HomeEuropeGreeceAthensAthens Trip Guide for First-Timers By Marcos Detourista. Updated on March 7, 2018.Here’s a detailed Athens travel guide with sample itinerary + budget, best spots to visit, places to stay, blogs tips & more. Places Flights Hotels Tours PromoI finally achieved my first Eurotrip! First stop was Athens.In the past, I never expected Greece would be the first country that I would be visiting in Europe. Now, I’m really glad that it was. Greece is regarded as the cradle of Western Civilization after all. Exploring its ancient sites was an interesting way to kick-off a journey in the region.Traveling to Athens for the first time? This detailed travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time. Read must-know tips, sample itinerary, where to stay, budget breakdown, places to visit and lots of extra travel tips.My first trip to Greece was made possible thanks to Scoot Airlines (flyscoot.com) Manila-Singapore-Athens flights. If like me, you’re traveling from Southeast Asia, this new route is excellent news. To add a cherry on top, Scoot offers affordable year-round fares & frequent price drop promotions. It’s high time to achieve your Europe travel goals!Get startedHow to go — Touchdown at Athens International Airport (ATH), the primary gateway to Athens and the rest of Greece. Travel time from the airport to the city center typically takes 30 to 45 minutes by car or 45 minutes to 1 hour by public transport.If you are traveling from Southeast Asia, fly with Scoot Airlines, which operates direct flights from Singapore (twice to 4x weekly) and convenient connections from major cities in the region. Travel time from Singapore to Athens is 11 hours.ATMs offer the best exchange rate in Greece — Euro (€) is the official currency of the country. The best way to get Euros in Greece is to withdraw from an ATM. If available & fees are not that high, changing money before you leave is also a good option. Currency counters are the worst. I found this to be true in Athens and many cities in Europe.Book your hotel early — The best places to stay are the areas surrounding Acropolis Hill including Plaka, Syntagma, and Monastiraki. Enjoy the lowest prices and avoid fully-booked rooms by booking online as soon as you know you’re going. Click below to compare rates and read reviews by other travelers.Cheapest ratesCompare all hotelsCheck prices online and pre-book discounts — Save money by checking discounts on tours, airport/city transfers & sim card/WiFi hotspots. Booking before you leave also saves you from the hassles of exchanging/bringing large amounts of cash during your actual trip.See tours & discountsSee moreConsider buying a multi-site ticket — The entry ticket to the Acropolis Hill alone costs EUR 20. For EUR 30, you can buy a special package ticket that includes the Acropolis admission ticket PLUS six other important archaeological sites. If you are visiting during winter time (November 1 to March 31), however, it is cheaper to buy separately because the admission tickets to the included sites are sold 50% off when purchasing individually.Meet the locals — The “This is my Athens” tour is a must do for first-timers! This program was created to match visitors with enthusiastic local volunteers waiting to share insider tips of the city. It’s FREE and an awesome way to explore Athens from the perspective of a friendly Athenian.Do Filipinos need to get a Visa for Greece? — Yes. Greece is party to the Schengen agreement along with over 20 other countries in Europe. This means Pinoy travelers (Philippine passport holders) will need to have a valid Schengen Visa to travel to Greece for tourism purposes. I applied for my tourist visa at the Embassy of Greece in Manila. See more details on the extra tips below.How many days to spend in Athens? — With 1 or 2 full days, you would be able to see Acropolis Hill and many of the top attractions in the city center. Spend at least 3-5 days or more to enjoy a better appreciation of its ancient/historical sights, especially if you want to explore beautiful sights beyond the city like Meteora, Peloponnese Peninsula, Delphi, Saronic Islands (Hydra, Poros, Aegina) etc.Athens ItineraryHow to spend 4 days and 3 nights in Athens? Here’s a sample itinerary that includes top attractions & best things to do. I’ve posted more details about this trip later in this guide. Scroll down for more tips.Day 1: Arrival & ‘This Is My Athens’ Tour Greek Salad & Gyros in Athens, Greece Changing of the Guards in Syntagma, Athens, Greece Ermou Street in Athens, GreeceFlight to AthensAthens airport to hotel transferAthens hotel check-inThis is My Athens tourSyntagma & the changing of guards ceremonyMonastiraki ancient sites & Ermou StreetPlaka districtDay 2: Acropolis & Athens City Tour Marcos at the Parthenon