Guess who went on vacation, skipped three days of uni, and had a blast under the sun??? This lucky blogger over here! I love traveling, it’s one of the reasons I try and spend less money, and I’m super lucky to have a mother who works all over the world. As a result, I met her on Athens and spent seven days in the lovely historical city. Here are some of the things I did, foods I ate, and places I visited.
Acropolis Hill and The New Acropolis Museum
This is basically what Athens is famous for: the large temple (Parthenon) on top of the tall hill (Acropolis), and the museum across from it. I recommend you go to the museum first before climbing up the hill, that way you can see all the columns and statues they found at the hill, the history behind it, etc. The museum is really nice, and I also got on the English guided tour, which was quite okay but not the best.
Then on the next day we went to the hill itself. Tip: wear a hat! It’s super handy cause it’s sweltering hot up there. Bring water, don’t bring too many stuff, but the climb isn’t that tough, you get to go on your own pace and the stairs are not that steep anyways. Also go on the evening, I went at around 6 and it was great weather, sunny when I climbed up, and up there it got slightly cloudier, which was fine for me. The Parthenon and the temple next to it is magnificent, huge and old and wonderful to look at. I recommend listening to Rick Steve’s narration while going up, his walking tours are amazing! You can look for his app on the App Store.
The view from on top of Acropolis Hill.
National Archaeological Museum, Temple of Zeus, and Ancient Agora
Three excellent historical sites located around the city center that I visited, also with the lovely help of Rick Steves. The Archaeological Museum is not too big but very interesting, especially all the statues and how it’s arranged chronologically. The Ancient Agora is similar to the Roman Agora in Rome, you need a lot of imagination and Rick Steve’s help to walk through it.
The famous Poseidon or Zeus statue.
Me in front of the Ancient Agora, overlooking the Acropolis Hill.
We went on a cruise ship for one whole day to the surrounding islands of Athens, which were Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. We got a walking tour on the first island, walked around and took dozens of pictures, the second island is tiny and not very interesting so we only walked around, and the last island is huge and we went on a bus tour to the nearby monastery.
Me again, with my trusted hat!
Don’t even remember which island this is lol.
Food is one of the main reasons why my trip was so amazing. I ate looots of Greek cuisine, though on the last day we did get kind of sick of it and ate burgers and pizza hahaha. Here are some of the things I ate.
Greek beer is surprisingly good, and so is Greek wine. The seafood I ate were all exquisite. And the meat… all the meatballs (sort of Indian style), gyros, souvlaki, lamb of all kinds… they’re all so good!
We also went on a day trip to Delphi, around 3 hours by bus from Athens. It was nice, the ruins were lovely although quite a high climb. There’s a nice museum in there as well, and our tour includes a guide who tells us basically everything, which is really nice.
Tips and Tricks!
So, here are some random tips about traveling to Athens on this time of the year:
- If you have the money and are willing to afford it, get on the Hop on Hop off bus tour! It’s very insightful, you get to see all the sights around the city and you can just choose which one you’re most interested in and hop off to visit them
- But if you’re not using the bus, the metro is also a convenient way to travel. It’s quite cheap and reliable, in my opinion.
- Wear comfortable shoes! You’ll definitely feel the difference if you wear sandals or high heels – during the whole trip I wore my sneakers and it’s really comfortable because you’d be walking A LOT. You might not notice it but going around museums is quite tiring because you don’t just walk a lot, you also stand up a lot.
- Rick Steves! He’s a life saver, he makes everything much more interesting and you get to learn so much from him.
- If you’re like me and you have a whole week staying at the city, you’d get pretty sick of looking at all the ruins and historical monuments all the time. So day trips to the islands, or even a tram ride to the Piraeus beach is great to refresh!
- I don’t know if it’s just me, but the Athens international airport is not that crowded. I spent only a few minutes on security check compared to Amsterdam’s long and winding line. I don’t know if I was just there on a good day, or if it’s always like that, but I’m pretty thankful I didn’t spend that much time at the queue of the security check.
Those are my highlights and tips and tricks of being a tourist for a whole week in Athens! Have you ever been to Athens? Do you like museums? Let me know down in the comments!