I have recently returned from my three day trip to Athens, Greece. I decided to visit the city for a weekend in April with friends.
Athens, mother city of Western civilization, takes its name from its patron goddess Athena , to whom they dedicated temples and sculptures of all kinds that I was able to admire during my trip to Athens.
I arrived in Athens on Saturday and returned in the morning on Tuesday.
The three days I spent in Athens were enough to discover the center and the main attractions of the city.
Welcome to our journey, between culture, art, splendid atmospheres, which take you back to a distant past: in the next few lines I will make you fall in love with this splendid city!
Athens, places of interest: Syntagma square and Monastiraki
I landed at Athens airport around 1:30 pm and very easily reached the metro station. Having bought the tickets, I take the blue line to reach the center, and after 40 minutes of travel I arrive at Syntagma square , one of the main squares of Athens .
My apartment was located right in the vicinity of the square and I had lunch with friends at one of the many take-away pita kiosks in the city, really convenient for those who do not want to waste time at the table and to better enjoy the city.
Then we walk along Ermou Street , an elegant shopping street that connects Syntagma square to Monastiraki.
Reached Monastiraki square we decide to stroll through the streets that surround it.
The Monastiraki district, Athens, which embraces the homonymous square, is a fusion of ancient and modern: on the one hand it is an open-air archaeological site, where we find the library of Hadrian and the Roman A gora , while on the other it houses the flea market , where you can buy all kinds of products, from vintage items to classic souvenirs.
After this long walk to discover the center of Athens , I decide to dine close to home in a typical Greek tavern, Aspro Alogo , not very inviting in appearance, but encouraged by the reviews I sit down and start ordering Greek specialties: Feta , olives with oregano and moussaka .
Kindly the owner at the end of dinner decides to offer me a typical liqueur, the mastika, a dessert and not to end, before saying goodbye, he even gives me bottles of water.
Plaka, Athens and the most important temples
As we walk through Plaka towards Acropolis , I notice this place, Yiasemi , where everyone stops for breakfast. The restaurant, located on the steps, had very inviting homemade desserts, so I decide to stop and start the day with a good cappuccino and a slice of cake.
After breakfast I walk towards the Acropolis , the fortress that overlooks the whole city.
Once at the top, all together we begin to enjoy the breathtaking view that overlooks the city.
We begin the visit, which will steal the whole morning from us. Going up, the first monument we come across is the Odeo di Herodes Atticus , a small stone theater located on the southern slope of the Acropolis .
At the top we find the Propylaea , literally from the ancient Greek meaning “what is in front of the gate” commonly known as the entrance to the Acropolis.
We admire the Temple of Athena Nike, subsequently, the majestic Parthenon, the ancient Temple of Athena Polias and the Erechtheion.
Athens museums: the Acropolis museum
After admiring the beauty of the Acropolis, we leave enthusiastic about what we had just seen.
We decide to have lunch in a Greek tavern in front of the Acropolis Museum which is located right on the slopes of the fortress.
Speaking of the museum, which houses a collection of all the artifacts found on the acropolis, this is absolutely worth seeing and completes the experience of visiting the acropolis where you can admire the Caryatids at close range: very excited!
National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the changing of the guard
Monday morning we saw the changing of the guard in Syntagma square which has now become a ritual for those who have seen Athens. The change is at the stroke of every hour. The body of the honor guard is made up of soldiers called Euzoni , their peculiarity is the uniform, made up of a ruffled skirt, white tights and pointy shoes with pompoms. Subsequently, due to bad weather, we went to visit the National Archaeological Museum .
This is the largest museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world. Inside there are exhibits covering the entire history and artistic production of ancient Greece.
In the afternoon, after the visit to the museum, hungry and guided by the positive reviews, we reached this restaurant near the museum, which turned out to be the best tried in Athens: Atitamos .
We then went back to the center to buy some souvenirs walking through the narrow streets of Plaka and Monastiraki .
Typical Greek dishes: the Greek pita and the delicious rakomelo liqueur
On our last night we ate a delicious pita at O ’thanasis , a famous restaurant with more than 4,000 reviews in the heart of Athens.
After dinner we went to the oldest distillery in Greece , Brettos Bar (Plaka area), to drink some rakomelo, the famous Greek honey liqueur, excellent as a digestive.
In these days in Athens I discovered a city, the cradle of Western civilization, and still today rich in history and culture. I can say that I was lucky to visit Athens and to see her identity, even if only in part given the short duration of the trip.
I hope my report has been useful to you if you are thinking of going to the Greek capital. Also I hope I have fully answered the question: “Athens, what to see” ? which always seems like a refrain to which I have tried in my small way to give an answer.