Discover the iconic Acropolis and the best Neighborhoods to explore in Athens

Athens! The Capital of all the legends the stories and the myths that we grew up learning about. The land of heroes and great philosophers. The country of great vibes, delicious food and amazing friendly people. If you were to ask me, Greece has it all!

And while almost everyone visits Greece for its beautiful islands and beach resorts, the Capital itself is an Iconic piece of jewel. I personally didn’t visit the Greek islands before visiting Athens. I always thought that okay, I have learned all about it that is enough. Well News flash! No, no and no reading about it is something and being actually in the center of history is something else😍

For everyone out there, Planning your trip to those stunning Greek islands…..add Athens to your itinerary! 2 Days in the Capital will be worth your time and will make the Highlight of your trip.

Oh! And if you are not such a big fan of history and all those stories and myths and you are yet not convinced. (Although my friends say am very convincing😛) Well here is your Cherry on Top🍒

Athens offers some of the most delicious food & coolest Rooftops! And yes, I will be telling you all about them in this article. So what are you still waiting for? Pack that suitcase with a swimsuit and some hiking shoes and….

let’s Travel together to the Capital of History and all Legends! And discover together all about the Acropolis and its neighborhood 🤩
  1. The Iconic Acropolis
  2. The Historical Monastiraki area
  3. The Wonderful Plaka area

1- The Iconic Acropolis

It is out there and yes it is real! It exists and have been standing there up on its Hill overlooking the city and spreading its Charm towards well Everywhere. The Iconic Acropolis, this world heritage treasure can be spotted from all over the city.

For over 2,500 years this one of a kind jewel has been the talk of all civilizations and held within its columns the flame of democracy across the Western world. There is nothing to say about this masterpiece that would fit its description. Words fail, in front of a work of a genius. And well since you read and learned about it, the only thing left for you to do is to visit it.😍

My Experience!

I never thought I would enjoy this much this visit but surprisingly I did. I was heading towards the Acropolis with the idea that it’s just a simple temple and a must visit Landmark. Let’s go there and get done with it.😅 Well guess what? I ended up spending a whole afternoon there! And the worse part was that we had to rush our visit in order to see all the temples.

Oh yes haha😂 it’s not only about 1 it’s about a bunch of those. So between checking those iconic Historical leftovers, watching the beautiful scenery over the city from up there and of course taking those one of a kind pictures, You can easily spend 2hrs at the Acropolis.

But if am assuming that 2hrs are more or less enough, why have I mentioned a whole afternoon? Well here is a little secret for you😉

The secret🤫

It’s Called Areopagus Hill and its not a secret anymore. Why am I telling you about it? Because from up there you can get some perfect views over the Acropolis and the Ancient City of Agora. And yes you can take some of the most beautiful pictures.

Tip: Start your visit by climbing that Hill before heading to the Acropolis. And make sure to wear some comfortable shoes.

The surprise

And in addition to that small secret, comes a magnificent surprise. Well it was a surprise for me but in your case an important information. This one is called: The Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Hey Anna! What is that? It sounds like a medicine name😅 Well that’s the historical monument that left me speechless and made stop there for a while on my way up to the Acropolis. It’s an Ancient stone Theater, that held concerts & performances throughout history. I stopped there taken by surprise, gazing at it and contemplating its beauty and the history within each stone.

The Star

So as it might have slipped away previously, the Acropolis is not only about one historical temple of monument but it gathers many of those magnificent Greece heritage. From the Propylaea, which is the one of a kind monumental gateway to the Acropolis, to the Old temple of Athena, the Sactuary of Zeus and many others, this iconic Landmark will catch your sight and leave you speechless.

BUT! The Star of the Acropolis remains the glorious Parthenon, the symbol of the western civilization and Athenian democracy. The one and only monument that will take your breath away. Dedicated to non other than the Goddess Athena, the Parthenon still stands majestically on that hill Overlooking the whole Capital as if it was its Guardian.

The perfect spots for those amazing pictures😉

I took some of my greatest souvenir pictures in the Acropolis. There some some nice unique spots where you can take those pictures. While I am sure you will get so creative once you’ll be on site, I am here to share with you some of those spots. Enjoy your photoshoot!😎

  • Between the ruins of the Temple of Athena Nike.
  • In front of the Parthenon, find your angle and pose for those amazing pictures with this masterpiece in the background.
  • A little in the back of the Parthenon towards the Choragic Monument. Right there between the ruins, you can take a postcard shot.
  • Finally, at the Acropolis viewing point where you can have some magnificent views over Athens. And some unique pictures with the mount Lycabettus in the background

Tip: If you want to enjoy the pictures I took, Check out My blog’s Gallery!😉

My final Recommendations
  • Consider quite some time for this Landmark in your itinerary, and its beautiful surrounding. I would suggest a minimum of 2hours, Trust me you will need it.
  • Wear something comfortable and make sure to have a full battery camera.
  • If you like to witness the army parade, make sure to visit it in the afternoon and stay there till closing time.

