Where to Go in Athens – 3 Must Visit Places

You have an extended layover and we can all agree that sitting in the airport all day sucks, so here are my picks for where to go in Athens Greece, besides the Acropolis, when you have a few hours to fill!

Leave your carry-on bags in storage at the airport and get a taxi straight into to the city.

A six-hour layover is perfect for some sightseeing around the Acropolis.

These are the three most important places to go in Athens Greece when you find yourself with a few hours in the city. I’m not talking about museums and the Acropolis. Of course, you are going to walk around the Acropolis, it is an absolute requirement for any first-time visit to Athens. I’m talking about the life essentials here – coffee, food, and shopping!

Where to Go in Athens – Three Essential Stops Around the Acropolis

We can all agree that travel days are exhausting. The three needs you must get met on this layover are simple:

First, you need coffee, stat, because airplane coffee is mediocre at best.

Secondly, you need a substantial, yet healthy lunch to endure the rest of your traveling today and because you can NOT eat any more airplane food.

Third and last, a gift shop… because you will NOT hear the end of it from friends and/or family if you stepped foot into Athens and didn’t get them SOMETHING.

I KNOW you are allergic to overpriced and tacky souvenir shops, I am too… trust me here!

So here are my three picks on where to go in Athens Greece for the best coffee, best healthy lunch spot, and cutest gift shop near the Acropolis!

Where to Go in Athens for Coffee (Near the Acropolis)

It’s 10 AM and after stashing your baggage in storage at the airport you know two things… you need coffee, stat, and a substantial, yet healthy lunch because you can NOT eat any more airplane food. One can not sustain life on ancient ruins alone, you need sustenance to survive this travel day.

Starting at the Underdog Project for an iced coffee tonic, I was able to get energized for my walk around the ancient ruins of Athens.

Underdog Project
Craft coffee roasters and brewers, 3x World Coffee in Good Spirits award winners, and craft beer lovers

Photo of Award Winning Coffee Roaster Underground Project's Awards and their Popular Coffee Tonic
Award Winning Coffee Roaster Underground Project and their Popular Coffee Tonic
Where to Go in Athens for Lunch (Near the Acropolis)

After walking the expanse of the Acropolis, you have a couple hours left and it is time to grab a bite for lunch. There are restaurants on every corner, but what to pick? I’m always craving healthier food on travel days because I hate sitting on a plane after a heavy meal. Here’s a vegetarian and seafood option for you to choose from, both conveinantly located and affordable.

Avocado
A vegetarian restaurant so tasty that even meat eaters like me walk out happily stuffed and satisfied!

Picture shows Avocado Restaurant's Signature Veggie Burger, loaded with avocado, slices of tomato, lettuce, and quinoa black bean patty topped with cheese on a sprouted flatbread "bun") and a side of sweet potato chips
Avocado Restaurant’s Signature Veggie Burger (with Optional Sprouted Flatbread “Bun”) and Sweet Potato Chips

Optional – If you just can NOT go to a vegetarian place – choose fish in Greece. Here is my pick for a great lunch restaurant serving affordable seafood that isn’t a tourist trap!

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Photo showing grilled calamari with parsley and lemon at Parodosiako Tavern in Athens Greece
Parodosiako Tavern in Athens Greece – Grilled Calamari

Paradosiako Taverna

A perfect Greek taverna loved by the locals for their traditional food and great affordable prices.

To stay healthy, stick to the grilled seafood and avoid the fried stuff if you can!

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Where to Go in Athens for Gifts that WON’T Suck (Near the Acropolis)

You don’t want THE LOOK from your __ [ insert partner, kids, or THAT friend ] if you come home empty-handed after a trip abroad.

So, what do you do if you hate traditional souvenirs so much so that the mere thought of walking into one of those tourist shops makes you break out in hives? I fully empathize with you and if you are anything like me, you carry around Benadryl just in case you come too close to one of THOSE stores.

My solution is to gift items MADE in a city, but not necessarily city themed. How do you find those places though? I do this by utilizing my cunning hunting skills on side streets in every city I visit. Okay, that actually means I get lost a lot, but this website is where you can gain all the benefits from my “masterful” wandering!

Psit Jewellery
The shop has weird hours but come for the quirky handmade enamel jewelry and accessories by local artist Katerina Stamati!

Picture shows handmade enamel jewelry from Psit Jewelry in Athens Greece. Picture shows earrings shaped like pineapples, checkered boxes, and speech bubbles.
Handmade Enamel Jewelry from Psit Jewelry in Athens

BONUS:

If you have the time, be sure to drop into these places!


Picture shows an illustration called The Wrestler by Little Rocks Design. It is a wrestler with tattooed arms in a yellow and purple leotard, a purple cape and tights, a big yellow handlebar mustache, and a purple full face mask with yellow star on the forehead. Surrounding him are three bull terriers wearing miniature yellow masks and costumes to match the wrestler.
The Wrestler illustration by Little Rocks Design – Athens, Greece

Flaneur

Amazing selection of clothing, home goods, and illustrations by Athens designers. Featuring one of my newest favorite illustrators – Little Rocks Designs 

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exterior photo of Nancy's Sweet Home pastry and cake shop in Athens Greece. Picture shows people sitting at cafe tables out front and on the side of the corner bakery. Photo taken by Janao of Norway.
Nancy’s Sweet Home in Athens, Greece – Photo by Janao / TripAdvisor

 Nancy’s Sweet House

Nancy’s is sugar heaven, supplying an abundant assortment of treats, including some traditional Greek pastries.

Be forewarned, nothing is single-serving, these goodies are meant for sharing!

 


Where to Go in Athens Greece When Visiting the Acropolis – Three Essential Places

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