in Acropolis Hill, Athens, Greece Odeon of Herodes Atticus on Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, GreecePanathenaic StadiumTemple of the Olympian Zeus & Hadrian’s ArchAcropolis MuseumAcropolis Hill & ParthenonSee more trips on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.Day 3: Beyond Athens Varlaam Monastery viewed from Great Meteoron Monastery in Meteora, Greece Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, Greece Lycabettus Hill in Athens, GreeceOption 1: Cape Sounion & Lycabettus HillOption 2: Meteora MonasteriesOption 3: Peloponnese PeninsulaOption 4: Saronic Islands of Hydra, Poros & AeginaOption 5: Delphi ancient sitesDay 4: DepartureReturn/Onward flight Colorful #scootitude cabin lights on Scoot Athens-Singapore FlightWhere to stay in AthensThe best places to stay are the areas surrounding Acropolis Hill, including Plaka, Syntagma, and Monastiraki. Many of Athens’ top tourist spots are clustered within these districts & are easily reached by walking. Some areas of Thissio/Makriyanni, Koukaki, and Psiri that are conveniently located as well. Make sure to check if the property is located near the Acropolis or Monastiraki metro stations. Consider Omonia and Kolonaki/Lycabettus (Likavittos) if you want to get away from the main tourist districts & experience the more local side of Athens.Compare all rates & reviewsAthens hotels & hostelsHere’s a list of recommended hotels, hostels & places to stay in Athens. Click below to check prices, discounts & guest reviews.FeaturedNovotel AthensMid-range Up | OmoniaGorgeous view of Acropolis Hill from the rooftop restaurant and swimming pool area. Spacious rooms, efficient staff and friendly reception. A short ride away from the main tourist area & close to the airport highway.See discountsAthinais HotelMid-range | KolonakiSuperb-value rooms and excellent location in Athens’ upscale district. Easy accessibility to the airport highway & lovely Greek breakfast.See discountsTop picks by other travelersBest Athens hotels and top-rated places to stay near Acropolis Hill.InnAthensMid-range Up | SyntagmaSee discountsHotel LozengeMid-range Up | Syntagma Metro / KolonakiSee discountsEmporikon Athens HotelMid-range Up | MonastirakiSee discountsConcierge AthensBudget | MonastirakiSee discountsAthens StudiosBudget Backpacker | Acropolis Metro / KoukakiSee discountsHotel Grande BretagneSplurge Luxury | SyntagmaSee discountsOn a budgetBudget hotels, cheap hostels and affordable guesthouses.Bedbox HostelBudget Backpacker | MonastirakiSee discountsAthens BackpackersBudget Backpacker | Acropolis Metro / KoukakiSee discountsWhere to bookBook your stay online through these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy convenient bookings.Click below to see more places to stay and compare rates/discounts:AgodaBooking.comAirbnbHere are some of the top reasons why I prefer to book online & why you should too:Show moreWide selection of Athens hotels/hostels for all budgets.Often cheaper prices than walk-in rates. Earn rewards points for every booking. The more you book, the more you earn!Trusted by millions of travelers. Read reviews from actual staying guests.Instant confirmation & free cancellation on most properties.Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal.Fast customer support.How to find affordable yet decent hotels perfect for your budgetStep 1 — Go to Agoda.com.Step 2 — Show the best locations only by filtering results by neighborhood. Tap the filter button and scroll down to “Neighborhood.” Then, select these places in Athens:PlakaSyntagmaMonastirakiKoukaki — Check if near Acropoli metro stationPsiri — Check if near Monastiraki metro stationStep 3 — View all properties within your price range by tapping on the “Filter” button. Then, scroll down to “Price per night” and select your price range. Tap on “Filter” to see the results. For desktop users, you can find the filters on the left side of the page.Step 4 — See properties with the highest guest reviews by using the “Guest Rating” filter. Select “9+ Exceptional”. In case there are few results displayed select “8+ Excellent”.To check the cheapest rooms/beds, simply sort the results by price from lowest to highest.To check the best places to stay, sort the results by guest ratings. Tap the “Sort” button. Then, choose “Guest ratings” > “All guests” or any of the choices you like. For desktop users, the sort button is located on top of the results.Carefully check the number of reviews, not only the review score. A higher number of reviews mean a more reliable review score.Pro tip — Go to Booking.com to check more properties, reviews and rates. Use the “Location Score” filter to narrow down to hostels/hotels with the best location. Select “Superb location: 9+.”Athens itineraryThe 4 days / 3 nights (4D3N) Athens itinerary below includes Athens’ top archeological sites, a quick tour of the city center, and multiple options for excursions outside the city. I added a 4th day for the return/onward flight. The timings are adjusted based on Scoot Airlines’ Singapore-Athens flight schedule.Day 1: Arrival & ‘This Is My Athens’ TourFlight to Athens9 am — Arrive at Athens International Airport (ATH).Clear immigration checkpoint, claim baggage, and clear customs checkpoint. Withdraw Euro/exchange money. If applicable, meet your driver, claim online pre-orders, buy SIM card/WiFi hotspot, transport tickets etc..10 am — Athens Airport to hotel transferBy train, bus/shuttle or taxi/private car.11 am — Athens hotel check-in1 pm — Start This is My Athens tourRecommended options for walking tours are Syntagma, Monastiraki and/or Plaka districts.SyntagmaChanging of guards ceremony at the Greek Parliament building.MonastirakiAncient Agora, Temple of Hephaestus, Roman Agora, Hadrian’s Library & Ermou Street.Plaka districtGreek food, restaurants & nightlife.Day 2: Acropolis & Athens City Tour8 am — Panathenaic StadiumRide train to Syntagma or Acropoli metro stations. Then, walk to Panathenaic Stadium. Better yet, ride a direct bus from your hotel (check Google Maps for the routes) or get a taxi/Uber.9 am — Temple of the Olympian Zeus & Hadrian’s ArchRide Bus 2, 4, 11 or 209 from Panathenaic Stadium to Temple of the Olympian Zeus. Or, walk (750m). For a more scenic walk, take a detour to the Zappeion building & National Garden.11 am — Acropolis MuseumEasy walk (350m) from Hadrian’s Arch / Olympian Zeus.1 to 2 am — Acropolis Hill & ParthenonSouth entrance of Acropolis Hill is located in front of Acropolis Museum.Athens TrilogyRide train to Panetistimio metro station.Day 3: Beyond AthensOption 1 — Cape Sounion & Lycabettus Hill8:05 am — Depart to Sounion by KTEL public busKTEL bus terminal is located at Pedion Areos Park, near Victoria metro station. Arrive 15 to 30 minutes early to catch the 8:05 am departure.9:30 am — Arrive in SounioThe bus stop is found right outside the Temple of Poseidon complex.1 pm — Depart to Athens2:30 pm — Arrive in Athens3 pm — Ride funicular to the top of Mt. LycabettusFrom Pedion Areos Park, ride bus 22 to Kolonaki (see route here). Or, a train to Evangelismos metro station. Better yet, get a taxi/Uber to Teleferik Cable Car Station (the lower terminus of the Lycabettus hill funicular).Option 2 — Meteora MonasteriesOption 3 — Peloponnese PeninsulaOption 4 — Saronic Islands of Hydra, Poros & AeginaOption 5 — Delphi ancient sitesDay 4: Arrival & ‘This Is My Athens’ TourReturn/onward flight from AthensScoot’s flight to Singapore departs from Athens Airport at 11:45 am. Leave your hotel at around 8 to 9 am if you’re going by private transfer/taxi. Go earlier if you’re taking the train or public bus.Athens budgetYour travel expenses in Athens will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. For your reference, here are budget estimates if you follow the itinerary posted above.4 days 3 nights (4D3N) Athens budgetTransport expenses breakdownPriceAirport express roundtrip bus fare — EUR 6 one-way, per person x 2.EUR 12Athens transport 5-day ticket — Unlimited Metro train, bus & trolley ridesEUR 9Budget trip expensesPrice per personTransport — Airport transfers by bus + 5 days unlimited Athens transport ticketEUR 21Accommodations — 4 days / 3 nights stay in a hostel dorm. EUR 20 per bed per night x 3 nights.EUR 60Food — Daily budget of EUR 20 x 3 days.EUR 60Total (excluding activities).EUR 141Approximately PHP 8,920 / USD 173. Or, a daily budget of EUR 35.25 / PHP 2,230 / USD 43.25.The total budget above is for the entire 4 days trip, excluding flights & attractions/activities. I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can travel in Athens.If you have money to splurge on hotels, food, and luxuries, simply use the expenses posted to calculate your own budget.Here’s the total budget plus expenses on selected activities.Activities breakdownPriceAthens archaeological sites special package ticket.EUR 30Panathenaic Stadium admission ticketEUR 5Acropolis Museum admission ticketEUR 5Athens to Cape Sounio roundtrip bus fare — EUR 6.9 one-way, per person x 2EUR 13.8Temple of Poseidon admission ticketEUR 8Mt. Lycabettus furnicular round-trip fareEUR 7Total including activities above is EUR 209.8 or approximately PHP 13,272 / USD 257. Or, a daily budget of EUR 52.45 / PHP 3,318 / USD 64.25.Top Athens spots & things to doCheck out these top tourist spots, places to visit & things to do in Athens.1. Acropolis Hill & Parthenon View overlooking the city from Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece Odeon of Herodes Atticus on Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece Marcos at the Parthenon in