieces of furniture were replaced with new modern ones. They were added hairdryers and cable internet access in all rooms. In the lobby area there was created an Internet corner with 8 personal computers (ADSL connection 1024 mbps).
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Nightly rates from £29.59

Magna Grecia Boutique Hotel Athens

4 stars
3.7 / 5 30 reviews
Boutique hotel combing classical architecture with modern amenitiesFinalist for the 2008 World Luxury Hotel Awards, the Magna Grecia Boutique Hotel welcomes guests with its beautiful Neo-classical structure. The inside is equally as stunning and the design creates a calming atmosphere, ideal after a day exploring all Athens has to offer. Business facilities include a center, secretarial service, high-speed Internet and currency exchange. For those on a sightseeing vacation, there is a tour desk available. Top attractions are located within walking distance from the hotel. 3 Reasons to Stay: Member of the Great Small Hotels Walking distance from the famous Syntagma Square Live music available on the roof top terrace Magna Grecia Boutique Hotel RoomsThe Magna Grecia Boutique Hotel offers its guests four different types of accommodation: single, classic double, double, suite and triple. A honeymoon suite is also available. All the rooms are simple yet elegant in design and features, and although they come with modern amenities, they retain historical ambiance. The number of room types available makes the Magna Grecia Boutique Hotel ideal for many different travelers. Each of them comes with a range of amenities including minibars, safe boxes, individually controlled heating and Internet access. In the bathrooms, there are hair dryers, bathrobes, sleepers and a beauty sets. They come with either private baths or showers fitted, depending on preference. For entertainment purposes, there is a color TV, DVD player and CD player. Additional amenities include direct dial telephones and ecological equipment. There is a house cleaner service available, as well as a 24-hour manager on duty and a 24-hour front desk. All rooms come equipped with smoke alarms and sprinkler systems as well as key card access, for added safety and security. Pets can stay at the Magna Grecia Boutique Hotel, and there are non-smoking rooms and facilities. Things to Do:Syntagma Square (0.2mi/300m) Monastiraki flea market (0.2mi/300m) Acropolis (0.2mi/400m) Agora (0.4mi/600m) Lycabetus Hill (0.6mi/1km)
Value Stay 3 Nights & Save 10%
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Nightly rates from £77.67

New Hotel Athens

5 stars
4.9 / 5 7 reviews
The hotel is located 200 meters from Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the most central part of Athens, a center point to the daily activities of all Athenians. An ideal location to get the best of Athens, from ancient to modern times. New Hotel, a deluxe property totally designed (with exclusive furniture) by Campana brothers. 79 rooms & suites in total, featuring a strong and authentic Greek design concept within the rooms under the perception of the Campana brothers.
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Nightly rates from £101.23
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Hotels

Athens Hotels

Nightly rates from £69.16

Fresh Hotel Athens

4 stars
4.4 / 5 24 reviews
Hip and bright Athens hotel with minimalist rooms and a rooftop loungeThe Fresh Hotel Athens attracts a stylish young clientele with free high-speed wireless Internet access and a hipster rooftop scene. In an up-and-coming neighborhood, this modern hotel is within walking distance to metro stops and major Athens attractions. Guests make use the fitness center, steam room and sauna, and many hit the lobby restaurant for breakfast. Head to the ninth floor Air Lounge to sun by the rooftop pool, dine on aromatic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine or order cocktails while ambient music plays in the background. HighlightsFitness center, sauna and steam roomBreakfast restaurant in the lobby and rooftop open-air restaurant for lunch and dinnerSeasonal rooftop swimming pool with barFree high-speed wireless Internet access in guest rooms RoomsThe 133 cozy rooms and suites at the Fresh Hotel Athens offer a refreshing experience amid minimalist décor. Expect mod pops of saturated colors, designer furniture and custom lighting schemes. All accommodations include mini-bars, in-room safes, LCD TVs with satellite channels, slippers and complementary bath toiletries. Free high-speed wireless Internet access at the Fresh Hotel Athens makes it easy to connect with friends or tweak travel plans. FeaturesThe helpful reception desk staff at the Fresh Hotel Athens is happy to steer guests to the correct metro stop to reach the airport and how to make the most of the bustling café culture in Athens. The staff also provides recommendations for nearby restaurants, bars and the club scene. From the sleek, chic and centrally-located Fresh Hotel Athens, guests walk to the Plaka area, Omonia Square, Syntagma Square, museums, Monastiraki market or the meat and fish market, with the fruit and vegetable stalls just across the street. TransportationAthens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (25 mi/40.2 km) AttractionsAcropolis and Parthenon (0.7 mi/1.1 km)Syntagma Square (0.7 mi/1.2 km)National Garden of Athens (1.1 mi/1.7 km)Athens National Art Gallery (1.5 mi/2.4 km)Piraeus Port (6.7 mi/10.8 km)HELEXPO Conference Center (6.8 mi/10.9 km)Mediterranean Exhibition Center (10 mi/16.2 km)Glyfada (11.1 mi/17.8 km) BusinessFree high-speed wireless Internet access in guest roomsBusiness centerThree conference rooms
Value 10% Lunch or Dinner Discount - rooftop restaurant
Nightly rates from £44.98

