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Here she is, standing proudly at the top of the Sacred Rock… the best known temple of the ancient world, the Parthenon

The best culture experiences in Greece

Guide to culture experiences in Greece, with tours of archaeological sites, museums and authentic villages

In this guide, you’ll discover the best culture experiences in Greece on both the islands and mainland, with highlights and practical information so you can get the most out of your holidays.

Experience the best of Greek culture

With every destination in Greece bursting at the seams with history, myths and local traditions, our guide to the best culture experiences takes you around the top archaeological sites (many UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and museums and into authentic coastal and mountain villages. We cover every period of Greek history, from Minoan palaces and Ancient Greek temples and theatres to Venetian castles and contemporary art museums.

The cultural highlights of Athens

Culture in Athens starts with the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, and we explore both in depth. But that’s just the start as we introduce you to other historical highlights, such as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and Panathenaic Stadium (used to host the first modern Olympic Games) as well the top museums in Athens (including the National Archaeological Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art and Benaki Museum of Greek Culture as well as the National Gallery of Athens and Goulandris Museum of Modern Art … two contemporary masterpieces.

And speaking of modern gems, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is home to the National Opera House and National Library. There’s all that and much more.

The best of Thessaloniki and mainland Greece

Like Athens, Thessaloniki is a city made to be walked. You’ll find Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman heritage all around you as well as iconic landmarks such as the White Tower (now a city museum). And just a short drive from Thessaloniki are other highlights of Macedonian heritage, such as the Royal Tombs in Vergina (containing the remains of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great) and the archaeological site of Philippi

Cultural highlights everywhere you look

Travelling around Greece, it’s astonishing how many cultural landmarks are household names: The archaeological sites of Delphi, Epidaurus, Messene and Olympia are all legendary (we take you around all of them). And we follow in the footsteps of Aristotle in Halkidiki and scale the heights of Palamidi Castle, one of the legacies of the Venetians in Nafplio, in the western Peloponnese.

Cultural gems on Greek islands

Whilst you’re on a Greek island soaking up the sun and sea, make sure to leave time to fill up on a bit of culture. Every island has their gems: the medieval Old Town and Temple of Lindos on Rhodes, the Asclepion of Kos, the Temple of Demeter on Naxos and Spinalonga island in Crete to name a few. 

And speaking of Crete, you’re not going to Heraklion without going to the Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum, containing wonders of the Minoan civilisations. Likewise, we take you into the mastic villages of Chios and from Mykonos to the island of Delos and the birthplace of the god Apollo. Are you ready for the ride?

Coastal and mountain villages in Greece

The final stop on your culture tour of Greece is in the villages. Whether you’re on the Greek coast or in the mountains (and often you can combine the two), you’ll experience villages overflowing with authenticity. We have village-hopping experiences on many Greek islands (including Crete, Paros, Chios, Naxos, Sifnos, Thassos, Karpathos, Samos and Paxos) as well as mainland destinations such as Halkidiki and on Mt Olympus.

We did say you can experience culture everywhere in Greece.
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image/svg+xml shutterstock_584947378 (1) shutterstock_584947378 (1) Created with Sketch. Thrace region-id="13"; Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Karpenisi Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira


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All experiences (65)

The theatre was central to Philippi’s history

A tour of the archaeological site of Philippi

The archaeological site of Philippi, near Kavala, has one of the richest histories of all ancient Greek ruins, playing a pivotal role in Macedonian, Roman...
View of Colourful Menetes village_Karpathos

Colourful village-hopping through the mountains of Karpathos

Within Karpathos’ mountainous interior are colourful villages that have preserved everything that is most traditional about the beautiful Dodecanese island in a wonderful capsule of...
The villages of Evritania overflow with everything magical about Central Greece

Village-hopping in the mountains of Evritania

The villages of Evritania overflow with everything magical about Central Greece – tradition, history, local products, mouthwatering dishes and lots and lots of greenery. And...
Ancient Epidaurus is most famous today for giving us the best-preserved ancient Greek theatre

Ancient Epidaurus, the original deluxe healing centre

Ancient Epidaurus is most famous today for giving us the best-preserved ancient Greek theatre, where productions still take place. But as the sick and wounded...
View of traditional tavern in Pythagoreio

Village-hopping in Samos, from mountain to coast

One of Greece’s most culturally rich and green islands is also home to a wealth of villages. Whether you explore the coast or wine-growing foothills,...
Stroll around Byzantine-chic Patmos' Hora

Discovering the mystical aura of Patmos’ Hora

There’s a Byzantine mysticism and Italian finesse to Patmos’ main town that reveal themselves with every step you take.