What is the best thing you can do in Athens?
Fall in love with the city… because it is impossible not to. The historical landmarks will leave you with nothing other than mesmerization. A short stroll through the city will leave you spellbound with a spectacular view of Acropolis from anywhere in the city. I‘d say rent a scooter and go for a ride but know your traffic rules.
Before you start your tour to these historical sites, get a map because most of the sites are nearby. So you can do all the history in one day. I won’t suggest you brush up your Greek history, but maybe a few movies such as Troy, the Odyssey, or maybe even 300 can do it.
Must-see Historical masterpieces: Agora, theatre of Dionysus, Parthenon, Erechteion Temple, the temple of Olympian Zeus, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Panathenaic Stadium (the venue of the first Olympic Games in 1986)
The day tours and hikes out of Athens and in the city can be a great inspiration for families aiming for adventure. You can experience a perfect retail therapy as you head towards Kolonaki, Hermon, Voukourestiou Street, Monastiraki, and Plaka. Don’t worry about your kids getting bored of the long history tour, there are a lot of kids-oriented activities that are organized by museums, for instance, the Acropolis Museums organizes workshops for kids that helps them to learn about the exhibits and about ancient Greece on a more creative way. Parks, playgrounds, water sports, bouncy playgrounds even windsurfing classes for kids are few kids friendly activities in the local neighborhood.
Must visit Museums and parks: Acropolis Museum, Benaki Museum in Piraeus Street, the Cycladic Art Museum, the National Library, the Goulandris Natural History Museum in Kifissia (for some dinosaur spotting!) and the Foundation of the Hellenic World; National Garden, Garden of the Athens Concert Hall, Syggrou Park.
Visiting popular places in Greece can drain your wallet, but there are few islands that can give you the same experience without any worry of expense. The Saronic islands of Hydra, Aegina, and Poros are the ones I strongly recommend for a 1-day cruise trip to these islands. The Monastery, the traditional house, the picturesque white houses on the coast of Peloponnese, the historical clock in Poros, the Temple of Aphaia and the Church of St. Nectarios in Aegina can take you through the historical ride of Athens among other things.
No trip is complete to Athens with a full-day tour to Argolis, the spectacular location in Peloponnese and the magnificent city of Epidaurus and kingdom of Agamemnon, Mycenae. The Epidaurus theatre, the Lion Gate, the tomb of Agamemnon, the city of Nafplio, amongst others will make this trip that you will never forget.
Now get ready for some gastronomic Intel. Remember the names “Gyros and Souvlaki.” These are pita bread wraps with grilled meat and vegetable. Well, it tastes better than my description. It is must-try street food and you can get it from any local cafeteria that is literally everywhere in the city. The Greek olive oil is considered to be the marrow of the Greek cuisine. It is believed that the olive tree or the “giving tree” was created by the Goddess Athena so that Greeks can sustain their life along with their wisdom. The aromatic, bold flavor of olive oil finds its way to every Greek dish ever made and believe me, a drizzle of olive oil can make a difference even to a chocolate mousse.
Athens is one of the safest places in the world if you’re traveling with family or solo, but that doesn’t mean to let your guard down. Let me impart some basic Greek to you. So it won’t sound “Greek” or Latin to you.
Start with yes pronounced as “ochi” No pronounced as “neh”, then the most inevitable word Bill pronounced as “logarithamus.” There are tons of words we use in our daily day which is of Greek origin, most of which had been anglicised such as democracy, Galaxy, marathon, etc.
I don’t want to get too much into the specifics of what can you see or expect. Let the journey take its course and let you discover Athens on your own. But I can guarantee, “Athena” won’t disappoint you. The ‘S’perience of See, Shop, Savour, Swim of Athens will make the trip worth especially if you’re planning to travel on a budget. So get ready and pack.
P.S Make sure to pack your sunscreen and shades or even an umbrella (if you don’t care about stares or being laughed at)!!!
Visa –You need to apply for a Schengen visa from Qatar before you visit Athens. The validity of the visa can vary from 3 to 6 months. Visa processing can take 10 -15 days.