Athens is the main travel hub in Greece and you will likely have to layover here if you are going to one of the Greek Islands. We’d highly recommend taking advantage of this and spending a day or two in Athens itself before continuing onto the Greek Islands. The unparalleled history of the Acropolis makes Athens worthy of at least a short visit. And do not worry about breaking the bank in here. Overall, visiting Athens is quite budget friendly. Here is our guide on visiting Athens, Greece on a budget.
Note: This post is written based on a trip taken in late June
What to do in Athens on a Budget
Explore the Acropolis
The Acropolis is a grouping of famous buildings from Ancient Greece, most notably the Parthenon, nestled on an outcrop above the city of Athens. It is really stunning to see the Acropolis from afar but even more inspiring seeing each building up close. This location is really the main attraction in Athens and a huge part of history that you should not miss out on seeing.
Tip: Get here right when it opens around 8am to avoid crowds and lines. It tends to get VERY busy by 10am. We arrived at 8am and had a nice experiences without absurd crowds.
Visit the Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum offers you more history on the Acropolis than what you get while exploring the actual Acropolis. Here you not only learn about the history of the Acropolis, but you get great views of the actual Acropolis from all floors in the museum. We both enjoyed the museum despite Natalie not typically being a museum person.
Go to the National Gardens
Pretty gardens in the middle of the city that are relaxing and fun to explore. If you are short on time in Athens, this is not a must but nice to do if you have an hour or two to spend.
What to eat in Athens
Traditional Greek Gyros are delicious. Traditional Greek Gyros are made with either seasoned pork or lamb typically with Tzatziki, tomatoes, onions, feta, oregano and wrapped in fresh baked pita bread. You can find these at many local food stands and restaurants. We recommend going where is most convenient.
You must also try Greek Salad and Baklava while in Greece. See Santorini, Greece Quick Guide for more information on these.
Where to Stay in Athens on a Budget
Marble House Pension
The Marble House Pension in Athens, Greece offers quaint and simple accommodations. Our room had a cute balcony with colorful flowers. The location was great, less than 15 minutes walking to the Acropolis. It is close enough to the hustle and bustle but far enough away that it is quiet and relaxing. It was also very budget friendly.
To book accommodations, we had to email the staff our credit card information which made us a bit leery, but we have now done this for numerous European accommodations. Knock on wood, have not had any issues
We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to visit Athens on a budget. If you are in Greece, make sure to pop over to the Greek Islands, especially Santorini (see Santorini Guide), for mind-blowing island views.
Anything you’d add to our guide on visiting Athens, Greece on a budget? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions. Please leave us a comment!
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Planning a multi-city trip to Europe? See our How to Plan Your First Europe Trip on a Budget guide for more tips on how to do this.