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Are 2 days in Athens really enough? Athens is an incredible travel destination for all travelers, especially solo travelers. The capital city of Greece, and the heart of the Ancient Greek empire. Athens is filled with picturesque places, landmarks, and attractions just waiting to be discovered.
I’ve spent lots of time in Greece over the years, and Athens is one of my favorite cities! It’s a wonderful destination for short breaks and weekend vacations in particular.
That’s why I’m sharing a realistic 2-day Athens itinerary that can help you make the most out of the Greek capital.
What To See In 2 Days In Athens Itinerary + Map
Is 2 Days in Athens Enough?
Although 2 days might not seem like enough time to visit the Greek capital city, 2 days can be more than enough to experience the main attractions in Athens!
This is the perfect Athens itinerary for anyone on a city break or combining as part of a longer Greek Islands itinerary.
If you stick to your schedule and stay on route, you can easily hit all the attractions and the biggest sites in Athens in just 2 days!
🎟️ SKIP THE LINE TICKETS: Get access to the Acropolis & 6 archeological sites without waiting in line!
❤︎ Having tickets already purchased means you will not wait in line to get tickets. In June, July, and August no one will technically skip the line to get in directly. Get your tickets now!
Should I rent a car in Athens for 2 days?
If you are just doing Athens for 2 days and then leaving Greece I would say no, you don’t need a car. However, if you are traveling to the Greek Islands you may need a car!
Depending on the island you are visiting it could be a great idea to rent a car in Athens and take it on the ferry to the islands.
In some islands, like Milos you really want to have a car. On other islands, you may be able to get away with not renting one.
It depends on which island you are visiting and your plans while there. Get the best deals on rental cars with Discover Cars!
What To See in Athens on Day 1
One of the easiest ways to split up your 2-day trip to Athens is by visiting the historical and archaeological sites one day and exploring modern Athens on the second.
For this 2-day Athens itinerary, we’ll start with visiting the many monuments from ancient times.
❤︎ Pro Tip: Join a tour to see the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Museum! You will save time and get the best overall experience.
Day 1 Morning
If you are starting with a tour you should either grab breakfast in your hotel or check out one of the coffee shops near your tour meeting point.
Salt or Sugar is in the old town not far from where you will meet to join the tour. They open at 8 am.
Acropolis and the Parthenon -ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
Of all the things to do in Athens in 2 days, visiting the Acropolis is obviously on the list. The Acropolis is a large hill in the center of Athens that is home to an impressive collection of significant monuments and ancient buildings.
You could probably spend most of your day exploring everything there is to see at the Acropolis.
The most popular and well-known spot at the Acropolis is the Parthenon which includes the Temple of Athena. This temple was dedicated to the goddess Athena of Greek mythology.
Its large intricate columns and sculptures date back to the fifth century!
The true size and scale of this 2500+-year-old temple are hard to grasp in mere pictures.
Your Athens itinerary should start here with a guided tour. Most of the guide tours allow you to skip the line and will help you keep on track to see everything in a timely manner.
Experience ancient Greece through the eyes of locals with one of the tours below.
Greek Mythology Winter Itinerary
Exclusive Greek Mythology Self-Guided Itinerary through Athens, Peloponesse, and Mainland Greece. Crafted by a local archaeologist and US expat!
The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is a world-class museum in Athens. Inside the museum, you can learn more about the sites you just visited and see more archaeological discoveries from the site. If you are interested in ancient history, this museum is a must-visit.
You will learn all about the ancient city of Athens and Greek Mythology. The Acropolis Museum and entrance tickets to the Parthenon are often sold together.
Acropolis, Parthenon, & Acropolis Museum Guided Tour
Day 1 Afternoon
The 4-hour tour will take you to lunchtime. Now you will have some free time to eat before visiting more of the archaeological sites of Athens!
A great spot for lunch is on the most beautiful street in Athens. It is called Zorbas restaurant. Here you will find traditional Greek food and it is close to your next stop, the Ancient Agora.
The Ancient Agora of Athens
Located to the northeast of the Acropolis is the Ancient Agora. During the time of the Greek Empire, this agora served as the central place for all happenings in the area.
