Travel

Greece Travel Series: What to do in Athens

July 18, 2016
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For those of you who follow Love You More Too on Instagram, you saw that Colton and I had an amazing anniversary trip to Greece.  We spent 4 nights in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.  We did so much in the time that we were there, that I have decided to create a travel series to split the trip up between the three destinations. Today, I bring you “what to do in Athens.”

Athens is a city full of historical sites, archeological wonders, great restaurants, bars, cafes, stray cats, and graffiti.  The city was tagged all over, which is unfortunate because it took away from some of the beauty.  There are gorgeous mural walls too.

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There is a lot to see and do, but you can cram it all in a day or two if needed.  Everything is walking distance between each other, but you can always get a City Hop pass to get you from place to place quicker.

Getting to Athens

We flew in to the Athens airport from DFW.  I read a lot of reviews that said they set up their own transfer from the airport to their hotel.  We opted out to save some money and had no problems with taxis the whole time we were there.  All of drivers spoke English, didn’t overcharge, and the taxis were easy to get.

Taxi service from the airport is the most convenient way to get your hotel.  There is a flat rate charge (38€ from 5:00 am-midnight and 50€  from midnight-5:00am) to the city center.  Just exit the airport, wait in the taxi line and take the next one).  We waited less than 5 minutes in line, were on our way and dropped off at the door of our hotel.

Where to stay in Athens

Colton and I stayed in two different hotels (one on the front end of our trip and one on the last).  We found that Syntagma Square is a great location.  It is safe, walking distance to everything, full of nearby restaurants and bars, and has a ton of hotels.

Hotel Arethusa

Hotel Arethusa is a good hotel for the value.  It was inexpensive (less than 70€ a night), included breakfast, air-conditioning, and had a bathtub (this is a big deal for European hotels).   It was dated and simple, but clean.  The breakfast was great and full of options; cereals, eggs, meats, breads, yogurt, and more.

Delphi Art Hotel

Delphi Art Hotel was small (not unusual for European hotels), but clean. Breakfast buffet was included.  It was lovely, and they even provided a breakfast box for us for our early departure for our ferry.  Delphi’s location was not as centrally located, but still not a far walk from everything.  However, the back alleyways leading to the hotel were a little sketchy at night.

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What to do in Athens

Touristy

Archeological Sites – The most famous site in Athens is the Acropolis, or the city on the hill.  It is something you read about in history books, but seeing the Parthenon in person is truly a once in a lifetime experience.  For 30€, you can get access to all the archeological sites including the Acropolis, North and South slopes of the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Olumpieion, and the Roman Agora.  I recommend carving out most of your day just to visit these sites.  They are walking distance from one another, but it is a long walk in between.  The multi-site pass is good for 5 consecutive days.

love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece things to do in Athens archeological travel couple

love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece things to do in Athens archeological travel couple

love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece things to do in Athens archeological travel couple

love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece things to do in Athens archeological travel couple

Plaka- This old, historical neighborhood is beautiful to walk through and gaze at the old buildings.

love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece things to do in Athens archeological travel couple

Monastiraki Flea Market- It’s not a traditional flea market Monday through Saturday.  There are a ton of shops full of souvenirs, fake designer sunglasses and purses, art, music and jewelry.  I am not much of a shopper, but it was beautiful winding through the street looking at everything and stepping inside for some air.  On Sundays, locals set up tables to sell their items so it feels more like a flea market.

National Gardens- Athens is full of streets and buildings, so getting lost in the National Gardens is a sort of escape from the city.

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love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece things to do in Athens archeological travel couple

Panathenaic Stadium- This beautiful stadium built entirely of marble was the home of the first Olympics.  It’s free to see from the outside, but it costs 5€ to walk around on the inside.  We didn’t pay to walk inside, but saw it from the outside and read about it on the plaques.

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Unique things

Cine Thisson This was one of the highlights of our trip.  Cine Thisson is an open-air cinema rated by CNN as one of the 10 most enjoyable theaters.  Here, you can watch new releases, old-favorites, or foreign films.  The cinema has one screen and typically has two showings. There was something magical about watching The Godfather outside in a packed theater in Greece with a night view of the Acropolis.

