If you are traveling to Athens on a shoestring budget, there are tons of things that you can do that won’t break the bank. These activities range from free walking tours and festivals to hidden swimming spots and pop-up parties. The Greek capital is very accommodating to visitors who are looking for ways to spend less money.
Archaeological relics and newly built structures coexist peacefully in the capital city of Athens, which is a dynamic and vibrant city. As a result of this, there are a lot of opportunities available for people who are interested in exploration, history, basking in the sun, and eating delicious food. However, if you are travelling to the city on a shoestring budget, there are a ton of things that you can do that won’t break the bank at all. When you visit the Greek capital, check out these ten free things to do in Athens.
If you plan a trip to Athens on a shoestring budget, we have some good news for you: this city is very accommodating to visitors looking for ways to spend less money. Here is a list of ten amazing free things to do in Athens, Greece, that won’t cost you a single euro. These activities range from free walking tours and festivals to hidden swimming spots and pop-up parties.
10 Fantastic Free Things To Do In Athens, Greece
Beautiful Scenery from a Great Height
Athens is blessed with various landscapes, and its hills provide excellent vantage points to take in the city and its harbour below. On warm days, climbers flock to Filopappou Hill, an offshoot of Acropolis Hill, to take in the stunning panorama of Athens and the port of Piraeus while enjoying a cold beer from a nearby kiosk or periphery. Visit the Vrahakia, the rocky peak of Aeropagus Hill directly opposite the Acropolis’s entrance, if you feel the need for a break after a day of exploring the ancient monument.
You can take in the city’s true scale while taking it easy. Strefi Hill in Exarcheia is a great place to spend an afternoon because it offers a breathtaking view of the Acropolis. Afterwards, cap off the day with a climb to the top of Lycabettus Hill. There is no better place to watch the sunset.
Enjoy a Meal On The Lawn Of The National Gardens.
The National Gardens are a green haven in the middle of the city; they are situated directly behind the building that houses the Parliament. They were finished in 1840 and were designed by Queen Amalia, who also oversaw their construction. It is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. Inside the garden, you will also find a small lake with ducks, ponds with fish, a playground for the children, a botanical museum, a small zoo, a children’s library, and a coffee shop. There is also a children’s library inside the garden.
Monuments dating back to antiquity can be found strewn about the park, as can busts depicting notable Greeks from histories, such as poets and politicians. Relax at the National Gardens with a sandwich or souvlaki that you bought from one of the shops in the area.
Explore The Historical Sites On Foot.
As an Athens native, this is one of my favourite pastimes. We’ve explored the ancient grounds countless times but never grow tired of them. Most ancient sites are accessible to the public without having to enter them. Please don’t misunderstand me; We think it’s essential that you see at least some of the attractions, preferably with an authorized tour guide. To avoid spending cash, however, you can bypass them on foot. Get off at the Acropolis subway stop and begin your journey.
To get to the Thisseio metro station, walk along the extensive pedestrian walkway called Areopagitou. As you stroll, you can see the New Acropolis Museum ahead of you to the left and the Acropolis and Herodion theatre to the right. Paths up Filopappou Hill can be seen to the left, and the Ancient Agora can be seen to the right as you continue down the road. Mars Hill (or Areios Pagos in Greek) is a destination worth seeking.
The sunset and the Acropolis are particularly beautiful from either of these hills. Not only that, but the Roman Agora, Hadrian’s library, and the Kerameikos archaeological site are all open to the public.
Visit The Few Museums With Free Entrance
Even if you are trying to stick to a tight budget, there are a few museums that you shouldn’t miss out on simply because they charge an admission fee. Nevertheless, Athens is home to several museums that offer free general admission. The Municipal Gallery of Athens is located in Koumoundourou Square. It features the works of Greek artists who significantly impacted the evolution of art in Greece during the 20th century and contributed to the country’s artistic history.
An impressive collection of 1,200 Greek musical instruments dating from the 18th century up to the present day can be found in the Museum of Popular Instruments, a museum that is frequently overlooked. Also, after years of excavations, Aristotle’s Lyceum, also known as the Peripatetic School, an ancient Greek gymnasium, has finally opened its doors to the general public and is offering free admission.
Get Lost In Anafiotika And Plaka
Plaka is the oldest neighbourhood in all of Athens, and it is located right in the middle of the city, right next to the Acropolis. Its picturesque pedestrian streets, small traditional houses, and old-world charm make it the ideal place for a stroll. Be sure to check out Anafiotika as well; it’s a quaint Cycladic-style village that sits at the base of the Acropolis and was populated by former residents of Anafi when they first moved to the big city many years ago.
Look Around The Monastiraki Antiques Market.
Monastiraki’s flea market is a lively destination with a wide variety of wares for sale. In this market, you can find both typical tourist trinkets and more unusual finds like works of art and antiques.The weekend is a great time to go because that’s when all the street vendors roll out their wares to sell from the back of their barrows and even on blankets spread out on the floor.
The Monastiraki Flea Market is worth a visit even if you have no intention of making a purchase; it provides excellent opportunities for people-watching and candid, behind-the-scenes photography.
Climb Mount Lycabettus on foot.
Mount Lycabettus is one of the area’s most well-known and frequently visited parks. You can climb to the top and enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in Athens. You can get there by taxi or the funicular railway, both of which are available. On the other hand, hiking to the top of the hill will provide you with a unique viewpoint, and it’s completely free. If you don’t feel like walking up the hill, you can take a taxi there and then walk back down.
