Happy New Year!!!
Hellooo! Today we are going to talk about Athens…
So before I start with the things to do in Athens, I have to say that we did struggle a bit with finding good hotels in Athens. What do I mean by a good hotel? We were looking for a clean hotel in a central area for a reasonable price. So after a lot of researching my friend and I decided to book an Airbnb.
The Airbnb we stayed in was absolutely perfect and Homer who rented his place to us was so lovely and gave us a lot of advice for our stay in Athens. Another reason to stay at an Airbnb!!!
We arrived in Athens in the evening and then we took the metro to the city centre. A one way metro ticket costs €8. You also have the option to take the express bus which might take a little bit longer but only costs €5.
After unpacking in our beautiful Airbnb in Koukaki area ( which was within a 10 mins walk from the Acropolis), we went out for dinner at “Skoumpri” which is a Seafood tavern! So if you are into fresh fish, this is the place to be.
We ordered zucchini fries for starters and salmon pasta for main, both which were delicious! I think we each paid around €15 and we had to take some of the pasta as a takeaway because the portions were so big!!
After having breakfast on our little cosy balcony, it was time for some sight seeing!
On our first full day in Athens we wanted to see the main attractions.
This is the ultimate must see when you are in Athens!! I now understand why its on these lists of “places you must see before you die”! The Parthenon, and the Acropolis, the rocky hill on which it stands, really do live up to the hype.
There is a lot of restoration work going on at the moment but still the ruins and views are impressive!!
TIP: Apparently you can enter the Acropolis for free if you are a student.
The ticket to the Acropolis includes entry into several other ancient sites within a four day period.
2) Acropolis museum
The Acropolis museum is right next to the Acropolis and is modern building with glass floors allowing you to see the old structures of Athens underneath your feet.
I was really impressed with the fact that there were archaeologists seated in the museum, who were there to answer any questions you might have had! On the second floor of the Museum there is also a restaurant which offers panoramic views of the Acropolis.
Entry to the museum is €5 but free if you are a student!
3) National Gardens
Beautiful garden and best place to unwind after a busy day in the city.
4)Temple of Olympian Zeus
Entry is free with the Acropolis ticket. Its massive! You can walk around the stone pillars which are impressive!
5) Keramikos Cemetery
A beautiful and interesting cemetery, which a lot of people miss apparently!
Inside, you can find several ancient tomb stones which are nicely preserved and three churches. In the past, the Keramikos was apparently a settlement of vase painters and potters and the main production centre of famous Attic vases.
Free entry with the Acropolis ticket.
6) Central Market
We made a stop here to buy some fresh fruits.
7) Panathenaic Stadium
Nice to see from the outside, we didn’t think it was worth paying to go inside as it wasn’t included in the Acropolis ticket. We got great views of the Acropolis in the evening whilst walking to the Stadium.
8) Ancient Agora of Athens
An open air “gallery” showing major buildings and structures of the agora of Athens as it was in the 5th century BC.
9) The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion
If you have an extra day left in Athens, I would recommend The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion. We personally didn’t make it but our Airbnb host highly recommended it. Apparently you can take the Express bus but it does take about 1.5 hours to get there which is why you should spend a whole day there. This is as close you can get to a nice beach in Athens!
We also explored the neighbourhood Plaka that day, as it was ‘underneath’ the Acropolis. It is full of local cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. You can also find the classical white houses with red tiles.
On our last day we did a bit of shopping mainly on the famous Ermou Street. One shop we came across was the “Kilo Shop” found at the far end of Ermou Street near the Keramikos Cemetery. A must visit for vintage shoppers! You can find good quality clothes and accessories each tagged with specific colours telling us how much the clothing costs by kilo.
We also explored Psiri on that day. Close to Monastiraki, Psiri is one of the oldest districts in Athens. It has a Bohemian feel to it, as you can find a lot of graffiti on the streets and it is also known for some great bars and restaurants.
For dinner we went to “Taverna Tou Psiri”. The food was lovely, they even let us look at the dishes before we ordered them and the staff was really nice. At the end we also got pieces of watermelon on the house.Yum! Overall great food and great service so highly recommend it.
This pretty much sums up our 3 days in Athens and to be honest I would have liked to stay a day or two more in Athens, just to explore a bit more and maybe to have the time to visit “The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion”. Nevertheless I was blown away by the beauty of this city and would definitely recommend it for a travel destination in 2016!
Thanks for reading.