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Mount Lycabettus- If you are looking for something athletic to do while in Greece, other than all of the walking, hiking Mount Lycabettus is a must.  Although it is over 900 feet above sea level, the hike up winds back and forth to keep it from getting too steep.  There is a cable car or option to take a taxi, but I highly recommend the hike.  Once you get to the top, stop and enjoy the incredible views from the highest point in Athens.

love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece things to do in Athens archeological travel couple

Bar hop in Syntagma Square- There are several great bars throughout Syntagma Square and it gets  busy at night.  See below for a couple recommendations of our favorite stops.

Gazi- The Gazi district, an old gasworks precinct, in Athens is a lively area full of restaurants and coffee bars.  See below for food and drink recommendations.

Where to eat and drink in Athens

Food

Sardelles (aka The Butcher Shop) in Gazi- This was one of the best meals we had on our trip.  The Butcher Shop staff was kind, the food was delicious, and we even had free watermelon to finish out our meal.

Gyros & Souvlaki– You can’t go wrong with any of the Greek restaurants in the city.  We ate at big places, hole-in-the-wall places, and even cute little cafes on the street.  All of it was great.  Check out my tips post for more information.

Taqueria Maya- Syntagma Square is full of great restaurants.  Since we are from Texas, we have a deep appreciation for tacos.  We saw this street taco restaurant, read all the great reviews and decided to check it out for ourselves.  They had great tacos and the spiciest salsa I have ever eaten (don’t worry, they have mild and medium salsas too).

Drinks

A for Athens– This rooftop bar offers outside patio seating as well as an indoor, air-conditioned area.  The menu boasts specialty cocktails and coffee drinks.  It has a hip, modern atmosphere and offers gorgeous views of the city.

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M?– There are coffee bars everywhere in Athens.  M? is located in the Gazi district.  We had a delicious and creamy frappe with ice cream before dinner.  Check out this place or one of the many other coffee bars in the area.

Six d.o.g.s.– This bar/gallery/concert venu is located in Syntagma Square.  When you walk in, immediately go down the stairs to a beautiful secret garden.  The cozy tree-house vibe of this bar is welcoming.  Colton couldn’t get enough of the popcorn they serve with their drinks.  It’s open all day, so you can grab coffee in the garden during the day as well.

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six d.o.g.s love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece what to do in Athens archeological travel couple

Baba Au Rum– Is a Greek rum cocktail bar with a fifties vibe just off of Syntagma Square.  Their menu alone is impressive with tons of rum drink variations.  If rum isn’t your thing, they have a full bar and can make whatever drink you want.  We loved the vibe, decor, and drinks here. Their drinks are creative, specialty crafted, and served in individualized glasses and mugs.

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love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece what to do in Athens archeological travel couple baba au rum

baba au rum love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger travel blogger Greece what to do in Athens archeological travel couple

Yogurt/gelato

Eat it every day.

Frozen Greek yogurt is the best.  I didn’t have bad gelato or froyo the entire time I was in Greece.  Chillbox, was one of the chains in Greece and there were several locations throughout Greece.  Each yogurt or gelato place we went to didn’t disappoint.

 

I hope you found this post helpful f0r what to do in Athens. You can also check out this post for general tips for traveling to Greece.  Come back next week for things to do in Mykonos.

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Do you want to visit Athens? What are you most looking forward to seeing when you go?  Leave me a comment below.

50 Comments

  • Reply Brittany Giles July 18, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I absolutely loved reading this and following your journey via instagram!

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Thank you so much Brittany! You are so sweet. 🙂

  • Reply candy July 18, 2016 at 8:46 am

    We visited Greece years ago and had a wonderful time. Your pictures bring back fond memories of when we were there.

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      I am glad it could bring back great memories for you. 🙂

  • Reply Logan July 18, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I would love to go to Greece some day and your photos make me want to go NOW! It looks beautiful and I love the architecture!

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      The architecture is insane. I cannot believe this was built so many years ago, still standing, and without the equipment we have now.

  • Reply Annie July 18, 2016 at 8:55 am

    SO so beautiful! I would die to go to Athens!

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Just wait until next week for the island post. Seriously though, Athens was amazing.

  • Reply Kim July 18, 2016 at 9:26 am

    It looks amazing and gorgeous and I must go there someday!

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      It was fantastic. I am so grateful I was able to see it.

  • Reply Michelle Marie July 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Aw man, these pictures are awesome! One day I hope to make it there.

