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37 Best Things To Do In Greece 

From museums to parks, beaches to basilicas, markets to gardens. 

Although the cities and myths of Greece have been famous for thousands of years, classical culture isn’t the only draw. The Greek people make eating, drinking, and relaxing an art form, and it will surprise you how easy it is to get on their wavelength. With over 13,000km of coastline across two thousand islands, there’s a seemingly endless amount of beaches, coves, frescoes, Neoclassical architecture, and nightclubs to discover in the cradle of Western Civilization.

With so much to do, see, and eat, it's hard to know how best to plan out your itinerary for optimal sightseeing—whether it's your first time visiting or your fifth. This list of the best things to do in the bustling cities and Greek islands is a great place to start. 

But remember—no list of things to do can compare to a custom-built travel guide from Journy. Leave it to the experts to build a daily travel plan from scratch just for you—complete not only with activities and day trips, but also restaurants, cafés, nightlife, transportation, and accommodation.

1Visit The Parthenon In Athens


Athens, Greece
The ancient Athenians built this temple in honor of their matron goddess, Athena, in 438 BC. 

While not close to its former glory, the Parthenon is the most important surviving monument of Classical Greece and Athenian democracy. Although a temple in name, it was not until the end of the 6th century that the Parthenon became a building of religious use, when it was converted into a Christian temple. 

While much of the original building has been destroyed (namely by time, a fire, and battles), the Parthenon has undergone many extensive restorations, the latest of which is nearly completed.

2Explore The Acropolis of Athens


Athens, Greece
The Acropolis may be so well known that you fear it won’t live up to your expectation. Rest assured: this timeless Greek treasure and UNESCO World Heritage Site doesn’t disappoint. 

While crowded, the Acropolis demands to be seen, as does the Parthenon nearby. Take your time wandering around the ancient site's rock formations, and soak in how your surroundings change with the different light of the sun. Be sure to stop by the Temple of Athena. 

When you’re all tuckered out, head down to the Plaka neighborhood and recuperate with a glass of local wine.
Sounds like something you’d like to experience? Trust the experts at Journy to build an itinerary from scratch just for you with all the must-see sights and hidden gems.

3Discover Athenian Archaeology At The Ultra-Modern Acropolis Museum 


Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athina 117 42, Greece
Focused on the archaeological finds of its namesake, The Acropolis Museum is home to many of the original sculptures that once graced the Acropolis itself. In a well-designed modern building at the foot of the hill, it contains works from the Greek Bronze Age, Roman times, and Byzantine Greece—making it a must-visit for both first-time and repeat visitors to Athens.

Arrive early to avoid the tour groups, and be sure to visit the glassed-in top floor dedicated to the Parthenon.

4View Remnants Of Europe's Oldest City At Knossos Palace


Leof. Knosou, Iraklio 714 09, Greece
Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe's oldest city. The first settlement dates to about 7000 BC., and the first palace to 1900 BC—but the capital city of Minoan, Crete is thought to have been abandoned around 1100 BC. About 18,000 people were believed to have lived in the urban area around the palace.

To beat the crowds and avoid the heat, get to Knossos before 10AM, which is when the tour buses start arriving, or later in the afternoon when it's a bit cooler out.

5Hike The Samaria Gorge In Crete


Samaria Gorge, Sfakia 730 11, Greece
Cut into the White Mountains by the local river, Samaria Gorge is now a world biosphere reserve—although traces of its inhabited past are present in the remnants of Byzantine churches and Venetian castles along the way. 

The Gorge is now a major hiking route, mercifully almost fully downhill. You won’t be on your own during your hike—keep an eye out as well for the rare kri-kri, a Cretan goat species endemic to the area.

6Experience The Exotic Landscape Of Balos Beach & Lagoon In Crete 


Balos Beach, Greece
If you’ve ever wanted to vacation like royalty, then look no further than the famous Balos beach and lagoon, where Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana once visited on their private yacht. 

Famous for its turquoise waters and white sand (with beautiful pink hues in places), Balos is one of Greece's best beaches and a busy tourist location during the summer. But not to worry, you'll definitely find a place to lay your head—or beach towel. 

7Visit Panathenaic Stadium In Athens


Leof. Vasileos Konstantinou, Athina 116 35, Greece
Originally built in the 4th century BC as a venue for the Panathenaic athletic contests, the Panathenaic Stadium is a multi-purpose sports arena that has seen everything from bloodsports to Olympic Games. 

