50 Exciting Things to Do For Free in Athens

by Anastasia Valti-Spanopoulou

Traveling should be for everyone but, let's face it, we've all been held back from an adventure at one point or another thinking of how heavy it can be on the wallet to take all the cool sightseeing tours that we've spotted, try the best restaurants, local activities and quirky things to do in a new destination.  So you've had your mind on that once-in-a-lifetime experience of traveling to Greece but you're just going through those dark times when your pockets are more full of wholes than ever. It is in times like these that a few 'budget friendly' tips can turn your dream holiday from 'never mind' to 'oh, it's on'. Well, hey! When have we ever let you down? We have listed not 1, not 2, but a whole 50 fun things to do in Athens without spending a dime. So get packing!

The Great Outdoors: Athens' Parks

1. Take a break from your sightseeing tours under the shade in the National Gardens.
2. Discover flowers, plants and insects you haven’t seen before at the Athens' Botanical Gardens.
3. Take a jog and a breath of fresh air amid the lush vegetation of Syngrou Park (Alsos Syngrou).
4. Imagine what the old king must have felt like roaming around his massive garden at Tatoi Park.
5. Watch the birds by the lakes of "Antonis Tritsis'" Park of Environmental Information and Sensitisation.

Take a romantic walk in the National Gardens off Syntagma Square (Picture by Sharon Mollerus / Flickr)

Top Museums and Greek Culture for Free

6.  Get a snapshot of Greek history and culture for free every Thursday at the main Benaki Museum.
7.   Explore all major Greek archeological landmarks like the Acropolis, the National Archeological Museum and Delphievery first Sunday of the month (from November to March).
8.  Cross out of your to-do list museums and archeological sites on the last weekend of September, on October 28th, March 6th, April 18th, May 18th, and June 5th.
9.  Catch a free tour and performance (on top of free entrance!) in the premises of a Greek museum and archeological site under the magnificent August full moon.
10. Take advantage of your youth (if you’re under 18 or an EU university student) and walk in ANY museum and archeological spot for free.
11.  Discover more than 600 musical instruments at the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments.
12. Learn how the Greek textile masterpieces of the past where created at the ex textile workshop 'Mentis'.
13. Admire the workspace of the notable Greek artist Yannis Pappas devoted to sculpture and painting.

Part of the Benaki Museum's collection (Picture by Sharon Mollerus / Flickr)

Athens Must See Local Attractions

14. Watch the daily guard change outside the Greek Parliament.
15. Make a wish in a fountain at Syntagma Square.
16. Dig under piles of antiques, souvenirs, and knick knacks at Monastiraki flea market.
17.  Get a taste of neoclassical Greek architecture from the triptych buildings of Athens University, Academy of Athens, and National Library of Greece.

The magnificent neoclassical building of the Academy of Athens

Athens' Sights for History Junkies

18.  Visit Aristotle’s Lyceum, the exact spot where the famous philosopher actually taught
19.  Pray in one of the oldest churches in Greece, Kapnikarea church.
20. Travel back in time through the ancient aqueduct at Syntagma metro station, just as you hop off your wagon.
21.  Climb Filopappos Hill and see where the Amazons allegedly fought, where the Monument of Roman administrator Filopappos has been standing since 114 AD, and where traces of Roman bastions are still scattered all around.

Kapnikarea church, standing in the middle of Ermou street for over 10 centuries (Picture by Randy Connolly / Flickr) 

Athens Attractions for Art Lovers

22. Hear what young artists have to say through their stunning graffiti art in Athens' cool neighborhoods.
23. Catch a rare movie almost every day and a cinema class every week at the University Cinema Club.
24. Stimulate your mind with one of Embros Theater’s many theater and music performances.  
25. Explore large exhibitions of important artists held regularly at Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center.
26. Taste the Greek hip through the cutting-edge Greek photography, video art and contemporary art exhibits at the old warehouse which is now the a.antonopoulou.art gallery.
27. Explore stimulating art, photography and installation exhibits at metamatic:taf gallery
28. See for free what's trending at the freshest museum in town, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, every Thursday from 5pm to 10pm.
29. Discover more of today’s Greek painting, sculpture, installations a.o. at Medusa Art Gallery.
30. Take a picture of the emblematic glass sculpture of ‘The Runner’ on your way to Syntagma or Kolonaki.

The emblematic glass sculpture 'Dromeas' The Runner in central Athens (Picture by J c / Flickr)

Family Time: Fun Things to Do with Kids

31.  Feed the ducks, chase the pigeons, and have fun on the playground of the National Gardens.
32. Save the sea turtles every weekend at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada.
33. Play, learn, and get creative at the Hellenic Children’s Museum.
34. Watch local skateboarders show off their skills on Syntagma Square.
35. Play and learn at the Stavros Niarchos' Foundation Cultural Center in Faliro.

Play and learn at the Stavros Niarchos' Foundation Cultural Centre in Faliro (Picture by SNFCC / Facebook)

Athens Sightseeing from Above

36. Catch a  view spanning from the Acropolis to Piraeus port from the top of Lykavittos Hill.
37. Escape the hubbub of the city at Areopagous Hill and enjoy one of the best views of Athens.
38. Soak up a view of the city like youngsters do, at the top of Strefi Hill in Exarheia.

Views of the city, from the Acropolis to Piraeus, from the Lycabettus Hill

DYI Athens' Walking Tour

39. Enjoy the sea breeze and watch fancy yachts come and go as you stroll around Flisvos Marina.
40. Take a break from the tourist attractions in the quiet, historic streets of Plaka.
41.  Time-travel to Ancient Greece with a walk from Dionysiou Aeropagitou street outside the Acropolis museum all the way down to Thiseio, Pnyka, and the Ancient Agora.
42. Admire some of the finest Greek sculpture and find some peace of mind as you roam around the absolutely stunning 1st Cemetery of Athens.
43. Get the authentic travel experience of Athens as you walk from Syntagma, through the busy Ermou street, to the merchant area around Aiolou street.
44. Smell herbs and spices, and watch locals shop at the Varvakios Agora and around Athinas street.
45. Window shop around posh Kolonaki Square and walk down to the 'youth governed’ Exarheia.

Walking around Anaftiotika neighborhood in Plaka (Picture by Amphithoe / Flickr) 

Something Different: Unique Things to Do

46. Learn a little Greek while you’re on the go, using the free apps by World Nomads or Duolingo.
47. Take a mild hike on mount Parnitha, the all-time-favorite of adventure tours fans.
48. Borrow a bicycle from a friend and join the Athens Freeday Cycling Tour starting from Thiseio every Friday night.
49. Burn those extra holiday calories with a free yoga, pilates, or aerobics class at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center. Public instruments are available too!

The Summer Special

50. Take a refreshing dive in the public sections of Athens' best beaches, like Varkiza and Porto Rafti.


P.S.: All opinions you read above are 100% personal, genuine, and not meant to promote anyone and in any way.


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