A fast weekend in Athens
When you say Greece, you think sun, heat, sea, white and blue villages perched on islets. When you say Athens, you think about Parthenon and an huge capital with chaotic traffic and frenzy. Well, my weekend in Athens was a wonderful discovery! So without thinking twice, I took the first flight to Athens to spend a very fast weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, because you must know, that the best visits are done in this way!
Athens welcomed me with a wonderful time: sun, heat and clear sky, I had taken off in the rain and immersed in the fog! When I arrived, as I was already late in the afternoon, I headed towards Syntagma Square, right in the center. I was able to see the changing of the guard in front of the Parliament that takes place every hour and lasts about 10 minutes: really very scenic, with very slow gestures and traditional shoes at the feet of the soldiers who would endure all the IG fashion bloggers. Then I went to the Panathinaiko Stadium, unfortunately I saw only from outside (built entirely in marble, where in 1896 the first Olympics of the modern era took place), passing through the National Gardens and along the Zappeion palace.
For the evening I went into the shopping and restaurants districts of Monastiraki and Psirri: both very lively, with both tourist and high-level international proposals. After dinner I walked from Psirri to the Thisso district and then down to Kerameicos: large pedestrian areas and once you arrive in the district of Gazi, here you’ll find a lots of places where to spend the after dinner.
I went with the full of energy towards the Acropolis! What to say? Wonderful! Amazing! Even for people like me who do not have a classical education, it left out of breath! I did some photos with the Caryatids and then I have admired the originals, preserved at the Acropolis Museum. The museum is really well built, pleasant combination of the modern structure and the ancient contents. Very rich as a museum, but not impossible to visit all in an abundant hour: on each floor there are archaeologists available to answer visitors’ questions. Another very interesting thing, the models of the statues that we know but with the original colors: you have to know that the ancient Greece was not all white. In short, a museum that I highly recommend.
Just out of the museum, right near the Acropoli metro station, many restaurants/bars overlook a pedestrian street, ideal for a quick lunch. After lunch, walk from the Acropolis area to the district of Plaka, stopping to buy some souvenirs that never hurts. From the cathedral square of Athens I headed to the Psirri neighborhood, a true epicenter on Saturday afternoons judging by the amount of people walking. Visit the Mount Lycabettus to see Athens at 360° and to enjoy a gorgeous panorama towards the sea accompanied by the sunset. I climbed up to the Chapel of Saint George to fully enjoy the city from above.
What to eat
In Athens you can find the typical Greek dishes like moussaka, tzatziki, souvlaki, Greek salad with feta, even in vegetarian version! Then being a big capital, with a constant flow of tourists, you can also find international dishes but I would recommend you take advantage of the offers of ethnic cuisine, especially Indian, very present in the city.
Things You Shoud Know
– We are on 2018, but throwing toilet paper in the wc in Greece is still forbidden. Difficult for me to remember it.
– They still smoke inside, everywhere. For me now it seems unthinkable. Remember when you choose a table.
– Saturday at the Mount Lycabettus, during the sunset, is not the most original idea you can have because in addition to tourists who come to enjoy the view of Athens at the sunset time, there are also the people who participate in the mass. Result: great traffic to reach the place;
– Greek have dinner very late, even if there is no real timetable, the Greeks sit at the table around 10 pm and not before;
– March may seem like an unusual period to go to Greece, but the good weather, the heat and a not exaggerated number of tourists (the cruise season is suspended in this period) allowed me to enjoy the city, visiting the tourist places easily , never practically making rows, admiring the acropolis not too crowded, all accompanied by an ideal climate;