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The Ultimate Guide For 3 Days In Athens (Everything You Need To Know!)

Spending 3 days in Athens and wondering what to do? You are in luck! I have done multiple 3-day trips to Athens in the last couple of years and have come up with this Guide on how to see the best of Athens in 3 Days.

Athens is one of Europe’s most exciting destinations. It’s celebrated for its astonishing history, discovered through the world-class Acropolis, yummy cuisine, and charming little pockets like Plaka.

Three days in Athens will comfortably allow you to see the main sights, grasp the culture, and of course, eat endless Gyros. Definitely add this to your Greece itinerary before you head to the Greek islands or on your Greek island cruise.

This 3 day Athens itinerary is for first-time visitors looking to maximize their time in the Greek capital.

Get packing your bags!

3 Days In Athens Itinerary 

Day 1 In Athens

Stop 1: Acropolis, Ancient Agora, & Plaka

Start your first morning in Athens with a guided tour. I have done a few tours of the Acropolis and this one is by far my favorite. This walking tour allows you to visit to the Acropolis and Ancient Roman Agora. Followed up by a little walk through the alluring streets of Plaka. A perfect half day to see the top sights and get a good overview of the city.

The tour begins early in the morning and is steeped in history. Enjoy skip-the-line access to two of the city’s main landmarks alongside a knowledgeable guide who will provide a fascinating insight. Our guide was fantastic. She had a wealth of knowledge (she was a trained archeologist) but most importantly, she had so much passion. Even though she goes to the Acropolis almost every day, her eyes still lid up with wonder and her enthusiasm for the ancient history of Athens was infectious.

Between skipping the line and getting there early, you beat the worst of the crowds, which is definitely worth getting up for. Get your photos taken at the Pantheon, marvel at the Monumental Gateway, and learn about the Temple of Hephaestus.

Finish up with a saunter through the dreamy Plaka neighborhood. The much-loved area sits beneath the Acropolis and the cobblestoned streets are lined with adorable tiny souvenir shops. Plaka will have you feeling like you’re in a fairytale.

Book The Best Of Athens City Tour Here

Stop 2: Lunch Overlooking the Agora

After a 4-hour tour, you’ll probably be hungry, so grab lunch with a clear view of the Agora. 

There are many lovely eateries around that area. One in particular we enjoy is the Agora Square Restaurant. It’s a gorgeous little spot, and the food is to die for, especially the Greek Salad.

Stop 3: Monastiraki Square

Once you’ve tamed your hunger, it’s time to go check out one of Athen’s oldest areas… Cue bustling Monastiraki Square. 

Often chosen as a meeting location for locals and tourists, Monastiraki Square is always buzzing. 

The area was inhabited over 6,000 years ago and today lures tourists with fun street performances, the ancient Tzistarakis Mosque, and remains of Roman agora Hadrian’s Library.

Book The Photo Tour at Monastiraki, Plaka & Hidden Gems Here

Stop 4: The Athens Flea Market

Next to Monastiraki Square is the quirky Athens Flea Market. This is a heaven for shopaholics looking to pick up a souvenir or two. 

You’ll find all kinds of goods here, from second-hand antiques to knock-off jewelry. 

Remember, many of these stores work on a haggling basis. Don’t be afraid to try and shave a bit off the final price.

Book The Private Markets, Ruins, and Ancient Athens with a Local Tour Here

Stop 5: Anafiotika

While in the area, you have to go for a stroll through the winding streets of Anafioktika

Anafioktika showcases traditional Cycladic buildings, white-washed houses, and unique forms of street art. One of the best murals is the Wall of Eyes, this gem is unknown to many, which adds to its charm. 

Keep an eye out for views of the Acropolis as you explore the compact alleyways.

Stop 6: Indulge In A Feast At A Local Taverna In Plaka

Have you ever heard of a Taverna? These small Greek restaurants offer a relaxed ambiance and are where you find the best Greek food

Plaka, in particular, is notorious for these cute eateries. 

If you’re lucky enough, grab a seat at Taverna Saita for dinner. It’s incredibly popular for souvlaki, so get down there as early as you can before it fills up.

Day 2 In Athens 

Stop 1: Food Tour & Athens Market

During day 2 of this Athens 3 day itinerary, go for an Athens food tour.

Sample some of the finest delights from Greek cuisine on a 4 hour. A guide will take you to traditional tavernas and local markets. Even including Central Market, where many locals choose to shop for ingredients.

Relish up to 13 food tastings in total during the 9 stops. Your belly will be full for the whole day after this. During the tastings you’ll savor fresh pastries, try delicious Greek yogurts, and discover why Greeks cherish souvlaki so much.

Book The Athens Food Tour Here

Stop 2: Acropolis Museum

Hidden below Acropolis Hill, is the Acropolis Museum. 

The Acropolis Museum opened in 2009 and has over 3,000 artifacts spread throughout a 3 story building. 

