Trip Ideas

The Ultimate Guide To A Perfect 3 Days In Athens

Planning to see Athens in 3 days? Lucky you. Spending a total of 3 days in Athens is definitely not too much time to stay here. You’ll have plenty to do!

What words can we use to describe the importance of Athens? It is the bedrock of Western civilization; a cultural city around 3000 years old, the birthplace of art, philosophy and democracy in Europe; the starting point for myths, legends and stories that continue to provoke debate in classrooms all over the world, even today.

And yet, for all the words spent on Athens over the years, it continues to defy description.

Anyone who’s even glanced at a history book will be familiar with some of Athens’ archaeological treasures but, beyond these, modern-day Athens is a buzzing city with many fascinating neighborhoods to discover.

It could potentially feel a little bit overwhelming knowing how to plan your trip, so here is our comprehensive guide for those spending 3 days in Athens.

We’ll be discussing everything from how to travel there, where to stay, to all the best things to see as you walk those sun-drenched, ancient streets. So, let’s get started with your 3-day Athens itinerary!

The Acropolis of Athens.

Booking Cheap Flights To Athens

Here are 5 tips to help you book cheap flights for your trip to Athens:

Use Google Flights

I used to be a massive Skyscanner advocate. It was my go-to for looking for cheap flight deals.

But these days I’ve honestly had more success just using Google Flights. Recently, every time I’ve compared prices on Google Flights to Skyscanner, Google Flights has worked out cheaper.

Just like Skyscanner, Google Flights gives you multiple airlines to choose from, which is definitely a plus.

Be Flexible

If you have the luxury of traveling any day of the week, make the most of it! I usually find traveling on a Monday or Tuesday is quite inexpensive.

When searching for flights on Google Flights it’ll easily let you see the cost of flying on other days. Try checking out days around your optimal arrive/departure dates and see what savings you could make!

Book Early Or Last Minute

People usually suggest booking early (up to 90 days in advance) in order to get cheaper tickets, and I’d heartily agree with that.

But you can also book last minute too and see what flights to Athens are underbooked and leaving soon.

This option is only for the daring and adventurous who don’t mind forming travel plans quickly. The problem with this approach, however, is that you’ll still have to get accommodation sorted out quickly, and that may be harder to do so on a budget with such little time.

Fly To A Popular City First

Try booking plane tickets to popular cities such as London, Rome, Berlin, Paris, etc. first, and then booking tickets to Athens from these popular cities. Often smaller European airlines operate in these popular cities and will offer super cheap tickets to Athens.

Fly To An Airport Near Athens

Although it’s more convenient, you don’t need to fly directly to Athens. Popular alternative airports include the airport at Thessaloniki,  which is about a 6 hours drive north of Athens. This is a good option if you’re planning to see more of Greece than just Athens.

Be slightly wary of flying into airports located within random places in Greece though. There are many Greek Islands, and it’d be a nuisance (and expensive!) to have to catch a ferry after your flight in order just to finally reach Athens.

So do your research on where the airport is in Greece first before you book!

Traveling To And From Athens Airport

Athens airport is not far from the city center, as you can see from the map below showing alternative car journeys from Athens airport to the city center.

Taking A Taxi

To get to the city center, we definitely recommend taking a taxi since it’s quickest. It should take around 35 minutes depending on the time of day and traffic.

The taxi will cost 38€ during the day and 54€ from midnight to 05:00.

You could go with the regular yellow taxis, but we’d recommend going with Welcome Pickups (this is not an affiliate link!)

They cost the same (38€ at writing) and are more reliable, professional and comfortable. The drivers all speak English too.

Leave Exit 3 at the Arrivals Level at the airport and you’ll spot the yellow taxis. But better to book beforehand on Welcome Pickups where you will have someone waiting for you holding a card with your name on it in the arrival lounge of the airport.

