We landed in Athens at 9am and hopped in a cab to the hotel. Disclaimer: After much research taking a cab was just about the same cost for us as a bus would have been since we were a group of 7. If there are only 2 or 3 of you the bus will be cheaper and it’s not a super long ride; however, if you are anything like me you’ll just hop in a cab and take a comfortable straight shot to your destination (after such a long flight I didn’t want an adventure). The drive from the airport to the hotel was just as rough as a NYC cab ride so we felt right at home! What we saw along the way was unexpected; graffiti filled walls, busy streets, homeless people, worn down buildings, tons of store. Again very similar to NYC perhaps that’s why it was unexpected; being so far away from home I was expecting a polar opposite experience. The taxi stopped on a narrow cobble stone road and I have to be honest I was a slightly scared because it seemed so isolated and shady (again just unexpected) but I put on my big girl shoes (actually I just didn’t have an option) and headed into the hotel. The hotel lobby was a bit dark and sadly I was a little bummed with my first impression of Greece. To my defense, I am typically very positive and very open minded when traveling…but I was beat from a long flight! To Athens defense; damn near nobody lives in Athens during the “high season” (June-End of September). Most Athens folks head to Mykonos and Santorini during that time to work, which explains why Athens was so darn quiet.
Time to brightening things up! Our rooms weren’t ready so we dropped our bags, used the restroom, did an outfit change and headed out to explore. Here’s what to do with 24 hours in Athens Greece:
- Grab a coffee and a sandwich at one of the many cafes along the streets, it’ll be a while until your next meal and there is a lot of walking coming up. You should probably get water for the trip too.
- Buy yourself a ticket for a hop on/hop off bus; this is the best way to see Athens. I suggest getting on the upper level for awesome pictures and the best view. We got off the bus once and that was when we got to the ruins.
- The Acropolis! I cannot even begin to describe the view from the top of that bad boy. Take your time and explore, walk to the top, take it all in and take lots of pictures.
- Head back to the hotel for a nap before dinner. I was beat so I was in much need of a nap if I wanted to make it to dinner. (PS the hotel room ended up being adorable!)
- To get to dinner we took the city train (a few steps away from our hotel) which super easy, cheap, and a really quick ride.
- We got off at the “Akropolis District” stop. You’ll walk out of the station onto a street lined in restaurants and cafes, with host outside trying to persuade you to go to their restaurant.
- Let me make it easy go to Liondi Coffe and Wine! The entire staff was beyond amazing and extremely attentive. The owner spent a lot of time at our table and brought us out some of his favorites dishes (far too much food) which were delicious. We drank lots of wine, laughed out loud the entire time, and were even serenaded by the cutest old man and his accordion. To top it all off the bill was very affordable and they had a chalkboard wall inside the store that they let us draw all over!
- After dinner walk off all of the calories and explore the street shops and vendors. My mom bought me and my sister the most beautiful bracelet (that I still wear) but a few shops later we found it for less money, so talk down the price!
- We enjoyed a nightcap at a bar in the Plaka area of Athens with an amazing view of the Acropolis…breathtaking!
Athens started out a little rough; however, meeting the people and learning the history it won a special place in my heart. It was the perfect start to what we had coming: Mykonos and Santorini. Feel free to comment with any questions you might have! Check out all of my pictures from Athens here: Athens Pictures