1. Athens: I would recommend staying in a hotel with metro access. We stayed in Athens for a couple of nights at Hotel Areos (100 EUR per night) and found the location to be quite convenient. The hotel is a 5 min walk from Victoria station (See map below). Victoria is a couple of stops from both Monastiraki and Syntagma and a very convenient base to explore the city. The area is also less expensive as compared to Monastiraki.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Athens is from April to September
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
I present the Parthenon! The most famous building in Greece. It's a shame that it had to be viewed with all of the scaffolding around but it's necessary for all the restoring they are doing. It took 9 years to build the Parthenon and they have been restoring it for 30 years and not even half way done. Most of those pillars were destroyed and they have been piecing them together one by one. Like the world's most annoying and torturous jigsaw puzzle in 3D.
On our first day in Greece we were still pretty jet lagged so took it easy and just toured the surrounding neighborhood Plaka. Plaka is a charming neighborhood with many shops and restaurants. It's generally and touristy area but the food is pretty incredible. We ate at the above restaurant and had incredible bolognese. It's not the kind in US with red sauce but more of a meat and oil sauce which reminds me of the way my grandma used to make it Sitting outside to eat is like a religion in Greece. Every single placed we passed was completely empty inside. Even in the frigid night, heat lamps are put out for people to site and eat outside.
Temple of the Olympian Zeus
Our last day in Athens we visited the Temple of Zeus. I don't know why we waited until the last day since it was right across the street from our hotel.This was the most massive building that we had seen yet. It originally had over 100 pillars but after much human destruction and earthquakes, only 15 or so remain.
Theatre of Dionysus
Here is the Theatre of Dionysus which was one of the earliest theaters in the world where plays were performed in honor of the God Dionysus. It's not restored and not in use anymore but beautiful nonetheless. Just imagine all the ancient Greeks that have sat on those steps and now little ol me is standing on them. Crazy crazy.
The trip began with touchdown at Athens, and check-in at the Hilton which is very well located with a metro station close by. Step out of the hotel and the first thing you see at the crossing is the spectacular thirty feet high Runner Man glass sculpture. Syntagma Square one of the main squares of the city is at a walking distance from the hotel. The word Syntagma means Constitution and almost all major historical events have taken place at or around this square. You can see the Parliament building at the top of the square and at the bottom is Ermou Street which is closed to traffic since it is a shopper's delight! The ceremonial changing of the guards outside the Parliament building ( earlier the King's Palace) is a unique spectacle. The guards - Evzones- guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in addition to the Parliament.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
We finally walked up to the Herodes Atticus Theater entrance which was built in 161 AD. Pretty new for Greek standards!!Had to walk across super slanted, rocky surface to get a good shot. E.W. did it first and made it look easy. Well it wasn't especially in my slippery boots. And it doesn't look like it but I was very very high up.
In Athens we stayed at the quaint little place called ‘Victory Inn’, it’s one of those inns which give to sense of serenity, we were tired form the long journey and they employees were welcoming. They suggested us a nearby church courtyard area which had many small cafes and restaurants which had amazing food and attentive service.
Royal Olympic Hotel
I booked us a room at the Royal Olympic Hotel which turned out to be a great choice location wise. Close to everything. The room included free wireless and a breakfast buffet every morning which was convenient.The hotel was awesome nonetheless. Made out of marble since marble is so damn available in Greece. Everything is marble...I went into a shitty cafe to use the bathroom and the entire bathroom was made out of marble. Ceilings, floor, sink...everything.
We visited Parliament one day which didn't interest me too much. I know the building has something to do with government and blahdity blah blah. I'm not stupid or anything, it's just that these topics bore me to death. Yes literally to death..like I will zone out when people start talking about politics, government or economics.
After a delicious lunch at Monastiraki, you can take a train to the Keremeikos station to explore the Keremeikos Cemetery. You can then walk to the Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The Panathenaic Stadium is a close walk from here but requires a separate 5 euro ticket which includes a guided audio tour.
It was a beautiful day out so we took a hike up Filopappos Hill which was more like a mini mountain. At the base of the hill there was an old, charming house that had pretty flowers out on the porch. I snuck onto it to take a quick pic.The hill was no easy climb. It was pretty rough terrain and the pathways were steep and rocky. But I'm not a prissy girl so I let my sparkling white Pumas get dirty. Once again I was astonished at how Green Athens was. I have not added color to any of these photos! The grass really was THAT green. I even told E.W. that it was almost an unnatural shade of green...like something you would see in a cartoon.
We followed the recommendation of our bartender and hit up the hottest new nightclub in Athens called W. E.W. can talk his way into any club so before we knew it we were escorted to the VIP area without having to pay a cover charge.W was without a doubt my number 1 club experience EVER. Las Vegas, Amsterdam and New York don't even compare to Greek nightlife. I usually hate large nightclubs, but this place was stunningly lit and filled with beautiful people. The dance floor was madness and we didn't dare step onto it in fear of getting trampled. The music was a very light lyrical house type music which was so chill...like nothing I had ever experienced before....none of that BUMP BUMP BUMP jersey shore music crap that techno parties in US tend to play.They even had go-go dancers who were just ok. I took a pic with one but I looked so retard drunk that I dare not post it.
Temple of Poseidon
A very scenic road trip to the Temple of Poseidon, the way to which we stopped a million times to take in the sheer beauty that Greece is! We even stopped in front of random Greek houses to click photos and also managed to convince Nandhini to get her ears pierced, which she did after a mini panic attack.