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How to Experience Athens on a Budget of €10 a Day

Monastiraki Square. Credit: Greek Reporter

Now that you have arrived in Athens, how do you enjoy all that the ancient city has to offer on a budget? It might be easier than you think.

Let’s go over some of the key elements to experiencing the wonders of Athens for only €10 (around $11 or $12) a day.

One of the first things you need to do is be sure to book yourself in a hotel or air bnb in or near the city center — somewhere around Syntagma Square or Monastiraki is ideal.

Most hotels will give you a better deal if you book straight from their website rather than using a third party hotel-booking service.

This is a vital step to saving money while in Athens because you will find yourself right in the middle of where the action is — meaning you won’t need to worry about transportation or other costs — you can just walk to all the sights.

Starting off your day with a typical Greek breakfast

Everywhere you turn in Athens you will find a “fourno,” or bakery. There are many to choose from around the city center. In Monastiraki, for example, you will find some of the best bakeries serving up all sorts of Greek pastries — both sweet and savory.

Going to a bakery for breakfast is a popular choice for Athenians who like to grab a warm pie stuffed with cheese or spinach, called “tiropita” and “spanakopita,” as they are both low-cost and incredibly delicious.

You will find that you only need to spend a couple of euros on these breakfast treats, and many places also offer a coffee for an extra euro with the pitas.

You can opt to eat at the bakery if they have seating (sometimes there is not a sit-down area), or you can head to a quiet square down the winding, narrow roads of Monastiraki and enjoy the sights and sounds of the old town.

What is there to do in Athens that is free?

One great way to get to know the city is to join a free walking tour.

Your guide will show you all of the not-to-miss cultural sites of both modern and ancient Athens in a two to two-and-a-half hour tour in English — for free! For more information check out the tour here.

Also, be sure to book in advance — since it’s free, spaces are always limited.

Entrance into the Acropolis itself can cost 5 euros for a non-reduced ticket during the winter, and a whole 10 euros during the summertime.

If you budget for it, visiting the site is one of the best things to do in Athens.

If you’re running low on cash, however, you can also check out the Acropolis for free by taking a walk on the cobblestone path that winds around the foot of the hill.

This is a great opportunity for some unforgettable selfies and to admire the ancient ruins of Athens.

Grab a gyro for a budget dinner in Athens

An enjoyable way to pass the evening in Athens is to grab a souvlaki or gyro from one of the many great shops in the center of Athens and eat it in a scenic location.

Oftentimes, if you find a shop outside of the touristy areas, you can snag an entire gyro, which includes meat, toppings like tzatziki, tomatoes, french fries, onions, and lettuce wrapped in a pita, for just two to three euros.

After you get your food, you can head to Zappeion Park in the middle of the city to relax, eat, and people watch. This green oasis provides a break from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as the perfect setting for a picnic!

Another not-to-miss free thing to do in Athens is watching the changing of the guards outside of the Greek Parliament building. These famous guards known as “Evzones” are always dressed in traditional clothing and the changing of the guard ceremony takes place every hour.

A perfect way to end the day is by visiting Filopappos Hill which over looks the city and the sea. You can always grab a coffee or beer, depending on the hour, before hiking up the short trail to sit on the ancient rocks and watch the sunset.

Or if its summertime, grab an ice-cream beforehand for a couple of euros, hike up the hill and enjoy the view! A day in Athens doesn’t only not have to cost a lot — it’s priceless.

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