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Recommended Athens holiday deals:

  • Colorful buildings in Plaka Athens
  • Odeon of Herodes Atticus Athens
  • Kavouri Beach Vouliagmeni Athens
  • Garden Of The Gods Athens
  • Colorful buildings in Plaka Athens
  • Streets of Plaka in Centre of Athens

Athens holidays put you in the heart of one of the world’s great capitals

Athens is a place where everything converges: beauty, history, politics and Mediterranean splendour. If you’ve been considering a relaxing getaway to the sun-soaked cradle of democracy, then take a look at ebookers’ great offers on holidays to Athens. We’ve put together a selection of the very best Athens flights and hotels, with savings of up to 15% when booked together, so that your trip will be as unforgettable as the views from the Acropolis, and the only drama will be in the Theatre of Dionysus.

All roads lead to Athens: things to do on your Athens holiday

For lovers of politics, philosophy and culture, Athens is an unparalleled historical hot spot, and it offers some spectacular sunsets, beaches, and ouzo, too. Any trip to Athens should begin with a tour of local landmarks, as these aren’t just your ordinary tick-the-boxes sights, but some of the most breathtaking and inspiring places in the world. This is the city where democracy, theatre and philosophy were born, after all, and when you’re standing in the ruins of the hilltop Acropolis, looking down upon the ancient, moonlit metropolis spreading beneath you, it’s hard not to feel moved. Most of the ancient sights are clustered around the city centre, and a free walking tour is a great way to get a crash course in classical history. Greece is hardly frozen in time, though, and you’ll discover a thoroughly modern city of daring restaurants, charming open-air cafes and vibrant boutiques – head to Ermou if you want to dive into the shopping scene headfirst. Athens is also a short bus ride from several beaches, including picturesque Astir beach in Vouliagmeni. It’s a popular spot in the summer, so arrive early to claim your place in the sun.

What neighbourhoods are the best bet for holidays to Athens?

The upscale Kolonaki area is a refreshingly chic spot, offering polished cafes, designer shops and Italian restaurants, as well as several galleries and museums. If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of Athens’ elite over a Greek frappé, Kolonaki is the place to be. If a bit of grit and local colour sounds interesting, you’ll want to check out bohemian Exarchia, a vibrant, graffiti-clad enclave bursting with bars, live music venues, cheap eats and welcoming students. The Gazi district, surrounded by the old gasworks and marked by illuminated red chimneys, is the centre of the city’s booming bar scene, while the sun-dappled Plaka neighbourhood offers quaint squares, a range of hotels, and an unbeatable location at the foot of the Acropolis.

Travelling from the airport

A metro runs to and from the airport and offers reliable service (45 minutes to the city centre), but if you’re travelling with luggage, hiring a car may be the most convenient option. Taxis also queue outside the airport and provide metered service. If you’re planning on travelling by taxi, it helps to have the name of your hotel written in Greek.

Top Athens attractions

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.

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

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.

Best time to go on 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.

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.

How to move around in Athens

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).

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.

MORE Athens Hotels

See all 686 Hotels in Athens
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Situated in Rafina-Pikermi, this luxury villa is within 9 mi (15 km) of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Attica Zoological Park, and Expo Athens. Rafina Port and ...

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Villa Suites Tilemachos

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5.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Pallini, this luxury villa is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from McArthurGlen Designer Outlet and 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Attica Zoological Park. Expo Athens and ...

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Athens Gate Hotel

Athens Gate Hotel

10 Syngrou Avenue, Athens
4.0 out of 5.0
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The Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's Arch are directly across from this hotel, ideally located in Athens' historic district. The Acropolis, home to the Parthenon, ...

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Electra Metropolis Athens

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Royal Olympic Hotel

Royal Olympic Hotel

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5.0 out of 5.0
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This luxury Athens hotel is located just in front of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Acropolis. Recently refurnished offers a variety of rooms and suites overlooking ...

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Divani Caravel

Divani Caravel

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This family-friendly Athens hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Athens National Gallery, Benaki Museum, and Panathenaic Stadium. ...

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New Dream Hotel

New Dream Hotel

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Situated in Athens, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hellenic Motor Museum and National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Ancient Agora and Hellenic Parliament ...

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Athenaeum Grand Hotel

Athenaeum Grand Hotel

142 Syggrou Street, Athens
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Neos Kosmos, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Onassis Cultural Centre, Acropolis Museum, and Parthenon. Filopappos Hill and Roman Agora are also ...

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Holiday Inn Athens Attica Av. Airport West

Holiday Inn Athens Attica Av. Airport West

Attica Avenue 40.2 Km, Spata-Artemida
5.0 out of 5.0
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This family-friendly Spata-Artemida hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet and Attica Zoological Park. American ...

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