2 Days in Athens: The Perfect Athens Itinerary for the First Time Visitor

Are you in Athens for the first time and want to make the most of it? No problem! Let us create the perfect plan for 2 days in Athens. From must-see monuments, such as the Acropolis and the impressive New Acropolis Museum, to the most beautiful neighborhoods, the best street food and little insider tips from our local experts.

A young girl sitting on a stone wall with the Acropolis in the background.

Day 1: Ancient Athens - Acropolis - Ancient Agora - Olympian Zeus

Are you ready to embark on a journey through the ancient ruins and historic center of Athens? With just two days in this exciting city, you’re in for a fast-paced exploration. After arriving at Athens Airport, your adventure into the heart of Greece’s rich history begins. Your first day in Athens is all about traveling back in time and discovering the secrets of ancient civilizations in the historic center.

A woman sitting in the top floor on a hop-on-hop-off bus in Athens,

City Sightseeing Bus

Taking the hop-on hop-off bus is a fantastic way to get an impression of a new city. Start your day with a coffee to-go, relax on the double-decker bus and get to know Athens from a bird’s eye view. Three different routes are available for the hop-on hop-off city tour, allowing you to visit all of Athens’ fascinating attractions, the port, the city of Piraeus and the beautiful southern suburb of Glyfada. The bus ticket is valid for 48 hours and includes an audio guide in 14 languages. Once you have traveled the entire route, get off at Akroplis, because this is where our discovery of ancient Greece begins.

Acropolis with Pantheon

View of the acient Acropolis and the pantheon in Athens.

You can’t explore Athens without seeing the famous Acropolis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been inspiring visitors since 1986, and it’s not hard to see why.

First stop on our Acropolis adventure? The Parthenon. You’ve seen it in school books and documentaries, now you can see it for yourself and enjoy the wonder of this ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.But wait, there’s more! As you wander through the Acropolis, be sure to check out the Temple of Athena Nike, a stunning example of classical architecture, and the Erechtheion with its famous Caryatids standing guard.

And don’t forget the grand entrance to the Acropolis – the Propylaea. Imagine walking through these monumental gates, just as the Athenians did centuries ago.

Wanna have lunch? Go to Adrianou Street, one of the oldest streets in Athens and grab some traditional food there.



View of the ruins of the Roman Agora in Athens.

Acient Agora and Roman Agora

The Acropolis is magnificent, but we should also go down to the Ancient Agora and the Roman Agora, two other highlights in the Greek capital.

The Ancient Agora, once the heart of Athenian life, invites you to wander through its ruins and imagine the political gatherings of antiquity. Don’t miss the Temple of Hephaestus, one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples, standing proudly among the ruins.

On the way to the Roman Agora, we travel to another era of history. The Agora was built during Roman times and offers an insight into the city’s later years. Marvel at the Tower of the Winds, an ancient clock tower and weather vane, and explore the remains of the Roman buildings that once stood here.

From Greek democracy to Roman influence, these historic sites tell the story of Athens’ rich and diverse past. So, grab your walking shoes and let’s continue our journey through the centuries in this fascinating city.

View of a corridor with many columns in the Stoa of Attalos in Athens.

Stoa of Attalos

The next point on our exploration tour of historical sites and just a short walk away is the impressive Stoa of Attalos. This reconstructed ancient building offers a fascinating insight into the city’s past.

Originally built in the 2nd century BC by King Attalos II of Pergamon, the Stoa served as a covered walkway and marketplace. After careful reconstruction in the 1950s, it is now a testimony to ancient architecture and trade in Athens.

The Stoa of Attalos also houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora, where you can discover artefacts and exhibits that shed light on the history of the ancient city of Athens and its inhabitants.

View of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens.

Tempel of Olympian Zeus

Visiting Athens would not be complete without seeing the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Dedicated to Zeus, the king of the gods, this monumental structure is a testament to the grandeur and ambition of ancient Greek architecture. As you approach the site, you will be impressed by the size of the temple. Originally built in the 6th century BC, it was the largest temple in Greece with 104 Corinthian columns, only a few of which are still standing today.

TIP: As an additional tip for your Athens adventure, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Panathenaic Stadium, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Temple of Olympian Zeus. As the venue of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, this iconic stadium holds a special place in Olympic history.

Portrait of a young Greek woman enjoying a coffee with a view of the old town of Plaka and the Acropolis of Athens, Greece

End the day on a nice rooftop bar

After a day full of Olympic ancient monuments, you should relax and enjoy the beauty of Athens from above. You can experience an unforgettable evening on one of the rooftop restaurant in the vibrant Monastiraki neighbourhood.