Cost: 38€ (day-time), 54€ (from midnight to 05:00)
Duration: around 35 minutes (but will depend on traffic)

Taking The Metro

Taking the metro, at this time of writing, will cost 10€ one way and 18€ for a round-trip (children under 6 travel free), and will take you around 45 minutes to be dropped off at the center of Athens in Syntagma Square.

Take Metro Line 3, the line departs every 30 minutes from 06:30­ – 23:35, every day of the week.

The metro is clean and nice to use but, despite being also the cheapest way to get into Athen’s city center, I have to say it’s not the most convenient since its a 15-minute walk to the metro station from the airport. Luckily, there is signage pointing the way to the metro station from the airport.

Cost: 10€ (one way), 18€ (round-trip)
Duration: 45 minutes

Taking The Athens Suburban Railway (Proastiakos)

Also leaving the same metro station is an electric train, the Athens Suburban Railway (also known as the Proastiakos Athens).

Departing about every 20 minutes you can travel on it to Plakentias station, where you can get off and take the Metro Line 3 to Egaleo, which will take you to the city center. You won’t need to buy two tickets since you can use the same ticket you bought at the airport’s metro station.

Cost: 10€
Duration: 45 minutes

Taking The Bus

Buses run from the airport 7-days-a-week, 24 hours per day. The station is found between Exit 4 and Exit 5 at the arrivals level.

There are 4 different buses you can take:

  • X95 — which will take you to the city center at Syntagma Square (60 minutes)
  • X96 — which will take you to Piraeus so you can catch a ferry to a Greek Island (90 minutes)
  • X93 — which will take you to Athen’s bus station (65 minutes)
  • X97 — which will take you to Elliniko metro station (50 minutes)

Cost: 6€
Duration: Depends on the bus

Taking The Shuttle Bus

You could also book to take the shuttle bus. This will cost you around 20€ per person and will mean you don’t have to wait at a bus stop. Instead, you will meet in the arrival lounge of the airport and be taken directly to Athens City Centre Hotels.

The service can also be booked for the reverse journey to be picked up from Athens City Centre Hotels and taken to the airport.

Cost: 20€ per person
Duration: 40 to 55 minutes

The Athens Combined Ticket

There are so many archeological sites to see in Athens that it might be a good idea to consider purchasing tickets that allow entry to multiple sites.

The Athens combined ticket costs 30€ and is valid for 5 days after purchase. It will provide you access to the following 7 sites:

  • The Acropolis (just the Erechtheion and Parthenon…the museum is NOT included)
  • Kerameikos (museum included)
  • The Ancient Agora of Athens (museum included)
  • The Roman Agora of Athens (Tower of the Winds included)
  • Hadrian’s Library
  • Aristotle’s Lyceum
  • The Temple of Olympian Zeus

We recommend purchasing the Athens combined ticket if you are planning to visit three or more sites, and especially if you plan to visit in the summer where prices are a bit higher.

For example, in the summer season, the Acropolis costs 20€, so this ticket could definitely help save you some money if you visit lots of sites.

Check out this website for more information on what this ticket offers exactly. It can be bought in person at any of these 7 sites listed just above.

Athens In 3 Days: Day 1

We’ve selected our favorite options for each day so that you can choose what stands out the most to you, and then personally tailor your itinerary for your 3 days in Athens.

The Acropolis Museum

Location: Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athens 117 42

Cost: 10€ (1st April – 31st October), 5€ (1st November – 31st March)

Hours: Generally 9am – 4pm (see here for exact times for different seasons)

Check out the Acropolis Museum during 3 days in Athens!
The Acropolis Museum should be visited while seeing Athens for 3 days.

You’re spending 3 days in Athens, so let’s face it, you NEED to climb the Acropolis at some point. It’s almost mandatory.

But before doing so, visiting the Acropolis museum beforehand is definitely a good idea as you’ll get so much more info and context about the Acropolis before going up there. It’ll make it more meaningful!

Not to mention…its also one of the highest rated museums in the world. So, yeah…no big deal or anything.

Located at the foot of the Acropolis, we recommend coming here first thing in the morning of Day One to eat a traditional Greek breakfast at the museum’s restaurant (they stop serving it at noon). You can read more about this breakfast here.

