First-time Athens visitor who wants to know ‘Is Athens worth it?’ Here are my favourite things and top reasons to visit Athens and what makes this Greek city special. I’ve included unique places and all the ways to stay safe too!

Many have asked ‘Is Athens worth visiting?’ or what are the reasons to visit Athens?

For me, age-old ruins that are spread across the Acropolis, engaging museums that hold pieces of ancient history, colourful lanes of Plaka that steal your heart, and beautiful islands that are a stone’s throw away make Athens worth visiting.

The best decision was to buy the Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket in advance. It helped me save so much time and I could use that to explore the best bits of Athens.

I loved how spellbinding the ruins of the Parthenon are, when you first visit Athens. And no matter how many times you explore Plaka, you always manage to find quirky cafes.

So, for those who wonder ‘Is Athens worth it?’, I have compiled a list of reasons to visit Athens, Greece and what makes this city special including ways to save money and safety tips!

Colourful buildings in Athens with a mountain behind is Athens worth visiting

Is Athens worth visiting?

Yes, Athens is worth visiting for all types of tourists.

It is a vibrant quilt stitched together with ancient ruins of the Acropolis, fascinating exhibits of the National Archaeological Museum, numerous historic temples, the picturesque neighbourhood of Plaka, the bustling Central Market, and mouther watering traditional Greek food mixed with modern cuisines.

So, if you are wondering ‘Is Athens nice to visit?’ then rest assured that this Greek city has a lot to offer and can turn out to be one of the nicest vacations.

You can refer to my travel guide that explains how many days in Athens are enough for a great trip, especially if its your first visit.

When is Athens worth visiting?

Athens is one of the European destinations worth visiting all year round. Of course, each season has its lows and highs, but depending on your budget, you can plan an Athens trip anytime you want and still get the best of Greece.


Summer in Athens is from mid-May to September and is the peak tourist season. Even though the weather stays hot and dry, Athens still sees most of its visitors in summer.

Athens pros and cons in summer include – the days are long and attractions start staying open late in the evening.

Is Athens expensive to visit during summer? The prices for accommodation, tours, and flights start surging up and budget travellers may find it hard to book decent stays at reasonable prices.


Fall in Athens is from mid-September to November with temperatures coming down and touristy crowds leaving the city.

You will still find lines at most of the popular attractions, but it won’t be that time-consuming. Keep in mind that many sites start following winter timings and closing times are shifted to late afternoon.

Start your day early in the morning to cover all the major points of interest without any hassle.  Carry a rain jacket as November in Athens sees light showers.


Winter in Athens is from November To March, making it off-season for tourism. Is Athens worth visiting in December? Yes, Athens is one of the cities where rain and cold do not bring it to a halt.

Pack winter jackets and carry an umbrella as Athens in December is worth visiting with fewer tourists and cheaper accommodation and attractions prices.


Spring in Athens is from March to May and many consider it a shoulder season to explore the city.

Is Athens cheap to visit during spring? Yes, many of the sites offer reduced rates for tickets hotels, tours, and flights are at lesser prices.

Spring is a great time for budget travellers to visit Athens.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens with a hill behind on a sunny day

Is Athens worth it?

Top reasons to visit Athens

Acropolis of Athens


The Acropolis of Athens has dominated the skyline of Athens for centuries is an ancient citadel known for art, architecture, and historical importance.

Is Athens worth visiting for the Acropolis? Yes! It dates back to the 5th century BC and even after weathering the storms and human interventions, the ruins still stand tall, telling a story of a bygone era.

Some of the most popular structures here are the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and the Stoa of Eumenes.

For a seamless experience, I suggest buying the Acropolis Entry Ticket with Optional Audio Guide in advance. It will help you skip the lines and an audio guide will help you understand the true significance of the Acropolis.


Acropolis of Athens

Address: Athens 105 58, Greece

Timings: Winter timings are from 8 am to 5 pm. Early summer timings are from 8 am to 7.30 pm with a gradual reduction in closing time every 15 days.

Price: €20 for adults in summer and reduced price of €10 for adults in winter. Free for children up to 18 years old

Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum is a treasure for history buffs. More than 4,000 objects right from the Greek Bronze Age were found in the ruins of the Acropolis and are housed in this museum today.

No doubt the Acropolis Museum is one of the top things to do in Athens. The sleek glass and steel design of the museum interestingly contrasts with all the ancient artefacts that are exhibited here.

