Table of Contents

17 Top Athens Packing List Items for 2023 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for Athens
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Athens is a city that makes it onto just about everyone’s bucket list and for good reason. It’s rich in history with Ancient ruins around every turn and seemingly on every hilltop. In modern-day Athens, the city is nothing short of vibrant. With a deep connection to traditional Greek culture, the food is bursting with flavor and impressive street life. With the warm Mediterranean climate, you might be wondering what locals wear and what you should pack for your trip to Athens. That’s why I’ve put together a full packing list for Athens, Greece:

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What to Pack for Athens – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    While Athens is overall a safe city, there are a few areas at night that have higher crime rates. Keeping your valuables in your neck wallet that fits nicely under your shirt or jacket will ensure that no sticky fingers can get to them. Gives you peace of mind that your wallet, phone, and passport are safe while you’re enjoying Athens.

    Neck Wallet

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  • 2. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Like most of Europe, the hotel rooms in Athens aren’t exactly overly spacious. The bathrooms can be tight. Using a hanging toiletry bag will clear up the limited counter space in the bathroom. Not to mention, it’ll keep you organized so you can get ready in a flash— rather than digging around in your suitcase looking for your hair brush or your shampoo.

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

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  • 3. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    When you think of Athens, images of the ancient city probably come to mind. The Acropolis, Parthenon, and all the temples. What people tend to forget is that Athens is a coastal city and has some pretty amazing beaches. Pack a quick-dry travel towel, so that if you go from the beach to museums, you’re not stuck carrying a soggy towel.

    travel towel

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  • 4. Lip-Stick Sized Portable Charger

    Athens is huge. It can be a little intimidating to navigate at times, even remembering the street name that you’re staying on is difficult considering the greek alphabet. Trust me when I say, you don’t ever want to be in a position where you don’t have your phone to help you navigate. Bring a portable charger along so that you’re never lost with a dead phone.

    Lip-Stick Sized Portable Charger

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Packing Cubes

    On day one of your trip, your suitcase is normally packed nicely and neatly— but it just takes one moment looking for a specific item to turn your suitcase into a chaotic pile of clothing. Using packing cubes keeps everything nice and tidy, which is extremely important in a hotel room that is tight on space.

    Packing Cubes

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  • 6. Life Straw Water Bottle

    The locals will tell you that it’s ok to drink tap water in Athens, however considering that it’s the oldest capital city in Europe— some of the pipes have to be pretty old as well. To be on the safe side bring a self-filtering water bottle that you can fill anywhere and not have to worry about the water being clean.

    LifeStraw Water Bottle

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 7. Universal Travel Adapter

    In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for a trip, it is easy to forget the small details such as the fact that European outlets are different. Make sure to pack a few high-quality travel adaptors, so that you’re not spending your first day in Athens running around looking for a store selling adapters.

    Peru power adapter

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  • 8. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    Imagine all the incredible photos you’ve snapped on your trip gone in a flash. I’ve been there before when I accidentally dropped my phone into the water on a trip. Make sure to use a universal waterproof phone case whenever you’re near the water because accidents can and do happen.

    Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Cooling Towel

    The heat in Athens can be relentless. I for one have been suckered into things like “fish pedicures” solely to escape into air-conditioning. Bringing a cooling towel along will keep you relaxed even in the mid-day sun, so you can keep exploring and not make a detour in the name of air conditioning.

    cooling towel

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  • 10. Daypack

    When you set out for a day of adventures in Athens, chances are you’re not going to be going back to the hotel till late in the evening. Packing a daypack with everything you need for the day will save you from having to purchase things that you already have with you like a sweater or sunscreen.

    Daypack

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  • 11. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Something that should be in your daypack every day is a travel umbrella. Being caught somewhere like on the Acropolis when it starts to rain means either huddling under an ancient ruin until the rain stops or getting soaked climbing back down towards the city since there’s no coverage from the rain.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 12. Deodorant Wipes

    With the mix of heat and humidity, you’ll get pretty sweaty while you’re exploring Athens. Throw a couple of deodorant wipes into your day pack so you can quickly freshen up. It’ll come in handy, especially on the days when there’s no time to shower between the long day of sightseeing and going out for dinner and drinks.

    Deodorant Wipes

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  • 13. Travel Insurance

    Travel insurance is one of those things that most people only think about after something happens. By then it’s too late, so make sure to get yourself covered before heading out on your trip. You never know when a flight will be canceled or your luggage never turns up at the baggage claim. We recommend TravelInsurance.com because you can compare policies from top companies to find the best option for you and your travel plans.