Although it lay unused for centuries, the stadium was fully restored in 1895 to host the first modern Olympic Games the following year. This faithful replica of the original Panathenaic Stadium has since hosted the archery competition and the marathon finish during the 2004 Olympics.

8Take In The Rainbow Beauty Of Santorini's Red Beach 


Grecia, Thira
On the coast of the Aegean island of Santorini you’ll find one of the most famous, and beautiful, beaches the island has to offer: Red Beach. 

The distinctive red hue is due to the beach’s formation: it’s surrounded by red and black volcanic rock from the nearby caldera (large volcanic crater). Arrive early to see how the light plays with the different colors in the rocks and sand, and to get in ahead of the crowds.

9Visit The Temple of Hephaestus In The Agora Of Athens


Athens 105 55, Greece
Largely unchanged since it was built back in 450 BC, the Temple of Hephaestus is a stunning site to visit. 

Located in the Ancient Agora of Athens, the temple was originally dedicated to Hephaestus, the Greek god of smithing. Today, it’s a fantastic historical example of a Doric peripteral temple (i.e. surrounded by a portico with columns) and remains largely intact.

10Visit The Ancient Epidaurus Theatre


Epidavrou Tripolis, Epidavros 210 52, Greece
The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus might look like an entertainment theater, but it was actually once a surgery theater. Here, in the 4th century BC, healers and doctors would perform medicine, with a religious twist, in front of crowds of onlookers—which explains why it’s dedicated to Asclepius, the ancient Greek God of medicine. When it comes to acoustics and aesthetics, this Greek theater reigns supreme.

11Explore The Little Venice Neighborhood Of Mykonos 


Greece, Mikonos 846 00, Greece
Little Venice is one of the most romantic places in Mykonos and stands as a quiet, relaxing alternative to the busier elements of the island.
Peppered with elegant and gorgeous old houses that are situated precariously on the edge of the sea, this charming neighborhood is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Aegean Sea.

12Explore Amoudi Bay In Santorini


Unnamed Rd,, Ormos Ammoudiou 847 02, Greece
Perched in the volcanic cliffs of western Santorini, just 270(ish) steps below the town of Oia, is Amoudi Bay, a great spot to swim (although it can be rocky) and watch the sun go down. There are also select spots where you can go cliff diving into the azure Mediterranean waters.

13Check Out The Stunning Views Atop Mount Lycabettus


Mount Lycabettus, Athens 114 71, Greece
A walk to the top of Mount Lycabettus is one of the best ways to spend a morning or a late afternoon in Athens. Along with the great views (all the way to Peloponnese on a clear day!), you’ll find the small church of St. George at the summit of the limestone hill. If you don’t have the energy to walk, take the funicular railway, which you can catch at the top of Ploutarchou street in Kolonaki. It costs two euros each way.

14Relax On Kamari Beach


Παναγίας Μυρτιδιωτίσσης, Kamari 847 00, Greece
Kamari beach is a place where black volcanic sand meets dazzling crystalline waters.

Here, you can try your hand at different watersports, beach sports, or simply meander along its promenade lined with shops and restaurants. Despite its popularity, Kamari beach has been awarded a Blue Flag for its cleanliness, so you can sit at one of its tavernas and look out on an unspoiled landscape.

15Take A Dip In Lake Vouliagmeni


Λίμνη Βουλιαγμένης, Βουλιαγμένη 166 71, Greece
Lake Vouliagmeni is only 15 miles from Athens and is the perfect place to go when you need to spend some time away from the city.

Whatever season you visit Greece, Lake Vouliagmeni is a beautiful place to visit. The dark blue, salted water is known for its therapeutic properties, so taking a cooling dip or refreshing swim is a must. The water will revive you while the myths and legends of its surrounding cliffs and caves will seduce you.

16Discover The Ancient Architecture At The Agora of Athens


Adrianou, Athina 105 55, Greece
The Ancient Agora of Athens is the best remaining example of Ancient Greece’s social hub.

Located near the Acropolis, this Ancient Agora would have been where many Athenian citizens would have gathered for athletic, artistic, political, and spiritual pursuits in one of the most important buildings in the city. Today, it is a popular landmark where tourists can learn about the world’s first civilization.