Merchants would set up shop there, and matters of politics would be discussed. Today, the structure remains a prime example of the magic of Ancient Agoras in Greece.
After leaving Acropolis Hill, find your way here to this incredible landmark museum that houses the ruins of ancient Greek culture.
The Roman Agora
Another ancient architectural ruin is just a short walk away – the Roman Agora. The Roman Forum was built during the reign of Julius Caesar.
The main entrance gate is still preserved, as is the Tower of the Winds. This clock tower is suspected to be the first-ever meteorological tower and is still in excellent condition! Of the ancient ruins in Athens, it is worth a visit!
Temple of Olympian Zeus
This colossal temple is in central Athens, just a short distance away from the Acropolis. Like its more famous neighbor, the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is absolutely enormous in scale. Visiting will certainly give you an appreciation for Athenians’ artisanry and construction skills.
Day 1 Evening
After a full day of checking out ancient Athens, it is time to see the city at night!
If you are visiting in the summer, the city will be crowded, so if you want to ensure you will have dinner with a view, I recommend making reservations wherever you go.
360 Cocktail Bar
Finish your first day in Athens with a drink at 360 Cocktail Bar. This bar has a rooftop terrace that offers panoramic views of the city, including the Acropolis.
It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset! The bar also has a snack menu and dinner menu if you’d like to grab a meal here.
Online reservations are possible on their website!
Best Tour to Do If You Have 2 Days in Athens
What To See in Athens on Day 2
On your second day on your Athens itinerary, spend more time exploring the Greek culture and sights of modern Athens.
From walking the streets of Psiri and Plaka to indulging in some retail therapy in Monastiraki, there’s still plenty to see when you visit Athens!
Day 2 Morning
Have breakfast at my favorite restaurant in Athens! Located in the Koukayi neighborhood, This Is Loco is my top choice! Their menu has something for everyone!
My go-to breakfast here is scrambled eggs with avocado!
A trip to Athens wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the Panathenaic Stadium. Originally built in the 6th century BC, the stadium has been refurbished multiple times and is the site of the first modern Olympic games.
The only stadium in the world made entirely of marble, the Panathenaic Stadium also hosted the 2004 Olympics.
A walk here from your breakfast spot is 15 minutes and takes you by Athens National Garden which you can explore on your way back.
Athens National Garden
A nice leisure stop on your 2 day Athens itinerary is a stroll in Athens Nation Garden. Located in the heart of the city, it’s an oasis of tranquil beauty.
The gardens stretch across acres of lush greenery, including trees, flowers, shrubs, and ponds. It’s a great place to wander around and explore – you might even spot some rare wildlife such as turtles or herons.
There are plenty of paths and pathways to traverse, making it a great place to get lost in nature as your head toward the Museum of Cycladic Art.
Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art was founded in 1986 and preserves artifacts and culture of the Aegean and Cyprus. In addition to archaeological exhibits, the museum also has contemporary and modern art exhibits of Greek history.
Athens is home to many incredible museums, including the Museum of Cycladic Art, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Archeological Museum, to name a few. Choose one to visit during the afternoon.
Day 2 Afternoon
After the Athens National Garden & Museum of Cycladic Art head back toward the city center to my favorite lunch spot for seafood! Atlantikos is located in Psyri and on the edge of Monastiraki Square.
The neighborhood is full of life and so many restaurants. If the restaurant is too busy, don’t worry, you will find lots of other options for great food in Athens, especially in Psyri!
After lunch make your way to Plaka. Plaka is one of the most visited neighborhoods in Athens as it’s centrally located near many of the famous tourist destinations and ancient sites.
The streets themselves are beautiful to wander. You can stop wherever you like at any shops, restaurants, and bars in this historic center.
Next to Plaka, Monastiraki Square is Athens’s central square and shopping hub. Within the main square, plenty of souvenir shops are nestled among significant historical sites. Spot The Church of the Pantanassa, the Tsagarakis Mosque, or even the ruins of Hadrian’s Library.
