At a glance
Get lost in the history of the ancient Acropolis
Snack on local specialities at markets and bazaars
Relax at the bustling beaches on the Attica Peninsula
Destinations in Athens
Top things to See and Do in Athens
An Attic attraction
Down by the waterfront in central Athens, there are plenty of ports and marinas. For your beach fix, look no further than the Attica Peninsula. Travel to the coastal suburbs to find peace and quiet by the sea. They're easily accessible by tram and bus, so hop on board and seek out the sands.
The big beach
Alimos is a popular pick with visitors, with its lines of sunloungers and scores of small shells. Rent a pedalo out on the water or just lounge on the shore. Children and grown-ups alike will get hours of entertainment from the nearby inflatable waterpark – venture onto the climbing frames and try out the trampolines.
The secret beach
Drive 20 minutes from the city centre towards Paleo Faliro Gallery, and you'll find a 33-metre stretch of sand. It might be lacking a name, but it's got bags of charm to make up for it. This secret hideaway's tucked neatly behind cafés and leafy trees.
Traditional olive oil soap's your best bet if you're looking for a bargain buy to take home – it’s rumoured to have anti-ageing properties and to guard against sunburn. You’ll find it in shops all over the city, but lots of visitors like to combine souvenir-searching with a trip to the lively Central Market.
Athens bustles with bazaars, playing host to specialist shops and stalls selling nuts, herbs and infused drinks. Pick up a bottle of 'ouzo', a locally loved anise-flavoured aperitif, for a Greek gift. Stock up on some handy little miniatures to squeeze into your carry-on when you leave, too.
If you're looking for a serious dose of retail therapy, head to the eight-storey Attica Department Store by Syntagma Square. The Attica's in the giant Megaro building and is a haven for both high-street steals and designer brands, from Abercrombie & Fitch to Armani Exchange.
If you're looking for a more sophisticated evening's entertainment away from thumping clubs and bars, try the neighbourhood of Kolonaki. Here, you can take your pick of high-end restaurants, jazz bars and themed venues.
If you want to party hard when the sun goes down, make tracks to some of Europe's premier clubs with world-class DJs in the neighbourhoods of Monastiraki and Gazi. For trendy bars and an eclectic culinary scene, head to Exarchia – its got an alternative vibe.
'Koulouri' – sesame-coated bread rings – are a popular morning snack that go down well with a steaming cup of coffee. Pick one up from one of the many street carts dotted around the city.
Meat lovers should try 'souvlaki' – succulent chicken or pork skewers, seasoned with oregano, rosemary and garlic cloves. They're extra scrummy with a side of tomatoes, onions and olives.
'Loukoumades' are fried dough balls covered in honey and finished with toppings like walnuts and cinnamon. Dig in with family and friends – they're great as a sharing dish.
Made with minced meat, potatoes, aubergine and bechamel sauce, this hearty dish is a Greek favourite. If you're strictly veggie, don't fret – Greek chefs are well-versed in whipping up scrumptious meat-free versions.
Creamy spinach and feta cheese filo pastries, known as 'spanakopita', can be found in bakeries all over the city. Grab a deliciously greasy bag of them to go.