Blessed with elegant glass walkways, panoramic views of the Acropolis, the Elgin Marbles, and ancient Greek statues dotted all over, as museums go, this museum pretty much has it all.

You’ll also learn so much since the artifacts found around the Acropolis are explained in incredible detail, and there are people available if you’d like to ask questions and learn more.

Once done exploring, sit and get a caffeine boost in the form of a coffee at either the café that overlooks the excavation sites, or the Acropolis museum restaurant overlooking lush views of the Acropolis.

Book tickets for the Acropolis museum here.

Top tip #1: On Friday nights the restaurant’s 2nd floor stays open until midnight serving gourmet food using the finest ingredients prepared in the traditional Greek way. Perfect for a romantic evening!

Acropolis

Location: Acropolis of Athens, Athens 105 58

Cost: 20€ (1st April – 31st October), 10€ (1st November – 31st March)

Hours: 8am – 6:30 pm (though hours can change depending on the season)

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
The Acropolis of Athens.

Now you’ve learned a lot about the facts and history of the Acropolis, you’re ready to climb and experience it yourself.

And it’s good to get really accustomed to it because it’s located near the city center of Athens (about a 15-minute walk from Syntagma Square), and it will be a constant companion as you explore Athens.

Seriously, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to glimpse it from every angle possible as you sip wine in a restaurant or explore the winding avenues across the city center.

The Acropolis was built in the 5th century BCE and among the many marvels clustered on or around the Acropolis are the Temple of Athena (built 427 BC), dedicated to the city’s patron goddess, and the Theatre of Dionysus (first built in the 6th Century BC), probably the world’s first theatre, and on the north side of the Acropolis, the Erechtheion, a temple dedicated to Poseidon and Athena.

The highlight, however, is undoubtedly the Parthenon (built 448 BC)—the emblem that best epitomizes the sophistication of ancient Greece and one of the most photographed structures on the Acropolis.

The Parthenon in Athens is a must-see while spending 3 days in Athens.
The Parthenon

Top tip #1: Bring water!

Top tip #2: If you want perfect views away from the crowds then take a walk up Filopappou Hill, on the Acropolis’s South-West side, where you’ll have all the time and space you need to frame a perfect photo.

Top tip #3: If you want a tour guide for the Acropolis, then we recommend contacting respected tour guide Nadia Pavlikaki.

Top tip #4: Acropolis Athens tickets can be bought separately, but they are also included in the Athens Combined Ticket mentioned above (the combined ticket version only includes the Parthenon and Erechtheion though).

Top tip #5: Good places to eat nearby include Tzitzikas kai Mermigas (Mediterranean cuisine), Koi Sushi Bar (Japanese), Avocado (Vegetarian), Vegan Beat (Greek Vegan)

Here’s a map to give you an idea of walking distances from Syntagma Square to the Acropolis, to Filopappou Hill.

Pnyx

Location: Pnyx Archeological Site, Dimitriou Eginitou 14, Athens 118 51

Cost: Free

Hours: 8:30am – 3pm (Winter), 8am – 7:30pm (Summer)

Pnyx Hill in Athens.
Photographer: George E. Koronaios

At the foot of the Acropolis (about a 10-minute walk away) is a site that has played a role in Athenian democracy—one of the major developments of human history.

It’s called Pnyx (pronounced “p-nick”) and it was the first site of the assembly of Athens, and later played host to the great disputes between the most prominent speakers in Athenian civic life. As such, it has a strong claim to being the very place where democracy was born.

It’s also a pretty great place to take pictures of the city.

Top tip #1: Check out the Philopappos Monument just a stone’s throw away that is dedicated to a Prince of the Kingdom of Commagene, Philopappos.

Top tip #2: Also check out the Prison of Socrates that is also nearby. It isn’t that grand or impressive, but its worth it just for the historical significance.

