Athens – the perfect location for a weekend break.
History, sunshine, beaches and bars. We wanted a getaway which would give us city sightseeing but also the chance to relax. We’re so glad we picked Athens!
From Athens it’s so easy to reach a number of beautiful Greek islands. We decided to split the trip between Athens and Milos. You can read more about our Milos experience here.
Where to stay?
As a first-timer to Athens, we stayed centrally and found an Airbnb in Plaka. Plaka is made up of small, pretty European streets filled with trendy restaurants and bars. It’s central location means you can reach all the ancient sites by foot, and also access the metro easily.
What to do?
Explore and immerse yourself in history! We roughly followed the ‘Ancient Athens’ walking tour from the Lonely Planet guide. We started with the Acropolis as we wanted to get there early before the crowds and heat. We arrived at the Acropolis for 8.30am – I’d recommend this as by the time we were leaving it was getting busy. From here we walked to the Roman Agora and then across to the Ancient Agora. If you want to visit all (or most of) the historical sites then make sure you buy a combined Acropolis ticket. This will cost about 30 euros and is valid for 5 days.
Eat and drink your way through Athens! I lost count of the amount of greek salads I ate, and they were all delicious. One of our favourite lunch spots was Kalderimi, serving up good traditional Greek food. It’s also situated right next to a small church, although it was unfortunately under construction for our visit!
There’s a really cool scene in Athens, unique bars but without that ‘hipster’ vibe. Our favourite bars were Clumsies and Six Dogs. Clumsies is a cocktail bar with a cool interior. Think outdoors feel indoors, with plants everywhere and an open roof. This place is known for their cocktails and it was previously voted the 6th best bar in the world!
Six Dogs is an underground bar with a huge outdoor garden. It had a magic garden feel to it, with a DJ providing a mellow soundtrack. We found out after that the adjoining buildings host art shows, gigs etc.
Wander the beautiful streets. Plaka has a very typical European feel to it, pretty streets and cute tavernas. Spend some time just wandering around, stopping off for some lunch or drinks to break up your day. You can find the scenic staircase by Lisiou Street, whilst touristy it is stunning. We decided to stop by for dinner one night and found the food to be good and reasonably priced.
If you want to get away from the city feel for a while, we also visited the National Gardens. A nice break from the crowds and lots of shade to hide from the sun!
Watch the sunset over Athens. We did this two nights in a row but from different viewpoints. The first night we grabbed a drink at A for Athens rooftop bar. It was fairly pricey but you do get a great view of both the mountains and the Acropolis. Our second night we decided to head up to the Acropolis and watch the sunset over the city and mountains from the view point. It’s more of a giant rock than viewpoint but this was my favourite evening of the whole trip! We took our own beers and watched the sunset over Athens, while the Acropolis lighted up behind us. I think Athens may be one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Athens has so much to offer. If you haven’t been before, then you need to add this gem to your bucket list!
I hope you found this guide useful, feel free to ask me any questions. If you enjoyed the article then make sure you check out some of my other posts!