Named after the goddess of wisdom, Athens, is a magical city to visit as it has a colourful history and culture, which tells tales of gods, warriors and inventions. Greek culture is fascinating and while Athens is a cheaper place to visit compared to Paris, Rome and London, it is not cheap by any means, but your experience will be unparalleled.
The best place to eat Greek food is of course Greece and what better place than in its largest city, Athens. The city is famous for the amazing street style food as well as delicious lunches accompanied by wine. These four restaurants offer a good atmosphere along with their tasty dishes. Take a look at their menus and see if something grabs your attention:
- BlueFish Athens offer excellent seafood and a beautiful outdoor seating area
- For an incredible view eat at the Orizontes restaurant, which stands on Athens tallest peak.
- For an authentic Greek dish, dine at Seychelles.
Your food bucket list should contain stuffed grape leaves called Dolmades, the giant baked beans known as Gigandes and the traditional Greek salad Horiatiki. In addition, make sure you eat the meaty dish Gyroand if you have time aSpanakopita, which is a spinach pie.
Where to Stay
For a lively neighbourhood with markets, history, music and shopping, stay in Montastiraki. A 3* star hotel in this area costs between €80-€110.Alternatively, stay within the city centre. Great places to stay, with breakfast included, are the Acropolis House at €89 per night, Hotel Arethusa, €80 per night and the Pan Hotel, €100 per night, which is situated only 200 metres from the city centre.
Always research your accommodation well and book in advance to take advantage of sales and miss any additional last-minute fees.
How to get around Athens
Travelling from the airport to the city can either be by taxi or on Metro Line 3, which operates from 6:35am until 11:35pm. It only takes 30 minutes and costs €10. While a taxi will set you back about €50, depending on your hotel’s location.
If you are sticking within the city then you can easily walk around the city, but if it is hot schedule a few stops to relax and get an ice cream. If you do wish to use the bus or Metro, each ride will cost €1.20. Alternatively, invest in the Ath.Ena Ticket (€22) which includes 3 days of unlimited travel and a return airport transfer.
Do embrace the haggling culture. When visiting a market haggle with the seller, but stick to prices you are willing to spend. Make sure you understand the exchange rate between your currency and the Euro.
Do be friendly. Greeks can be very open people and may ask you personal questions because they are interested in where you are from. Don’t mistake this for rudeness.
Do carry a bottle of water with you, especially if you visit in the summertime. Temperatures rise above 25°C for four months of the year, so dehydration becomes a realistic concern. But stick with bottled water, opposed to tap water.
Don’t visit Athens in July or August as this is peak season, which means higher hotel prices and large crowds at all major attractions. Also, October may be a bad time to visit due to storms. Instead, plan to arrive in April, May or September.
The sewage system in Greece is not the same in your hometown. The pipes are narrow and become blocked easily. Therefore, never flush toilet paper down the toilet. Instead place it in the bin next to the toilet.
There are lots of beautiful religious buildings to visit in Athens. Don’t undress, be respectful of the country’s religion and coverup your arms and legs when possible.