acropolis sunset athens

Athens Holidays

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Athens – the world’s ancient capital

A heady mix of famous monuments, mesmerising architecture, sunny skies and stunning landscapes make an Athens holiday the perfect getaway. 

Soak up the history and culture of Greece’s ancient capital where drama, philosophy and democracy were born.

In Athens, it’s easy to immerse yourself in over 3,000 years of culture as you wander through Syntagma Square, visit the iconic Acropolis or stroll through the narrow alleys of the Plaka district.

Athens also has its modern side, with suburbs adorned by lush botanical gardens, Michelin-starred restaurants and cutting-edge art galleries – such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Travel outside the city to explore Delphi, an ancient religious sanctuary, or escape to the charming seaside town of Vouliagmeni.

An Athens holiday with Etihad has something for every traveller. Browse our packages and begin your own Greek odyssey today.

astir beach athens

Things to do in Athens

From stunning neoclassical buildings to fascinating archaeological sites and outdoor cinemas, there are plenty of incredible things to see and do in Greece’s storied capital. 

athens acropolis view ruins

Explore ancient monuments

Athens is renowned for being home to some of the world’s greatest cultural monuments, and you don’t have to look hard to find them.

The Acropolis stands sentinel on a rocky outcrop in the city's centre. Here, the magnificent Parthnon is an ancient sanctuary constructed from marble and dedicated to the goddess Athena.

There’s plenty more to see around the city – the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Temple of Hephaestus, Theatre of Dionysus and the Greek Parliament are all remarkable buildings that shed light on Greece’s glorious past.

Where to stay in Athens

Experience the capital 

Whether you’re on a family holiday to Athens or travelling solo, there's no better spot to stay in the city than the centre.

The central area is walkable, the streets are packed with restaurants and there’s amazing architecture around every corner.

Find somewhere central – such as the Royal Olympic Hotel, which is close to the Temple of Apollo – for easy access to the city’s most incredible sights. 

old buildings in athens
view of acropolis in spring athens

Luxury meets history 

Athenians are no strangers to fine living – and your luxury holiday in Athens can be as sumptuous as you wish.

One of the most lavish hotels in the city is the Hotel Grande Bretagne. Its Roof Garden restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean dishes with stunning views of the Acropolis.

Unwind at the poolside bar or enjoy a massage. It’s the perfect spot for a pampered stay or even a honeymoon.

Escape to the coast 

Votsalakia beach is the closest to Athens. It’s set in the port city of Pireas, which is a great middle ground between the bustle of the city and the splendour of the coast. 
Further south, the Athens Riviera features tranquil resorts – including those at Glyfada, a stylish slice of paradise with golden beaches and a Sea Turtle Rescue Centre.

votsalakia beach near Athens in greece

All you need to know about Athens 

Local currency 

The local currency in Athens is the euro (EUR). You can exchange your money for euros at most banks and credit cards are widely accepted at most stores, restaurants and hotels.

Getting around 

The main historic sites are easily walkable within the centre of Athens, but the metro is the fastest and easiest option for travelling around the wider city.

Languages spoken 

The language spoken in Athens is Greek, though at most tourist attractions and hotels you’ll be understood if you speak English.

Sun protection

Athens gets a lot of sunshine but, even on the rare cloudy days, it has a high UV index. It’s a good idea to bring high-factor sun protection.

More about Athens

Local cuisine

From fine dining to the eclectic flavours of local tavernas, Athens is a great place to really indulge in delicious cuisine.

Greek food is based around fresh, local ingredients – dishes tend to be simple, cooked with care and with plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

On your holiday to Athens expect to see plenty of meals that include feta, succulent meats and fish straight from the sea.

Don’t even think about leaving Athens until you’ve tried taramsalata, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and moussaka. 

Look for where the locals are eating (it’s usually a good sign) or ask your concierge for a recommendation.

variety of food on table athens
the national academy building in athens

Cultural traditions 

Greek culture has evolved over thousands of years, making it a proud and passionate nation.

Known as the cradle of Western civilisation, democracy, literature, drama, western philosophy, historiography and the Olympic Games all have their origins in Athens.

These achievements are still celebrated today, as the city is essentially an open-air museum of Greek culture.

Athenian history is reflected in everything from the Doric architecture of the Parthenon to paintings, sculptures and artefacts in the many museums.

Dining and socialising also play a major role in Athenian life. Make sure you head to a taverna to mingle with the hospitable locals.

Public holidays 

Greece celebrates a number of national holidays throughout the year. Ochi Day (Day of the ‘No’) on 28 October marks the anniversary of the Greek refusal to the Italian Ultimatum of 1940, which demanded Greece surrender some of its territory. 

March 25 is Independence Day, celebrating the start of the Greek War of Independence in 1821 which ultimately saw the country gain independence from the Ottoman Empire.

mosaic on a greek orthodox church in athens

Why we love Athens

“If you love history, then Athens is a must-visit. The Acropolis is out of this world. The city has a modern side to explore, too. Sip coffee in the Plaka, surrounded by ancient Greek ruins.”

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