How to See Athens In One Day

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Before I left for Greece I spent so much time on pinterest, google, etc trying to find out as much information as I could.  I felt that there wasn’t a comprehensive enough guide of each specific place, so I made a vow that when I got back, I would spend the time complying it all for the next person.  This is my guide to fitting everything in how to see Athens in one day.  When I started doing research about how much time you needed to spend in each area of a Greece honeymoon, I kept on seeing the same theme in regards to Athens.  You really only need one day or two max to see all the sights.  After being there.  I completely agree.  We actually had about a half day of sight seeing and it was condensed but I don’t feel like I missed anything.  I could sing the praises over and over about how beautiful the Hotel Grande Bretagne was.  If you can swing it.  I highly recommend it. I think the biggest takeaway point of Athens is if you have limited time there make sure you get a hotel that is walking distance to the Plaka.

How to See Athens In One Day 

How to see Athens in one day

Let’s start from the beginning.  When you are going to see Athens in one day. How to get to your hotel from the airport.  I would recommend you do your research or get in contact with your hotel.  The majority of hotels have services that will pick you up from the airport.  It really does save the headache and gives you peace of mind (especially after the long flight).  You can use this site  to get a taxi fare estimate.  It just gave me an estimate of 40 euros.  That seems pretty reasonable.  Our pickup was coordinated by our overall trip so I can’t tell you how much it would have been but if it wasn’t, I would have contacted the hotel.  Greece is 7 hours ahead keep that in mind.  I found great turnaround time with email and that way you had a contact person.  When in doubt consult trip advisor.  They list all the options including the metro which is 8 euros a person.  Check it here.

 

Now you’ve gotten to your hotel which is close to the Plaka.  You can either walk to the sites, take a cab or what we did…..purchase a hop on and hop off bus tour.  We got the tickets from our concierge (after I double checked on the company website it was the same price…..I don’t like being taken advantage of).  It was 15 euros a person and good for all day.  If you wanted to add the waterfront area it was 18 euros and was good for 48 hours.  We weren’t there for that long otherwise we would have done that.  It stopped at all the major stops every half hour.  Here is an example.

Greece Sightseeing tour

 

The Acropolis costs 12 euros a person.  There is a student discount.  I tried to use my old University of Pennsylvania student ID but it clearly says expired which was pointed out to me……I knew I should have brought my University of Florida one which is falling apart but no expiration date but I digress.

 

Insiders tip.  I tried not to be “that American” and wear sneakers.  Let me tell you something.  Wear sneakers.  Those ancient slabs you walk on are slippery!  I almost lost it many times and also got my toe stuck in ballet flats.  Just wear the sneakers you will be happy you did.  Also, Athens is hot.  Like really hot. We went in May and it was beautiful but after that it gets scorching, so I would recommend going as early as possible.  Beat the heat and the crowds that come in off the cruise ships.  Next insiders tip.  Just get a selfie stick.  You won’t be a dork I promise.  You know what actually, I would say 85% of the people there were using them. It was actually kind of a surreal experience to see where tourism and travel is heading. Selfie Sticks everywhere!  I got this one on Amazon before we left.  Synched and worked perfectly with my iPhone.  These three shot with one.

AthensParthenon skylineOdeum of Herodes Atticus

I took a lot of video because I think it gives such a better view of the overall feel and significance of the landscape.  I learned after this one I definitely have to slow it down.

 

 

 

Here is the Odeum of Herodes Atticus.  It is the first attraction you see when walking up to the Parthenon.  Great first round of photo opts.

Odeum of Herodes AtticusOdeum of Herodes AtticusOdeum of Herodes Atticus

You know just sitting on the top of the world.  No big deal.  This was the first part of how to see Athens in one day.

AcropolisZeus

The Parthenon is stunning.  When you really let it sink in how long ago that was built, all the history and how many times it changed hands.  They are doing a lot of rehabbing on it, so the scaffolding was a little distracting but you know its necessity.

Parthenon Athens Greece

Parthenon Athens GreeceParthenon Athens GreeceParthenonParthenonParthenon Acropolis

Make sure you get a picture in front of the Greek flag.  It’s just one of those things you have to check off.

Greek flag parthenonAcropolisAcropolisAcropolisAcropolis

Crazy right?

Acropolis

 

The next thing on our list was the Panathenaic stadium, 3 euros for admission.  It comes with a self guided headset walking tour.  That was worth while.  Especially when you walk under the tunnel that the athletes used to wait in.  So cool.  Mark and I didn’t want to leave.  This was on his list for how to see Athens in one day.

Olympic Stadium Greece2015-06-03_0028Olympic Stadium GreeceOlympic Stadium Greece

Some fun ones of course.

