Archaeological Sites

A walk around Athens takes in highlights spread over millennia: from the neolithic period to the Classical, Roman and Byzantine eras.

Acropolis The star of the show, towering over Athens and thrilling to behold.

Theatre of Dionysos The birthplace of theatre, on the Acropolis’ southern slopes.

Ancient Agora Athens’ civic, political and commercial centre in ancient times, beautifully preserved.

Kerameikos The potters’ quarter turned cemetery, and ceremonial entrance to Athens.

Temple of Olympian Zeus Greece’s largest temple, it took more than 700 years to build and was completed by Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Panathenaic Stadium Monumental stadium that held ancient contests, Roman sacrifices and, more recently, the first modern Olympics.

Tower of the Winds The Roman Agora holds the beautifully carved octagonal tower designed as a public clock and weather station.

Hadrian’s Arch The 2nd-century monument frames ancient columns in one direction and the Acropolis in the other.

Museums

With the embarrassment of riches that is Athens' history, museums are superb showcases of all things Greek.

Benaki Museum of Greek Culture This expansive collection brings together precious works from all over Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

National Archaeological Museum The world’s foremost repository of ancient Greek artefacts in an enormous neoclassical building.

Byzantine & Christian Museum Is it art? Is it culture? It’s simply beautiful.

Acropolis Museum Art and finds from the Acropolis shine in this spacious, superbly designed gem.

Museum of Islamic Art Jaw-droppingly beautiful examples of pottery, jewellery, weaving and more from the Middle East and Asia.

Museum of Cycladic Art Connecting ancient art with modern, featuring the minimalist sculptures that inspired Picasso and Modigliani.

Dora Stratou Dance Theatre The folklorist who founded this dance troupe considered it a 'living museum' of Greek tradition.

Arts and Culture

The economic crisis has been a blow to most sectors of Greece, but the arts scene has responded with energy.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus This magnificent ancient amphitheatre is still used for summer concerts and plays, both classical and contemporary.

Alternative Athens Take a tour of Athens' world-class street art, among other options.

138 Pireos St Rotating exhibits of primarily modern and contemporary art in a cool converted industrial space.

National Museum of Contemporary Art In a remodelled brewery, see contemporary Greek and international art stars.

TAF An excellent multiuse space in a cluster of 19th-century buildings with a great courtyard cafe.

National Theatre See drama in its birthplace, with English-language surtitles for many performances.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center A striking contemporary home for Greece's national opera and library, plus a large park.

Megaron Mousikis State-of-the-art concert hall presenting a rich winter program of world-class concerts.

Nightlife and Music

Athens has a thriving music scene, with a great resurgence in rembetika (bluesy songs from the early 20th century) as well as jazz and rock. In summer most indoor venues close and you'll find live music mainly at festivals and outdoor concerts.

Treno sto Rouf A dream for train fans: a cool bar and cabaret, plus occasional creative performance in old rail cars.

Fuzz Club Check the schedule for touring rock and other major bands.

Kavouras Rembetika club above a souvlaki joint in Exarhia.

Perivoli tou Ouranou Old-style taverna with live music in Plaka.

Akordeon Friendly hosts serve delicious local eats and get the whole taverna dancing with their songs.

Half Note Jazz Club The city’s premier jazz venue.

Afrikana Jazz and world music in a small converted house.

Faust The stage of this small cabaret hosts all kind of strange and wonderful performers.

AN Club One of Athens' longest-running rock venues, with a range of live acts.

Food and Folk Tradition

Varvakios Agora Athens' central food market feeds the senses.

Forget Me Not All locally designed items, especially modern twists on traditional looks.

Korres Greece’s premier natural-beauty-product company uses many traditional herbal ingredients.

Xylouris Run by a famous Cretan musical family and a font of information on Greek music.

Mana's Kouzina Specialising in rare regional recipes, with a frequently changing menu.

Museum of Greek Popular Instruments Not just to look at, but to listen to as well.

Monastic Art Shop Everything in this store is made by monks on Mt Athos.

Elena Votsi Jewellery and home goods with playful Greek motifs.

Free Stuff

Centre of Folk Art & Tradition Rambling Plaka mansion with interesting exhibits about the old ways.

Museum of Greek Popular Instruments Not just to look at, but to listen to as well.

Lykavittos Hill Offers the finest panoramas of the city and the Attic basin.

National Gardens A delightful shady refuge during summer.

Electric Railways Museum One employee's passion project has expanded to several floors.

Oldest House in Athens A restored 17th-century home.

Municipal Gallery of Athens Always some beautiful 20th-century paintings on display.

Hadrian's Arch Standing tall by the roadside in central Athens.

Hill of the Pnyx Beautiful views and a historic site of early democracy.

Athens' First Cemetery Gorgeous neoclassical sculptures adorn the tombs of Athens' elite families.