We booked a travel package that put us in Athens one day before and two days after a mini cruise around the Greek Islands. With a late arrival on day one and another day already devoted to an excursion outside the city, we really only had one full day to explore the area and visit all the famous attractions. We started the day by visiting the famous Acropolis and then worked our way around the tourist area, stopping for lunch in the Plaka. After our legs gave out from all the walking, we took a short rest by the hotel pool and then returned again to the Plaka for souvenir shopping and dinner.

Destination: Athens | Greece | Europe

Traveled: March/April 2015

Accommodation: Royal Olympic Hotel

Adventures: Acropolis (Parthenon, Temple of Nike, Erechtheion), New Acropolis Museum, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Ancient Agora (Temple of Hephaestus), Roman Forum, Plaka, Syntagma Square, Arch of Hadrian, Temple of Olympian Zeus

Memorable Moments: 1) We somehow snagged a free room upgrade that had an incredible view of the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. That first glimpse of the Acropolis from our balcony made our hearts leap. 2) On our last night in Athens, we ordered every traditional Greek dish off the menu that we had yet to taste. We were so full of delicious food!

Takeaways: 1) There is no language barrier. Even the "stay off the grass" signs are written in English. 2) Food is very affordable, especially the takeaway gyros. 3) Those ancient temples are truly magnificent structures. 4) The Roman Forum in Athens isn't quite as impressive as the Roman Forum in Rome. 5) We were so grateful to view the Parthenon Sculptures at the British Museum, but it's somewhat dispiriting to see copies of those sculptures (and others) on display at the New Acropolis Museum, especially since their original home can be seen through the nearby window. 6) We really need to wear sunblock every time we leave home.

^^ this view from our balcony! ^^

^^ we're slightly obsessed with those caryatids!! ^^

^^ we took a lot of photos of the acropolis, but the view from it is good, too. ^^

Foodstuff: We were obsessed with gryos and ate them at every opportunity, both takeaway and plated options. We tasted saganaki (fried cheese), dolmathes (vine leaves stuffed with rice), and Greek salad complete with feta cheese. Mythos beer was also a good find.

Restaurant Picks:
O γύρος που γυρεύεις O Giros Poy Gyreveis - Souvlaki, Gyros, Tzatziki (fast and easy)
Athanasiou Diakou 1, next to the Akropoli metro station

Κοσμικον / Kosmikon Grill House (great service and food, try the chicken gyros!)
Adrianou 119, Plaka


Fresko Yogurt Bar (Greek yogurt with your choice of toppings)
Dionysiou Areopagitou 3

 ^^ gyro:: roast pork/chicken served with fries, tomato, tzatziki, onion, and pita bread ^^

Recommendations: 1) Arrive at the Acropolis early in the morning to avoid the crowds of tourists. You can then use your ticket for entrance to several other ancient sites, like the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus2) Eat gyros at every opportunity. 3) Pack sunglasses and sunblock, even in the non-summer months. 

Next Time: National Archaeological Museum, Mount Lycabettus


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