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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure you get a picture in front of the Greek flag. It’s just one of those things you have to check off.
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.
Some fun ones of course.
This tunnel. I swear you could feel the energy underneath the stadium down there.
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.
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.
I found the best way to draw our Athens adventure to a close.
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