The beautiful ancient civilisation of Athens is a number one destination for countless travellers. Last year, I was fortunate enough to visit a city I had only ever dreamed of going.
We spent around 4 days in Athens and for us, this was the perfect amount of time to really immerse ourselves in the rich culture and history.
As a lover of history, I am willing to bet you a serving of zucchini fritters that Athens is even more superb than the stories you’ve heard. Filled with an unimaginable history, many museums, fabulous food and kind people, there’s bound to be something that tweaks your interests.
Spring and autumn are the perfect months to visit Athens with temperatures averaging the mid 20’s. If you’re unlucky, you may catch a shower or two but otherwise the sky will remain relatively clear and blue.
Although summer in Athens is boiling hot and accommodation prices rise, the days are longer and lovely weather is guaranteed. Archaeological sites and museums are also open till late.
During the winter months, the weather gets a tad chilly and archaeological sites have shorter opening hours. However, you can snatch accommodation for reduced prices and the city is less busy.
If you haven’t been to the Acropolis, have you really visited Greece? Located in the heart of Athens, the Acropolis is a must visit for anyone and everyone. This archaeological site was one of my utmost beloved experiences in Athens. To think of all the historical events that occurred at that very location all those years ago is absolutely mind boggling.
Location- Athens 105 58, Greece Entry price- 20 Euros for an adult Summer months- 8:00 am- 7:30 pm Winter months– 8:30 am- 3:00 pm Transport- Via Athens metro, Hop on Hop off bus, taxi
For a lil background knowledge- Most cities in ancient Greece had a hill in the centre of their city (called an Acropolis) where the most significant and important temples were built. The Acropolis is the archaeological site as a whole while the Parthenon is the (former) temple which laid upon the site. Construction began in 447 BC and was dedicated to goddess Athena.
Piraeus is a gorgeous port town around 12 km from Athens city centre. It is easily accessible by metro, taxi or the Hop On Hop Off bus (Blue line Hop on Hop off will bring you past the main attractions of Piraeus). Cruises to and from surrounding Greek islands depart and arrive from its cruise port.
- Take a stroll through one of the vibrant towns of Piraeus such as the Kastélla neighbourhood
- Indulging in mouth-watering Greek food gets tiring, take some well-deserved time to relax at a blue-water Greek beach!
- Learn something new and visit one of the several museums
- Visit a picturesque marina such as Zea Pasalimani or Microlimano
- Go to the famed Piraeus Municipal Theatre
- Purchase a souvenir from the shopping district of Sotiros Dios
The temple of Olympian Zeus was built in the 5thcentury BC and is a short half kilometre from the Acropolis.
Location– Athens 105 57, Greece Summer months-8:00 am – 7:30 pm Winter months- 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
The Panathenaic Stadium opened in the 6thcentury BC and is the only stadium in the world to be built entirely out of marble. A tunnel in the arena will lead to an informative Olympic exhibit. I highly recommend picking up an audio guide that they offer at the ticket box to gain a true understanding of the history and to feel like an Olympic champion.
Don’t forget to take a picture on the Olympic winner’s pedestal or run (or walk) a lap of the track!
Location- Vasileos Konstantinou, Athina 116 35, Greece
Entry price- 5 euros (adult), 2.50 euros (child) Summer months- 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Winter months-8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Syntagma square + Changing of the Guards
- Visit Syntagma square from 11 am to watch the official changing of the guards each Sunday
- People watch at one of the lovely cafes
- Visit one of the various museums
- Take part in free walking tours! There are a variety of language options and all it costs is a small donation.
- If you’re up for something more on the touristy side, try the Hop On Hop Off bus. With different routes, it’s incredibly convenient and stops at the main attractions.
- Opt for the audio guide if it’s available to enhance your knowledge
- Eat at local Greek restaurants for cheaper prices and delicious, homemade Greek food
Facts about Athens!
- Athens is Europe’s oldest city and one of the oldest cities in the world
- About 17.5 million people visit Greece each year
- The beginning of Athens was 3000 BC
- The first Olympic games was held in Athens in 776 BC
- Athens is named after the goddess of wisdom, Athena