Free things to do in Athens

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: my_lala

Athens is a city incredibly worthy of discovering. It’s loaded with history (hello, Acropolis and Greek mythology), is a hotbed for dining, has some seriously cool off-beat attractions, and offers some amazing Athens hotels. But, there is so much more to the city. Whether you hop on tours or opt to explore on your own, there are plenty of ways to get out and see all this city has to offer.

If you’re on a budget, Athens can still deliver plenty of charm and history. In fact, there are numerous options for people who want to experience the city without spending a dime.

What are some free things to do in Athens? Why, I’m so glad you asked.

Learn About the History of Athens

For history fans, a visit to the Athens University History Museum is a must. The museum, which covers the history of the University, also delves into modern Greek history. It is a fantastic way to learn about the recent history of the country, and offers lectures, conferences, theatrical events, and more.

Explore the Monastiraki Flea Market

What better way to get an idea about a culture than to see what the locals are selling. The Monastiraki Flea Market, located near the square of the same name, is open daily and offers a wide variety of shops selling everything from clothing to antiques, random memorabilia, and items to bring home to decorate your pad. For even more shops, head to the market on Sunday when open-air stalls are added into the mix. It’s the perfect spot to snap pics and see how locals live. Plus, if you’ve got a few extra to spend, it’s the place to score a great deal on unique goods.

See the City From Above

Yes, the Acropolis has some magnificent views. But, there’s a place with even better ones — and far less crowds. Across town is Lycabettus Hill. From here, people can see the entire city and out to the sea and islands. To get to the top, either trek up the steps or ride the funicular to the top (note: this option isn’t free). On top of the hill, explore the 19th century church and the nature surrounding it.

Get Outside

There are plenty of public parks worthy of a stroll, but perhaps the most beautiful is the Diomides Botanic Garden. Head over to the Haidari neighborhood to check out this location, which is packed with 3,500 different species of plants from the world over. It’s a fascinating place to explore, thanks to the garden being broken down into sections, like medicinal plants and historical plants. Here, you can find plants tied to Greek mythology, like the olive tree and Aphrodite’s myrtle.

There’s also the National Garden of Athens. Formerly known as the Royal Garden, this spot dates back to 1836 and includes a variety of flora and fauna, as well as ancient remains. It gets bonus points for being incredibly romantic with its statues, sundial and ponds. It’s open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Editor’s Note: This post is a part of the Hipmunk CityLove campaign.

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