Athens City Breaks

Enjoy authentic Athens with a HomeAway city break

Add This

Russell Bowes

Russell Bowes
HomeAway travel expert

City breaks in AthensAthens is a 7,000-year-old mishmash of ancient monuments, upmarket modern suburbs and the gateway to the Greek Islands. Throughout its history, it has been an important city and trading post for the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilisations; each has left its unique imprint on one of the most ancient and fascinating cities in Europe. Modern day Athens is built on the legacy of these ancient and once great civilizations.

Where better to start a visit to Athens that at the Parthenon? It's one of the iconic wonders of the ancient world and that enduring symbol of western civilisation. Athens is definitely a city for culture buffs and for anyone interested in history it's heaven. But there is more to Athens than just its distant past. Today it is a vibrant and colourful city with bustling street markets, upmarket shopping districts and trendy bars. And with regular routes across the Aegean why not combine your city break with a day on an island beach?



Top five picks for city breaks in Athens


Parthenon and the New Acropolis Museum Parthenon and the New Acropolis Museum

Dominating the Athenian skyline is the imposing Acropolis citadel. Amongst temples and sanctuaries dedicated to Athena, Nike and Zeus is the breathtaking Parthenon, temple to Athena, Athens' patron Goddess. The Parthenon hails from a classical Greece dominated by Athenian democracy and is often seen as the enduring symbol of ancient Greece. Over time the temples have fallen into disrepair and the Parthenon was heavily damaged in 1687 during the Venetian siege. Today the Parthenon is being painstakingly restored with many of the heavy marbles having been replaced with casts. To see the originals and learn first-hand from archaeologists visit the New Acropolis Museum, a short walk down Dionisiou Areopagitou. After your visit, head to the winding streets of Plaka and eat at one of the many family-run restaurants.

View Athens rentals



Monastiraki Monastiraki

Follow the streets of the Plaka area from the Acropolis Museum and after a short walk you will come to Monastiraki Square. Once home to one of Athens' largest monasteries, today all that remains of this is the small church and a nearby Mosque. Monastiraki has always been a commercial hub and today it's home to an eclectic flea market where you can buy anything and everything; think Athens' answer to London’s Camden! Around the square you'll find streets mixing high street shops and individual boutiques. Scratch the surface and you will even find the ruins of Hadrian’s wall: it's not just Britain that had one!

View Central Athens rentals



Kolonaki and Mount Lycabettus Kolonaki and Mount Lycabettus

Draped around the lower reaches of Mount Lycabettus, Kolonaki was once the preserve of the elite (think Park Lane in London), and today it still has a feel of glamour. Sitting in Kolonaki square sipping a coffee and watching the world go by, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris. Stroll the beautiful streets window shopping in the boutiques and designer stores, before ascending Mount Lycabettus by foot or the funicular railway to visit the church at the top. This is one of the highest points in Athens with panoramic views right out to Piraeus and the Aegean beyond. Close by is the Museum of Cycladic Art with stunning examples of early art works and pottery from the Cyclades.

View rentals in North Athens



Explore the Ancient Agora Explore the Ancient Agora

Whilst the Parthenon held the idols to Athena, it was at the Agora where the business of the city and state took place. It was the focus of polity, the social and commercial hub, and the seat of the judiciary, as well as serving as the religious and cultural centre. Democracy can trace its history back to streets which we can still walk down today. Whilst some buildings and structures have been restored, the vast majority is in ruins having been gradually abandoned during the Byzantine era. It is a fascinating area to scratch the surface of Athenian history and wonderful for taking a walk or even a picnic on a hot day.

View lettings in South Athens



Relax in the National Gardens Relax in the National Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and the beating sun with a trip to the quiet and shade of the National Gardens. Formally the gardens of the King, today they are a tropical paradise lined with palm trees. Though you can escape the modern city there are still archaeological remains strewn throughout the gardens. If you have the family with you, then head to the duck ponds or the small zoo. There are many animal attractions but be sure to see the turtles! If animals aren’t your thing, then the Botanical Gardens are well worth a look to simply relax in the shade during the midday sun.

View Sounio for Poseidon’s temple

Athens is bursting with history and culture: there are dozens more museums and attractions worth mentioning. If you find yourself with a rainy day visit the National Archaeological Museum, home to wonderful art works. For an evening out those in the know head to Psiri, close to Monastiraki, where you will find bars, cafés, clubs and theatres. Close by Athens are beaches beginning at the Kavouri-Vouliagmeni area and stretching to Poseidon’s temple Sounion.

Greece Holiday Rentals

Kambos Horizon Paradise Villa (Comfort & Romantic directly at the sea)

Kambos Horizon Villa is the name of the top floor and Kambos Paradise Villa is the name of the bottom floor. We can rent the villa as a whole which is two floors, or we can rent the villa as seperate floors. The Villa is a warm and relaxing ideal ...

Welcome to Your Summer Home

The Seasons Villa is an exclusive villa, upon a cliff, overlooking the Ionian Sea. Located on the island of Kefalonia in the village of Svoronata. The property's privileged position offers stunning Ionian Sea views and the convenience of being ste...

Detached Villa with Panoramic Sea Views - 5min walk from beach

This luxury villa combines comfort and privacy in a private estate of 8 acres along with magnificent panoramic views over the Aegean Sea and the bay of Karystos, which can be enjoyed from both the interior and exterior of the villa. The villa em...

Villa Sakos,Modern, Luxuries, Private Pool with the Ionian Seaviews, Skala

Seafront, affordable luxury, self-catering Villa Sakos Complex Skala, Kefalonia with private infinity pool and stunning views of the Ionian Sea. The complex is located at the edge of Skala sandy beaches, just 1 mile away. Skala has two main port...

Air conditioned luxury apartment with fantastic views & steps down to the beach

You will struggle to find a better equipped holiday home than this air conditioned ground floor apartment set on a small cliff above the beach with wonderful views across the Argolic Gulf and the mountains beyond. Living accommodation is 7m x 7m ...

Greece Europe United States World Corfu Ionian Islands Crete Dodecanese Rodhes Cyclades Santorini Hydra Patra Athens Mykonos Aegean Islands Skiathos Calcidia Thasos

Search for holiday rentals

Search for holiday ideas


Sign up to our newsletter

Our latest updates and special offers, direct to your inbox

Advertise with HomeAway

Related Articles

Other Categories

Popular Articles