Touring the ruins of one of the ancient world’s most important civilisations is top of every Athens itinerary. Rising in the city centre, the Acropolis
is a rocky mound crowned by the 5th-century BC marble Parthenon
. Nearby, the New Acropolis Museum
is a hi-tech, all-glass building displaying ancient sculptures. Visit the National Archaeological Museum
to marvel at the world’s finest collection of Ancient Greek treasures, including Mycenaean golden jewellery and Minoan frescoes.
After exploring the Acropolis, relax over lunch at a rustic taverna in the Plaka
district or grab a souvlaki to eat on the go in the nearby Monastiraki
bazaar. Come sunset, head for Psirri
, both packed with trendy restaurants and late-night bars. The smart set prefers up-market Kolonaki
, home to excellent Greek, French, Italian and Japanese restaurants. For seafood, try Mikrolimano
, a pretty fishing harbour rimmed with seafood restaurants. The covered Central Market
is the place to pick up local picnic ingredients.
For an unforgettable view of the floodlit Acropolis, enjoy a nightcap at an open-air bar in Thissio
. In Psirri
, countless bars and small clubs play music ranging from traditional Greek to rock and electro. In summer, the big clubs move from the centre to open-air coastal locations in Glyfada
, while the Athens Festival has evening cultural performances in the ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre
below the Acropolis.