Nov 09, 2023
So you have decided to visit Athens and want to make the most of your time in this fantastic city. Here at Volta Tours we have put together a 2 day Athens Itinerary for you. This wont really be a guide in the traditional sense, treat it more like a choose your own adventure.
We will take you through what Athens has to offer, where we will provide you with more than one option to choose from, allowing you to create the best 2 days in Athens.
Along the way we will also provide you with some hints and tips, which will make sure you get the most out of your time to explore Athens.
Arriving in to Athens
From Athens airport
Arriving in to Athens from the airport you have several options.
Option 1 - Private transfer
If lining up for a taxi is not the way you want to start your holiday, then a private transfer is what you are looking for. Private transfers can be 1 of two things:
- A yellow Mercedes taxi
- A blacked out mercedes
Both will usually cost around the same price, but will be more expensive than waiting in line for a taxi out the front of arrivals.
The private transfer will include your driver meeting you at your gate and taking you to the private car.
If you are after a private transfer, we can definitely help you with this. Just use our contact form here.
Price: Starting €55
Option 2 - A taxi from the taxi rank
Once you have collected your baggage head out towards the outside of the airport. To your left will be the line for the taxis. If you see a large line, dont worry, the line moves pretty fast. You will mostly waity around 15-20 minutes maximum to get a taxi.
The taxi will cost from €40-€55 depending on the time you arrive at the airport.
Even though, by law the taxis are to have card readers so you can pay by card, this is never the case. Its best to have cash on you for your trip to and from the airport.
Option 3 - Bus
The X95 bus will take you from the airport straight in to Syntagma Square, which will place you right in the middle of the city.
The trip will take you about 60 minutes - depending on the traffic.
Option 4 - Metro
Your metro option is to take the Metro line 3 - the blue line.
The ride will take 40 minutes and will take you straight to Syntagma Square metro station. If you need to get to Piraeus, then you're in luck, stay in this train and you will eventually hit the port metro station!
TIP: If you are planning of travelling through Athens via public transport, its best to get a 3 day travel card. This travel card will give you access to the Subway, buses and the Metro.
Option 1 - Private transfer
Again, if you want a hassle free journey of getting from the port to your hotel, then a private transfer is your best option. Avoid the disarray of trying to get a taxi along with everyone else that was on your ferry and grab yourself a private transfer.
If you are after a private transfer, book your transfer here.
Option 2 - Taxis
Unlike the airport getting a cab from the port of Piraeus can be a bit of an adventure. For some reason the cab drivers at the port are a different bread. There will be plenty of taxis at the port, but i would avoid using them. I have heard far too many stories of people being ripped off by the drivers from the port.
TIP: Us the following apps to book a taxi:
- Free Now
Price: From €20
Option 3 - Metro
If you are happy to jump on the Metro, then the Blue line Metro 3 is your ticket to getting to the centre.
The journey will take you around 20 minutes to get to Syntagma Square metro station, and 55 minutes to the airport.
Athens best 2 hour activities
Starting at the foot of the Acropolis you make your way up to the Parthenon where you will see the whole of Athens from the view of the Acropolis.
When you are on top of the Acropolis you will see the Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion and The Odeon of Herodes.
During summer months visiting the site can take up to 45 minutes to get in, but it is well worth the wait!
You are able to visit the site without a guide, but if you are after a complete history of this fantastic archaeological site then a licensed tour guide is the way to go.
If you would like to book a tour with a licencesed guide, you can book your private guided tour via our Acropolis walking tour page.
Entry Price: €20
Acropolis Museum Tour
Sitting just under the Acropolis is the museum of the same name. It is one of the best museums in the heart of ancient Athens.
The museum houses some of the best archaeological relics that were once part of the Acropolis and its slopes. Along with these spectacular artefacts, under the museum is an ancient neighbourhood that you are able walk through and see how our long lost ancestors once lived. The ruins date back to 4500 years ago.
We offer private guided tours to the museum, which you can booked at our Acropolis museum information page
Entry Price: €15
The Ancient Agora
The Ancient Agora contains many surviving examples of stone carvings, columns, statues and buildings including Temple of Hephaestus, Stoa of Attalos, Byzantine Church of the Holy Apostles and The Museum of the Ancient Agora.
We suggest 2 hours to visit the Ancient Agora but you can easily spend more time in there if your day allows you to.
We also offer private tours for the agora of Athens. If you would like to book a tour with one of our licensed guides, you are able to to via our Ancient Agora information page.
Entry Price: €10
While touring through ancient Anthens and the sites, it is best to purchase the combined ticket which gives you access to all 7 archaeological sites. The ticket is valid for 5 days, but does not include entry to the museums.
This ticket allows you to plan your visit to each site you wish to see.
