Cities / Athens

Oct 15, 2019

If you’ve visited Greece before, there is a very big chance you’ve been to Athens. Maybe only as a stop on your way to the islands, or for a city trip full of cultural highlights.

We combined a couple of days in Athens with a trip to the Cycladic islands, which we would highly recommend. If you're into history, ancient culture and a lively atmosphere; Athens is the place to visit!Though we would not recommend July and August since it's very hot and crowded with tourists. Best time to visit is early spring, the end of August or September. We decided to plan our trip at the end of August, it’s still a quite hot period but a lot of the Athenians are still having their summer break, so the city is less crowded. And luckily there are enough places in the shadow or with air-conditioning.

The first day in the city we planned a day of cultural highlights, if you have never been to the Acropolis, then it is a must! In the morning we started at the Acropolis museum, a beautiful modern building overlooking the Acropolis. They also recently opened the archaeological site below the museum, which is super impressive too.

We were quite hungry after the museum visit and went for a walk around Plaka, an area in the shades of the Acropolis. Plaka is almost like a village within the city, authentic small streets full of restaurants and cafés. After a lovely Greek lunch pared with some Greek wine, we were ready to visit the Acropolis. The timing was perfect (around 18.30, when it cools down a bit), and we could even enjoy a beautiful sunset in the surrounding of the Acropolis.

The next day we made our way to the famous Monastiraki square, which is a very lively spot in the middle of the city centre. Surrounded by little streets with shops and restaurants and close by the Athenian Antique market. It is a good place to start exploring the old city. Throughout the area there are a lot of rooftopbars, Couleur Locale was our favourite. Perfect for a coffee or lunchbreak. For a traditional Greek lunch, Bairaktaris is the place to go. Don’t forget to leave some room for an icecream at MELT or Full spoon.

Make your way to Ermou, the main shoppingstreet of the area. Close by are Ergon House and Third Place, we highly recommend both places. Ergon House for Greek delights and Third Place is a coffee café with a great interior.

By the end of our day we went to the Greek parlement and watched the change of the guards. We finished of the day by strolling around the National Garden of Athens, which is located next to the parlement.

Besides the city centre of Athens there is so much more to see, and more neighbourhoods to explore. We listed other things to do below, so it’s easy for you to make a selection!

Other things to do in Athens;

- Spend a morning or afternoon in Kifisia. Kifisia is a much greener northern suburb of the city. The area has a milder climate than Athens which is why all the rich Greeks have historically had their summer houses here and many now live there year round. There are a lot of shops, cafes and restaurants to be found among the shaded streets. We recommend you to have lunch at Estrella and enjoy a coffee and sweets at one of the oldest sweetshops of Athens called Varsos.

- Another nice neighbourhood in Athens is Chalandri, a charming area also north from the city centre. Perfect for some late afternoon shopping and evening drinks. Unique for this area are the many ‘hidden’ bars in the courtyards between the buildings. A great atmosphere!

- Because of the good weather throughout the whole summer, Athens has a lot of outside (rooftop) cinema’s. Perfect for a romantic date or a relaxed evening!

- If you are into museums, don’t forget to visit the Museum of Cycladic Art. A museum dedicated to the arts from around the Agean, yet combined with contemporary art.

- Take a break from your citytrip by enjoying a day or two at the coastline of Athens. The area is called Glifada and is full of nice beachbars and restaurants.

- Book a stay at Ergon House. Our dream location! Good food, great interior and a lovely vibe.

Besides these things there is many more to discover in Athens. We experienced Athens as an alive city with a lot of things going on. Where tradition and modern culture come together.

Find a balance in spending your time in the busy city centre and the neighbourhoods around it. And don't forget to use the Metro of Athens to reach all these great areas, cheap and easy.



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