Athens Travel Guide: Transport, Food, Things to do
November 19th, 2017 by Luiza
As you may already know, we love Greece. And not only the island paradise but the imposing cities as well. We enjoyed Athens, it has thousands of years of history and an amazing culture that influenced Europe for centuries.
Let’s see! What to eat, where to stay, what are the typical costs and so on.
Athens travel guide
Athens is a complex and interesting city. Being one of the Europe’s oldest capital it is blessed with some of the largest collection of Greek ruins and artifacts.
The capital of Greece is particularly well-known due to the temple dedicated to the goddess Atena, the Parthenon. It is located in an absolutely superb position on the cliffs, Athenian Acropolis (Acropolis means “high city” in Greek) that offers amazing panoramic city views.
This travel guide will be sprinkled with lots of pictures so I think it will make you add Athens in your travel list.
What to expect from Athens
After each new escapade we review what we enjoyed and what we did not like about a place. So here is our pro and cons list regarding Athens.
- The Athens Metro hide unexpected archaeological finds;
- In Athens you will find delicious food and beer;
- There are many high spots with beautiful landscapes;
- Athens is very crowded and noisy;
- Sometimes it was difficult to find supermarkets in some areas;
- Pick-pocketing is quite common especially in the public transport.
For information about climate, language, currency, etc. please check our previous article about Greece.
Transport in Athens
Flying from another European city it is very easy to reach Athens and quite cheap. You can easily find flight tickets about €40-50 both ways with a low cost company.
Athens International Airport has very good connections to the public transport. You can reach the city center by metro or by bus. The subway is very fast and comfortable. For €18 for both of us (or €10 per person) we arrived in Monastiraki in 45 minutes. This ticket is available 90 minutes and you can use it for all the metro lines.
Here’s a metro map for reference:
Inside Athens we didn’t use any public transport as we wanted to enjoy the city by walk but you can always choose buses, trolleys, metro or trams.
Where to stay in Athens
Luckily, Athens is not expensive when we refer to accommodation and you have many options to choose. Depending on the location, if it’s centrally or not, the prices can vary between €25-60 per night for a private room or entire apartment.
We don’t usually stay in hotels when we visit European cities because we prefer booking our accommodation from AirBnb. Here is a link where you can create an account and get up to €42 off your first trip.
This time we reserved a small apartment in Thiseio area which was perfectly located for our walking itinerary at a price of €100 for 3 nights.
Athens is a big city, thus you can select anywhere to stay. For instance, if you love being surrounded by history we suggest you to book in one of these central locations: Monastiraki, Thiseio and Plaka neighborhoods.
What to eat in Athens
What’s an Athens travel guide without mentioning the Greek food!? Nothing, right?
This was the 5th time when we visited Greece and, as always, we were more than delighted about the food. Moussaka, gyros, souvlaki, feta cheese are just few examples of delicious Greek dishes. Cheap street food (especially take away) will cost you about €3 for a gyros and €8 for a moussaka. The price for a decent meal for 2 starts with €25 (drinks not included) but can exceed even €40 if you choose a fancy restaurant.
For coffee lovers we have good news: there are so many cafeterias that is very hard to decide where to stop 😛 . Also a coffee costs about €1.5, just like a hot tea (besides the fact that once we paid more for a hot tea than for our breakfast 😐 ). Anyway, do not forget to try galatopita, it is a milk pie with cinnamon (I’m drooling while I’m writing). 🤤
What to do in Athens
There are so many places to discover here but we created a top with what we liked the most.
Visit the Acropolis and its slopes
The entrance ticket is €20 per person and it will include the Theatre of Dionysus, Theatre of Odeon, Parthenon and other temples that surrounds the hill.
There is also a ticket package valid for 5 days for €30 and it includes the visit to Acropolis and other 6 points of attraction. More info here.
Visit the Panathenaic Stadium
It is something that we enjoyed a lot because it was less crowded than we expected. It is spectacular.
A visit to the Olimpic stadium that was build in the 6th century BC costs €5.
Relax in the National Garden
If it’s beautiful and free it means it cannot be missed. 😛 This is a nice park where you can relax by photographing the turtles or waking through winding and narrow alleys shaded by green trees. During summer days this might be the perfect location to rest.
Explore The Ancient Agora
I like to describe it as an entire space sprinkled with ancient ruins of the old Athens. Take some time to explore it. It is a pity to rush in here.
The entrance fee is €8 or you can enter for free if you have the ticket package we mentioned before. Link to this point of interest in case you want to check before.
Stroll through Plaka
There is nothing we like more than strolling the streets in a new city. Take a walk and enjoy the white building walls of this ancient neighborhood that is located at the base of Acropolis Hill.
Hike to the top of Lycabettus
I think is absolutely amazing to have an entire view over the city. The hill stands 277 meters above sea level so the panorama is astounding.
You can hike to the top or use the Funicular. The price for the funicular is €7 (way back included). Info about pricing here.
Trek to the top of Filopappou
This is another hill with beautiful city views that covers amazing paths among olive trees, ancient ruins and monuments. It is less touristic but there are enough signs not to get lost. 🙂
Anything else you would like to add? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂
Create the moments you want to remember!