When you hear the phrase “honeymoon in Greece” you think of sun kissed beaches, pearly white houses, and churches with their characteristic blue roofs huddled together on the slopes of islands. You think of breathtaking vistas of the Aegean and picturesque, white-washed village squares and yards that seem to have been made for a photoshoot. And you should! Having your honeymoon in the Greek islands is fantastic.
But don’t miss out on the unique opportunity to include Athens, Greece’s capital, in your honeymoon roster! Athens is a weirdly undiscovered gem when it comes to honeymoons. Like Rome, Athens is an eternal city that combines history, modernity, romance, elegance, tradition, partying, and adventure in amazing and unique ways.
Spending some of your honeymoon in Athens means you will be making unique memories and carry home even more special experiences than the average honeymooner in Greece.
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When is the best time to visit Athens for your honeymoon?
Athens is at her best from May to September. Each month has its own perks, but all are beautiful, from May’s triumph of flowers to July’s summer peak to September’s sweetness. Greek winter doesn’t roll in before late October – early November, and September is one of the most mellow, warm months for your trip.
What’s more, if you visit during any of these months you can easily and smoothly continue your honeymoon to the islands right after.
You might be interested in: The best time to visit Athens.
How long should you stay in Athens for your honeymoon?
If you plan to continue to the islands, three days in Athens is perfect: you have enough time to take it easy while also visiting the sites and taking in Athens’ special flavour.
It won’t do to rush anything during your honeymoon. Everything needs to be designed for a lot of quality time opportunities for a newlywed couple. Three days will give you exactly that: enough time to explore, enough time to experience, and enough time to relax.
Where should you stay on your honeymoon in Athens?
It is your honeymoon! So, it should be special, a quality place where you will be pampered while enjoying the cream of the crop in everything. While there is a wide range of different kinds of accommodation in Athens, the top tier, 5-star hotels are what you’re looking for:
Hilton Hotel, Athens, is a strategic masterstroke if you choose it. Situated at the heart of Athens, it gives you easy access to everything you need to see and experience. Hilton Hotel boasts a stunning view of the entire Athenian basin and the jewel in the crown, the Acropolis. You can wake up each day to a wonderful vista while enjoying top-class service and excellent facilities. Hilton Hotel is a favorite with couples! Click here for more information and to book your stay.
Another great choice would be the Electra Palace Hotel. Also situated at the heart of Athens, but also right in the center of Plaka, the historical center of Athens, and one of its cultural hubs. If you choose Electra Palace, you will have the chance to wake up to a closer view of the Acropolis and the colorful hues the ancient marble takes depending on how the sunlight hits it.
Electra Palace features top-quality rooms, excellent facilities and service, and a lot of experience pampering honeymooners! Moreover, everything is within walking distance! Click here for more information and to book your stay.
Finally, if you want to include the seaside in your Athenian adventure, then the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel is for you! Situated at Vouliagmeni, one of the coastal Athenian suburbs, Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel has a distinctive exotic vibe.
Boasting a beautiful beach with warm waters and amazing views of rolling green hills kissing the sea, Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel will sweep you off your feet with its luxury and exquisite service. There are many activities you can do within the hotel’s premises for complete relaxation and rejuvenation before the short drive to Athens’ center to continue your adventure. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
For more information on where to stay in Athens, check my guide here.
What to budget for your honeymoon in Athens?
Athens can be as expensive or as affordable as you want it to be. But during your honeymoon, you should allow yourself some luxury- and if you plan for it well ahead, it might come at a better price!
5-star and 4-star hotels in Athens have a range, depending on the room you choose, the season, and how far ahead you make your booking. Staying in one can go anywhere from 100 euros to 300 hundred euros a night.
When it comes to food, you have a huge variety of options at a great range of prices. Athens’ famous street food, souvlaki or gyros wraps, can get you by at under 10 euros for a meal. If you choose to try the average tavernas at Plaka or elsewhere, you are looking at about 30 euros on average per person for a full (and filling!) lunch or dinner.
Restaurants have a range of around 50 euros per person, and high-class or specialty restaurants start at around 70 to 80 euros per person. From there, average costs rise, especially when restaurants are acclaimed or awarded Michelin stars.
Cocktails in bars also have a range, depending on the style of the bar. You can find good drinks for around 8 euro, and it can go up to 15 euro on the average. Drinks in really posh places can have higher prices than this, so make sure you know in advance what you’ll be paying.
