As a baby, I used to be all the time fascinated by historical Greece and dying to go to Athens. The place may you be nearer to the ancients than in Athens. In spite of everything, 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 stated. And my brother has seen loads of capitals.
So I flew to Athens with combined emotions. Wouldn’t it actually be that soiled? Or, like Naples, does town have allure 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 – after we regarded over Athens on the roof terrace of our rented residence 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 actually blew me away.
Nevertheless, town has understandably additionally gone with the instances, so it has some trendy influences. The trendy influences, although, are fairly totally different from what I bear in mind from Northern Europe. Partly, 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 shocked by my first impression of Athens and much more impressed by the second!
I actually loved my time within the metropolis, each in the course of the day and at night time. It’s an attention-grabbing, numerous, and vibrant place.
Through the day, vacationers dominate the cityscape, squeezing by the slender streets from one sight to the subsequent within the blazing solar. Within the night, nevertheless, this image turns and the locals reside their lives on the streets of Athens. Good music, nice conversations, and one of the best 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 true Athens!
Associated learn: A Information to Athens, Greece
Go to the well-known Acropolis
The Acropolis is without doubt one of 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 in all probability the most well-known metropolis fortress of Historical Greece, whose ruins on the citadel hill of Athens nonetheless watch over town at this time.
The complete advanced contains a number of buildings. Almost certainly probably 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 named 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 beneath 25 years previous.
Learn as nicely our journey tip about find out how to purchase tickets to the Acropolis.
Get pleasure from views over Athens
You’ll be able to’t get sufficient views over Athens. So, we have been particularly blissful that our residence had a rooftop terrace with a terrific view of the Acropolis. Nevertheless, 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 ideal view of Athens.
There are 100 addresses for that rooftop terrace feeling. One well-liked one is the rooftop of Resort A for Athens. My favourite when it comes to views, nevertheless, is the view from Lycabettus Hill, as you may look over the Acropolis to the ocean from right here. The hill may be very well-liked, particularly at sundown. No surprise as a result of it’s too stunning. 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 wanting over Athens, then you’re on the proper deal with.
Discover the streets alongside the Acropolis
The Acropolis is certainly 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 known as “Little Mykonos” for a motive. 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 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 one of the crucial touristy locations in Athens, however not with out good motive–vacationers are all the time drawn to stunning locations.
Outdated buildings are a part of Athens
In case 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 tutorial analysis in Greece, and its work is split into three sections: science, literature & tremendous arts, and moral & political sciences. There’s a fantastic 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 buy all types of meals there, from fish to fruit. It’s open on daily basis from 7 am to six pm, besides Sundays.
Off the crushed monitor in Exarchia
Exarchia is the different neighborhood in Athens. The hub of the neighborhood is Exarchia Sq.. From right here you may discover the encompassing streets.
On the one hand, you’ll stroll previous empty, run-down buildings. However you’ll uncover cool graffiti and bars. I might advocate you to go on a little bit discovery tour by this very totally different quarter of Athens after which sit down in one of many eating places.
After a little bit 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 the Nationwide Backyard
The Nationwide Backyard and the encompassing space make for an ideal strolling tour. Along with the park’s stunning 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 have been held in 1896, and the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus are additionally close by.
On the path of antiquity
To be taught extra about Historical Greece, my essential objective 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 will discover many well-preserved stays there.
Nevertheless, your entire 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 beneath 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 famed sights.
Recalling Monastiraki brings one specific imaginative and prescient that lingers in my thoughts – The Flea Market which meanders from Monastiraki Sq. into the adjoining lanes. There you will discover quite a lot of retailers peddling items apart from fleas merchandise equivalent 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 gratifying time wandering by these streets whereas avoiding well-liked vogue shops!
Not distant lies Pittaki Avenue; this street was as soon as uncared for and used primarily as a public bathroom 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 must be on the prime of your record!
We have 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 but it surely nonetheless made for some beautiful images.
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 count on an excessive amount of out of your journey.
Be part of the Historical Olympia personal day tour.
Conclusion on issues to do in Athens
In case 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 novel and vibrant environment, which may be skilled in several methods relying on the time of day.
Through 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, when you’re looking for an unforgettable expertise, spend a while in Athens and luxuriate in all it has to supply!