Here you can find a fast but efficient survival guide for Athens with 6 Pro tips!
Athens, the capital of Greece, can be visited in 2 days (or 1 if you are fast). The most interesting sights with few selected museum can really be everything you need.
First advice: buy the 30E ticket (discounted for students) and visit all the 7 sights included in max 2 days, you’ll skip a lot of queues.
You can split the days like this: the first day you can buy the ticket and take it easy by walking around the Ancient Agora’, the Roman Agora’, Hadrian’s Library and the Kerameikos – skip the Acropolis the first day. Familiarize yourself with Athens and moving around. You can easily walk to each one of these 4 sites, but walking around you will also discover some ancient churches, nice shops and a thrilling city.
Second advice: the second day you should wake up early and you should walk to the Acropolis exactly when it opens (8am): because you already have the ticket, you don’t need to line up to make it when the office opens and you can enter straight in the Acropolis. Especially when there are no tourists, the atmosphere is incredible. Moreover, you can get the sight of the Army raising the Greek flag.
Pro tip: the first bus of tourists usually arrive around 8:35/45am on top, hence you should have 30 mins and more to get all the shots you want.
Don’t miss the Caryatids and the theater of Dionysus on the way down.
Then, point your gps toward Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus, so you’ll be exiting the Acropolis from the Acropolis museum side. The Temple of Zeus (Olympieio), the Zappeion and the Lykeion should be on your to-do list, hence move toward that direction.
Pro tip: remember that all the sites close quite early (and 15mins before than the closing time).
Your second day should finish with the visit at the Acropolis Museum (open until 8pm). That is one of the most important museums in Athens and i personally think it is really worth your time – because it is really clear in representing how the Acropolis was.
You can literally see how the Parthenon was decorated and understand the story of all the buildings you should have seen during the morning.
Finished the historical part, exploring the real Athens should be a must!
Third advice: eating is not a problem and you should just exit a bit the touristic area. Move toward Psyrri square or toward the seaside (by tram – Flisvos Marina) and enjoy some great meals. Walk up and down the shopping district starting from the Parliament and Syntagma square.
Pro tip: don’t forget to try some Ouzo at Bretto’s (yes, this is back in the touristic quarter, but it’s been there since 1909 for a reason)!
Want to know more places? My airbnb host drafted a Google map with most of the best places where to go to eat and drink as a local. Comment on the article and will share it with you 🙂
Fourth advice: want to do anything different? Maybe you have one more day to spend? Visit Delphi! Delphi is a little town 180km from Athens, and you can easily reach it by the bus (you can find more info here – everything still valid as November 2018) and it is worth the time because you will be on the slopes of Mount Parnassus where the center of the world of Ancient Greece was considered to be! People from all Greece and beyond were travelling to Delphi to obtain an Oracle’s response.
Pro tip: use Ktel buses and download a guide beforehand, they are cheaper and you can organize better your time at Delphi. It is definitely worth at least 3 hours.
Pro tip #2: have a glass of wine with a view over the Sea from the city of Delphi while waiting the bus back.
Fifth advice (for runners only): Athens Marathon is The Authentic Marathon. It starts from Marathon and arrives in the Panathenaic Stadium, an incredible finish for such an historical Marathon. If you are willing to complete a Marathon, you are not running for your personal best (yeah, it’s really tougher than normal ones) and you want to have an affordable ticket, that’s the Marathon for you. Epic.
This year I was so lucky to witness that the course record was broken by Misoi Brimin Kipkorir – 42.195mt in 2h10m55s – W O W.
Sixth advice (for fun): if you love cats, Athens is the place for you. There are tons of stray cats, hence they are not all cuddling and juggling but, they still look incredible!
Hope you liked this post!
To the next adventure! 🙂