There was a time when Athens was regarded as Europe’s most overrated capital. But it was before the Olympics in 2004.
For just long enough to clean up and rehabilitate this old metropolis, the Greek government put itself in order. It improved access to the airport by adding metro lines. It repaired deteriorating structures and cleaned the streets. It seems like a travel magazine cliché, yet this metropolis of slightly more than three million people is today better than ever.
While Athens has never been my favourite European destination, it does have a lot to offer, including the Plaka quarter, a maze of bar-flanked alleyways beneath the Acropolis, and one of my favourite sections of Athens.
Aside from that, Athens is 5,000 years old. How many cities can make such a claim? Stroll around the Acropolis and marvel at the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek ruins.
Take a walking tour to get a true sense of the city. This may not only give you a lay of the land and introduce you to the key attractions, but it can also offer you access to an experienced local guide who can answer any of your questions and provide insider insights.
There is one that will enrich your experience and help you make the most of your stay here, regardless of your budget or interests.
Here are some of the greatest Athens walking tours:
Athens’ Best Walking Tours
If you’re on a tight budget, free tours are an excellent way to learn about Athens. However, if you enjoy walking tours or want to delve into anything more specialised, you’ll have to pay for a more extensive one. Here are some of the top paid tours in Athens to help you get the most out of your visit:
1. Walks in Athens
Athens Walks provides a variety of foot tours, ranging from general, small-group tours that provide a decent overview to more focused small-group tours, such as those focusing just on the Acropolis, nightlife, or the food and dining scene. Except for the afternoon Acropolis group tour, which lasts two hours, the majority of Athens Walks’ tours last four hours.
Tours start at 30 EUR.
2. Culinary Backroads
From Tbilisi to Naples to Los Angeles, this cuisine tour firm has a global footprint. In Athens, they organise walks that focus on the food available in certain districts. Take the 5.5-hour city tour for a calorie-laden introduction to the local cuisine. You’ll eat honey-slathered Greek yoghourt, devour souvlaki, and explore secret fish eateries. This is an absolute necessity for foodies like myself.
Tours start at 125 EUR.
3. A Different Athens
This organisation offers small-group guided tours of art, design, fashion, and street cuisine. The street art walk is one of the most intriguing and enlightening, as Athens is beginning to challenge Berlin for its thriving art scene, and the captivating masterpieces that plaster the walls along the streets are definite must-sees. Along the journey, you’ll find some amazing new neighbourhoods!
Tours start at 49 EUR.
4. Athens, Eureka
Eureka is Greek for “I discovered it.” This firm may be able to assist you to locate anything you’re looking for in Athens. If you’re looking for unusual eating, its “Bizarre Food Tour” will accurately point you, leading you to secret stores and bakeries as well as through marketplaces to locate the strangest foods in the Greek capital. There are other tours geared toward children, as well as those centred on wine, shopping, and certain up-and-coming districts.
Tours start at 25 EUR.
5. Photo Tours of Athens
Do you want to be a photographer? Want to enhance your Instagram game and wow your friends back home? Then this walking picture tour is for you. Choose your preferred time of day — sunrise, morning, sunset, or evening — and then you and up to three other camera-wielding potential influencers will be led by a professional photographer who will give expert techniques and guidance to help you polish your photography talents.
Tours start at 99 EUR.
6. Bike Tours in Athens
This three-hour trip is for you if you prefer pedalling to bicycling. After all, you can cover more ground on a bike (but don’t worry, these adventures aren’t hurried). Guides accompany your group of bikers to panoramic city vistas, ancient Greek and Roman agoras, museums, and cool, off-the-beaten-path districts. They also provide electric bike rides if you’re tired of exploring after a few days.
Tours start at 35 EUR.
7. Walking Tours in Athens
This firm offers many small-group walks throughout Athens, all conducted by qualified guides with years of experience. There are several possibilities, including tours focusing on Greek mythology and those at the Acropolis that delve deeply into the site’s history. There’s an off-the-beaten-path option as well as one that merely circles the Acropolis Museum. And that’s only for the cultural and historical tours. Athens Walking Tours also provides a variety of food and wine-themed alternatives.
Tours start at 31 EUR.
Whether it’s your first or twenty-first visit to Athens, a walking tour is a pleasant, easy way to expand your experience and learn more about this historic capital. Whatever your interests or budget, there are options here to give depth and authenticity to your vacation. When I come, I always take at least one walking tour. You should as well!