4-Day itinerary in Athens with a trip to Aegina: what to see, eat, and where to stay

Hi fellow travellers! 🙂

 

I just returned from a fantastic trip to Athens and can’t wait to share my 4-day itinerary with you, including a trip to the island of Aegina. Ready to join me on this adventure filled with history, culture, and delicious food? 🙂 Let’s go!

 

Hotel Tips

 

When it comes to hotels, the usual advice I always give applies here as well: book well in advance! Hotels with good prices and locations are the first to get booked. Here are the hotels I recommend for your stay in Athens:

 

Day 1

With a Ryanair flight, we arrived at Athens airport in about two hours. To reach the city center, you have three options:

 

  • Taxi: Costs between 40-45€, takes about 40 minutes.
  • Bus: Costs 5.50€, takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Metro: Costs 9€, takes about 40 minutes.

 

I recommend getting a public transport pass at the airport ticket machines right away. The pass, which includes the airport transfer, costs 20€, but you will find all the necessary information at the machines according to your days and needs. We chose the metro, which seemed the most convenient and reasonably priced option.

 

Transportation Tip: Getting around Athens is really easy thanks to its efficient public transport network. I recommend purchasing the transport pass, which will save you both time and money. With buses and the metro, you can reach every part of the city. Alternatively, you can use the Uber app or hail one of the many yellow taxis. For safety, make sure to agree on the fare beforehand!

 

After dropping off our bags at our apartment, we immediately began exploring the most important and famous neighborhoods of Athens. We started at Monastiraki Square, known for its lively flea market where you can find everything from souvenirs to antiques. Stroll through the stalls, soak in the authentic atmosphere, and maybe find a little treasure to bring home.

 

Next, we headed to the picturesque Plaka district, a labyrinth of cobblestone streets, traditional shops, and cozy taverns. It’s the perfect spot for your first dinner in Athens. I recommend dining at Xenios Zeus, where you must try the house salad and the orange dessert portokalopita with Greek yogurt on top. It’s absolutely delicious, friends, you have to try it!

 

If you have time, take a tour of the Omonia district. It is one of the oldest squares in Athens and, despite its mixed reputation, offers an interesting snapshot of daily Athenian life.

 

The evening continued with more exploration of Plaka’s main streets. Wander leisurely, enjoy the magical evening illumination, and discover hidden corners and fascinating views in this historic part of the city. Plaka is a place where every corner tells a story, perfect for starting to immerse yourself in Athenian culture.

 

Don’t forget to stop by one of the many cafes for a Greek coffee or a glass of ouzo, the traditional Greek drink.

Day 2

This time the alarm goes off early because it’s a day full of culture. Of course, we must visit the Acropolis! Here’s some info: the single ticket costs €20 for the full price and €10 for the reduced price (applicable to students or those under 25 years old). This ticket is valid for entry to the Acropolis archaeological site and its slopes. Tickets are available at the on-site ticket offices and online. From November 1st to March 30th each year, a reduced rate applies exclusively to single-use tickets for all state archaeological sites and museums.

 

We opted for the special combined ticket: €30 (full price), valid for 5 days, and it includes entry to multiple sites such as the Acropolis of Athens, the Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Library, the Temple of Zeus, and many others.

 

We purchased it in advance on the official website of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports at www.etickets.tap.gr.

 

Our chosen visit time was 8:00 AM, so we were already in line by 7:55 AM. The queue moved very quickly, and within 5 minutes, we were inside the Acropolis.

 

We began our day with a visit to the Acropolis, the most famous archaeological site in Athens, where you can admire the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.

 

After visiting the Acropolis, we exited and had a snack at Fresko, where you can enjoy fresh Greek yogurt with toppings of your choice, including fruit, granola, nuts, and of course, honey.

 

Before lunch, we headed to the Ancient Agora of Athens, where we saw the famous Temple of Hephaestus, one of the best-preserved Doric temples in the world. Entry to the Agora is included in the combined ticket.

 

For lunch, we stopped at To Kati Allo Tavern (address: Chatzichristou 12, Makrigianni, Athens), famous for its buffet that changes daily with many traditional Greek dishes, all prepared by the smiling lady in the kitchen. 🙂 Highly recommended, everything was amazing.

 

In the afternoon, we visited the Temple of Zeus, one of the largest temples ever built in antiquity. It was 110 meters long, and even though little remains today, it gives you an idea of how grand it was.

 

Finally, you can visit the Acropolis Museum in the afternoon. The modern museum hosts a vast collection of artifacts from the Acropolis and offers a spectacular view of the site itself. It is not included in the combined ticket, so you need to purchase a separate ticket for €15 (full price) or €10 (reduced price).

 

We concluded the day with dinner at Thea Terrace Bar, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the illuminated Acropolis. The food is excellent but understandably comes at a higher cost due to the location. Nonetheless, you can find their menu and prices HERE.