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope you do too.

  • Reply Samantha July 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Athens is SO BEAUTIFUL. I’d love to wander around and take lots of pictures. I’m glad to hear you had a great time!

    xoxo, Sam | thehauntedhousewife.com

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      It is! Thank you so much, Sam. 🙂

  • Reply Karin Rambo July 18, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    This is so great! I would LOVE to visit Greece! I love that you guys went to Athens, because I feel like all you ever hear about is Santorini. It was fun to hear about a different part of Greece!

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Santorini is gorgeous and I can’t wait to share about it, but I am so glad we got to see Athens and spend some time exploring. It really is a lovely city.

  • Reply Lauren July 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    This is a dream vacation! Great post – I love your pictures!

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you, Lauren. It really was a dream!

  • Reply Chloe July 18, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I have been dying to get to Greece for so long! Thank you for so many great tips- especially Mount Lycabettus! Sounds like a must.

    • Reply Jessica July 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      It was such a cool experience. Hiking the mountain and being so high above the city. Such a cool experience.

  • Reply Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife July 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Beautiful photos and such helpful travel tips! I can’t wait to go to Greece someday. I have friends that go every other year and we want to go during one of our next trips to Europe. I’ll keep your travel tips in mind!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much! I wish I could go every other year. That would be amazing. Its such a beautiful country.

  • Reply Sophia July 18, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Such beautiful structures. Your pics looks great.

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you, Sophia. 🙂

  • Reply Patricia @ Grab a Plate July 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    How wonderful — beautiful photos! Greece is on my list of places to get to. Looks like you had a great trip. Thanks for the info!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Of course! I hope you come back Monday for the Mykonos post.

  • Reply Keisha July 19, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Wow! Great post so detailed!!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you!! My original draft was a teenie bit more detailed, but way more words so I tried to cut it back a little.

  • Reply Crazy shenanigans July 19, 2016 at 7:13 am

    I love that they were showing the Godfather! What a great city!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      It really is! I know! We were so thrilled. My husband has said at least twice since we’ve been back he wishes we could go back and see The Godfather again.

  • Reply Molly July 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Wow Athens looks so amazing! I’ve always wanted to go to Greece. Thanks for sharing about your travels!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      It really is! Definitely worth the trip. Absolutely!

  • Reply GiGi Eats July 19, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Greece is HIGH on my to-travel-to list!!!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      You will LOVE it! The food…. Gah! So good!

  • Reply Cara July 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Oh my gosh those photos are incredible! Looks so gorgeous and glad you all had a wonderful trip!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Thank you so much. It’s really nice being married to a photographer. 😉

  • Reply Jessica July 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I want to go to Greece soo bad! It looks like you had a wonderful trip!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      It’s beautiful! It was such a great trip. I hope you get to go!

  • Reply Mama Munchkin (@globalmunchkins) July 19, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Greece is one place I cannot believe I haven’t gotten to yet. I have literally been right next to it so many times but it never seemed to fit in my itinerary. It looks amazing!!!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      It’s stunning. Just wait til you see the island photos. Gorgeous.

  • Reply Crystal // Dreams, etc. July 20, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Athens has been on my travel list for a long time! Your photos are so fantastic! Thanks for the great travel guide. 🙂

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you so much!! I hope you get to go sooner rather than later. 😉

  • Reply Dominique July 20, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Looks awesome! This is definitely on my list of places to travel to 🙂

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you Dominique! It’s a cool city!

  • Reply Courtney July 20, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this! Greece especially Athens and Santorini and really high on my travel bucket list!

    La Belle Sirene

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      They are such beautiful paces. I can’t wait to post Santorini photos. Eee!

  • Reply Rosemond July 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Just returned from a trip to Santorini and Athens, we only spent two days in Athens which was not enough, next time I need a few more days. And loved exploring the Plaka!

    • Reply Jessica July 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      So incredibly beautiful, right? I hope you get to go back and see more!

  • Reply Mai Lyn July 25, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I cant even begin to figure out how to plan for this trip. haha. this was super helpful. I love that everything sounds to be in proximity and walking distance, so you didn’t have to deal with tons of driving. And, yes. ALL THE GELATO.

    • Reply Jessica July 25, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      We are becoming experts on planning Europe trips. There is so much to see and do. Gelato is the best.

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