Greece
Athens

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

111 travelers at this place:

  • Day2

    Athene: dag 2

    July 3 in Greece

    Vandaag kochten we een klein ontbijtje in een lokaal bakkertje, want de Acropolis stond op het programma. We ontmoetten eerst onze gids, die ons een halfuur rond leidde in Athene. Ze gidste ons door leuke plekjes, zette ons af aan de Acropolis en overhandigde onze tickets. Zo hoefden we niet in de lange rij aan te schuiven voor onze tickets, maar konden we onmiddelijk binnen!
    Na een tweetal uur ‘de hoogste plek van de stad’ te bezichtigen, wandelden we terug naar een gezellig restaurantje om middag te eten. Lekkere mezze’s! Daarna trokken we richting de tempel van Zeus en the national gardens, waar we bijna verloren liepen en de uitweg niet vonden. Na een lange zoektocht, eerst uit de tuinen en nadien naar een winkel om ons te voorzien van water, bezochten we nog de Oude Agora. Die bleek helemaal gratis te zijn voor studenten!
    Na deze lange dag vol cultuur en 15kilometer in de benen, dineerden we een lichte maaltijd, met prachtig zicht op de Acropolis. Hierna keerden we rustig huiswaarts, klaar voor onze laatste nacht in Athene.
    Read more

  • Day1

    Athene: dag 1

    July 2 in Greece

    Na een lange trip, kwamen we uiteindelijk aan in Athene. Snel een drankje nuttigen en dan verder voor de check-in van ons appartementje. Gelukkig was dit helemaal in orde en vlot geregeld!
    Door het aanraden van onze gastvrouw maakten we een korte wandeling doorheen het minder toeristische gedeelte van Athene. Ik zou zeggen: ‘er was geen kat op straat’, maar laat dat nu het enige zijn dat wél op straat was (en enkele duiven).
    Onze wandeling leidde ons verder langsheen de ‘oude agora’ met een prachtig uitzicht op de Acropolis. Uiteindelijk mondden we uit in de wijk Plaka. Waar het in tegenstelling tot eerder wél vol stond met toeristen (alsook katten en duiven). We kuierden eventjes doorheen de straatjes vol met winkels, zette ons neer op een terrasje en genoten van een frisse smoothie.
    We merkten dat we allebei zeer moe waren, dus besloten om in de lokale supermarkt een diepvriesquiche op te warmen en gezellig te dineren in ons appartement.
    Ondertussen zitten we in de zetel met de voetbal op de laptop. Ik in mijn pyjama en Gilles met zijn rode duivels T-shirt.
    Wat leren we uit onze eerste dag: Je mag je nooit laten doen door opdringerige Grieken. En vooral: wat is het hier heet!
    Read more

  • 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
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

  • Day13

    Syntagma Square

    October 4, 2017 in Greece

    Today was Athens Tours a la Tourist. The day started with a metro ride to Syntagma Square, the central square on the steps of parliament house. Parliament house was originally a palace. It was initially built as the residence of King Otto but has been used as the house of parliament since 1934. Historically and socially this square has significant importance to Greeks.

    The name comes from the uprising in 1843 when the military gathered in the square and demanded a constitution from King Otto. Unsurprisingly Syntagma means constitution.

    Within the square you can find the tomb of the unknown solider which is guarded by Evzones. These men are elaborated dressed complete with pompoms on their shoes. Every hour there is a changing of the guard, and they do some crazy marching complete with high kicks.

    We then strolled through the botanical gardens taking in the beautiful Zappieon (yellow building) which is used for meetings, ceremonies and private functions.
    Read more

  • Day13

    Big Pillars

    October 4, 2017 in Greece

    Next up we visited the Temple of the Olympian Zeus. Constructed between 470-457BC, which makes it really old. These columns were huge, 17m in fact. It is amazing to think that once upon time there would of been 104 pillars. Even these remains give you idea of how grand this temple would of been. With its roof, this temple would of been of 20m tall, 20m wide and 70m long. Massive.

    Interestingly the main structure of the building was actually made from local limestone and painted with stucco to give it a marble like appearance. The roof of this building would of been something to behold, made from marble tiles so thin they were was translucent. Can you imagine that room when the sun hits the marble?

    Next it was off to Hadrian's Gate. In ancient times this arch spanned the road from centre of Athens to structures including the Temple of the Olympian Zeus. It was built as a devision It was built about 131/132AD in the time of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Through the arch of the fate you can see the Acropolis. On this side of the gate there is an inscription which reads ΑΙΔ' ΕΙΣΙΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙ ΘΗΣΕΩΣ Η ΠΡΙΝ ΠΟΛΙΣ (this is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus). On the other side of the arch there is also an inscription which reads ΑΙΔ' ΕΙΣ' ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟΥ ΚΟΥΧΙ ΘΗΣΕΩΣ ΠΟΛΙΣ (this is the city of Hadrian, and not of Theseus).

    Even though this arch was more Roman than ancient Greek I still loved it and the thoughtfulness of where it was placed and the way it framed it's surrounds.
    Read more

  • 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.
    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.
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Dimos Athens, Athens, Αθήνα, Atene

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now