Day 3

Athens offers many opportunities for day trips, and we chose to visit the nearby island of Aegina.

 

We purchased our tickets in advance on the Ferryhopper website, but you can also buy them at the numerous ticket offices directly at the port of Piraeus. In the morning, we took the metro to Piraeus and then the fast ferry, which takes 40 minutes. The cost of the fast ferry is 19€, while the slower one costs 12€ and takes 1 hour and 10 minutes. The slower ferry is recommended for those who suffer from seasickness.

 

Upon arrival, we took a walk to explore the center of Aegina with its charming streets full of quaint shops. It’s a great opportunity to buy some unique souvenirs.

 

For lunch, we stopped at one of the many restaurants at the port. We chose Kavourina Taverna, which was quite nice! 🙂

 

After lunch, we decided to rent a car to explore the island freely. The cost for a day was 40€, while scooters were available for 30€. They didn’t ask for credit cards, deposits, or anything else! Just the driver’s license as “collateral,” but don’t worry, if you get stopped, just mention the name of the place where you rented the car. The island is so small that everyone knows each other!

 

Our first stop was Marathonas Beach, where we enjoyed a refreshing swim. The beach is peaceful and the water crystal clear, perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sun.

 

After the beach, we continued to explore the rest of the island. Here are some of the main attractions in Aegina that I recommend visiting:

  • Temple of Aphaia: One of the best-preserved Doric temples in Greece, situated on a hill with a spectacular view of the island.
  • Monastery of Agios Nektarios: An important pilgrimage site known for its beautiful architecture and the tranquility it offers.
  • Village of Perdika: A picturesque fishing village, ideal for an evening stroll and a romantic dinner.

 

Sweet Treat at Afeas 64 Before returning to Athens, stop by the bakery at Afeas 64 and try their orange cake portokalopita! Here’s a photo of the entrance to help you find it.

 

Additional tips If you have enough time, I recommend spending an extra night in Aegina to take an excursion from Aegina to Moni Island, where you can see deer and peacocks roaming freely. There is only one establishment with sunbeds and a bar, but the water is wonderful and the nature unspoiled.

 

Alternatively, there are many other day trips you can take. You can rent a car and explore the coast of Athens, famous for its beautiful beaches. Or, you can opt for a one-day cruise that includes the islands of Agistri, Moni, and Aegina. Other options include a visit to Delphi or a trip to Meteora, famous for its monasteries suspended between the rocks. Here is the link to the GetYourGuide page, which can help you and give you some ideas.

Day 4

The last day in Athens is dedicated to discovering some iconic places and concluding your trip perfectly.

 

Start the day with breakfast at the historic Krinos, famous for its loukoumades, traditional fried sweets. I recommend trying them with honey and cinnamon, as per tradition. It’s the perfect way to start the day with a sweet and authentic touch.

 

After breakfast, head to the lively Psyri district. This area is rich in street art, small shops, and trendy cafes. Take your time to explore the narrow streets and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere. For a coffee break, choose one of the many rooftops in Monastiraki Square. From here, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Acropolis and the entire city. I recommend the Urban Rooftop.

 

Don’t miss the picturesque Anafiotika district, located right below the Acropolis. This characteristic neighborhood resembles a Cycladic village, with its white houses and narrow alleys.

 

Continue the day with a stroll along Ermou Street, one of the most famous shopping streets in Athens. Here, you will find a wide range of shops, from major international chains to local designer boutiques. It’s the perfect place to do some shopping and buy some souvenirs.

 

In the afternoon, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Athens, one of the most important museums in the world and the largest in Greece. The entrance ticket costs 12€ per person and is not included in the 30€ combined ticket. Alternatively, you can use the combined ticket to visit what you missed among the seven included sites, such as the Lyceum of Aristotle, Hadrian’s Library, and the Kerameikos Necropolis. Keep in mind that the visit to the Acropolis must take place only on the selected date and time, while all other included sites must be visited within 5 calendar days from the first entry to the Acropolis.

 

In the evening, don’t miss the sunset from Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens. You can reach the top with a pleasant walk or take the funicular. The panoramic view of the city at sunset is spectacular.

 

End the day and your trip with a dinner featuring souvlaki, one of the most iconic dishes of Greek cuisine. Choose one of the many local taverns and enjoy this delicious dish made with grilled meat (vegetarian alternatives are available everywhere), french fries, onions, Greek yogurt, and pita.

Athens is a must-visit destination for every traveler passionate about history, culture, and good food.

 

Unfortunately, we also noticed that the city doesn’t receive the care it deserves: you might see some neglect, with poorly maintained streets and a significant presence of homeless people.

 

However, the wealth of its cultural heritage, the lively hospitality of its people, and the culinary delights make Athens a unique experience. Despite its challenges, the magic and historical importance of this ancient city definitely make it worth the trip.

 

Have a great trip and have fun, friends! 🙂

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