Travel Guide: Athens, Greece

by - 9:47 AM


I asked over on Twitter if anyone would be interested in hearing what I did in Greece and some tips & advice I'd give if you planned on traveling there soon and! here we are! I visited Athens, Santorini, Paros & Mykonos at the end of August and for this post I'm going to be discussing what I got up to in Athens. I decided to break it up, giving each part their own post, because if I did all 4 of them in one post, I'd end up with a literal novel for a post. 

📍Athens, Greece

The first thing on my list of places to visit is Parthenon, Acropolis. Now, I think it is a given that if you go to Greece you HAVE to see the Parthenon. It was dedicated to the Greek Goddess Athena! It has some great quality history tea-  if you're interested in learning more about the history, before I went I read this article. However, I am going to note, it is really word heavy and I kind of dozed off a few times reading it - if you want to know the history in a fun way I'm happy to write a Quality History Tea Crash Course on it!



Parthenon, Acropolis 

GENERAL TIPS: 
TIP #1: Wear shoes with grip. Acropolis translates to On top of the hill which means it's a climb, please wear comfortable shoes so your feet will be nice and happy. While walking towards the Parthenon, there are shiny parts on the ground and normal walking parts - the shiny parts are really slippery to walk on. So, by wear shoes with a grip I mean please wear sneakers. 

TIP #2: If you're with a group/someone, make sure you're within eyesight of that group or have a hold onto that other person's arm. I went with EF Tours Ultimate Break and included in it was a headset tour. The cool thing about these headsets was that it was only one earphone so you were still able to clearly hear your surroundings with the other ear. There are crowds of people there which granted of course there are, it is THE SPOT to see. I sometimes couldn't see my sister and had to full stop and stand on my tippy-toes trying to see if it was time for me to play Marco-Polo. There is a fee to go into the Parthenon, but since I went with EF Tours it was already included however I did a quick search: It's €20 originally and reduced to €10 in the winter.



TIP #3: This kind of goes hand in hand with crowded areas - keep your bag in front of you at all times. Crowded areas means it's easy for someone to get their hand into your bag, you're too close to everyone else to realize it. So please, keep an eye on your bag.

Also, not really tip but there are a few water fountains on the way up to the Parthenon which is great if you run out of water - just fill it right up!



TIP #4: In the photo above, behind me you'll see a huge crowd of people semi-blured out (thank you portrait mode). At that exact point, you can see all of Athens. However it is also, as my tour guide said, known for people getting pick-pocketed there. So, it's more of a go at your own risk for the 'gram. I personally was not about to take that risk, so this is more of a tip to tell you that if you do choose to go there please watch out for your things.

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS


hello mtv welcome to my crib 

TIP #1: If you want to get a jumping photo in front of the Parthenon, you are better off taking a video and screen-caping from there. The area around the Parthenon when I went wasn't crowded however my way TO the Parthenon was crowded (just wanted to clarify!).

TIP #2: If you want the Parthenon fully in the background, make sure the person taking the picture is just about kneeling on the floor to get it fully or at least mid-way crouch. Taking the photo fully standing won't get all the beauty that is the Parthenon. 

TIP #3: The sun might actually blind you, please wear sunglasses so you don't have your eyes squinting in photos. 

ON YOUR WAY BACK DOWN THE ACROPOLIS 
Now, when you make it down the Acropolis, you most likely finished your water or you're in the mood for a nice refreshing drink that is not your water. Right when you come down, look straight and you'll see a lil spot that sells lemonade slushy and juices. Now, keep in mind THEY KNOW you want something refreshing so they have the price for a small cup of lemonade slushy at €4.50. Now, I did a double take at that price. My sister and I decided to share one because although I was thirsty I was not thirsty enough to spend nearly €5 on a small cup of lemonade. To me that seemed a lot but if that's your norm for lemonade, carry on!


Panathenaic Olympic Stadium
(I wrote an entire post on this and shared pictures in depth if you want to see more photos)

GENERAL TIPS
TIP #1: This is more of a tip on your way TO the Panathenaic Olympic Stadium. You will see the National Garden once you get off at the metro stop Syntagma and, in order to get to the stadium, go through it AND FOLLOW THE TRAIL SIGNS TO THE CAFE. Once at the Cafe, ask a waiter which way it is and they will tell you in which direction to go straight down in. (I got lost in the garden and wanted to help anyone who doesn't feel like getting lost)

TIP #2: This is a tip for my US students. On our ID's it does not show the year we graduated, so we can actually use it overseas and they can't say anything like 'are you a student' because they don't have the year we graduated on them. If you bring your Student ID it'll be €2.50 to get into the Stadium! If you do not have a Student ID, it'll be €5! (It also comes with an audio guided tour, you just tell the person the language you need it in!)

