On the 31st August 2019, my family, boyfriend and I flew to Athens, Greece for our annual family vacation. This was all of our first time in Athens and in Greece so we were all really excited to be visiting for the first time. Athens did not disappoint – there was a lot to see and do. My personal highlights were the views from Areopagus Hill and Lycabettus Hill and the wide variety of cocktails I tried. Definitely going to be returning to explore more of Greece.
Where To Drink
Hitchcocktails is a bar inspired by the Hitchcock movies from the decor to the cocktail names. There is the option to order a mystery cocktail where, if you can guess all the ingredients, you get another glass for free. Since it is off the beaten track, it is not overly busy so you can enjoy a relaxed drink there, even if the evenings.
Couleur Locale Athens
Something we discovered whilst in Athens was that they really love their rooftop bars! However, Couleur Locale was definitely our favourite rooftop bar that we visited. Not only did it have a view of the Acropolis but there was a relaxed vibe and the cocktails were delicious. Since it is off the beaten track, it was more popular with locals than tourists but we did not mind. It was very busy though so I would recommend heading there early and being prepared to wait for a seat.
What To Do
City Sightseeing is my favourite company to use when travelling for both bus and boat tours. Often their tours are running from 8 am in the morning up until 9 pm at night and you are able to get on and off as often as you like. Instead of a live tour guide who’s voice often gets drowned out by background noise, the tour uses headphones so you can wear noise-cancelling headphones or turn the volume up as loud as you like. It is the best way to get an overview of the place you are visiting and decide which attractions are worth visiting.
Coastal Boat Trip
From central Athens, it is only a 30 minute tram ride to the coast so it is both easy and quick to head to the pier and join a boat tour for a day, or even half a day like we did. We decided to do a sunset boat tour since it would be cooler and therefore more tolerable and also because we wanted to see the sunset over the Athenian coast.
Hike Areopagus Hill & Lycabettus Hill
Areopagus Hill is a prominent rock beside the Acropolis that was once used as a court of law but is now used as a viewpoint for the Acropolis.
Known in legends as a refuge of wolves, Lycabettus Hill is now known for offering an incredible view over Athens. I would strongly recommend paying to get the cable car to the top as even the walk to the cable car station was exhausting!
Attican Road Trip
Cape Sounion is the southernmost point of Attica and offers an incredible view of the Saronic Gulf. The Temple of Poseidon is located here which overlooks the sea and was commonly by sailors as a sign of home. Check out my previous post here for further details of our road trip.
Places To Visit
The Acropolis is the name of the hill on which the ancient Citadel is situated. It homes many historic buildings including the Parthenon, Old Temple of Athens and Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus. I would strongly recommend heading up in the evening after 6 pm when it is cooler as otherwise the heat is unbearable. I would also recommend purchasing a combined ticket for 30 euros at one of the smaller sites that includes the Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds to avoid the queues for the ticket office at the Acropolis.
Plaka is a historic neighbourhood in Athens. The Plaka steps are quite well-known among travel sites due to the cafes that line them where people can sit on the steps to enjoy their food and drink.
The National Gardens
A public park of 38 acres in the centre of Athens. The gardens themselves house some ancient ruins including columns and mosiacs. The Zappeion is the building inside the gardens that is used for meetings and ceremonies.
Have you ever visited Athens? What was your favourite part?