Athens is a city to discover by foot. You can easily see the main attractions in one day, assuming you don’t spend an hour in front of each ancient ruin… Because there are a lot of interesting ruins in Athens besides the famous Parthenon. In fact the city is full of them.
Start your day by climbing the Filopappou Hill, with beautiful vista of the Acropolis. If possible, pack your breakfast and go just after sunrise. That way you will avoid crowds and enjoy beautiful morning light.
Then enter the Acropolis site by paying the hefty fee of 20 euros per person. The earlier you go, the shorter lines will be. After passing the Theatre of Dionysos, continue up towards the Parthenon…and its multiple cranes. Such ancient and important ruins surely have to be taken care of, but in a way it’s a shame never to be able to admire them just the way they are. Close to the Parthenon, don’t miss the beautiful Porch of the Caryatids and panoramic views of the city.
Back down the Acropolis hill, visit the Ancient Agora site and continue northwest towards Keramikos site (a very old cemetery).
After that head east to pass through the famous Monastiraki Flea market and its multiple stalls.
Now turn north to visit the authentic Central market district. But be careful, this is not Athens’ safest district. So don’t look too touristy (it’s not unusual to see people doing drugs in the street).
When you have seen enough of the Central Market, head back south towards the Acropolis (visible from everywhere in Athens), pass by the Roman Agora and its Tower of the Winds and wander through the narrow streets of Plaka district.
Northeast of Plaka district lies the Greek Parliament and its guards. Next to the Parliament, penetrate the beautiful National Gardens.
Finish your visit with the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic games took place and the close-by Temple of Olympian Zeus.
Besides all the mains sights, Athens is also about its atmosphere filled with stray cats and dogs, colourful tags and recklessness.