TIP #3: PACK WATER IN YOUR BAG. Trust me, you will need water. I only brought one bottle with me and had to leave early from the Stadium because I was thirsty and ran out of water.

TIP #4: The sun actually was shinning really hard at this part, please remember to wear sunscreen and maybe have a cap as well!

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

TIP #1: The great thing about this track is that there's always space around where there aren't going to be people in the back of your photos. So, if you're waiting to take an action shot of you running / jumping just wait a few minutes and then take your photos fast enough that the oncoming people walking on the track won't photobomb it. 

TIP #2: This kind of goes hand in hand with the tip above: Similar to my taking a jumping photo method, if you are taking an action running shot, take it as a video and screen-cap from there. 

TIP #3: This is more of a tip BEFORE you come to the Stadium. If you're stuck on what type of photo to take browse through the instagram location tag Panathenaic Olympic Stadium. My sister and I saw this photo after we came back and I really wish I took a jumping photo in that position kind of like this one here!

TIP #4: This tip is for my Olympic Torch History lovers: In the Poster and Torch Room (This stadium is where ALL Olympic Torches and Posters used to promote Summer & Winter Games return - I'm talking 1900's torches.) take a photo of the Torch & Poster separately - it really won't fit in one frame, yes I'm serious. And if it does fit in one frame, you don't really get the detailing on the Torch that great. Below, there is a photo of the London 2012 Torch + Poster in the same photo and a photo of the Torch on its own to see for yourself!




For my Olympic fans like myself: There is also the Olympic Stadium used in 2002 and the Ancient Stadium. I wish I had more time to explore those Stadiums. 

Also, if you have the time ( I sadly did not but I really wanted to) try to take a stroll on The Pasalimani Piraeus- there are great seafood places there seeing as it's quite literally on the water. GET SOME SEAFOOD FOR ME PLS
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PLACES TO GET DRINKS
uh hi I mean fresh juice and coffee - in terms of beer/wine I'm sorry I don't know the best places for that as I myself do not drink.

Greece is known for their Fresh Fruit & Vegetables. If you didn't know that, now you do! Honestly, I came back home to the States and everything just tastes fake, once you have the real taste of something you can't go back! I especially love their cantalope and watermelon.

Now, every place has their 'Center'. In New York, it's Times Square. In Greece, it's Monastiraki. This is where all the shops, fresh juice places and places to eat are. Now, in Athens, the shops to get souvenirs from close early EVERY DAY. Now, as a New York City person this really confused me because New York is the city that never sleeps so, getting used to people in the shops having an actual sleeping schedule was an interesting concept. Monastiraki is close to most of the archeological sites so it's very much the center of Athens.

WHERE TO GET FRESH JUICE:

Xymopoieio
Pandrossou 64, Athina 105 55, Greece

This is the exact address (YA GIRL WAS NOT GOING TO SWEAR UP AND DOWN HOW GREAT IT WAS AND NOT GIVE YOU THE ADDRESS) and name of the place that I went to for fresh juice. I had the mint lemonade first, as I was still a bit half/half on juices there. However, the mango juice and orange juice were calling my name - any type of fresh juice in Greece sign me up. If you'd like a look at their menu, I found them on google! Although a blurry photo, I hope you can still make out a bit of the menu. Most of the drinks were under 3 Euros!

WHERE TO GET FRAPPE COFFEE:



I personally don't drink coffee (me and tea are forever an OTP) however, this coffee was great in that it didn't taste strong but also had just enough of a kick in it. These coffee shops are generally everywhere. 

What is a Frappe Coffee?
It is a greek foamy ice-coffee drink.

What makes a great Frappe Coffee is having just the right amount of foam on top. Too much foam and your ice-coffee drink is no longer ice coffee. Just the right amount of foam means when you finish the liquid (aka. the coffee) at the bottom, the foam should not be far behind.

I, however, do not have a direct address but more of tip when scouring around for a good cafe. Look for the home-y ones not the franchised ones!

There was a cafe in front of my hotel that did a great job with their foam & coffee balance - my hotel that I stayed at is below (very last section) if you're interested!

fun fact: The discovery of Frappe coffee was ACCIDENTAL - some of the best things in life are accidents. Did y'know chocolate chip cookies are the best accident in history?