    Travel Insurance

    Compare policies at TravelInsurance.com ➜

  • 14. Mosquito Repellant

    The mosquitos in Athens are fierce. Right around dusk, they’ll seemingly come out of nowhere. If you’re not prepared with mosquito repellant, you’ll find yourself covered in spots pretty quickly. Since being covered in itchy bites isn’t ideal, keep a bottle of mosquito repellant in your daypack to fend them off.

    Mosquito Repellant

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  • 15. Activated Charcoal

    In the moment when you’re eating a fresh gyro from a street vendor, it’s pure bliss— sometime your stomach won’t feel that way in a couple of hours. If you’re prone to travelers’ sickness, it’s essential to bring a pack of activated charcoal with you, so you can eat all the street food without the fear of spending the rest of the trip near a toilet.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 16. Go-Pro Action Camera

    The adventures in Athens never stop. From the ruins to the street life, to the beaches. You’ll want to capture everything. Having a go-pro with you makes it easy to document your trip without having to worry about using all your storage space on your phone. Plus, you can get underwater shots that a phone just simply can’t get.

    Go-Pro Action Camera

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 17. VPN

    When people ask me what’s something that I never travel without, they’re normally pretty surprised to hear my response is a VPN. Since having my data hacked and my credit cards compromised on a trip, I always use a VPN to keep my information safe when I am connected to the public WiFi at my hotel.

    vpn

    View options at NordVPN ➜

What to Wear in Athens

While Athens is on the mainland of Greece, the causal islander energy has rubbed off onto this city. People dress causal in the city, but still with the European effortlessly refined style. If you want to fit in with the local crowd, where things are comfortable yet still fashion-forward. Think breezy maxi dresses, midi skirts, and breathable tops for women. Men can wear clean shorts (no cargo shorts), linen trousers, and cotton shirts. The key is keeping the materials breathable because when you’re climbing up to the acropolis the last thing you’ll want is to be in something polyester that seals the sweat in.
What Should WOMEN Wear in Athens? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Greek women seem to always look put together. They know exactly how to dress so that they’ll be comfortable regardless of how far they have to walk or what the weather is— yet still look super stylish. The key? Keep it simple. To obtain this you should pack a light maxi dress with comfortable sandals.

You’ll want to have cute sneakers for the days you’ll be trekking up the ancient ruins. For the hot days a pair of linen shorts with a breathable top. If you plan on hitting the beach don’t forget a fashion-forward swimsuit and a hat to protect you from the strong sun.

What Should MEN Wear in Athens? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Men in Greece live by the casual dress code. Rarely you’ll see a man in a suit— rather dressing up consists of a nice pair of chinos and a button-down. On a normal day, you can wear a pair of shorts with a breathable top or swap the shorts for a loose pair of linen trousers to embrace the Mediterranean vibe. Make sure to pack a nice pair of sneakers, the marble steps in the ruins can be pretty slick.

Dressing for the Seasons

SPRING – March, April, May

Spring is often considered the best time to visit Athens. The poppies are in full bloom, so the city looks even more magical than it usually does. The weather is sunny during the day and gets a little cooler in the evenings. You can get away with wearing a dress, or shorts and a t-shirt. Just make sure to pack a long sleeve for the evening, or a light jacket.

Temperatures in the spring range on average between 57°F to 81°F (13°C-27°C)

SUMMER – June, July, August

There is only one word for summer in Athens: HOT. With the temp ranging from just below 80 to upwards of 100, you’ll want to be in breathable materials, like linen pants or shorts, and cotton tops. Make sure to pack your swimsuit to escape the heat by cooling off in the sea.

Temperatures in the summer range on average between 78°F to 100°F (25°C-38°C)

FALL – September, October, November

The fall tends to be a rainy season in Greece. However, Athens seems to get less rain than other greek destinations. Either way you should have your umbrella packed. The autumn days are still warm, you’ll be comfortable wearing a light dress for sightseeing. Make sure to have trousers or a light jacket for the evening because it can get cooler once the sun goes down.

Temperatures in the fall range on average between 53°F to 82°F (12°C-28°C)

Winter – December, January, February

Winters in Athens are mild. The temp rarely drops below the mid-40s. Long sleeve shirts, trousers, and a light jacket should keep you warm— the locals will go as far to wear a light puffer jacket and a scarf, but remember they’re used to living in a climate that’s warm for 9 months of the year, so any dip below 55° feels freezing to them.

Temperatures in the winter range on average between 42°F to 62°F (5°C-16°C)

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity – (Click to expand)
Acropolis / Ancient Ruin Exploration: Exploring the ancient ruins is one of the major highlights of going to Greece. You’ll want to make sure you wear sneakers with good traction because the marble slabs can get extremely slippery. Also, wear something light, and bring a hat because places like the Acropolis are in direct sunlight with little shade available.

