Traveling to Greece has always been a top priority on my list of places to travel. The rich history, the fantastic food and of course the gorgeous men.. surely that’s not just me? ok maybe it is but still. After spending a few days in Athens last week I couldn’t wait to get back and be able to share my experience with you all, so here it goes!
In this post, I aim to share my super itinerary to ensure you don’t miss out on a single thing during your stay in Athens. Worried about missing out on the best parts? Especially as you’ve only got a few days? you needn’t worry! that’s all you need to experience the best of what Athens has to offer. Here are my Top 7 things to see and do in Ancient Greece.
Welcome to the heart of Athens, here is where you’ll find the fascinating Acropolis. Inside Acropolis, you will see the remains of the Parthenon, a temple built in 432 before Christ dedicated to the goddess Athena. Inside this abandoned town onto of the hillside you’ll discover so much of the rich ancient Greek history. Admission costs around € 20 however, you can purchase a combined ticket for € 30 which gives you access to many more of the ruin sites around the city.
Well worth the money if you ask me!
2) Temple of Athena/Nike
Situated inside the Acropolis you will find the spectacular Temple of Athena. Located on the southwest side of the Acropolis plateau, right next to the Propylaia. This temple was built around 420 BC and is the earliest fully Ionic temple on the ancient village.
I think out of all the ruins I got to experience during my time away, this temple was by far my favourite. I don’t even think I need to explain why when the photo does it that much justice. What an incredible piece of history.
3) Other ruins included in Combo ticket
I definitely thought it would be worth mentioning the combo ticket because I never knew this ticket existed until I arrived in Athens. Not only does this ticket give you a lot for your money but you also get to skip the massive queues at Acropolis.
The ticket is valid for five consecutive days at the price of 30 euros. Giving you access to the Acropolis and six of the other must-see archaeological sites in Athens, including the Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Library and the Roman Agora.
These sites aren’t as popular but are definitely not worth missing out on. Here are some photos to show you exactly what’s about for you to go and discover.
A short trip from the Apocolis itself you will find a small village like section known as Plaka. Plaka is a lovely little-cobbled street section of Athens surrounded by great places to shop and eat. Here is where you will find all your souvenir gifts, family-owned taverns and sidewalk restaurants.
If you are looking for food recommendations you have most definitely come to the right place. A short 2-minute walk from Plaka you will find a beautiful restaurant known as Arcadia. In all my trips abroad, I have never had an experience quite like I did at this place. Not only was their food amazing but their hospitality was beyond anything I’d ever experienced before.
To begin with they supplied us with warm, fresh bread with a great greek dip (unfortunately I cannot remember what this was called). Then they brought us an ice cold liter bottle of still water to share, which was absolutely amazing after spending hours prior to this in 33-degree heat. Lastly, after the meal, they asked if we had time to spare as we could both have a beer on the house. All of the above was completely free and who doesn’t LOVE a freebie!
5)The Acropolis Museum
Understandably by the time your trip comes to an end you may be sick and tired of ruins but, I can assure you this one is worth a trip. This museum isn’t included on the combo ticket, however, only costs €5 to get in and even cheaper if you’re a student. The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. Each and every finding you see in the building is a spectacular piece of history. Unfortunately, I am unable to share any photos with you from my trip here due to the high security.
Inside you will find endless corridors full of the oldest pieces of history. What fascinated me the most was the fact some of these were dated back to BC. That’s some crazy history right there.
6) The City Tour Bus
I’m not normally the cliche tourist when I go on holiday, I like to make sure I get to experience the culture. However, the city tour bus in Athens is a fantastic way of getting around Greece and experiencing beyond what the city has to offer. The city bus offers 4 different lines which will get you EVERYWHERE and I mean everywhere. On this, you will be able to discover the whole of Athens city center as well as trips to and from the beach and across to Piraeus (the ferry port). It is such an easy and affordable way of seeing everything you need to.
The main reason we decided to purchase this ticket was that we wanted to take a trip down to the beaches as well as a trip to Vouliagmeni lake. Via taxi, this trip would have cost €30 each way, however, via the city bus we got it for €25 which was valid for 2 days as well.
Sometimes it pays to be that cliche tourist, hey!
7) Vouliagmeni Spa Lake
To finish up my travels in Athens, I have decided to share my favourite part with you. The gorgeous Vouliagmeni Natural Spa and & Mineral lake is a definite must see. Located only a 30-minute drive from Athens city center it’s worth taking a trip down. The lake is open year round. In the winter season, the hours are from 8 am to 5 pm. In the summer from 6:30 am to 8 pm.
Not only does this place look wonderful but can actually do so much goodness for your body. The minerals within this spa have been reported to have many healing properties for such ailments as eczema and dermatological diseases, neuralgia, headaches, and the list goes on.
Last but not least, during your visit make sure to look out for a few little friends located beneath the surface. They aren’t shy and will definitely come and say hi.
Remember, fish are friends, not food.
You could easily spend the whole day here as they have many comfortable areas to relax, soak up the sun and eat plenty of food. As you can see from the pictures below we made sure to do exactly that.