Top tip #3: Good places to eat nearby include Kirios Who (Greek café & brewpub), Aschimopapo (Mediterranean & Greek), Kapari (Greek cuisine), Jaipur Palace (Indian)

Areopagus

Location: Areopagus Hill, Theorias 21, Athens 105 55

Cost: Free

Hours: Always open

Areopagus Hill in Athens.
“…Turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” — St. Paul (Acts 14:15-17), speaking these words here on Areopagus Hill 1968 years ago

Another spot at the foot of the Acropolis is the Areopagus (pronounced “ehr-ee-AH-puh-guhs”). It also is known as “Mars Hill” and is only about a 5-minute walk from the Acropolis.

Its fame comes from the fact that it was, first of all, in use as a sort of ancient public court, but moreso as the place from which the Apostle Paul stood to address ancient Athens, a moment that was hugely influential in spreading Christianity to Europe.

This site offers a spectacular view over Athens and is a popular spot for watching sunsets or sunrises. So if you’re wondering what to do in Athens on your first evening, seeing the sunset here is a brilliant idea.

So we recommend heading up there at dusk on Day One, grab a beer from one of the street vendors and reflect on the timeless quality of the city while the sun sets over you, just the same as it did for Pericles and St. Paul.

Top tip #1: Good places to eat nearby include Klepsýdra (Greek cuisine), Yiasemi (Mediterranean café)

Mount Lycabettus

Location: Athens 114 71

Cost: Free

Hours: Always open (but the restaurant closes at 1am, and churches will close late)

Mount Lycabettus is something to conquer while seeing Athens in 3 days!

Located a 45-minute walk away from Areopagus is Mount Lycabettus—the highest spot in Athens (277 meters / 909 foot) and a mountain definitely worth experiencing!

Athens really does have some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. Another fantastic vantage point from which to view it is the summit of Mount Lycabettus, a small peak that rises in the middle of suburban Athens like a volcano from the waves.

It can feel like quite a climb to get to the summit in the Greek sunshine, but luckily there is a funicular railway (“the Teleferik”) that can carry you to the top and back if you don’t fancy the hike. Costing 7.50€ for a round-trip or 5€ one-way, it departs every 30 minutes and only takes about 3 minutes to reach the top.

Alternatively, you can set off on a Mount Lycabettus hike that, from the funicular railway, will take around 30 minutes to reach the summit depending on your fitness level. Wear comfy shoes since most of the way up is via lots of steps.

At the top, you’ll find the small but charming white Chapel of St. George (an ornate place with lots of history to pray in and light a candle), and a large open-air amphitheater, as well as spectacular views from the Acropolis to the Aegean sea. On the west side, you’ll find the underrated Holy Church of Saint Isidore, which is the hidden gem of Mount Lycabettus.

There’s even a Mount Lycabettus restaurant up there called the Orizontes restaurant, which is sometimes affectionately called the “terrace of Athens”. It’s quite expensive but eating up there in these surroundings is something pretty special. Seriously, I can’t think of a more picturesque place to eat Greek food! Romantic? Yes, just a wee bit.

Top tip #1: Good places to eat nearby include Scala Vinoteca (Mediterranean & European cuisine), 5F (Mediterranean & Vegetarian)

Athens In 3 Days: Day 2

Panathenaic Stadium

Location: Vassileos Konstantinou Avenue, Athens 999-20

Cost: 5€ (adults), 2.50€ (children and over-65s)

Hours: 8am – 7pm

Panathenaic Stadium deserves a look while seeing Athens in 3 days.

To kick-off with Day Two as you explore Athens in 3 days, we recommend checking out The Panathenaic Stadium (pronounced “pan-ah-thay-nay-ic”).

It’s an ancient Greek Olympic stadium that opened in 566 BC and is also the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It is basically the site at which our concept of athletics can be said to have originated, as early as the 4th Century BC.

Even if you’re not much of a sports fan, the site of an arena made entirely from marble and its 204-meter track length is sure to knock your socks off.

The entry price includes an audio guide you can listen to as you walk around, so you’ll be sure to learn a lot of the history and facts surrounding this impressive stadium.

