Lots of my friends had given me mixed reviews on Athens so I wasn’t expecting too much from the capital. Our sailing trip around the Greek islands departed from Athens so we spent a few days there beforehand so we could make up our own minds. I’m so glad we went, Athens far surpassed my expectations.
When we first hopped off the metro at Monastiraki Station/the heart of the city (from the Airport) the first thing I saw was the Acropolis, lit up on top of a hill. From that moment I knew I was going to love Athens.
Leafy streets covered in fairy lights were lined with bars, restaurants and shops. Not to mention the ruins that seemed to be everywhere. The weather was amazing too, so hot! When we woke up the next morning, unlike London there was not a cloud in the sky. It was bliss.
Listed below are some tips on where to stay, what to do and what foods to try 🙂
Where we stayed
City Circus – a beautiful hostel in a restored neoclassical building. I would highly recommend staying here.
We found the location great, it was close to lots of bars and restaurants – 5 mins to Monastiraki square, and about 20 minutes to the Acropolis.
The breakfast was delicious. Great selection of bread, muesli with greek yoghurt and honey, a fresh fruit salad, scrambled eggs, sausages, juice and coffee.
Activities to do
Free Walking Tour – I always do a walking tour when I go to a new city to get my bearings/ they’re great if you only have a short amount of time. This particular tour started in Monastiraki and took us round lots of historical sites including the old Olympic Stadium – we were there one day before the Olympics started in Rio! Our guide told us so much history that by the end my mind was boggled.
A 20 euro ticket gains you entry into the Acropolis. It’s quite expensive, but you can’t go to Athens without visiting this famous archaeological site. We went on a weekday so it wasn’t too busy, it definitely left us in awe. Worth the visit, plus there’s a great view from the top oh the hill.
Where to drink:
360 – This roof top bar has a great view of the Acropolis. Standard prices for drinks and you can book tables in advance. We had a great night here catching up with everyone before heading off on our sailing trip.
Food to try:
I LOOOOOVE GREEK FOOD! Juicy meats, dips, light and fluffy pita’s, pastry pies with fillings of cheese and spinach, Oh the dips, don’t get me started on the drips – tzatziki with everything! The egg plant dip was to die for. Lets not forget the cheese! Greek salads came with a whole block of feta on top, not like how I serve at home – small crumbs mixed through. Deep fried cheese (also known as cheese saganaki) was one of my favourite sides to order. My favourite lunch meal has to go to Pork Gyros – 2.50 euro would get you delicious pork, tzatiki, salad and a few hot chips all wrapped up in a pita – I had my best gyros in Spetses and Santorini so more on gyros later. The Greeks also love their coffee. Frappe’s are very popular here – basically an iced coffee, but it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles like a starbucks one. Perfect for getting that caffeine hit in summer.
My next blog post will be from the Islands of Greece 🙂