The Parthenon Gallery has several stunning sculptures. The space is designed in such a way that you can also see the archaeological excavations that are still underway. Spend at least 2 hours here to understand the historical and cultural importance of the ruins.


Acropolis Museum

Address: Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athina 117 42, Greece

Timings: Monday to Thursday 9 am to 5 pm. Friday 9 am to 10 pm. Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 8 pm. Summer timings may vary.

Price: Acropolis Museum ticket prices and group bookings

Acropolis hill with the acropolis in athens is athens worth visting

Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium has several reasons to be proud of.

It was built around 330 BC mainly for the Panathenaic Game where the natural slopes on the side of the ravine were beautifully incorporated in the structure.

This is the place where the first modern Olympic games were held in 1896. Known to be the world’s only stadium built entirely of marble, this unique archaeological monument is one of the reasons to visit Athens.


Panathenaic Stadium

Address: Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou, Athina 116 35, Greece

Timings: March to October – 8 am to 7 pm. November to February – 8 am to 5 pm

Price: €10 for adults, €5 for students, and children under 6 can visit for free

Ancient Agora of Athens

The ancient Agora of Athens was a public gathering place for social or political activities.

Two of the most important finds here include the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalus.

The Temple of Hephaestus is among the best-preserved temples from ancient times whereas the reconstructed Stoa of Attalus is used as the Museum of the Ancient Agora today.

This famous landmark with so much history packed in one place is one of the reasons that make Athens worth visiting.


Ancient Agora of Athens

Address: Athens 105 55, Greece

Timings: 8 am to 5 pm.

Price: Full €10, Reduced €5

Athens National Garden

Athens National Garden was known as the Royal Garden until the 1970s and when you visit it, you will realise how true the garden stands to its past name.

This 38 acres of nature right in the heart of Athens is everything that you need for a leisurely time.

When you are done exploring the Acropolis or hiking the Lycabettus Hill, this is the place you can head to for relaxing your feet. Different types of trees, including the Washingtonia palm trees, can be found here.

You will also come across a few ruins while strolling the shaded walkways. Athens National Garden is the perfect place to add to your Athens trip.


Athens National Garden

Address: Leof. Vasilisis Amalias 1, Athina 105 57, Greece

Timings: 6 am to 6 pm

Price: Free

Kerameikos Archaeological Site

Kerameikos Archaeological Site is one of the lesser-known places in Athens that deserves a spot in your itinerary.

This was first known as the potters’ Quarter and the outer part was used as a cemetery for more than a thousand years.

Today, the on-site museum exhibits burial-related artefacts where everything from marble sculpture to jewellery and funerary urns is displayed.

All these absorbing exhibits answer the question ‘Is Athens worth it?’ You can visit the Outer Kerameikos ruins located near the museum.

Temple columns and remains of public buildings were also found during excavations, marking their historical importance.


Kerameikos Archaeological Site

Address: Ermou 148, Athina 105 53, Greece

Timings: Summer timings from 8 am to 7 pm with a gradual reduction in closing time every 15 days. Winter timings from 8 am to 3 pm.

Price: Full €8, Reduced €4

The acropolis of athens on a sunny day is athens worth it

Mount Lycabettus

Take a cable car to reach the top of Mount Lycabettus or choose to hike to get to the highest point in Athens. Offering spectacular views of the Acropolis and the city,

Lycabettus will take you away from all the hustle and bustle. If you have wondered ‘Is Athens worth it?’ then standing on the hilltop, taking in the vistas will tell you how this city is worth all the efforts.

Visit the Church of Saint George of Lycabettus, eat something at the hill-top restaurant, and check if the Amphitheater of Lycabettus is planning any event of your interest.


Mount Lycabettus

Address: Mount Lycabettus, Athens 114 71, Greece

Timings: Timings may vary depending on the weather.

Price: Free

Varvakios Central Municipal Market

Varvakios Central Market is heaven for foodies where everything from traditional Greek cuisine to fusion dishes come together.

As fresh produce, unique spices, seafood, and dried fruits dominate the stalls, this market turns into a colourful canvas every day.

No matter how much time you are planning to spend here, you need to stop by Karayiannis to try the Greek version of ‘tapas’.

The market usually closes around 3 pm, but a few shops stay open till evening. So, I would suggest visiting the Athens Central Market early in the morning or for brunch to make the most of your time.



