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Athens Could Be The Best Place For Your Destination And Vacation


Athens Could Be The Best Place For Your Destination Anda Vacation
Parthenon palace

Quick Tips & Suggestions:

If you want to go to enjoy yourself in Athens, you better get in shape and bring comfortable walking shoes and plenty of water. Most of the famous sites in the city requires either walking uphill, or walking along the rocky road. And beware of the marble staircase, wherever you go: they are very, very slick!

I took a bus tour of the city on my first day in Athens and it was worth the money. The tour includes the Acropolis, and take in the Olympic Stadium, Syntagma Square, Zeus' Temple and other important tourist sites. This is a great way to make an introduction to the city and plan the rest of my trip.

How about the food? Simple neighborhood restaurant at your best. They present a cheap, tasty and truly local fare. fancier restaurants in places like Plaka expensive, and you're more likely to see fried chicken on the menu, from the gyro or souvlaki. And a word of caution: go easy on the ouzo! things down too easily, and after finishing half a bottle with dinner, I slept for 12 hours and have a hangover the next day.

Where to stay? Hotels and hostels are many in Athens. The rooms are getting booked during the high season - so book early. Quality and standards can vary like any other purpose. Location and price should be your top priority. A good website to review the client www.tripadvisor.com. For good deals on a wide range of Athens hotels and other Greek hotels Greek Cybertravel check the web site at www.hotels-greece-athens.com Network.

How to Get Around:

Athens has allegedly more taxi cabs per capita than any other city in the world. Therefore, the fact is, it was nearly impossible to hail down an empty during rush hour. Often taxi will slow down and pull to the side of the road and the taxi driver will ask 'Pou?,' Which means 'where.' Just a shout out where you want to go to (in Greek preferably), and if you're lucky it will be a trip. I can not say anything good faith about the truth of the taxi driver in Athens. I took a taxi three times, and twice I got ripped off, so make your own conclusions.

In my view the best way to get around Athens is by bus or train. Tickets are inexpensive and available at kiosks along any path. Make sure you cancel a ticket at the ticket machine as soon as you enter a bus or trolley. There are many ticket controllers around to catch you if you are traveling without a ticket, or if you forgot to stamp it.

Athens Could Be The Best Place For Your Destination Anda Vacation
image via freepik

Things to see in and around Athens:

Acropolis

Athens Acropolis is the most recognizable, liver and astounding sites. Acropolis is actually the name of the hill on which there are three main temples: the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike Erechteion and; as well as the Acropolis Museum and the Propylaea, which was the original entrance to the Acropolis.

Become a fan of Greek archeology and classical studies, I was completely blown away by the place. The total size of the Parthenon is incredible, when you understand the built 2,500 years ago. Museum houses artifacts found in the temples on the Acropolis, which was put there to avoid weather damage.

Acropolises is a hill, and a steep enough, so take good quality walking shoes and bottled water with you when you go. And taking steps carefully, because the steps are very slippery marble.

I introduced myself to marble the hard way: the first face, and let me tell you: it was not a pleasant experience.

On the road to the Acropolis there are many souvenir hawkers selling postcards, papyrus pictures and other trinkets. They sell the same type and quality of the souvenir as a museum gift shop but at half the price. I recommend loading on souvenirs from them on the way out of the Acropolis.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Athens Could Be The Best Place For Your Destination Anda Vacation
image via pixabay

This temple is one of only two remaining sections on the site Olympieion. The size of the monument say this is amazing! Only a few original Corinthian columns remaining from the original 104! This is an ideal site to sit on a sunny day with a gyro in your hand and just admire its beauty.

Interesting facts about the Temple of Olympian Zeus is that it took almost 700 years to build. It was started in 515 BC by Peristratos and was completed in 125 AD by the Roman emperor Hadrian.

Close to Temple, in Amalias Street you can take a closer look at other monuments are left - Hadrian's Arch, built a few years later by the same emperor. During my visit it was all covered in plastic for the reconstruction, so it was not very inspiring.

The Agoras - Ancient and Roman

Ancient Agora (Arkhaia Agora) is a gathering place for ancient Athenians. Hard to say right now, because almost nothing is left of the original structure. Hephaisteion (Temple of Hephaistos) is an exception. It's quite a monument and probably the best preserved of all the temples of Greece in Athens. Stoa of Attalos, which was entirely rebuilt, the house museum of Ancient Agora and a resting place for most of the artifacts found here.