Olympic stadium2015-06-02_0013

 

This tunnel.  I swear you could feel the energy underneath the stadium down there.Olympic stadium tunnel

 

Our hotel was right next to the Parliament building to see the changing of the guards which is a big tourist attraction.  We ended up staying on the bus and taking the entire tour of the city.  If we had more time I would have wanted to go to the museum.  I think it is worth to budget time in for that however unfortunately we had an early ferry ride to catch in the morning.  I think if you have a full day and maybe half of it the next morning you could really get everything in.  Once again trip advisor if your source to narrow down what is important to you to see Athens in one day.

2015-06-03_0029

I also found this really cool site called Vayable that you can hire a local to take you around.  I would have 100% done it but Mark is kind of leery about things like that.  They have reviews of people who have used them and everything.  Here is the options for Athens.

We finished off our night with the most gorgeous sunset dinner overlooking the Parthenon.  It doesn’t get anymore beautiful than this.

Parthenon at nightHotel Grande Bretange rooftopHotel grand bretagne rooftophotel grande bretagne rooftop

 

I found the best way to draw our Athens adventure to a close.

Hotel Grande Bretagne

So my overall impression of Athens is that the history is amazing but you don’t need more than two days there.  It gets very hot there so keep that in mind.  It’s not the prettiest of all cities.  Definitely lots of graffiti etc but that is expected in the large industrial cities of Europe.  Most travel itineraries have you flying in and out of there and I would recommend that.  We stayed at the Sofitel the last night.  It is walking distance to the airport and outside of the city.  By that point all we wanted to do was relax so I was okay not being in the city.  There is my Athens in a day recap.  Any questions?  If you have been there is there anything else you would add?  I hope you are enjoying these and please feel free to pin away!  xoxoxo

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44 Comments

  1. June 4, 2015 / 1:50 AM

    This entire trip looks BEAUTIFUL! I can’t wait to read more about it.. thank you for writing this awesome guide! (trust me, I know it’s not easy to write travel posts..)

  2. June 4, 2015 / 6:11 AM

    Growing up, Athens was my favorite city to study in history and Latin class and your pictures are amazing. Thanks for the tip on sneakers, that’s important to know :)! Love your outfit by the way. Your stadium pictures and the sunset picture are my favorites :)!

  3. June 4, 2015 / 6:37 AM

    I knew a selfie stick would come in handy – it’s seriously the best way to get pictures when travelling if it’s just the two of you!! I think it’s always incredible to see the old with the new…and the people of athens get to live among those ruins every day! It’s incredible! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  4. June 4, 2015 / 6:40 AM

    I’ve heard from a bunch of people that you don’t need to be in Athens for more than a day to see everything you’re going there to see, so now I can add you to the list of people who think that haha.
    Loved seeing your travels, and all of your awesome tips! Keep em coming! :)

  5. June 4, 2015 / 6:44 AM

    amazing photos. seeing historical buildings like that always take my breath away.

  6. June 4, 2015 / 7:33 AM

    So, so, SO cool!! Greece is just one of those places I have to check off my list. So glad you had such an amazing time. I love all the history there.

  7. June 4, 2015 / 7:37 AM

    Should I ever make it like I hope, I will have to visit this post again. I am dying to get to Greece!

  8. June 4, 2015 / 8:15 AM

    Great pics! I totally agree…one day in Athens is enough :) I love the tunnel picture!
    Have a great day!
    Traci
    waltzmetoheaven.com

  9. June 4, 2015 / 8:41 AM

    Hop on hop off bus tours are the GREATEST! We did that in NOLA. I think it’s the best way to see the major attractions of the city, and get to all the hot spots for a super reasonable price. Everything looks like it was amazing!! I’d be a little leery of those posts looking like they were about to collapse on me, but I guess they’ve stood for thousands of years, so… They’d make it one more day!

  10. June 4, 2015 / 9:29 AM

    Absolutely stunning! I can’t imagine all the amazing fuzzy feelings walking into the stadium, I’m such a geek when it comes to the Olympics!

    And champs is ALWAYS a fantastic idea ;-)

  11. June 4, 2015 / 9:31 AM

    I forgot to mention a big helllz YES to the hop on hop off buses. We didn’t use that in Barcelona and did so much walking we were absolutely exhausted, but when we got to Lisbon we got a pass for it and realized it’s definitely the way to go. You’ll go to all the big landmarks with a headset tour guide, and you won’t be as exhausted from all the walking :)

  12. jillian
    June 4, 2015 / 9:37 AM

    great tips! we only spent 3 days in athens and it was more than enough ;) i prefered santorini! xo jillian

  13. June 4, 2015 / 9:46 AM

    Gorgeous!!! And glad to know selfie sticks really are a thing while traveling – I just got one this week!

  14. June 4, 2015 / 10:04 AM

    This is so great! We are planning a trip to Europe and trying to narrow down what cities and countries to visit, and how long to stay in each place. I also love the selfie stick tip, I’ll get one for the trip!

