Athens, the cradle of the Western civilization: well… yes, but not only!
The Acropolis is the first thing crossing your mind upon hearing “Athens”, probably – how could it not, really! But there’s so much more shaping today’s Athens: an eternal yet modern, bright and vivid city!
Given you would wish to get the most of Athens in a few days, we carefully picked a list of the 10+1 must-do’s travelers fall in love with – and locals can’t get enough of.
1. The Acropolis
The Acropolis, the eternal symbol of democracy, with the stunning architecture and the beauty of the monument are enough to make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Locals’ Hint: the Parthenon, Erechtheion, Herodion… time will pass, and you won’t know before it’s noon for good – and hot! So, start your Acropolis visit by 9:00 the latest, or in the afternoon.
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2. The Acropolis Museum by Night
Now, this is a quite different experience from the daytime visit. The Acropolis Museum, overlooking the Athenian sky and the Acropolis under the city lights, through the glass walls… Who could tell history could become so romantic, almost magic!
3. Lycabettus Hill
In the heart of Athens, a hill discerned from the entire city stands out. Many Athenians will tell you this is where they spent their youth romances – sunset and star gazing from the top of Lycabettus Hill is just what you need to start a date! Even if not quite romantic, the breathtaking view of the entire city is worth the visit!
4. Vrahakia (Little Rocks) of the Acropolis
You will probably not find it in any map, but you will know if around the Acropolis in the afternoon and until dusk: it’s one of the locals’ favorite hang-outs at sunset time, especially the young ones’! Surrounded by the Acropolis, Pnyx, Filopappou Hill and overlooking the entire historic center, “Vrahakia” is more than a hang-out. It’s a journey back in time! Ideally, try the stroll at Filopappou before.
5. The National Garden
The first Botanical garden of modern Athens (early 19th century) can offer something unbelievable: being in the heart of Athens, cut-off the traffic and city noise. A magnificent stroll among numerous species of the Greek fauna “paired” with centuries-old or even ancient monuments, while hearing nothing but the birds…
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6. Anafiotika – Plaka
The oldest neighborhood of modern Athens at the foothills of the Acropolis. And it’s still almost the same as two centuries ago! Small houses with vibrant colors, traditional architecture, and numerous bougainvilleas and jasmines!
Hint: It’s just what you need to stay cool at noon, after the Acropolis visit – for a traditional lunch and Greek coffee.
7. The Changing of the Guard/Evzones – Syntagma Square
Evzones, dressed in the traditional foustanella, are our homage to the people who gave the fight for the liberation of Greece. Evzones, or the presidential guard, create a time-traveling ambiance in modern downtown.
8. Benaki Museum
Athens offers a broad selection of museums. Benaki Museum is one of our favorite: in the heart of Athens, with unique exhibits from pre-historic to 19th century Greece! A synopsis of the entire Greek history, just in one museum!
Hint: Make sure you get a souvenir from Benaki Museum! Even the tickets here are art!
9. Varvakeios – Athens Flea Market
If you want to feel the real vibe of the city, don’t miss a visit to the central flea market. The goods of the Greek land, what composes the traditional Greek cuisine, in just one place! The numerous typical stores and taverns, with delicacies from all over Greece, make Varvakeios a foodie’s heaven.
Hint: Don’t miss out the ultimate food tour, with carefully selected gems – explore them all!
This is the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean – despite its size. So, Greeks love the sea – and seafood! Mikrolimano is where you will find some of the best seafood taverns and gourmet restaurants in Greece, in the lively neighborhood of Piraeus.
10 + 1. The ultimate local-style night out
Located right in the center of Athens, famous for their quality, historic: these are the two places we picked for your night out in Athens.
Platanos tavern, with delicious, homemade food in a 50’s-style Athenian yard; and Baba au rum, constantly in the list of the best bars in the world, a place that changed Athenian bars for good.
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