Top tip #1: Toilets cost about 50 cents, so bring change.

Top tip #2: Come here from 7:30am to 9am and you’ll be able to start your morning right on Day Two by jogging around the Panathenaic Stadium’s track! You just need to fill out this form here to get started.

Top tip #3: Good places to eat/drink nearby include Αρbarοριζα (Cocktail bar), Mystic (Mediterranean & Italian), Colibri (Italian & Pizza)

Temple Of Olympian Zeus

Location: Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias & Leof. Vasilissis Olgas, Athens 105 58

Cost: 6€ (1st April – 31st October), 3€ (1st November – 31st March)

Hours: 8:30am – 3pm (Winter), 8am – 7:30pm (Summer)

The Temple Of Olympian Zeus is worthy of your 3-day Athens itinerary.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was built by the Greeks in dedication to Zeus, whom they believed was the “father of gods and men”. Accordingly, it was built with the express purpose of being the most colossal structure in classical civilization.

Though the temple was also used for the purpose of boosting the gravitas of its main benefactor, Emperor Hadrian, who was honored pretty much to the same level of Zeus from what we can deduce about the design of the temple.

The gargantuan Temple of Olympian Zeus took some 640 years to build and, once complete, stood in use for only around 100 years.

After first being sacked by Barbarians it fell into further disrepair in subsequent years, as a result of being pillaged for building materials and damaged by natural forces. It was around this time that the Statue of Zeus at Olympia was destroyed too.

Nonetheless, it remains a truly impressive structure today, even if it does require a little imagination to visualize what the temple would have looked like in all its glory.

The columns that remain leave you in no doubt of the vast scale of the building, and the ambitions/hubris of the men who began building it around 2550 years ago.

Top tip #1: Also check out the Arch of Hadrian which is just a 2-minute walk away across the street!

Top tip #2: Temple Of Olympian Zeus tickets can be bought separately, but they are also included in the Athens Combined Ticket mentioned above.

Top tip #3: Good places to eat nearby include Jaipur Palace (Indian), Duende (Mediterranean & European), Veganaki (Greek Vegan)

Ancient Agora Of Athens

Location: Adrianou 24, Athens 105 55

Cost: 8€ (1st April – 31st October), 4€ (1st November – 31st March)

Hours: 8:30am – 3pm (Winter), 8am – 7:30pm (Summer)

The Ancient Agora of Athens is worth seeing as you spend 3 days in Athens.

The Ancient Agora of Athens is the ancient marketplace where much public life was carried out. (The literal meaning of the word agora means “meeting place”.)

It’s not as well-preserved as the Forum in Rome, but it’s still breathtaking to think you are stood on the streets where Socrates once walked and interrogated his fellow citizens.

Another good thing about this place? It’s way less crowded than the Acropolis of Athens, but many people consider it the second-best thing to do in Athens (after the Acropolis, of course!)

Top tip #1: There are rocky paths here that will probably be difficult for people using strollers.

Top tip #2: Ancient Agora of Athens tickets can be bought separately, but they are also included in the Athens Combined Ticket mentioned above.

Top tip #3: Good places to eat nearby include Dinner in the Sky (Mediterranean & European cuisine), Cinque Wine & Deli Bar (Wine bar & deli, Greek cuisine), Little Kook (Patisserie), Nancy’s Sweet Home (Desserts), Aleria (Mediterranean & Greek cuisine)

Aristotle’s Lyceum

Location: Rigillis 11, Athens 106 75

Cost: Free

Hours: 8am – 8pm

Definitely consider seeing Aristotle's Lyceum while seeing Athens in 3 days.
Photographer: Carole Raddato

Aristotle’s famous Lyceum school can be found a 15-minute walk away from the central Syntagma Square, but unfortunately, not much of it remains in the present day. If you weren’t aware of its history, you might just pass it by as insignificant.

However, we’ve included it just for its historical and cultural value. This is the exact place where Aristotle taught Macedonian Nobility in the 4th Century BC…One can only wonder what it must have been like to attend Aristotle’s school!

