Greece
Athens

Here you’ll find travel reports about Athens. Discover travel destinations in Greece of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

97 travelers at this place:

  • Day44

    Ausflug zur Akropolis

    May 14 in Greece

    Die Akropolis thront auf einem Hügel mitten in der Stadt. Was soll ich sagen, allein wegen dem Blick über die Stadt lohnt es sich diesen Touristenmagnet anzuschauen. Zum Glück hat Ivo eine ruhige Hand für die Panoramafotos. Wahnsinn...

  • Day37

    Athens: Ancient vs Modern

    September 4, 2017 in Greece

    Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world and the birth place of “democracy”, was next on the menu for our gaycation. After weaving through mountainous terrain for 5½ hours on the train from Thessaloniki, we reached our destination, near the Kerimeikos. Immediately we felt a different vibe in the capital city, compared to the north. While there was a decent amount of graffiti, it was nowhere near as bad as Thessaloniki, which seemed plastered with spray paint. Though the streets certainly aren’t the perfect postcard images that most people conjure up.

    We also immediately noticed the young, cute policemen patrolling the streets. Despite our attempts to get frisked and a pat down from the handsome officers, they didn’t oblige. What was also noticeable was that Greek men either smelt as if they’ve bathed in the scent of the Grecian gods or as if they have never seen soap and water, and in the Athenian summer heat the latter was not pleasing to the olfactory senses.

    Besides the continual struggle to find postcards, stamps and post offices, the other themes of our travels has been finding a (free) toilet in Europe – a basic need that should be afforded to all without a cost - and finding food. It seems that we are always chasing something better as if the oasis in the distance will be more fruitful. There’s only so many gyros and slices of pizza that you can eat.

    The first full day of our Athenian adventure commenced with the ancient monuments of the city. We set out for the Areopagus Hill, exploring the ancient Greek Agora and the surrounds. The Temple of Hephaestus captured our attention first before heading to the Roman Agora and Hadrian’s library. While at the Roman Agora under the scorching Athenian sun, we did the Aussie traditional custom of slip, slop, slap and reapplied our sunscreen, only to be approached by a screaming Greek banshee claiming that the sunscreen was somehow going to ruin the marble. We were applying it to our bodies, not the marble columns. If there’s going to be any damage to the marble it’s going to be from the natural elements and the graffiti artists (and pigeons).

    Our second day continued the ancient theme. This time, the Acropolis was the destination. The amazing structures of the Propylaea, Parthenon, Erectheion and Temple of Athena Nike provided a great backdrop for photos as we overlooked the entire metropolis of Athens. From the top of the Acropolis, we headed to the south slope to the remains of the Odeon of Herod the Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus. The ancient treasures didn't end there. We still had the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, Aristotle’s Lykeion and the Panathenaic Stadium to explore.

    The following day included some more ancient ruins – it’s pretty hard to avoid in one of the oldest cities in the world, including the ancient cemetery, Kerimeikos. Time was also spent wandering the streets, people watching and getting caught up in the hustle and bustle, mainly due to the visit by French President Macron. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a glimpse of Macron.

    While throughout Eastern Europe we became a connoisseur of beer, in Athens this was been exchanged for ouzo. As they say, when in Rome do as the Roman’s do, except we’re in Athens so it’s do as the Athenians do.

    Next stop: Mykonos.

    See link below for video footage:
    https://youtu.be/LKIxsYALKg4
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  • Day3

    All that Jatz

    September 24, 2017 in Greece

    We landed in Greece, cleared customs in record time and headed for the metro station. First little glitch... We forgot that Greece is basically a cash economy and could not purchase tickets. We spent the next 20 minutes searching for an ATM. All cashed up we navigated the metro like locals and with some helpful directions were at our accommodation for the night.

    Our accommodation was a quaint little 1 bedroom apartment in Athina. In this instance quaint refers to the fact our entire apartment was smaller than my bedroom.
    Our host Stefano, gave us the ground rules including don't flush your toliet paper (and can I tell you this is a bizarre feeling). A quick shower left us feeling envigorated and it was time to explore.

    * Note: Mum/Dad, I remember you once complained your apartment didn't have hot water. We were instructed to turn the water on at the mains 30-40 minutes before showering and turn it off just before showering.

    We found a little warren of eats at the foothills of the Acropolis and stopped for a bite to eat at All That Jatz. The service here was fantastic, largely due to the carafe and half of free wine we were given. With full bellies and heads buzzing we headed back to our apartment to catch up on much needed sleep.
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  • Day13

    Plaka and Accropolis Muesem

    October 4, 2017 in Greece

    Plaka is one of the oldest suburbs in Athens. It is located on the north east slopes of the Acropolis. It is characterised by its narrow cobblestone streets and beautiful old buildings filled with shops and restaurants. You will find some amazing ruins including the Ancient Agora and a number of museums. I loved the buildings, such foreign architecture when compared to Australia, so with the assistance of Dr Google I can now tell you they are in a Neoclassical style (which I gather is a fancy way 18th century elegance). A lot of the shops and restaurants are touristy but you get this small village feeling when you visit these streets.

