SIGHTSEEING + EXPLORING:
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Acropolis – Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the temple of Athena Nike
EAT + DRINK:
Plaka (neighborhood where we stayed)
After a 4 day adventure in Mykonos, we hopped on a ferry to Athens for the second leg of our trip. Once our ferry arrived at the port, we used Uber to call for our taxi and were on our way to our AirBNB. The great part about the AirBNBs in Athens are the price. My goodness, the bang for your buck is unbelievable there! We stayed in the Plaka neighborhood and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring
We checked out the Panathenaic Stadium, checked out some bakeries, and ended with dinner at Piggy Popoulo. If you stay in Plaka, you definitely have to check out Piggy’s! It is a tiny, very local place. We got caught in torrential downpours on the way there, but didn’t care because we had such a blast trying different appetizers, drinking the red wine our server suggested, and watching the locals.
Our condo in Plaka was only about a 15-20 minute walk from the Acropolis and Ancient Temples, so we decided to start our morning by walking to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Starting there, we got the 30E entrance pass that includes multiple sites.
BONUS: Getting this pass at the Temple of Olympian Zeus meant no lines at the entrance to the Acropolis slopes!
We spent about an hour exploring the different areas near the temple and then decided to walk to the area near the Acropolis Museum to grab breakfast. After we filled up on omelettes and coffee, we headed over to the Acropolis Museum. The entrance fee for the museum is not included in the pass I mentioned above, but is only around 6E and totally worth every penny! Other than being able to check something off of our bucket lists by seeing the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum was the best part of our time in Athens. We also got our first great view of the Parthenon. Of course I squealed like a (really nerdy) school girl when I saw the view!
After the museum, we were finally ready for what we came to Athens for…the Parthenon! Let me tell ya, it is a trek up the Acropolis slopes. I had no idea the walk would be like that, but it was totally worth it. Take your time on the journey because there are a lot of really cool spots to check out. There were also some really great photo ops and who doesn’t want that? Well…maybe my boyfriend didn’t, but I definitely did and he is a trooper so he relented to all 97 selfies along the way.
We got to the top, did some walking around, took a few (or 19 more) selfies, and then headed back down the slopes in anticipation of some wine to end our afternoon of exploration. After a couple of glasses of wine at a little cafe we found a few blocks away, we headed back to the AirBNB for a nap before freshening up for dinner and packing for the next destination.
Next country: Italy!
Tips for your Athens trip:
- Buy the 30E Entrance Pass at the Temple of Zeus or another smaller site instead of buying it at the entrance to the Acropolis slopes.
- The pass includes the Acropolis and slopes, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, the Library of Hadrian, Olympieion, Kerameikos, and Lykeion of Aristotle. Totally worth it since the line at the Acropolis entrance is extremely long and is around 20E.
- For sure go to the Acropolis Museum before you go to the Acropolis. It puts everything into perspective and has a lot of really interesting artifacts if you are ready to nerd out like we did. Honestly, other than checking something off the bucket list, this was the best site we went to in Athens.
- The Acropolis is on a hill and it is definitely a trek. Where comfortable shoes and pack some bandaids just in case.
- There are tons of shops and restaurants in that area so check them out. Yes, they are touristy, yes we liked them. Due to the current economy there, the restaurants and shops were extremely affordable even including the tourist mark-ups and we found a lot of fantastic gifts and souvenirs for ourselves.
- Use Uber! Taxi’s can be hard to get sometimes and this will ensure you can get one.