Chic Hotel Athens

4 stars
4.1 / 5 35 reviews
Updated vintage building in central Athens Chic Hotel Athens, a 4-star hotel (opened November 2009) located in the heart of Athens, in a classical 19th-century building, combines the atmosphere of the classical period with the technology of the 21st century. The four-story building has been completely renovated and turned into a modern hotel on a prime spot on Piraeus Street and the famous Omonia square.  Highlights Stylish hotel in historic buildingFree Wi-Fi accessMeeting/banquet facilities Rooms The 35 rooms fall into 3 categories: double rooms with queen beds, high-tech rooms with digital entertainment, and junior suites. The rooms, including non-smoking and smoking, feature the ample natural light, modern design and devices, and wood furniture. All rooms come equipped with free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen satellite television, telephone, individual air conditioning and heating, desk, hairdryer, and orthopedic mattresses and cotton sheets offering an unforgettable sleep. Features Chic Hotel Athens, in a desirable central location on Piraeus Street and Omonia square, brings sleek contemporary style to a neo-Classical 19th-century building. The hotel staff arranges and organizes every wish of guests, from baby cot and laptop or car rental to sightseeing tours, museum tickets, and airport transfers.  Transportation Athens International Airport (25 mi/40.2 km)Athens Larissa train station (0.7 mi/1.1 km) Nearby attractions The Acropolis (4.7 mi/7.5 km)National Archaeological Museum (0.5 mi/0.8 km)Ancient Agora Museum (1.3 mi/2.1 km)
Value Book Now and Save 10%
Nightly rates from £47.34

President Hotel

4 stars
4.1 / 5 10 reviews
Welcome at President Hotel, the highest hotel in the heart of Athens.Located on the main thoroughfare that leads to the commercial, business and tourist areas of the Greek capital as well as the two metro stations only a breath away, ensures a quick and comfortable access to all city sightseeing, to business meetings, to medical visits, to family gatherings, to sports exhibitions, to theatres and cinemas.Highly standard services offered in hotel are bound to make your stay at President Hotel a pleasure 24hour Reception Service, room service, laundry, foreign exchange office, mail service, car rental, taxi, organizes tours, medical care, wireless internet access throughout the communal areas, groom service, wake up call service, business center, guest car park with capacity 400 parking seats. The recently renovated 513 rooms are well equipped to fulfill your demands soundproof windows, independently controlled air- conditioning, mini fridge, smoke detectors, direct phone line, wireless internet connection, satellite and Pay TV, electronic room locks, safety deposit boxes, hair dryer as well as 17 specially equipped rooms for wheelchair access. The hotel provides amenities like Lobby and Reception.
Nightly rates from £29.96

Marina Hotel Athens

3 stars
2.7 / 5 13 reviews
Our 81 room hotel is located in the heart of Athens recently renovated in a modern way to provide a safe and comfort environment to every tourist or business guest while it's remaining an ideal choice for sight seeing and Entertainment. Vacation, Business ,Shopping and Pleasure are the top reasons to make a booking in Marina hotel. Our staff will provide its best effort to make you feel like home while at the same time you enjoy a unique accommodation, cleanness and a friendly service. The hotel is easy to be approached by metro or bus from the airport, port, bus and rail stations. Acropolis and the new museum, the National Archaeological Museum, as well as the majority of the archaeological places and cultural spots are in a walking distance from our hotel. Athens is famous also for its nightlife. Staying with us, your are also in a walking distance from the most popular restaurants and night clubs in the city. The beautiful Athenian beaches and sea sides can be reached easily and fast using the public transportation located in the next block from our hotel. However, If you decided to experience one of the Greek islands, the main port of Piraeus is only 30 minutes away.
Nightly rates from £38.89