Acropolis Hill, Athens, GreeceBuilt on a rocky hilltop, this is Athens’ most iconic landmark. Do not skip a visit to the Parthenon, a ruined temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Theatre of Dionysus, and other sites in the temple complex. From the top, revel in the glorious views overlooking the entire city. A single-entry admission ticket costs EUR 20. Or, EUR 10 during winter.How to go — There are two options to enter/exit the Acropolis: (1) The north entrance, near Monastiraki metro station, or (2) the south entrance near Acropoli metro station and Acropolis Museum.Check guided tour price2. Athens Archeological Sites Temple of the Olympian Zeus (Olympieio) in Athens, Greece Hadrian’s Arch in Athens, Greece Tower of the Winds at the Roman Agora in Athens, GreeceThe whole city of Athens is a huge archeological park where the ancient and modern co-exist. Discover ancient monuments, ruins, and excavations dating back to the Neolithic period, Classical, Roman and Byzantine eras.See guided tours & pricesSites marked with * below are included in the special multi-site ticket package. Scroll down for details.Ancient Agora of Athens* — Ancient Greek gathering place & a museum with artifacts. Inside, you can visit the Temple of Hephaestus and restored Stoa of Attalos, which houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora. The nearest metro station is Monastiraki. Admission ticket costs EUR 8 per person, reduced to EUR 4 during winter.Roman Agora of Athens* — Ruined remains of this agora was built by the Romans from 19-11 B.C. The nearest metro station is Monastiraki. Admission ticket costs EUR 6 per person, reduced to EUR 3 during winter.Hadrian’s Library* — Ruins of a library & cultural complex that was constructed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a gift to the people of Athens. The nearest metro station is Monastiraki. Admission ticket costs EUR 4 per person, reduced to EUR 2 during winter.Temple of Olympian Zeus* (Olympieio) — Formerly one of the largest temples in the ancient world, it served as an outdoor sanctuary dedicated to Zeus. The nearest metro station is Acropoli. Admission ticket costs EUR 6 per person, reduced to EUR 3 during winter.Arch of Hadrian — Marble arch named after the ancient Roman emperor. It is located in a public area, outside the fenced complex of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Cost is FREE. No admission/entry fee.Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos* — Site of the oldest and largest Attic cemetery. The museum houses many important early Geometric Art pieces that date as far back as 860 BC. The nearest metro station is Thissio. Admission ticket costs EUR 8 per person, reduced to EUR 4 during winter.Archaeological Site of Lykeion* — Best known as the site of Aristotle’s school of philosophy. The nearest metro station is Evangelismos. Admission ticket costs EUR 4 per person, reduced to EUR 2 during winter.Special ticket packageIf you are keen on visiting multiple ancient sites in Athens, save money by purchasing a special ticket package. It costs EUR 30 per person, valid for 5 days and includes entry to 7 archaeological sites. Namely:Acropolis of AthensTemple of the Olympian Zeus (Olympieio)Ancient Agora of AthensRoman Agora of AthensHadrian’s LibraryArchaeological Museum of KerameikosArchaeological Site of LykeionIf you are visiting during the Winter season, however, it’s cheaper to buy tickets individually because admission tickets are sold half the price. There’s no Winter price reduction for the special ticket package.3. Acropolis Museum Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece Acropolis Museum in Athens, GreeceThis stunning ultra-modern museum houses over 4,250 ancient artifacts from the Acropolis archaeological site. Enjoy majestic views of Acropolis Hill behind the museum’s glass walls as you explore the exhibitions.Book skip-the-line ticket here All guided tours & tickets4. Changing of the Guards & Syntagma Changing of the Guards in Syntagma, Athens, GreeceGo to Syntagma to watch one of the World’s most famous changing of the guards ceremonies. It happens in front of the parliament building on Plateia Syntagmatos every hour on the hour. On Sunday at 11 am, a band accompanies the traditionally costumed evzones (guards) of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier march down Vasilissis Sofias Avenue. This is one of the best free things to do in Athens.5. Athens Districts Dionysiou Areopagitou street in Koukaki District, Athens, Greece Ermou Street in Athens, GreeceMost of Athen’s best sights are located close to each other, concentrated in the city center districts of Syntagma, Plaka, Monastiraki, Kolonaki, and Psyri. The best way to get around is on foot because you get to see more of the