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Athens, Greece

September 18, 2018

 What is there to do In Athens?

 

 

  • Acropolis of Athens- If your traveling to Athens in the summer, try not to hike up the Acropolis between 12pm and 5pm! For starters, thats when the crowd rolls in. Secondly, you'll feel the sun beating down on you and its not the easiest trying to hike up cobble stone to the Acropolis. Hours of operation are from 8:00-20:00. The entrance fee is 20€ for the entrance free. There is a 30€ ticket package that includes the entrance fee and the Acropolis museum if you want to see the entire Acropolis history. You can chose to buy these tickets online or in person when you arrive.

When we traveled to Athens I was 6 months pregnant and we made the mistake of trying to hike up to the Acropolis during noon time and it wasn't the best experience. We had to stop about 8 times before making it to the entrance of the Acropolis! The cobble stone to the entrance of the Acropolis isn't very kid friendly but once you get to the entrance of the Acropolis at the top of the hill, there is a free stroller check when going to the Parthenon. If you have a small child that cannot walk I recommend bringing a child harness to hike up the Parthenon. Once you make it to the top there is a cooler breeze where the Parthenon is but make sure you bring decent hiking shoes. Most of the pavement is made out of marble stone and can be slippery! Also don't forget to bring water! There are only 2 small cafes at the entrance of the Acropolis and on this very hot day, that cafes ran out of water!

  • Parthenon- Restored, landmark temple ruins on archaeological site with iconic Doric columns built from 447 BC.

  • Acropolis Museum

  • Temple of Olympian Zeus- Temple begun in 6th century B.C. on the site of an ancient outdoor sanctuary dedicated to Zeus.

  • Ancient Agora of Athens-Famous landmark featuring the ruins of an ancient Greek gathering place & a museum with artifacts.

  • Monastiraki Square- If you come to Athens for the nightlife, you want to swing by Monastiraki Sqaure! Monastiraki is also a flea market neighborhood and home to lots of shopping.

  • Syntagma Square-The city's broad, tree-lined central square, with a fountain, cafes & park benches.

  • Erechtheion- Honoring Athena & Poseidon, this famous, ancient Greek temple features a porch with 6 caryatids.

  • National Archaeological Museum

  • Temple of Hephaestus-Ancient Greek place of worship, built in the Doric style out of marble with bas relief friezes.

  • Temple of Athena Nike-Ancient Ionic temple depicting goddess Athena with 4 monolithic columns & decorated marble slabs.

  • Psyri- Vibrant Psyrri centers on Iroon Square, whose surrounding streets have eateries offering meze and live music, including rembetika (Greek blues). 

  • Cine Dexameni- Athens is famous for its outdoor cinemas.

  • Plaka- is a neighborhood that was one of my favorites in Athens thats located near the Acropolis. Its a very tradition Greek ares where you can find great affordable food and shopping!

  • Go to the beach- Astir, Kavouri, and Yabanaki are just a few!

Where to stay in Athens? 

  • Syntagma - In the heart of the action close to the sites. Close to tons of restaurants, the Acropolis and shopping. 

  • Koukaki - If you want to live like a local near the Acropolis this is the neighborhood for you.

  • Kolonaki - Is an upscale neighborhood with luxury shopping near by.

  • Metaxourgeio - A fashionable central location home to art galleries, museums, and trendy restaurants and cafes. 

  • Psyri - For a traditional stay with local eats Psyri is the neighborhood for you. Psyric also has vibrant nightlife with live music like rembetika (Greek blues), DJs, and bars that stay open late night.

How to get to your destination from the airport?

 

Taxi- At a fixed rate to the center city a taxi cost 38€ in the day time and 50-54€ at night. Night is normally considered after 9pm but every taxi driver will say something different so make sure you don't get got for your money! 

 

Airport metro- The metro runs every 30 minutes, but only between the hours of 06.30 and 23.30. The ticket prices are € 10 for one person, 18€ for two people, and  24€ for three people. A single return ticket valid for 48 hours is 18€ .

