To chronicle the memories of our recent Europe trip, I'm finally blogging it down before I forget about everything.
In my previous travel post, I blogged about our pre trip planning with useful tips on where to book value-for-money flights, accommodations and how to stay connected in Athens, Santorini and Italy.
Today, I'll start with blogging on our first stop - Athens.
Sharing with you our travel memories with 13 things to do in Athens.
It was night time when we arrived at Athens, we took a cab from the airport to our accommodation. Our host, Evangelic, was a super host. When we arrived at the airport, I texted her and she was fast in responding to my messages. She advised me on the various modes of transport to her accommodation. She was really nice and even agreed to wait for us on the street in case we couldn't locate the place. The taxi fares were indicated at the taxi stand - a flat fee of 38 euro before midnight and 50 euro after midnight. However, after we board onto the cab, the cab driver increased the cab fare and reasoned that the place was very far away and not around the region for this flat fare rate.. bla bla bla. These were all lies for them to earn extra from us. Luckily, after we arrived, our host argued with the driver and we paid him the flat fee.
Here's my advice for the 13 things to do in Athens
1. Stay with a local
We were super glad when we arrived at our accommodation. It was so pretty, spacious and cozy. We were really happy as we got to enjoy our private space with the entire house to ourselves and also the privilege of having a local host who stayed next door that shared travel tips with us. Best of both worlds.
Our host was very helpful and showed us the list of food, eateries and attractions to visit!
2. Get a local sim card
The first thing on our list was to visit the Cosmote mobile shop to get a SIM card. We felt handicapped without internet connectivity so it's a must to get on our first day. We bought a 3 GB data plan for 15 Euro (could not remember the amount of talk time and messages as our main interest was the mobile data to access to Internet).
3. Eat breakfast like a local
There were many bakeries in Athens and they served local pastries and delights such as Kataifi which are extremely sweet but something that we have to try in Athens.
Throughout our trip in Athens, every morning, we look forward to our breakfast from a local bakery recommended by our host.
The shop have a wide variety of sweet delights, pastries, cakes, sandwiches and they sell coffee and drinks too.
4. Visit the Syntagma square
On our first day, we took a metro to Syntagma where we visited the the Syntagma square and saw the Hellenic parliament.
5. Enjoy nature walk at the National Garden & visit the Zappeio
On our way to the Temple of Zeus, we walked through the National Garden to hide from the scorching sun. It was peaceful and nice to walk through the park. There were even people mediating and sleeping underneath the trees.
6. Visit and capture moments at the Temple of Olympiad Zeus
7. Visit Acropolis Museum before climbing the Acropolis
It's a MUST DO thing to climb the Acropolis when you visit Athens.
Acropolis is a historic site which you can climb all the way up to see Pantheon and other historical structures. To make your climb more meaningful, I suggest to visit the Acropolis Museum first.
At the top floor of the museum, there is video screening of the history of Acropolis. I'll advise you to watch the video as it summarizes the history so it's easier to digest.
Admission fee to the museum is 5 Euro per person.
Admission fee to Acropolis is 20 Euro
Link to the Acropolis museum: http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en
8. Walk and take pictures along the beautiful streets at Plaka area
9. Shop around Plaka, Ermou street and the many streets where I cannot remember the names.
Walk the area and explore the streets yourselves!
10. Eat souvlaki like a local
You can never miss having a Souvlaki in Greece. It's a MUST!
Souvlaki (stick meat) with or without a pita bread.
11. Watch sunset wherever you are
12. Watch the night view of Acropolis from a rooftop restaurant.
There are many restaurants near to the Acropolis which allow you to dine at their rooftop for this stunning view.
Restaurants with rooftop view:
A for Athens
13. Visit the many other historic sites to take more pictures
Other historic sites:
Temple of Hephaistos
Stoa of Attalos