In Athens you’ll come across spots that have the remnants of ancient civilizations.
In Athens focus on getting a feel for the ancient history of the city.
This sometimes means digging deep and keeping your mind focused while you navigate the city.
Here’s what to do to leave Athens feeling a bit more in touch with ancient civilization.
The Acropolis was developed in the 5th century. The most famous of which is the Parthenon (built in 438 BC). Socrates’ old stomping grounds is a must-see for every new visitor to Athens. But prepare yourself – even in off seasons, the site can be overrun with an insane amount of tourists.
Athens may be a huge, sprawling, crowded metropolis, but it sure is magnificent
A view from atop the Acropolis — Temple of Zeus and the old theater in the background.
Athens may be a huge, sprawling, crowded metropolis, but it sure is magnificent. A view from atop the Acropolis — The Temple of Olympian Zeus and the old theater in the background.
If you decide views and a reconstructed Parthenon don’t quite do it for you, head over to the Acropolis Museum.
The Acropolis Museum used to be conveniently located on-site at the Acropolis with the entrance included in the ticket fare.
An example of ancient art you can see are the Caryatids.
The original statues are located in the Acropolis Museum.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus was originally a building with 104 Corinthian-style columns; today there are only 15 left.
The Plaka is the old town area of Athens
The Plaka consists of many shops and cafes, and is also a good area to find something to eat as many of its restaurants have outdoor seating and some pretty awesome Greek food.
Amidst all this are historic sites and ruins, such as the Tower of Winds, which served as a meteorology station in the first century. You’ll also encounter what are basically holes in the ground with fence around it showcasing pillars and the remains of ancient buildings under the ground. If short on time, I wouldn’t bother paying to walk through these. You can glance at them through the fence and it’s best to save your time for exploring the larger archaeological sites in Athens.
Bordering The Plaka is the Monastiraki flea market, a great place to browse through shops, barter, and pick up some souvenirs.
Greek food consists of a lot of vegetable, a lot of meat, and a lot of feta.
Greek food is spectacular
Athens has a diverse offering of eateries. Try the simple, but famous Greek Salad — tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and feta with no lettuce — at a small cafe or go big with a feta stuffed lamb masterpiece at a traditional Greek restaurant.
You may only have one day in Athens, you must make time to eat. Even if you’re on a cruise and have free food waiting for you back on the ship, eat in the city! Greek food in Greece is an experience unto itself. Be sure to follow it up with an adventurous shot of ouzo, a Greek licorice-tasting liquor.
Athens comes alive at night and you won’t have any trouble finding a bar or club to while away the hours until the early morning, of which Psiri is a popular neighborhood to head out in.