Recently I have returned from an amazing trip to Greece. I spent a total of seven days, splitting my time between two cities (Athens & Santorini). This time I had the pleasure of a friend joining me, making it a fun filled girls trip. Life’s ironies, she happens to be my hair-stylist and she enjoyed reading my Paris adventures so much that she decided to join me while in Greece. Being that she loves traveling just as much as I do, it was the perfect opportunity to get to know one another and enjoy all of what Greece has to offer. We spent four days in Athens and three days in Santorini with both cities leaving us with memories and photos to last us a life time.
While in Athens we stayed at the Athenaeum Grand Hotel and paid $536.52 for a four night stay. We booked the executive room which included a spacious balcony with a view. The bed was very comfortable and gave us more than enough room. A free breakfast buffet was also provided each morning with an extensive choice offered. The front desk was extremely polite with making sure that we knew how to get around and offering suggestions on sites to see. Mostly every tourist attraction is within distance which I enjoyed the most and found very convenient. We didn’t pay anymore than 10 euros to get anywhere by cab and found ourselves mostly walking.
I started my morning by dropping my bags off and then took a cab to Mount Lycabettus. This is where you can take a short walk up to the very top and get the most amazing view of Athens. After admiring the city from above I ate at the hilltop restaurant and enjoyed my very first Greek Salad.
Traditional Greek Salad
The best way to explore a new city is by foot. This is my suggestion if you want to really get a feel of the cultural surroundings and appreciate the architecture.
I made way to The Parliament which was originally known as the Royal Palace for the Greek Kings. Outside I was able to watch the changing of the guards which takes place every hour on the hour. Be prepared as there is no shade and the sun can be rather harsh.
Just a few steps away from the Parliment, I walked to the National Garden. If you want to take advantage of an attraction, I suggest checking this out since it is near by. It is also free admission.
Plaka is located at the very bottom of the Acropolis and is well known for it’s cobblestone streets, local shops, and restaurants. I spent a lot of time here choosing various places to try traditional Greek foods.
Visiting the Parthenon at the very top of the Acropolis is one of the top attractions in Athens. It dates back to 447 BC and is dedicated to goddess Athena who was known as their patron. This was one of my favorite attractions and is even more surreal in person. Admission is about 20 Euros and I suggest going first thing in the morning. Be sure to bring a bottle of water and comfortable shoes.
The Acropolis Museum is just a short walk down at the bottom of the Acropolis. I suggest coming here the same day that you visit the Parthenon. Admission is 5 Euros and you can really take in all the history while in Greece. Not many photos are allowed inside but I was inspired to dress as a Greek goddess for the occasion 🙂
The Temple of Zeus dates back to 470 BC and is known as the temple dedicated to the Greek god Zeus. The architecture was simply amazing and admission is 5 Euros. Well worth the visit!
Monastiraki Square is a flea market filled with wonderful shops and places to eat that provides rooftop views of the Acropolis. There are also fresh fruit stands who charge little to nothing.
Advice for future Travelers
Athens, Greece was simply beautiful! If you love learning about history then I am sure you will enjoy visiting just as much as I did. This is a city that won’t require any more than 3-4 days to explore everything. My suggestion is to only spend that amount of time and then catch a flight over to one of the Greek islands. I went the first week of July and it was extremely hot, so if your an individual who does not enjoy hot humid weather, I would definitely recommend going later in the year or before peak season. The food was also pretty amazing. Most of the restaurants we tried were located in Plaka and we were able to just explore and pick different places each day we were there. One thing that I suggest is to take a cooking class. Unfortunately, we were not able to catch one, but be sure to book in advance as there are several that will fill pretty quickly. These were just a few of my favorite places while visiting this historical city. If you ever plan on going, I hope that you find this helpful for your future travels 🙂
Athens Airport Review
Our experience was not so much of a good one. We found that the airport staff was not friendly towards us at all. We hardly felt welcomed and received a lot of stares that made us very uncomfortable. Now I am not sure if this was due to the color of our skin, or if they simply did not like Americans. Just be prepared to feel more of a cold shoulder than a warm one. This was something I was not prepared for nor did I expect.