Athens has so much to offer from a historical, architectural, and cultural point of view. It also offers some amazing food and wine and for these reasons, certainly won’t disappoint. Many ruins are dotted around the city and with so much to visit it makes sense to buy a 1 or 3-day pass to get you in to all the important historical sites. As food is also important to me, I was looking forward to trying some wonderful Greek cuisine. I am so glad we chose May to visit Athens as it is quite warm, hitting the high 20’s, but it is not stifling hot and the nights still cool off.
The Suburb Kifissia
Kifissia is one of the oldest and most beautiful suburbs of Athens. Located in the north of the city it is lush and green and you can certainly feel the temperature difference between the city centre and the slightly higher altitude of this northern area. Kifissia is only 30 minutes form the centre and was historically a summer retreat for the wealthy Athenians. It can be a welcome break for the busy buzz of the city centre. 19th century restored mansions line the small quiet streets. We stayed in Theoxenia Palace Hotel, which is a beautifully restored Hotel off one of the quiet streets of the area. It is a small leading hotel of the world and a wonderful retreat after a busy day touring the many sites of the city.
Some Hidden Gems
We dined at Eleas Gi. This restaurant is found inside a mansion on one of the highest points of the area, giving you a fantastic view over Athens. The wine list includes exclusive Greek wines that pair perfectly with the tasting menu, featuring modern Greek delights all topped with their amazing extra virgin olive oil. Go with an appetite as there is just so much to try. We did order the 24-dish tasting menu and unfortunately, I made the rooky mistake of indulging too early and was unable to try the desserts.
When in the city centre and you are in need of an afternoon drink and perhaps you want to see the sunset over the city, then head to the roof top bar of Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens. Prices per room are around 2500Eur but you can have a little taste of the delight of this hotel from their bar. The view over the acropolis is just magic.
Acropolis, Parthenon, & Acropolis Museum
You are certainly transported to ancient Greece when you visit these sites. One of the most famous sites, the Acropolis, towers over the city on its limestone hill. Its history began with the beginning of its construction which dates as far back as to the Bronze Age. The golden age of Athens or the Greek Empire, between 460BC TO 430BC was its cultural peak. The Parthenon is the star attraction of the Acropolis. This huge temple house many statues with a particularly spectacular one of the goddess Athena. Visiting the museum is also a must. It has some more contemporary architectural pieces and houses many other important finds.
Depending on how interested you are in history you may find that these are the most important sites you want to see on such a short visit to Athens. You always head to bar at the Hotel Grande Bretagne before retreating to the north.
There are of course so many things to see in this lovely city but for a taste tester I would certainly suggest experiencing both the tourist and the local feel, with the ancient sites and the quaint retreat Kifissia in the north.