After he had finished tutoring Alexander the Great from 339 to 335 BC, he opened this school in 335 BC, and it quickly gained renown. Aristotle would go on to teach here for 12 more years, leaving it in 323 BC, and passing away in 322 BC.

As you’ll probably already know, Aristotle was the student of Plato, who in turn was the student of Socrates (whose prison is only about a 15-minute walk from here). Aristotle’s philosophy would go on to impact the world for generations.

Aristotle’s Lyceum is worth visiting if you have a keen interest in philosophy or archaeology, but perhaps not worth adding to the top of your list unless you have plenty of time to explore.

Top tip #1: Aristotle’s Lyceum tickets can be bought separately, but they are also included in the Athens Combined Ticket mentioned above.

Top tip #2: Good places to eat nearby include TGI Fridays (American cuisine), Chez Michel (European café), Katsourbos (Mediterranean & Vegetarian)

Tower Of The Winds

Location: Aiolou, Athina 105 55

Cost: 3€

Hours: 8am – 5pm

The Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora in Athens.
Photographer: Andreas Trepte
The Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora in Athens.
Photographer: Carole Raddato

Located in the Roman Agora, the Tower of the Winds, sometimes called Aerides, is considered the world’s most early meteorological station that was, according to some sources, built in 47 BC by Andronikos of Cyrrhus.

It has a really elegant, understated design and is made of white Pentelic marble. It also has 8 sides with each side facing a point on the compass.

With restoration work only recently completed in 2016, do try stopping by here if you’re in the area…it’s worth it!

Top tip #1: Tower of the Winds tickets can be bought separately, but they are also included in the Athens Combined Ticket mentioned above.

Top tip #2: Good places to eat nearby include Yiasemi (Mediterranean café), Hard Rock Cafe (American cuisine), Ydria Cafe (Mediterranean & Vegetarian)

Walk The Streets Of Plaka

Location: Athens 10556

Cost: Free

Hours: Always open

The Plaka District in Athens.
Be sure to check out Plaka district during your 3 days in Athens.

Athens’ most visited residential district is famous due to its proximity to the Acropolis, its host of museums, street performers, and a dizzying array of architectural styles. The streets here burst with color, and dozens of shops, restaurants and bars compete for your attention.

A personal highlight was the bar, “Brettos”, on Kydathineon Street. Here, a 15ft wall of brightly-lit, colorful liquor bottles is a stunning backdrop for a glass of ouzo. It’s also Athens’ oldest distillery.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to Plaka’s many delights, put together by AthensGuide.

Top tip #1: Also check out the neighborhood of Psyri (about a 15-minute walk from Plaka), it’s a great place to drink and dine with delicious food found in tavernas that often includes live rembetika music playing in the background. Psyri is also a good place to check out come nightfall — finishing off Day Two here would be our recommendation.

Top tip #2: Good places to eat nearby include Smak. (Greek pizza), Yiasemi (Mediterranean café), Zorbas Restaurant (seafood), Taqueria Maya Athens (Mexican)

Don’t forget that nearly all of these attractions listed above are included in the Athens Combined Ticket which can be bought at any of the 7 sites included in the ticket.

Athens In 3 Days: Day 3

Some of the best places to visit on a trip to Athens lie outside the city limits but can be reached easily, although it’s usually best to book a tour. Here are three of our favorites day trips from Athens that you can choose from on Day Three of your 3 days in Athens!

1. Day Trip From Athens: Delphi

Day trip from Athens: Delphi, Greece


The famous priestess of Apollo changed the classical world with some of her prophecies, and the site is still well-preserved today.

If you’ve read Plato, Ovid, Sophocles and the like, you may already be familiar with the legends and mysteries surrounding her unique gifts, but if not, you can brush up here.

The ruins are spectacular and impressive—just seeing them will tell you why so many people visit here each year.

Athens to Delphi usually takes around 3 hours and a half by coach. It’s a long coach ride from Athens, but well worth it. By car, it can often take around 3 hours.