Off of the square, there’s plenty to discover in the Monastiraki area, including Ermou Street, Athens’ shopping street, and the Monastiraki flea market. The Athens flea market is a treasure trove of eclectic vendors selling anything you want.
It’s worth a good wander, even if you don’t buy anything! Keep your eyes peeled for some of the street art that peppers the walls of Athens!
For all you night owls, Athens has a very vibrant nightlife scene to check out!
Day 2 Evening in Athens
After two days of visiting Athens’s most famous sites, you have earned a great in one of the fancier neighborhoods in Athens.
Simul is located close to Koloanki, and depending on where you are staying you could take a cheap taxi there.
I have eaten at Simul a few times and it is exceptional. They have outdoor as well as indoor dining options. It is important you book a table in advance to ensure you get a table.
Where to Stay in Athens For 2 Days
Koukaki is one of the most vibrant and lively neighborhoods in Athens. It’s a bustling area, filled with narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful homes, cafes, and shops.
There are plenty of local markets to explore, as well as unique boutiques that offer handmade items such as jewelry and clothing.
The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere of the neighborhood is friendly and laid-back.
My favorite hotel in Koukaki is Coco Mat Athens BC!
Coco-Mat Athens BC
If you’re looking for the best hotel in central Athens, Coco-Mat Athens BC is my number one recommendation! One of several 5-star hotels in Athens, Coco-Mat is a luxury hotel centrally located near the Acropolis. By far the best place to stay when you explore Athens!
Modern, design-forward rooms feature smart TVs, free WiFi, coffee makers, soaking tubs, and balconies, some with views of the Acropolis. The hotel itself has plenty of amenities, including a rooftop terrace, a pool, two delicious restaurants, a sauna, a fitness center, and massage services.
Syntagma Square Neighborhood
Syntagma Square is the heart of Athens and one of the most iconic neighborhoods in the city. It’s bustling with tourists and locals alike and is home to important monuments such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Greek Parliament building.
The square itself is lined with cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, and bakeries that offer a variety of goods.
The nicest and most grand hotel in Syntagma Square is Hotel Grande Bretagne.
Hotel Grande Bretagne
Located off of Constitution Square, Hotel Grande Bretagne offers a sumptuous, luxurious stay in the heart of Athens. The hotel’s rooftop restaurant, GB Roof Garden, has excellent views of the Acropolis.
Built-in 1842, the hotel retains many of its historic neoclassical styles. Grand rooms with marble bathrooms fit any traveler looking to vacation in style!
❤︎ Pro Tip: If you don’t end up staying here, have a cocktail at the rooftop bar for the best views of Athens!
Athens City Center Neighborhood
Staying in Athens City Center is like staying in the beating heart of the city. It’s a vibrant and bustling area, filled with narrow cobblestone streets lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, and historic sites.
The neighborhood is home to important monuments such as the Acropolis and the Greek Parliament Building.
When you only have 2 days in Athens you should consider spending the extra money to stay in the city center. Check out Electra Palace Athens
Electra Palace Athens
Electra Palace Athens is in Plaka, one of the best areas to stay in Athens. If you’re looking for great views of the Acropolis, Electra Palace is the place to stay!
With simple yet beautiful rooms, this hotel has nearly everything you could want, including 24/7 room service, free WiFi, and coffee makers in the rooms. The hotel itself also has a lovely pool and several restaurants and bars to enjoy during your downtime in Athens!
AthensWas Hotel is another great place to stay near the Acropolis. With this 2 days in Athens itinerary, staying in this central location will help you make the most of your time! This boutique hotel is design-forward, with modern, trendy rooms that are quite spacious.
Premium amenities, a furnished balcony, and a walk-in marble shower truly complete the luxury feel of your room here. The rooftop restaurant offers culinary delights surrounded by the beauty of Athens.
Athens Food Tour
Customs & Etiquette in Athens
Tipping isn’t as much of a custom in Athens as it is in the United States, but I always tip 15% for good service. Where it is most common is cafes and restaurants. Otherwise, tipping isn’t required!
