I have always heard about the beauty of Greece and its abundant history but never really planned on going there. Until my little sister moved to Athens for an internship in tourism, I thought it could be the perfect timing to plan a trip there.
As she was based in the lovely neighborhood of Plaka, it was very convenient to walk everywhere. And what a pleasure to walk in the small streets of Athens! Looking at the architectures and trying to discover all the secrets of the city, stopping in the small craftsman shops and looking up at the majestic Acropolis appearing sometimes between two ancient buildings.
Athens has been a real crush for me (and my sister! She totally fell in love with this city!). Locals are the loveliest people and are so welcoming. Wherever you go, you can easily ask your directions to anyone in the streets.
From the Acropolis to the National Gardens passing by the Temple of Zeus and all its museums – Athens has definitely a lot to tell about history!
The Archeological sites
On my first day in the ancient city, I decided to be a real tourist and check all the famous places around.
I went to the Acropolis early in the morning to avoid the crowd and the line. It is one of the most impressive places I have seen in my life. Walking around the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena is pretty impressive! Plus, the Acropolis offers a breathtaking view of the city. As I got a ticket with access to all the archeological sites in Athens, I continued my adventure through the Athens agora where I saw my favorite temple: The temple of Hephaistos. Walking around and learning about Greek history and mythology was one of the most interesting parts of the day.
In the afternoon, I visited the Temple of Zeus’ site and walked in the small streets of Plaka, checking the little shops, smelling every soap and olive oils. Then, I enjoyed a nice walk in the National Gardens and watched the changing of the guard in front of the Parliament.
To end the day on a perfect note, we had dinner around the touristy but so pretty Adrianou street and relaxed by sipping a tasty glass of red wine along with tzatziki and greek salad.
Athens from the eyes of a local
For my second day, my sister advised me to subscribe to This is my Athens! A website that allows you to visit the city with a volunteer local. What a cool idea! You visit the city with someone who knows it by heart and get all the insider tips.
This is my Athens! is so much better than your usual travel guide!
I got put in contact with Evangelos and got very lucky as he loved walking as much as me. He also knew a lot about the modern history of Athens. We probably went through every neighborhood of the city center going from Psiri, Keramikos, Omonia then Exarcheia and finishing our tour at the Acropolis Museum. I got the chance to learn more about the city’s modern history, see old and famous theaters and hear more about the local life. If you travel alone or even with someone, I advise you to try it as you can choose what you want to see or do.
And as if I didn’t walk enough, we decided with my sister to go up the Mount Lycabettus to enjoy the view of the city and the Aegean sea! To be honest, we were pretty lazy and took the funicular to go up and down. What a view when you get to the top, we were definitely not disappointed.
Athens was a beautiful adventure and I would love to go back some days as there are so many things to see and history to learn!
- If you are a student, don’t forget your student ID to get the access for 6€ instead of 12€.
- Organize your schedule because the archeological sites close at 3PM every day and are closed on Sunday.
What to do, eat and drink:
- Eat some Souvlaki, tzatziki, and greek salad
- Find the perfect Pasticcio and delight yourself
- Get a drink on one of the city’s rooftop bars at night to enjoy the view of the illuminated Acropolis
- Explore the Athens agora and the Acropolis
- Go up the Mount Lycabettus
- Eat a kebab in the street for a couple euros
- Walk around the National Gardens and watch the changing of the guard in front of the Parliament
- Explore the small streets of Plaka
- Find old and cool stuff at the flea market in Monastiraki