When to Visit
Greece is one of the world’s oldest cities and it was once the most powerful city in the ancient world. You’ll be sure to see a lot of history and learn a lot about ancient Greek mythology.
If you’re looking for smaller crowds and mild weather, the best time to visit Athens is during the spring, between March to May. Fall also is a great time to visit between September to October because the weather is warm and accommodations are cheap.
How to Reach the Destination
The Eleftherios Venizelos or Athens International Airport serves flights to Greece from many international airlines so getting to the city by plane is easy. Inside the airport are many shops, restaurants , and ATM stations where you can exchange Euro directly from the ATM. The city center is easily accessible via car, express bus, or metro (suburban train) direct from airport to various places in Athens. The airport is modern and very easy to navigate.
Yes, there is an extensive network of trains in Europe so traveling to Greece by train is easy.
Do Catch Up on Your History. In order for you to appreciate the iconic places in Athens it is better for you to have an idea of its history. It’s amazing how all the preserved structure in Athens are even thought they are over two thousand years.
Do Dress Appropriately. There are churches and sacred places in Athens where you may have to dress a little more conservatively. During the summer, Greece experiences humid weather so make sure you bring sunscreen and some great walking shoes!
Do try traditional Greek cuisine. There are a lot of amazing local cuisines in Greece and a trip won’t be complete without trying some of them. The county’s culture and tradition reflect strongly on the way they cook and prepare the food. You also can’t go wrong with a lamb shank dish.
Don’t ride taxis without asking for the estimated fare. While its very rare nowadays in Athens to see taxi drivers asking for a much higher fare, it still won’t hurt to be careful. There are still some drivers who take advantage of tourists so be sure to get an estimate before hopping in.
Don’t put the palm of your hand in someone’s face. It might be a simple hand gesture for us or its like gesturing the number 5 but in Greece, the gesture is consider an insult. It is called a “mountza” and its a no-no.
Price Range for Hotels
Accommodations in Athens are surprisingly inexpensive. You can get a decent hotel for as low as €25 and there are a lot of options if you do your research and bookings in advance online. Dorms and hostel rooms for backpackers cost about €12 up. For those looking for more luxurious options, 5-star hotels cost about €150 to more than a thousand. A good and comfortable 4-star hotel can be as low as €80.
Cost of Meal
One of the best things in European countries, Greece included, is the number of street foods that you can buy almost anywhere, especially in tourist destinations. Food like gyros cost about €4. Lunch meal at restaurants in business centers or tourist centers cost around €14 while a meal at fast food restaurant cost around €4 to 5. A dinner meal with wine for two at a good restaurant usually cost around €40. Beer is at €4 in bars but it is around €1 at the grocery store.
Cost for Commute
You can get to almost any point in Athens via trains and busses. A train trip usually costs around €1.20 up to €9 depending on the destination. Train prices to and from the airport starts at €6 for single fare ticket. Taxis are a bit expensive and fare starts at around €12.
Top Places to Visit
The Acropolis of Athens
and the Parthenon
The Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon. The Acropolis is the most popular tourist spot in Athens. Acropolis used to be a power city within a city. The site contains the well preserved ancient buildings, most notable the Parthenon, the famous temple of the goddess Athena, the patron of Athens. A bit of hiking is required to reach Acropolis because it located on top of the city. Other fascinating structure in the Acropolis include the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, and the temple of Athena Nike.
Agora was the center of everything — commerce, politics, culture, and religion. Agora has ruins of old temples and stores plus the Temple of Hephaestus, the Greek god of craftsmanship.
This is the highest point in Athens. Spend a romantic afternoon amidst the stunning view of the Attica basin and the Aegean sea here with your family or special someone. Even if it required hiking just to get to the top or you can pay for the cable car. There is also a very nice restaurant called Orizontes Lycabettus that serves excellent food. Reserve a table with a view far in advance so you can enjoy the beautiful sunset.
New Acropolis Museum
Thousands of ancient artifacts and sculptures can be found here and even if you know a bit of Greek’s history, you’d to be surprise to learn more still. You can also see where the museum is built on top of old greek foundations.
Spend a quiet afternoon here and just walk along it cobblestone streets and explore various shops, cafes, and museums. Discover authentic Greek dishes and experience Greek culture. I had a lamb shank here and I still dream about it from time to time.
Monastiraka Flea Market
If you want to take a break from the temple hopping, then visit the Sunday flea market at the Avissynias Square. Take some time to relax and shop!
Kerameikos is located kind of on the outer edge of the main touristy area which makes it less crowded than other attractions. You are able to walk around the entire ancient cemetery and it’s rather large. It’s worth a visit in our opinion.
Temple of Zeus
Located just southeast of the acropolis. The Temple of Zeus is worth a vist. Once a spectacular structure is now mainly just columns but you can imagine how grand it was in it’s original form.