Welcome to the city where democracy was born. When you think about Greece you visualise beaches and islands. Athens may not be the city you associate with vacation. However Athens offers a lot more then you might think in the first place. Athens over the weekend is really is one of the best city vacations you can do in Europe. However I recommend you to stay centrally so you are within walking distance of the city’s attractions.
Athens has a lot of nice museums you can explore. I visited the museum of Cycladic art the last time I was there. Some of the museums offers additional photo exhibitions as well. During the summer months, the city explodes by many cultural events. In other words festivals, theatre, shows, dance events and concerts. More information about current events can be found here.
What to see
The city’s main tourist attraction, queues in the entrances are the shortest in the morning and during the winter season. If you visit the Acropolis hill during the summer, you need a hat or cap and bottle of water, as it is always warmer on top than at the entrance. Opening hours and ticket information at the official website.
Secondly Herodion theatre was built by the Athenian philosopher Herodion Atticus as memory of his wife. The theatre is open during the summer with concerts and other performances.
In addition Acropolis Museum, modern and beautiful, where you can follow the history and originals of the statues up close. After that have a cup of coffee or eat in the restaurant with the best view of Acropolis.
Plaka is the old town below the Acropolis hill, where there are plenty of restaurants, cafés and shops. The area was populated here in the 17th century and have today many neoclassical buildings in pastel colors. Certanily relaxing to take a walk in this neighbourhood and cozy to stroll around these streets. Its also known as the “Neighborhood of the Gods” due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites.
Anafiotika is the residential area under the Acropolis hill that looks like a small village. Here, artisans moved from the island Anafi to renovate King Otto´s palace at the end of the 19th century. Anafi is one small island in the Agean Sea. You definitely want spent a little time of the weekend to snap some picturesque captures in this part of Athens.
Monastiraki square is the meeting point for tourists and Athenians. Tzistarakis Mosque was built during the Ottoman Empire and is now a ceramic museum. You have the Metro station here and many shops in the streets around the area. Collectors love this place as you have basars and a flea market in this area as well.
Every Sunday att 11.00 you can watch the ceremony of Evzones or Tsoliades when they change the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The place is in front of the Greek Parlament at Syntagma Square. Likewise you can watch the ceremony every hour every day. However Sundays has a special ceremony and with the official costumes.
I am not an Athenian or a Greek,
but a citizen of the world.
Where to eat
Eat like a greek or local when you are in Athens over the weekend. Here are the restaurants I have visited and I recommend. By the way Athens offers tourists a lot of food tours. Because food matters and it tells us something more about the history of each city.
- Quick Pitta– Mitropoleos 55. This place offers the best classical Pita with Giro in a fresh and modern interior.
- Skoubri –Drakou 14. Fish restaurant witch resides in the upcoming area Koukaki. Fresh dishes and light interior with a nice fish menu.
- Seychelles – Keramikou 49 Metaxourgeio. Trendy restaurant housed in a cute, early 19th century building. Don’t forget to make a reservation its a popular place.
- To Kati Allo – Chatzichristou 12. A family restaurant serves greek homemade dishes, magirefta, in an old style taverna. It could be greek bean soup, moussaka and other traditional dishes that my mother used to make.
Did you find this post useful? Comment and share your tips about Athens below.