Bar A for Athens, Street Miaouli 2 - to get the perfect view!

View of a small alley with lots of pink flowers and green houses in Athens.

Day 2: Athens Food Tour - City Center -New Acropolis Museum - Lovely neighborhoods

Your second day in Athens is dedicated to the modern, trendy part of the city. Our itinerary includes the most visited museums in Greece, takes you to the hippest neighborhoods, trendy markets and takes you on a food tour to appreciate the delicious Greek food. Sounds like a fantastic day? So go for it!

New Acropolis Museum

View from the transparent platform of the New Acropolis Museum down to the archaeological site.

We return to the Acropolis, because the Acropolis Museum is only 300 meters away. It is one of the best museums in the world and attracts around 2 million visitors every year.

The new Acropolis Museum opened its doors in summer 2009. It is located in a historic district of Athens, just 300 meters south of the Acropolis Rock, and presents its unique finds on over 14,000 m² of exhibition space. The museum is built on an excavation and visitors can observe the progress of the work through the transparent glass floor. And you might even be there live when a new piece is discovered for the collection!

TIP: Reserve your ticket for the Acropolis Museum in the early morning hours to enjoy the exhibition with less people.

The Bronze Statue of Zeus or Poseidon on Display in the National Archaeological Museum

More museums? Visit the National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is located in the Exarcheia neighborhood, not far from the Athens center. It houses one of the most important collections of ancient Greek artifacts in the world, spanning thousands of years of history.

When visiting the National Archaeological Museum, you can easily combine it with other nearby attractions. One popular option is to explore the nearby neighborhood of Exarcheia itself, known for its bohemian atmosphere, street art, and vibrant cafes.

Panoramic view of changing of honor guard on Syntagma square. Presidential guard in traditional uniform are marching in front of Tomb of Unknown Soldier in city center.

Sunday Morning: Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square is the largest square in the modern part of the city of Athens. At the front of the building is the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’. The tomb serves as a symbolic memorial to all Greek soldiers who died in wars and conflicts. A particularly impressive changing of the guard of the so-called Evzones takes place every Sunday at 11:00 am. New wreaths are then laid at the grave.

Athens Flea Market with lots of things to buy.

Athens Flea Market

If looking for an original souvenir from Athens, then you can head to the Monastiraki Flea Market, only steps from the iconic Monastiraki Square. You won’t only find cute mementos, but also cheap clothing, leather sandals, and more. In the area, you can also visit the Athens Antique Market, where you will be able to find anything from vintage vinyl albums, to odd furniture, unique pieces of jewelry, war relics, and a lot more. 

Instead, if you prefer to purchase modern pieces of clothing, shoes, and other fashionable items, you can head in the opposite direction to walk along Ermou Street. This is one of the most popular shopping streets in the city for an affordable shopping spree.



Streetfood Tour

Donut seller, koulourakia, on the street in Athens, in Plaka district

Food tours are not only a great way to try lots of new, delicious, local dishes quickly (and without the commitment of ordering a whole portion before you know if you like it), they’re also a great way to get an idea of a cuisine. Greek food is one of the best cuisines in the world and there is so much to try, not just the famous Greek salad.

That’s why you should definitely take part in a food tour of Athens. On this culinary journey, you will taste mouthwatering Greek cuisine in the oldest bakeries of the city, like “Loukoumades” and “Bougatsa”. You will for example explore the Varvakeios market with fresh seafood and meat and taste high-quality delicacies such as cheese, olives and honey. To finish, there will be a mezze meal paired with Greek wine. Simply delicious!

View of the district Plaka in Athens

Nice vibes: Plaka

Don’t miss the lively district of Plaka on your Athens trip! Nestled beneath the Acropolis, this picturesque neighborhood offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and charm. The cobblestone streets are lined with neoclassical buildings, colorful street art, bright bougainvilleas and cozy tavernas serving authentic Greek cuisine. Explore quaint shops selling local crafts, and feel the timeless allure of ancient Athens mingling with modern-day vibrancy. With its captivating atmosphere and breathtaking views, Plaka promises an unforgettable experience steeped in culture and beauty.

Best Time to Visit Athens

The best time to visit Athens is typically during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) months. During these times, the weather is pleasantly warm, making it ideal for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions without the intense heat of summer. Additionally, the tourist crowds tend to be smaller compared to the peak summer months, allowing for a more enjoyable experience. However, if you don’t mind the heat and crowds, summer (July to August) can still be a great time to visit, especially if you want to enjoy the greek islands nearby.

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