de-DEen-US

Athens

Apart from the Acropolis, I knew pretty much nothing about Athens. So when we went to the capital of Greece, I didn't know what to expect. So at least I couldn't be disappointed. But there was probably no danger of that either. Because Athens has so much flair that it will simply blow you away. What makes the city so special? Find out for yourself...

29/08/2021

dear(travel)diary,

already as a child, I really wanted to visit Athens, as ancient Greece has always fascinated me. And where can you get as close to ancient Greece as in Athens? After all, some of the ancient buildings and their ruins are still standing there. But shortly before my long-awaited trip to Athens, my brother put a slight damper on my anticipation. “Athens is the dirtiest capital I've ever seen!” he said. And my brother has already seen many (capital) cities... So I flew to Athens with mixed feelings. Will it really be that dirty? Or does the city, like Naples, simply have charm at second glance? Or would my childish notions of antiquity be confirmed?

None of the above. First of all, the city is less dirty than advertised. Then I liked the city at first sight - when we looked out over Athens from the roof terrace of our Airbnb and the Acropolis towered before us, it was simply incredible! But even my childish expectations of such an ancient city were not 100% fulfilled. Because of course Athens has a multitude of ancient buildings that blew me away. However, the city has understandably moved with the times, so it has some modern influences. However, the modern influences are very different to what I know from Northern Europe. Some of the structure reminded me of Spanish cities, others of Amman in Jordan. Not surprising given Greece's southeastern location within Europe...

Well, the first impression was not a disappointment. And the second? It was even better! I liked Athens very much, both by day and by night. The city is interesting, diverse and vibrant. During the day, tourists dominate the cityscape, squeezing through the narrow streets from one sight to the next in the blazing sun. In the evening, this picture changes and the locals live their lives on the streets of Athens. Good music, nice conversations and the best wine are guaranteed. So make time for both in Athens: the touristy days to see the sights; and the vibrant nights to experience the real Athens!

xx Chiara

Overview:


What to see & discover

  1. Visit the famous Acropolis
  2. Enjoy views over Athens: Lycabettus Hill & Philopappos Hill
  3. Explore the streets along the Acropolis: Anafiotika & Plaka
  4. Old buildings are part of Athens: Discovering the Athens Academy & Central Market
  5. Off the beaten track in Exarchia
  6. Stroll through the National Garden and past the Zappeion, the Olypieion, the Panathenaic Stadium and the Parliament on Plateia Syntagmatos
  7. On the trail of antiquity: discover Agoras
  8. Monastiraki: explore the old town of Athens
  9. The home of the Olympic Games: Visit the Olympic sports complex


Where to eat & drink

There are some good places to eat & drink in Athens. My favorites are:

  • Taf Coffee: Known for its delicious coffee
  • Mikel Coffee: Delicious breakfast, but also suitable for an afternoon coffee
  • 7 Cactus: Very tasty and healthy lunch, less touristy
  • Folk. in the Blend Hotel: Also very tasty and healthy lunch
  • Peas Vegan & Raw Food: Want to eat vegan? Then you've come to the right place
  • Six d.o.g.s: One of the best-known addresses for lunch and dinner; turns into a bar in the evening
  • Revolt Street Bar: Cool bar in Exarchia with delicious homemade lemonade.

There are also two very well-known restaurants, which we did not visit:

  • Little Kook: Always surprises with changing fairytale designs and the food should taste good too
  • Ellyz Café: Do you like it pink? Then you've come to the right place. This café is so famous because everything here is pink.

Otherwise, I can recommend looking for a restaurant or bar at the foot of Lycabettus Hill in Exarchia. It's less touristy here. We were also recommended Falafellas. Unfortunately, it was closed when we were there.


Where to sleep

We had three accommodations in Athens, as we were in Athens before and after Milos and after our sailing trip. Our first accommodation was by far the coolest, but also the most expensive. But the price was worth it! We had stylish and clean accommodation with a large roof terrace overlooking the Acropolis. What more could you want in Athens? The location was also good: the nearest supermarket is around the corner, a good café for breakfast is a 5-minute walk away and you can easily reach the center from here.

The second accommodation was just something to stay in between Milos and the sailing trip. I therefore cannot recommend it. The third accommodation was good again. It was less special than the first accommodation, but much cheaper. It was super clean, had everything we needed and was similarly well located. If you are in Athens for several days, then definitely stay in the first accommodation for one or two nights for a special Athens experience. You can then save money for the remaining days and book the third accommodation!


Costs

  • Flights (there and back): 287€ p.p.
  • Cab from the airport to the city in total: 40€
  • 1 night first accommodation (Airbnb): 120,00€
  • 1 night second accommodation (hotel): 59,90€
  • 1 night third accommodation (Airbnb): 42,00€
  • Total food costs for 2 people for the entire time: approx. 208€



I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.


From the community for the community

Tips from the community

Do you have a tip for Athens? Or a suggestion for the blog? Or would you simply like more information?

Then write me!