Roman Agora (Agora Romaiki) is situated near the other. It is much smaller and much younger sites of Ancient Agora. Some interesting things to see here is the Turkish mosque: Fethiye Djami, and the Tower of the Winds.

I marked this site as recommended, it is not highly recommended because unless you have a real interest in archeology or history, you might just get fed up here. There is not much to see, besides Hephaisteion, because most of the monuments is almost completely destroyed. But if you are a history buff / archeology, had an extra day, or happen to be bored in Plaka, than by all means stop here and do a little exploring.

Panathenaic Stadium

Panathenaic Stadium is the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. His name, Panathinaikon, stands for "All Stadion Athens". It has been reconstructed in the original stadium. The stadium is one of the places that simply providing good quality feeling inside. You're welcome to run laps around it, or to look at the marble slabs documenting all the modern Olympic Games. At the front of the stadium is a statue of the Discus Thrower.

Kerameikos Cemetery

This one is quite beautiful! Traditionally I used to be a rather grave solemn where people come to worship or contemplate. Not Kerameikos. In fact, judging by the people who sit on the tombstone, or lying in bikini getting a tan, you would hardly know it was a cemetery.

But you can not blame anyone; no one has been buried here for over a thousand years.

So against my original feeling, I have to recommend this site as a good place of relaxation: a place to sit and read a book, stretch your legs and relax or just to get a tan. Oh ... there is a museum here also that exhibit some items cemetery, gravestones, urns, etc.

The Ruins of Delphi

A visit to the Delphi site is an absolute must for any history buff. Plan a whole day to travel as it is about three hours away by bus or car.

Temple of Apollo is the main attraction of the site. It preserves a magnificent temple is a place Pythia, the High Priestess of Apollo would be asked to predict the future, and in return he will give you an answer very inexplicable (and they are not always good).

Holy theater and stadium are located higher up on the site (about 10 minutes walk). Not quite as eye-catching, and can be avoided by those who climb proved too much.

And of course you can not miss Delphi Archaeological Museum, which houses precious artifacts found at the site. And fortunately it was situated at the base of the site, so no climbing required.

Plaka

Plaka is a tourist haven. This is very similar to the Montmartre district of Paris'. There are hundreds if not thousands of simple souvenir shops, taverns, liquor stores, small churches and open air stand where you can buy everything from products to vases to olive oil soap. This is a place you must visit on your last day in Athens when you want to load up on cheap souvenirs. You are not really going to see all that many locals here, at least in proportion to the thousands of tourists passing by every minute. And with the Goddess, do not forget to bring a map! Plaka is a labyrinth, a network of streets that all look the same.

There are many places to eat in Plaka, but most posh looking people tend to be very expensive and not really a good offer from the local fare. Little take-out place or small restaurant is the best choice for food there. their gyros may grease the wrapper, but they taste good and you'll have money left over for those souvenirs.

One thing I found when purchasing souvenirs in Plaka, that the price of the item is almost never the price you would pay if you play your cards right. In some stores, the owner will tell you to "Today 20 per cent discount 'or' The more you buy, the bigger discount '. But as a general rule, you have to barter. You're a fool if you do not, because you will only pay more for everything. Everyone bargain here, locals and tourists. And if the shop owners are reluctant to make a deal, put the items you are looking at and say you will look elsewhere. They were likely to change their tune and offer money off immediately!

National Archaeological Museum in Athens

If you are going to see any museum on your trip to Athens, see this one. It is the largest and most inspiring archaeological museum in Greece. Even the building itself is quite something to see. The museum has several different exhibits, but certainly the most interesting is the Greek pottery and sculpture, which also happens to take up most of the space. There is also an exhibition of Egyptian art and artifacts of prehistoric and bronze ages.

The museum is easily reached by various bus from any point in the city. It is very large and could easily take an entire day, but in contrast to the Louvre in Paris, the museum contains such a diversity of things, which I found very easy to spend a few hours there without getting tired of admiring the pieces.

One final note, although Type Museum declared it an art museum, it really is a mix of museum / Culture Art / History. I want to make that clear, so I do not drive out the art-conscious.

National Gardens

National Gardens, which are accessible behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, offers a nice escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city. Seeing this crowd, I have a feeling they are a trendy hang-out spot for locals. This is a great place for a leisurely walk or a brown-bag lunch. At the heart of the park there is a neoclassical structure called Zappion, which I have been told is used for political events and cultural significance (security guard told me in Greece to the European Union signed here). It's a decent enough eye-catching structure check if you appreciate architecture.