Varvakios Central Municipal Market

Address: Νο68 Βαρβακειος Αγορα, Athina, Greece

Timings: 7 am to 6 pm

Price: Free

A building within the acropolis of athens on a sunny day

Museums in Athens


Athens is home to several interesting museums that are spread across the city and have stayed under the tourist radar for many years.

Apart from the popular Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, you may have heard of The Jewish Museum of Greece and the Benaki Museum.

If you have wondered ‘is Athens worth visiting?’, then know that a variety of attractions like these make this city worthwhile.

It is recommended to buy this popular Athens City Pass with 30+ Attractions and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour to save time and money.

The Byzantine and Christian Museum was founded a century ago and has an extensive collection of 25,000, fabrics, frescoes, manuscripts, pottery, pictures, and scriptures.

The Museum of Cycladic Art is a known place amongst art enthusiasts.

The Numismatic Museum of Athens is solely dedicated to ancient as well as modern coins, gems, medals, stamps, and weights.

War Museum Athens is a sombre reminder of how wars have shaped the history of the world from time to time.

Hellenic Motor Museum is a unique place for car lovers.

Neighbourhoods in Athens


Most of the visitors know of Plaka, but Athens has plenty of such neighbourhoods hiding in plain sight that are a delight to explore.

Monastiraki is another picturesque area where iconic neoclassical houses dot around the streets.

The Monastiraki Flea Market and traditional tavernas are worth exploring when strolling here. The bohemian vibes of Psyri combined with wonderful street art and a plethora of cafes make it an attractive place to explore.

Taking a Street Food Tasting Tour in Athens is the perfect way to pamper your taste buds while understanding different neighbourhoods.

The glamorous Kolonaki is where you can go for upscale shopping and enjoy a variety of tiny boutiques and designer shops.

Those interested in experiencing Athens nightlife can head to Kolokotroni Street where the sun sets and makes way for refined nightlife scenes.

If you enjoy live music shows, then Exarcheia is your place to be.

The acropolis in Athens on a sunny day

Top islands near Athens worth visiting


The archipelago of Saronic islands is closest to Athens, making it a popular destination for day trips or quick weekend getaways.

You can choose an island or two for island hopping and plan your trip on your own or you can consider booking one of the popular tours like Hydra, Poros, and Aegina Day Cruise with Lunch to make transportation easier.

Saronic Swimming Cruise with Lunch & Unlimited Wine is another option if you are interested in an off-beat island tour from Athens.


Poros – the island of Poros (not to be confused with Paros) is all about tiny beaches and greenery. Its vintage charm ensures you are transported to the past while taking a walk here.

But is Athens worth visiting for a day trip to the Saronic islands? Of course, if you cannot spend a couple of days finding out what these islands have in store, taking a day trip from Athens is the perfect way to step back in time.

The Askeli Beach, Vagionia Beach, Monastiri Beach, tiny Poros Port, the Monastery of the life-giving Spring, and the Archaeological Museum of Poros are some of the places to keep you engaged here.


Hydra – One of the popular islands near Athens, Hydra is only one and a half hours away from the Greek capital.

Cars and motorcycles are not permitted on Hydra, preserving its quaint charm. But the island is so compact that you can easily cover it on foot.

You can explore the exhibits at the Kountouriotis Mansion and Museum of Hydra. There are several tiny churches and the Prophet Elias Monastery that you can visit. Beaches in Hydra include Spilia, Avlaki, Vlychos, and Mandraki.


Spetses – Spetses is another vehicle-free island with a well-preserved history. The best way to see what the island offers is to rent a bike and explore the cobbled streets of Spetses.

You can stop by the Bouboulina Museum as this 300-year-old mansion will tell you a lot about maritime history. The kid-friendly beach of Agios Mammas, the popular Agia Marina, and the picturesque Agia Paraskevi are some of the beaches in Spetses where you can catch some tan.

You can also spend one day in Athens and cover most of the important sites. Wear your best comfortable footwear and get ready for an action-packed day in Athens.

Columns within the Acropolis in athens on a sunny day is athens worth it

Where to stay in Athens?


Most of the first-time Athens visitors choose to stay around Syntagma Square or in Plaka as this area offers excellent public transport and easy connectivity to all the popular Athens attractions.

