Athens: See & Do | Tea & Post

Monday, 8 December 2014

Athens: See & Do

Often overlooked in favour of the islands, Athens is a beautiful city that shouldn't be missed. I was recently lucky enough to spend a whole month there exploring and experiencing Greek culture.  Here are ten things I believe you simply must do there. 

Visit An Authentic Taverna

There are many fantastic places to eat around Athens but you won't get quite the same experience as you would in a traditional Greek taverna. Expect to be served incredible fresh food in a place where tourists are scarce, the people speak little English and other diners get up to dance in a circle mid-meal. 

Book A Food Tour

One of the best things I did on my trip was a food tour. I was able to try so many Greek foods and learn so much through a very informative guide. It also shone a light on how different meal times are in Greece to those back home, they don't venture out for dinner till around 10pm at night!  

Spend An Afternoon In Plaka

A charming neighbourhood paved with cobblestones. You'll find each street is lined with quaint cafés and small shops selling everything from postcards to the most beautiful olive wood cheese boards. Take a few hours to browse the goods on display or sit outside a café and watch the world go by.

Take A Dip In Lake Vouliagmeni

A short drive from Athens is where you will find Lake Vouliagmeni, a natural spa heated by underwater thermal springs. Go for a swim or paddle in these waters and you'll find you come away with super soft skin thanks to the Garra Rufa fish that dwell there. There's also a lovely restaurant and in the summer there are several events on each week.

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Learn Some Greek

Greek is a very difficult language to learn, just looking at the alphabet makes my head begin to hurt. Try to learn a few simple phrases before you go, they are always met with beaming smiles and I found locals were very happy to see I was trying in some way to learn more about their language. 

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Check Out Some Of The Museums

As a country with some of the most incredible archaeological finds in the world, it's obvious that it's capital will have some amazing museums. Their most popular ones are The Acropolis Museum, The Benakie Museum and The National Archaeological Museum which is the largest in Greece. 

Get Cultural At The Acropolis

A visit to Athens wouldn't be complete without venturing to it's most famous monuments on top of the Acropolis. Climb the steps till you reach the Propylaea and enter the site where you can view the Parthenon, originally a temple it took 9 years to complete and is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world. 

Take A Day Trip To Aegina

Jump on a boat and take a short trip from Athens to Aegina, one of the most beautiful islands I've ever visited. A bright green jewel surrounded by a sea of blue, I still get blow away by the scenery when I look back at photos. There's so much to do on the island that it may be worth staying overnight in one of their hotels. Make the most of beautiful weather and kick back at a beach or head inland to visit the Temple of Aphaea.

Go Food Shopping At A Market

I believe my first reaction when walking into a supermarket in Athens was amazement, "OH MY GOD! LOOK HOW BIG AND BRIGHT THE FRUIT AND VEG IS!" My reaction at the local markets was exactly the same. Except this time there was also the buzzing atmosphere of people bustling to buy produce and stall owners bellowing descriptions of their wares and prices in Greek. I was surprised by just how clean everything was. Particularly in the meat and fish section where I assumed in the blazing heat things could get pretty messy. Instead everything was spotless and I'm not sure whether it was a fan or air conditioning, but it was a very pleasant temperature.We bought some fresh figs from the fruit stall in a bag of water and tucked into them straight away. Another bonus is that everything in the market will be sold that same day. If anything is left near closing time, a restaurant will swoop in purchasing stock for their business at a cheap price.

Climb Mount Lycabettus

Hoping for a photo of the city with the Acropolis included, I headed up Mount Lycabettus to get some snaps. You can either climb or take a cable car to the top where you will be met by a spectacular view. 

Have you ever been to Athens? What was your favourite part of it?


  1. Food tours are a great idea. I try and do one everywhere I visit

    1. This was my first one, I'm definitely going to try and do it in every city I visit in the future :)

  2. What a a fabulous tip list - I desperately want to go!!


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