    We stopped at Lulu's bakery and deli for breakfast. We had some delicious pastries, but I don't remember what they were called.

    Next it was the Acropolis Museum. This stop was something I was excited about and it didn't disappoint. Firstly it's design is amazing. It is supported by pillars built over ruins that were discovered during pre-construction. It's modern building and not overly lavish but has glass windows on all sides allowing for tonnes of natural light. The glass floors not only allow you to see the ruins below but also increase the natural light. The top floor is my favourite. Here you can see a subtle homage to the Parthenon with the concrete pillars mimicking that of the Parthenon with artwork laid in between the pillars. It attempts to show the viewer what the Parthenon would of been. Fabulous.

    The museum is well laid out, with sections for different parts of the Acropolis. It is a mixture of treasures from the Acropolis and reproductions again designed to give the viewer an overall idea of what the Acropolis would of looked like 2500 years ago. We started on the top floor, where there is a great introduction video to the Parthenon and the Acropolis. We viewed the sculptures and artwork and I was continually gobsmacked at the craftsmanship and just how old items were.

    Oh it also had this super cute lego Acropolis... If only it came in a set.
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  • Day13

    The main event, The Accropolis

    October 4, 2017 in Greece

    The Acropolis and the Parthenon. Wow. Amazing. Breathtaking.

    The Parthenon is considered by many, particularly the Greeks to be the symbol of ancient Greece and the birthplace of democracy. I can now see why. This monumental structure was built in 9 years from 447BC - 438BC although decoration continued through to 432BC. It was designed as a temple for the goddess Athena, the patron of Athens.

    It is believed the Parthenon replaced an older temple of Athena that was destroyed in the Persian Invasion. As was Athenian custom the temple also doubled as the city treasury. Sometime in the 6th Century AD the temple was converted into Christian church. In the 1460s after the Ottoman conquest it was converted to a mosque. In 1687 the building was severely damaged as a of result of fighting between the Ottomans and the Venetians. In the early 1800s a significant amount of the sculptures were removed from the temple and sold into private collections. The Greek government has actively been trying to repatriate this artwork. Given that some of these pieces have been in the British Museum since 1816 I think they have no chance. But I hope I am wrong.

    The Parthenon is currently partially covered by scaffolding, initially I was disappointed to have an obstructed view. However, I overheard a guide talking about the painstaking restoration operation and how without it this monument would completely collapse. In a nutshell, they locate a marble stone slab that is structurally unsound, measure it's dimensions and create a concrete replica. The replica replaces the marble and then they find local marble of the same colour to replace the broken slab. The marble is prepared using a mixture of traditional and modern techniques to ensure that in time new and old marble will blend and she together. The new marble replaces the concrete slab once it is prepared.

    But the Acropolis is home to more than just the Parthenon. It has beautiful 360° degree views of the city. I also liked the temple dedicated to Nike and there was plenty more on the slopes of the Acropolis. The highlights for me were the Theatre of Dionysus, Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the cave on the south-eastern slope.

    After being in Greece for a number of days we were yet to try souvlaki, we had been recommended to try Thanasis Souvlaki in Monasteraki. To be frank this was the most disappointing meal of the trip to date. It was tough, unflavoured, chewy meat and there was minimal sauce leaving us with a very boring and tasteless souvlaki.

    We finished the night A for Athens, a roof top bar in Monasteraki. It has amazing views of the Acropolis and lovely (but pricey) cocktails. A perfect to finish a big day. Despite the price this place is worth a visit.
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  • Day12

    Athens, Greece

    October 13, 2017 in Greece

    Today I took a tour off the ship, A Taste of Athens, Mim Lawson stayed on board as she has been to the Ancient sites of Athens previously. We spent some time at Athens Acropolis which means the highest point of the city. On the Acropolis a number of ancient sites are found. Firstly you climb the slippery marble steps, both formed and unformed, to walk through the Propylaea, the entry gate with its imposing columns. Once through the entry gate the Parthenon, a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, overwhelms the site. The Parthenon construction began around 447 BC so understandably today they are undertaking repairs to maintain the buildings integrity. The other building on the site, which is still in good repair, is the Erechtheion which was a Temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. On one side there is a large porch with six ionic columns, and on the other side is the "Porch of the Maidens", six draped female figures (caryatids) used as supporting columns. After visiting the Acropolis we had a bus tour of the town finishing in the Pláka, the old historical neighborhood which sits beneath the Acropolis. This area is a great spot for everything Greek, food and of course the tourist shops.Read more

  • Day13

    Ruins of Ancient Greece

    October 4, 2017 in Greece

    We continued our mega tourist day with a walk though the Ancient Agora. The word agora means public space and this space is huge; we could of easily spent an entire day in this space. The space was originally a residential and burial area but by the early 6th Century BC it was redesigned into a public space. This space has been continually excavated by archaeologists since 1931. However it had been previously excavated over the years dating back to 1859. So as you can imagine there is a lot to be seen.