Things to do in Athens by foot
Parliament & Changing of the guard
Every hour on the hour the changing of the guard happens in-front of the tomb of the unknown soldier. The changing of the guard is a ceremony where the 2 soldiers who are guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier swap with fresh guards.
During the changing of the guard, the guards do a ceremonial dance, if you will and swap over their duties in from the parliament building.
The guards that perform the ceremony are called Evzones and wear traditional dress from the 1800's.
The ceremony takes about 20 minutes.
If you would like more information on these guards and the rituals they perform, you can read out blog post on these soldiers here.
The National Garden of Athens
A small stroll from parliament is the National Garden. Once part of the Kings grounds, the garden was given back to the city of Athens. Its is a nice stroll through the gardens - which during summer can provide some shade from the sun.
Inside the garden are some farm animals and the ever famous turtle pond. At the end of the garden you will find a cafe, which is worth stopping buy for some Greek meze and drinks.
Walking through the gardens will take you around 25 minutes (if you dont get lost!)
Exiting the garden from the cafe, take a right turn and you will end up at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern day Olympics were held.
The Panathenaic Stadium
Visiting this impressive stadium is something that should not be missed. As its from the 1800's its not actually an ancient site, but if you plan to visit the stadium, make sure to go inside and visit the museum. It is definitely worth the €10 entry fee.
If the museum is not your thing, you are able to take some happy snaps just outside of the stadium.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Visiting this site is not really a necessity. The best view of these ancient ruins it actually from outside the site as you walk toward Hadrians Arch (the arch the Roman Emperor Hadrian built) and Plaka.
Hadrians arch when built, symbolised the new and old Athens, and if you look closely you can see an inscription that shows this explanation in ancient Greek.
The Roman Agora
Right in the center of Athens, sitting just behind Monastiraki Square is the Roman Agora. It was a place where Athenians and Romans would meet and shop. Whats included in this ancient site is the Tower of Winds and the Roman Library.
It is a very important site that sits just under the Acropolis and the edge of Plaka.
Besides the Acropolis the Tower of Winds is one of the best-preserved buildings in the historic center of Athens
Athens is known for its graffiti, but when you look passed all the weird scrawling text you will find some unbelievable art work on the side of buildings and electrical boxes.
Over the years the street art scene has kicked on, but to be honest, the amount of quality artworks has slowly been shrinking. Why? Maybe because of gentrification of some of the rougher suburbs of Athens.
In saying that, if street art is your thing while you staying in Athens, we are sure you will be able to find some great works sitting behind the suburbs of Pysrri and Gazi.
Monastiraki flea market
The flea market has been part of Athens for decades. What was once a dirty part of the city is now part of modern Athens.
Here you can buy souvenirs, shoes, guitars and antiques. It is well worth a stroll through if you are after a last minute gift.
Things to do in Athens by Car
If you are looking for travel in and around Athens by car, we have selected what we think are the top places to visit while driving around this ancient city.
Getting around Athens by car can be a luxury especially during the summer months. Nothing beats being in a air conditioned car seeing the sites of central Athens.
Just a word of warning, during the summer months the city streets are constantly in traffic jams. So always give yourself extra time to get from place to place!
The tallest peak in Athens that looks over the whole southern part of the city. On top of the mount is a church, that you can go visit along with a restaurant.
You are able to drive up to the top of the mount, but there is also a funicular
Visting Mount Lycabettus will take around an hour round trip - if you do not stop at the restaurant to eat!
Funicular Price: €10 return journey
Cape Sounio, technically isnt part of Athens. The trip from Athens takes around an hour, but it is well worth the drive down to the cape to see the Temple of Poseidon.
There is a fee to enter the site, but its the perfect place to watch the sunset.
Around the corner there is the fishing town of Lavrio, where you can get a great seafood lunch.
The whole journey will take 3-4 hours.
If you spend 2 days in Athens and dont visit a beach during summer, you must love the heat or you didnt know there are some beautiful beaches along the Athenian Riviera.
For a guide on some of the best beaches in Athens, check out our blog post on Athens beaches
Food in Athens
Food in Athens is some of the best in Europe. Whether its meat, seafood, vegetarian or vegan Greek food has you covered.
We have put together the ultimate food guide on what to try while you are travelling through Athens.
Once you have worked out what dishes you must try, we have put together a guide on where you are able to get these delicious dishes. We have put together a list of some of our favourite restaurants, bars and cafes.
If you are craving a flat white or a cafe latte after downing too many Freddo Espressos, well, we have put together the 5 best coffee shops in Athens (well what we think are the 5 best!).
We suggest you head to one of our reccomendations (at least), they do have some of the best food you can find in Athens.
We hope our guide has helped you to create an itinerary that suits your needs. Of course if you need help in creating a tour or a transfer, do not hesitate to get in contact with us via our contact page. We will be more than happy to help you with any enquiries you may have for your trip to Greece and Athens!