If you are a budget traveller, consider booking a stay in Exarcheia or Metaxourgeio. If you are looking for luxury hotels in Athens, then Kolonaki neighbourhood is the place to be.

The bustling area of Psiri is for those who want to immerse themselves in the nightlife of Athens. Here are a few popular hotels in Athens suggested for your stay –


Luxury hotels in AthensGatsby Athens is one of the 5-star hotels in Athens located in the heart of the city. The classy art deco aesthetic, comfortable AC rooms, airport transfers, and 2 on-site restaurants make it an ideal place to stay.


Mid-range hotels in AthensAdrian Hotel in Plaka is one of the top hotels in Athens city centre with amenities like free wifi, private parking, and family rooms. If the weather permits, you can enjoy a rooftop breakfast with a view of the Acropolis.


Budget hotels in AthensPella in Hotel near Monastiraki Square is amongst the best budget hotels in Athens near the Acropolis. This is where AC rooms, free wifi, toiletries, and luggage storage are available at pocket-friendly rates.


Of course, you can also head to the famous island of Santorini for the next part of the trip and know why visit Santorini for a true Greek experience.

Is Athens safe for tourists?- Athens safety tips


Many people who are visiting the Greek capital for the first time wonder – Is Athens safe for tourists? Yes, Athens is safe for travellers. But here are a few Athens safety tips for you to follow to ensure you have a trouble-free trip.

Petty theft like pickpocketing is common, mainly in touristy areas. So, take care of your valuables while visiting the popular sites.

Never leave your phone unattended in a cafe or a bar as phone snatching incidents are usual.

Is Athens safe for tourists using public transport? Yes, the Athens metro and tram are quite safe if you keep your bags near and ensure your phone and wallet are not in the back pocket.

Many people ask ‘is Athens walkable?’ You can cover a few attractions on foot, but I would suggest using a licensed taxi for a safe and cheap journey around the city.

Tourist scams like offering jewellery and then demanding money for it are common in Athens. Keep your hands in your pockets if someone tries to offer you a friendship bracelet.

Is Athens safe for tourists and solo female travellers? It is if you avoid quiet areas after sunset and carry a pepper spray if that makes you feel safer.

If you are visiting Athens in summer, be mindful of heat waves. Follow the instructions and stay hydrated.

Now that you know this is a safe city, why don’t you plan to spend 7 days in Greece and soak in the local culture?

No need to worry about whether is Athens worth visiting as the Greek city will welcome you with open arms. Athens is everything you have hoped for and then some more from a city break. With so many reasons to visit Athens, when are you planning to explore Athens?

FAQs – Is Athens worth visiting?


  • How many days in Athens is enough?

3 days in Athens is enough time to visit popular places like the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora, and the Panathenaic Stadium. In 3 days, you can also stroll around famous neighbourhoods like picturesque Plaka and quirky Monastiraki.


  • Which is better Athens or Rome?

Athens and Rome, though historical, both the cities offer different things and are hard to compare. But if you are looking for a city break to spend 3 days or more, then Rome is the better choice as it has more places to explore and things to do. If you want a quick getaway, you can cover Athens in 2 days.


  • Why do people want to go to Athens?

Athens, the birthplace of Western civilisation, is an amalgamation of ancient ruins, vibrant neighbourhoods, fascinating museums, scrumptious cuisine, and bustling nightlife, attracting all types of tourists from all around the world.


  • What is so great about Athens?

The skyline of modern Athens is dominated by the ancient ruins of Acropolis. This city carries the well-preserved traces of a bygone era in its bustling heart. Coupled with that, Athens has wonderful museums, interesting districts, cute cafes, fine-dining restaurants, and happening nightlife to make it inviting for tourists.

Lavinia Dsouza

Award-winning Analyst, multi-nominated digital content creator and photographer Lavina Dsouza's words capture stories about culture and tradition mainly through its food and people. She has written and contributed to publications such as The Washington Post, Lonely Planet and Matador Network, to name a few. She is the editor of, a non-profit created to share inspiring stories from women of colour who break free from traditions and choose happiness.

She's also a speaker passionate about DEI and champions solo travel. She has collaborated with numerous renowned brands such as Intrepid Travel, TripAdvisor, Travel and Leisure and Adobe, to name a few.

She can be found on Twitter and Instagram.

Is athens worth visiting is athens worth it is athens safe for tourists
Is athens worth visiting is athens worth it is athens safe for tourists