Things to do in Athens, Greece – A Unique Holiday

Combine modern and ancient Athens together for a unique holiday. Take in the classic sights whilst you experience some of the contemporary delights this cosmopolitan city has to offer.

Athens, Erechtheum temple in Acropolis

Athens, Erechtheum temple in Acropolis

Finding somewhere to stay

Be sure to do some thorough research before booking accommodation, including looking at online reviews, as hotels do vary in quality. If you fancy somewhere laid back but still fairly close to the city centre, quiet coastal suburb, Glyfada is worth having a look into.  The area is generally pleasant, with the local stony, but clean beach a five minute walk from plenty of amenities, which open late for locals and tourists alike. It will take you about 30 minutes to get to central Athens by car but the city centre is also easily accessible by public transport with a metro stop a few minutes away. However, bar Saturday when the trams and metro run until 3am you will need to take a taxi if travelling late at night.

Just a few days to spend in the city?

A must for any visitor is a trip to the Parthenon, the undisputed top attraction ofr the city.  Entry to the Acropolis and Parthenon costs 12 Euros, students with an i.d. card can enter the site free (correct as of July 2009). Allow a few hours for your visit and take some time to appreciate the open air theatre of Dionysios, which has been carefully preserved to spark the imaginations of visitors with images of thespian glamour. The Acropolis museum also houses some interesting artifacts, worth a look, especially in the as the building is air conditioned!

Athens, Temple of the Olympian Zeus

Athens, Temple of the Olympian Zeus

Also well worth a visit is the Roman Agora (place of assembly) with an array of well preserved ruins.  A word of warning, don’t joke about throwing toilet tissue into the first century toilet as the guards take their work very seriously, and trying to explain in English doesn’t bode well.

 You may also want to pay a visit the crumbling architecture of the Ancient Agora which plays host to the old political, financial and religious headquarters of the city.

No visitor can dispute the fact that the bulk of Athens’  attractions rest with the ancient monuments and sites around the city.  There are alternative sights to see and things to do. Try the museum of Greek Folk Art or take a trip to the National Gardens and marvel at the leafy splendour before hitting the cobbled streets again for a spot of shopping in Plaka, Central Market or Kolanaki.