If you’re travelling to Athens on a tight budget, we’ve got good news: this city is extremely friendly to anyone looking to spend less cash. From free walking tours and festivals, to secret swimming spots and pop-up parties, here’s 25 fantastic things to see and do in the city that won’t cost a cent.
1. Get the inside track on Athens’ up-and-coming neighbourhoods, street food, and architecture on a free walking tour. Sign up to explore This is Athens with a Local.
2. Stroll along Dionysiou Areopagitou, the paved promenade that runs alongside the Acropolis. Surrounded by monuments and archaeological sites, it’s like walking straight back in time to ancient Athens.
3. Catch the sunset from the Pnyx, the hilltop clearing where the Athenian assembly gathered in the earliest days of democracy. The Parthenon views through the pine trees are sensational.
4. Book a free tour (in English) of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre and learn the backstory behind the sustainable design of this new Athens landmark. Browse the collections at the National Library of Greece, join in a free outdoor session of yoga, tai chi, Pilates or aerobics, or enjoy one of the free concerts, outdoor movie screenings and exhibitions hosted at the centre.
5. Take sanctuary from the urban hustle in Athens’ gardens and green spaces. Hike up Lycabettus or Philopappou Hill, or catch your breath (and maybe a picnic) in the National Gardens.
6. Channel the Olympic spirit at the futuristic Athens Olympic Sports Complex in Maroussi, designed by Santiago Calatrava for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Walk, run or cycle for free around the premises surrounding the stadium and stroll through the highly Instagramable Wall of Nations.
7. Watch skaters ace their routines at Athens’ first digitally-designed skate bowl, Latraac, in Keramikos, where a cool tribe of artists and musicians congregate for all-day breakfasts every weekend.