With spectacular ruins and bustling tavernas, a rich architectural history and mouth-watering cuisine, Athens is a bucket-list destination for every world traveler. Wander the fish stalls of the Athinas Market or stroll among temples built for the gods. Sip coffee in the sun at an outdoor cafe or search for bric-a-brac in an old-world bazaar. This is more than just a tourist destination, it is a vibrant community and a living history museum. We invite you to see for yourself, just keep in mind these top tips for visiting Athens.
See The View From Above -- The Acropolis is without a doubt the city’s most famous hilltop. However, for a view that includes the Acropolis as well, head to the highest point in the city: Mount Lycabettus. There’s a very do-able climb to the summit or you can take the funicular for a bird’s eye view of the mountains all the way to the sea.
Take a Sip -- Coffee is very popular in Athens so grab a cup and relax in Plaka. In the shadow of the Acropolis, this charming neighborhood is a delightful mix of winding alleyways, steep staircases and vibrant restaurants and taverns.
To Market, To Market -- Whatever you do, don’t leave Athens without a trip to the Central Market. Explore the pungent spice stalls and olive vendors on your own or sign up for a food walking tour where a local expert will help you explore the landscape.
Spend Some Time at the Acropolis -- It’s hard not to see the rocky outcrop that sits high above the city center, but rather than just exploring the Parthenon, spend some time checking out the rest of the ancient citadel including the open-air auditorium and the smaller temples.
Don’t Miss the Museum -- For a closer view of history, head to the Acropolis Museum where excavated ruins are visible through a glass floor beneath you.
Know Your Taxis -- If you’re simply looking to go from point A to point B, make sure that the amount you are charged is what you were originally quoted for the ride. Many taxi drivers will attempt to include a tour price with the ride. However, that being said, taxi drivers can provide you with some of the best tours in the city so if that interests you don’t hesitate to take advantage of their expertise.
Rise and Shine -- As a popular destination, Athens gets quite crowded mid-day. Avoid the major groups that flood the Acropolis by arriving early in the morning or visiting during the off-season.
See the Changing of the Guard -- Just like in London, Athens has its own ceremonial changing of the guard. Dressed in red caps, white toga-like tunics and wearing wooden clogs with fluffy balls on the toes, the guards high-kick in unison and clack their heels for the amusement of delighted visitors.
You can explore the ancient city of Athens on the Greece & Her Islands tour with YMT Vacations. This 10-day journey shows you all the highlights -- from Mykonos to Santorini, the blue-domes of Oia to Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To make your plans to join this exciting itinerary, call your travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.