As a toddler, I used to be all the time fascinated by historical Greece and dying to go to Athens. The place might you be nearer to the ancients than in Athens. In any case, a few of their buildings or ruins are nonetheless standing! With so many issues to do in Athens, I used to be dying to go to this metropolis for the longest time.
However simply earlier than my long-awaited journey, my brother put a damper on my anticipation. “Athens is the dirtiest capital I’ve ever seen!” he mentioned. And my brother has seen loads of capitals.
So I flew to Athens with combined emotions. Would it not actually be that soiled? Or, like Naples, does town have appeal at second look? Or would my infantile notions of antiquity be confirmed?
Athens is a metropolis that’s much less soiled than marketed. I favored town already at first sight – once we regarded over Athens on the roof terrace of our rented condominium and noticed the Acropolis towering in entrance of us, it was simply unimaginable!
However even my infantile concepts of such an historical metropolis weren’t 100% met. Due to course, Athens has many historical buildings that basically blew me away.
Nonetheless, town has understandably additionally gone with the instances, so it has some trendy influences. The fashionable influences, although, are fairly completely different from what I keep in mind from Northern Europe. Partially, the construction jogged my memory of Spanish cities; partly, Amman in Jordan. Not shocking given Greece’s very southeastern location inside Europe.
I used to be pleasantly stunned by my first impression of Athens and much more impressed by the second!
I actually loved my time within the metropolis, each through the day and at night time. It’s an attention-grabbing, various, and vibrant place.
Throughout the day, vacationers dominate the cityscape, squeezing by means of the slender streets from one sight to the subsequent within the blazing solar. Within the night, nevertheless, this image turns and the locals stay their lives on the streets of Athens. Good music, nice conversations, and the perfect wine are preprogrammed.
So take your time in Athens for each: the vacationer days to get to know all of the sights; and the colourful nights to expertise the actual Athens!
Associated learn: A Guide to Athens, Greece
Go to the well-known Acropolis
The Acropolis is among the most well-known landmarks of Athens, so a visit here’s a should! However what is definitely behind it?
The Acropolis isn’t just a constructing, however most likely the most well-known metropolis fortress of Historical Greece, whose ruins on the citadel hill of Athens nonetheless watch over town at this time.
All the advanced contains a number of buildings. Almost certainly essentially the most well-known amongst them is the Parthenon, the traditional temple advanced that provides the Acropolis its face. As well as, nevertheless, there are a number of different historical buildings such because the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia and the Dionysus Theater. These will all make you dream of an historical time.
For the well-known view of the Acropolis, you also needs to go to Areopagus Hill. The hill is called a “vacationer mountain”, however the view of the Acropolis from right here is unmistakable.
By the way in which, the doorway is free for EU residents underneath 25 years previous.
Learn as nicely our travel tip about how to buy tickets to the Acropolis.
Take pleasure in views over Athens
You’ll be able to’t get sufficient views over Athens. So, we had been particularly blissful that our condominium had a rooftop terrace with a terrific view of the Acropolis. Nonetheless, don’t fret! In case your lodging doesn’t have a rooftop terrace, there are many choices so that you can take pleasure in an excellent view of Athens.
There are 100 addresses for that rooftop terrace feeling. One in style one is the rooftop of Hotel A for Athens. My favourite by way of views, nevertheless, is the view from Lycabettus Hill, as you may look over the Acropolis to the ocean from right here. The hill could be very in style, particularly at sundown. No marvel as a result of it’s too lovely. However then it is usually crowded.
The view from Philopappos Hill is equally good. Right here it’s much less crowded. So if you wish to take pleasure in some peace and quiet whereas trying over Athens, then you’re on the proper handle.
Discover the streets alongside the Acropolis
The Acropolis is unquestionably value seeing, however don’t miss out on the neighborhoods of Anafiotika and Plaka beneath it. Each are identified for his or her cute, Greek-style alleyways.
Anafiotika is named “Little Mykonos” for a cause. You’ll really feel such as you’ve escaped town for a second and are on a Greek island. The streets are so picturesque that it’s enjoyable simply to walk by means of right here.
