sks, if you have an interest in ancient Greek history, mythology, or indeed medieval history (Byzantium) and appreciate culture, you can spend two week in Athens. However, generally, speaking four days will allow you to get a good feeling of the city and see quite a lot but NOT EVERYTHING. Given your time limit I would suggest to spend 3 nights, baring in mind that you will miss attractions, and have no doubt about this. Begin your 'odyssey' to Greece by visiting:
and do your homework carefully to pinpoint attractions that interest you.
I hope this helps
I totally agree with Athenas (have to find something to disagree on). Three days in Athens is a minimum to see the highlights of this wonderful and ever surprising city.
I think the three nights are more than enough.
Athens -if you count the adjoining suburbs- is huge, but the areas "worth seeing" are limited to one or two and they are all in the center.
Acropolis and the surrounding area (Plaka)is the one place to visit.
Kolonaki-syntagma-national garten- ermou to browse the shops and also the parliament and the change of guards (at midday is the more spectacular i think) and of cource the gartens are nice too.
These you can do in one day or two-depends on your resilience.
The third day you can either go to some museums, or to the olympic stadion (what a marvelous structure) or to the seaside.
Check these sites:
this said, of cource like in every city the more you stay the more you see and there is always something new.
This is a FAQ. Before our visit to Athens, 3 weeks ago, we made frequent use of Tripadvisor and we read posts that suggested that one-two nights in Athens are more than enough. Our traveling experience suggested that this is inaccurate. We spent a week in Athens and we found that 3 days is certainly not enough, if you have an interest in cultural attractions. Also, visiting attractions was quite exhausting as we walked a lot, which practically meant that we needed to go back to our hotel for a rest, visit restaurants, so on. I can not quite understand why some people suggest two-three days in Athens are more than enough, but perhaps they do not have an interest in cultural attractions as much as we do. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. It has been only few days since I came back from Athens. We had a great time.
If all you want to see is the famous sites than 3 days are enough.
Athens is a big city (5 million people ) but all the places of real interest are within a 4 sq km area (in fact everything worth seeing is included in the "small traffic ring" of Athens)
The expensive northern suburbs are pretty boring and colorless the western suburbs are ugly and seedy (but absolutely safe) and the southern suburbs are full of rich & arrogant people that are doing their best to destroy everything riding around in their huge subs! :( )
You have to experience Sounion though and the temple of Posidon (maybe the most beautifull,oyt of center site in Athens & a GREAT place to swim in the summer,in fact better than many islands)
If you want to go to all the archeological sites & museums than 2-3 YEARS won't be enough.
You should also experience a bit of the ATHENS night life,it isn't what it used to be because of the terrible economic crisis we are presently going through ,but it is still colorfull & VERY diverse.
You should also climb the Lycabetus hill an evening and see the whole Athens from the balcony of the small church that graces its top!
If you are interested in the theater you might be surprised but Athens has the more theaters than London and NY combined (!) & if you are lucky and you are visiting in the summer you might experience a Greek tragedy (or commedy) at the Herodion.
Athens also has maybe the best cinema and moovies distribution in Europe(in Athens you can see films by amazing non-holywood directors from all over the world) and most of the cinemas are REAL cinemas and not stupid multiplex ones.
So my advice is to stay in the center of the city (by all means DO NOT DRIVE in order to avoid the TREMENDOUS traffic (maybe the worst in Europe) and use the very efficient public transportation (even the buses run on seperate bus lanes so you stay traffic-free))
Have a nice stay in Greece!
I generally agree with all.
Potsoumios, you are partially right and partially wrong.
Traffic is indeed is heavy in Athens, but definitely NOT the worst all over Europe.
If you have tried to drive in Rome or Paris or London you 'd know that things there are far worse.
As locals we always tend to think of Athens traffic as its difficult thing, but foreign people are used to tremendously heavier traffic than we think of as a heavy one.
Besides, many many things been done during the 8 past years have definitely given a certain degree of funtionality in our big historical city.
Hi sks. Athens is big. It is an extended metropolis of around 7.000.000 inhabitants, along with locals and foreign people working in Athens. But, new subway is really efficient, while a complex of tram, buses, trolleys, rail and suburban railway give many alternatives for near trips or more far distances.
Moving in the area of general archaelogical / leisure / shopping interest means you 'll most probably do extensive use of an efficient subway system on one or more day tickets.
A minimum of 3 days 'll give you a brief image of this magnificent city.
Thank you all.
'If all you want to see is the famous sites than 3 days are enough'.
Postoumios I would be most grateful if you can provide a list of what you consider the famous sites of Athens are. It might be really useful.
Please do not think I am trying to attack you, trust me I respect what you saying but it will be interesting to debate this further for the benefit of our visitors.
maybe you haven't read THIS part of my post
" If you want to go to all the archeological sites & museums than 2-3 YEARS won't be enough."
I simply meant that a tourist can do a VERY FAST "tourist look around" in 3 days and see the basic parts of real interest in Athens (Akropolis,Sounion,Archeological Museum,Plaka,Kolonaki & the historic center of the city)
Of course it is not enough time to see the real Athens IN DEPTH (the same applies to ANY big city in the world)
I strongly suggest that someone spends at least a week here to get the real feel of the city and explore it a bit more.
And since this "traffic thing" has gotten WAY out of hand,let me once again clarify that I am NOT refering to the traffic inside the center of the city were most tourists rightfully go,but to the overall condition of the WHOLE city.
I strongly suggest to people visiting the city to use the amazingly efficient public transportation INSIDE the center of Athens and avoid the money & time waisting cars!
That's all ! :)