city’s diverse character.See Athens walking tours pricesPlakaThis old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, is home to narrow cobblestone streets lined with sidewalk cafes, family-run tavernas, and tiny shops selling local crafts.SyntagmaThe heart of Athens. See the central square and Old Royal Palace, which has housed the Hellenic Parliament since 1934.MonastirakiKnown for its lovely atmosphere and archaeological sites including the Ancient Agora and Hadrian’s Library.KoukakiHome to the Acropolis Museum and the south entrance of the Acropolis, this is one of the city’s most charming neighborhoods. Take a walk along the pedestrianized Georgaki Olympiou Street. Explore the interesting mix of cafés and quirky bars.KolonakiA hub or upscale shopping and mid-range to fine dining restaurants.6. Panathenaic Stadium Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, GreeceThe site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896. The Panathenaic Stadium is the world’s only white marble stadium. Admission ticket costs EUR 5 per person.How to go — The nearest metro station is Acropoli, Syntagma, and Evangelismos. It is located at Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue, Athens 116 35.7. Lycabettus Hill Lycabettus Hill in Athens, GreeceAt 300 meters above sea level, Lycabettus Hill (also called Mount Lycabettus/Lycabettos/Lykabettos/Lykavittos) offers breathtaking views overlooking Athens. The best time to visit is during sunset. Get to the top by riding the funicular railway/cable car that runs through a tunnel. The cable car costs EUR 7 for roundtrip tickets and EUR 5 one-way. The nearest metro station is Evangelismos.8. Athens MuseumsAthens’ superb archeological museums showcase antiquities from the ancient period. Because most of the actual archeological sites are now in ruins, it’s important to visit these museums to enjoy a better appreciation of Greece’s ancient history. Don’t stop there! Museums of all kinds are found all over the city.See museum ticket & tour prices5 Best museums in AthensAcropolis MuseumNational Archaeological Museum — Neoclassical museum of Ancient Greek art & archaeology. A single-entry admission ticket costs EUR 5 per person. Located at 28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82 (near Viktoria metro station).Benaki Museum — Displays on Greek culture from prehistory onwards, housed in a former family mansion of an art collector. A single-entry admission ticket costs EUR 9 per person. Located at Koumpari 1, Athina 106 74 (near Syntagma and Evangelismos metro stations).Byzantine and Christian Museum — Displaying Byzantine and Post-Byzantine cultural heritage from as far back as the 3rd century. A single-entry admission ticket costs EUR 4 per person. Located at Leoforos Vasilissis Sofias 22, Athina 106 75 (near Evangelismos metro station).Museum of Cycladic Art — Houses over 3,000 artifacts of Cycladic, Ancient Greek and Cypriot art. A single-entry admission ticket costs EUR 7 per person. Or, EUR 7 per person on Mondays. Located at Neofitou Douka 4, Athina 106 74 (near Evangelismos and Syntagma metro stations).Free museums in AthensThe Museum of the History of Greek Costume — Located at Dimokritou 7, Kolonaki.The Philatelic and Postal Museum — Located at 5 Stadiou Street (next to the Kallimarmaro Stadium of Athens).Gounaropoulos Museum — Located at 6 G. Gounaropoulou Street, Ano Ilisia.Athens University History Museum — Located at Tholou 5.Museum of Greek Folk Instruments — Located at 1-3 Diogenous Street.Centre of Folk Art and Tradition — Located at Angelikis Hatzimichalis 6, Plaka.Hellenic Children’s Museum — Located at 14 Kydathineon St., Plaka.Railway Museum of Athens — Located at Siokou 4.Theatrical Museum of Greece — Located at 50 Akadamias Street.Natural History Museum of Maroussi — Located at 2 Kyprion Agoniston & Kairi Street, Maroussi.Greek food Greek Salad & Gyros in Athens, Greece Greek Fusion Food in Ergon Restaurant, Athens, GreeceOne my most memorable experiences in Greece was its food — Affordable, made with fresh ingredients, and of course, very delicious. Start with the classics Souvlaki (Greek-style kebab/grilled meat on skewers), Gyro (Pita bread wrap), and Greek salad. A serving only costs EUR 2 to 4. Don’t leave without eating at a proper sit-down restaurant as well. A typical meal costs EUR 10 to 20 per person.Ergon – The best restaurant we tried in Athens! Ergon serves Greek fusion dishes. Inside, there’s a deli/shop where you can buy local and artisanal food products. Nicole, our “This is my Athens” local guide, showed is this place. We definitely wouldn’t have discovered on our own. Located at Syntagma Mitropoleos 26, Athina 105 63 (across the entrance of Electra Metropolis Hotel).O Gyros pou Girevis — Found this small shop that serves