The whole trip, featuring exploring the ruins, seeing the museum, including a guided tour from a knowledgable guide, eating at the restaurant in Delphi, and heading back often takes around 10 hours. So it’ll be a full day of exploration!

You can buy tickets to the Delphi tour here.

2. Day Trip From Athens: Cape Sounion

Seeing the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion is fantastic way to end seeing Athens in 3 days.
The Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. (Source: Stella*R)

Perched on a hill-top above the Aegean Sea, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion (built between 444 – 440 BC) is yet another Greek landmark that combines history, legend and natural beauty. It is another serious contender for your bucket list while in Athens.

The temple is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey and is also said to be the place where King Aegeus drowned himself, giving the Aegean Sea its name.

You can also see another piece of history: Lord Bryon’s signature etched on a column here in the 1800s. Furthermore,  it’s also quite nice to combine all the history with a swim at one of the exquisite beaches nearby. What more could you want?

The coastal drive passing the Saronic Gulf on the way to Cape Sounion is beautiful; especially if you catch a nice sunset overlooking the sea.

Since this day trip lasts around 4 hours in total, it’s not as long as the day trip to Delphi, meaning you’d have more time to continue exploring Athens on Day Three.

You can buy tickets to the Cape Sounion tour here.

3. Day Trip From Athens: Dive The Devil’s Hole At Vouliagmeni

If you love diving then this is how you finish exploring Athens in 3 days in style.

This natural undersea sinkhole, around 45 minutes drive from Athens (we recommend paying around $30 for an Uber taxi), is thirty feet deep, surrounded by natural walls and reefs, and is thought to connect to nearby Lake Vouliagmeni by a series of tunnels, though this has never conclusively been proved.

The Devil’s Hole, as this undersea sinkhole is called, has been raved about by countless divers. Just watch the video above to get an idea of how amazing this dive is.

If you have your PADI Open Water certification you can book your dive here.

If you aren’t a certified diver you won’t be able to dive the hole, but if you’re keen to have a try diving anyway then consider booking a “discover scuba” session here.

Visiting Lake Vouliagmeni may be the perfect way to end 3 days in Athens!
Lake Vouliagmeni. (Photographer: Dim Philos)

If you’re not into diving, then Lake Vouliagmeni is worth seeing anyway since this beautiful lake will feel like your own personal water hole to enjoy a peaceful afternoon reading a book, going for a swim, and eating a picnic.

Only about a 30-minute Uber trip from the city center of Athens, you can also even take the bus or metro to get there.

By metro and bus, simply take the Red metro line to Elliniko metro station and then take the E22 bus from there. The bus comes there 4 or 5 times every hour during the day and the route name is Stathmos Elliniko – Saronida. Once on the bus, get off at the stop called “Limni” (which is Greek for lake).

So why not wind down from all that busy time spent exploring Athens and enjoy Day Three sitting back and relaxing on Lake Vouliagmeni? Also, consider enjoying an evening meal in Vouliagmeni before heading back to Athens.

Great restaurants include BlueFish (Mediterranean cuisine & seafood), or Panorama (Mediterranean cuisine & seafood) or the brilliant but pricier options of Ithaki Restaurant (Mediterranean & European cuisine & seafood) or Moorings (Mediterranean & European cuisine & seafood).

If you have a sweet tooth also check out Waffle House which is the Greek answer to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream—lovely ice cream flavors  (e.g. Mosaic chocolate and Aegean SeaSalt) served over possibly the best waffles you’ll have ever tasted. Not a bad way to conclude your 3 days in Athens if you ask me!

Where To Stay In Athens, Greece

Prepared to be dazzled by wonderful sunsets as you explore Athens in 3 days!

Between April to mid-November places to stay in Athens are usually in high demand. Book early to avoid this and to also obtain the best prices.

Here are our choices of the best accommodations for three nights in Athens, Greece, arranged by location. As is common these days, all these places offer free WiFi.

