The 14 most important items that should not be missing from your suitcase when you pack for Athens, Greece.
Last updated: 11 May 2023
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When packing for Athens, there’s not much to worry about.
A well-thought-out plan of what to bring can reduce stress and save money.
But even if you forget something, it’s not the end of the world.
After all, Athens is a bustling city with four million inhabitants, and nearly everything can be purchased from local shops – although prices may be slightly higher.
That said, this doesn’t mean you should leave everything to chance or disregard the importance of reducing unnecessary expenses.
Before you continue reading below, don’t miss out on my free step-by-step itineraries with the best places in town and their pins on Google Maps. They are carefully and clearly designed, depending on the number of days at your disposal: Athens in 1 day, Athens in 2 days, Athens in 3 days, Athens in 4 days, or hidden gems in Athens if you plan to stay even more days.
Considering the above, let’s examine the must-pack items for Athens to enjoy an unforgettable trip.
Must Pack for Athens
Regardless of the season you visit Athens, you should definitely pack a good pair of sunglasses.
Even if you travel in winter, the sun’s reflection off the buildings and marble can strain your eyes.
So don’t skimp on money; make sure you choose a quality pair of sunglasses with UV protection.
2. Sunscreen Lotion
I cannot stress enough how important it is to carry a quality sunscreen lotion with a high protection factor.
Even if you’re not visiting a beach, the sun in open areas can burn your skin.
This isn’t just a ‘tourist’ issue – I was born and raised in Athens, and on my doctor’s advice, I use sunscreen even on regular sunny days.
A hat can be invaluable on sunny days, as it can help prevent potential sunstroke.
Besides, it can also lend a stylish touch to your photos, so don’t forget to tuck one into your suitcase.
4. Refillable Water Bottle
Firstly, remember that tap water in Athens is drinkable and of high quality.
If you want to reduce plastic usage, bring a refillable bottle with you instead of purchasing disposable ones from a kiosk.
Moreover, the insulating properties of a good refillable bottle can keep your drink’s temperature stable.
This feature is particularly useful on hot days, as it allows your drink to remain cool regardless of the outside temperature.
5. Power Bank
In my travels, I use my mobile phone for various purposes: as a map, a camera, an encyclopedia, a tool for video calls, etc.
Consequently, one item I always carry with me is a power bank.
In my opinion, ‘the bigger, the better’ applies to its capacity.
However, ensure it doesn’t add excessive weight to your bag.
6. Mosquito Repellent
During summer nights, mosquitoes can become quite bothersome.
Unfortunately, all the mosquito repellent bracelets I’ve tried have not worked for me.
Therefore, I’ve turned to using this spray, which has proven effective.
7. Plug Adapter
You may need a plug adapter for European sockets, depending on your country of origin.
A voltage converter may also be necessary if you’re traveling from the U.S.
The best way to determine this is to check the input voltage information on your device or its charger.
It is dual voltage if it supports a range from 100-240V, and you’ll only need a plug adapter.
If it only supports 110-120V, which is typical in the United States, you’ll need a voltage converter for 220-240V systems.
8. Bluetooth Headset
Are you planning to rent a car for a beach trip or a day excursion?
Keep in mind that in Greece, it’s illegal to drive while talking on the phone.
Therefore, ensure you bring a Bluetooth headset with you.
While they can be a bit pricey, I use Apple AirPods because I find their shape comfortable, and they offer excellent call sound quality.
Beach Accessories to Pack for Athens
Remember to pack some extra accessories if you plan to visit an Athenian beach or continue your trip to a Greek island.
From beach towels to underwater cameras, the following items will help you fully enjoy your seaside adventures.
Chances are you’ll spend several hours a day on the beach.
Therefore, the swimsuit you pack for Athens should be comfortable, and having more than one can be particularly useful, especially for women.
Local’s tip for men: Opt for swimsuits that dry quickly – they tend to be the most comfortable.
10. Beach Towel
Whether you are lounging on the sand or sitting on a comfortable beach chair, a beach towel is a must.
Besides drying off after a swim, you can also use it as a pillow for sunbathing or a barrier between you and the beach chair.