A traditional greeting in Greece is two kisses on the cheek. Shaking hands is also customary in Athens. Most Greek people and Athenians are pretty friendly, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if necessary.
Haggling is more common in Athens than in other Greek islands, especially at flea markets and souvenir shops. Don’t push too hard just for a bargain; be considerate of shop owners.
In general, many shops and restaurants will close for 1-2 hours in the afternoon for a siesta, and most grocery stores are closed on Sundays!
The dress code varies widely throughout Greece but is mostly elevated casual. Especially if you’re planning on visiting churches or mosques, be prepared to wear long pants or a skirt and cover your shoulders.
While this isn’t as applicable in Athens, be mindful that beach attire or wearing just a swimsuit isn’t generally accepted.
Related: Packing List For Greece Travel
How to Get from Athens Airport to City Center
When visiting Athens, you’ll likely fly into Athens International Airport and need to head to the city center. There are several different reliable ways to get from the airport to the center of Athens – taxi, metro, or bus.
Taking a taxi is one of the more expensive ways to transfer between the airport and the city center, but it is reliable and a good option if you have lots of bags or don’t want to figure out public transportation.
Athens does have quite a good public transportation system. Line 3 connects Athens Airport to the city center from the Metro Station, stopping at Syntagma Square and Monastiraki. Monastiraki is probably the best stop to get off at if you’re staying in Plaka.
In addition to the metro, you can also get to the center of Athens from the airport by bus. The bus runs 24/7 daily, even on public holidays. While the ride takes longer than the metro, a bus is the cheapest way to get to the city center.
✈️ Need an airport transfer? I found this service that is reliable, affordable, and safe for solo females!
The 2 days in Athens Itinerary is the perfect introduction to the city!
There’s no denying that Athens is a major city. As the capital of Greece, there is plenty to do. However, with all the right tips for visiting Athens, hitting the highlights is possible and even easy to do in just 2 days.
I hope this itinerary helps you plan your stay in Athens. Choose your top priorities for the trip, and make sure to leave room for wandering the streets and just relaxing!
If the Greek Islands are on your bucket list, check out one of the most magical islands, Sifnos!
Ferry Travel From Athens
With easy online ticket booking, Ferries in Greece is my first choice!
Check out the ferry schedules here!
The best way to travel from Milos to Athens is by ferry!
More than 2 days in Athens?
If what to see in Athens in 2 days doesn’t quite tick all the boxes think about extending your time for another couple of days! There are many day trips from Athens that are highly worth your time if you can squeeze it in!
I highly recommend doing a half-day trip to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon!
When is the Best Time to Visit Athens?
The best time to visit Athens is not actually in the summer months, although it is the most popular time to visit.
If you want to really experience Athens in the best months I would recommend visiting Athens in April, May, October, and November.
All the best things to do in Athens involve being outside and the summers in Athens are extremely hot. It is not that fun to visit the Acropolis when it is 100 + degrees outside.
A good idea is to come to Athens when the temperatures are much milder.
What is the best way to get around Athens for 2 days?
All the best places in Athens can be seen on foot if you are staying in the city center. If you are interested in going outside of the city centre, there are places worth visiting by taking the metro lines, such as the Temple of Posideon.
Alternative Greek Destinations
If you are looking to visit the Greek Islands on your trip, consider visiting Santorini for 2 days! Santorini is one of the most idyllic and iconic of the Greek Islands.
There are so many Greek Islands it can honestly be a challenge to choose one. Some of my favorite islands have been the ones that are a little more remote, such as Serifos.
Another very doable day trip from Athens is to the Greek Island of Hydra! From Athens, it’s a quick ferry ride of just 2 hours!
FAQs For 2 Days in Athens
At the bare minimum, you need 2 full days and nights in Athens to see its most famous attractions. If you have more time, then I would really recommend giving yourself three nights to explore the ancient city.
If you only have 2 days in Athens you should consider getting a guide or joining a tour to visit the most popular attractions such as the Acropolis. It is helpful to have a guide in the city of Athens if you want to see everything in a short time.
Yes, public transit is safe for women traveling alone in Athens. I live in Athens and frequently take buses, trams, and trains.
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