Berlin on Bike recommends: Five Things to Do in Athens!
You all know what our favourite city is obviously, but in the past few years several members of our team got to explore another European city that reminds us a whole lot of our hometown Berlin. Athens, though with considerably better weather, has some of the same raw and subversive vibe that we love so much about Berlin. Everybody knows Athens as the capital of Greece and the origin of Western democracy, rich in history and culture. But we found so much more than this – stunning architecture, breathtaking views, and a vibrant nightlife. We wanted to share some of the things we found and help you out with our favourite things to do in Athens, Greece.
1. Bike Tour in Athens
One of the best ways to explore Athens is by bike. A bike tour in Athens will take you through some of the city’s most beautiful neighbourhoods, ancient landmarks, and hidden gems.
Our partner Athens by Bike offers the popular Athens Bike Tour, which takes you through the historic centre of Athens, passing by landmarks such as the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, and the Roman Forum. The tour also takes you to some lesser-known areas of the city, such as the charming Plaka neighbourhood, where you can see traditional Greek architecture and enjoy some local cuisine. This is an amazing way to see the city’s highlights in a short amount of time and your guide will provide you with great tips for enjoying the rest of your stay.
2. Street Art Walk
We had no idea beforehand but Athens is a hub for street art and graffiti, and it is a must-see for any lover of urban art. The city has become a canvas for local and international artists, and the street art scene in Athens is vibrant and ever-changing.
One of the best places to see street art in Athens is the neighbourhood of Exarchia. This bohemian neighbourhood is known for its political activism and alternative culture, and it has become a hotspot for street art. You can take a self-guided walking tour of the area, or join a guided street art tour to learn more about the artists and their work. We found more incredible street art in the neighbourhoods of Metaxourgeio and Psirri. If you want to get a taste, you can check out street galleries from previous visits here and here.
Visiting the Acropolis & Museum
It’s really a no-brainer, no trip to Athens would be complete without a visit to the Acropolis and its museum. The Acropolis is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ancient citadel is home to several historic monuments, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.
The Acropolis Museum, located at the foot of the hill, is a modern museum that houses artefacts and sculptures from the Acropolis. The museum’s stunning design and interactive exhibits provide a fascinating insight into the history and culture of ancient Athens. From the top floor you get a spectacular view of the Acropolis hill above. And we especially enjoyed the excavation site outside, where you can see the remains of an ancient Athenian settlement including villas, bathhouses and workshops.
Per recommendation of our bike tour guide we went to the museum first and went up to the Acropolis fairly late so that the hill was bathed in the golden light before sun-down, which was perfect.
Hip neighbourhoods and places to go out
Athens is also known for its vibrant nightlife, and there are several neighbourhoods in the city that are popular with locals and tourists alike. Psyri is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Athens, known for its cool bars, cafes, and restaurants. The area has a bohemian vibe and is popular with the city’s creative crowd. We ended up here by chance on the first day when bars were allowed to play music after Covid and the atmosphere was just amazing.
Exarchia, as mentioned earlier, is another neighbourhood that is popular with the young and alternative crowd that we really liked. It has a lively nightlife scene with bars, cafes, and live music venues. The area also has a political and social activist history, making it a unique and interesting place to explore.
Watching the sunset from one of Athen’s many hills
Athens is famous for its breathtaking sunsets, and there are several spots in the city where you can enjoy the view. One of the best places to watch the sunset is the Hill of Lycabettus. This hill offers panoramic views of Athens and the Aegean Sea, and it is a popular spot for both tourists and locals.
Another great spot we visited was Philopappos Hill. From here you get a great view of the Acropolis which looks just spectacular when it’s lit after sunset.
We had an amazing time in Athens and will surely be back some time. We hope our recommendations help, once you go to this fantastic city!
Have you been to Athens? What are your personal recommendations? Feel free to add to our article in the comment section below!