Welcome to Athens, the vibrant capital of Greece, where ancient history blends seamlessly with modern delights. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural tapestry and indulge in its culinary treasures. Read on for our curated list of 5 must-see sights, delectable eats, and refreshing drinks that will make your Athens experience unforgettable.
Top 5 Things To See in Athens:
1. Behold the Acropolis:
Ascend to the pinnacle of history as you marvel at the majestic Parthenon, an architectural masterpiece that has withstood the test of time. Take in the sweeping views of Athens from this ancient citadel, transporting yourself back to the glory of classical Greece.
2. Explore the Bustling Monastiraki Flea Market:
Immerse yourself in a sensory feast as you wander through this vibrant market. Discover treasures and trinkets, from antiques to traditional crafts, while savoring the aromas of souvlaki wafting through the air. Get lost in the maze-like alleys and embrace the lively atmosphere of this cultural hub.
3. Delight in the Ancient Agora:
Step into the past at this historical site, once the heart of Athens’ political and social life. Wander among the ruins of temples, stoas, and the famous Stoa of Attalos. Let your imagination transport you to a bygone era, where philosophers roamed and democracy was born.
4. Lose Yourself in the National Gardens:
Seek solace amidst the green oasis of the National Gardens, a serene retreat in the heart of Athens. Stroll along shaded paths, breathe in the fragrance of blooming flowers, and encounter ancient ruins nestled within the park. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge amidst the urban bustle.
5. Stroll Around the Plaka district:
Visiting the Plaka district of Athens is like stepping into a postcard-perfect Greek village. Nestled at the foot of the Acropolis, this charming neighborhood exudes an old-world charm and a vibrant atmosphere. Lose yourself in the narrow, cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses, cozy tavernas, and shops owned by local artisans.
💡 (Insider tip: A local potter invites you into his studio for a private demonstration of
digging his own clay and working at his wheel in the ancient tradition on our Greek Isles Cultural Walking Tour)
Top 5 Things To Eat In Athens:
Sink your teeth into succulent skewers of marinated meat, flame-grilled to perfection. Wrapped in warm pita bread and garnished with fresh veggies and tangy tzatziki, every bite is a taste of Greek culinary tradition.
2. Greek Meze:
Embark on a flavorsome journey with a variety of meze, small plates bursting with Mediterranean flavors. Savor dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), tzatziki, taramasalata, and an array of dips, cheeses, and grilled vegetables. Share the joy of communal dining and experience the true essence of Greek hospitality.
Experience a comforting Greek classic—a layered dish of eggplant, minced meat, and creamy béchamel sauce, baked to golden perfection. Each spoonful reveals a harmonious blend of flavors, creating a symphony for your taste buds.
4. Crispy Spanakopita:
Savor the delightful combination of flaky phyllo pastry filled with a mixture of spinach, feta cheese, and aromatic herbs. With each crispy bite, spanakopita will give you a burst of flavors that perfectly balances earthiness and tanginess.
💡 (Insider tip: You’ll meet the last baker on Crete who makes phyllo dough by hand on our Greek Isles Cultural Walking Tour)
Treat yourself to the heavenly taste of loukoumades, small golden dough balls that are deep-fried until crispy and then drizzled with honey syrup. Sprinkled with cinnamon and often served with chopped nuts, these bite-sized delights are a divine Greek dessert.
Top 5 Things To Drink In Athens:
Start your Greek journey with a sip of this anise-flavored aperitif. As you savor its distinct flavor, the refreshing and licorice-like taste of ouzo will transport you to seaside tavernas and lazy summer afternoons.
💡 (Insider tip: ‘Only with Classic Journeys’, enjoy a tasting at a family vineyard and an olive farm, famed for its award-winning oil and ouzo on our Greek Isles Cultural Walking Tour)
Beat the summer heat with Greece’s beloved iced coffee. Whip up a frothy concoction of instant coffee, sugar, and ice, then sit back and enjoy this invigorating caffeinated delight.
3. Retsina Wine:
Immerse yourself in Greek wine culture with a glass of retsina, a white wine infused with the distinct aroma of pine resin. Its unique taste and long history make it a truly Greek experience to savor.
Warm yourself up on cooler evenings with a sip of rakomelo, a traditional Greek drink. Combining the robust flavors of raki (a grape-based spirit) with the sweetness of honey and the warmth of spices like cinnamon and cloves, it’s a delightful treat for the senses.
5. Greek Coffee:
Embrace the rich and intense flavor of Greek coffee, prepared in a traditional briki. Served in small cups, this strong brew is perfect for leisurely sipping while enjoying the company of friends or simply taking in the vibrant atmosphere of Athens.