5 Places In Greece That Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

When you think of vacationing in Greece, you likely picture stark white buildings cascading down a mountainside to meet the turquoise waters below. That’s actually the reality in Santorini. But there are so many more sights to see all over this stunning country. For every type of vacationer, any of the options on our list of the best places to visit in Greece make for an amazing getaway.

In order to ensure your trip goes swimmingly, we’ve got you covered. With so many great destinations to choose from, how do you know where to head next? Don’t worry, as StudyFinds did the legwork for you by consulting 10 expert websites to develop this list of the best places to visit in Greece. Tell us which one you want to visit the most in the comments below.

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece (Photo by Jonathan Gallegos on Unsplash)

The List: Best Places to Visit in Greece, According to Experts

1. Athens

brown concrete building under blue sky during daytime
Athens ruins in Greece (Photo by Constantinos Kollias on Unsplash)

The country’s ancient capital city is perhaps the best place to visit in Greece. It’s often called the birthplace of democracy and the “cradle of Western civilization.” Imagine a city that’s been around for over 3,000 years – that’s older than pizza! As Touropia says, Athens is a fascinating mix of old and new. Wandering its streets is like stepping through a time machine. One minute you’re marveling at the Acropolis, a hilltop complex crowned by the iconic Parthenon, and the next you’re sipping a latte at a trendy cafe overflowing with bougainvillea.

TimeOut describes Athens perfectly as “higgledy-piggledy” – a delightful jumble where cobbled alleyways twist past ancient ruins, and modern art galleries peek out from within grand neoclassical buildings. Everywhere you turn, there’s a surprise waiting to be discovered. This city’s energy is contagious – it’s no wonder TimeOut calls it the “cosmopolitan heart of Greece.”

Speaking of must-sees, Athens boasts a treasure trove of ancient wonders. Lonely Planet recommends starting with the Acropolis, where the Parthenon reigns supreme. Don’t miss the Caryatids, those elegant maidens holding up the roof of the Erechtheion temple – they’re the ultimate selfie partners! Then, take a leisurely stroll down to the Agora, the ancient marketplace where Socrates himself once debated philosophy.

2. Santorini

The white buildings of Santorini overlooking the Aegean Sea
The white buildings of Santorini overlooking the Aegean Sea (Photo by Yang Yang on Unsplash)

With its iconic whitewashed buildings and turquoise waters, Santorini is one of the most popular Greek islands. It’s famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and striking natural landscape, which includes beautiful volcanic beaches and historic villages.

Santorini: Greece’s crown jewel with a view that will leave you speechless, according to Travel the Greek Way. Imagine dramatic cliffs plunging into a caldera (a giant volcanic crater filled with water) – that’s the postcard-perfect scenery that awaits. And the sunsets? Forget filters, Santorini’s are legendary. Goats On The Road puts it perfectly: Santorini is a place you just have to see to believe.

Beyond the gasp-worthy views, Santorini offers something for everyone. Dive into the crystal-clear Aegean Sea, with water so turquoise it looks like it belongs in a painting. Foodies will be in paradise with Santorini’s selection of fine restaurants serving up fresh, local ingredients. Travellers Worldwide calls it one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it’s hard to disagree.

Sure, Santorini is a popular destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience its magic. Travellers Worldwide suggests aiming for the shoulder seasons (April-June and September-October) to avoid peak crowds. With fewer tourists, you’ll have more space to soak up the sunshine on the beaches and savor every sip of their delicious local wines. So, are you ready to be swept off your feet by Santorini?

3. Crete

The turquoise waters of Crete
The turquoise waters of Crete (Photo by Elena Dimaki on Unsplash)

The country’s largest island – and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea – is one of the best places to visit in Greece because it’s beautiful, has great food, and is full of history. And for beach lovers, there are plenty of picture perfect options to choose from.

Crete: Greece’s island playground with something for every explorer, according to TimeOut. Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride – you’ll definitely want a car to unlock all its hidden gems. Think golden beaches that seem to stretch on forever, charming towns with buildings that whisper stories of the past, museums overflowing with history, and UNESCO World Heritage sites that will have you reaching for your camera.

