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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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If you’re the kind of traveller who loves exploring everything about a country, you’ll love our guide to the top things to do in Greece. We take you around the leading cultural sites and on food and walking tours and introduce you to the best ways to experience Greece’s magical sea and countryside … all so you can plan your perfect holidays in Greece.

If you’ve booked your holidays to Greece and want to know all the things to do in and around your destination, or if you’re just looking for a bit of inspiration to decide where to go, welcome to our guide to the best things to do in Greece. It’s designed to be both inspiring and practical, helping you choose and plan the experiences you’ll be including on your bucket list.

Pick your perfect beach holiday

For us, Greek beaches are about so much more than sun, sea and sand. They all have their own character and reasons to visit. So we’ve explored all the most famous beaches in Greece and painted the picture for you. (Apologies in advance if it gets you wanting to be there right now.) if you’ve spent any time searching ‘Greece’ on Instagram, you’ve probably been introduced to many of them already. Then again, seeing really is believing.

How to bring Greek culture to life

When we think of Greek culture, we see so much more than temples and marble pillars. For us, Greece’s archaeological sites are alive with the myths and legends of antiquity. So we went looking to answer why Greece is referred to as the cradle of western civilisation at all the top ancient sites and toured museums and art galleries (many modern ones too) on islands and around the mainland. All so you can choose the right experiences for you.

Culture truly is all around you when you’re in Greece, which is why we’ve got a wide range of city and island walking tours you can follow, whether you’re on a city break in Athens or Thessaloniki or visiting a Greek island. We take a ‘locals know best’ approach, seeking out all those hidden gems you won’t find in a guidebook as well as ticking off the highlights. And of course you’ve heard of island-hopping. But have you ever heard of village-hopping? You have now.

Don’t forget to pack your appetite

Whether you’re a card-carrying foodie or looking to get to know Greek food a bit better, you’re in for a treat. We’re more passionate about food and drink than perhaps any other part of Greek culture and it shows in our foodie tours in cities and islands, as well as our vineyard and olive oil tours and our focus on classic Greek products like mastiha from Chios and ouzo from Lesvos.

You’ll find amazing things happening on the food front in Athens. And Thessaloniki might just be the premier foodie destination in Greece. That said, there are quite a few destinations that would disagree. Check out our food and drink tours – definitely some of the best things to do in Greece – and decide for yourself.

Get active on your holidays in Greece

One of our favourite sections in our guide to the best things to do in Greece is the collection of all outdoor activities. We take you to the top of mountains (they don’t all need to be as tall as Mt Olympus, although we take you there too) and trek down some of the most stunning gorges in Europe. If you’ve only ever been on a beach holiday to Greece, you’ll be amazed how many signposted hikes there are on both mainland and islands. There are even hikes that end at the beach. How’s that for a reward after a hike?

We have hiking excursions to some of the most beautiful scenery in Greece (yes, Meteora, we’re looking at you) and ideas for mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoning and even snow skiing. And if you’re a water sports enthusiast, there’s diving, kayaking, river rafting and more.

Boat trips to hidden beaches and islands neighbours

Finally, we went looking for the best boat trips in Greece. Some take you to remote beaches and others into sea caves. There’s even a boat trip from Alonissos that takes you around Greece’s first marine park. Or you could even boost your Greek island holiday by taking a day trip to a neighbouring island, or by adding an unexpected island-hopping twist to Athens getaway to the islands of the Saronic Gulf. We’ve got dozens of boat trips to choose from.

We’re here to give you ideas. The rest is up to you.

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View of Acropolis and Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The must-see Athens landmarks revealed in a stroll

Taking a walk around Athens is like visiting an open-air museum, with some of the most impressive ancient Greek monuments appearing at every turn. So...
Ηopping between villages is the perfect follow-up to enjoying the lively atmosphere of the towns and beautiful beaches of Paros

Escaping to the villages of Paros

Like settling down to a great book after watching a blockbuster, hopping between villages is the perfect follow-up to enjoying the lively atmosphere of the...
Τhe Temple of Demeter, the 6th-century BC sanctuary dedicated to the goddess of harvest and fertility

A tour of the Temple of Demeter on Naxos

To find the source of Naxos’ delicious agricultural produce, head to the Temple of Demeter, the 6th-century BC sanctuary dedicated to the goddess of harvest...
Palaios Panteleiomonas is a centuries-old village whose inhabitants had chosen to relocate to the coast before returning to breathe new life into the village

Mythical village-hopping on the slopes of Mt Olympus

Whether you’re looking for pockets of authenticity in which to unwind or an escape for activities in nature, the villages of Mt Olympus capture everything...
The Early Cycladic Period gave us the famous figurines of men and woman, and sometimes just faces, notable for the beauty of their lines and luminosity of the marble

A tour of the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens

Discover how some of the most ancient objects in the world are also amongst the most graceful, continuing to inspire fashion and design thousands of...
You can appreciate the museum’s stature even before you enter, with its imposing 19th-century neoclassical facade

Journey through time at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens

Presenting some of the most important artefacts ever unearthed in the country, the National Archaeological Museum leaves no stone unturned in revealing the epic story...
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