When the sun is bright and high, I always think of my favourite European capital, Athens. Athens shines white in the bright Greek sun and is a fabulous place to explore and enjoy life!
Is that glow all natural?
Athens is great for a city break if you only have a bit of time but it is fantastic if you can take at least a week to explore it properly.
The Phenomenon of the Parthenon
Substantial rebuilding has occurred on the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea and it is awe-inspiring to walk through the entrance today and know that it is more than 2,400 years old!
Here’s a pro-tip: The best times to visit the Acropolis are either the early morning when the temperatures are cooler and the tourist buses have yet to arrive, or the early evening, when the sun begins to dip in the west and the entire site has a golden glow.
Acropolis means “high city”
Plaka is beautiful and vibrant day or night!
Close to the Plaka is the exciting Monastiraki neighbourhood. Monastiraki is alive at all times of the year despite its incredibly ancient history. Monastiraki is full of shops, small industries, restaurants and interesting nooks.
Kolonaki, is a little higher in elevation and is thus cooler in more ways than one. I enjoy exploring and dining in Kolonaki at night. Finally, no trip to Athens would be complete without a visit to Piraeus, the port of Athens. Walk along the waterside and then dip into a restaurant for one of the freshest seafood meals available in Europe.
Reaching Athens is easy because the airport at Markopoulo was newly made for the Summer Olympics in 2004 and it is convenient to navigate. There is also a very convenient train that connects the airport to the ultra-cool subway system in Athens.
Here’s another pro-tip: The Athens subway is an efficient and fun way to see the city. Each station has a museum of the artefacts that were uncovered during the construction of the station. Don’t miss seeing some of these gems!
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Foodie or not, this is paradise!
Athens is a foodie paradise with tasty traditional food and leading-edge nouvelle cuisine. I like to eat meat souvlaki and pastourma in Monastiraki one night and then seafood in Piraeus on another. Find a taverna that offers Greek specialities and has a traditional Bouzouki player for a fun and unique time. Estiatorio Milos, downstairs at the Hilton Hotel, is a world-class seafood restaurant. It has the freshest seafood and a fantastic wine list.
Shop for antiques and other eclectic items in Abyssinia Square in Monastiraki. Commerce has been going on there for centuries and there is a good buy for everyone!
I hope you exercise your right to vote for a trip to Athens!