When I started planning our trip, I wanted to make sure we really maximized our time in each place. After speaking with friends who had visited Greece, we decided to limit our time in Athens to 48 hours. It was the perfect amount of time to see all the sites and cope with our jet lag.
We arrived around lunch Saturday. We weren’t able to check into our Airbnb until 2 p.m. so we posted up at a coffee shop near by until then. 2 espresso later, we checked in, got settled and headed out to the streets of Plaka for a leisurely afternoon of shopping. I tell everyone this, but h&m and Zara outside of the U.S. are always a must. Since they both originated in Europe, the stores over there have more unique pieces and better prices. Once we hit up all of our favorite spots on Ermou St., it was time for a kickoff toast for our girls trip.
We headed to Monastiraki to enjoy some good ole hummus & wine at Anafiotica Cafe. Monastiraki Square is the most charming little area in Athens. The cafe was located on an off shoot street stacked with authentic Greek restaurants and picture perfect spots. The live music set the ambiance over the top. After our happy hour enjoyment, we headed back into the city center for dinner. Definitely sit outside if the weather is nice because the people watching is quite the entertainment.
Sunday was our only full day in Athens and we were able to see it all. Breakfast was a true Greek delicacy for every American, from a local Greek yogurt bar. With our bellies full, we headed out to explore the Acropolis and the Panathenaic stadium. It was incredible being able to see the historic ruins and experience all of the history the city holds. We walked up and down Pikionis Pathway enjoying every second on the cobblestone streets in the warm sun. It was the definition of a stereotypical tourist day, popping in and out of the local shops, scooping up so many gems along the way. I will warn you though, you have to be even more careful in this area as its known for being unsafe. Make sure you pack a bag that closes and stay together at all times. I know I probably sound like your mother, but especially for all my girls out there, this forewarning is for you <3.
A long day of waking in the heat calls for a good meal. We stumbled upon a restaurant that sat on the corner of Monastiraki Square, which gave us a great view of the city. I learned on this night that one of the common dishes in Greece is carbonara… with smoked salmon. This quickly became my dish of the trip and ate it as many times as I could, not giving one care in the world as to how sick it made me (gluten+lactose and all the others). My decadent carbo load was well deserved after walking 25k steps and the perfect meal to put me right to sleep to rest up for our 5 am wake up call to catch our flight to Santorini the next morning.
If you are visiting Greece for the first time, making a quick stopover in Athens on your way to the islands is the best and most affordable way to do it. It is once of those places that I am so glad I had the chance to visit and explore, but will not
Things to do & See:
Drinks & Eats:
Fresko Yogurt Bar
Ella Greek cooking
I have to give a huge thank you to our wonderful Airbnb host Konstantino, He and his team went above and beyond to make our stay as comfortable as possible from arrival to departure. Tino had on of his staff greet us at the apartment upon arrival. He gave us the grand tour, showed where everything was that we might need and answered all of our questions. The space was perfect for the three of us. It was large enough to fit all of our huge suitcases and still leave us with plenty of room so we weren’t tripping over each other. It was also in a great location. Situated down a side street of Plaka. Everything was in walking distance, but far enough away where it was nice and quiet at night. The Electra Palace Hotel was directly across the street, which made us feel even more safe. If you are planning a trip to Athens, I highly recommend staying at Konstantino’s super affordable apartment.
Planning your trip to Greece? Stay tuned. All the island love for Santorini & Mykonos are coming to A Pop of Liz soon!