When people talk about visiting Greece, it seems like they go straight to talking about beautiful islands with all white buildings and serene blue seas. For me, my trip to Greece would not have been complete without the three days I spent in the capitol city: Athens. Athens is an incredible city and full of so much history. It’s insane to me that some people might visit Greece and skip this amazing city! There are so many great parts of Athens. Its history, the monuments, the food… Athens is incredible and eveyone should add it to their upcoming travel itineraries!
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Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities with its history dating back over 3,000 years. Back before the unification of Greece, the city-state of Athens was known as a center for the arts, culture, and philosophy. Home to philosophers like Plato and Socrates and the birthplace of Democracy, the history of Athens is rich and has influenced all of our lives in some way. As a history buff, this was one of the main things that drew me in.
Athens is also the birthplace of the Olympics both in their ancient and modern iterations. It seems like you see history at every turn in the city. You can see the Acropolis from almost anywhere(more on that in a minute). You can make your way to the Panathenaic Stadium, where the opening ceremony of the first modern olympics was held. It is also the only stadium in the world that is built entirely from marble!
It seems that everywhere you go in the city you can see the Acropolis nestled high above the city. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s clear that the Acropolis is important, but it’s also incredibly beautiful. On your hike up to the top you pass the Theatre of Dionysus, then at the top you get to see The Parthenon, the Erechtheum, and sweeping views of the entire city!
Built over 2000 years ago, the Acropolis has definitely seen better days, but if you want to see renderings of what it looked like in its prime, you can visit the amazing Acropolis Museum after you come back down. Be sure to bring a water bottle and wear comfortable shoes though! The hike up is no joke especially in the summer months. But if my 78-year-old Grandma can make it to the top so can you!
Tons of Great Activities
In addition to the Acropolis, there are many other amazing sites to see in Athens. The National Archaeological Museum is home to one of a kind treasures. The National gardens are the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. You can make your way to the Ancient Agora or the Benaki Museum. There is an endless number of things to see in Athens and there is something for everyone! If you are super outdoorsy, you can take a day trip outside the city for some incredible hiking.
I loved by time in Athens and I highly recommend adding it to your next trip to Europe. You can even use it as a stopover on your way to those islands I mentioned earlier. From one misguided millennial to the world, I hope you enjoy your trip to Athens!