Places in Greece Everyone Must Visit

Greece has always been a popular travel destination, attracting millions of visitors annually with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the famous rock formations of Meteora to the sparkling waters of the Aegean, the most exciting places in Greece are treasure troves of adventure and exploration.

Symi island is among the top places in Greece for travelers | David's Been Here

I traveled to Greece in both 2013 and 2015. During my time there, I fell in love with its rich history, friendly locals, and vibrant food scene. Whether you’re a history buff, a sun-seeker, or a foodie, this country offers something for everyone. In this travel guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top places to visit in Greece, from the iconic Acropolis in Athens to the breathtaking beaches of Santorini.

What are the top places in Greece for travelers?

Greece is a wealth of beautiful and soulful travel destinations. Some of the top places in Greece for travelers include Athens, Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos, Tinos, Naxos, Corfu, and Rhodes. Santorini is one of the most famous, with its picture-perfect villages, stunning sunsets, and volcanic beaches. Athens is home to the iconic Parthenon, while Crete offers historical sites and beautiful beaches.

The ruins at Kamiros in Rhodes are one of the countless ancient sites scattered across Greece | David's Been Here

Zakynthos and Tinos are perfect for a quiet and relaxing vacation, while Naxos and Corfu offer stunning landscapes and cultural attractions. Rhodes is another must-see destination, with its medieval old town and beautiful beaches.

Sounion is one of the best places in Greece to catch a gorgeous sunset | David's Been Here

But if you’re looking for more off-the-beaten-path destinations, I suggest destinations like Kalymnos, Thessaloniki, Symi Island, Sounion, and Halkidiki. In this article, I’m diving into my personal favorites, including tourist hotspots and low-key spots off the beaten path.

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Athens: The Cradle of Western Civilization

As one of the world’s oldest cities, Athens should be at the top of every traveler’s list when exploring the best places in Greece. No visit to Athens is complete without a trip to the famous Acropolis Hill, home to the iconic Parthenon.

Athens is one of the top places in Greece for history, culture, and food | David's Been Here

This ancient citadel, commissioned by Athenian statesman Pericles in the 5th century BC, is a testament to Athens’ grandeur. It’s also a sign of its role as the intellectual center of the ancient world. The Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, is an architectural marvel. It’s known around the world for its elegant design and intricate detailing.

The Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece | David's Been Here

Athens’ rich cultural heritage is also evident in its archaeological sites. I suggest taking a tour of Athens to see the most prominent sites. The Ancient Agora served as a political, social, and economic hub. Meanwhile, the Roman Agora functioned primarily as a marketplace. I recommend buying a combined ticket that grants access to multiple attractions. That way, you can see sites like the Acropolis, Parthenon, Dionysus Theater, and Kerameikos on one ticket!

The food in Athens makes it one of the top places in Greece for foodies | David's Been Here

For a taste of modern Athenian life, wander through the charming neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki. Both neighborhoods boast a fusion of traditional and contemporary culture. Their narrow, winding streets will transport you back in time. Lining them are shops, cafes, and tavernas where you can relax, indulge in delicious Greek cuisine and shop for souvenirs.

Santorini: The Crown Jewel of Greece

Santorini, with its iconic white and blue houses and dramatic cliffs, is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places in Greece. The island’s most famous towns, Oia and Fira, sit on the edge of a caldera, offering stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Wander through the pedestrian-friendly streets and browse the charming boutiques. Don’t forget to enjoy a meal at a local taverna while watching the sun set over the caldera!

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The island of Santorini is one of the most picturesque places in Greece | David's Been Here

Santorini is also known for its unique beaches, such as the famous Red Beach and White Beach. These volcanic beaches are characterized by their colorful sand and pebble shores. They’re perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or simply admiring the natural beauty.

A delicious Greek meal in Santorini | David's Been Here

Santorini’s volcanic soil lends itself to the production of some of the most distinctive wines in Greece. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Gaia Winery and Sigalas Winery. There, you can sample some phenomenal Assyrtiko, a white wine indigenous to Santorini.

