From the Golden Ages of Hercules and Zeus, Athens continues to marvel to the world with its ancient and mysterious spirit. This city will be sure to captivate you with its timeless allure with all the ancient history and culture leaving you hypnotized. History, philosophy, architecture, science, art, theatre, and even the Olympic Games were born here in Greece. The homeland of Gods and Goddesses, Athens is named after Athena, who is the Goddess of wisdom and peace and I love her already. This place will be sure to awaken the inner Goddess within yourself.
How to travel to Athens:
We booked our flight through Air Canada and left from Montreal. The plane ride was about 9.5 hours. Arriving to Athens we took the train to our town and had a short walk to our hotel.
Where we stayed:
Home and Poetry a boutique hotel in Plaka. This was located in the heart of Athens, in close proximity to every where we wanted to explore. It was clean and the staff was friendly. I would recommend this hotel to others! We even had a cute balcony that overlooked the streets where I would journal every morning.
Best way to travel:
We walked and used Uber during our stay in Athens.
What to explore/Things to do:
Hiking the Acropolis was first on our list! Wow. The energy you feel here is extraordinary. The monuments and ancient architecture is a unique masterpiece! This prestige and sacred temple is dedicated to the Olympian Gods and Athena. Everything is built out of marble and sacred rock. It really makes you wonder how did they build something so intricate thousands of years B.C. which still stands tall today.
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is one of the most important museums in the world in my opinion. The Greek art and ancient collections include so much history from prehistoric times. This museum has so many collections of ancient Greek sculptures, pottery, etc. that are over 3,000 years old. It makes you see how advanced the Greeks were.
The Square of Monastiraki is one of the oldest parts of the city. You can see the old city which is underground and the oldest church in the center of the square. The flea market which is held on Sundays was a cool experience. Of course, there was so much I wanted to purchase but couldn’t bring back with me to the US. There are a lot of tourists in this area and it is crowded but a lot of fun. Be sure to avoid thieves and gypsies and as legend has it, don’t look a gypsy in the eye because they can steal your soul!
Hike up Mount Lycabettus. This was definitely a hike. We jogged up to the top so we could catch the sunset which was completely magical! I recommend this to all first time visitors to Athens. It provides excellent panoramic views and orientation of the city. St. George’s church is also located on the Mount and there was a wedding going on. I thought it added, even more, magic to the experience. Once the sun set, it was beautiful to see the whole city lit up under the stars. This is the best/highest view in Athens.
Be sure to check out the Changing Of The Guards in Syntagma Square which happens every hour. Their uniforms are awesome. Two soldiers stand guard in front of the Parliament which the President resides. The guards aren’t allowed to make any expressions and supposedly aren’t allowed to blink during that hour.
Be sure to also check out the Temple of Zeus and the Temple of Poseidon.
Shop the local boutiques. We got a ton of gifts and souvenirs here.
Places to eat:
I highly suggest ordering Feta, Saganaki cheese, a Frappe, and a Greek salad anywhere you go.
Balthazar is a must! We dined in the backyard garden for a friend’s birthday and LOVED it! This is a secret gem in Athens. The ambiance is really beautiful. The cocktails were tasty and a bit strong. The food was fantastic.
The other restaurants we ate at were your traditional Greek side street places. We ate our fair share of gyros, souvlaki, kebabs, cheese dishes, tzatziki, spanakopita, with large amounts of olive oil on everything. You really can’t go wrong with where you eat here. Everything is delicious and fresh!
Keep this in mind when planning your trip: -Athens is a dirty city. Unlike Germany, Athens is not the cleanest. -The streets are covered in graffiti which is heartbreaking to see. -I’m unsure why they built such ugly modern buildings next to beautiful and ancient ruins. -Carry as less as you can with no valuables the gypsies and pickpocketing in Athens is no joke. -This is not a place for dress up and heels. Pack comfortable and sturdy sandals and sneakers.
Athens is so rich with history, it is a place I absolutely recommend for you to go experience. I felt so blessed to be here with my best friends. Be sure to disconnect during your stay, and be present to explore and take it all in.
To read about our next stop in Santorini, click here.
To read about our trip in Evia click here.
For my healing experience in Edipsos click here.