On my last trip to Athens, I only had very limited time to explore the city’s main sights. I love exploring on foot. (A lot of my friends will now sigh and think about the times when I chased them through various cities around the world.) If you also have only 2-3 days to explore Athens, I have compiled the walking guide for you below to help you make the most of your visit.
Start at Monastiraki Metro station, cross Ermou Road and walk along Themidos/Miaouli Street until you reach Pl. Iroon. Start your tour with a good coffee in one o the small cafés or bars.
Walk down Karaiskaki Street back to Monastiraki – this is actually an area mentioned in a lot of blogs as a really good flea market. To be honest, I did not really like that area and the shops too much: in my opinion, the shops sold mass products (that I have also come across in Asia…) and they did not seem artisanal at all. Therefore, keep walking until you reach Adrianou Street – up on the hill is the Temple of Hephaistos and the Ancient Agora of Athens. The Temple of Hephaistos is one of the must-sees for (aspiring) art historians or those who are passionate about architecture, because it is one of the buildings that has influenced architecture until today.
Vrisakiou Street takes you to Pikilis Street. When you reach Dioskouron Street, you can see the Acropolis on your right. Walk down Epaminonda Street, you will see the beautiful Fethiye Mosque on your right. Keep walking until you reach Adrianou Street and you will see the ruins of Hadrian’s library in front of you. From now on, either follow Adrianou Street, where you will find a lot of cute shops like Polka Dots.
Alternatively, explore the narrow streets of this area called Plaka. Even though it is quite a touristy area, I loved that I could always spot the Acropolis behind the lovely buildings.
Finish exploring Plaka by walking down Stratonos/Thrassillou Street until you reach Dionysiou Areopagitu Street. On this street, there is also the main entrance of the Acropolis.
After you finished exploring the Acropolis, walk over to Filopappou Hill on the other side of hill (South-West of the Acropolis). The Church of Agios Demetrios Loumbardiaris is a small church from the 12th century which I thought was really interesting to visit. Walk up the hill past the Socrates Prison. The top of the hill will give you not only a beautiful view of the Acropolis but also a 360-degree view of Athens.
I loved the view of the sea most.
Walk back to Dionysiou Areopagitu Street and enjoy the beautiful architecture.
End your tour with a nice meal or drink in one of the cute bars in Plaka.
If you are still motivated, keep walking down Dionysiou Areopagitu Street until you turn left on the big road called Leof. Andrea Siggrou. Keep walking until you reach the arch of Hadrian. Walk into the National Garden and keep walking toward Syntagma and the Greek Parliament. Cross Leof. Vasilissis Sofias Road and walk into Kolonaki. This was my favourite area. It is full of shops (bigger brands and smaller boutiques in the middle and premium segment), bars, cafés and restaurants.
After this extensive tour, you deserve a treat at one of these places. I treated myself with this delicious coffee and complimentary lemon cake at Antepost.
As Athens is a city with so many things to explore, this is, of course, only a small part of the whole experience. If I had had more time, I would have visited places such as the port of Piraeus. However, this walking tour will help you get a quick overview of the city and get some real Greek vibes you might not be able to get if you are on a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. 🙂
Enjoy exploring Athens! Do you have any further recommendations? I would love to hear them!