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
Acropolis of Athens
Next day was a jammed packed one with tiring uphill trek to the Acropolis Museum & temple. The place is filled with history and culture; we roamed around the Museum listening to the stories told by the guides, tales of bravery and courage of the Athena. Why and how the city came to be named Athens, the temple, its infrastructure and how many times it was invaded and raided. We kept on basking in the glory of such rich culture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arch of Hadrian
This arch was built in the honour of Emperor Hadrian's visit to Gerasa during 129 AD. This impressive triple-bay monument is one of the largest known arches of the Roman Empire. It was also ornately decorated with acanthus leaves. A magnificent Greek inscription adorned the north facade looking towards the city. Today the arch is known as "Bab Amman" which means "Amman Gate" in Arabic, as it stood on the road towards Philadelphia (Amman). It has been restored to give a closer impression of the grandeur it once imposed.
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.
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.
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.