It must be ever so exciting to be visiting Greece for the first time. A perennial summer classic, the timelessness of Greece continues to seduce even its nationals who seldom visit any other country during the summer. And why would they, since Greece is the epitome of all things summer, and then some. Countless sandy beaches with crystalline waters, sunsets that immortalize the moment forever; a plethora of islands to discover as well as an equal amount of mainland locations that will take you back in time. Expansive history, phenomenal flavours, warm hospitality and unique experiences to be had, every step of the way. It therefore goes without saying that for those visiting for the first time, a Greek holiday promises to be absolutely enthralling. For first timers especially, it is highly recommended to spend 7 days in Greece, in order to be able to appreciate at least three of its top destinations. Here is a 7 days in Greece itinerary that includes Athens, Mykonos and Santorini for first timers.
How to Spend 7 Days in Greece: 7 days Greece Itinerary
Athens city connects Greece with most European cities directly, as well as being the major destination for arrivals from international cities via its Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in the area of Spata. It also connects visitors with the majority of Greek islands. Given this, Athens can just be a pass-over point, however, first timers in Greece should not overlook spending 2 days in Athens, as part of their 7 days in Greece itinerary.
Book Your Private Airport Transfer with Welcome Taxi
For those who like to travel in comfort opting for a taxi would be your best option. To avoid the hassle of waiting in line and to be sure that you are getting your own personal driver you can pre-book a car online prior to your arrival. You will be met by the driver holding a name sign as soon as you come out at the arrivals with a bottle of water and city map.
The flat taxi rate is €38 from the airport to the city center. For arrivals from midnight until 5 am the cost is €54. Your trip will take approximately 35 minutes depending on the traffic.
Book your Athens Airport Transfer here.
7 Days Greece Itinerary: Day 1 & 2 — Athens
Athens city is a brilliant mesh of ancient culture and contemporary life, making it the first port of call for visitors who have an interest in soaking up the quintessential side of Greece’s mesmerising charm.
Starting with the basics, when spending 2 days in Athens, your number one priority should be to visit Athens’ most iconic landmark: the Acropolis.
Site-seeing in Athens city
Acropolis – Plan to visit during the early morning to avoid the heat and crowds, alternatively visit early evening, during sunset which is probably the most instagrammable time to snap photos of this awe-inspiring landmark and the surrounding panoramic city views. Perched atop the highest hill of the city, this UNESCO World Heritage site dates back to the Neolithic period, circa 4000/3500-3000 BC. The Parthenon is the Acropolis’ crown jewel, dedicated to the mythological goddess of wisdom, Athena.
– Entrance to the Acropolis site is between 8am and 8pm, and you can either visit at your own leisure and pace, or opt for a guided tour to get all the inside information and historical facts.
– You can reach the Acropolis from two points, the main entrance and then also one closer to the Acropolis Museum, leading you through the Dionysus Sanctuary and the Dionysus Theater at the foot of the ancient rock. The Acropolis gets very busy during the summer season, to save time we recommend that you book a Guided Tour with a Skip the Line ticket.
– An estimated time of about 2 hours is required, including queuing however there are various tours that offer skip the line tickets, or you can include more sites in a single ticket, combining the following that are in close proximity:
The Ancient Agora of Athens, the Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens & South Slope of Acropolis.
The top attractions to visit in Athens city center:
The Acropolis Museum: made predominantly out of glass, in order to allow natural light to permeate most of the museum halls, the Acropolis Museum covers a state-of-the-art space of over three floors and houses numerous ancient artefacts from a wide range of different time periods. Noteworthy items on display are the frieze of the Parthenon temple, as well as the five Caryatids which are the original ‘maidens’ that supported Erechtheion’s porch.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus: built in AD 161 by the Roman Herodes Atticus for his wife Regilla, it is an ancient theatre that is still used today for various performances especially during the summer. Be sure to check out the Athens & Epidaurus Festival programme in order to experience the Odeon in all its glory.
Hadrian’s Arch: Emperor Hadrian built this in 131 AD as a way of separating the old and new cities of Athens. You really can’t miss it as it is an imposing monument that is found on a main road leading up to Syntagma Square.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus: behind Hadrian’s Arch, this temple’s construction started in 515 BC by Pisistratus, who was the son of Hippocrates. It was, however, competed in 129 AD by the aforementioned Emperor Hadrian.
The Panathenaic Stadium: also known as Kallimarmaro among Athenians, it is a marble stadium linked to athleticism across many eras. It is closely linked to the modern Olympic Games, the first of which were held in 1896.
National Gardens: a peaceful oasis in the heart of Athens, these used to be a retreat for King Otto and Queen Amalia. It is located right next to the Hellenic Parliament in Syntagma Square.
Changing of the Guards at the Hellenic Parliament: the honorable Evzones guards placed in front of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are dressed in a traditional, folklore costume called a ‘foustanela’. They have a specific routine when it comes to changing their shifts which visitors will find intriguing, occuring on the hour, every hour, every day of the week.
Syntagma Square: is the main square in Athens city and has been named after the Greek word for constitution. It separates the Greek Parliament from the main high street, Ermou, and goes all the down to Monastiraki Square.