yummy street food on the cheap eats section of Tripadvisor. It’s located near Acropolis Museum and the south entrance of Acropolis Hill (just outside the entrance/exit of Acropoli metro station). The address is 1 Athnasssiou Diakou, Athens 117 42.Kalamaki Mou — We decided to eat here because it was near our hotel in Kolonaki. We ordered souvlaki — our first meal in Greece. The first bite was heaven! Well recommended if you’re in the area. You can find this small street-food style joint at the corner of Dorylaiou 8 | Soutsou 11, Athens.Here are other interesting spots that we visited in Athens: Academy of Athens, part of Athens Trilogy, in Athens, GreeceAthens TrilogyZappeion buildng in Athens, GreeceZappeionBitter Orange Trees near Zappeion & the National Garden in Athens, GreeceAthens Bitter Orange Athens Trilogy — One of the most iconic buildings in Athens. The trio is composed of The University of Athens, the Academy, and the National Library.Zappeion & National Garden — Opened in 1888, it was the first building to be erected specifically for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world. After visiting the Panathenaic Stadium, we made our way to the Zappeion passing by colorful groves of bitter orange trees and a portion of the massive Athens National Garden.Beyond Athens1. Meteora Meteora rock formations & monasteries in Meteora, Greece Varlaam Monastery viewed from Great Meteoron Monastery in Meteora, Greece Monument of Leonidas, leader of 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae in GreeceIf you have at least one full day to spare, Meteora is one of the best places to visit near Athens. This extraordinary landscape is dominated by rock formations that soar from the middle of nowhere. On top of the almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, you can find several Eastern Orthodox monastery complexes built by monks.How to go — From Athens, travel time by car takes around 4 to 5 hours. It was quite a long drive, but doable on a day trip thanks to Welcome Pickups’ hassle-free private transfers. Our driver, Venediktos, was very friendly and informative. He shared a lot of interesting insights about Meteora and places we passed by. The car was comfy enough to catch up on sleep (well-appreciated while still jetlagged after the long flight from Singapore). We also loved the WiFi, tablets, and charging docks/cables available on board.Book your welcome day trip to MeteoraDon’t miss: If you’re going, one cool thing to do is stop by the statue of King Leonidas in Thermopylae, the site of the epic battle that inspired the movie ‘300’. In Kalambaka, try the delicious Greek food at Taverna Panellinion.By public transport — Kalampaka (also called Kalambaka), is the jump-off point to Meteora. Travel time takes 4 to 5 hours by train or 5 to 6 hours by bus. From Kalampaka, it’s a 15-minute drive uphill to the monasteries and viewing points.2. Cape Sounio & Temple of Poseidon Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, Greece Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, GreeceGot only half-a-day? Go on a trip to Cape Sounio to see the ruined ancient Temple of Poseidon and sweeping views of the Aegean Sea.How to go — Cape Sounio is a 1 hour and 30 minutes drive east of Athens. The cheaper way to go is by public transport. Buses depart from the KTEL bus terminal at Pedion Areos Park once every hour from 7:40 am to 7:40 pm. The one-way bus fare is EUR 6.90 per person.See tours & discounts3. Peloponnese Epidarius Theatre in Peloponnese, GreeceThis massive peninsula west of Athens is home to many important archaeological sites dating from the Bronze Age through to the Middle Ages. Places like Corinth Canal, Epidaurus and Mycenae are popular & easy places to visit from Athens. Here, you can also find Olympia (site of the Ancient Olympic Games), Sparta, many off-shore islands & more.See tours & discounts4. Saronic Islands Aegina Island, GreeceIf you don’t have enough time to visit Santorini, Mykonos & Zakynthos (shipwreck beach), head to the Saronic Islands. The islands of Poros, Hydra and Aegina are popularly visited on day cruise trips from Athens.See tours & discounts5. Delphi Tholos of Delphi at the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia in Delphi, GreeceThe site of the most important oracle of the god Apollo. Delphi is believed, throughout the ancient Greek world, to be the center of the universe. Here, you can find remnants of the Temple of Apollo.See tours & discountsTravel tips before you goHow to get to Athens?Athens-“Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport (ATH), commonly initialized as “AIA,” is the primary international gateway to Athens and the rest of Greece. It serves direct connections from most major cities in Europe and selected destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America.From SingaporeOn my trip to Athens, I flew with Scoot Airlines, a subsidiary airline of Singapore Airlines, which operates twice to 4x weekly non-stop (direct) flights from Singapore to Athens. Flight duration is typically 11 hours (12 hours on the return flight).From The PhilippinesIt’s now possible to travel affordably to Athens from The Philippines and Asia-Pacific thanks to Scoot’s extensive flight network in the region.On my trip to Athens, I flew from Manila via Singapore. Travel time from Manila to Singapore is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Transit time varies depending on available flight schedules. Regular fares from Manila to Athens start at around PHP 11K to 12K one-way. Prices dip even lower during seat sales and promotions.If you are coming from other parts of the Philippines, the airline also operates flights from Cebu, Clark, Davao, and Kalibo (Boracay).Flying with Scoot Gorgeous view over snow covered mountains/landscape on Scoot’s Athens-Singapore flight ScootInSilence seats. Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner has the best airplane windows ever! No more pull-down plastic shades. Ample legroom on ScootInSilence “Super” Seat Scoot’s Greek in-flight food/menu Colorful #scootitude cabin lights on Scoot Athens-Singapore FlightI loved that Scoot’s flight to Athens arrived mid-morning (8:45 am). Me and my travel buddy, Gael, were able to sleep during the long-haul flight from Singapore, so we got to tour a bit of the city after check-in at our hotel. If you are planning to visit other destinations in Greece (outside Athens), you can maximize your itinerary by booking an afternoon flight to Santorini, for example. Then, explore Athens during the end part of your trip.Scoot uses a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for its Athens-Singapore flights. The standard ‘Economy Class’ seats have a more spacious legroom (31″ seat pitch) compared to Airbus 320s seats (28″ seat pitch) utilized for short-haul flights. The airline also offers ‘Economy Class’ seats with more space as an add-on. You can read more about it here.We had the ‘Stretch seats’ (36″ seat pitch) during our onward flight and ‘Super seats’ (at least 34″ seat pitch) on the flight back. Both these seat options are available in the ‘ScootinSilence’ quiet zone (rows 9 to 28). If you want to rest better during your flight, I suggest that you upgrade to, at least, the ‘ScootinSilence’ zone (the first row are ‘Stretch seats’ and the rest are ‘Super seats’). For more space, check out the ScootBiz seats.Pre-book your meals and other add-ons to grab lower prices compared to purchasing on board.Athens Airport to City CenterAthens International Airport is located 30+ kilometers away (driving distance) from the city center/downtown area. Travel time typically takes 30 to 45 minutes by car or 45 minutes to 1 hour by public transport. Here are different transport options you can take:TrainThe airport is connected to Athens Metro “Light Blue” Line 3 (Aghia Marina – Athens International Airport). Travel time to downtown Athens is 45 minutes to 1 hour. The fare is EUR 10 one-way per person or EUR 18 if you buy a roundtrip ticket.BusThe airport express bus is the cheapest option at EUR 6 one-way, per person. Travel time is 50 minutes to 1 hour. Or more if road traffic is heavy / depending on your destination. Take route X95 to get to Syntagma in Athens center. Consider taking the bus if your hotel is near Syntagma Square (last stop) or along Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou Street. Other bus routes include X96 (Piraeus Port), Route X93 (Kifisou Avenue/Athens intercity bus station) & Route X97 (Elliniko).Shared TransferDirect airport-hotel shared shuttles. Price is EUR 20 per person, per way.See discountsTaxi/Ride-sharingA taxi ride from Athens Airport to the city costs EUR 38 (up to 4 pax). The price is fixed/flat rate and includes everything (tolls fee, VAT, meter start, airport charge, luggage handling etc). You can also use Uber for convenient rides in Athens. Click below to download the app and check fare estimates.Get UberPrivate CarWelcome Pickups arranged all our airport-hotel direct transfers in Athens. I highly recommend them for hassle-free private transfers. The cost is EUR 38 one-way per car. It’s the same price as taking the taxi but with the benefit of having personalized service, a local driver who speaks excellent English, ready to share helpful tips and insights of the city. You can also pre-order travel essentials like SIM cards, WiFi hotspots & skip-the-line attraction tickets. For 4 people traveling, the cost is actually a bit cheaper than the EUR 10 train fare.When is the best time to visit AthensThe best months to visit Athens are from