How to See Athens in 48 Hours

Only have two days to explore this ancient city? Here’s what you need to know to make the most out of your 48 hours in Athens!

How to See Athens in 48 Hours
View of Athens from the Acropolis

If you’re planning a trip in the near future, make sure you register for travel insurance before you go.

You can also check out my list of essential items for backpackers!


Athens is a remarkable city. One minute you are strolling along through a trendy shopping district, then you turn the corner and suddenly there is an ancient ruin right there in front of you. The impact of this dramatic contrast is quite moving.

I felt so at ease during my travels through Greece. The food is incredible. The wine is always flowing. The people are welcoming. The Metro system is efficient (<– this is more important than you think. You do NOT want to pay for taxis everywhere).

Most importantly, there is plenty to see and do. On our trip through Greece we spent six days in Athens, then took a week-long cruise to Istanbul and six Greek islands. Cruising the Mediterranean is surprisingly affordable when you choose the right cruise liner, but not everyone can get away for two weeks at a time to take that kind of trip. The husband and I were really fortunate to be able to do this! 

We stayed at the AVA Hotel and Suites in Athens, which is great little boutique hotel that is close to many restaurants, shops and sights to see. Here is the view of the Acropolis from our hotel room balcony!

If you want to browse other places to stay and save some money, use this link to Hotels in Athens at Booking.com.

Looking back, as much as I loved Athens, if I had to make a choice between seeing the Islands and spending several days in Athens… the choice pretty much makes itself. While getting away for two weeks might be a stretch, a nine day trip is usually feasible if you take both weekends on either side of a work week. Doing so, you could enjoy a seven-day, six-night cruise as well as a solid 48 hours in Athens.

How to See Athens in 48 Hours
View of the Acropolis from the Ancient Agora

 

How to See Athens in 48 Hours

I’m going to show you how you can see the major highlights over the course of two days, with plenty of time for beer coffee breaks, lazy meals, and afternoon naps. Hey, when in Rome, right?

How to See Athens in 48 Hours
Odeon of Herodes Atticus

This itinerary covers:

  • The Acropolis (Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, Theatre of Dionysus, Odeon of Herodes Atticus)
  • The Acropolis Museum & Historic Plaka
  • The Ancient Agora (Temple of Hephaestus, Odeon of Agrippa, Stoa of Attalos)
  • Monastiraki Square and Flea Market
  • The National Garden & The Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Syntagma Square & The Panathenaic Stadium

I know this sounds like a TON to see in just two days, but many of these sights take just a few minutes to see or can be explored en route to another destination. I’ll also share a few key tips with you about getting around the city and living it up while in Greece!

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August 1, 2014 | Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by Linda

31 thoughts on “How to See Athens in 48 Hours”

  1. I found this post on Pinterest. I’ll be leaving for Athens in couple of weeks and will be staying three days. This itinerary looks perfect!

    Reply
  2. Sounds like you had an amazing time! I did a similar itinerary several years ago, then headed to Rhodes for a few days before heading to Turkey for three weeks. While I enjoyed Greece, Turkey captured my heart and I eventually moved here to open a gulet cruise business. Isn’t it amazing how some journeys just move your spirit? Thanks for sharing your story!

    Reply
  3. hey! should I buy tickets in advance to any of these sites? I know when we get there we should buy an all day metro pass as you said in this blog, right? but what about tickets to get in to any of these? thanks! this itinerary is helpful. my husband and I are going to Athens in October right after we fly out of Rome. thank you!

    Reply
  4. Great tips for Athens thanks! I’m going to have just 24hrs in the city so its great to know a few hints and tips. I’ve been blogging my travels adventures too at laurahatesmushrooms.wordpress.com

    Reply
  5. oh my gosh! thanks so much for this blog. my girlfriend and i are going to greece in may, specifically athens, mykonos and santorini. i am browsing pinterest to get some good tips on how to explore the city and the two islands. i will definitely keep your excellent suggestions and detailed descriptions of athens. good luck on your travels and looking forward to more of your exciting blogs.

    keeper

    Reply
  6. Awesome blog! Thanks so much for the info, my partner and I will be going to Athens at the beginning of June, and we only have 48 hours to enjoy it so this is perfect!

    Makaela 🙂

    Reply
    • I didn’t include it in my guide – it takes up a significant amount of time and would be awfully hard to fit it into 2 days! If you stay for a 3rd day, definitely go check it out 🙂

      Reply

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