17Explore Paleokastritsa In Corfu


Palaiokastritsa 490 83, Greece
Paleokastritsa is an idyllic village on the island of Corfu, perfect for a peaceful Greek escape.

Offering gorgeous, sandy beaches, tavernas, and a lush green landscape, Paleokastritsa is a fantastic location for a holiday filled with tranquility and natural beauty.

18Relax On The Black Sand At Perissa beach


Perissa, Greece
Perissa beach offers up everything you could want from a day by the sea: plenty of places to sunbathe, stunning crystal waters, watersports, diving spots, and a number of beachfront tavernas and cafés.

Having been awarded the Blue Flag for its cleanliness, Perissa is a wildly popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering gorgeous dark sand and deep blue waters.

19See Ancient Ruins At Akrotiri


Thera, Greece
Arkrotiri is a famous Bronze Age settlement that, today, is an important preserved site of ancient culture and civilization.

Take the trip to the site to discover just how important Greece was in the Ancient world, as well as its vast connections. Having been covered with volcanic ash after an eruption, the site of Arkrotiri is one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Greece.

20Visit Odeon of Herodes Atticus


Areopagitou Dionisiou, Athina 105 55, Greece
Located on the southern slope of the Acropolis of Athens, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (also called Herodeion or Herodion) is a Roman stone theater that dates back to 161 AD (although it was renovated in 1950).

Today, the Herodion is a prime location for the high arts, with frequent ballets and operas performed here.

21Explore The Corinth Canal


Corinth Canal, Greece
This 26-ft deep canal with dramatic walls was opened in 1893, but its history goes back to the 7th century BC. 

The canal is cut from limestone and connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea, separating the Peloponnese from the Greek Mainland. 

The over six-km long canal is only traveled now by smaller ships, but a large vessel or two have been known to make the voyage.

22Explore Crete's Old Town Of Chania


Chania, Greece
In the heart of Crete is its old town, where you can get lost down any of the narrow, labyrinthine alleyways, which date from different periods. 

Stay in one of the many trendy hotels in the old town, and then take a romantic sunset stroll out to the pier and 14th-century Venetian harbor to be treated with a dazzling view of the sun setting against the sea. Then, head to one of the many cozy restaurants and bars for good, hearty food.

23Visit The Benaki Museum


Koumpari 1, Athina 106 74, Greece
Originally a grand museum housing the prominent Benakis family, the Benaki Museum is devoted to the continued development of Greek art and culture.

It’s home to extensive collections of Greek art, visual culture, and sculpture dating back to the Ancient world. As a pillar in Athenian society, the museum also supports a number of research and educational programs to keep the culture alive.

24Wander Through Monastiraki Square


Apollonos 21, Athina 105 57, Greece
In the heart of the flea market neighborhood in old Athens, Monastiraki is a former monastery and beautiful square buzzing with people, music, restaurants, and shops—including an antique market bursting with curiosities. Grab a peach at one of the fresh fruit stands and check out TAF (The Arts Foundation), a part-café/bar, part-art gallery. 

25Visit The Temple of Olympian Zeus


Athens, Greece
This colossal temple in the heart of Athens (just southeast of the Acropolis) took centuries to build before it was completed in the second century AD. Although only a handful of its original 100+ Corinthian columns remain, the site of the largest temple in Greece is worth visiting, especially at night—the lights are spectacular!

26Visit The Erechtheion


Akropolis, Athina 105 58, Greece
Dedicated to Athena and Poseidon, The Erechtheion is an especially elegant temple on the north side of the Acropolis. Built in the year 420, it was a site of religious rituals and is still home to the famous Caryatids, a half-dozen massive, life-like female statues that guard the temple's southwest corner.

27Head To The Top Of Mouseion Hill To See The Philopappos Monument 


Filopappos Hill, Thisseio, Athens, Athina 104 38, Greece
Atop Mouseion Hill across from the Acropolis, the Philopappos Monument is the elaborate tomb of Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappos, a member of the royal family of Commagene, a small Hellenistic kingdom in southeastern Turkey. The hill is a favorite for weekending Athenians who flock to the scenic spot to picnic and admire the spectacular views. 