Check out some of my favorite beach towels here.
11. Aqua Slides Sandals
Trust me, you don’t want to be on a sandy beach wearing shoes.
So, ensure you pack a pair of comfortable aqua slides.
They don’t need to be expensive, as the sun and salt will quickly wear them out.
12. Swimsuit Cover-up
According to my wife, Chrysavgi, there’s nothing more essential for a woman on the beach than a swimsuit cover-up.
In fact, she recommends bringing one, stating that “it makes an excellent and versatile beach cover-up“.
Who am I to disagree?
13. Underwater Camera
Certainly, having an underwater camera on your trip isn’t a necessity.
However, given that prices have dropped significantly in recent years, investing in an affordable action camera could be worthwhile.
Underwater photos can be some of the most impressive shots you’ll ever capture.
If your budget allows, even more remarkable options, such as those from GoPro’s range of cameras, are available.
14. Snorkeling Set
Lastly, exploring the seabed is a fantastic way to spend time at the beach.
The good news is that you’ll find snorkeling sets for sale near most beaches.
The bad news, however, is that these sets are often of poor quality and may not let you enjoy your diving experience.
So, come prepared with a reliable snorkel set; just remember to rinse everything with fresh water after leaving the beach to ensure it lasts longer.
Additionally, if you’re traveling with children, don’t forget to pack a set for them too – they’re sure to love it.
Pack for Athens: Clothes
I often encounter the question: is there a dress code in Greece?
The answer is no; most Athenians dress casually.
As a result, you can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, similar to what you’d wear in London or New York.
Exceptions exist for monasteries and churches; if you plan to visit these, be sure to dress modestly and cover most of your body.
As for the number of clothes you should pack for Athens, I always say it varies from person to person.
I’ve often traveled with a friend for the same number of days, and while a small suitcase would suffice for me, a 20 kg suitcase wouldn’t be enough for him.
Check the Weather in Athens
The simple yet effective rule I always follow before packing my suitcase is to check the weather on a trustworthy page like weather.com a few days before my trip.
From there on, in general, the weather in Athens during the summer is, of course, sunny.
At the same time, it can be quite hot, with temperatures often exceeding 35 degrees Celsius / 95 Fahrenheit.
So choosing light clothing is advisable.
However, keep in mind that air conditioning is frequently at full capacity in many enclosed spaces, such as museums, hotels, ferries, etc.
Therefore, a thin sweater is likely to be helpful.
In spring and autumn, the climate is pleasant, with temperatures usually ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius / 59 to 77 Fahrenheit.
A jacket, along with a raincoat or an umbrella, should certainly be among the items you pack for Athens.
Lastly, winter is mild compared to northern countries.
The temperature rarely falls below 3 to 4 degrees Celsius / 38 to 39 Fahrenheit.
Despite this, there is often a lot of moisture, and you will need a good jacket and possibly a scarf.
Furthermore, remember that even if the weather does not seem cold enough for you, it’s easy to be deceived and catch a cold — the last thing you want on your vacation.
For detailed information about the weather in Athens, refer to my guide titled “The Best Month for Perfect Weather in Athens“.
Pack for Athens: Shoes
As always, opt for the most comfortable shoes possible when you travel.
This is especially true in Athens, where you will likely do a lot of walking, as strolling through the city will be one of the most enjoyable parts of your trip.
Keep in mind that much of the city is hilly, which further emphasizes the need for flat, comfortable shoes.
I personally use Adidas Ultraboost on my travels, and they have never let me down.
Local’s tip for women: refrain from packing high heels for Athens.
They will likely complicate your journey!
Many roads are cobbled, and sidewalks can be uneven.
More importantly, many monuments, such as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, prohibit using high heels as they can damage the marble and pose a risk of accidents.
If you are traveling to the city for the first time, be sure to check out the Athens Survival Guide, which features 10+1 tips you must know about it.
On the other hand, if you are a returning visitor, here you will find unique and unusual ideas for your trip.
Make Your Trip Easier
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but they are totally worth it. They use local English-speaking drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point, even if your arrival is delayed, and introduce you to the city along the way.
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use, as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.