    The Stoa of Attalos, a trade centre and commercial hub built in approximately 150BC has been restored and now houses an museum focusing on Athenian Democracy. We skipped this however given the lack of signage in the grounds if I was to visit again I might start here to get a better understanding of the area.

    The highlight for me was Temple of Hephaestus which was constructed between 449 - 415BC and is the best preserved building from this time period. While not as grand as the Parthenon, it's completeness gives you an idea of the grandness of ancient Athenian architecture. The building is so well maintained due to it being in use until 1934. It served as a Greek Orthodox church until 1834 until King Otto (the first King of Greece) decreed the building should be used as a museum. In 1934 the use of the building as a museum discontinued and archaeological research on the site began. If you are wondering Hephaestus is the patron god of metal work, craftsmanship and fire.

    The other ruins are interesting too, there are a number of houses that are remarkably well preserved. But I really like the idea that I have now walked the same streets as Socrates did thousands of years ago.

    Nearby is Hadrian's Library, the highlight for me in this area was the statue of Nike (goddess if victory) despite losing her wings, arms and head she was beautiful. Also I love that the religious figurehead for winning, victories and competitiveness was female. Girl Power!

    The Roman Agora was again more ruins, I probably found this area the least interesting out if the three. Mostly like being a combination of it felt like it was more of the same and it wasn't particularly well sign posted so I wasn't sure what I was looking at.

    If I was to do this again I'd look at downloading some sort of audio tour to my phone before visiting any of these sites just so I could have some better context at what I was looking at.
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  • Day12

    O Laundromat where 'art thou?

    October 3, 2017 in Greece

    We said 'antío' to Paros and set off for Athens. For our ferry ride back we had purchased economy tickets and found that so had every one else. There was no where to sit except black plastic chairs in front of the toilets. It didn't take us long to pay the 5€ for the upgrade to a designated seat. Definitely worth it, would of been a long 5 hours otherwise.

    Athens and Greek public transport is easy to use. We purchased a multi day pass which allowed us to bus and train all round Athens. As we were now the queens of the metro, we quickly navigated to Kerameikos station and walked the breezy 40 metres to our apartment.

    Our apartment is, or was at some stage a shag pad. It had a pallet bed side table, a racy red futon, a tyres stack with a pane of glass on top for a coffee table and an easel. The thing that really gives you the sense that this is a shag pad is that it is directly above a gay nightclub and seems to have matching colour schemes.

    After settling in we packed up a rather large amount of dirty clothes and went to find the nearest laundry. We trekked and trekked.... And found a dry cleaner with an old man that did not speak a word of English. As we speak no more than five words of Greek none of which relate to laundry, it was a very short conversation.

    Finally 2 hours after setting out we found a laundromat it was three metro stations from our apartment so a bit of a hike. We wanted our clothes and partially dried some (we ran out of coins). We packed up our clothes and caught the metro home.

    We needed to dry our clothes so utilised every possible drying surface in our apartment, cupboard doors, TV, coat hangers, chairs and an easel. It looked ridiculous.

    We finished the night off with dinner at Good Wolf, it had a great atmosphere, pleasant staff but the food was mostly forgettable.

    Sleeping was fun too, I found myself waking up singing to very loud club music more than once.
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  • Day26

    Athens at night

    July 15, 2016 in Greece

    After Bree woke up from her nap, we decided to go grab some late dinner.

    We asked our host where would be a great place to get some classic gyros. While talking, we also found out that he is the coolest person ever. He is a software engineer/writer/event planner/musician. He even wrote a book that sold out!! You can now get it for free online.

    We were off on our adventure to find food. There was a huge district with tons of restaurants. We grabbed a gyro & sat in the square & ate it. After hours of chatting, we grabbed some bakk-lava from a local bakery & went back to the apartment.

    We had the giggles & couldn't sleep until very early in the morning.
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  • Day8

    Starting off with a Greek salad (delicious), followed by grilled Breem, mousaka and a tiny cup of yogurt with quince jam ( on the house).

    Going to bed at 9 to grab 3 hrs of sleep before catching an Uber to Syntagma Square where we will catch the bus for 6 euros each to make it to the airport around 3 am or so the plan goes. Now we will see if the Uber driver shows. Flight boards at 5:30 am for München. 5 hr layover there. Ouch!!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Athens, Athen, Atenas, أثينا, ܐܬܝܢܐ, Afina, Атэны, Атина, Aten, Atina, Atenes, Athény, Аѳины, Αθήνα, Ateno, Ateena, آتن, Athènes, Atene, An Aithin, Atenas - Αθήνα, Ἀθῆναι, Atena, אתונה, Athén, Աթենք, ATH, Kota Athena, Athina, Aþena, アテネ, ათენი, 아테네, Athenae, Atėnai, Atēnas, अथेन्स, Athene, Ateny, Афины, Ateni, Atény, ஏதென்ஸ், เอเธนส์, Lungsod ng Athína, ئافېنا, Афіни, 雅典

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