Greece is a beautiful country with many many islands. Athens is the capital and also the capital of democracy, because that´s where it was created.
Languages spoken: Greek
Price: €€ It´s a bit cheaper as Western Europe
Safety: Totally safe
Fly duration: From Amsterdam it will take around 4 hours to arrive in Athens.
I had a transfer in Kiev, Ukraine and that´s why it took me 8 hours.
Be aware of: Summer: Athens temperatures reach 40 degrees
Things to do in and around Athens
In 2017 I went to Athens for two weeks and I never felt bored. In this list I will tell what we did each day, so hopefully you will have inspiration on what to do, than only the Acropolis.
Day 1: Acropolis
Being in Athens, the first thing you have to do, let´s be fair is visiting the Acropolis. The most historical place in Greece if you ask me! It is astonishing to see with your own eyes.
On top of the Parthenon you can see all over the city! It is a good first thing to discover Athens and it´s history. We spend around 1 hour here to take good pictures. Of course, walking up and down the Acropolis also takes time. There is a bit rock close by where you can go to (the Areopagus hill), to take some nice shots of both the Parthenon together with the view of the city.
After this it will be time for lunch! Around the Acropolis there are enough nice places to eat something. Maybe some gyros, one of the typical dishes in Greece.
Remember: If you are a European student, the entrance is free!
Day 2: Acropolis museum & Plaka
Now you have visited the Acropolis, you can visit the Acropolis museum. Not only because it´s interesting, but also because it can be bloody warm in Athens haha.
I liked the fact that there are windows everywhere in the museum, so while getting more information about the history, you can always look outside and see the Pantheon.
After the museum take a walk through the Plaka. This is an neighbourhood where you can buy mostly touristic stuff and are lots of restaurants. Maybe a little overpriced and touristy, but it is a nice place. I loved to take pictures here, it´s very picturesque. The arch of Hadrian is here as well, which is surprisingly Roman. It´s a monumental gateway that resembles a Roman triumphal arch.
Are you a European student? For the Acropolis museum you get a free admission as well! So make use of it 🙂
Day 3: Panathenaic & Monastiraki
On the third day we bought tickets for the hop on, hop off bus. I think it is very touristic, but as I travelled with my parents and they can not walk that well anymore all day, I did not mind it. It´s a fast and cool way to discover a city if you ask me.
The tickets for the famous red bus, you can use two days. They are valid in Athens, Piraeus and the beaches.
This first day we just explored Athens. We mostly drive around the whole city with the bus and after that we stopped at the most interesting places. After this we explored the other places. But so far the hop on hop off bus.
We bought the tickets around the Panathenaic Stadium. This is an old stadium and the only stadium in the world made of marble. I love that you can walk around Athens and they suddenly see a historic place doom up in front of you. You can not nót go to Athens and discover without getting to know a bit more about the interesting history.
The first interesting place we explored was the Monastiraki square to visit the markets.
This is for sure my favourite square in Athens, because it´s cosy, filled with people, you have a nice view of the Pantheon and I like markets. Walking around the square you will see historic objects, like Hadrian’s Library and nice ice cream places. Which you probably need, because it can be hot in summer months and the ice creams are delicious!
Day 4: Piraeus & Parliament
Time to go to Piraeus with the hop on hop off bus. Pireaus is a port city and only 8 kilometers southwest from Athens. Here you can take boats that go to many islands close by. We also took a boat here to an island, but you will read about this later.
Beware that it can be windy on top of the bus while driving the high way. In Piraeus you can take a free train to drive around the town which is fun! It´s a lovely small town, especially the port area is cool.
On our way back to Athens we stopped close to the parliament. Around 8pm the guards changed, which was pretty funny to see, because the guards wear funny clothes and lift their legs high up when they walk (see the photo). There is also a big park nearby, which is a ideal place to escape the city life. It looks very pretty and if you want to see a few goats, this is a must-visit.
Day 5 & 6: Beach day!
This day we went to Vouliagmeni beach to swim. On the internet we had seen some amazing photos, but when we got on the place we thought we had to be, the beach was rocky.
We thought it would get better and went for a swim, even though the beach hurt our feet.
Then the best part happened: there were Sea urchins at the part we had to step into the ocean. It was steep as soon as we stepped in! Now you can imagine that getting out of the sea was difficult, because of the sea urchins that were everywhere. Not the best experience 😉
Later we found out we had to walk a little further to reach the beach we had seen on the photos. What a shame!? We should not have been so stubborn and overly exited I guess.
Then the sixth day was a chill day, to make plans for the days we had left. This day I was a bit stressed out to be honest, because I don´t like to do nothing at all for a whole day. But it was good to make plans, to cook at home and not spend money for one day 😉
Day 7: Chalkida
Because of the day off, we found out about a place called Chalkida, 2,5 hours away by train. I guess chilling at home was good for something 😉
These 2,5 hours are so worth it, because you get to see a bit more of Greece and it is just 7 euros per person!
We actually walked around the big lake, which took us a long time. Let´s make a photo here, let´s have dinner here and then let´s enjoy the beach there! Also because it was a hot day, we did not want to make too much effort (unfortunately), eventhough I really wanted to go to a castle. I don´t know if the castle is really worth it, but if you want to, I would recommend you to go there.
Before we knew it the day was over and we still had to go back 2,5 hours by train. Have you also noticed that they way back always feels shorter than the way to something?
Day 8: Lycabettus hill
Discovering more of Athens this day, by going up the Lycabettus Hill. This hill is 300 meters above sea level, which makes it also the highest point of Athens.
There´s a cable car going up, but you can also hike your way up. The view from up here is absolutely stunning! You can see everything in Athens, even the Acropolis!
Because there were no people (why!?) we had the best places to sit, with of course the best view. Also the fries at the restaurant here… incredible! They were so crunchy and with lots of flavour.
Day 9: Beach & Piraeus
Beachday 2! This time at a beach a little closer to Athens. This beach was better as the previous one, but there were still lots of rocks in the sea. We were not so lucky with beaches in Greece!
Also did we go to Piraeus, because we were looking for cheap boat tickets to go to an island. We walked around here and wanted to go inside a church, but I was wearing shorts, so that was forbidden. So be aware of this when you are in Greece.
Day 10: Poros
This was by far my favourite day of our holiday. That is why I will talk about a bit more in this post. In that post I will tell you about the beautiful island of Poros.
I heavily recommend you to go to an island by boat, the views from the boat were absolutely phenomenal!
We visited Poros for just a day. In the morning we sailed for 2 hours (so keep this in mind if you are planning to go here) before we arrived at Poros, a little island with 4000 inhabitants.
Poros is fantastic! It´s both traditional and touristic. Just see these 2 pictures below, do you not want to go now!? There´s a clock tower on top of the island where we went to and there was no one, while the view was again phenomenal. We walked around the island and I loved it. Go here, when you want to go outside Athens.
Day 11: Kalamaki beach
The last few days we didn’t do anything special. We went to the Plaka and Monastiraki again to buy things for home and one day we went to the beach. Kalamaki beach… finally a good beach with soft sand to end our holiday with. It was way more crowded as the other beaches but, but we didn’t mind that.
That is it!
What are more things that you did in Athens? How do you fill your days on a holiday? Please tell me in a comment.
Interested in reading more about my adventures?
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