Meteora: A Spiritual Oasis

Meteora is one of the most recognizable places in all of Greece. It’s best known for its dramatic “stone forests” and monasteries atop steep sandstone rock formations. Dating back to the 11th century, these monasteries were once a haven for Orthodox monks seeking solitude and reflection.

The rock formations and monasteries of Meteora make it one of the top places in Greece for history and culture | David's Been Here

Today, visitors can explore six remaining monasteries. They include the Great Meteoran Monastery and Holy Monastery of St. Stephen. Both offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The vistas are spectacular, especially at sunset!

One of the famous clifftop monasteries of Meteora, Greece | David's Been Here

Meteora also offers many outdoor activities, including hiking and rock climbing. With over 2,000 rock climbing routes and numerous hiking trails, Meteora is a paradise for nature and adventure enthusiasts. Take a guided hike through the rock forest or challenge yourself with a scramble hike or rock climb for an unforgettable experience!

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Kalymnos: One of the top places in Greece you’ve never heard of

Kalymnos is a lesser-known Greek island located in the Dodecanese islands in the southwestern Aegean Sea. Compared to its bustling counterparts Santorini and Mykonos, it offers a quieter and less touristy experience. The island is home to several medieval castles and Byzantine churches. Ancient archaeological sites also dot the island, showcasing its long, rich history. Its charming fishing villages and beaches make Kalymnos perfect for those who love the water.

The beautiful island of Kalymnos is one of my favorite places in Greece | David's Been Here

The island is a haven for sponge divers, and you can find local sponges across Kalymnos. Pothia, the capital city and main port, has a sponge museum and a Maritime and Folklore Museum that offer insights into the island’s rich culture and history. Visitors can also explore the castles of Chora and Chrysocheria, which date back to the 14th century.

The waters around Kalymnos are well known for their natural sponges | David's Been Here

Its most popular attraction, though, is world-class rock climbing. Kalymnos boasts over 2,000 established rock climbing routes that attract sport climbers from all over the world. Be sure to look up certified instructors like Simon Montmory of Climbing in Kalymnos for fun and safe lessons!

Rock climbing is one of the most popular activities on the island of Kalymnos | David's Been Here

To get a true taste of Kalymnos, I highly recommend indulging in some of the island’s tastiest seafood. You can find mouthwatering seafood like fish, octopus, and shrimp at traditional fish tavernas along the harbor.

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Symi Island: The Jewel of the Dodecanese

Symi Island is yet another underrated gem in the Dodecanese island chain. It’s accessible via a ferry from Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes Old Town.

The main harbor in Gialos on Symi Island | David's Been Here

Upon arrival, visitors will find colorful fishing boats and neoclassical island homes. The main harbor on Symi is Gialos, where visitors can rent scooters to explore the island’s sites. I recommend Jimmy’s Rent a Moto shop.

Symi Island has some of the most secluded beaches in Greece | David's Been Here

Sightseers should visit the 15th-century monastery of Panormitis and the village of Chorio. Be sure to meet Chorio’s herb sellers and enjoy the local neo-classic dwellings.

Symi Island is among the top places in Greece, especially if you're a tortoise lover like me | David's Been Here

For beach lovers, the small coastal village of Pedi and Marathounda Bay offer beauty and seclusion. Foodies may not have many dining options, but the best is easily Manos Fish Tavern. It’s the most famous spot on the island for its fresh seafood and casual atmosphere.

Visit the top places in Greece for yourself

Greece is a land of unparalleled beauty and history. With countless places to explore and limitless adventures to be had, it is the ultimate European vacation spot. Whether you’re wandering the ancient streets of Athens or hiking the alien landscapes of Meteora, there’s something for everyone in this Mediterranean paradise.

Enjoying the sights in Imervogli, Santorini, Greece | David's Been Here

Greece is one of my favorite travel destinations in the world. I’ve been multiple times, and I hope to go back sooner rather than later. Book a trip to southeastern Europe right now to discover the best places in Greece. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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