The museum houses an outstanding collection of artifacts discovered at the nearby archaeological site. These include the Statue of Head of Alexander the Great, Erechtheion’s Caryatids, and much more.

Walking through the fascinating exhibit, you’ll learn the story of ancient Athens and witness firsthand what archaeologists saw when working on the site.

To get the most out of the experience, book a guided tour with a local guide. This way, an expert will ensure you don’t miss out on the most important artifacts. 

Many of the Acropolis Museum tours come with a stop to Acropolis as well. Since you will have visited the day before, book this tour which only includes a museum visit.

Book The Acropolis Museum Tour Here

Stop 3: Panathenaic Stadium

No trip to Athens is complete without a stop at the Panathenaic Stadium. This is where the first modern Olympic Games were hosted in 1896. 

Built in the 4th century B.C. with only marble, this stadium is the only in the world of its kind.

Today, the stadium is open for tours, and every year, it hosts the finishing line of the Athens Marathon. 

During your tour, hear about the importance of the Olympics in Greek society, and flex your muscles in a historic gym. You’ll even participate in various sports such as javelin, shot put, relay, and long jump.

By the end, you’ll understand how ancient athletes trained for big competitions, and join a race of your own on this 2-hour tour. 

Book The Olympics Game Work Out Tour Here

Stop 4: Dinner Near Monastiraki Square

Following a long day of exploration, head over towards Monastiraki Square and find somewhere to have a meal. 

There are plenty of options in the area. CityZEN offers delicious Mediterranean bites, O Thanasis is the place to go for souvlaki, and the HardRock Cafe is good and reliable if you’d just prefer a burger.

Day 3 In Athens

Option 1: Beach Day At The Athenian Riviera

Spanning 37 miles along the coast of southern Athens is the breathtaking Athenian Riviera. 

This stunning area is filled with picturesque villages, golden sandy beaches, lavish hotel resorts, and high-end beach clubs. It’s perfect for a day trip outside the city, for those in need of a break.

Choose to lounge in the sun all day on one of the many beaches, like Varkiza.

Otherwise, see exciting attractions like the Ellinikon Experience Park, Lake Vouliagmeni, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, or the Temple of Poseidon.

Don’t leave the Riviera without stopping by Athines By The Sea for a drink or a couple of relaxing hours on the beach. It’s a beachside resort located at the end of the tram line and offers sunbeds for hire. The seascapes you’ll catch here are truly mesmerizing. My niece and I spent our last day in Athens here and it was the perfect way to wrap up my 5 week trip through Greece.

No doubt, this is a must for beach-lovers during your 3 days in Athens.

Getting to the Athen’s Riviera is easy, there are many public transportation routes. The easiest is metro number M3, which will leave you right by the seaside, it only takes 19 minutes.

Option 2: Hydra, Poros, & Aegina Day Cruise

Embark on a full day island-hopping boat tour to the attractive islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. 

Sail out to sea on a modern boat with an ample deck. It’s ideal for soaking up some of the beautiful coastal views. 

Enjoy free time at each stop, whether sightseeing or sunbathing, it’s up to you. 

The tour includes a scrumptious lunch buffet filled with fish, chicken, pasta, and salads. 

Overall, the duration of the excursion is 12 hours. This includes hotel pick up and drop off, so no need to worry about navigating public transport in the early hours.

This incredible tour is one you won’t be soon to forget. These are among the best islands in Greece, after all.

Book The Hydra, Poros, & Aegina Day Cruise Tour Here (no tour link provided)

(I think it’s this link: Hydra, Poros, & Aegina Day Cruise Tour)

Hilltop filled with white buildings with orange roofs overlooking crowded harbor full of boats including fishing boats and sailboats on sunny summer day. Port Town, Hydra Island, Greece, Greek Islands.

Option 3: Delphi Archaeological Site Full Day Guided Trip

Step back in time and learn about Ancient Greece on this full-day guided trip to the Delphi Archaeological Site

See the likes of the Siphnian Treasury, Statue of Antinous, Temple of Apollo, Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, and more surprises along the way. 

A fully licensed guide will pick you up in an air-conditioned vehicle with Wi-Fi onboard and navigate you to the site. It will take up to 2 hours and 45 minutes to get there. However, there will be plenty of stops throughout for coffee and if anyone wants to use the toilet.

Book The Delphi Archaeological Site Full Day Guided Tour Here

Option 4: Meteora Full Day Tour

Head off on an adventure to seek out the eight Monasteries of Meteora on this full day tour. Embark on a 4 hour train ride through the Greek mainland, all while spotting dramatic landscapes and rugged mountains in the distance. 

In total, you’ll see all six monasteries. You’ll even visit the three still open today for an up close and personal experience.

Train tickets are included in the final price, and you can upgrade to a first-class cabin if you wish. A guide will meet you at the train station in Meteora with transportation to the day’s monasteries. 