What to pack for your honeymoon in Athens
First off, you should take the weather into account. If you plan for the height of summer, make sure your clothes are light and airy. Include comfortable shoes that let your feet breathe. If you plan for May or September, add a couple of summer jackets or long-sleeve shirts for the occasional cooler breeze you might encounter. It’s good practice to look up weather forecasts for the week you will be in Athens, just in case.
The weather aside, you should always have sunglasses with you. The Athenian sun’s glare can be overwhelming around the year. A trusty hat that will shade your face and good sunscreen is also a must even if you don’t plan on going to the beach while in Athens.
Make sure you have good walking shoes. A lot of the streets you will be walking on are not kind to high heels, as they are very old, well-worn cobblestone streets. Some archaeological sites also don’t allow visitors wearing high heels in, to protect the sites.
Aside from your shorts and casual jeans and tops, include a cocktail outfit that will be suitable for any occasion. This will give you leeway to go to places where more formal dress is required, such as cultural events, some restaurants, and even afternoon drinks!
It goes without saying that if you plan to go to night clubs in Athens, you should include the appropriate attire as well!
Must-see places in Athens for a first-time visitors
You won’t have much time in Athens if you only spend three days there, and the point isn’t to stress and cram places to go while you’re on your honeymoon. Instead, you should limit your tourism to the must-see sites:
The Acropolis of Athens
The perennial symbol of Greece and one of the seven wonders of the world is definitely first on the places you must visit. The Acropolis has a history of millennia, even spilling into modern times, that is fascinating to listen to while you walk up its marble steps and witness the awe of the looming columns for yourself.
A great idea is a guided tour to the Acropolis: Here are my two favorites:
– A small group guided tour of the Acropolis with skip the line tickets. The reason I like this tour is that it is a small group one, it starts at 8:30 am, so you avoid the heat and the cruise ship passengers and it lasts for 2 hours.
– Another great option is the Athens Mythology Highlights tour. . This is probably my favorite Athens tour. In 4 hours you will have a guided tour of the Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Ancient Agora. It is great as it combines history with mythology. Please note that the tour doesn’t include the entrance fee which is €30 (Combo ticket) for the mentioned sites. It also includes a couple of other archaeological sites and museums that you can visit on your own the following days.
– Alternatively, you can buy your skip the line tickets online and pick them up near the South entrance.
The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is the city’s pride and joy. It is an archaeological museum dedicated to all the findings discovered around the Acropolis and the surrounding area. It covers all eras from antiquity to byzantine times. It features an impressive transparent entryway over ancient ruins of Roman and early Byzantine Athens.
Here are some great options for visiting the Acropolis Museum:
– Acropolis Museum Entry Ticket with an Audio Guide
Opening Hours: Winter(1st of November – 31st of March): Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, Summer (1st of April – 31st of October): Monday: 08:00 am – 4.00 pm, Friday 8:00 am – 10:00 pm, Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday & Sunday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Closed: 1 January, Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 December, 26 December
Reduced Hours: Good Friday 12:00 – 6:00 pm, Easter Saturday 08:00 am – 3:00 pm, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tickets: Full: €10, Reduced: €5 from April 1st – October 31st and Full €5, Reduced: €3 from November 1st – March 31st
Free Admission: 6 March, 25 March, 18 May, 28 October
The Ancient Agora of Athens
One of the most complete and well-preserved Greek agoras, the Ancient Agora of Athens is a perfect place for an early morning or afternoon stroll. There are many ruins to see, such as the Odeon of Agrippa, and a lot of history to listen to as you walk. It also features a museum in the Stoa of Attalos.
Opening Hours: Daily 8 am-7 pm Summer, 8 am-5 pm Winter
Closed: 1 January, 25 March, Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 December, 26 December
Tickets: Full €10, Reduced €5
Combined Tickets: €30. The combined ticket includes entrance to the Acropolis and the North and South Slopes of the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Library, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora, Museum of Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Kermakeikos, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Archaeological Site of Lykeion – for 5 days
Free Admission Days: 6 March, 18 April, 18 May, the last weekend of September, 28 October, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st.
The Archaeological Museum of Athens
You will have the opportunity to see some of the rarest and most remarkable artifacts of antiquity as you walk through the halls of the Archaeological Museum, which is housed in a stunning neoclassical building.
