City Highlights And Hidden Gems
Consultant, Foodie and Explorer
The Art Foundation (TAF Athens)
Make sure you have a good look on a map before you come here because the entrance isn't marked and sits on a quiet and a bit shabby side street. When you enter, there are tables in what was formerly the court yard of a group of traditional Athenian houses. Join the national pass time of relaxing and slowly drinking a frappe (iced coffee) and admire this oasis in the city center. Before you leave, take a look around at the modern art installations in the different rooms throughout the house.
Ακρόπολη Αθηνών (Acropolis of Athens)
The Acropolis dominates the Athens skyline, and it can be seen from almost every roof terrace in the city, but you really have to make the climb and view the Acropolis up close and in person. Enjoy the views of the entire city of Athens, as well as the other temples surrounding the Acropolis. Hire a local guide to get the most out of this experience, but it is not to be missed. When visiting outside the winter months, make sure to visit early in the day before it is too hot.
Μουσείο Ακρόπολης (Acropolis Museum)
After seeing the Acropolis, walk to the nearby Acropolis museum. The new Acropolis Museum in Athens is one of the finest museums in Europe. The Italian designers Manfredi Nicoletti and Lucio Passarelli designed the building around the experience you would have walking up to the ancient Acropolis. When you reach the top of the museum, stop at the cafe for a Cappuccino Fredo (Greek Iced Cappuccino) and enjoy the spectacular view of the Acropolis and Plaka.
Ο Τζίτζικας κι ο Μέρμηγκας
After you finish with the Acropolis museum, take a walk through Plaka towards Syntagma square where you'll find O Tzitzikas ki O Mermigkas (The Cricket and the Ant). Sitting in a great central location, this hip cafe offers delicious traditional Greek favorites with a modern twist.
After lunch, explore the shops near Syntagma on Ermou, and slowly make your way towards Plaka. Here you'll find Brettos Bar where they serve their own liquors made of traditional Greek friuts you may not otherwise find. Before you leave, buy a bottle of the brilliantly colored hooch for your friends back home.
Located between Monastiraki and Thissio, this traditional Greek Taverna serves traditional Greek food and has a great view of the Temple of Hephaestus and the Ancient Agora. Having dinner here puts you in a perfect location of a night cap in Monastiraki, Thissio, Psiri or Gaza, which are all bustling with nightlife.
A for Athens
The cocktail bar on the roof of the A for Athens hotel (located directly on Monastiraki Square) has possibly the best views in the city. Aside from the view, the bar serves delicious and inventive cocktails with local fruits and flavors. I can't think of a better way to end a busy day in a busy city.
I would stay at: A for Athens (Rooms and Appartments)
This hotel offers rooms and apartments in a spectacular location at a very reasonable price. Depending on the room type, you can have direct views of the Acropolis. Also, if you are staying as a group they also offer apartments. The hotel is in Monastiraki Square, which is a lively area, but it is also well connected to take direct metro service to the airport and the port in Pireaus (for the islands hoppers). Additionally, nightlife in Gazi, Psiri and Thissio is just a stone's throw away.