what to visit in Athens

Athens is a city where the combination of the rich history, the warm southern mentality and the struggle during the crisis, have shaped a place full of diversity, creativity, and character.

Visiting the Greek capital as a tourist might not always give you the chance to discover the “real Athens”, as many things are hidden in the complexity of the city. However, when you get the opportunity to stay a bit longer and explore this cosmopolitan city, you’ll be amazed.

Known for its Ancient Culture, we sometimes forget about the very lively contemporary culture that exists and constantly expands all over Athens. Today, this modern side is part of the everyday life of the Athenians. Learning about “Athens Today” will enrich your experience while visiting the Greek capital and help you understand Greece better.

We hereby give you an introduction to modern life in Athens. Of course, this is only a tip of the iceberg, so let this be a motivation for you to discover even more.

Athens Neighborhoods

The Acropolis

Athens Museums

Modern Art and Architecture

Food Culture

Athens Roofbars

Entertainment and Nightlife

Learning Greek in Athens

During the summer

Athens Neighborhoods

To catch a glimpse of the vibrant atmosphere in Athens, have a look at the videos below

Neighborhood Monasteraki, Psirri, Ermou Street


Modern Art & Architecture

Just like most big cities, Athens has several cultural organizations that offer a wide variety of contemporary cultural events.

The Benaki Museum(s)

is well known for its main building, located very close to the Syntagma Square in centre Athens, which provides a historical overview of the Greek world. But what fewer people know is the Pireos Street Annexe of Benaki, where modern exhibitions and interesting architecture are combined. This museum is not restricted to one kind of art: photography, fashion, paintings, video art, and many other contemporary art forms are represented. Even their museum shop is a real treat!

Click here for more info. 
Click here to see an example of an exposition at the Benaki of Greek Artist Y. Moralis (February 2019)

The Onassis Cultural Centre (Stegi)

Another example of impressive modern architecture going hand in hand with contemporary art is The Onassis Cultural Centre. Here Greek and foreign artists are bringing performances and exhibitions of all shapes and kinds. Several performances and lectures are also being held in English.
Click here for more info.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre

Athens keeps amazing every visitor! Apart from beautiful new museums, concert buildings, artistic metro stations and roof gardens, now Athens also has a new spectacular cultural landmark: the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC). Needless to say, a must-see, during your next Athens visit.
Click here for more info.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST)

In 2016 the EMST Museum opened its doors in the redesigned Fix building.The museum has eight levels. Three of these are being used to house the permanent collections, while the others will be reserved for the periodical exhibitions. The eighth level has amazing capabilities for outdoor multipurpose use during the summertime.
Click here for more info.

Street Art

When walking in Athens, the big amount of graffiti and street art will quickly draw your attention. The center of Athens, more specifically the area of Psirri and Exarchia, are the perfect places to have a walk and enjoy the Street Art. As is often the case in all kinds of art, the Street Art expresses what is going on in society and in the lives of the artists. Therefore this walk might give you some more understanding of what Athens is going through at the moment.
More info

An example of street art in Athens


Entertainment and Nightlife

Last but not least, Athens offers incredible possibilities for entertainment and nightlife. Whether it is for a coffee, a cocktail or dancing until the morning, Athens has it all. As usually is the case, the best places are the ones that are hard to find. Here some suggestions you might give a try!

TAF (The Art Foundation)
Somewhere in the chaos of streets around Monasteraki, behind a small wooden door, a beautiful courtyard is hidden. As the name says, TAF found a very nice harmony between bar and art. While the courtyard is an inviting place to relax and have a drink, the first floor has been turned into a space for exhibitions.
More info

Six Dogs
Another well-hidden pearl is Six Dogs, located only a few minutes’ walk from Monasteraki, but almost impossible to find without specific instructions. Looking like a dodgy place from the outside, the surprise is even more when you enter the beautiful garden. Especially during summer time, this is a great place to relax and escape from the busy city. Concerts are regularly organized here.
More info

Bios is a successful mix of a platform for cultural events and a pleasant place for a drink, offering an even bigger variety than the first 2 bars. Opera and DJ sets, festivals and theatre. Tip: have a drink on the roof terrace during a warm summer evening and enjoy the beauty of Athens.
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Gazitechnopolis – Gazi
Blending nightlife with an almost endless range of events, the neighborhood of Gazi has become one of the most popular places for locals of all ages in Athens.
The square at the metro station Keramikos is surrounded by bars and restaurants, creating a very lively atmosphere during the night. Right next to this square you can find Technopolis, which used to be The Athens Gasworks factory. Today, Technopolis is a Cultural Centre, welcoming (both out and indoors) exhibitions, performances, festivals and many other. A place to discover!
More info


Food culture

Entertainment and evening performances are many times combined with going for dinner. Nothing better than a Greek meal before or after going out in Athens! Read more about Greek food culture and some useful addresses in Athens.

Explore Athens with Omilo, while learning Greek

As you can see, Athens is definitely more than just visiting the Plaka neighborhood and the Acropolis.
Students who attend an intensive Omilo course in Athens, are always very enthusiastic and impressed by this lively city, full of surprises.

If you know an interesting suggestion to add to the list above, do not hesitate to tell us! If you would like to explore Athens together with Omilo, while learning Greek, then you are very welcome to join us.

Click here for more information about Athens as well as the dates for our 1- and 2-week courses   

During the summer

You might think it is better to avoid Athens in summer because of the high temperatures? Actually, summer is great in Athens with all its festivals and fewer tourists! Check it out!

The summer is also ideal to try several of the Roof Bars in Athens, as well as the Outdoor Movie Theatre!

If you like Greek dancing and Traditional Greek Music, then we definitely recommend you to go to the Dora Stratou Performances, in their outdoor theatre, opposite the Acropolis. (from the end of May till mid-September)