Opening Hours: Winter (November 1st – March 31st) Tuesday 1:00 pm – 8 pm. Wednesday – Monday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Summer (April 1st – October 31st) 12:30 pm – 8 pm. Wednesday – Monday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Tickets: €6 Winter (November 1st – March 31st), €12 Summer (April 1st – October 31st) €12
There is also a combined ticket available that costs €15 valid for 3 days that includes entrance to the Archaeological Museum, the Epigraphic Museum, the Numismatic Museum, and the Byzantine and Christian Museum.
Free Admission: 6 March, 18 April, 18 May, last weekend of September, 28 October, every first Sunday of each month from November 1st until March 31st
The Change of the Guards
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at Syntagma Square, right underneath the Greek Parliament house. The Presidential Guards, called the Evzones, stand guard while performing very characteristic ceremonial steps that carry great symbolism. Watching the Change of the Guards, which happens every hour, is a great spectacle. Even more so if you are lucky enough to catch the Sunday 11 am Grand Change which includes all of the Evzones and the military band.
Romantic things to do in Athens on your honeymoon
There are many Greek songs that sing about the romance in Athens through the ages. It’s quite easy to be romantic in Athens with its several picturesque side streets and beautiful vistas, but here are some ideas to get the mood going:
Experience a hammam
Though ‘hammam’ is a Turkish word, the practice of communal baths in exquisite marble pools and showers has been a custom since Ancient Greece. In Athens, there are several top-tier hammams for you to enjoy a traditional, magical experience that is a lot more than just a spa.
Take a food tour
There are many secrets about unique and amazing eateries, and they are all waiting for you to sample them through a food tour! You will go through a 4-hour walking tour of Athens, sampling treats here and there, and getting to know Athens as never before! After all, the way to one’s heart is through the stomach.
Sunset at Cape Sounion
Nothing is more romantic than a perfect sunset. And it doesn’t get more perfect than at the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. After a picturesque drive along the South coast of Attica, you will be treated to a breathtaking view of the bay while the sun is setting, bathing the ancient ruins of the Temple of Poseidon and the waters below in a kaleidoscope of gold and silver.
The easiest way to get to Sounio is by a guided tour. I personally recommend this half-day Sounio sunset tour from Athens
Take a sailing cruise
Either through the day for swimming and diving along the beautiful Athenian coastline or exclusively to enjoy the sunset in the Saronic Gulf, a sailing cruise is as romantic as it gets! Have an experienced crew take you on a yachting ride to Athens’ hidden seaside beauties, as you share the experience with your loved one.
Have a meal at a Michelin star restaurant
Greek cuisine is famous around the world for its healthy tastiness. What better way to enhance the romance during your stay than a romantic dinner at a high-class Michelin star-awarded restaurant? Grande Bretagne’s Roof Garden restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star for its exquisite Mediterranean cuisine. If you also want to sample something more European, Spondi restaurant boasts two Michelin stars and focuses mainly on French cuisine with a flair.
Have drinks on a rooftop bar
What’s better than enjoying the gorgeous view of Athens at your feet while enjoying your cocktail with your loved one? A for Athens, Galaxy Bar, and several other options depending on your mood are there for unforgettable noons and nights.
You might also like: The best rooftop bars in Athens.
Sunset at Lycabettus
Opposite the Acropolis is Lycabettus Hill, which legend has the goddess Athena dropped when she was startled while carrying it over Athens. Ride the Lycabettus funicular to the top and enjoy a beautiful sunset over all of Athens as you drink your coffee.
Take a romantic walk through the streets of Plaka
The Plaka district in Athens is the historical center of the city, which has been kept intact since the time of King Otto in the late 19th century: lose yourself with your spouse in the various narrow streets leading up to the Acropolis and end a romantic afternoon on top of the Areopagus.
Watch the sunset from Philopappos Hill
It’s called the Hill of the Muses for a reason! Traditionally a place for romancing young couples, the silva and winding Roman pathways leading to the monument at the top are the perfect romantic stroll during sunset.
Where to continue your honeymoon in Greece
After you have sampled Athens and all her wonders, you are ready to continue your honeymoon to the islands!
But don’t neglect visiting Crete, one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean, with several unique features, from two of the world’s ten pink beaches to the ancient palaces of Knossos and Phaistos.
During your honeymoon, a world of wonders awaits you in Athens as well as the islands! All you need to do is plan it so it is perfect for you.