2- The historical Monastiraki area

One of the best things you might do in Athens is simply stroll down around the city. The walk there is super pleasant and chill, and some of the areas are so unique and traditional. What areas am I talking about? The Monastiraki & Plaka areas. Both Charming, historical full of positive vibes and an eager to life.

You might tell be “but Anna, those are the areas we check on google maps and head there, why are they so important to you?” Because they are part of Athens History and hold in their streets the highlight of your trip😉

My Experience

I must tell you about Monastiraki at Night! Whatever you do, make sure to witness this vibrant area at night. I honestly spent quite some time there during both day and night and you should do the same. Why? Well because while you can enjoy the historical landmarks during the day, Monastiraki’s flee Market and Plaka’s beautiful narrow streets and souvenirs vendors, nothing beats this area’s nightlife. You will find a wide range of restaurants and cafes, terraces and even rooftops and you get to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Acropolis illuminated.

“Wow” I still remember how happy I was while walking those areas. Both a feeling of happiness and nostalgia. I was enchanted and taken away by the history and the grandiose of the landmarks also more than satisfied with the beautiful small shops and delicious Greek food.

How to get there?

If your hotel is anywhere near Syntagma square or the Acropolis, I would suggest that you walk down towards Monastiraki area. But in case you are a bit further, take the Subway line 1 or 3 to Monastiraki station.

So what are the top things that you should be doing in those area

Monastiraki flee Market

Monastiraki main square is alive all day long. While it is known for its restaurants and cafes, and surrounding historical landmarks, the square leads to this amazing flea Market. Shopping in Athens is actually an activity for locals and tourists. But nothing beats this flea Market. Well actually it is called that way but in fact looks more like a Bazaar.

What am I saying, call whatever you wish to call it, but make sure to enjoy that experience! You will find plenty of shops side by side selling artisanal soaps, handmade sandals and all kind of souvenirs. There are also some good jewelry stores with handmade gold and silver pieces. You will also find shops with icons painted by monks from around the country.

So basically you will find everything in there! What are you waiting for? Go ahead and enjoy the stroll there.

Monastiraki Landmarks

Although the area is mostly visited for its flea Market and its cool vibes, it wont fail to impress you with its cool historical landmarks. What monuments am I talking about? Well if you wish to see all of those you might need a day to do so. This area is the one that brings you closer to History.

While the Ancient Agora remains the most iconic landmark there😉 there are some other interesting ruins and monuments to see. Those being the ruins of Hadrian’s Library, The stunning Stoa of Attalos and its Athenian artifacts museum. Not to forget about the Temple of Hephaestus.

My suggestion to you is to head to Monastiraki early morning and enjoy those beautiful landmarks during the day. Make a stroll down the hidden streets afterwards and enjoy your coffee or late lunch in the Neighborhood.

Hey Anna have you said Food & drinks?

Monastiraki Coffee shops & Restaurants

Monastiraki has also the coolest coffee shops in the area. How about having that sip of great coffee in the heart of history? I bet it’s worth a shot. Well although you will find many coffee shops in the capital, the area offers some nice little or big coffee shops, some being cozy and home-like and others more modern. I can tell you that the options are endless but the experience is unique. So go ahead and indulge yourself with that cup of coffee with the views over the Acropolis.

The Greco’s project

The best restaurant out there! If you ask me about what I enjoyed in Athens else than the historical landmarks it would be definitely the food. And what’s better than good food? Well GREAT FOOD indeed😋 This is what Greco’s project is about! And if I were to give you only one recommendation for Athens, this would be it!😅

The food amazing! The variety well very rich, the location unique the staff friendly….I really enjoyed my experience there that I actually ate 3 times in that Restaurant🙈

The specialty? Well Greek of course! You have all the Greek specialties from tzatziki to souvlaki prepared and displayed in a customized way. Enjoy your meal!😋

Address: Mitropoleos 5 Nikis, Athens 105 57 Greece

A FOR ATHENS

Well here it comes my top Recommendation for you is not exactly a Coffee shop but a cool Rooftop Restaurant that offers one of the greatest brunches in the City. What am I talking about? Nothing else but the Rooftop Hotel of A for Athens. I highly recommend you to go there for their brunch and have your morning coffee with the best view over Monastiraki and the Acropolis.

What? Not convinced yet? Well guess what, that one of a kind picture of Monastiraki that you see at the beginning of the section is the one you will have from up there😉

Tip: If you are looking for a small local coffee shop that is also an artistic one, check out the TAF Coffee shop that is located in a hidden street of Monastiraki. Its exact location is at 5, Normanou street.

Monastiraki By Night

So as It might have slipped away in my experience section, Monastiraki by night is not to be missed by any means. It is the perfect area to have some drinks with the super view of the Acropolis illuminated. There are many options in there for you to spend a nice time but do I have any Names in mind? Of course I do!

