Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations famous for its azure water, Mediterranean sun, fantastic food, rich history and ancient historical sights. There is plenty to explore, and in one visit it would be impossible to see all Greece has to offer. The country consists of 6000 islands, with 227 of them inhabited – so there is plenty to discover. No matter if you are looking to relax on the famous beaches, learn more about Greek history by seeing the remarkable sights like the Acropolis, or want to wander the charming streets of Mykonos, Greece offers a rich diversity of things to see and do.
While Greece isn’t an overly expensive country to visit, most attractions do have entrance fees, and traveling between the islands to see the different sights (for example in Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, and Zakynthos) can quickly add up. When traveling to Athens, it is best to invest in the multipass which will let you experience many of the major attractions for only 30 euros or to visit on the first Sunday of the month when many places are free. Throughout Greece, you’ll find plenty of free walking tours that are a great way to see the city and affordable. Another great way to lower travel costs is to eat like the locals and try some of the delicious street food.
If you are planning a trip to Greece and are on a tight budget, here are 25 things you can do with only $200 in your pocket.
The Acropolis in Athens is one historic site in Greece you can’t miss. It is a symbol of Athens and its most famous landmark. The must-see ancient Greek monument complex is on a rocky hill above the city of Athens and includes several ancient wonders including the Parthenon, the ancient temple Erechtheion, the temple of Athena Nike, and the old temple of Athena. Admission to the Acropolis will allow you to visit all the monuments and see the incredible lookout over Athens.
Admission is regularly 20 Euros, but there are several free admission days throughout the year, such as the first Sunday of the month from November to March. Post-secondary students can enter for half price, while everyone under the age of 18 can visit for free. If you are planning on visiting multiple sites in Athens it is worth buying the multi-pass.
In Santorini, there are plenty of blue-domed churches, but in all the photos of this place there is one postcard shot of the same church. The beautiful blue dome church with a backdrop of the Aegean Sea, whitewashed walls and blue sky is an iconic image that attracts tourists year after year. The famous blue dome church is in Oia Greece and finding the perfect picture spot is a bit hard but worth the effort to capture the shot for your Instagram feed. As many of the lookout points are unmarked, one of the easiest ways to find a scenic spot is by searching these GPS coordinates in Google Maps: 36.461407, 25.376124.
Greece’s beaches attract millions of tourist each year who come to see the crystal clear water. The secluded Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Bay, is one of Greece’s best beaches, and it is the most popular beach on Zante Island. The picturesque beach got its name when a ship carrying illegal cargo got ship wrecked there in 1983. Today the rusted ship can still be seen ashore on the beach. The limestone cliff-lined beach has clear turquoise water and soft white sand that makes it the perfect beach getaway. Only accessible by boat, you can reach Navagio Beach by taking a boat tour from Zakynthos Town, and prices start at 20 euros.
To get the perfect panoramic view of Athens, you can head to the lookout point at the Acropolis but you have to pay to get in, and the lookout point is often crowded. Areopagus Hill, also known as Mars Hill, is a better alternative option. According to Greek mythology, it is the spot where Ares (the god of War and known to Romans as Mars) was tried for the murder of Poseidon’s son Alirrothios. Visiting Areopagus Hill is not only free but provides the ideal spot to watch the sunset.
At the base of the Acropolis is the Acropolis Museum which showcases artifacts from the Acropolis. Here you can find tons of sculptures from 700 to 480 BC in the Archaic Gallery, the Caryatid Ladies 5 of the 6 columns from the Erectheion, and a glass floor where you can see ruins of an ancient Athenian neighborhood. Entry is 5 euros for adults, 3 euros for students, and free for everyone under 18 years old.
Most visit Mykonos for the plentiful beaches, as there are 25 beaches perfect for soaking up the sun. The second biggest attraction on the island is Mykonos Town which is an enchanting area to stroll through. The cobbled pedestrian streets are filled with art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques that will beckon you to explore. The entire area is absolutely stunning with whitewashed walls, blue and turquoise painted accents and vibrant bougainvillea climbing on the buildings. The picture-perfect area is a favorite photo spot in Greece and makes an excellent selfie spot.
The colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens is the largest temple in Greece and located in the center of Athens and dates back to the 6th century BC. Dedicated to Zeus, now only fifteen of the original 104 Corinthian columns remain. It used to house the statue of Zeus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Admission is 4 euros and included in Athens multi-passes.
Next to the Temple of Olympian Zeus is the Arch of Hadrian, commonly known as Hadrian’s Gate, which was constructed starting in 131 BC to celebrate the arrival of Roman Emperor Hadrian. It was built as a token of gratitude for the works he had done for their city. The lower part of the arch follows Roman architecture, and the top showcases Greek design. The placement of the arch was to mark the line between ancient Athens and Hadrian’s new city. Visiting the Arch of Hadrian is free.