Airotel Stratos Vassilikos Hotel Athens

4 stars
2.7 / 5 9 reviews
Hotel which was renovated recently with ulterior purpose to initiate a new vision in accommodation and relaxation. It addresses to businessmen of high standards like you! Endless meetings, responsibilities and problems can be exhausting and you seek for a place to change your mood, to escape the grey pictures of every day routine, a harmonious environment. And this we have achieved! You will know the difference from the hotel's facade. Inspired from the Italian Renaissance and combining a frugal exterior decoration. We have replaced the front desk with a reception lounge in order to welcome you in a warm and friendly environment. We have also created special lighting which reinvents objects and corners, along with creating an impressive "garden" of colors, by choosing the floral style for wall-papers and furniture. Bold contrasts, and intense impressionism and hyper realism touches, result to an environment where modesty and minimalism can be found. Beauty, simplicity and imagination are dominative elements of the hotel and overthrow what you knew up to now, by creating a postmodern and avant-garde environment. Remarks: Lunch or dinner is available with 11 Euro / person as supplement payment on the spot R.T.E. 0206K014A0029500
Value STAY 3 NIGHTS 20% OFF
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Flights

Flights to Athens

Departure Arrival Travel dates Round-trip fares
London Athens Sat, 20 Sep - Sat, 4 Oct £102
Thira Athens Thu, 7 Aug - Fri, 8 Aug £130
Rome Athens Wed, 3 Sep - Mon, 8 Sep £113
Larnaca Athens Fri, 12 Sep - Thu, 18 Sep £102
Istanbul Athens Fri, 5 Sep - Sun, 14 Sep £116
Manchester Athens Sat, 20 Sep - Sun, 19 Oct £239
Paris Athens Fri, 5 Sep - Tue, 9 Sep £159
Mykonos Athens Sun, 27 Jul - Mon, 28 Jul £173
Vienna Athens Wed, 10 Sep - Tue, 16 Sep £138
Cairo Athens Wed, 30 Jul - Wed, 6 Aug Check rates
Tel Aviv Yafo Athens Tue, 2 Sep - Fri, 12 Sep £165
Barcelona Athens Tue, 9 Sep - Mon, 15 Sep £140
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Best time to take a holiday to Athens

  • The weather in Athens is hot and dry during the summer, with averages reaching more than 30°C during June, July, and August. December through March is the rainy season, and almost half of the days during this period receive rain. The Mediterranean climate makes late spring and fall the most pleasant times to visit, but a more important element to consider when planning your trip to Athens is political unrest. Pay attention to the news before leaving on your holiday so you will know about any demonstrations happening in the city before you arrive.

Athens highlights

  • Tour the Saronic Islands

    Hop on a ferry and visit the legendary Greek islands of the Saronic Gulf. Savour the native pistachios of Aegina, the island that was once a city-state and Athens’ great rival.

    Continue on to Poros, the pine forest-covered island of the god of the sea Poseidon, full of great cafes and restaurants.

    Cars are prohibited on Hydra, as only donkeys cart goods around this rocky island known as an artist hub.

    Many islands are a short trip Athens and can be seen in a day. Look for all-inclusive island cruises for a guided tour.

    Discover the Plaka

    Just under the Acropolis lies the Plaka, the oldest neighbourhood in Athens with a village feel thanks to its street vendors selling flowers and crafts, and musicians turning sidewalks into recital halls.

    Sit in an outdoor cafe and watch the eclectic crowd of internationals and Athenians alike pass by. Packed with jewellery and souvenir shops, the Plaka is also home to the Frissiras Museum of Contemporary Greek and European Painting.

    Shop and Taste at Agora Central Market

    Once centre of political and social life for Ancient Greece, the Central Market of Athens is now a busy food market teeming with sights, smells, and tasting opportunities.

    Where Socrates and St. Paul once drew crowds with their speeches, modern shops now burst with different meats, fresh fish and seafood, dried and juicy fruit, spices, olive oils, and cheeses. A handful of inexpensive restaurants serve up favourite local dishes.

    Party like the Gods

    Athens is a town known to have one of the most active nightlives in Europe. With hoards of bars, venues, and clubs to choose from, there is always something going on that will please every musical taste and partying style.

    For live Greek Laika music, check out the club Perivoli T Ouranou or any tavern, most of which will feature live music. Enjoy classical music or ballet at the Herod Atticus Theatre and jazz at the Half-Note Jazz Club or Parafono.

    Summer months mean outdoor concerts, films, and massive discos by the beach.