Book The Meteora Full Day Tour Here

Where To Stay In Athens

Luxury Hotels in Athens

Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Hotel Grande Bretagne is a beautiful luxury hotel in Athens. It’s nicely situated across from Syntagma Square, and just 600 meters from Acropolis and the ancient Agora

Guests who stay here will be treated to two spacious swimming pools, a restaurant, spa, wellness center, and gym. You’ll love unwinding here after a full day of activities.

Guest rooms feature pristine marble bathrooms with bathtubs, and ample balconies with views of the Acropolis. Plus, extra-large double beds with premium bedding, sparkling chandeliers, and plasma screen TVs.

Book The Hotel Grande Bretagne Here

The Gatsby Athens

The fabulous Gatsby Hotel is in the heart of Athens. The property is located near popular sites like Syntagma Square, the National Garden, and Museum of National History. Additionally, it’s just 200 meters from Ermou Street, a popular shopping area.

The hotel boasts a range of facilities. These include a fancy restaurant and bar, guest terrace with outdoor fireplaces, and bicycle rentals. It’s like a home away from home.

Visitors have seven room styles to choose from at The Gastby Athens. The best of which is the executive suite with a bedroom, living room, marble floors, and ample patio space.

Book The The Gatsby Athens Here

Electra Metropolis

The chic Electra Metropolis lies only 200 meters from Syntagma Square. It’s famed for a modern rooftop bar with waterfall, swimming pool, and gorgeous sun terrace. 

A couple cocktails here in summer will go down a treat. 

Also, since you’re so close to Syntagma Square, don’t forget to watch the ceremonial changing of the guards.

All guest suites at the Electra Metropolis are designed with contemporary interiors, wooden floors, and warm tones. The marble-tiled bathrooms come with plush bathrobes, slippers, and KORRES toiletries.

Book The Electra Metropolis Here

Mid-range Hotels in Athens

Ethereal Athεns

The quiet Ethereal Athεns hides 600 meters from Monastiraki Square and offers visitors a tranquil escape. You’ll love this stay away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Guests have access to a bubbly hot tub, tea and coffee facilities, and cozy communal areas.

Every guest room is fitted with air conditioning, a widescreen TV, and plush double beds. They also feature modern bathrooms with ceramic features, complimentary toiletries, and rain showers.

Book Ethereal Athεns Here

The Zillers Boutique Hotel

Zillers Boutique Hotel sits 200 meters from Adrianou Street and is close to many of the city’s main attractions. You’ll even have views of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Acropolis of Athens.

The property provides visitors with an onsite restaurant bar and a rooftop sun terrace. The location is perfect for watching the sun go down.

Those wishing to stay in a sleek guest room with fresh designs and best-in-class amenities, the Ziller Boutique Hotel is right up your alley. Additional guest services include daily maid service and free international calls.

Book The The Zillers Boutique Hotel Here

Hotel Lozenge

Placed in the affluent neighborhood of Kolonaki, Hotel Lozenge is surrounded by boutique shops and designer-brand stores. The proximity to shopping is great if you fancy a splurge.

Guests can dine in the onsite restaurant, which provides a range of Mediterranean dishes, special diet meals, and a children’s buffet. Additionally, there’s complimentary breakfast served every morning, which is absolutely delicious.

Spanning across 20 m² of space and accommodating up to two guests, the rooms at Hotel Lozenge are super cozy. They offer a nice selection of furnishings, coffee, cable TV, work desks, and fully stocked minibars.

Book The Hotel Lozenge Here

Apartments In Athens

V1935 Luxurious Apartments

Set in a 1930’s building, 3 minutes from the National Garden, these apartments offer a delightful location close to all the city’s action.

Not many apartments in Athens match the facilities of this property. From the fashionable terrace, where a free breakfast is served every morning, to daily housekeeping service, you’ll feel right at home here.

As for the rooms at V1935 Luxurious Apartments, they follow a loft vibe with antique furnishings, wooden floors, and high ceilings.

Book The V1935 Luxurious Apartments Here

Athens City View Urban Suites

Treat yourself to a stay in the tremendous Athens City View Urban Suites. The property is just 300 meters from Monastiraki Square and a short walk from the Museum of the City of Athens and Tower of the Winds. 

Settle into your deluxe suite. Awaiting you here is a balcony with gorgeous views, private minibar, massive double bed, and modern bathrooms.

Have plans to go outside the city? Athens City View Urban Suites provides car rental service for guests during their stay.

Book The Athens City View Urban Suites Here

The Marble Suites, PLAKA

Near the Monastiraki Metro Station, the Marble Suites is at the core of the much-loved Plaka district. If you have plans for a lot of exploring during your three days in Athens, this a superb location to base yourself.

The Marble Suites’ accommodation ticks all the boxes. Expect upmarket decor, state-of-the-art furnishings, fully stocked kitchenettes with dining space, private bespoke bathrooms, and city views. What more could you want?

Book The The Marble Suites Here

That wraps up our suggested 3 days in Athens itinerary. Planning any trip involves a great deal of organizing, especially somewhere as big as the Greek capital.

We hope this article will assist you in mapping out what to do in Athens in 3 days!

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