Even if you’re not travelling on a budget, it’s great to know what amazing activities you can enjoy in Athens without spending money because as we all know some of the best things in life are free!
Greece’s capital city is filled with an abundance of history, ruins, culture, arts, landscape and architecture. Athens is surely a place that everyone must visit at least once in a lifetime and here are 6 fun things you can do, without needing to spend a cent!
Syntagma Square- Changing of the Guards
No trip to Athens would be complete without a trip to Syntagma Square, located in the central square of Athens, right in front of the Old Royal Palace, where the Greek Parliament has convened since 1934. Syntagma Square is at the heart of political activity in Greece.
At Syntagma Square you can find Evzones- traditionally dressed, standing watch at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier- and you can have full view as they change guard every hour on the hour. If you are lucky enough to be there on a Sunday morning, check it out as a group of Evzones march to the tomb along with a band.
Monastiraki Square and Flea Markets
Monastiraki is a flea market neighbourhood in Athens, and is one of the principal shopping districts. It’s a famous district that extends from the Square at the end of Athinas street until Thission and is a large part of the district of Plaka. The old name of the area was Monastirion because of the church located here, Koimisis Theotokou. At the square you will find the Monastiraki Athens Metro station and the main entrance to the flea market.
If you want to check out some local culture the Monastiraki Flea Market is the perfect place as there are a variety of shops, cafes, taverns that are open every day of the week. The most popular spot of the flea market is Abyssinia’s square. Best part is you don’t have to buy anything, you can simply window shop and people watch.
Aristotle is known for many things, one of them was his view of the solar system. Another was his school of philosophy, where he urged his students to take long strolls with him while chatting about the deepest and most meaningful topics.
Aristotle’s Lyceum had been used as a gathering place for philosophers to discuss and debate ideas. Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have taught here and now you can have a feel of what this era was like at the Lyceum, which was discovered relatively recently in a park behind the Hellenic Parliament. It’s open free to the public from 8am to 8pm, where you can walk through the archaeological space, touch the monuments and snap away.
Also called Lykavittos Hill, it’s the highest point in Athens. Sitting perched upon the summit is the church of Agios Giorgos, which is a popular spot for weddings due to its stunning views. The nearby Lycabettus Theater holds concerts and performances every summer, and from its parking lot you can see incredible views of the city and its ruins. You can even catch a glimpse of the famous Acropolis and Ancient Agora.
Free Walking Tour
Explore the city that has over 3000 years of history and discover all the facts, myths and secrets that you won’t find in your guidebook. English-speaking local experts, including historians and archaeologists will share their knowledge and passion for Athens with you. This tour gives an inside look at the Cradle of Western Civilisation on foot and you can discover many of the city’s hidden gems that tourist buses can’t reach. You can join one of the walks by contacting them here- athensfreewalkingtour.com/en/
In the centre of Athens you will find the pretty National Gardens that are delightful and thankfully shady during summer. Located just behind the Parliament (though you can enter from all sides) and were formerly the royal gardens designed by Queen Amalia. Long avenues of palms lead to plantings of orange trees and ornamentals; there’s also a large children’s playground and a cafe.
Climb the centre of Athens at Filopappou Hill
Filopappou Hill is the extension of the Acropolis hill. At the edge of it there is a cliff ,which is great for rock climbing. All the required gear is set on the rock by experts and when the weather allows it, it’s full of climbers. It’s suitable for climbers of all levels and the view from this site is stunning. You can see all the mountains around Athens and also the port of Piraeus. If you are not a climbing fan, you can just sit back and take in the incredible views.
Tip: From metro stop Petralona go to “Dora Stratou Theater”. Next to the parking lot of the theater there is an entrance. Follow the uphill.