Top Athens attractions

  • Acropolis

    Situated atop a 150m-tall rock, Acropolis is a breathtaking elevated fortress of marble temples and theatres that has withstood numerous wars, invasions, and reconstructions.

    The remains include the Theatre of Dionysus (500 BCE), which is dedicated to the god of wine and fertility, the Erechtheum temple (400 BCE), and the Parthenon temple (438 BCE), which is dedicated to Athena, the goddess of protection for Athenians.

    The structure’s intricate carvings and unique form of deterioration reveal historic periods of distinct religious and political domination from Persian invasion to the Peloponnesian War to Roman conquest.

    Temple of Olympian Zeus

    Though a mere shadow of its intended glory, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and its 15 remaining columns are worth a visit. When construction began in 520 BCE, the temple was to be the largest dedication to the king of the Olympian Gods in all of Greece.

    However, after numerous starts and stops due to a lack of finances (or, as in the period of democracy in Athens, a sense that the temple was a flashy display of government’s abuse of power), it was not completed until 131 ACE.

    As Athens suffered various attacks and changed from one empire to the next, so did the temple, losing and gaining columns, statues, and a host of names and purposes.

    National Archaeological Museum

    Filled with relics from all over Greece dating from prehistoric times to Late Antiquity, the National Archaeological Museum is worth a visit. Its more than 20,000 exhibits include ceramics from civilizations of the Neolithic era, ancient Greek sculptures from 700-500 BCE, and Mycenaean art that includes the gold funeral mask of King Agamemnon.

    National Gardens

    In the middle of town lies this peaceful green getaway, a 15.5-hectare public park complete with duck ponds, a botanical museum with plants and flowers from around the world, a zoo, cafe, playground, and of course some ancient ruins.

    Designed by the first queen of Greece, Amalia, the National Gardens is a place to escape the grind of the city and stroll, sit, write, people-watch, and be inspired.

    Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday

  • The Parthenon

    Construction of the goddess Athena's ancient temple began in 447 BC, and it is one of the most famous buildings of ancient Greece.

    Temple of Olympian Zeus

    The largest ancient temple in Greece took over 700 years to build, but only 15 of the original 104 columns still stand.

    Theatre of Dionysos

    This theatre hosted plays written by famous ancient Greek playwrights like Sophocles and Euripides during the Golden Age.

    Panathenaic Stadium

    The stadium that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 was built on the site where the ancient games first began.

    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    See a formal changing of the guard every hour, or watch a full ceremony on Sundays at 11 a.m.

    Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum

    This museum dedicated to the art of making jewellery has a permanent collection of more than 4,000 jewels.

    Foundation for the Hellenic World

    Go beyond the ruins to visit the city of Athens during its heyday with an interactive virtual reality tour.

    National Archaeological Museum

    One of the greatest museums in the world, this landmark is home to the world's largest collection of ancient Greek artefacts.

    Athens Planetarium

    The most advanced digital planetarium in the world lets you go on a 3-D virtual reality tour of the galaxy.

    Limni Vouliagmenis

    You can swim year-round at this lake beach, where the water is known for its healing properties.

Athens holiday travel tips

  • Public Transportation

    Visitors can choose between a metro, bus, and tram system. The Attiko Metro serves downtown Athens and can also take you to the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport.

    The Athens Tram SA serves the south-western suburbs and the Saronic coastline, and yellow trolleys and blue buses also run throughout the city. Always purchase tickets before boarding.

    Taxis are bright yellow and a good option for downtown travel. Fares start at €1 with a minimum charge being €2.50.

    To and From the Airport

    A series of buses pick up at the arrivals curb and will take you to various destinations in Athens like the Metro station, Syntagma Square, or the Piraeus port.

    If you are only riding Express bus lines you can buy a 24 hour ticket for €3, valid for all public transportation. Taxis will cost around €17-20.

    Car Hire

    Find a great deal on car hire in Athens and plan a trip to neighbouring Adelphi or the beaches of the Vouliagmeni Peninsula. Get yourself a map and plan routes ahead of time.

    As Athenian drivers are quite aggressive, drive defensively.

    Park in your hotel or a garage, as downtown parking is difficult.

    Gas stations do not accept credit cards and cell phone use while driving or driving under the influence of alcohol are illegal and may result in fines.

    Money

    There are many ATMs around Syntagma Square, and the National Bank of Greece has a 24-hour automatic exchange machine.

    The international dialling code for Athens is 00 30 (210).

Insider tips for Athens travel

  • Kerameikos

    Take the Metro Blue Line to this ancient cemetery to escape the city noise and lose yourself among the ancient statues.

