Athens is worth a visit not only for the towering Acropolis – the capital of Greece has long been a Mecca for lovers of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Among the orange trees and the bottomless sea time flows slowly – and really, where to run when you are surrounded by such beauty?
The Greeks have a proverb “Όποιος βιάζεται σκοντάφτει”, which means literally: “Who is in a hurry – he stumbles.” Our route will help you not to fill bumps in the land of heroes and gods – grab Fredo espresso and have a nice trip!
Athens is built around a hill 160 meters high, which can be seen from all points of the city. Several millennia ago, the fortress for kings, protected the perimeter of the robust fortifications. Climbing the hill, you will see a whole complex of buildings: the theater of Dionysus, where the authors of comedies and tragedies competed, the Grand temple of the Parthenon, the main decoration of which was a huge statue of the goddess Athena, made of gold and ivory, and Erechtheion with the famous columns-sculptures of Caryatids.
Lovers of antiquities should take into account that from June to August the temperature in the sun can reach 40 degrees, so it is better to plan a sightseeing tour earlier in the morning. And the temple itself should be admired at sunset – at this time the ruins seem to come to life and seem even more majestic.
If you want to feel the spirit of the time, go to the oldest district of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis – Plaka. The Central street is named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian – it has not changed its direction since ancient times. To the sides of it diverge small streets, which are located numerous shops and restaurants. One of the most colorful cafes of Yiasemi is located right on one of the stone stairs. Here you can enjoy coffee with homemade pies and halva, and from 8:30 to 10:00 Breakfast from a vegetarian buffet for only 10 euros.
new Acropolis museum
The new Acropolis Museum opened in 2009 and is one of the most modern buildings in Athens. The structure seems to float above the ground – on a glass platform under the Foundation one can see the ruins of an ancient village with houses, pottery workshops, wells and swimming pools. The entrance to the Museum is located under a slight slope as a reminder of the rise to the ancient Acropolis.
On four floors there are finds from the hill: sculptures from shrines on the slopes, relief plates, ceramic dishes, miniature vessels and various household clay objects. One of the most interesting exhibits is the original Caryatid sculptures that supported the Erechteion temple. Initially, the statues were six – one relic was taken by the English Lord two hundred years ago and is now exhibited in the British Museum.
To visit Greece and not try the local Shawarma is a real crime. Gyros eat everything from students to elegant ladies. For 2 euros in a toasted fluffy cake you wrapped chicken or pork on the grill, zaziki sauce of yogurt, cucumber and garlic, vegetables and French fries. And now the best part – gyros cook delicious almost everywhere, so stock up on change and wear jeans looser.
Concert at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus
In the ancient theater on the Acropolis, everything looks almost the same as two thousand years ago – except for the large-scale roof, which was made of cedar and has not survived to our times. The auditorium, paved with marble, can accommodate 5,000 people. You can go on a journey through time and feel like a participant in an exciting performance now – over the past 50 years, the Bolshoi ballet, the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, as well as concerts by Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, sting and Elton John have been on the stage of the theater. The concert program runs from June to September.
No less than going out for coffee, the Greeks love to go out – the center of Athens is full of numerous bars for every taste. In The Clumsies (№6 in the list of Top-50 best bars in the world) the menu can be seen only with the help of a special flashlight. Cocktails are mixed with the best Greek bartenders – try the original La Capilla Te, Hop-Less Punch and Aegean Negroni. On the second floor made a separate room for 10 people – there can mix not only cocktails from the menu, but also to pick up something individual especially for you.
Nearby is a dude Drunk Sinatra– there is always crowded and noisy. Cocktails are named in the style of songs of the American singer – sweet Fly to the moon on tequila with agave or spicy Under my skin with cucumber and chili will raise the mood degree. There are no snacks in the bar, but drinks bring endless popcorn.
TA Βλάχικα (“TA Vlahika»)
In a tavern in the area of Vari a few kilometers from the airport, cook real Greek food: lamb ribs on the grill, baked in the oven goat, rustic sausages and kokoretsi – lamb entrails roasted on a spit. At the end of the meal as a compliment you will bring baked Greek yogurt with honey – they say it relieves the heaviness after a too dense meal. Passing mustachioed attendants lure in a variety of ways – for example, include the skills of a shepherd and imagine that instead of a car in front of them a sheep, which is necessary to drive into the stall.
For a special occasion, Dionysos zonar’s restaurant is ideal – opened more than 50 years ago, it still holds the brand of one of the most exquisite restaurants in Athens. The interior and exterior are designed by the famous Greek artist Yannis Moralis, and the paving at the entrance to the restaurant is part of the project around Philopappa hill – it was recognized as a monument of modern architecture of world importance and is protected by UNESCO since 1996.
Sunset by the sea
Sunset on the beach is a truly fascinating sight. A few kilometers from the center of Athens on the Aegean sea is the restaurant Moorings – in addition to the sunset, you can admire the sea urchins through the clear waters of the Bay of vulyagmeni. The menu includes Mediterranean-style dishes, ingredients for which are ordered in small farms.
A beautiful view opens up from Nalu is the favorite place for Greek youth. During the day you can meet half the city in the bar – no matter how much time will be spent on the road for the cherished coffee. The menu is simple and concise: hearty breakfasts and salads, pasta, risotto, sandwiches and finger food.
Greek donuts loukoumades
If you still have the energy – go on the Greek donuts loukoumades. Fortunately, you do not have to go far – some of the most delicious are cooked in the city center, near Monastiraki square. Loukoumades is a real carbohydrate bomb: a dessert made of yeast dough fried in deep fat. Ready-made donuts will certainly pour honey and sprinkle with cinnamon, but your taste can add nuts, pralines, chocolate or ice cream. And no, it won’t stick!