First up on my trip to Greece is my travel guide of Athens. Athens is the capital of Greece and is filled with so much history and culture, so I was really looking forward to exploring this city!
FLIGHT TO ATHENS
I flew out of Fort Lauderdale on American Airlines and met Sarah in Philadelphia, as she was coming from New York City and we wanted to fly over to Greece together. From Philadelphia, we flew to Athens which took about 9 hours.
WHERE WE STAYED
Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens
Address: 1 Vasileos Georgiou A’str, Syntagma Square, Athens 105 64
When Sarah and I were booking our trip to Athens, we wanted to stay in a central location. Well we found the perfect hotel that is in the center of the city! According to locals, Grande Bretagne is the best hotel in Athens. And I would have to agree! It is located right in the middle of Athens within walking distance to most tourist sites, museums and the old shopping district. Also, there are many of high end shops right around the corner with designer brand stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. What we loved most about this hotel is the beautiful view from the rooftop restaurant on the 8th floor which has the perfect view of Acropolis. Every morning, Sarah and I looked forward to enjoying a great breakfast buffet and seeing the sunrise with the backdrop of Acropolis. It was truly incredible!
At night, you can also head to the rooftop for dinner and drinks! Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, I would recommend you go for breakfast or drinks at night to see the sunrise or sunset. As for the rooms, they were very nicely sized, and very comfortable. The bathrooms are extremely fancy, and full of marble, which was gorgeous. Also, our balcony had a view of the Greek Parliament, so it was very cool to see the changing of the guards! The service is definitely first class, especially at their rooftop restaurant. Everyone was extremely helpful, attentive and extremely accommodating!
PLACES FOR FOOD AND DRINKS
A for Athens
Address: Miaouli 2, Athina 105 54
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing A for Athens was! It was the perfect way to end our trip to Greece. The bar is located on the 7th floor of the A for Athens hotel. To get to the bar, you must take a very small elevator that only holds about 6 people or you can take the stairs. Upon stepping out of the elevator, the incredible view will take your breath away, especially if you go during sunset, like we did (and I would highly recommend this). The view of Acropolis is beyond picturesque and unlike any photo you have ever seen of Athens.
This rooftop bar came highly recommended to us, and we found out that all the locals go here for drinks and to socialize. It was quite crowded, but luckily, we found two seats in the corner of the bar which the most gorgeous view! Our trip was during Greece’s off season, and the bar was packed by 6pm, so you know it is the place to be! My drink was delicious and only about 10 euros, which isn’t too unreasonable considering the scenery and view. The bar has a menu full of fun cocktails that all have fun names and stories. If I could recommend one place that you must go to in Athens, it would hands down be A for Athens.
Address: 46 Vassilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, 11528
Our first night in Athens, Sarah and I headed to The Galaxy Bar. This bar is located on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel. The atmosphere is really great and the view of the city is amazing! You can also see Acropolis and all of Athens from this bar. We came for sunset and each ordered a drink to enjoy the view. I do have to say, it was quite expensive. Each drink was about 20 euros, and the service was a bit slow, but really, we were paying for the view, so it wasn’t too bad. Galazy Bar has been ranked as one of the world’s 10 best rooftop bars, so that is a plus!
Address: Leof. Kon/nou Karamanli 18, Voula 166 73
After going to Vouliagmeni Lake, we decided to go get drinks and a quick appetizer at Vive Mar. We found this spot on Trip Advisor and it had great ratings. Vive Mar is an all-day café/restaurant and is located on the Athens Riviera, located between Glyfada and Vouliagmeni. It was about a 30 minute drive from Athens city center. Because were staying in the city, sometimes it is nice to venture out and visit areas outside of the city.
Sarah and I both ordered drinks and then we shared a delicious burrata and tomato appetizer, which was super fresh! Also, the staff was extremely attentive and the service was fast, which is a big plus! It is a great location to just chill out, relax and enjoy the true beauty of Greece. You can’t go wrong here! I would definitely go back again and again.
PLACES WE VISITED
One of the best sights to see and visit in Athens is Acropolis! It is definitely a must see during your trip. Historically, it is one of the most recognized archaeological sites. My recommendations is that you should try to go during the morning or early afternoon, as it can get quite busy and there are a lot of tours going on as well. Also, to get up to Acropolis, you will have to hike a bit, but all the walking is definitely worth it, so make sure to wear some good shoes, or sneakers!
The cost of entrance is 20 euros a person. And you can also purchase a 30 euro pass, which includes 7 other attractions. Acropolis is amazing to see in person. All of the photos that you see in books and online don’t do the actual original building justice. There is so much history, and so much culture behind these buildings, it is truly remarkable. Plus, the 360 degree views of the city are absolutely incredible. It is hard to believe that these buildings were constructed 2500 years ago. I would recommend allotting about 1-2 hours in order to fully enjoy your time visiting Acropolis and take in the views. Plus, you will want to take a lot of photos, so I would say 2 hours is best!
I was a bit skeptical to go visit a lake because I am not the most outdoor-sy girl. But when Sarah mentioned it to me, and since it was on her to-do list while in Athens, I thought why not? A lot of our taxi cab drivers also highly recommended Vouliagmeni Lake, so we decided to go! Visiting the lake was definitely outside of the box for a trip to Athens. But it was definitely a fun time! Once you arrive, you will have to pay an entrance fee of 12 euros, which isn’t bad at all. If you don’t come dressed in your bathing suit, they have changing rooms in the back so you can prep to go into the water or lay out. There are many lounge chairs to choose from, but it was quite packed when we arrived. This is a spot that all the locals go to, so it was quite full by the time we arrived.
When you enter, you will see a nice restaurant to your right side. And then when you enter into the park, you will be in awe of the steep cliffs and crystal clear water. We took a thirty minute Uber ride from our hotel to the lake, which cost about 30 euros. Remember to bring a towel with you, as you will have to purchase one if you forget. Since we visited in mid-October on a weekend, we were lucky to find the two last lounge chairs. But I am sure, when it is season, it will be more difficult to get a spot, so make sure to get there early. There were lifeguards on duty the whole time we were there, which also makes it perfect to bring the kids.
I hope you found this travel guide for Athens helpful and I would love to hear if you visit any of these places! Stay tuned for more travel guides coming soon!