Athens! Where to go and What to see
Hello everyone. I was thinking which place should I write about first, but since I’m from Greece and grew up in Athens, couldn’t be other than my city. Greece is a country known and loved by most people around the world and justifiably. It is a home of marvelous monuments and UNESCO heritage sites, mother of democracy and philosophy; famous for her people and their hospitality, as well for her diversity of landscapes and beautiful islands that can satisfy any taste.
Whether you’re a history and art buff or not, you should see some of the stunning archaeological monuments, sites and museums. There is a diversity of options about things you can do in general, so I believe only satisfied you might leave this place..
So, probably Athens will be your first stop, no matter where you’re going next; so let’s see what you should see/do here..
Acropolis is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above Athens city and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance. The most famous is Parthenon and it’s the largest Doric temple in Greece. It was built between 447BC – 438 BC, at the initiative of Pericles, and it was dedicated to the goddess Athena, patron and protector of the city. It’s probably the most famous Greek monument worldwide and a must see if you find yourself in Athens.
It’s located really close to Acropolis and would be great to visit it, so you can get a more clear idea about the history of Acropolis and get the chance to admire its treasures. After you can have a beautiful walk around starting from Dionusiou Aeropagitou street and you can end up having a picnic at the hill of Filopapou, if you feel like.
National Archeological Museum:
Here you can admire collections from Neolithic to the Classic period. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide.
In Ancient Athens this was a political, social and administrative center. It is the best known example of an ancient Greek agora. The temple of Hephaestus is located next to Ancient Agora (Arxaia Agora).
It’s Athens biggest public park and I love walking there or working out. It’s located directly behind the Parliament building. The garden encloses some ancient ruins, tambourines and Corinthian capitals of columns, mosaics, and other features. It’s a park in the heart of the city, that makes me forget I’m in the city.
Monastiraki is known to tourists as a flea market neighborhood in the old town of Athens. Though it’s not really a flea market except mostly Sundays that people bring and sell things in the street, which happens also in Thiseio located next to Monastiraki. Here you will find countless souvenir shops, traditional products, beautiful antiques, gifts for family and friends.
House of parliament is here and you can see the changing of the guard ceremony every hour.
Nowadays, it’s kind of commercialized, but it’s still one of the best neighborhoods and one of me favorites. Most of streets are closed to automobile traffic and you can enjoy beautiful walks, find cute cafes and traditional restaurants; Here you can also find my favorite and only remaining boîte, “Apanemia” that hides so much history for generations and great Greek musicians passed or started from here.
Walking down Syntagma square you’ll find Ermou. One of the busiest streets, which can be probably the best street for shopping lovers. When the area is no crowded I find strolling around there very pleasant.
The good news are that all of those are in the heart of Athens really close to each other and can be seen even in one day. If you have more days to spent in Athens I would definitely recommend to go to the charming seaside areas like Piraeus and Bouliagmeni or Glyfada.
If you rent a car and transportation is not an issue for you, the you should visit also Sounio, where you can also find the temple of Poseidon, which overlooks the sea at the end of Cape Sounio. Every time I’ve been there, leaves me with such a pleasant feeling.
Piraeus is the hub port of Athens, if you’re heading to islands later on by ferry, then you probably are gonna depart from its port. From the city center it’s an easy and quick metro ride. You can take an authentic kind of Greek taste here. First thing, take a stroll around Zea Pasalimani and enjoy a coffee, with the great view of Saronic Gulf. Mikrolimano is my favorite. Means small port in Greek. Here you can walk by the sea, find amazing sea food (used to be right next to the water, though right now the municipal is making few changes, and from what I saw and understood, there will be a pedestrian zone right next to the water and the restaurant’s tables will be just few steps behind that). At night the area, before corona, was buzzing with nightlife, I hope it will be the same soon. And take a stroll in Castella Neighborhood it’s a colorful and authentic Greek neighborhood, with quiet uphill streets and many neoclassical buildings.
Nightlife and Cafés
About nightlife, any area you visit, or anywhere you will choose to stay I ensure you that there will be bars and you will have fun. We have them everywhere. The only thing we need now is the situation to be "normal" again, so all these beautiful places get filled with life again. In this part, I’m not the best person to give an advise about where to go, since the last 9 years I haven’t been living here and same time I’m not that nightlife person. But I will leave here few names of Bars that in my personal opinion are worth visiting.
Baba au rum
It’s in the list with the 50 best bars in the world. It’s a cocktail bar and here you can enjoy rum and other drinks from very far away lands. The quality of the cocktails is excellent and if you’re confused of the diversity, they will try to find what fits you better. They’re always very helpful, but if it is very very crowded you might wait a bit longer for your drink than expected. But that’s a fact that can happen anywhere. The value for money is a given!
TAF (The Art Foundation)
A group of collaborators discovered an abandoned building in the center of Athens - a unique example of folk architecture of the city of the 19th century - and launched an independent cultural project focusing on participatory culture, experimentation and exploration. The T.A.F. is today a reference point in the cultural map of the city: A place for the implementation of artistic activities, experimental exhibitions, creative collaborations, as well as hosting events. While enjoying your drink, you can have a look on an exhibition or project that is going on or even meet new local people and share ideas and energies.
It’s a Modern cultural center hosting concerts, DJ selections, clubbing nights, art exhibitions and café / bar. They have a beautiful garden where I loved to hangout. Here you can enjoy a relaxing coffee in the Garden and same time upstairs a live band might be giving their best and next to that an exhibition might be going on.
The Clumsies also, was distinguished as one of the 50 best bars in the world. In the morning you can enjoy your coffee with some brunch and in the night a variety of cocktails and delicious food.
K.O.T.E.S (Booze Cooperativa)
an open club for the exchange of ideas and a meeting point and interaction for people with spiritual, artistic and not only concerns! It is a field of expression, creativity and collaboration.Here visual artists can contact Booze to exhibit their work and authors for book presentations. You can even play chess or Scrabble at any time. If the huge wooden table in front of the entrance doesn’t attract you, dare to explore the place, the other floors and discover the second bar and the backyard.
Cocktail bar 360
This is a Rooftop bar, in the heart of the city with the view of Acropolis. The view is even more spectacular at night when the hill is lighted.
If you are in Athens you should have at least one visit on a rooftop bar. There are many many options.
I hope this guide helps you and I hope this whole global situation comes to an end soon. Make your plans, don’t get disappointed, keep the good vibes up and be ready for whatever you would love to do and for wherever you want to travel to when things get better.
Sending big hug..
Love & Light