  15. Tracy
    June 4, 2015 / 10:16 AM

    Beautiful and thanks for the video…your right it adds so much more to the trip experience and sharing…

  16. June 4, 2015 / 10:31 AM

    I totally agree, one day is enough to take in the sights. Beautiful pictures girl and such a helpful guide!

  17. June 4, 2015 / 10:33 AM

    I can’t imagine how gorgeous it must be in person. The pictures are fantastic. I’m definitely getting a selfie stick…lol

  18. June 4, 2015 / 10:49 AM

    great overview girl! you really covered every detail! pinning this for sure :) and i’m not gonna lie – your outfits are half of the fun for these posts too – gives me ideas of what to bring!

    cheshirekatblog.com

  19. June 4, 2015 / 11:34 AM

    Wow, what a helpful guide! My roommate is headed to Greece this year, will share this with her. :)

  20. June 4, 2015 / 11:34 AM

    So amazing! It blows my mind to think of buildings that old still standing! This is some awesome info, thanks for sharing!

  21. June 4, 2015 / 11:37 AM

    It just all looks so unreal to me. Has to be so cool to see it in person.
    Did you have visions of Gladiator standing in that tunnel? :)

  22. June 4, 2015 / 1:21 PM

    Thanks for this great recap, looks incredible! And yes, sometimes it’s hard to be a huge tourist in that heat!

  23. June 4, 2015 / 1:33 PM

    Now I just need to book a trip to Greece so I can use all of your amazing advice!

  24. June 4, 2015 / 2:27 PM

    Once again, your pictures are amazing!!! It would be so cool to see all the history that we learned about in school. Cant wait to read more about your trip!

  25. June 4, 2015 / 4:13 PM

    super detailed and informative post girl! pinned in the hopes that i can one day go ;)
    i got a selfie stick, glad i’m not gonna look like a loser! and now you have 100% convinced me to wear my sneakers, you poor thing!! they are just so ugly, but comfort (and safety!) is key, right?!

  26. June 4, 2015 / 4:51 PM

    Such a great guide and good to know you really don’t need to spend much time there! Good you were able to pack in as much as you wanted. All of the photos of gorgeous! What kind of camera do you use?

  27. June 4, 2015 / 4:57 PM

    This is definitely a place I want to go someday! All your posts about your trip are reeeeaaallllyyyy making me want to do an international trip soon. I’m hoping we can fit one in the budget for next year!

  28. June 4, 2015 / 4:57 PM

    Woo girl! Athens in one day? You must have been absolutely exhausted at the end of the day! Looks incredible! I would LOVE to go to Greece to see all those beautiful buildings and eat all their delicious food!

    Cynthia
    http://www.darlingdownsouth.com

  29. June 4, 2015 / 5:48 PM

    Wonderful pictures lady!! And as much as I’m about fashion sneakers sound like a great idea. Nothing worse than complaining about uncomfortable shoes while you’re on your honeymoon. Which was me in Paris.. Anyways.. thanks for sharing another great recap, and the helpful tips. :-)

  30. June 4, 2015 / 5:52 PM

    I just ordered a selfie stick off amazon last night and I have to admit, I am super excited to use it in Mexico!

  31. June 4, 2015 / 9:14 PM

    Looks like a great time – it’s so surreal seeing all of the historical places in real life! Thanks for putting this guide together. Definitely bookmarking for future reference!

  32. June 4, 2015 / 9:52 PM

    Gorgeous photos!!! I’m loving that night view – how amazing was that?! These are great tips too – I love that you guys were able to see so much in a short time!

  33. June 5, 2015 / 10:04 AM

    In ONE day – wow you covered a lot of ground – thanks for all the tips.

    We are planning on going on a Tour of Ireland in the near future….. I just want to see the world!

  34. June 5, 2015 / 10:17 AM

    Perfect recap! I hate reading Trip Advisor and people are all you need more TIME. You can see a lot of stuff in a small amount of time, you just have to have the will to do it and for it to be a little surface.

  35. June 7, 2015 / 9:09 PM

    It’s actually really surprising that it’s a city that’s doable in 2 days. I figured you would need much more time.
    Great pics lady!

  36. June 10, 2015 / 10:03 AM

    All these photos are beautiful, giving me the travel bug for sure. Thanks for the tips!

    Mimi & Chichi

  37. June 12, 2015 / 12:21 AM

    Again awesome photos. Athens looks beautiful. You are always so detailed with your advice and I love that. PS tourists always wear sneakers hehe when you live in the Caribbean you can point them out from a mile away. But they really are best in some situations.

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  39. Kirsten
    September 15, 2017 / 8:16 PM

    We leave in 2 weeks for our Greece Honeymoon and are doing the same destinations as y’all. Your posts have been super helpful! One question – what was your dinner spot in Athens overlooking the Parthenon? Looks amazing!

  40. Monica
    December 13, 2017 / 4:57 PM

    How was the weather in Greece in May included the island in santori?

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