Can I just say how much fun it is to come up with these travel itineraries? I hope they’re fun (and informative) for you as well! Earlier in the year, I focused on cities that I had actually explored before like Paris, London, and Dublin. But now I get to create these long weekend trips based on where I haven’t been but would love to experience. It’s such a fun, creative outlet for me on those Ohio nights when I’m particularly feeling the wanderlust.
When I received the Liebster Award last month, I said that Greece was numero uno on my travel list at the moment, so it’s only fitting that today’s post focus on three days in Athens. (Plus my half-Greek cousin’s wife just had a baby, and if the little cutie’s full head of dark hair is any indication, he’ll be carrying on the Greek roots!)
So you only have three days in Athens? Not a problem. As I’m sure most of you know, I’m a big fan of walking tours. I don’t know that there’s any better way of getting to know a place than by walking down its streets with one of its own citizens explaining the sights and all of the history behind them. That’s why I immediately searched for a walking tour of Athens when I started formulating this post in my mind. The City Tour and Acropolis run by Athens Walking Tours begins at the Syntagma Metro Station and includes the National Gardens, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, and of course, the Acropolis. This ancient landmark is the highlight of the tour, and the guide goes in-depth into each of its important monuments like the Parthenon and Dionysus Theater.
LUNCH: The walking tour ends at the Acropolis just in time for an early lunch since everything that I’ve read says the locals tend to eat their meals a little later than we do in the states. TripAdvisor gives Arcadia Restaurant great reviews, and it’s just a short walk from the Acropolis.
You’ve also probably realized that I’m a big fan of museums, so it should come as no surprise that I would want to check out The Acropolis Museum. Athens is the birthplace of democracy, hometown to countless philosophers and great thinkers, and has been inhabited for millennia. I would love to get an up-close look at the artifacts and hear all of the information known about the ancient Greek gods and their place in the everyday lives of Athenians.
DINNER: Psaras Taverna — Loosely translating to “The Fisherman’s Tavern,” this is supposed be to one of the best places to get authentic Greek cuisine in the city. And who doesn’t love Greek food and freshly caught fish?
While there seems to be a ton to do in Athens itself, I think I also wouldn’t be able to help but take a day-trip out to see a little more of the country. I went back and forth about locations — Mycenae? Corinth? Ultimately, though, the mystery surrounding Delphi and its mythic Oracle won out! A hugely important archaeological site, Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Temple of Apollo and the Delphi Archeological Museum. Delphi is about a two-hour bus ride each way from Athens, and I would probably want to take a guided tour to get the most out of that time. However, if you’re more into the on-your-own type of vacation, there are public buses that sound pretty easy to take.
LUNCH: Taverna Vakchos – There aren’t a lot of restaurant options in Delphi, but this tavern sounds like it has great food at great prices with a great view of Delphi, and you just can’t beat that!
When you get back to Athens, perhaps take a more leisurely stroll through the National Gardens and then find a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant for dinner. Because we all know these are the best places for getting that good, really authentic stuff!
The ancient Agora in the Monastiraki district was the long-time marketplace and therefore gathering area for Athenians. Along with exploring the remnants of the ancient marketplace, there is also a modern open air market where you can buy some fruits (or olives?) to eat for breakfast, and the flea market gives an interesting look into everyday life in Athens, but only on Sundays.
From the Agora, I would head a little north to see the Temple of Hephaestus. It’s supposed to be an incredibly impressive structure that is almost completely intact and has been meticulously well-maintained. Being dedicated to Hephaistos, the god of the forge, I guess the temple was built with some care.
LUNCH: O Tazitzikas Ke O Mermigkas — Right in the middle of the Plaka district, everything points toward good old simplicity when it comes to this restaurant.
Since you’re already over in the Plaka area, why not take a stroll over to the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896? It was actually built in the 4th century B.C., and that is just crazy to imagine, isn’t it? I’m not sure even walking around Athens today would help me wrap my mind around how long it has been a significant place in the world.
DINNER: Melilotos — For your last meal in Athens, there’s nothing better than simple, traditional Greek fare. I imagine that would be impossible to beat!
It’s your final night in Athens, so take a stroll through the city and try to take in all of the culture (and the gorgeous sight of the Acropolis all lit up)!
Pin-worthy Posts about Greece to Fill in the Gaps:
- Travel Fashion Girl‘s post on What to Wear in Greece
- In Search Of‘s post on The Acropolis (complete with gorgeous photos!)
- Travel With Bender‘s post on the Top 20 Foods You Must Eat in Greece