A break in Greek metropolis
Athens might not be as monumental as Rome or Paris. However, it offers a wonderful balance between sightseeing and city enjoyment. Plus, the Mediterranean location with mild climate makes it a perfect escape from the cold season in Central Europe.
Here is why we like Athens so much and would recommend it for your next city break.
Hopping from sight to sight
The ancient sights are scattered in the maze that the Greek metropolis is. Notwithstanding your interest in history, you will appreciate the beauty of the Parthenon on the Acropolis Hill. From there, it’s only a short walk to Agoraios Kolonos hill, where one of the best-preserved ancient temples, the Temple of Hephaestus, stands.
You can hop between the sites and enjoy the Mediterranean vegetation along the way. Watch the surroundings closely. You might be lucky spotting a Greek tortoise hiding in the shadow of an olive tree.
Tip: Most ancient sights in Athens are within walking distance from each other. Enjoy the sunny weather and explore the history on foot. Learn about our favorite sites here.
In Athens, you’ll probably find the highest concentration of rooftop bars with stunning views ever. Just head to Monastiraki Square and look up.
Changing of guards
Every hour on the hour the guard of the Tomb of Unknown Soldier changes in front of the parliament building on Syntagma Square. It is a spectacle to watch the guard change. Their traditional attire consists of a Greek kilt and tsarouchia shoes.
Tip: Every Sunday at 11 am, a whole platoon pays respect to the tomb accompanied by live music.
A city trip isn’t complete without a little (window) shopping session. Explore the chic boutiques of Kolonaki, find an original accessory at Monastiraki Flea Market or wander around the small art shops of Plaka.
Leave countless tourist crap shops behind and look for local artsy stores in side streets. We found lovely works at Tsolias art gallery in Kyrristou street in Plaka.
Ultimate sunset spot
Finding a sunset spot in Athens is easy. Just walk up the next hill and watch the spectacle. However, Mount Lycabettus in the Kolonaki neighborhood offers the ultimate Athenian sunset experience. The panorama of the city with its magnificent sights immersed in the soft light of golden hour is remarkable. To top the experience, wait until the Acropolis lights up in dusk and get stunned.
To get to the top of Mount Lycabettus, you can take the Cable Car from Kolonaki (nearest subway station Evangelismos) or walk uphill the zigzagging streets and stairs. The cable car has long operating hours so you can return after dark.
Good to know: The viewing platform in front of the church tends to fill up quickly. For more relaxed sunset watching, head a couple of curves down the stairs and find a cozy place to sit at the edge of the walkway. The view is equally amazing.