Athens in 24 hours
You’ve found yourself on a dreamy cruise, recreational tour or last-minute flight to the ancient city of Athens. While these forms of travel are great, it often leaves you pressed for time. Filled with an abundance of iconic landmarks, rich history, buzzing districts, cafes, restaurants and bars - there’s simply no way to see and do everything Athens has to offer in 24 hours. However, with an early start, followed by a late night, you can surely squeeze the best of Athens in your single day trip.
What to see
With only one day in Athens, soak up the best of this ancient city’s history atop the Acropolis. The Acropolis is home to the famous Parthenon and other interesting landmarks such as the Erechtheion, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Brauronion, Temple of Rome and Augustus, Pedestal of Agrippa, Beule Gate, Acropolis fortification wall, Chalkotheke, and the Old Temple of Athena. It’s important to know that admission is 20 euros a person and it’s a smart idea to bring water and wear comfy shoes.
The Acropolis Museum
On the southeast side near the Acropolis is it's own museum. Find timeworn artifacts and sculptures that were originally found on the Acropolis displayed in the vast amount of exhibition space.
With history dating back to the 4th century B.C., the Panathenaic Stadium is a sight not to be missed! The stadium hosted athletic events over the centuries and has gone under massive reconstructions as well as periods of abandonment. Today, it is one of the most touristy spots in Athens calling people to walk amongst ancient Greek athletes.
Athens’ liveliest districts
After all of the sightseeing, find time to explore some of the best districts of Athens to immerse yourself in the culture and more history. Athen’s oldest district, Plaka, is popular for its buzzing atmosphere filled with a great number of shops, restaurants and cafes. In Syntagma Square, witness the Changing of the Guards in front of the Hellenic Parliament building every day at the top of the hour. On Sundays, witness the full ceremony at 11 a.m. Don’t forget Monastiraki Square! Peruse through the square’s flea market filled with traditional Greek items and lovely antiques. Be careful about scams, some people claim their items originated from Greece and were really made in China.
Must-try foods and drinks
Ouzo is an anise-flavored apertif famous for being Greece’s national drink. The alcohol has an acquired taste, maybe try a friend’s first before ordering your own! You can find ouzo at practically ever bar and restaurant you step into.
Souvlaki refers to a skewer. The grilled, cubed meats of pork and chicken can be ordered wrapped in a pita or served on a platter surrounded by fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tasty tzatziki sauce.
Sink your teeth in amazing souvlaki here:
Kostas, Platia Agias Eirinis
Gyros with their meaty insides of lamb, pork or beef, tomatoes, onions and lettuce drizzled with tzatziki are hard to pass up especially being a popular street food in Greece. Find some topped with fried potatoes, paprika and cayenne.
Know before you go:
-Language: The locals love when people put effort to speak Greek. However, many do speak English.
-ATMs: Banks, city center, airport terminal, main train station and chain hotels.
-Transportation: Metro and Uber.
-Perfect souvenir: Olive oil, hamsa trinkets, pottery and ceramics, ouzo shot bottles.
This 24-hour guide will help you conquer the must-see and -dos of Athens. From its immemorial architecture atop the Acropolis, lively districts, one-of-a-kind drinks and traditional foods, Athens will steal your wanderlust-filled heart!
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