If you are travelling to Greece this summer and visiting Athens you could spend a lifetime exploring the historical capital of Europe, but whether it’s just for a few hours or a few weeks, this summer we’ve got you covered with this shortlist of 10 top things to do in Athens, the hometown of Goddess Athena, whatever the weather (windy or super hot!). So here it goes, in random order for you to decide what should be on your ‘what to do in Athens’ schedule:
1.Visit the Acropolis Museum | Acropolis
It’s probably in the top 3 pieces of travel advice you’ll receive for things to do in Athens. But you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get stuck with other tourist attractions and activities and leave this one out of your schedule so, trust me, just do it on your first day out of the hotel. You can spend from one to three hours in the museum, depending on your pace and level of interest. http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en
2.Explore the Acropolis of Athens with a local Guide
If your time is extremely limited and you really don’t want to leave Athens without seeing one of the most important world heritage sites on the planet, we have the perfect solution. Get in contact with us and we book the right multilingual licensed Guide for you. Reap all the advantages of an in depth comprehensive guided tour of the Acropolis and all its magnificent monuments with the concise Acropolis Tour. Visiting Places: The Acropolis hill, the Parthenon, Erechtheion. Duration: 2 hours (approx.). http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh351.jsp?obj_id=2384
3.Watch the sunset at the Temple of Poseidon | Sounion
The ‘Greek Festival’ (http://greekfestival.gr/en/) is the country’s premier cultural event and has been organized for more than half a century, featuring top notch names from the local and international music and theatre scene. Performances in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a unique, once in a lifetime experience not to be missed.
5.Greek Presidential Guard (Evzones) in Athens
If you are lucky enough to be visiting the Acropolis on a Sunday, and have the resolve to be the first to climb the rock at 8am, you will catch a glimpse of the Greek Presidential Guard (Evzones) making their way to the Greek flag on the belvedere. Each Sunday, the Evzones raise the flag in the morning, accompanied by members of an Athenian marching band playing the national anthem. If you get up late, you still have the chance to see them, as same day at 11am, people gather in Syntagma Square to watch the official changing of the guards, the military unit whose members stand proudly in perfect stillness in front of the Hellenic Parliament. There are of course changing every hour in the day, but on Sundays it is the official ceremony with the official costumes.
6.Eat Greek gyros and souvlaki | Monastiraki As cliché as it may sound, souvlaki and gyros are the ultimate Greek street food. So do not miss to taste it. Tip: Lunch early at ‘Kostas’ (Pentelis 5, Athina 10557) in Syntagma Square.
7.Swim in the Athens Riviera | Varkiza, Vouliagmeni and Kavouri One of the best things about Athens is that you can actually have a Greek vacation without leaving the country’s capital. The city has a number of organized and non-organized beach areas that will make you feel you have escaped to a Greek island (weather permitting). So, our suggestion is to take a morning or afternoon swim at one of Athens’ organized beaches.
8.Enjoy Athens’ nightlife | Central Athens and Athens’ Riviera
Athens nightlife is legendary so do not leave the city without sipping at least a cocktail on a rooftop bar with Acropolis view, a sunset drink in one of the city’s beach bars or a late night drink at one of Athens party spaots (like ‘Island’ in Varkiza are).
9.Catch a movie at an outdoor cinema | Syntagma and Thissio
Greece is a foodies’ paradise so don’t leave without sampling some Greek food products such as Geek bagel (koulouri), honey, herbs and loads of goodies (olives, sweets, mastic, nuts… the list is endless!). If you’re walking in Monastiraki area, visit the central market ‘Varvakeios Agora’ for fresh products (vegetables, fruits, meat and fish), or walk a little further down to Evripidou street to buy herbs, nuts and goodies from various deli shops.