Athens is the capital of Greece and one of the most visited cities in the world. However, most people don’t carve out enough time or money to enjoy it. It’s usually a pit stop on the way to the Greek islands. So, if you’re looking for budget friendly things to do in Athens you’re in the right place. The Athens Free Walking Tour is perfect for every budget.
When my husband and I went to Greece, we spent 2 days in Athens. We had 1 day before and one day after our 5 days in Santorini. I didn’t want to skip over Athens but we weren’t looking to spend a ton. So, I needed to find an option that would maximize our short time while sticking to our budget. As I planned our itinerary, I found the Athens Free Walking Tour on Tripadvisor. Since the tour received 5 stars, by almost 1000 customers, we decided to give it a shot!
Athens Free Walking Tour: Is it really free and is it worth it?
From the reviews, I knew the tour was FREE but they asked that you tip the guide. I didn’t have a problem with tipping since some of the guides do this for a living, not just for fun. So, what’s an appropriate tip for a free tour? Some people tipped about 10-20 euro but there was one Australian backpacker who only tipped 5. Luckily, our guide had a great attitude and appreciated the fact that 5 euro was all the backpacker could spare.
Our tour lasted 4 hours, not the usual three because we had a group full of history buffs and we spent a bit more time at each stop. Our guide, I can’t remember his name, was charming and knowledgeable and seemed to really enjoy his time with the group. During the tour, there isn’t time to actually go inside most of these places, including the Acropolis, but walking around this beautiful city and learning the history is worth it. Below are some of the featured stops on the tour:
- Hadrian’s Arch
- Temple of Zeus
- Kalimarmaro Stadium
- Monastiraki markets
- Parliament & Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Hill of Ares
- Roman and Greek agora
One of my favorite stops was Panathenaic Stadium, home of the 1896 Olympic games. As I stood in front of the stadium, I couldn’t help imagining what it was like to attend the Olympics back then. I’ve never actually been to the Olympics but it’s on my bucket list so this served as a good place holder until I get to the modern games.
By far, the best stop on the tour was the Acropolis. We didn’t go all the way to the top but we got pretty close and we hiked up to this area that overlooks the city and snapped some pretty sweet pictures.
Final Thoughts on the Athens Free Walking Tour
So, was it really free and was it worth it? YES, it was most definitely worth it and NO it wasn’t exactly free (tip your guide!). To be honest, I would have paid to take this tour. I highly recommend it to anyone with a limited amount of time and funds in Athens. You can’t get a better deal for the money! I learned more about Athens in 4 hours than I would have if I had spent the afternoon in a museum. Check out the Tripadvisor reviews. Also, you can visit the Website. Many cities have variations of the “free walking tour.” Don’t forget to look for free tours on your next trip!
If you’re heading to Santorini, be sure to read My Love Affair with Santorini.
Have you done the Athens free walking tour? Have you done any free walking tours? What did you think of them? Tell me about it in the comments!
Note: This post was originally posted in November 2014 but was updated in September 2017.