Friday, 11 March 2016

Visit Athens: Five Local Tips

The Greek capital is a diverse, cultural, often chaotic city,  
but pretty in its own special way. 

Nevertheless, Athens is usually just a stop-over 
before boarding a ferry to the islands,
and most visitors have to cram as much sightseeing as possible
in a short space of time.

I'm often asked what are the must-sees and dos in Athens;  
so, I wrote down five local tips
for discovering Athens in just a few days or even hours. 

A Mum in London

1. Visit the Parthenon and Acropolis Museum
Spend a day indulging in classical beauty. 
A visit to the Parthenon and the new Acropolis museum 
naturally tops the list of things to do in Athens. 

+ tip: have lunch at the Acropolis museum restaurant;  
you will enjoy tasty, light Greek specialities, 
and the most breathtaking view. 

2. Stroll and shop in Plaka, Thisseion and Monastiraki
This is the touristic centre of Athens, but also a favourite place for Athenians. 
The tavernas, cafes and little shops set amongst classical ruins
make it a very lively place. 

+tip: watch a movie while enjoying superb views of the Acropolis 
at the open air cinema Ciné Paris in Plaka.

  3. Hike on top of the Lycabettus
It's hard to imagine that wolves were wandering there in ancient times.  
Nowadays, you'll only see dogs and wild tortoises. 

+tip: Go there early in the evening and climb on top of the mount 
to see the sun set in the sea behind the Parthenon.

A Mum in London

4. Go for a drink in Kolonaki
This is the posh Athenian neighbourhood, 
where politicians and wealthy people live. 
Expect to find chic boutiques and cosy restaurants.  
+tip: On a hot summer's day, go for an ouzo and some mezes 
at Dexameni square, a haven of  tranquillity with trees and jasmines. 

5. Visit Kallimarmaro and Zappeion Gardens
Kallimarmaron or the Panathenaic Stadium is the place 
where the first modern Olympic Games took place; 
it's also the finish line of the famous Athens Marathon. 
Zappeion Gardens, the former garden of the Royal family, 
is an oasis in the centre of Athens.

+tip: sip a traditional Greek coffee at the little cafe 
which is just across the street from the Prime Minister's residence. 

Read more about Greece's Unspoilt Islands, some of its Best Beaches, and discover more Greek islands on the Travel Section of the blog. 

*all images original to A Mum in London

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