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Democracy in Action!

Good day to all of my friends around the world. I hope you are as relaxed as if floating on a Cloud!

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!

athens, city

Is that glow all natural?

Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years. It is a city full of history and yet it is vibrant, alive and forever moving forward. It was in Athens that the idea of ‘democracy’ was born when citizens were given the right to vote on important matters. Athens has seen some hard times lately, but it has bounced back and is now better than ever!

There is so much to see and do in Athens 24-hours per day! 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.

Although it is very difficult to narrow down the list, here is the bare minimum shortlist for things to do and see in Athens. The first must-see is the Acropolis, of course. The Acropolis has been the centre of Athens life since the very beginning of its existence and it is an awesome sight to behold. The Parthenon is the centrepiece of the hilltop, but my personal favourite is the Erechtheum with its female Caryatid columns. 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!  
Atrhens- parthenon

The Phenomenon of the Parthenon

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.

athens- acropolis

Acropolis means “high city”

The recently built Acropolis Museum directly to the south of the Acropolis may be the very best museum in the entire world with its innovated design and incredible collection of artefacts uncovered where they were buried after the sack of Athens by the Persians in 480 BCE.

To the north of Acropolis is the Plaka, one of the coolest neighbourhoods of any city in the world! The Plaka is a vibrant, colourful collection of ancient ruins, medieval churches, squares, shops and restaurants. I like nothing better than to enjoy a warm afternoon sipping ice cold Retsina wine from aluminium pitchers while eating excellent seafood and watching the crowds saunter by.

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 industry, restaurants and interesting nooks.

athens nightlife

Plaka is beautiful and vibrant day or night!

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!

There are hotels to satisfy everyone’s tastes and budgets in Athens. Large chains like the Marriott and the Hilton are present but there are also excellent boutique hotels all over the city. A landmark in Athens is the Grand Bretagne Hotel on Syntagma Square. The rooftop restaurant has the best night time view of Athens of any vantage in the city.

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 specialties 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!

 

Love,

Isabella

Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Parthenon, Acropolis Museum, Plaka (https://www.thisisathens.org/)

Where to stay: Grand Bretagne Hotel, Athenian Yard Suites (https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/athlc-hotel-grande-bretagne-a-luxury-collection-hotel-athens/, https://athenianyardsuites.com/)

Where to party: Kyrios, The Clumsies  (http://kyriosathens.com/, https://www.theclumsies.gr/)

Where to eat: Estiatorio Milos, Spondi (https://www.estiatoriomilos.com/restaurant/athens/, http://www.spondi.gr/spondi/)

What to buy: Explore Abyssinia Square in Monastiraki

Have an adventure around Athens!

Have an adventure around Athens!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Parthenon, Acropolis Museum, Plaka (https://www.thisisathens.org/)

Where to stay: Grand Bretagne Hotel, Athenian Yard Suites (https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/athlc-hotel-grande-bretagne-a-luxury-collection-hotel-athens/, https://athenianyardsuites.com/)

Where to party: Kyrios, The Clumsies  (http://kyriosathens.com/, https://www.theclumsies.gr/)

Where to eat: Estiatorio Milos, Spondi (https://www.estiatoriomilos.com/restaurant/athens/, http://www.spondi.gr/spondi/)

What to buy: Explore Abyssinia Square in Monastiraki

Have an adventure around Athens!

Have an adventure around Athens!

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