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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

Highlights

Some favourites to get you started

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The emblematic windmills greet you no less warmly until you step through the vaulted doorway of the castle

A walking tour of Astypalea’s radiant Hora

The main town of Astypalea emits classic Cycladic charm everywhere you look – except that it’s not in the Cyclades at all and, once you’ve...
Beautiful paved streets, neoclassical buildings and a lively market and shops all testify to Halki’s past as the capital of Naxos

Mountain village hopping in Naxos

The quaint little mountain settlements of Naxos stand ready to reveal all the authenticity of the island… one cobblestone at a time.
The entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

A walking tour of Corfu Old Town

From Venetian fortresses and British mansions to stately palaces and French esplanades, a walking tour around the Old Town of Corfu is like exploring an...
Famous for its seafood, Loggos is a must for a seaside lunch or dinner

A day village-hopping in adorable little Paxos

Through the intense colours, tastes and character of its villages, tiny Paxos shows that it’s so much more than an island of magical beaches and...
Strolling around Douliana village charming alleyways

Fill up on Cretan authenticity in the villages of Chania

It doesn’t matter how well you think you know Greece, if you haven’t visited the Apokoronas villages of Chania, you haven’t experienced Crete at its...
Streets of Plaka, Athens

Feeling the vibes of Athens around the Acropolis

Using the Acropolis as your compass, a city of extraordinary contrasts and charms opens up beneath your feet
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