What are the must see’s in Athens when you are only visiting the city for a few days?
We are visiting the city for the second time now and it still is an overwhelming city. The streets are narrow, people look like to are in a constant hurry and the traffic is rushing by at high speed. Still, there is something about Athens that you cannot grasp and keeps you curious about the layers underneath the busy vibe.
Athens is a great city to spend a few days looking at the beautiful architecture and enjoy city life by going out for dinner and a cocktail on one of the rooftop bars. It is a big city and so many things to see and explore. We will give you the top 10 must see’s in Athens.
10 Must do’s in Athens
1) Parthenon on the Acropolis
The number 1 must-see is, of course, the ancient Acropolis of Athens. This stately building is the centre of Athens. The ancient temple complex is located at the top of the hill, looking over Athens. At night the Acropolis is beautifully lit and is visible from all over Athens.
It is one of the most complete Greek structures that still exist nowadays and well worth a visit.
More information and pictures of the Acropolis in our previous blog.
2) National Archaeological Museum
We absolutely loved this museum and it is a must-see in Athens. The museum is full of ancient statues and sculptures and you will definitely need a few hours to take it all in.
Athens is the start of democracy and packed with history. The museum is a perfect way to get more knowledge about the history of Greece and see some unique pieces. For the price of 5 or 10 euro’s (depending on the season) a must-see when in Athens at least one time.
More information and pictures of the National Archaeological Museum in our previous blog.
At the foot of the Acropolis lies a secret hideaway. It is the old neighboorhood of Anafiotika.
A labyrinth of small white streets, colourful blue doors, painted roofs, and amazing street art. The little houses are cubical shaped and hidden under the colourful pink Bougainvillea flowers. It almost feels like a Greek island in the middle of Athens.
Be sure to visit this area when you are near Plaka or the Acropolis because you are only a step away. Just look around the next corner.
More information and pictures of Anafiotika check out our previous blog.
A must-do in Athens is walking around in Plaka. This is the neighbourhood right under the Acropolis. The district Plaka reaches from the Northside to the Westside of the Acropolis. Make sure you will have your walking shoes with you.
The main part of Plaka is a little bit touristic, but if you dive into the streets and go up the hill you will find lots of small restaurants and bars. The walls are full of nice murals and around every corner, there is a new view over the city of Athens.
At night the view of the lighted Acropolis and the city is perfect to relax with some Mezze and a glass of wine.
More information and pictures of Plaka check out our previous blog.
5) View the city from Lycabettus hill
You will only fully realize how big Athens is when you can overlook the city from above. Lycabettus hill lies in the middle of the city as a green landmark. It is the highest point of central Athens and a great lookout over the city. The urban forest that covers the hill is a great getaway from the crowded city for tourist and locals.
A climb up the hill can be challenging and a good alternative would be to take the public train to the top.
6) Dionysus theater
The Dionysus Theatre is the oldest theatre in Europe and located at the slopes at the bottom of the Acropolis hills. The theatre could hold over 17.000 spectators in the old days for an evening of entertainment. Now you can feel the vibe of the old days and sit in one of the original seats yourself.
The slopes and Dionysus Theatre are perfect archaeological sites to combine with a visit to the Acropolis as you will be able to get a combination ticket for both sites. An excellent way to spend a day wandering around in the remains of the old days.
More information and pictures of the theater check out our previous blog.
A drink with a view on the Acrolopis is a must do when in Athens.
7) Temple of Zeus
The temple of the Olympian Zeus is an impressive temple built for the head of the Olympian gods. It is located near the old Olympic stadium.
Originally the temple had 104 colossal columns from which are now only 16 left. In ancient days, a 13-meter high statue of a seated Zeus was placed at the centre of the temple. This statue, one of the seven world wonders of the ancient world was destroyed in the 5th century AD and never found back.
More information and pictures of the Temple of Zeus check out our previous blog.
8) Eat like the Greeks
Eating like a Greek is sharing food. Order yourself some different kinds of food and appetizer and enjoy it together. There is nothing better than enjoying good food with your beloved ones. We always remember the food we ate at a certain place as woven through our travels. Food is anyway the best way to meet and talk to locals.
Greek food means sharing and not so much devouring a big pile of meat. They do like a good steak or a Pita giros, but the food has envolved trough out the years into a new version of the traditional kitchen. Of course when in Greece you can not skip the traditional greek yoghurt with walnuts and honey. We will show you the new restaurants which try in reinvent the greek kitchen to a refind kitchen.
Our tip would be to go to the Ergon House, a trendy concept restaurant where you will find the best ingredients Greece has to offer you. Cold cuts and cheeses from around the country and traditional greek dishes presented in a new way. All prepared with care and love. In the market, you can buy all of these products to take home.
More information and pictures of the Greek food check out our previous blog.
9) Syntagma square
At the top of the Syntagma square, you will find the Parliament Building of Athens. In front of the building lies the tomb of the unknown soldier. It’s guarded by Evzones, the ceremonial soldiers who also guard the Palace. Every hour of the day, seven days a week they will do a special guard ceremony to change to the new guards.
More information and pictures of the Syntagma check out our previous blog.
10) Explore the trendy neighboorhood Psyrri
Last but not least you should check out the urban and trendy neighboorhood Psyrri. Here you can look at some amazing streets art and murals. Explore the neighboorhood and see the beauty of this neighboorhood for yourself.
We hope to inspire you to travel to Athens and stay for a few days to explore and enjoy the city as it is definitly worth the trip.
Lots of love from Angelique and Carlo
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