Athens. This city has surprised me. I had images in my mind of a drab, cheerless town with a number of temples, but in fact this happened to be a very vibrant, trendy city with beautiful neighborhoods, nature and indeed… gorgeous Greek temples. Five must do’s in Athens.
Marvel at the ancient temples
Exactly. Although it might seem to go without saying, I am so impressed by these gorgeous temples that I need to include them in this list. Zeus’ temple, the Parthenon, the Hemhaistostemple, Erechteion, the Attalostoa; they’re all breathtaking. It feels like I’ve flown thousand years back into the time and my fantasies go crazy. It’s extraordinary to imagine a world so unimaginable. In my mind I can hear Socrates and Plato discussing endlessly. The wind is blowing through my hair while I enjoy all these stunning buildings. Small tip: buy a special ticket to visit all the temples or visit the temples between November and March on Sundays: free entrance.
Climb the Lykavittos hill in the city for a stunning view
While we wander through the city a hill appears in our sight. We decide to walk up it, right before the departure of our flight back to the Netherlands. We climb upwards through the woods and flowers and while slowly on we are beginning to doubt whether a) this route will ever lead somewhere and b) we will be able to catch our flight. Yet we climb on. Till the summit. It appears to be the highest summit of Athens: the 227 meter high Lykavittos hill. During the trip I have wished for a stand with a bottle of water, but I find myself surprised when a fantastic restaurant with panoramic terrace rises in front of us on the top of the hill. It’s called Orizontes. What a phenomenal view of the city and the sea in the distance. We enjoy the sun that slowly sinks, discover a cable car and still decide to walk down, to run to the metro and to jump into our airplane. Pretty surprises still appear to be the best memories.
Get lost in the neighbourhood Anafiotika
My favorite. I thought I had discovered an unknown gem, but after coming home (and a long search) I discover the name of this brilliant neighborhood. It seems to be a little more familiar than I thought. Despite that, all the times we have visited the place (power of attraction all over) we have seen no human being at all. I want to wander here all day long, pet the cats and take photographs. It’s so silent. Beautiful. Anafiotika is a little village in the middle of Athens, at the foot of the Akropolis. We end up here by coincidence and it immediately steels our hearts. It’s an idyllic place full of paths, staircases, graffiti, alleys, plants, flowers, cats and mostly unbelievably beautfiful surroundings. Just watch, really.
Visit the green parks of Athens
We walk through the city without a map and now and then we encounter a park. Athens has many green areas, parks and hills and it’s great to be able to flee the city for some time. Wandering through the National Garden en Zappeio Park I realize I am slowly falling in love with Athens. In the parks antique and flea markets are held regularly and on one of the hills we even encounter a wild turtle. How much fun is that?
End your journey with a glass of wine on one of the rooftop terraces
Athens is trendy and vibrant. Besides the tips above it’s an excellent city for shopping, wandering and marveling at the alternative neighborhoods in the city itself. In addition to the vacancy, drab neighborhoods and graffiti in abundance, the bubbly bars and alternative neighborhoods rise like madness. The young people are ambitious, rebellious, open and honest. It almost feels like Berlin. In Athens are many roof garden bars, at which you can dine and drink with a splendid view of the city. We spend the night on cocktail bar ‘360’s rooftop terrace, but also A for Athens and Galaxy are recommended. Cheers. To a fabulous citytrip in Athens.