Athens is an incredible travel destination for 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.
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2 Days in Athens
Is 2 Days in Athens Enough?
Although 2 days might not seem like enough time to visit the Greek capital city, 2 days is 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!
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.
the Acropolis and the Parthenon -ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
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 or even take a guided tour of the location.
The most popular and well-known spot at the Acropolis is the Parthenon. 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.
Book Now: Tours By Locals
Greek Inspired Look
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.
Tickets For: Acropolis, Parthenon, & Acropolis Museum Guided Tour
The Ancient Agora
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 an ancient Greek culture.
The Roman Agora
Another ancient architectural ruin is just a short walk away – the Roman Agora. The Roman Agora 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.
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.
Best Tour to Do If You Have 2 Days in Athens
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!
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.
Make your way from the stadium through the National Garden 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!
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.
Where to Stay in Athens
Coco Mat Athens BC – Get Directions
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.
Hotel Grande Bretagne – Get Directions
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!
Electra Palace Athens – Get Directions
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 – Get Directions
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.
Best Travel Guides for Greece
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 it is polite to tip 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.
Essential Travel Accessories
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.
Full Day Sailing to Agistri, Aegina & Swimming in Moni
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, 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 you’d like to check out more of my solo travel itineraries, read the blog here! I also share more in-the-moment updates and travel inspiration on Instagram.
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