 

Athens Airport Bus- The Athens airport bus is by far the cheapest transport option at 6€ per person. The buses runs every 10-60 minutes depending on which route you take. The only con about taking the bus is that you may not always get a seat and the journey can take up to 45 minutes. 

There are 4 separate routes. If your staying near the center city you would want to take the x95 to Syntagma Square. The x96 Athens Airport to Piraeus Port bus takes you to the port to catch a ferry to different islands. The other 2 buses are the X93 Athens Airport to Kifisou Avenue bus, and the X97 Athens Airport to Elliniko bus.

 How to get around Athens?

Taxi- Taxis can be cheap depending on how far you are traveling. Taxi fees start at 3.16 € per ride, with an additional 0.46 euros€ added for each kilometer traveled. 

 

Tram- Urban Rail Transport S.A. offers three tram lines that travel between downtown and coastal cities. Trams operate every 15 to 40 minutes starting at 5:30 a.m., with service ending at 12:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 2:30 a.m. on weekends. Fares cost 1.40 euros € per person for 90 minutes of unlimited rides. Multi-day tickets can be purchased for 4.50 to 22€  per person. You'll be able to buy passes at  a tram station ticket office and from a kiosks ticket machines. 

 

On foot- The best way to get around Athens is on foot and cost you nothing! Most of the city's major attractions are located within walking distance or a short metro ride of one another. 

 

Bus- Bus fares cost are 1.40 €  and can be convenient to get around the city if your destination isn't in walking distance. The buses run frequently and throughout the night as well.

 

Car- Renting a car isn't the best option to get around when traveling through Athens. The traffic can get pretty heavy and parking is hard to find. If your looking to travel out the city or to a beach than renting a car may be in your favor. 


 

TIP: There are 3-day unlimited tourist pass for all modes of public transportation AND roundtrip airport transport that is only €22. You can purchase these tickets at a ticket office and from a kiosks ticket machines. 

     When to travel to Athens? 

     

    The best times to visit Athens are between March to May and from September to November. Weather during the spring and fall months is much more bearable to walk around this city than the blazing heat waves in the summer. Not to mention, you'll avoid the crowds and the expensive hotels/airfare during the prime summer months of Greece.

     

    Where to eat in Athens?

     

    • Kolonaki neighborhood- To see views the views of the Acropolis while you dine. Your options to food restaurants are endless here.

    • Plaka- For traditional Greek food check out the neighborhood of Plaka.

    • Central Municipal Athens Market- If you have an airbnb and want to cook local food.

    • Barbounaki- For seafood lovers!

    • Mam- Is famous for their cheese pie.

    • Stani- If you want to try official greek yogurt!

    What language is spoken in Athens?

     

    Greek

     

    Learn Basic Greek.

     

    Hello: Γειά σου (YAH-soo) 

    Nice to meet you: Χάρηκα πολύ (HA-ree-ka po-LEE)

    How are you?: Tι κανείς (tee-KAH-nis)

    Good morning: Καλημέρα (kah-lee-MER-ah) 

    Good afternoon/evening: Καλησπέρα (kah-lee-SPER-ah)

    Goodnight: Καληνύχτα (kah-lee-NEEKH-tah) 

    Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (eff-kha-ri-STOE)

    How much: πόσο (póso)

    Toilets: τουαλέτα (toua-léta)

     

     Currency?

     

    € Euro

    Check out Google Currency Converter for current rates.

     

    Things you should know when traveling to Athens?

    • Most people say you only need 2 days in Athens but we only stayed in Athens for a little over 24 hours and wish we had at least 2-3 days here. After island hopping through Greece we missed city life activities such as the movies, bowling, amusement parks, and shopping. 

    • We found Athens more affordable then the islands we traveled to throughout Greece.

     

    Is Athens kid friendly? Things to do with kids?

     

    Athens is super kid friendly! Amiyah met so many kids in Greece to play with and enjoy each others company! We actually dreaded leaving the city of Athens and wish we had more time to spend here!

     

    There are so many things to enjoy with kids of all ages in this great city! 

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