Athens - A city rich in the antique world with the stunning Acropolis sitting high above the rest. You can hear the bustling of the market selling fresh fish and the sounds of music at night as locals and tourists enjoy a scrumptious meal on the famous Plaka steps.
Last June, my husband and I were fortunate to make a trip to this beautiful city with such a deep-seated history. As a lover of all things Greek myth, I was so thrilled to have an opportunity to visit this place that has been on my bucket list since college.
Today, I'm sharing with you our journey and the spots we loved to help inspire you when you visit Athens!
Where We Stayed
We flew into Athens pretty late in the evening, so our first stop was the hotel to check-in. We stayed at NEW Hotel - a trendy boutique hotel in the middle of everything! The staff was very welcoming and sweet - always asking us if we enjoyed our food. And the view from the rooftop where we ate breakfast was stunning.
What We Did
With only 48 hours in Athens, we had to move posthaste. You can follow our adventurous tour of Athens on Google Earth. It's a 3D look at the city and all the stops we made along the way. I'll only highlight the main ones here.
Acropolis, of course, is first on the list. Get there as early as you can as the lines tend to build up. We took a private tour to ensure no wait time and the tickets were already purchased. We leisurely made the walk up, stopping at the theatre of Dionysus. It is not the most pleasant walk as the sun was beaming down harshly and there are only a few areas of shade. Be prepared for this.
Although it's only ruins, I found the Acropolis to be beautiful, and I was fascinated with the stories and the architecture. I completely geeked out (my husband? Not quite as much).
2. Plaka Stairs
Within walking distance to the Acropolis is the famous Plaka Stairs, where locals and tourists alike dine and enjoy each other's company. It's a tight area, but a fun experience to walk around those crowded streets. Go early to get a table! We took a Tasting tour of Athens here (it was the best!). We sat down at a stunning garden rooftop terrace of the restaurant Yiasemi and tried different olive oils with our guide as well as ate a cup of olives. It was very relaxing and peaceful after zipping around the crowds at the Acropolis. and standing in the heat for two hours. We sipped a coffee and replenished ourselves to keep going on the historical and scenic streets of Anafiotika.
3. Central Market
Continuing on our food venture, we stopped at the vibrant Central Market and saw fish, octopus, mussels, clams, etc. for sale. You name it, they had it! And all of it was fresh (+ pungent-smelling at times) and affordable. If only we had a kitchen in our hotel room, I would have scooped some seafood to cook up.
4. Temple of Hephaestus
Take a stroll through the park to get to this attraction, The Temple of Hephaestus, built around 450 B.C. and dedicated to the god of fire and Athena, goddess of pottery and crafts. It's a lovely walk to get to the structure that we made even more enjoyable with some ice cream.
5. The Athens Gate Hotel
Go to rooftop bar at The Athens Gate Hotel at sunset to get a breath-taking view of the Acropolis. We ended up grabbing a cocktail and some appetizers, but the view is free if you'd like to save money. We got there right in time and scored a beautiful spot on the outside patio.
Only 24 Hours Left
What to do? We booked a private excursion to Delphi. If you're a Greek myth nut like me, it was well worth the 2-hour drive outside the city.
Sacred to the god Apollo, Delphi was home to the famous oracle who would give cryptic predictions and guidance to all who came and asked. People would wait in line for hours to exchange precious goods for a prediction.
On the way back, we stopped at the picturesque seaside village of Galaxidi to grab a late lunch and enjoy the ocean breeze.
Athens was an exhilarating stop on our trip to Greece and such a memorable time. But we were on our way to island-relaxation on Naxos, perhaps another guide for another time. :)
- Alisha C Roam Often, Stay Stylish