Athens can seem like an intimidating place to tackle solo. But in reality, it’s a fantastic city to enjoy alone. You’ll see the city in a whole different light, and will strike up conversations—even friendships—with locals wherever you go.

By Katherine Whittaker

The first time I really fell in love with Athens was on one of these solo trips. It was a Sunday, and a good friend recommended I go to Diporto, just a short walk from the Athens Central Market—if you can find it. This 150-year-old restaurant is one of Athens’ famous koutoukia, or basement tavernas. It’s where fishmongers, butchers and other market vendors and patrons go for a good meal. I had only a vague idea of where I was going, but I was happy to spend a few hours wandering between fish stalls and cheese vendors in the Central Market.

When I finally stumbled into Diporto—literally; those stairs are steep—it was almost 4 in the afternoon, and the restaurant was nearly full except for a small table in the back. I was next to a huge group of Greeks celebrating a birthday, and there was live music, dancing, and plenty of alcohol. One of the Greeks pulled my table next to theirs, and I became part of the party. While not every solo travel experience is quite like this one, there are still many great ways to eat, drink, and get lost (safely) alone in Athens. Here are some suggestions.

What to Do

The canal at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre.

Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

Feast your eyes and taste buds on the produce at one of the city's farmer's markets.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Where to Eat

Go ahead, order more than one dish, the portions at mezedopolia are usually small.

Photo: Eleni Veziri

Grab some delicious Thai food at Tuk Tuk.

Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

Where to Drink

Sample a glass or two of Greek wine at Alexandrino.

Photo: Orestis Seferoglou

Take a leisurely stroll through the National Garden.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

General Tips