Equally picturesque, however a lot busier, are the streets of Plaka. Along with some eateries, there are primarily small outlets promoting Greek souvenirs, and so on. Plaka is actually some of the touristy locations in Athens, however not with out good cause–vacationers are all the time interested in lovely locations.
Outdated buildings are a part of Athens
In the event you’re as impressed by previous buildings as I’m, then you definitely’ll love the Athens Academy.
It’s the main establishment of non-university educational analysis in Greece, and its work is split into three sections: science, literature & effective arts, and moral & political sciences. There’s a ravishing constructing for every part, they usually simply maintain getting higher.
Oh, and the Central Market of Athens just isn’t removed from the Academy. You should purchase every kind of meals there, from fish to fruit. It’s open each day from 7 am to six pm, besides Sundays.
Off the crushed observe in Exarchia
Exarchia is the various neighborhood in Athens. The hub of the neighborhood is Exarchia Sq.. From right here you may discover the encircling streets.
On the one hand, you’ll stroll previous empty, run-down buildings. Then again you’ll uncover cool graffiti and bars. I’d suggest you to go on a bit of discovery tour by means of this very completely different quarter of Athens after which sit down in one of many eating places.
After a bit of relaxation you may go to the Archaeological Museum of Athens, which is only a stone’s throw away. Right here it is possible for you to to observe within the footsteps of historical Greece.
Stroll by means of the Nationwide Backyard
The Nationwide Backyard and the encircling space make for an excellent strolling tour. Along with the park’s lovely greenery, you’ll additionally get to see a few of Athens’ most well-known sights, just like the Zappeion, the Olympic Stadium, and the Greek Parliament. The Zappeion is a historic congress constructing from 1888 that was initially constructed to be the positioning of the Committee of the Olympics.
The Panathenaic Stadium, the place the primary trendy Olympic Video games had been held in 1896, and the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus are additionally close by.
On the path of antiquity
To study extra about Historical Greece, my major aim was to go to the positioning of the traditional Agora of Athens on my trip. As a result of the central market was as soon as the financial and political middle of Athens, at this time you could find many well-preserved stays there.
Nonetheless, your complete advanced has extra to supply than simply the previous market—you can too admire the temple of Hephaestus with its spectacular view over town. You’ll really feel transported again in time.
By EU residents underneath 25 years previous get in free of charge!
Monastiraki – exploring the previous city of Athens
Monastiraki is the aged quarter of Athens, abode to a few of its most famous sights.
Recalling Monastiraki brings one explicit imaginative and prescient that lingers in my thoughts – The Flea Market which meanders from Monastiraki Sq. into the adjoining lanes. There you could find quite a lot of retailers peddling items apart from fleas merchandise comparable to soaps and oils made by hand, sandals and hats crafted with nice care, together with informal t-shirts plus souvenirs in your assortment.
I had an fulfilling time wandering by means of these streets whereas avoiding in style style shops!
Not distant lies Pittaki Avenue; this highway was as soon as uncared for and used primarily as a public rest room however has now been reworked past recognition after designers gave it an beautiful makeover!
The house of the Olympic Video games
Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Video games, which implies a go to to its iconic sporting hub in Athens needs to be on the prime of your record!
We had been excited to discover and hopped on a tram that took us straight there. The advanced was virtually abandoned apart from an occasional jogger right here or there however it nonetheless made for some beautiful photographs.
A phrase of warning nevertheless – until you’re fortunate sufficient to catch a particular occasion going down, this spot might not supply a lot else than scenic views so don’t anticipate an excessive amount of out of your journey.
Be a part of the Ancient Olympia private day tour.
Conclusion on issues to do in Athens
In the event you’re on the lookout for a metropolis that has one thing to supply throughout each the day and night time, then Athens is the place for you. It’s a metropolis with a singular and vibrant ambiance, which could be skilled in several methods relying on the time of day.
Throughout the day, vacationers can discover the wealth of historic websites, whereas within the night the locals come out to take pleasure in good music, nice conversations and scrumptious wine.
So, if you happen to’re seeking an unforgettable expertise, spend a while in Athens and luxuriate in all it has to supply!