2 Days in athens – what to see and do in 48 hours in athens

Syntagma Square – Bought a koulouri or two from the seller opposite the entrance, and had a look at the square. Explained that this is where the majority of the political protests and demonstrations take place. Obligatory photo by the fountain, and then walked up the stairs for photos of the Parliament Building. Crossed the road, and found a good position to see the changing of the guards.

Panathenaic Stadium – (Arrived 11.25) Being a sport family, my brother and the kids wanted to see the Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The walk from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier took five or ten minutes. You can pay to go inside the stadium and visit the small museum there. We decided against this due to time constraints, so took our photos, and walked on.


It’s not exactly a traditional ‘Greek’ thing to do, but if you are into music and music memorabilia, it’s certainly worth considering. What on earth a bass guitar from Wham was doing in there though, I have no idea! Note – Many people would choose to visit one of the rooftop bars in Athens instead. I’ll write an Athens guide about rooftop bars at some point in the future!

And that, my friends, is the exact 2 days in Athens itinerary we followed when my brother and kids visited. Could we have squeezed more in? Yes. Did we still get to see all the main sights? Yes. Does it leave plenty of things for them to see on their next visit? Yes it does, and they are welcome back any time! What to do in Athens 2018 update

My Athens itinerary is pretty easy to expand upon for people who want to spend longer in the city. For anyone considering spending 3 days in Athens, I would suggest including Kerameikos archaeological site and museums such as the National Archaeological museum (worthy of a 3-4 hour visit). There’s also the choice of taking one of many day trips from Athens. Take a look here for what to see outside Athens. One Day in Athens

At first glance you have one issue, which is the few hours you have in Athens before catching the flight to Santorini. The airport is on a good day an hour away from the center by taxi (which would be your best option in this case). So, you have an hour there, and hour back, and then you need to check in for your Santorini flight (maybe 2 hours). That takes up four hours of your layover.

If you want to visit just the Acropolis, I would say that 2 hours is the minimum time needed. So, if your layover is 6 hours or more, then it’s certainly worth it. Leave your luggage in the airport (maybe they will even check it straight through when you check in the first time), and then get a taxi to the center (check the set price covers to the Acropolis – I think it should). When you have finished, get another taxi back to the airport. You can find out about Athens airport taxi prices here.

If you get the train to Meteora and want to stay overnight there, you might like to take a look at this selection of hotels in Meteora. The next day, you might like to organise a tour to take you around Meteora. Meteora Thrones are a good company, and you can see the monasteries and mountains from a variety of different angles. I’ve written a short guide to Meteora.

So, as for the 48 hours in Athens – Even if you are first timers to the city, I’m pretty confident you’ll find this 2 day itinerary easy enough. Most things are centrally located (in terms of must see attractions in Athens). Turn on Google maps to help you stay on track and you’ll be fine! In terms of places to stay, staying somewhere central makes the most sense. Here’s my guide to the best hotels near the Acropolis.

The trickiest part of your tour is actually going to be Crete. It’s the largest of the Greek islands, and I often describe it as almost it’s own country! I think with 72 hours, you are once again going to need to boil things down to highlights. The Palace of Knossos will certainly be on your list I suppose, as might be spending time in Chania. If you’re looking for additional inspiration on places to visit in Crete, you might want to check out this guide to road trips in Greece. Towards the bottom of the page, I go over a 2 week road trip plan in Crete, from where you might want to add a few destinations to your own itinerary.