Athens has got to be one of the most interesting cities of all Mediterranean countries. It has a laid-back vibe with friendly locals and great food. Although initially, you may think most of the key attractions are located within the world famous Acropolis complex, further research will prove that there is far more to this historic city than first meets the eye.
Greece has always been a popular destination in Europe for travellers of all budgets. The Greek economy, however, has taken something of a hit in recent years, and while this is obviously very bad for its residents, it does mean that tourism to the country is now cheaper than ever before – and what better way to start your Greek adventure then checking out its historic capital city of Athens! Here are 10 of the very best things to do when in the area:
10. The National Archeological Museum is a surprising entry on this list, as I am not usually a fan of museums, but this collection is extremely impressive and it chronicles the fantastic Greek empire up to more modern times.
9. Flisvos Marina is the perfect place for some nightlife or seafood meals. It is also the best place in Greece to anchor luxury yachts, and at night it is especially dramatic.
8. Anafiotika is a neighbourhood in Athens that screams “Greece” to you. It resembles the beach town of Santorini somewhat, as the white and grey paths snake their way up the hill with houses and little shops either side.
7. The Panathenaic Stadium is located inside the Acropolis complex and was the site of the first ever Olympic Games. Nowadays you can marvel at this impressive (but narrow) stadium as a tourist attraction.
6. Filopappos Hill is known to be best vantage point in the whole of Athens. You can get great views all around for miles out to sea, yet at the same time still be close enough to the ground to see what’s going on. This is a great place for lovers to come and watch the sunset.
5. The Odeon in the Acropolis is a theatre that was used by Greek emperors of old and is still used to this day for special events. If you’re lucky, you may get to see a performance during your visit.
4. Plaka Square is known as the beating heart of Athens, not only due to its location close to the Acropolis, but also for its great vibrant atmosphere and delicious Greek cuisine.
3. Kessariani Monastery is one of the hidden gems of Athens and not many tourists know about it, hence its inclusion so high on this list. The monastery has an eerie feel to it and is a nice alternative to the more well-treaded attractions in the city.
2. Mount Lycabettus is a famous limestone hill (not a volcano) in the centre of Athens that can be ascended by the funicular railway below. At the top of the hill, you will find a theatre, a restaurant, and a 19th century chapel.
1. The Parthenon is a temple structure within the Acropolis, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, and its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art.