    Colibri

    Visit this small restaurant for a tasty and tempting burger.

    The Art Foundation

    Enjoy art exhibits and live performances at this building, which has a courtyard that dates back to 1870.

    Kolokotroni

    Take a short detour from Ermou Street along Aiolou to find the hidden bakeries and pastry shops along Kolokotroni.

    Bartesera

    Enjoy drinking a kir royal or glass of wine in the outdoor garden of this hidden bar.

Where to stay in Athens

  • Athenian Callirhoe Hotel is a 4-star boutique that offers comfort and style with its avant-garde feel and excellent amenities. Located within walking distance of the Acropolis and the major shopping districts, the hotel also has two restaurants, one on the rooftop garden with spectacular views. Rooms are equipped with air conditioning, high-speed Internet, a flat screen TV, and soundproofed windows.

    With its unique minimalist design, Fresh Hotel is a relaxing urban resort right in the heart of the city. Just a short walk to Omonia square, Fresh Hotel also has its own Magenta Restaurant that serves an America-style breakfast and excellent Mediterranean cuisine at night. The Air Lounge Bar on the roof is a great place to sip cocktails and enjoy the view.

    Situated in a classical 19th century building near the famous Omonia Square, Chic Hotel offers 21st century accommodations complete with free wireless Internet connection, LCD televisions, and soundproofed windows. Chic’s spacious rooms also feature orthopaedic queen-sized mattresses.

    Steps from the beach in the coastal region of Glyfada lies the London Hotel. Many rooms offer views of the Argo Saronic Gulf and the island of Aegina, and all have wireless Internet connection and air conditioning. Glyfada itself is full of great shops, restaurants, and entertainment, and a nearby tram stop will take you into the centre of Athens.

    Click here for more Athens hotels.

Athens restaurants

  • For modern twist on traditional Greek food, the restaurant 48 (Armatolon ke Klefton 48) is a must. It maintains the feeling of the art gallery it once was, with tall ceilings, dramatic lighting, and a designer courtyard and pool. 48’s menu changes depending on what local markets are selling, but regular plates include gazpacho with basil sorbet and grilled lamb sheftalia.

    Since 1865, Damigos tavern (Kidathineon 41) has been a destination for authentic Greek food in Athens. Located in Plaka, this inexpensive tavern has an old world feel full of wine barrels and even an ancient Greek column. Great dishes include the fried cod, eggplant, and grilled sardines. Accompany your meal with wine from the owners’ family vineyard and don’t leave without a piece of baklava for dessert.

    A mix of Greek, French, and Asian cuisines, Spondi restaurant (Pyrronos 5) has been acclaimed for its innovative gourmet dishes and excellent service. Down to earth yet refined, the restaurant decor mimics the rocky Greek islands and also has a garden terrace. Try the sea urchin or roasted scallops for starters and the duck with aniseed or veal sweetbread as a main course. A sommelier help you pick from an array of local and foreign wines.

    Locals and tourists alike flock to Paradosiako (Voulis 44A) to get their fill of delicious Greek home--cooking at an incredible price. What this tavern lacks in ambience it makes up for in flavour, with house favourites such as the fried anchovies, grilled calamari, Greek salad, and baked potato served with a tasty meatball.

Health & Safety

  • Health and Vaccinations

    Athens has good medical facilities and well-stocked pharmacies. Ask your Social Security centre for the European Health Insurance Card that covers emergency care.

    Compulsory vaccinations include yellow fever for travellers coming from central Africa or northern South America. Recommended vaccinations include tetanus, polio, diphtheria, and pertussis. The drinking water throughout Greece and its islands is potable.

    Safety

    While Athens is one of the safer cities in Europe, do not walk alone at night, wear expensive jewellery that may attract attention, or carry large amounts of cash.

    Districts to avoid are Monastiraki, Omonia, and the areas around the Larissa and Peleponnisos stations.

    Beware of increasingly common scams that involve overpriced tour packages or overly friendly locals in bars who are ultimately after your wallet.

    Always carry a copy of your passport or another form of identification on your person and store the original in the hotel safe.

    Useful Numbers Include:

    Ambulance/First-Aid Advice: 166 or 112
    Doctors, Hospitals, and Pharmacies: 1434
    SOS Doctors: 10 16
    Fire department: 199
    Police: 100
    Clinics: Errikos Dunant General Hospital, 107 Messoghion Av: (210) 697 20 00; Red Cross Hospital: (210) 642 40 00.

Your trip

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