Athens has a wealth of great sights and events, and with our tips you can see them all and save euros while doing it. We especially love all the free sights to be had in this great historic city.
Athens Budget Tips
We always suggest that visitors stop by a local tourist office as early in their visit as possible. In Athens, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO or EOT) has three offices.
One is in the Arrivals Terminal of Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The central EOT office is located at 7 Tsoha and is open from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on weekdays. A third information center is located at 26 Amalias near Syndagma Square and is open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
Athens in Your Pocket is a free city guide published bi-monthly, with information on sightseeing, restaurants, events, and more.
Another to watch on the English-language tourist-oriented press scene is the free (and altogether extremely helpful Life in Capital Awhich bills itself as "your guide to living and loving Athens." Published six times a year, Capital A is full of useful information, from overviews of dynamic local industries to day trip tips to restaurant and nightlife roundups. You can find Capital A in shops and restaurants throughout central Athens.
Museums in Athens are for the most part a good value. Here are admission prices for some popular attractions and museums in Athens, for adults and children. Note that senior discounts apply to citizens of the E.U. only. Student discounts apply to those outside the E.U. possessing a student identification card.
Many of the state-run museums and archaeological sites offer free admission to all on various days throughout the year. Be sure to check the ticket information on the museum Web sites for detailed information about special discounts and free admission days.
Acropolis: €12 (adults); €6 (seniors and students); free (under 18); The ticket is valid for the four Archaeological Sites of Athens (Acropolis site and museum, Ancient Agora, Theatre of Dionysos Kerameikos, Olympieion, Roman Agora). Check Acropolis ticket information for a list of days when admission is free to all.
Benaki Museum: €6 (adults); €3 (seniors and adults accompanying children); free (students and those under 19). The museum is free every Thursday with the exception of the temporary exhibition.
Athens Byzantine and Christian Museum: €4 (adults); 2 (seniors and students); free (under 19). The ticket information page lists free admission days.
National Archaeological Museum: €7 (adults); €3 (seniors and students); free (under 19). The ticket information page lists free admission days.
National Gallery: €6.50 (adults); €3 (seniors and students); free (under 12).
Some ancient sites in Athens are free to visit, including Filopappos Hill and Panathenaic Stadium.
The Acropolis is free to all visitors on Sundays between the beginning of November and the end of March. Keep in mind that an Acropolis pass is good for admission to a staggering range of sites throughout Athens, including the Roman Agora, the Ancient Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Keramikos, and Dionysos Theatre.
Also keep in mind that ancient sites in Athens are strewn throughout the city. In Plaka, for example, it's difficult to walk for more than five minutes without stumbling into one or another ruin. With the aid of a good guidebook, visitors can get their fill of ancient Athens on easy walking tours without spending a single euro.
Senior discounts exist in Athens. To obtain some discounts, however, membership in a particular association may be required. Members of the AARP get discounts on hotels, airfares and car rentals. They can be reached by telephone at 1-800-424-3410 and online.
The International Student Identity Card, ISIC, the most widely accepted form of student ID, provides discounts on sights, accommodations, food and transportation. Some places offer admission discounts of between 20% and 50% to ISIC members. All cardholders have access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. In the US call 1-800-223-7986 for more information, or click onto www.myisic.com. Applicants must be degree seekers of a secondary or post-secondary school and must be at least 12 years of age. The card costs US$22 and is valid until the end of the year issued.
For non-students 25 years old or younger, the International Youth Travel Card, IYTC, also offers many of the same benefits as the ISIC. The card costs US$22 and is valid for one year from the date issue.
Travelers with student cards, such as ISIC and IYTC qualify for big discounts from travel agencies. Most flights from budget agencies are on major airlines, but in peak season some may sell seats on less reliable chartered aircraft. Some travel agencies dedicated to helping students out are STA Travel, Travel CUTS, and Usit World.
Related posts from our blog
- Athens: Free show; the changing of the guard
- Athens cheap souvenir: Archeological maps!
- Athens bonus! Free events at the Hellenic Festival