PLACE TO EAT
If you're looking for a place with authentic greek music this is definitely the place you want to go for dinner:

Geros Tour Moria Restaurant
Mnisikleous 27, Athina 105 56, Greece

There is live music as well as a mini show put on while you're eating. Also, it's really interactive, so you'll probably be whisked off to join the dancing happening during the live music!

I did try another place for lunch in Monastiraki however I wasn't too crazy for it so I'm not going to include it here since I didn't love it.
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WHERE TO GET OLIVE OIL TO TAKE IN YOUR LUGGAGE
Once you try their authentic real olive oil you'll understand why I have a legitimate section for THE PLACE to get olive oil in Athens. My tour guide from EF Tours recommended this place and I'm not even joking, their olive oil tasted so beautiful. In this lil shop, there's also honey soap, fig snacks (which are AMAZING) and some boxes of Baklava prepared and ready for you to take home with you. Speaking of Baklava, I get into that when I traveled to the islands, I had it pretty much every night #noregrets.

AMBROSIA
36 Pandrosou, Monastiraki, 105 55 Athens Attica Greece

If you are looping back around to Athens on your way out, I'd wait to get souvenirs & Olive Oil from Athens until you come back around- you don't want to be lugging it around if you don't have to!

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THE METRO
If you've ever been to the NYC subway station, you'll know that if you don't know the ins and outs then you're going to spend a bit of time trying to figure out how the subway station itself works before actually getting to your destination. Athens on the other hand is really simple to understand. When my sister and I were wandering around Athens, and went on the metro on our own, we were able to figure out which way we needed to go without too much trouble.

The metro only goes in two directions, to the Airport or towards Town. NYC is straight up origami compared to the Athens Metro.

WEATHER IN ATHENS
I went at the end of August and the weather in Athens was actually great. The sun is high in the sky HOWEVER there is no humidity. So you have a nice day lighting wise and you don't feel like you're about to sweat off the sunscreen you applied earlier in your hotel room.
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WHERE DID I STAY - HOTEL
President
43 KIFISIAS Av. -- 43
Athens

⭐⭐⭐⭐
4/5 Stars 

What I loved: The room itself was spacious; there were three of us in the room and there was a lot of leg room to actually walk in the room. Yes, yes, yes I did not travel all the way to Greece to stay in my room but it was nice that it was a comfortable size for three people. Also, there was a rooftop bar with a pool - it was a great place to read at night after a long day. The hotel was also very close to the metro, just a short walk away!

What I didn't love: There was only 2 outlets in the entire room. So, let's do some quick math shall we? There are three of us so, three phones. We had to take turns using the outlets. Thankfully we all used our iPhones for pictures or else this would have been a bit more hectic with charging cameras!

ALSO side note about eggs for breakfast in Greece: When having sunny side up eggs, you may note that the yolk is actually an orangey-red color. Now, at first I was like honey bunches of nope I am not trying those non-yellow yolk looking eggs. And then someone on the tour, who has a farm, mentioned that the reason they are an orangey-red color is because they are fresh and don't have anything added into them. 

AND THERE WE HAVE IT

This is my first time ever doing a travel guide post and I really hope I delivered. I didn't plan to do travel guides for my time in Greece, if I did I would have taken a photo of each place I got a drink & ate at. If you're heading over to Athens, I hope this post got you excited!

Since this is my first time writing a travel guide, please let me know if the format was okay & if the general tips & photography tips were helpful! I am actually an avid photographer (this means my friends, sister and everyone else in my family has WAY too many off guard photos while I have none; it's great.) so I thought it'd be good idea to give photography tips. 

NEXT UP- TRAVEL GUIDE: SANTORINI


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26 comments

  1. Ahhh Athens is on my to visit list and it looks liked you had an amazing time! I'm defintiely going to take into account your tips when I do go!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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    1. I had an amazing time in Athens, I wish I could have stayed longer! So happy to hear you enjoyed reading this post! 😊

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  2. Love that this post has tips on where to take good instagrams & get good frappes - literally everything I need! I'd love to go to Athens someday.
    Megan // https://pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com

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    1. YAY - I really tried to think of the best way to talk about where I visited & also give some tips I wish someone told me before I went and traveled. I'd recommend bumping Athens to to the top of your Bucket List, it was amazing! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!!

