Top 10 Things To Do In Athens, Greece
Dear Athens, you’re old, yet still so very beautiful. You’re poor yet so rich. Strangely, you’re disliked by many, but we all know that time reveals character and i’m glad I did not jump to conclusions. I visited for 3 weeks and got so much life from you. The spring-like weather couldn’t be more perfect to indulged in your ancient history and cultural attractions. You were the sweet escape I was craving. I’ll never get use to the constant inappropriate stares from your men and the random cheek kiss I got on my second day in the city……ewww. Oh, one more thing, I’ll never get use to the second hand smoke. Otherwise Athens, you showed me a good time so here are some of my favorite things I enjoyed doing/seeing.
Acropolis and Acropolis Museum
Athens Acropolis is the highest point in the city and is listed as a Unesco Heritage site. The Acropolis is considered one of Greece’s most striking ancient monuments. A must see if you ever decide to visit Greece. As you would imagine the journey to the top is a bit rocky (literally), but believe me when I tell you it is worth it. On your way to the top you will pass the Temple of Athena Nike and the Parthenon. On your way back be sure to visit the new Acropolis Museum to check out the pieces that capture Greek methodology and the ancient world.
Fun fact: Did you know that the Nike brand was named after the Greek goddess of victory, Athena Nike?
This hub sits under the shadows of the acropolis and is known for the famous flea market where you can find souvenir shops, jewelry stores not forgetting bars and restaurants.
I spent my twenty something birthday at Mount Lycabettus and that was one of my most favorite moments in Athens. You can either hike of the mountain from Aristippou Street in Kolonaki (highly recommended) or take the funicular up.
If you’re interested in learning about Athen’s history and culture from pre history to modern age, the Benaki museum should be added to your list. I had the opportunity to visit the Benaki Museum to see the “Depression Era” exhibition. I was so moved by the art pieces. The photographs collected work from community-based artists, writers, photographers and curators who captured the urban and social landscape of the country to create discourse on economic, social and political issues in Greece (my camera battery died before i got to the museum).
This is hands down the perfect place to see the sunset over the Aegean sea. The Temple of Poseidon was built in Cape Sounion to pay homage to the god of the sea, but if i’m honest I found myself so excited about the sunset, that I barely paid attention to the temple.
If you’re looking for authentic Greek food, if you like cute cafes, stony streets and houses with bougainvillea and green plants canopies then you should definitely take a stroll through Plaka. This cute neighborhood is located right below the Acropolis between Monastiraki and Syntagma Square. Plaka is one of the more popular neighborhoods in Athens.
If you’d like to venture out and explore the local Athenian life, if you’re politically outspoken, if you like graffiti and art then you should consider visiting Exarcheia neighborhood. Riots between the police and anarchist would often start in Exarcheia so I would suggest that you visit with someone local.
A for Athens
For drinks with a great view of the Acropolis check out A for Athens restaurant and bar.
Ice cream is my weakness and I think I lost count on how many times I visited this same spot for cream, gelato and cookies. DaVinci Gelato is also located in Monastiraki.
Take the coastal tram/metro from Syntagma to Glyfada and enjoy some time near the beach area. Be sure to check out the restaurants in that area.
Have you been to Athens? What is your favorite moment? Are you planning to visit? What are you most looking forward to? Comment below.