Walking up Lycabettus Hill should take about half an hour for you to complete. St. George’s Church sits atop the highest point and is a well-known destination, particularly among vacationers.
Located In The Heart Of Ancient Athens, Syntagma Square
Get your bearings in front of the Parliament building on Plateia Syntagmatos (also known as Syntagma Square or “constitution square”), the bustling heart of Athens. Keep your camera ready because every hour, the famous evzones (guards) will be seen kicking up their traditional pom-pom toes on the broad stairs in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Sundays at 11 am, the entire platoon of the Presidential Guard marches from the barracks to the tomb, accompanied by a marching band. Also, look down the deserted side street of Iridou Attikou, where the evzones perform their rituals all day and night.
Exhibitions, Performances, And Other Forms Of Artistic Expression
Check out the neighbourhoods of Psyrri, Metaxourgio, and Exarhia for some of the most colourful and attention-grabbing political street art in all of Europe. A thriving art gallery scene inside can be a gateway to free parties and cultural events. Athens Art Map provides an offline directory of exhibition halls and museums. Notable locations include:
- Veterinary Gallery On the outskirts of Metaxourgio is one of Athens’ most lucrative art galleries.
- Romantso Romantso is one of many fantastic multipurpose arts spaces in and around Omonia that was once a printing press for the hugely well-liked Athenian magazine of the same name. Expect exhibitions, installations, and performances throughout its industrial spaces and on its roof. Other nearby who-knows-what-you’ll-discover art spaces include TAF on Normanou and Bios on Pireos, which both have cinemas.
- Horia Dio, This modern gallery with a global focus, is situated in the northern suburb of Psyhiko, giving you a great excuse to venture outside the city.
- Project Victoria Square This “social sculpture,” created by MacArthur-nominated artist Rick Lowe, is a sort of artists’ community centre in a multilayered immigrant neighbourhood and is another excellent way to understand Athens.
- The Cultural Center of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Mega-millions art institution in Kallithea, a little outside of the city, is frequently packed with free performances and exhibits.
- Center for Cultural Onassis A striking piece of architecture in Neos Kosmos, home to numerous free exhibitions of striking art.
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Visit the various Athens Churches.
Athens is a fantastic destination for anyone interested in religion, architecture, or the different ways people worldwide worship. Throughout the city, there are dozens of different places of worship. They are mostly modern, but a few Byzantine ones are dotted around the city’s core. Kapnikarea, in the middle of Ermou street, is a well-known example. Please do not enter the temples in shorts or tank tops, though a dress code is usually not strictly enforced in churches in Athens.
Athens’ churches are especially beautiful the week before Greek Orthodox Easter, known as Holy Week. There is a solemn procession on Good Friday, among the other special ceremonies and events. Remember that it is not always the same weekend as the Easter celebrations for Catholics and Protestants.
Get Out There And Enjoy The beach!
Finally, if you’ve had enough of the crowded, hot centre, you can always head to the beach. The city of Athens lies in the middle of the prefecture of Attica, which is encircled on three sides by water. Several of the beaches in the area are easily reachable by tram. Beautiful beaches dot the stretch of coast west of Athens between Faliro and Voula, a region known as the Athens Riviera.
Numerous public beaches are available without charge. Several beaches require admission fees and feature facilities like lockers and showers. If you’re looking for remote, undeveloped shores, you’ll probably have to venture further. Schinias, on the east coast, is one of the best-undeveloped beaches, and it’s only an hour and a half by bus from the city. Those pine trees provide welcome shade for this lovely, long stretch of beach.
Experience Athens Like Never Before: The Top Must-Do Activities
This list should provide you with the best free things to do in Athens, Greece, as well as some insider knowledge on when it is ideal for visiting the city to take advantage of free entry offers. Finding inexpensive flights to Athens is worthwhile if you want to experience the incredible atmosphere of the Ancient (and Modern) Greeks. Athens is a city where you may explore a lot for free!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Is it free to go to the Acropolis Museum?
5 € for the adults, covering all the sites that will be visited. 3 € for students from non-EU countries (with valid student ID) 3 € for young persons under 18 years old from non-EU countries. Free entrance for guests under 18 years and students from EU countries (with currentvalid student ID) all year round.
Is it free to visit Parthenon?
One-day tickets to the Acropolis, including the Parthenon, cost 20 euros ($22) per person; five-day unified tickets are 30 euros (or about $32.50) each. Visitors are not permitted to enter the Parthenon due to its fragile state, but you can look at and take photos of the attraction’s exterior.
Are museums free in Athens?
Most of the museums in the city have an entry fee, which is usually at the range of 6 – 12 euro. A few of them, however, are totally free to visit. Moreover, if you are into art, you will be glad to know that there are several art spaces and private art galleries in Athens that you can visit for free.
Is Athens a cheap city to visit?
Athens has been ranked the cheapest location for a city break on the continent, ahead of traditional budget-friendly eastern European destinations.
How much does an average meal in Athens cost?
Main dish at a normally-priced restaurant: € 8 ( US$ 7.90) – € 13 ( US$ 12.80). Desserts: € 3.50 ( US$ 3.40) – € 5 ( US$ 4.90). Dinner for two in a restaurant: € 40 ( US$ 39.30) (without wine).
How many days do I need to visit Athens?
Many people ask the question, “how many days should I stay in Athens?”, the answer? Really, it’s a personal deal, but 4 days in Athens is generally enough to see the main sights. You are certainly going to want to head back to this beautiful Greek capital city, but as a taster, 4 days is a great option.