We went to Greece for a vacation in September of 2015. That was our second honeymoon and our first stop was Athens- a city so vibrant and cosmopolitan yet so connected with its indomitable history. If you love Greek mythology, wish to have a glimpse of history and enjoy the sights and sound of modern Greece, this is the city you must visit. I have penned down the top seven places you must visit in Athens along with the relevant pictures from our trip. Hope you enjoy seeing Athens through our eyes.
1) The Acropolis :
You haven’t visited Athens if you skip going to The Acropolis. Few sights in the world compare to that of Acropolis in Athens, with its Parthenon temple keeping watch over centuries of civilization. A reminder of the glory of ancient Athens, the Acropolis was the center of the ancient city and functioned as a citadel in its protected hilltop location. The most symbolic building is the Parthenon, the largest temple of the period dating from 447 BC to 338 BC. There are symbolic structures like The Erechtheum, Poseidon, Theatre of Dionysus and Propylaea. The whole site is well organised for walking around and immersing in the ancient rich history. It left us romanticizing those ancient times and how we would be leading our lives!
2) The Acropolis Museum:
It is situated in central Athens’ Makrigianni district. It was designed by architect Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis and inaugurated in the summer of 2009. The museum has its collection across three levels : The gallery of slopes of the Acropolis, Archaic Gallery and Parthenon Gallery. Offering a unique look into the past of Greece. This Museum is a must visit for any traveller in this age-old city.
3) Mount Lycabettus :
Mount Lycabettus is a limestone hill, 300 metres above sea level. Twilight is the best time to go to the hill and have a cup of coffee. You can venture this hill be hiking of taking a funicular from Kolonaki. We went to Lycabettus is the evening and we were welcomed first by sunshine, a play of hide-and-seek by sun and clouds and gusty winds, then rains. The view of the city from the hill is simply remarkable. You see the Athens with the Acropolis on a table top hill overlooking the entire city. Breath-taking! There is a small church up the hill which you can visit. This picture below shows the city from the top of the hill. Isn’t is beautiful?
4) National Archaeology Museum:
This museum was founded in the 19th century and is one of the greatest antiquities museums in the world. Its vast and outstanding exhibits give you the opportunity to travel back in history. Without a doubt its treasures will fascinate you. If you are planning to visit it just once make sure you have plenty of spare time. For more information visit the official site.
5) Streets of Plaka:
Plaka is a beautiful, historical neighbourhood situated right under the Acropolis. It is at a walking distance from the Acropolis and is full of amazing restaurants and shops. The main attraction of this neighbourhood is its charming village ambience. We stayed near Plaka and there was a reason to it. The food served at restaurants in Plaka is mouth-watering and got us drooling. It is the best place to eat after a visit to the Acropolis. Thus, we loved indulging in the delicious Greek cuisine.
6) Monastiraki Flea Market:
This lively area of shops, stalls and eateries is a dream come true for lovers of food and fashion. You can browse through various shops offering second-hand books, vintage clothes, collectables, leather ware and accessories and bargain your way to glory. These shops are open on all days of the week but busiest on Sundays. The whole set up is quite picturesque
7) Panathenaic Stadium:
The Panathenaic Stadium is the world’s only stadium which is entirely made up of marble. It was built in 1896 for the first modern Olympics by Lycurgus and has also been used as a venue for selected musical and dance performances on various occasions. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Athens.