Athens: Our First and Final Impressions & Why I Think They Will Change

Athens

Athens was a place I was pretty excited to see. It was the only place on the mainland of Greece that we had time to visit, but unfortunately we only had a couple of days here.


 

Athens: My First Impressions

We came from Mykonos by Ferry, to Rafina Port, which was probably another 1hr or 1hr 1/2 bus ride to Athens, plus a taxi. When we got to the hotel, there wasn’t much activity around. I must admit, I was a little shocked as to how quiet it was, I guess I expected more hustle and bustle, more craziness, more vibrancy. At this point, I really didn’t know what I thought of Athens. In fairness, we did arrive on a sunday afternoon, so perhaps thats a quieter time. You could also see the impact of the economic crisis, with many shops bordered up.

Things We Did

Unfortunatley we barely had 2 days to explore Athens.

We tried to get out and eat in different areas, like Gazi, Plaka and Monastiraki.

Food In Athens

We visited the Acropolis

Parthenon

And Chris held the Parthenon in his hands… sort of

Chris holding the Parthenon

Took photos of the street art

Street Art

We walked through Athens Central Market (meat, fruit and vegetable market)

Athens Central Market

And admired the views over the city

View Over The City

And saw the city by night

Acropolis At Night

We even did a late night mystery game at Athens Clue, as we were traveling with family and it gave us something to do together.

Things I Would Love To Do In Athens Next Time

Next time we are in Athens, I would love to explore more. Here are some things that I would love to do:

  • Visit Lake Vouliagmeni near Athens
  • See more neighbourhoods
  • See More of the Ancient Sites
  • Venture out to the coast and explore the beaches and surrounding neighbourhoods
  • Visit The Acropolis Museum
  • Explore the shopping streets, like Ermou Street
  • Have time to eat more Greek Food
  • And I think it would be a great city to do a short tour, maybe a food tour or I also found a tour company called “Alternative Tours Of Athens“, which looks interesting.

Athens: Final Impressions

By the end of our couple of days in Athens, I felt like I was starting to see more and more of Athens, and I feel like if we were to return, we would do different things and see another side to Athens. Overall I was still expecting more energy and activity, but we also didn’t have a lot of time to fully explore. Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I saying I didn’t like Athens, I really enjoyed it, I just feel like I didn’t see the best of it. I also love going pretty much anywhere new, because how can you not enjoy exploring and seeing something for the first time?

Mandy and Chris At The Acropolis

So I did enjoy Athens, but my expectations were pretty off. I also feel like Athens is a place that gradually reveals itself, and unfortunately we didn’t have the time to get to know it.

So on my next trip to Athens, I would try and explore different neighbourhoods, have time to eat more street food and other Greek Food, explore the beaches of and near Athens, and stay in a different area to get another perspective.

Where we stayed: Athens Center Square Hotel

Where We Ate: The Butcher shop, Klimataria, and lunch somewhere in Plaka.

Have you been to Athens? What were your thoughts?

Let us know in the comments below…

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