It is also a good place to talk with the locals if you wish. And then I stopped at a pretzel stand run by a Kurdish immigrant and immediately got into a discussion about the fate of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan (currently in prison at the time by Turkey). Not that I speak any Kurdish or Greek, or the owner stands in English, but amazingly enough use hand gestures, and a combination of English, Greek, German and the word 'caput', somehow we came to the understanding that he is a goner and we both support the struggle. After that, I immediately ripped off for pretzels, but ... it was for a good cause.

Constitution Square

Syntagma (Constitution) Square centrally positioned in Athens and pretty good starting point for tourists. There is a bank here where you can exchange money, travel agencies where you can pick up information about what to see in Athens or book a tour bus and some rather luxurious hotel.

Top tourist attraction in the Square is the tomb of the unknown soldier supervised by guards dressed EVZONE, which is a male Greek costume custom consisting of a white skirt and shirt, red vest and hat and shoes with pompons. They look rather interesting! The best time to see the changing of the guards is Sundays at noon, when the service is great progress. I believe that the events of early starts around 11 or 11:30 pm, when a battalion of soldiers began marching in the street with a military band playing. As they approached the Tomb, they stopped systematically, wait until noon, then the ceremonial changing of the guard began. It's really quite interesting because there are so many customs and rituals involved. The soldiers took steps long caution: I was amazed to see how they keep their balance while standing on one leg.

There are plenty of other things to see in Syntagma Square itself, but from here you will have easy access to the National Gardens, as well as Plaka and Omounia Square. Somehow, every day I was in Athens starts and ends here.

Three Island Cruise

It is worth the time and money. I booked the cruise through Network Cybertravel www.hotels-greece-athens.com one of about a dozen travel agencies offer tours identical (later I found a lot of tour agencies use the same boat, which can carry several hundred people).

It was very well planned: in the morning a van picked me up from the hotel and dropped me where the air coach took us to the port. From there, it was a few hours of sailing to our first port of call: Hydra. What a magnificent, relaxing little place! white houses, red roofs, blue water and sky, around 25 Celsius ... and that in Feburary! of course a shopper's paradise with souvenir shops everywhere. We moved to Poros, during lunch time served on the ship. Poros, not quiet as Hydra to me. It is more commercialized, reminded me a bit of Honolulu, Hawaii. But it is a great place to pick up a bowl of ice cream and just a little lounge in the harbor. From there we moved to Aegina and offered to pay for an optional bus tour on Aegina to the Temple of Aphaia.

Bus tour is well worth the money. Temple of Aphaia in Aegina very well preserved and the incredible sites to see. Aegina is also an excellent place to purchase pistachio nuts: there are vendors all over the place, so take one or two bags on the way out!

The cruise is very laid back. There is a board entertainment: live band, comedians, Greek folk dances etc. I prefer to just kick back with a bottle of Retsina (Greek wine) and watch to see which was quite enjoyable. Upon arrival, the coach dropped everyone off back at their hotel.

Dealing with Athens

Athena (or perhaps the Greek) is one of a kind type of person. They are talkative, not inhibited and most of all very curious. Now, of course this is my opinion and they are very personal to what I experienced, so anyone who does not agree with this view should bear this in mind.

This temperament has proved more remarkable on many occasions. Almost every day, I went to a restaurant owned by the same family small in Kifissias called 'Ta Salona'. In addition to having good quality food, it also has a very curious owners. Every night, we would sit down over beer bottles Greek 'Mythos' or a glass of ouzo (killer stuff!) And discuss where I come from, life in Athens, food, drinks ... etc really made for an enjoyable evening.

Another example of this extrovert nature frightened me a bit. On several occasions while walking in the Plaka, I asked people walking by what time it is, or how to get somewhere and after receiving the answer, people say 'you want to go to a bar, drink ouzo?' Now ... I believe there is nothing wrong with asking someone to go drinking with you, but it took me by surprise a bit. 

Coming from the US, I feel that if I receive an offer like this from strangers, I would probably end up in a biker-bar, arm wrestling with a 300 pound man named 'Bulldog'. A British woman I met a few days earlier on a cruise to the islands told me that he was approached several times in the street by strangers either asking him on a date or make comments like 'He's tall! I'm sure he is actually good '.

If I draw any conclusions from this incident, if you ignore the person, they will in time drop the subject. But in a location such as a restaurant or bar, it actually proved to be really interesting to talk to the locals and find out a bit about their daily lives.

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