28Explore The Kolonaki Neighborhood


Kolonaki, Athens 106 75, Greece
The home of the Athenian aristocracy, Kolonaki (literally “Little Column”) is a posh neighborhood in central Athens on the southern slopes of Mount Lycabettus. You’ll find the city’s highest concentration of trendy fashion boutiques here, along with private art galleries and many (mostly upscale) bars and restaurants. Keep your eyes open for Greek celebrities enjoying a coffee or two in one of the chic cafes.

29Relax In The National Gardens Of Athens


Amalias 1, Αμαλίας 1, Athina 105 57, Greece
The National Garden of Athens is a peaceful getaway that sharply contrasts its city center surroundings—it’s situated behind the Greek Parliament Building. With ample greenery, plant species, and animals (keep an eye out for turtles), it's the perfect place to stroll on a lazy morning or afternoon. Lose yourself in the 38-acre labyrinth of plants and paths that fill this unique garden oasis, or visit the cafe and botanical museum. 

30Discover The Dynamic Pittaki Neighborhood 


Pittaki, Athina 105 54, Greece
The former underground district of Psirri is now a dynamic neighborhood whose streets are lined with bars, cafés, outdoor street art museums, boutique vintage shops, and more. The most well-known street, Pittaki, is tucked away in an industrial alley not too far from Monastiraki Square. Back in 2012, the non-profit Imagine The City joined forces with a creative design agency to give the unassuming, forgotten street a well-deserved makeover complete with donated lamps, shades, chandeliers, and lanterns that were weatherproofed, wired, and strung together over the street. 

31Browse The Central Municipal Athens Market


Athinas, Athina 105 51, Greece
Frenetic and colorful, the Central Market of Athens is a sensory and gastronomic treat. You’ll find an amazing range of olives, spices, cheeses, and deli treats, along with the historic meat market. Feel free to do as the Athenians do and pop into one of the tavernas bordering the market for a beverage or a snack.

32Visit Hadrian's Arch


Leoforos Vasilissis Amalias, Athina 105 57, Greece
Constructed to celebrate the arrival of Roman Emperor Hadrian into Athens, this structure dates back to 131 AD.

This Ancient arch is made of marble and is located near the Temple of Olympian Zeus—not far from Athens’s Acropolis.

33Go Shopping At The Plaka


Plaka, Athens 105 58, Greece
Although the Plaka is a hub for tourists, it's still worth your shopping time. Whether it’s clothing, food, or souvenirs you’re after, the tiny streets make for a great stroll. For the best deals, venture into the areas between the Plaka and Syntagma, and between Syntagma and Omonia. It's here where you'll find all the spots where locals shop for hidden treasures (at non-touristy prices). 

34Stroll Through Syntagma Square In Athens


Staikopoulou 13, Nafplio 211 00, Greece
The central square in Athens, Syntagma Square is a storied, vibrant, and bustling common area that sits atop the city’s most beautiful subway station. It’s located directly in front of the 19th-century Old Royal Palace.

See elite soldiers march in honor of the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, which is housed here, and keep an eye out for one of the many demonstrations and protests that occur in the square.

35Visit The National Archaeological Museum


28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82, Greece
The National Archaeological Museum is devoted to protecting and showcasing the cultural history of Ancient Greece.

The history that this Athens museum has on display is rivaled only by that of the building itself, having relocated with the changing of the capital city, facing natural disasters and both world wars since its founding in 1829.

Spend the day here as you wonder at the artifacts of the Ancient world on permanent display, delve deep into the rich history of Greek culture, and marvel at the grandeur of the museum and its collections.

36Visit The Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art


Neofitou Douka 4, Athina 106 74, Greece
The Museum of Cycladic Art is one of the best living cultural spaces in Athens, boasting the largest independent collection of Cycladic art in the world. The first floor is dedicated to simple marble figurines dating from 3000-2000BC, the second and third floors feature Greek and Cypriot art dating from 2000 BC to the fourth century AD, and the fourth floor includes artifacts and films depicting life in ancient times. Closed on Tuesdays. 

37Snap A Photo At The Three Bells of Fira In Santorini


Oia 847 00, Greece
The Three Bells of Fira sit atop The Catholic Church of the Dormition, which is known as much for its bells as for its iconic blue dome. This is a favorite spot for photographers, as it offers one of the best vantage points of the sea, the caldera, and the soaring cliffs of the western end of the island. 

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