Near Syntagma Square (City Center)

3-star hotels:

  • Hermes Hotel — a great option for people visiting Athens for 3 days on a budget. Location is perfect and the quality is still pretty great. Check out prices here.
  • Attalos Hotel — another great and cheap play to stay in Athens, Attalos Hotel’s prime central location is within walking distance from the metro and Monastiraki Square. Check out prices here.

4-star hotel:

  • MET34 Athens Hotel (Travellers’ Choice 2019 Winner) — our recommended choice if you’re in Athens. Good for families or solo travelers. A bit on the pricey side though. Check out prices here.

5-star hotel:

  • Wyndham Athens Residence — a newer hotel with some great staff. Reasonably priced considering its 5 stars. Check out prices here.

Near Pnyx

3-star hotel:

  • Acropolis Hill — clean and cozy, and only around a 5-minute walk from the Acropolis, this hotel comes with a pool, delicious free Greek buffet-style breakfasts and is good for families too. Check out prices here.

5-star hotel:

  • Divani Palace Acropolis — a bit of a hidden gem in the city, this luxurious hotel is great for the family, and will also make you feel like royalty (seriously, the staff treats you so well here!) Great for people on honeymoons or on wedding anniversaries. Check out prices here.

Near The Temple of Olympian Zeus

4-star hotels:

  • NLH Fix – Neighborhood Lifestyle Hotels — another great option, immaculately clean, comfortable queen-sized beds, great location. Check out prices here.
  • AD Athens Luxury Rooms and Suites — with a great rooftop bar, location, and rooms, the AD Athens Luxury Rooms and Suites is a worthy contender to stay at near the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Quiet and modern, many people have loved staying here. Check out prices here.

Near Mount Lycabettus

5-star hotel:

  • St. George Lycabettus Lifestyle Hotel — incredible views of the surroundings including the Acropolis, great breakfasts, good for families, and a bit calmer since away from the city center. Check out prices here.

In The Plaka District

3-star hotel:

  • Arethusa Hotel — coming with a free breakfast buffet, air-conditioned old-fashioned rooms, and near Plaka and Syntagma Square, Arethusa hotel is reasonably priced and easy to get to from the airport. Check out prices here.

4-star hotel:

  • Plaka Hotel — within walking distance of pretty much everywhere, Plaka Hotel offers a rooftop bar and garden, a central location, and amazing views (and not to mention a yummy Greek yogurt included in the breakfast!) Check out prices here.

Cheap Places To Stay In Athens

  • If you’re on a bit of a budget consider staying at Victory Inn (a 2-star hotel). It’s away from the city center and the attractions in this article but it’s at a good price, so any money spent on transport will be easily minimized with your savings. Many people have really enjoyed their stay here. Check out prices here.
  • For budget travelers, also consider using Airbnb (if you’re unsure about this idea, check out this positive article we wrote about using Airbnb).
  • For people seeing Athens in 3 days on a strict budget, consider staying in hostels such as Chameleon Youth Hostel or Athens Backpackers.

Other Travel Tips For Your 3 Days In Athens

  1. For evening meals, just round up the bill to tip (but tipping is optional here)
  2. Carry some cash, Athens still uses it quite a bit
  3. Uber works great here, download the app on your phone before arriving to use it to hire taxis
  4. Expect to see people smoking, Athenians smoke a lot of cigarettes!
  5. Use the metro, it’s cheap and easy-to-use (but be on guard for pickpockets)
  6. Learn some basic and essential Greek phrases

Are you ready for 3 days in Athens?
Are you ready for 3 days in Athens?

Even if human life carries on for millennia, it’s hard to imagine any city leaving a greater legacy behind than this one.

It’s a happy coincidence that the birthplace of some of our most enduring buildings, stories and ideas should be in such a gorgeous natural environment.

We hope you enjoy seeing Athens in 3 days, and we’re sure you’ll see why there’s really nowhere on Earth quite like Athens!

Suggested next reading: 7 Very Best Greek Islands You Need To Experience

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