3 REASONS TO VISIT ATHENS THIS SUMMER
Updated: Dec 28, 2018
While most tourists choose to only visit Athens for a couple of days, before making theri way to the greek islands, we do believe that our city has much more to offer and definitely deserves more than two days. No european city could ever be compared to Athens, a capital which combines contrasts in a unique way! Currently being in the centre of european changes and evolution, Athens is beyond interesting both for its birght past and its vibrant present. So, here are three of our fave things about Athens aka reasons for you to visit it :
History - Culture
Athens is, with no doubt, a synonyme to great history and bright civilization. The whole city is full of ancient ruins, old cemeteries and countless museums. The Acropolis hill and Acropolis museum are definitely the ultimate highlights among them. You simply can't go to Athens without visiting both of them. Tickets for the Acropolis museum only cost 5 euros, so you have absolutely no excuses! Climbing up the Acropolis hill to admire the Parthenon temple and have a breathtaking view of the city, might be a bit tiring -especially during summer, but you simply cannot miss it!
Apart from all of the above, the ancient Agora is not to be missed either. You'll find yourself walking among the ruins of the place where ancient greeks used to gather and discuss about all kind of public issues, elect their representatives and make great decisions about their city. The list of museums in Athens is huge, and we would strongly recommend you to visit the National Archaeological museum, as well as the Cycladic Art Museum, all located downtown. There's honestly so much we can keep writing about history and culture in Athens, but we'll stop here, trying to keep the post short and easily read.
We can't lie to you : we LOVE greek food (which we actually call just food, down here, hehe!). And don't take me wrong, you can find amazingly delicious greek food all over Greece, not just in Athens. But, what's really great about Athens, is its vast range of choices, when it comes to food.
If you want to taset the local cuisine, try to avoid crowded places and visit smaller taverns, in neighbourhoods less visited by tourists, or at least make a quick research about high quality food, even in touristic places. What might come as a surprise to you, is that not all traditional greek dishes contain meat! Some of our fave greek dishes are vegetable based, cooked with greek virgin olive oil. Yummy!
A huge part of the local cuisine is its street food, available on literally every corner of the capital. Grab a spinach or cheese pie, if you want to have a snack or a tasty souvlaki, if you wish to have a complete meal throughout your day. Frozen yogurt is also a popular choice in Athens, but make sure to ask for the original greek yogurt.
Now, if you are not a big fan of the greek food (what kind of person are you??) or just want to taste something different, Athens offers more than a lot of choices of international cuisine. It's almost impossible not to find your favourite cuisine when in Athens; from american burgers and thai noodles to sushi rolls and mexican tacos.
The Athenian Riviera
Athens is one of the few capital cities in Europe (if not the only one), where you can reach the beach in less than an hour, wether you use a (rental) car or public means of transport (tram line to Voula is recommended). It's true that the further you get, the cleaner the beaches get, but even the ones close to Athens are worth a visit.
Our recommendations for beautiful beaches near Athens would be : Cape Sounio, Porto Rafti, Lagonisi and Varkiza.
Voula, Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Alimos beaches are a lot closer to Athens (they're actually in Athens), but usually get too crowdy and are not the cleanest ones you can find.
On most of the Athenian beaches, you'll find cafes, bars and water sports kiosks.
While Athens is a bit chaotic, its subway system is among the best and newest ones in Europe. You can literally get around Athens in not time, using the metro. Keep in mind that many of the metro stations in Athens host exhibitions of ancient items, found during the subway's construction!
Some of the most popular destinations nearby Athens are the islands of Poros, Spetses, Aegina and Hydra, the picturesque towns of Nafplio and Chalkida and the archaelogogical site of Delphi. Click here to learn more about how you can reach these places, by any means of transport.
3. Plaka and Monastiraki districts
Plaka is Athens' most beautiful neighbourhood to wander around in and Monastiraki is maybe the most vibrant one, usually prefered by locals too.
4. Athens Festival
If you're lucky enough to be in Athens during its summer festival (usually held in June), we'd recommend you to book tickets for one of the performances presented at the Herodium Theatre, right under the Acropolis hill.
We'd love to hear what you think of our city, restless feeters!
Nick and Elen