Luna and Cooper’s Athens Trip
|Duration: 1.5 days|
Location: Athens, Greece
Airline, flight no. and time: AA1234; Saturday, May 20, 11:22 AM from PHX – Arrive DFW 3:55 PM
Connection: DFW, Board AA5678 at 5:10 PM
Arrive Athens Sunday, May 21, 9:25 AM at ATH
Ancient Athens was recognized as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. Today, Athens is still thriving as the capital of Greece, boasting over 3 million inhabitants. While major urban sprawl has enveloped the city, Athens has been able to preserve many monuments from its mighty past. We have created some highlights of the best of the best for your journey to Athens.
Arrival and transfer to hotel and Transportation in the city:
Private Transfer: https://www.taxigreece.com (this is who we recommend). I sent you the quote. To complete the booking, I will need the following:
- Flight details (Arrival Flight and Departure Flight)
- Name of hotel and name you are registered at the hotel: Plaka if that is where you have booked
- Full name of all passengers (I have but if anything changes please let me know)
- Phone number in case we need to reach you (preferably Whatsapp)
Train: Details provided.
Taxi: Details provided.
In the City Transportation:
Metro/Train/Bus – We have never had to use the metro while in Athens since it is a walkable city. We understand it is easy to use, and you can buy a multi-day pass (see above). You can also check out maps online to get an understanding of how the system works.
RideShare (Uber and Lyft) is always an option. We have not used them in Athens so I cannot say the cost or how reliable they are.
Taxi – There are over 12,000 taxis in the city. The average taxi ride costs between 4 – 6€ (US$ 6.60). In other words, a taxi to get around the city center costs a little more than two metro tickets.
Your Feet: Your feet are a good way to get around as Athens is not as big as you may think.
There are many great neighborhoods to visit in Athens. The top sights in Athens are condensed near the Plaka.
- Plaka – This is the area you would be staying in. It is also close to Anafiotika and Monastiraki. It is a touristy area but for good reason. It has narrow cobblestone streets with neoclassical houses dating from the 19th century. It has many souvenir shops, traditional tavernas and is home to numerous historical monuments such as the Roman Agora.
- Monastiraki Square – (meaning little monastery). A large monastery once stood in this historic square and was the hub of Athenian life. The area is well known for shopping and restaurants.
- Anafiotika – Part of the Plaka district with small white and blue houses that appear to hang from the Acropolis rock. These houses were built in the mid-nineteenth century by the same builders who built the Royal Palace for King Otto (the first Greek king). Many houses were destroyed when the Acropolis was being excavated but the remaining houses are spectacular to see.
- Plus more listed
If you want to see the ancient sites, we recommend getting the special ticket package. Special ticket package: Full: €30 Valid for 5 days.
Valid for: Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens Museum, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Lykeion Archaeological Site, North slope of the Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis
Changing of the Guards near Syntagma Square. Happens at 11 am in front of the Greek Parliament. It is a site to see.
Sunday, May 21
Accommodation: Hotel XYZ – LOCATION – arrive at hotel by Noon.
- If your room is not ready, check your bags with the hotel and head out to explore.
- If your room is ready, check in and take a short nap if needed. No more than 1 hour and force yourself to get up. If you sleep too long, you will have jet lag the entire 3 days. If you are not tired, then head right into exploring. You may consider No Jet Lag pills.
Lunch: O Thanasis – Right in the heart of the Plaka is the best Greek restaurant in Athens. Locals and tourists flock to this destination to consume succulent Gyros, Souvlaki, Kebabs, Greek Salads, Taziki sauce, and fries. Their Greek pitas are the best you will ever eat. Walking by the smell of gyro meat on a spit stops you in your tracks. These Greek classics are enjoyed by everyone because this restaurant offers exceptional quality, and an affordable price. That combination is hard to find in the touristy parts of any city. A short 2-minute walk from the hotel. Directions.
From O Thanasis head back towards the hotel to Monastiraki Square and check out some of the shops.
Pro Tip: Don’t buy things on your first day especially when you are tired. Sleep on it and if still interested head back and buy it. If you are looking for authentic souvenirs, make sure to check out local shops. Beware of Made in China…they have taken over the souvenir world.
Typical Greece Souvenirs: Greek honey, herbs and spices (buy from a market), Greek olive oil (buy from an olive oil shop or the market), leather sandals (buy from The Poet Sandal Maker), evil eye glass, Greek worry beads buy from any souvenir shop, backgammon sets (there is a great store near the hotel), Greek ceramics and pottery (buy from a pottery store), OliveLandShop for olive oil wood products (these will last forever).
From Monastiraki Square head down Ermou street to Syntagma square. From there stroll down Adrianou Street where you will find fantastic restaurants with views of the Acropolis on the west side of the street. On the east side of the street, you will find numerous souvenir shops. Directions
Dinner: Tzitzikas & Mermigas Superbly crafted meals are packed into the menu of this eatery, but the best dish to try is their Moussaka. They also serve Greek craft beers. You’re welcome!
Monday, May 22
For those that have FOMO this is your day.
8:00 AM or earlier – Wake-up and enjoy breakfast in the hotel.
The Acropolis is open from 8 AM to 8 PM, with the last entry at 7:30 PM in the summer. Buy the special ticket package mentioned above at the Acropolis ticket office. Pro Tip: The best time to visit Acropolis is early in the day; the Acropolis gets busy between 11 AM and 2 PM.
The Acropolis is home to magnificent ancient Greek monuments including the Parthenon, the large Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the astonishing beautiful Temple of Athena Nike. After exploring all these iconic sites, walk down the Southern Side to feast your eyes on the Theatre of Dionysus (bottom of map in dark orange).
Next circle the acropolis to get to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (left side of map in blue) and then down to Thiseio neighborhood. Walking down Adrianou Street you will reach the Ancient Agora which includes the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos.
Next, continue down Adrianou Street to Hadrian’s library. Once an amazing library but today mostly ruins remain.
Continue for 2 minutes to reach the Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds.
Take a break and grab lunch at Little Kook: Popular, fairytale-inspired cafe offering sweet & savory crêpes & other treats amid whimsical decor.
After refueling we recommend heading to the Acropolis Museum. Head to Adrianou Street until the end. Turn onto Vyronos Street past the Theatre of Dionysus until you reach the museum.
After the museum either take a break or do a little shopping. If shopping is your choice, you can explore Stadiou Street and Panepistimiou Street (both branch from Syntagma Square). If you prefer more high-end shopping, then explore Voukourestious Street that takes you to the Kolonaki neighborhood.
After shopping or resting it will be a nice time to take the cable car to Mount Lycabettus and have a drink in one of the many terraces with a panoramic view.
Dinner: Geros tou Moria. Directions from Hotel.
If you want to discover the city’s nightlife, we recommend two neighborhoods in downtown Athens: Thiselo, a traditional neighborhood with trendy bars to the west of Adrianou Street (climbing up the steps), and Psiri, considered the nightlife of the capital with hundreds of bars, clubs, and cafés.
A wine bar we like is Heteroclito – It is in the Plaka not far from the hotel. It is a great place to people watch and try some Greek wines and other European wines.
INCLUDED: DESTINATION TRAVEL INFO AND TRAVEL TIPS FROM THE PROS