You can start from the commercial heart of the city, Omonoia Square, which combines modern and neoclassical architecture and walk up Panepistimiou street passing by the National Library, the University of Athens, the National Academy, the Catholic Cathedral and many other impressive buildings of the Modern Greek era.
By then, you should have reached Syntagma Square, one of the busiest places of Athens, where the Parliament is located. You will know you are in the right place when you see the Evzones –the presidential guard- in front of the monument of the Unknown Soldier.
On your right is Amalias Avenue where you will find the gate of the National Garden. Walk among typical and rare plants and trees until the Zappeion (Conference and Exhibition Hall), appears before you. A few meters away stands the Panathinaikon Stadium, the cradle of the Olympic Games (1896).
On your way to the Acropolis, stop to visit the Corinthian pillars, remains of Zeus’ temple and the Arch of the Emperor Hadrian, where the pedestrian street, Dionisiou Areopagitou, begins to lead you to the Odeon of Herodus Atticus at the foot of the Acropolis Sacred Rock. Walking up the hill, you will enter the site through Propylea and visit the Parthenon, the most important and characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization which still remains its international symbol, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erectheion and the Museum of the Acropolis.
With these pictures in mind, walk downhill to Plaka, the oldest neighbourhood of Athens, and taste the typical Greek cuisine in one of the traditional taverns or have a frappe (iced coffee) in one of the numerous cafes.
Other highlights you should not miss: Archaelogical Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art, Benaki Museum, National Gallery, Byzantine Museum, Frissiras Museum of Contemporary Greek and European Painting, Lycabetus Hill, Monastiraki, Thiseion, the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (OAKA), Faliro-Glyfada coastline by tramway. For an Athenian night out, choose between Psiri (city center) bars and taverns, and seaside open-air bars and beach clubs.