Athens is one of the most affordable destinations I’ve ever visited! I wish I’d known just how easy and affordable it is to travel here back when I was single and traveling on the cheap 100% of the time! No matter where I go, though, no matter how affordable, I’m always looking for smart ways to save money—because the more money you save, the more you can travel, right? So, here are my top money saving tips for Athens, Greece!
Find the FREE Things to Do
No matter where you go, you can always find FREE things to do! Here are a few easy ones to add to your list, but a quick Google search will give you even more!
- Changing of the Guard
- Hadrian’s Arch
- Plaka Neighborhood
- Athens National Gardens
- Monastiraki Square
- Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments
It’s always possible: How to Have a Great Trip on a Tight Budget
Choose Athens Combo Ticket OR Acropolis and Acropolis Museum
My suggestions is to choose one or the other: Either the Athens Combo Ticket or the Acropolis Museum. Even the most budget-conscious traveler isn’t coming to Athens just to skip the Acropolis, right?! So this is something you will definitely need to plan to spend some money to do. Here’s the quick breakdown.
The Athens Combo Ticket is €30 and includes seven different sites like the Acropolis and Roman Agora. The Acropolis Museum is, oddly, not included in this combination ticket.
The Acropolis site alone is €20, and the Acropolis Museum is €10 in addition to that, so gauge how important is it to you to visit both. And if it’s important to you to visit all the sites in the Athens Combo Ticket and the Acropolis Museum, you totally have permission to do that! Just plan to spend €40 for all the Athens Combo sites and the Acropolis Museum.
More here: Your Ultimate Guide to the Athens Combo Ticket
Metro vs. Taxi from Airport
The Athens Metro system is easy to use, and it’ll be your most affordable option for getting to and from the Athens Airport (ATH). One-way tickets are €10 for a single rider, or €9 per person for two or more tickets.
The Metro from the Airport to Syntagma Station in Athens City Center takes 45 minutes, and you can stay on the Blue Line (the only Metro line at the airport) all the way without changing trains. Just remember to add in your travel time from the station you exit to walk to your hotel or other accommodation.
By contrast, a taxi is 40 minutes from the airport to the city center (time can vary depending on where you stay), and you won’t need to account for additional time for walking, since the taxi will drop you off at your accommodation. That ride, however, will run you €45. So, if you’re traveling in a group of four people or more and can fit into one cab, it might be worth a little extra. Otherwise the Metro is much less expensive!
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit Athens
Water is FREE
This is so not the case in most of Europe! Take advantage of the fact that the tap water is not only safe to drink, it’s also going to come with your meal in a restaurant. You’ll still need to pay for bottled water, and if fresh-squeezed juice is on the menu, it’s worth a few extra Euro for a glass, but definitely take advantage of the free tap water!
Keep eating: Where to Eat in 36 Hours in Athens
Look for the Local Spots
This is a sure money-saving strategy anywhere in the world. Look for the locals, and see where they’re eating and shopping. Our hotel recommended a fabulous local restaurant (the sign wasn’t even in English, so we knew it wasn’t a tourist hotspot!), and they even offered a €15 meal for hotel guests. It was SO MUCH more than we could eat in one setting, so it was an excellent value!
Another day, we walked just half a block off the main tourist street next to the Ancient Agora and found a fabulous local spot. You don’t have to go super far out of your way, you just have to be willing to walk down a side street! Again, it was an excellent value, and truly authentic!
Don’t forget to shop local, too! 5 Tips to Shop Local on Travel
Want more? Check out everything to know to plan your Athenian adventure on my dedicated Greece Page!
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