Santorini is famous for being a romantic spot to watch the sunset in Greece. On the island of Santorini tourists can watch the sky transform into vibrant shades of red and gold and reflect onto the ocean water below. Bring a blanket or find a comfortable patio and you can watch the famous Santorini sunsets for yourself, all for free. We’re sure if you ask around the locals will be happy to reveal strategic spots to enjoy the sunset, and probably snap a few pictures while you’re at it as well.
While you are in Greece, you need to try a cup of their traditional coffee. It is the perfect thing to give you a jolt of energy and help you get over your jet lag. Traditional Greek coffee is made in a pot called a briki (the same as a Turkish coffee pot) and made with unfiltered coffee. Finely ground coffee beans are mixed with water, and the pot of coffee is placed over a box of sand to heat the coffee slowly. A cup of coffee will only cost a few euros, and it is the perfect relaxing way to start your day.
Built-in 444 BC, the same year as the Parthenon, the spectacular white marble columns next to the sea are well worth visiting. The most affordable way to reach the temple is to take the public KTEL bus which frequently runs from the Mavromateon Terminal in Athens to stop near Syntagma. The route takes 1 ½- 2 hours and costs just a few euros round trip. Just like the Parthenon, admission is free on the first Sunday of the month from November to March, and on several other dates throughout the year. Entry is 8 euros for adults, 4 euros for students and everyone under 18 can visit for free.
One of the most affordable ways to travel between Oia and Fira is on foot! It is just a 7-mile hike between the two cities and takes 3 hours along breathtaking cliffside through Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and finally Fira! While for some of the journey you will be able to walk on paved streets, at times you will be walking on a gravel path so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera for the incredible views.
On the beautiful island of Thassos is Giola – a natural swimming pool fixed int the rocks. The incredible swimming pool is next to the Aegean sea, so it is like you are swimming in a natural infinity pool as you see the nothing but water ahead of you. The crystal clear water is the perfect spot to cool off on a summer’s day. Giola is in Astris and can be accessed by hiking on a dirt path to the swimming pool, which you can swim in for free.
The National Gardens are a lush oasis in the heart of Athens next to the Parliament Buildings. Here you can wander the thousands of plants and sit next to the pond to rest your feet and cool off after walking around the city. Within the gardens, you’ll also find the botanical museum and a small zoo. The gardens are free to visit and is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic and a book.
Not sure what to see when you are in Santorini? Santorini Free Tour gives free 2-hour walking tours on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays at 10:00 am where they will take you to beautiful traditional walkways in Fira, panoramic viewpoints, on a cable car, to the famous blue dome you see in all the Santorini photos and the picturesque village of Imerovigli. Or if you instead take a tour on your own pace and schedule, you can download a free walking tour of Santorini that has 3 different routes available that take between 1-2 hours.
Why not let a local expert show you around their city? There are a variety of free walking tours available, such as Free Tour, which offers free walking tours where you can learn more about Greek cuisine. You can’t visit Greece without trying some of the food! Two affordable dishes you need to eat are souvlaki and koulouri. Souvlaki refers to meat, often pork, lamb or beef, and it is served on a pita dressed with tzatziki and garnished with tomatoes and onions. It makes for a hearty lunch, and a souvlaki will cost between 2 and 5 euros. For a filling snack, koulouri is simply delicious. It is like round pretzel – it is a round piece of thin bread covered in sesame seeds and can be purchased for an average 0.50 euros.
The Ancient Agora literally translates to gathering place and was the political, religious, cultural and commercial meeting place where Greek democracy developed. It is this spot some of the greatest Greek minds such as Plato and Socrates debated and theorized. A short walk away from the Acropolis and Parthenon it is 8 euros to visit, but if you have the Acropolis multi-pass, you can enter for free. As part of your entry to the Ancient Agora, you can also visit the Ancient Agora Museum and the Temple of Hephaestus.
Inside the Ancient Agora, you’ll find the Temple of Hephaestus the best preserved ancient temple in Greece. Both the Athena and Temple of Hephaestus began construction before the Parthenon, and the temple was the first in Athens to be made of marble. Hephaestus, the Greek god of volcanoes and metalworking and worked as a blacksmith. In the Iliad, it is Hephaestus who made the armor for Achilles with the famous weakness. Entry to the temple is included in the Acropolis multi-pass or entry ticket to the Ancient Agora.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre famous for its outstanding acoustics built in 161 AD. Seating up to 6000 people the theatre has had famous stars including Luciano Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra perform here. Still used to this day, you can visit the theater when it isn’t in use or inquire with your hotel if there any affordable shows, for example during Athens Art Festival as watching a concert under the night sky at this beautiful venue will be a memorable experience.
The Panathenaic Stadium is one of the most visited attractions in Athens. Built-in 330 BC as a race track for the Panathenaic Games, a sports and cultural event that took place every 4 years. In 144 AD the stadium was rebuilt out of white marble, and this site hosted the first contemporary Olympics in 1896. Entrance is 3 euros, and here you can take some fantastic selfies running on the race track or standing on the podium next to the Olympic rings.