Athens is an amazing city museum, with cheerful residents, striking architecture, excellent service, and low prices. Each city district lives in its own era – so walking around Athens is like traveling back in time. Temples that are thousands of years old stand next to markets and stadiums, bars, and restaurants surround medieval Turkish houses. The olive-covered hills offer stunning views of the Acropolis, the city, the sea, and the mountains. Very close, on the coast, travelers are waiting for hundreds of beaches.
In the velvet season, the summer heat, crowds of tourists, high prices for housing and tickets disappear. Therefore, we advise you to go to Athens this fall, because it is there that you can:
1. Feel like a resident of Ancient Greece
The Acropolis of Athens, built in the 5th century BC, is the hallmark of Greece, which still amazes with the beauty and elegance of the architecture. In September, when the summer heat is gone and the city is coveting sea breeze, walks among the majestic temples are especially pleasant. The main temple of the Acropolis – the Parthenon, where the statue of Athena used to be located, still amazes with the simplicity and elegance of the lines. The Erechtheion houses statues of beautiful variations and perfectly preserved mosaics. Very close to the temple of Niki, where there used to be a statue of the goddess with severed wings so that she could not leave the city and always brought victory.
From the Acropolis, a narrow path will lead you to the ancient cemetery of Ceramics, where turtles live among the tombstone sculptures, and then to the Arura, to the ruins of Olympian Zeus, the largest temple of Ancient Greece. You can walk among the ruins slowly – the entrance ticket is valid for 4 days. Be sure to climb to the top of Philopappou Hill, which offers beautiful views of the city, the port, and the Acropolis.
2. Enjoy Greek cuisine and the bubbling energy of plaka and Monastiraki districts
Athens is not only an open-air museum city but also a cheerful city, where 40% of the population of Greece lives and life is in full swings, like thousands of years ago. We advise you to go to the areas of the Old Town – there you will find excellent restaurants in the labyrinths of streets, an amazing mixture of European and Oriental architecture and a relaxed holiday atmosphere.
The Monastiraki area is known for its huge market, where you can find everything from sweets to antiques, as well as an old mosque, narrow medieval streets, and 18th-century mansions entwined with ivy and covered with graffiti. Plaka, the oldest district of the city, lying at the foot of the Acropolis, is similar to Montmartre – there are hundreds of restaurants and bars, art galleries, and excellent views.
3. Explore Athenian museums
Athens is one of the oldest capitals of Europe. Mock-ups replace almost all ancient sculptures found during excavations, and the originals have been moved to museums because of their age and fragility. Therefore, we advise all history and art lovers to go to the National Archaeological Museum, where masks, sculptures, mosaics, frescoes, furniture, and clothing are stored.
All sculptures and household items found during excavations in the Acropolis are in the modern building of the Acropolis Museum at the foot of the hill. In the Beneke Museum, you can see masterpieces of Greek art from antiquity to the 20th century. Also, in Athens, there are excellent museums of modern art – the Cycladic Museum and the Frissiras Museum, and the Heraklion Museum, where the works of the amazing Dutch artist Escher are stored.
4. Relax on the beaches of the Attic coast
The sea is very close to Athens. You can get to too many beaches by tram or bus in less than an hour. The best city beaches are Votsalakia (9 kilometers from the city), Alimos (11 kilometers from Athens), and Glyfada (16 kilometers from the city center). Each of them offers excellent service, restaurants, water attractions and… crowds of people.
If you prefer privacy, you should go to one of the small wild beaches in the bays. The most beautiful of them is the pebble beach of Altea, the beach of Harakas, with fine sand and crystal clear waters, and the beach of Cape, which is next to Cape Sounion. This cape is famous for the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon, which offers a magnificent view of the Aegean Sea and the Cycladic Islands.
5. See an unforgettable sunset and have fun all night in Psiri, Tessio and Gazi
Athens has stunning sunsets – a huge sun slowly plunges into the sea, illuminating the snow-white city surrounded by mountains. Enjoy the sunset and Greek cuisine in one of the many rooftop restaurants. But the Athenians believe that the best view of the city and the sea opens from the top of the hill of Lycabytos, where you can climb on foot or by funicular. The nearest metro station is Evangelismos, from there in a couple of minutes you can walk to the funicular station at the foot of the hill.
And when it gets dark, go down the hill and go to the trendy areas of Psiri, Tessio, and Gazi, where the nightlife of Athens is in full swing. In Psiri, on the streets of Apostoli and Miauli, the most cheerful nightclubs. Gisi has jazz bars and restaurants. The lowest prices and generous portions you will find in the Square of Exarzia, which students and anarchists chose.