Athens is quite an extraordinary city with a broad selection of sights, culture, relaxation, shopping and much more. I travelled to Athens in October with my fiancé, and we had the best time. Here’s a peak of our trip to Greece and what I recommend exploring in my Athens City Guide. I hope you’ll find some helpful information and get inspired a long the way.
Hotel and accomodation at Hotel Electra
We stayed at the 4-star hotel named Electra located on “Ermou street 5″. The hotel had a perfect location with all the sights within walking distance. 300 meters from Syntagme Square where there’s a metro and train station, 400 meters to the Parliament and a beautiful park, 1200 meters to Ancient Agora and 1500 meters to Acropolis and the National Museum. Everything was within reach and on Ermou street there are tons of stores where you can go shopping. Primarily high street and local brands.
A thing that I really liked about Electra was the breakfeast where they served super tasty freshly squeezed orange juice! (And of course their comfy bathrobes).
You can find nicer hotels in the city (with or without pools on the rooftop), but for us the location was key and we wanted to pay an affordable price pr. night. Lucky for us we travelled in the middle of October which isn’t the high season for vacationing in Greece. Travelling during the low season is something I highly recommend. You’ll find less tourists and less people in the city.
I highly recommend visiting Ancient Agora. The architecture is beautiful and you really get a feel of Greece (and Greek history). Imagine a little park with historic ruins – that’s Ancient Agora.
There wasn’t many people in Ancient Agora due to the low season – and we loved the peace.
We were so lucky to be welcomed by the cutest “land turtle”. It was walking around in the leaves and it was really amazing seeing that little creature on land. We still don’t know how it got there, but it sure knew how to pose for the camera.
There are a lot of beautiful temples from the old days to see in Agora. Temple of Hephaestus is one of the best preserved temples in the city. Really beautiful!
Was amazing to see. It’s been on my bucket list for a while now, and I’m so happy that I finally got to experience it.
My favorite sight on the whole trip was the Greek temple Erechtheion, which was build for the Gods Athena and Poseidon between 421 and 406 BC. I suspected that it would be breathtaking and it sure was.
The rest of Acropolis is beautiful too, but the temple Erechtheion really stands out.
The city’s main attraction is Acropolis, which you can see from almost everywhere in the center of the city.
The Hellenic Parlaiment
On Sundays at 11 o’clock the guards protecting the parliament switches shifts and perform a march. The shift itself is really fun to see because they make some moves, that looks like a dance.
And they wear really cool uniforms (and shoes!!!).
Are located next to the parliament. So while you’re there you simply have to explore the garden. It’s really pretty.
And a fun thing about the garden is that there are looooots of animals there.
The Benaki Museum exhibit old Greek discoveries from thousands of years ago up ’till “today”. If you’ve ever had Classical Art (Ancient Greek History) in high school, you’ll find a lot of the archicture and vases that you read about in school. If you are interested in history – this will definetly be fun to see. If not, then use your time on something else.
What my fiancé and I personally loved most about the musem, was the café on the roof top terace where we enjoyed a glass of Retsina (Greek wine) while watching the sunset.
We swam with doctor fish that live naturally in the water at Lake Vouliagmeni and it was super fun. I laughed my ass off and my fiancé did too. He had to hold me tight in the water, in order for me to stay between the fish because they tickled my body so much that I could hardly stand still.
We had a blast, and the scenery was beautiful.
Wining and Dining:
COCKTAILS at The Gin Joint
The Gin Joint is a little cocktail bar that can be difficult to find without a map or a GPS, but it’s definetly worth a visit. The cocktails are really tasty and they really do an effort to serve them well. Look at this blue drink and how me lemon is cut. Really, really nice.
Minnie the Moucher
This 50’s inspired cocktail bar serves delicious cocktails and a little food too. The music is old classics from the 50’s and it’s a really nice place to sit and talk. In Athens the weather was not too cold at night, so we could sit outside and enjoy the fresh air over drinks.
The cocktails were really good!
On the street where Minnie the Moucher is located, you’ll find lots of places to eat. Including a pancake place 😉 So bring your appetite.
Hot hot burger bar
The night we went for cocktails at the Gin Joint, we walked passed this burger joint. It was crowded with young people everywhere, so we sat down and ordered a burger with fries. We couldn’t believe the prices.
The burger was really good – but if you don’t like barbeque sauce, then tell them not to use it. I forgot too, and mine would have tasted much better without it.
Local greek food and drinks
The food in Athens didn’t really rock my world like on my trip to Alicante, but I didn’t make an effort to check out which places to go visit in advice (even though I’m a true foodie) I used my time looking into which sights to see instead. What I did learn was that the Greeks are good at serving toast-sandwhiches and club sandwhiches. They are also very affordable.
I was looking forward to trying their famous feta cheese, but found that it really wasn’t me. It didn’t taste as salty as I had hoped, but luckily there is other greek food that taste good. What really suprised me was their kebab. My oh my the meat was delicious. Really spicy in the good way – and I found it was a safe choice to order almost everywhere.
Tasting coffee from several coffee places in Athens taught me, that they make strong coffee. You’ll see a lot of locals drinking “cappuccino freddo” and I tasted it too, thinking that it probably wasn’t too different from an icelatte “from back home”. It was – it’s much, much stronger.
If you’ve ever been to New York and visited Woodbury’s Outlet, you’ll find a similiar setup at McArthurGlen in Athens. Not as big and the stores are a lot smaller, but you’ll definetly find some great bargains to take home with you.
We rented a car the day we went to Lake Vouliagmeni and when we had enough swimming for the day, we drove to the outlet which was about 40 minutes away.
They had a lot of nice stores, and we could easily have used more time.
I really enjoyed my travels to Athens and a highly recommend visiting the city. There lots to see especially sights and beautiful scenery. BUT there are also great cocktail bars where you can kick back and have a good time.
If you are following us on Instagram @thecopenhagendiary you’ll find more pictures of Athens and our other travels around the world.