Athens is one of these cities always featuring in every to go list. Thanks to its warm climate, sun drenched days and sweet nights, the Greek capital is an ideal destination all year round. There are so many things to do, see and experience during your stay in Athens, that you’ll be overwhelmed with joy and anxiousness to give it all a go!
Nevertheless, as all big cities, Athens has its pros and cons, as well as things you must go and others to avoid. So, you’d better pay good attention to the following tips for a totally unforgettable stay in Athens.
Athens is a large city and points of interest are spread all over the place, so it’ s advisable to stay somewhere central and be able to move around the city easy, fast and without any delays. Due to the fact that not all downtown areas are suitable for tourists, a great choice for you would be the Holiday Suites Hotel in Athens a few minutes from the main Syntagma Square, offering modern and comfortable suites in a peaceful street right in the heart of the city.
Your visit should definitely include places like the Acropolis proudly standing on top of the highest hill in Athens and the New Acropolis Museum right beneath the Acropolis displaying the statues and items found on the holy rock. And when your inner culture vulture has been satisfied just take a leisure stroll around charming Plaka and enjoy its cozy cafes and authentic Greek cuisine restaurants only to be discovered on foot!
Also, choose to walk! It is most definitely the proper way to explore this metropolitan city filled with surprises in every corner. If you get tired easily or you simply can’t walk any more avoid taking a taxi as tourists are usually overcharged! Use the public transport instead, which will take you everywhere! Find the best way to travel around the city using any of the available means of transport, such as buses, trolleys, tram lines or metro. It’s cheaper and more trustworthy!
Last but not least, some tips on what to eat and drink in Athens. If you need something fast, tasty and filling then opt for the ultimate Greek snack, souvlaki! Normally, most places downtown offer good quality souvlaki and they are clean too. For a full lunch or dinner avoid the touristy restaurants of Monastiraki and Plaka and try to find smaller and not that flashy tavernas often frequented by locals too.
For a drink, I personally recommend a roof terrace bar in Gazi or Thiseio, where you can enjoy a glass of wine or a refreshing cocktail overlooking the Acropolis. Moreover, if you are seeking a more local taste then head to Psyri and drink rounds (once you start it’s difficult to stop) of rakomelo, a Cretan specialty made of boiled raki with honey!
Avoid wandering around Omonoia square alone, particularly at night, as this area has a less than desirable reputation, and also although it might be cheaper don’t book a hotel there, as standards do not fully comply with what’s considered basic.
Also, bear in mind that renting a car in Athens is quite expensive and won’t be of that great use as traffic is heavy, especially during peak hours and you might get stuck for ages! After all, there are plenty of public urban and suburban lines, as mentioned above.