Athens took me by surprise. I've expected a crowded, crammed, busy city with hardly any greenery. But that is definitely not the case. This city is so so green, much greener than lots of other capitals. There are trees everywhere, roof gardens, flowerbeds. Yes, it is a busy city but you'll find plenty of places when you need some rest. And you're always a few feet away from the ocean.
What I loved most about Athens was this vibrant mix between historical monuments and modern spaces. Cool concept stores and cafes next to the Acropolis and ancient market places. Narrow streets, neoclassical buildings, charming cafés. What an interesting city for a weekend getaway. Time to share my favorite places in Athens:
We stayed at the wonderful Perianth Hotel, a charming boutique hotel with a breathtaking view onto the Acropolis. Not only are the hotelrooms heaven for any contemporary design loving guest, it also wowed us with it's perfect location. The Acropolis, Lykavittos hill and the picturesque Plaka neighbourhood are only a walking distance away.
Built in the 1930's in mid-war modern stylle, the imposing building had been vacant for years. The architects that undertook the renovation due to the Perianth Hotel opening spent endless hours on dusty floors to observe the natural light and functionality of the building. That totally shows. Materials like wood, marble, glas & bronze give the hotel a warm contemporary feeling and make you feel at home right away.
Plus: the staff has been very helpful with recommendations and even organized an airport transfer.
Kafeneion SI TI SI // a modern kafeneio (a traditional kafeneio being an all-day venue serving coffee, booze and mezes) that serves greek food with a modern twist. To choose a starter you like, they'll bring you a tray full of yummy dishes (vegetables, fish, tsatsiki) you can pick right away.
- Peas Vegan & Raw Food // A small bistro serving fresh Pitas or Wraps, Bowl, Smoothies and vegan Burgers.
- Seychelles Athens // My favorite! A charming restaurant with a nice courtyard, wooden furniture and bubbly waiters. The food was so incredibly good! Typically in Athens you order lots of different dishes to share. You have to try everything, it is heaven.
- Lukumades // You haven't been to Athens if you haven't tried Lukumades. The greek version of doughnuts are topped with honey, lemon cream or chocolate - be prepared for a sugar rush!
- Cherchez la Femme // sounds French, tastes Greek. Super cute bistro, serving modern greek cuisine.
- Watch the Change of the Guards (ever hour in front of Hellenic Parliament)
- Enjoy the beautiful sunset over Athens on top of the Lycabettus Hill
- Climb up the Acropolis and explore the Parthenon
- Stroll through Plaka, a beautiful neighbourhood with charming cafés
- Visit the Acropolis Museum with lots of ancient greek findings
- Wander through the gardens of the Agora
- Cool down in the National Garden
- Shop modern greek skincare at Olive Era
- Visit the Benaki Museum
- Enjoy a day at the Beach
- Walk to the Tower of the Winds
During our 5-day trip to Athens we decided to spend a full day at the beach. I can really recommend that since the city has a couple of public beaches. We took a taxi to Vouliagmeni, the favorite beach area for the locals and checked in at the Four Season Astir Palace Hotel. The beach/pool area is open for public (entrance is 65€ per day) and it was the best decision. Such a beautiful and peaceful place - perfect for a relaxed day at the ocean.