The west coast is where the party’s at, with Chania being the liveliest spot on the island, according to TimeOut. Over on the east coast, Sitia offers a quieter pace, perfect for those seeking serenity on pristine coves and sandy beaches – picture yourself relaxing with a good book, the sound of waves lapping at the shore, and not a care in the world.

Adventure seekers, listen up! Crete boasts Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in all of Europe – lace up your hiking boots and get ready for breathtaking scenery. History buffs, you won’t be disappointed either. Unearth the secrets of the Minoan civilization by exploring their fascinating palaces, remnants of a powerful culture that thrived here thousands of years ago. And don’t forget about the little ones! Crete has countless waterparks that are guaranteed to bring out the squeals of delight from any kiddo.

The sheer size of Crete means you won’t be able to see it all in a day or two, as The Tour Guy points out. The island is divided into four regions, each with its own unique charm. Heraklion, the largest city, boasts beautiful squares and a must-see archaeological site – the Knossos Palace, a window into Crete’s Minoan past So, Crete awaits – which adventure will you choose?

4. Meteora

Meteora, Greece
Meteora, Greece (Photo by fauve othon on Unsplash)

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must see for fans of architectural feats and natural wonders alike. Six Orthodox churches, each hundreds of years old, are perched atop cliffs overlooking the villages of Kalambaka and Kastraki.

Picture this: enormous rock formations that jut dramatically from the earth, reaching for the sky like weathered giants. Perched impossibly on their peaks are magnificent monasteries, their presence adding an otherworldly feel to the landscape. This is Meteora, a place that Travel + Leisure calls a must-see for its unbelievable views. Located in Thessaly, central Greece, Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason!

Travellers Worldwide says it perfectly: you’ll wonder how a place this awe-inspiring can still be considered remote. These aren’t your average monasteries – they’re clinging to sheer cliffs, defying gravity and time itself. But Meteora’s magic isn’t reserved for the religious or history buffs. Anyone with a sense of adventure will be captivated by the chance to explore these magnificent cliffs and the monasteries that call them home. Imagine the epic hikes you could take, following winding paths to reach these historic sanctuaries still in operation today.

Goats On The Road calls Meteora one of the most unique places in all of Europe, and it’s hard to disagree. It’s a UNESCO double-whammy, recognized for both its cultural and natural significance. The dramatic rock formations, known as hoodoos, are as awe-inspiring as the monasteries themselves. Built between the 14th and 16th centuries, Meteora is a place where time seems to stand still. Imagine a world where faith reaches for the heavens, quite literally, with monks living high above the ground, their devotion as strong as the cliffs they call home. So, are you ready to experience a place that feels like something out of a storybook? Meteora awaits.

5. Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki (Photo by Anastasius 🇬🇷 🇨🇾 on Unsplash)

Greece’s second-largest city has a rich history that’s ever present in its distinct Macedonian feel that shows up in everything from the food to the architecture. The port city offers a lively nightlife and restaurant scene as well as a plethora of monuments, museums, and other activities.

It’s Greece’s cultural capital with a vibrant heartbeat, according to Touropia. Imagine a city that’s equal parts ancient and electric, with a calendar bursting with lively festivals and a nightlife scene that keeps things humming well past dark. Wander through Thessaloniki’s historic center, a place where time travel feels possible. Walk along the Byzantine city walls, marvel at the imposing White Tower, or unwind in a traditional Turkish bath – the echoes of the past are everywhere. But this city isn’t stuck in a time warp. Step into the future with a visit to Thessaloniki’s colorful food markets, or spend an afternoon getting lost in its world-class museums and art galleries. And when the sun sets, Thessaloniki truly comes alive. From cozy tavernas to electrifying nightclubs, the city offers something for every night owl.

On The Go Tours says to take a stroll along the thriving waterfront, where trendy cocktail bars share space with peaceful green areas – the perfect spot to soak up the city’s modern energy. Thessaloniki is also your gateway to adventure. From here, you can easily explore the breathtaking beaches and dramatic mountains of the Halkidiki region, making it the perfect base camp for your Greek odyssey.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.


  1. I rode the donkeys down to the beach from the top of Santorini and I could not walk straight for a month. Oh my goodness, never again.

    1. I did the same. I clearly remember the smell of donkey dung and digging it out from my candles.

  2. It auto corrected it from sandles to candles. Technology can be a pain and get you into trouble.

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