March to May (Spring) and from September to November (Autumn/Fall). If you go during this time, you can enjoy sunny weather and avoid the massive tourist crowds during the summer months from June to August.We did our trip during Winter time. Thankfully, Athens has mild winters compared to most European cities. It rarely snows in the city. We enjoyed exploring the popular sites without the crowds, and even half-price tickets to Acropolis Hill.How to get EurosEuro (€) is the official currency of Greece. Use ATMs to get money because they offer the best exchange rate. Local banks do not charge ATM withdrawal fees, so you will only get charged what your bank will charge. Make sure to activate your card for international withdrawals before you leave. You can do this by calling or visiting your bank. If available & fees are not that high, changing money before you leave is also a good option.Use credit cards & pre-book online whenever you can to avoid carrying large amounts of cash during your trip.Avoid currency exchange stalls because they offer the worst rates. I found this to be true in Athens and many cities in Europe.Buy a special ticket packageIf you are keen on visiting multiple ancient sites in Athens, save money by purchasing a special ticket package. It costs EUR 30 per person, valid for 5 days and includes entry to 7 archaeological sites. Namely:Acropolis of AthensTemple of the Olympian Zeus (Olympieio)Ancient Agora of AthensRoman Agora of AthensHadrian’s LibraryArchaeological Museum of KerameikosArchaeological Site of LykeionIf you are visiting during the Winter season, however, it’s cheaper to buy tickets individually because admission tickets are sold half the price. There’s no Winter price reduction for the special ticket package.Likewise, you can also buy a special ticket package for selected museums in Athens. It costs EUR 15 per person, valid for 3 days. Included museums are:National Archaeological MuseumByzantine & Christian MuseumNumismatic MuseumEpigraphical MuseumGreece/Schengen Tourist Visa for FilipinosPinoy Travelers (Philippine passport holders) need to have a valid Schengen visa to visit Greece for tourism purposes.You can apply for a Schengen visa at the Greek embassy or at the embassy of other European countries party to the Schengen agreement. Typically, you’re required to send your visa application to the embassy of the country where you’ll be visiting the longest. In our case, it was Greece. So we applied at the Embassy of Greece in Manila.I’ll be posting more about how to successfully get a Schengen Visa in the future. In the meantime, visit the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to learn more about how to apply. You can check the requirements here.Useful travel appsGoogle Maps —This travel app will make it a lot easier to get around on your own. Download the offline maps before you go so you can check the map even if you don’t have mobile data. Internet access is still important because the directions feature only works if you are onlineMaps.me — Excellent offline maps & Google Maps alternative.Uber — Reliable ride-sharing app.XE Currency — Free & easy currency converter.Google Translate — Very useful to communicate with locals who do not understand/speak English.Agoda & Booking.com — My go-to for convenient hotel bookings & cheap room rates. To display the total price (including taxes & fees) on Agoda, click here to download the app. Tap the menu on the top left corner of the screen. Scroll down and tap on “Price display”. Then, select “Total stay”.Airbnb — Home/apartment rentals.Momondo & Skyscanner — Top flight search & price comparison apps.TripAdvisor — Reviews on the best places to eat & where to stay. Download the app on your iOS or Android device.Athens and Santorini, Greece itinerariesHere’s a quick sample itinerary if you want to visit Athens and Santorini but you only have 7 days/1 week:Day 1: Arrival in GreeceFlight to Athens Flight to SantoriniDay 2: SantoriniFira/Oia walking tourDay 3: SantoriniSantorini island tour Sunset in OiaDay 4: AthensFlight to Athens Acropolis HillDay 5: AthensDay trip beyond AthensDay 6: AthensAthens city center tourDay 7: DepartureReturn/onward flightDon’t stop hereDid you find this travel guide helpful? Share your trips & tag #detourista. Follow updates on:Instagram @detouristaHQFacebook @detouristaPinterestDon’t leave yet. There’s more!Singapore Itinerary – 3-4 Days SG Legoland TourHong Kong Itinerary – 3 Days HK Macau TourIndochina Itinerary – Thailand, Cambodia…How to Always Book the Cheapest FlightsDiscover more blogs and travel tips in:AthensGreeceEurope See all placesFind more posts about:FeaturedPinoy Travel BlogTravel GuideDo It YourselfLeave a Reply Cancel reply Start A TripSee travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.