Museums: The museums in Greece are air-conditioned, going from the heat to a cool building can give anyone the chills, so pack a long sleeve to throw on or a light jacket to help you adjust to the temperature change.

Exploring Plaka: Plaka is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Athens. The winding streets, cute cafes, and stores are all perfect places to explore while getting amazing photos for your Instagram. You’ll want to wear something cute yet comfortable, a midi-skirt and cute top is perfect. For guys a nice pair of shorts with a breathable top.

Mount Lycabettus: Don’t worry you won’t have to climb to the top of Mount Lycabettus in order to take in the incredible views overlooking Athens. You can take the gondola straight to the top. While you can wear whatever you’re comfortable in, the wind can get pretty chilly up there. A light pair of trousers with a top will keep you warm— but if you tend to run on the colder side, maybe throw a long sleeve shirt into your daypack just in case.

A night out in Psiri: Psiri is where the night comes alive in Athens. You’ll want to get dolled up for a night out in this neighborhood. A skirt and crop top or a maxi dress will work, just make sure whatever shoes you wear you can dance in. For guys, you can wear a pair of linen trousers with a button-down and boat shoes or sandals.

Going to the beach: If you’re going to head to the beach in Athens, you’ll want to make sure you have beach sandals — some of the beaches are pebbles and others are sand, but they all are hot on the toes. A fashion-forward swimsuit will help you fit in with the locals, but don’t forget your hat because the sun in Greece is not forgiving.

What NOT to Bring to Athens

  • 1.DON’T Bring Heavy Winter Clothes

    You won’t need heavy winter clothes for your trip to Athens regardless of the season. It very rarely drops below freezing, so leave your parka and winter boots at home.

  • 2.DON’T Bring Valuables

    Greece has been going through economic turmoil over the last half a decade. While the city is pretty safe, you wouldn’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to yourself with blingy jewelry and other valuables. Leave all of that at home so you don’t have to worry about them being stolen.

  • 3.DON’T Bring a Hairdryer

    Most hotel rooms have a hair dryer in them, so you can leave yours at home and save some space in your luggage.

  • 4.DON’T Bring a Full suitcase

    The shopping in Athens is great. There are super cute fashion-forward clothes for affordable prices. You’ll definitely want to leave some room in your luggage for all your purchases while you’re in Athens.

  • 5.DON’T Bring Hiking Gear

    While Athens does have Mount Lycabettus you won’t need hiking gear since you can take the gondola up. Unless you’re going on a specific trekking-focused holiday, leave your outdoorsy things back home.

  • 6.DON’T Bring Books

    The last thing you need is an extra 5 pounds in your luggage. Books are heavy and take up a lot of space. Opt for a reading tablet, like a Kindle so you can have unlimited books taking up a fraction of your luggage real estate.

What NOT to Wear in Athens – (Click to expand)
There are two categories of things not to wear in Athens, the first being anything that will cause you to be overheated, think wool sweaters, tight polyester tops, or heavy coats. It gets pretty hot in Athens so you’ll want to stay cool. The other thing is nothing too revealing. After all, Greece is a pretty traditional and religious country. Keep your outfits somewhat modest in order to not draw unwanted attention.

FAQs about Visiting Athens

  • 1. How many days do I need in Athens?

    Athens is huge and rich in history. If you’re a huge history buff, you’ll want 4-5 days in Athens, if you just want to see some of the highlights and move on to the Greek Islands, 2-3 days should suffice.

  • 2. What are the most popular attractions?

    What are the most popular attractions
    • Acropolis
    • Parthenon
    • National Archeological Museum
    • Temple of Zeus
    • Ancient Agora of Athens
    • Panathenaic Stadium
    • Mount Lycabettus
    • Odeon of Herodes Atticus
    • Temple of Athena Nike
    • National Garden
  • 3. Is Athens safe?

    For the most part, Athens is safe. However, it’s important to remember that this is a metropolitan city, and like cities anywhere in the world you should be aware of your surroundings— especially at night.

  • 4. What is the best Greek food to try?

    What is the best Greek food to try
    • Gyro
    • Mousaka
    • Saganaki
    • Souvlaki
    • Tzatziki
    • Choriatiki
    • Bougatsa
  • 5. How can I get around Athens?

    Athens has a pretty good public transport system that covers most of the city and the suburbs. It’s extremely affordable with a ticket costing €1.20. Athens has uber if you prefer to have a direct ride. There are also city taxis, but be careful they are notorious for scamming tourists.

  • 6. What are the best beaches in Athens?

    What are the best beaches in Athens
    • Vouliagmeni
    • Astir Beach
    • Giyfada Beach
    • Yabanaki
    • Varkiza