24 hours in Athens: What to See Before You Hit the Greek Islands!

Athens is the gateway for getting to the Greek Islands.  Here's a quick guide for just over 24 hours in Historic Athens! 

Arrive and Check into your hotel-  I highly recommend arranging a pickup from the airport to your hotel.  It makes it so much easier to just look for your name! Plus if you get a great guy like we did, they'll tell you all about Athens, Greek culture and foods to try!  This enhanced the excitement we were already feeling when we arrived!  

Athens is quite large!  I had no idea it was so big!  We chose to stay at The Herodian Hotel and it was solid! Centrally located, comfortable, and clean.  Breakfast was also included and there is a rooftop restaurant!  We wandered up there, but wanted to check out the Plaka for dinner!  I think it's one of the better hotel locations too, so I highly recommend it!  We were about a 10 minute walk from the Acropolis!  

Here is a site for the history and significance of the Acropolis

Climb Philopappos Hill: From here you get a great view of the Acropolis, and best part is it's free!

Have lunch on Adrianou Street   There are lots of places to check out, I recommend finding a gyro stand so you can order one and keep exploring!  

Explore the Acropolis  The Greek root acro- means "high;" thus, an acropolis is essentially a "high city".   When we first came over this area around noon and it was packed! So we had lunch, took a short nap and then came back in the late afternoon (around 4/4:30) and it was much less crowded!  We didn't have to wait in a huge line, so I highly recommend going in the early morning or late in the day!  Approximately 20 Euros each, but this is a must do for sure! 

In front of the Parthenon

Explore the Plaka for dinner and shopping!   The Plaka was definitely the coolest part of the city to me!  We walked around for awhile and found a great little place, Tabepna, to have dinner where we enjoyed our first tastes of some classic Greek starters!  There's tons of shopping here and plenty options for some tasty gelato!

Next day:

Walk to the The Temple of Zeus -we walked to the ruins, but decided not to pay the $ to go in!

Lunch at the Plaka  

Head to the Airport or Port for your next destination!

How much time should you spend in Athens?

Athens is great if you want a night to recover from your jet lag and try to get back on schedule.  I personally can't imagine staying more than one night.  I'll be honest though, historic ruins don't get me fired up!  For history lovers, you would want definitely want to stay longer, maybe 2-3 nights!  If you're like me and mostly interested in the islands, 24 hours or 1 night is plenty of time!  The next time we go to Greece I would probably skip Athens altogether and just go straight to the islands, however, I'm glad we got the chance to see it and explore the this city!

What I would have done differently:  My only regret was that we didn't book a walking tour of Athens.  I think if we had, we might have enjoyed it more getting a more historical background.  I recommend doing one and it will also help you fight the jet lag while you're walking!

Near the Plaka 

Have you been to Athens?!  Is it on your list?  Are you a history buff?

Happy Exploring!


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