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  3. What a great post! Loving your photos and how detailed all your information is, especially regarding the amazing food and drinks too. Greece has been on my list for such a long time and I'm really excited to read the rest of your posts about the different places now. Thank you so much for sharing x

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    1. YAY so happy to hear you enjoyed reading it! I got a little bit worried as it was getting longer than I thought it would be but I didn't want to miss anything important! When you get the chance to go, you'll love it there. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  4. Girl! I love the unique approach to your travel guide. You've actually provided so many useful tips rather than plain and generic stuff. I feel like people rave about the islands so much that Athens is often forgotten about! Hope you had a great trip!

    Ellen,
    http://fishnetsxd.blogspot.com/

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    1. YAYYYYYYYY I'M SO HAPPY TO HEAR YOU LOVE IT! I personally don't like reading bulks of information so I thought the best way to write this was to give general & photography tips! I have to agree with you, I very rarely see posts on Athens, usually just the islands. It was an amazing trip - thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  5. Thanks for this post! Greece is one of mybdream destinations! 💜

    https://jendbibliophile.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you for reading - glad to hear you enjoyed it!!

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  6. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! Also, it's great that there are water fountains up the Parthenon!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

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    1. Thank you!! And I was so surprised to see the water fountains, it's a great way to make sure that people are hydrated as it is quite a high point!

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  7. Loved this Greece travel diary! So much to see and do :)

    www.fashionradi.com

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  8. Amazing post, Sahara! Your photos are gorgeous, I love the one of you running! All amazing tips too. I've never been to Greece but it's somewhere I'd like to visit. Although not in the dead of Summer because I can't cope in the heat!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Thank you so much! The running photo was one my favorites to take, and the best part of having it as a video and screen-capping from there is that I didn't have to take 280403 different photos make sure I had the exact moment where both my feet were off the ground! Thankfully I went at the very end of the summer and there wasn't any humidity but I really wonder what the weather is like during the winter time!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting Jenny!!

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  9. This is SO helpful!! Thank you for sharing! <3
    Khadija | October's Lallu

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    1. Happy to hear it was helpful! Thank you for reading :)

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  10. This is a fantastic guide to Athens, Sahara! You have shared some excellent tips, taking a video then screen grabbing is genius, especially for those running and jumping shots! Wow, I’m not much of a coffe drinking but think I need to try a Frappe Coffee, foamy coffee sounds delicious! I never knew chocolate chip cookies were an accident, I agree - best accident ever! I love Greece and really looking forward to your Santorini post. I’d also love to visit Mykonos so can’t wait to hear your travel tips and advice for there. Thank you for sharing lovely <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Yay thank you so much Bexa! I tried having my sister take a photo of me jumping but she wasn't able to take it right at the moment I jumped so that's when we swapped to taking a video and screen-capping from there! The Frappe coffee is actually pretty good, and that's coming for me who isn't much of a coffee drinker too! And the great thing is that the cafe I went to across from my hotel had different milk options (almond, regular etc.) so that means if you're sensitive to dairy you don't have to miss out on it!

      Yess chocolate chip cookies were an accident! A woman was making homemade cookies for guests and wanted them to be chocolate cookies. So, she put the chocolate chips in the batter thinking when they came out they'd be chocolate cookies. But, the chocolate chips stayed in their form and when she handed them out to her guests, they loved it!

      I'm currently writing my Santorini post and I'm excited to post it! I have to say writing these Travel Guides is making me wish I was back in Greece again!

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  11. I want to go to Greece, lovely photos ♥

    londonkidx.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! It's a great country to visit :)

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  12. This was such a great post with so much information. I've always wanted to visit Athens so I loved seeing your pictures and reading the tips for if I ever go. My biggest takeaway from this post is that there are lots of pickpockets in Greece so I should watch out! I love the fresh fruit and veg in Europe too. And the frappe coffee sounds amazing, I'll have to try one.

    Nicola
    http://nicshealthylife.co.uk

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    1. YAY happy to hear you enjoyed reading it! I was getting a bit worried at how long it was becoming but I didn't want to leave anything out. I rarely see people talk about Athens (mostly just the islands) so I was really curious at what was in Athens and it certainly did not disappoint!

      and yes! If/when you go keep a careful watch of your bag especially in tight areas where there are a lot of people. And I have never tasted such amazing fruit in my life, I feel like I'm just dreaming to taste their cantaloupe & watermelon again - so so fresh!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  13. Nice post and your pics look amazing.
    Such a lovely place ♥

    Ann
    https://roomsofinspiration.blogspot.com/

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