If you travel to Athens for only a single day and want to do the top 5 “musts” in 24 hours, then you definitely need to check our suggestions. We have selected the best Athens attractions for you on a single page. Of course, sorting the attractions of Athens to a top5 list is not an easy thing to do and there may be numerous objections, but this is TTA’s list with the 5 best things to do in Athens, according to our team’s preferences.
Acropolis – Parthenon
The eternal symbol of the city, the Parthenon, dominating the Acropolis of Athens, is an impeccable architecture marvel that highlights the developments of the Ancient Greek civilization. Walk up to the sacred rock and admire the Parthenon, Erechtheion, Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike, as well as the view to every part of the city.
Huge and impressive, the Acropolis Museum lies under the Acropolis and includes precious works of art from the sacred rock. It is advisable to visit the Museum before your visit to the Acropolis, in order to have a better understanding of the monuments that you see. Make sure that you will see the marvelous Caryatids from the south porch of the Erechtheion, as well as the Parthenon Gallery on the 3rd floor of the building.
Our third suggestion is not a single monument, it’s a whole area. Plaka, located under the Acropolis, is the most picturesque neighborhood of Athens. Walk through its narrow streets in Anafiotika, see the old traditional small houses and the newly built mansions, smell the mindblowing aromas of the flowers, visit one of the numerous Churches, enjoy a cup of Greek coffee and some spoon-sweet in one of the cafés in Mnisikleous street and admire the view from one of the streets near the Acropolis.
Change of Guards
Walking on Syntagma square, in front of the Hellenic Parliament, you will definitely notice two soldiers, the “Evzones”, wearing the traditional uniform worn during the 1821 revolution. The specific Evzones guard the Monument of the Unknown Soldier and the Change of Guards takes place every hour (on the hour). On Sunday mornings, at 11.00′ am, you can admire the – more impressive – weekly change of guards.
National Archaeological Museum
Having such an imposing history, Athens is full of important Museums dedicated to specific periods of Greek history and art. The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is one of the best archaeological museums of the world, with thousands of artifacts from several parts of the Greek territory. Among its most important exhibits, you will see works of art from Prehistoric times (Mycenae, Thera), Sculptures, Metalworks, Pottery, as well as Egyptian Antiquities.
The list of the “Must do in Athens” attractions and experiences is way too long, and -as said- this is the top5 sorting by our team. One may also add a visit to Lycabettus hill to enjoy the magnificent view, a walk in the National Gardens, a museum-tour to Benaki Museum, Cycladic Museum, Byzantine Museum, a lunch or dinner by the sea in Mikrolimano in Piraeus, a beach-break at the southern “Athenian-riviera”, a visit at the Panathinaikon Stadium where the first modern Olympics were hosted or to the Ancient Agora of Athens, a meze-and-ouzo treat in Psiri or Monastiraki, a visit to one of the Byzantine Churches of Athens, a concert or a theatre act in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, or a short trip to the upscale northern-suburbs of Athens…
Any of these options can be added in your schedule and are great reasons to extend your stay in Athens ;-).
If you have only 24 hours in Athens, make sure to visit the Acropolis and the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. Make sure to watch the Change of Guards in Syntagma and enjoy a walk in the picturesque Plaka.