4 reasons to visit Athens and why I enjoyed the city
It might sound surprising to many of you but I visited Greece for the first time only in 2018. I had time just for a few days so I decided to spend all those 4.5 days in Athens to visit as many historical sites as possible instead of only scratching the surface of 2 different places. Quality over quantity, right? Below I mention 4 reasons to visit Athens. Basically it’s a list of 4 things that helped me to enjoy the city to maximum.
4 reasons to visit Athens
1. History and ruins
I really hope you know that I am a big LOVER of ruins (not just of white sand beaches). All old, ruined and half-damaged buildings seem fascinating to me. Just imagine all the stories they could tell us about the people who’ve visited them over years etc.
When it comes to Athens, we all know it’s a city full of historical sites. A city, where almost everywhere you look you can find a precious piece of history. Just knowing the fact that it’s not only the capital of current Greece but once it was also the proud capital of Ancient Greece, says all us, history freaks should pay a visit. One of the world’s oldest cities has a lot to offer: Acropolis, Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Temple of Hephaestus, Erechtheion, Tomb of the unknown soldier, churches, ancient walls and cemeteries, etc. Let me tell you… I felt such a great mysterious energy when exploring all the historical sites in Athens!
2. Tasty food
For some reason I never thought of Athens to be a foodie place which is why I got pleasantly surprised once I got there. Did you know you can even go on a food tour in Athens with a local? There’s a couple of different locals to book with on Withlocals website. The advantage is that you can go on a private tour only yourself (if you travel solo) or with your friends/family/whoever you travel with. Going on a food tour with a local is always more authentic as they can show you hidden gems where locals eat. It’s also a great way to avoid crowds of tourists, plus you can always costumize the tour to fit your needs the best.
Eating with a local was not the only thing that I appreciate in Athens. I was also very happy to find out there’s quite many places around Athens where I could enjoy vegan food (I’ve been vegan since July 2013).
TIP: If you are also a veggie person or would like to simply taste healthier meals, here’s my list of 7 best vegan restaurants in Athens where I personally had my meals while there.
Athens are very easy to walk around. If a city is walkable, it gets a plus point from me. I am not one of those people who enjoy public transportation nor paying for taxis so if it’s possible, I always try to get everywhere by foot. On the way I always find something interesting that I was not planning on visiting or I’d had not heard of at all. The same thing happened in Athens when I discovered hidden gems while walking to the most known city attractions.
In 4 days and a half in Athens I walked 54.88 km altogether (I wrote down the distance every day in my Evernote documents: 3 km, 11.32 km, 18.09 km, 13.19 km and 9.28 km).
I once said that a big city is enjoyable to me only if it has a lot of greenery. And Athens definitely do have many parks and hills where you can sit in the shade and relax. Each time I passed by a park, I took a minute to chill and breathe fresh air produced by trees. Shade was needed as I visited in summer when it was burning hot.
I also found time to visit the National Garden of Athens which was completed already in 1840 by a German agronomist. It’s more than 15 hectares of plants located right in the city centre behind the Parliament building (Old Palace) on the way to Zappeion Hall.
The garden is open to public from sunrise to sunset since 1920’s. Until then it was mostly used by the Royal family and only for a few years open to public in the afternoon. You can find antique statues spread around the National Garden, duck ponds and even a Botanical Museum. I just wish there were no animals living in cages there. That makes me sad and to be honest it was the only part of the whole garden I did not admire there :(
Alex is a crazy Slovak girl who made traveling the reason of her life. In March 2011 she quit her stewardess job and hasn't stopped ever since. Her motto is ''I live to travel, I travel to live.'' She writes about crazy travel, fun adventures and sexy photos.
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