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10 tips for an affordable vacation in Athens, Greece

Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular

As summer approaches, many of us are eager to plan our perfect summer getaway. However, in this economy, planning a holiday to another country can be quite challenging. Luckily, Athens, one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, has plenty to offer travelers on a budget! Let’s explore some insider tips to enjoy Athens without spending a fortune.

1- Be smart about your museum and historical site visits

Athens is known for its beautiful historical sites and amazing museums. But visiting them all can be quite pricey. Fortunately, there are savvy ways to make the most of your museum and historical site visits without breaking the bank. 

In Greece, there are special days when you can visit all museums and historical sites owned by the state for free. This includes well-known spots like the Acropolis, the National Archeological Museum, and more. 

Here are all the days you can visit these places for free: 

Although most of these dates are off-season, Athens is a great city to visit all year round. So make sure to check these dates to see if they match your travel plans.

Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular
Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular

Also, certain groups of people can always visit these places for free, such as people under the age of 25 from EU member-states. You can see if you fit into any of these groups here

Lastly, there are various multi-attraction tickets that offer significant savings for exploring multiple museums and historical sites. You can purchase a ticket that suits your travel plans and visit numerous places for less money.

2- Enjoy public beaches

When we think of Greece, one of the first things that comes to mind is its stunning beaches. The great news is that you don’t have to spend money to enjoy the beautiful beaches in Athens!

There are many different public beach options in and around Athens like Limanakia BeachKalamaki BeachEdem Beach, and more. You can look at the different options and choose the beach that you like the best.

You might not have access to a sunbed or a shade but if you’re not fussy about these things you’re sure to enjoy the charm of Athens’ public beaches. Remember to bring your own beach towel, sunscreen, snacks, and drinks. You’re all set for a perfect beach day! 

3- Explore hilltops for amazing views

If you’re a lover of beautiful sceneries, you’re in luck. Athens has stunning hilltop views that will take your breath away. These picturesque spots are perfect for capturing memorable moments or simply immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Athens. Plus, you don’t have to pay any money to access them.

From Mount Lycabettus to Filopappou Hill, you’re sure to find yourself captivated by the stunning scenery. Include climbing these amazing hills in your travel plan and enjoy the incredible views of Athens from above.

Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular
Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular

4- Visit Athens’ beautiful parks for a peaceful picnic

Amid Athens’ busy streets and historic sites, you’ll find peaceful parks waiting to be explored. These parks offer an affordable escape from the city, providing peaceful moments and a connection to nature. Whether you want to take a walk, find a spot for a picnic, or simply enjoy the fresh air, visiting one of these parks is a must for your Athens trip. So instead of spending money at an expensive restaurant, you can pack your backpack with some snacks and head to one of these parks.

The National Garden, located in the heart of Athens, is a lovely place to unwind after a day of sightseeing. With its shady paths, colorful flowers, and quiet corners, it’s a great option for travelers looking to relax without spending money on admission fees.

Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular
Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular

5- Walk through beautiful streets and neighborhoods

Athens has many charming streets and neighborhoods ideal for just walking around and soaking up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. You can spend an entire day walking around different neighborhoods without spending almost any money. From historic Plaka to artsy Exarchia, and from vibrant Monastiraki to charming Koukaki, there’s something for everyone in Athens. Whether you like colorful street art, vibrant markets, or cozy cafes, you have many good options to consider.

@issatraveldiary

If you’re in Athens, spend some time walking through the beautiful pastel buildings, stop at a cafe or enjoy looking at the shops. Plaka, Athens – Greece 📍 #plaka #athens #greece #travel #traveltiktok #traveltok #greektiktok #fyp #greekholidays #greecetiktok

♬ original sound – ur mom <3

6- Lookout for free events

Keep an eye out for free events happening in Athens to enjoy entertainment without spending money. Athens offers a variety of cultural events, concerts, and festivals throughout the year that are open to the public at no cost. Check online event listings, and social media platforms for information on upcoming free events. Whether it’s an outdoor concert, a street performance, or a cultural festival, attending these events is a great way to experience the vibrant spirit of Athens without spending a penny.

Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular
Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular

7- Book free tours

If you’re someone who likes tours, opt for free tours when exploring Athens to discover its landmarks and attractions. Many local tour companies and organizations offer complimentary guided tours led by knowledgeable guides who share fascinating insights into the city’s history, culture, and architecture. These tours typically cover popular sights, providing an informative and engaging way to explore Athens on a budget. 

8- Use the public transportation

Athens is a walkable city which makes getting around very easy. However, if you’re thinking of exploring areas beyond walking distance or simply want to save time, you don’t need to rely on taxis. You can make use of Athens’ public transportation system to get around the city affordably and efficiently. The city offers buses, trams, and metro lines that connect major attractions, neighborhoods, and suburbs. Purchasing a day pass or a multi-day ticket allows unlimited travel on all modes of public transport, offering great value for money. You can choose and purchase the most appropriate ticket for your travel plans here.

9- Eat and drink locally

Athens is filled with cozy local cafes and tavernas that provide a truly authentic experience. These local spots offer genuine Greek flavors at affordable prices, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture while enjoying delicious food. It’s a much better option than dining at expensive touristy restaurants or chains. So skip the tourist traps and head to the local cafes and tavernas for a true taste of Athens.

Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular
Photo by Nil Ozkan for The Circular

10- Visit Salamina for an island experience

For a taste of island life without straying far from Athens, consider a day trip to Salamina. Located just a short ferry ride from the mainland, Salamina offers a peaceful escape from the city. Explore charming seaside villages, relax on secluded beaches, and indulge in fresh seafood at waterfront tavernas. Salamina promises an island experience that’s both accessible and affordable, making it the perfect addition to your vacation.

By following these tips, you can explore the city’s rich culture, history, and cuisine without spending a lot of money. Athens offers endless opportunities for budget-friendly adventures. So pack your bags, and get ready to experience the magic of Athens without overspending. Happy travels!

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