The 360 Degrees

The 360 Degrees is the place to choose. It is a cool and fancy Rooftop that overlooks the Acropolis. You will spend a nice time having some delicious drinks served in cool glasses and enjoying some music. I would highly recommend that you reserve in advance in case you are a group and heading there on a Saturday night. Also keep in mind that this is a more or less fancy place and the drinks prices are higher than the other bars.

Any other Recommendations?

Yes surprisingly, Athens has some other cool Cocktail bars. The list might be long but I will give you some of those names. So keep in mind Boiler situated at 9, Vlachava street and offers great drinks with some cool experimental music. The one of a Kind Ciel Cocktail bar that offers some exquisite cocktail drinks. (2, Mnisikleous street and Mitropoleos)

So here you have it!! Enjoy your Night there😍

Any other Recommendations?

Yes surprisingly, Athens has some other cool Cocktail bars. The list might be long but I will give you some of those names. So keep in mind Boiler situated at 9, Vlachava street and offers great drinks with some cool experimental music. The one of a Kind Ciel Cocktail bar that offers some exquisite cocktail drinks. (2, Mnisikleous street and Mitropoleos)

So here you have it!! Enjoy your Night there😍

3- The Wonderful Plaka Area

I can’t forget the beauty of Plaka narrow cobbled streets filled with tiny souvenir shops and blooming structures giving the area a one of a kind Greek village feel. Plaka was the surprise of my trip. I didn’t know about it previously, and guess what? Well I ended up there the first time before actually knowing it. And obviously I felt in love with the area and got back there the second day at Night.

So yes actually I visited Plaka both in day and night and let me tell you that it is charming during the whole day.

How to get there?

Now when it comes to that, Plaka area is actually downhill the Acropolis. So my advice to you is to pass by it right after your Acropolis visit.

Plaka’s streets & Greek Village

Impressive, beautiful, a one of a kind area in a perfect spot. Walking down from the Acropolis, and seeing this iconic masterpiece of history wasn’t easy. I was thinking well I saw what I came for and nothing will impress me anymore in Athens.

But as usual wrong, wrong and Wrong😅 While walking through Plaka’s village I was enchanted by the scenery and the beauty of that neighborhood. It is perfect. The streets, the buildings, the architecture, the souvenir shops all along the road. Make sure to have a nice walk there and have a small coffee break in one of Plaka’s beautiful coffee shops.

The highlight of Plaka’s area is definitely its Greek village. The one that flies you to the Greek islands by keeping your feet in the Country’s Capital.

Tip: Walk through the Kydathineon street towards a small square called Platia. It’s a nice place to have a meal or simply a beer or coffee.

PS: Don’t leave Plaka without Having a stroll in its Greek village and without buying some souvenirs. They have some of the nicest handmade souvenirs and crafts in town.

The historical Landmarks

Even though Plaka is known for its beautiful streets and cozy restaurants, it is also loaded with some archeological sites. So for those of you who are interested in history and archeology make sure to check out or simply walk by some of those sites.

What sites am I talking about? Well here is a small sightseeing tour for you:

let’s start with the famous Tower of the Winds that is situated just a block up from the famous Adrianou street. And if you are a fan of music, you will find just across the road a museum dedicated to music called: the Museum of Popular Music, which is one of the best museums in Athens. On the other hand, if you walk along the Makrianni side of Plaka you will find the  Monument to Lysikratous that was built back in time to commemorate a series of plays.

And if you think you are done with your touristic tour, I am afraid you’re not!😉 and as we say the best is left for the end, the Hadrian’s Arch marks the boundary edge between Plaka and Syntagma areas. This arch-shaped marble gateway is a magnificent standing historical monument named after the ancient Roman Emperor.

Address: Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias 50, Athina 105 58, Greece

Tip: Make sure to visit it and walk through it towards the Iconic leftovers of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Adrianou street

I know what you might be thinking🤔 Seriously now, she is telling us about a street?😅 Yes well trust me, this is not any street.

This the oldest commercial street in Athens and the one that most marked me. With its great vibes cool restaurants, coffee shops and souvenir shops from both sides of the street and those historical monuments, the street has it all! So Whatever you do, make sure to add it to your schedule.

So where is this incredible street situated?

Adrianou street, which is actually named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian, is the most central and largest street in Plaka. It actually divides Plaka into two areas the upper one called Ano Plaka and the lower one which is under the Acropolis is called Kato Plaka.

While running from North to South, the street is also located between Syntagma and Monastiraki and leads to several historical monuments.

​You will find many traditional shops selling all kind of products,  souvenirs, handicrafts, etc… I remember spending quite a time there buying some great souvenirs and checking those Greek jewels and treasures.

Tip: This street is amazing at night with some Greek music filling the streets, illuminated surrounding landmarks and packed terraces. It can be packed though! So in case you are a big group make sure to reserve in advance.

Recommendation

If you are looking for a great place that offers a customized version of the Greek cuisine, Check out Kuzina situated at 9, Adrianou street.

Hans & Gretel

Now this is something to definitely try there! Whether you are a fan of candies & ice cream or not, you cannot walk in Plaka without stopping by this original store. Well as its name says, this unique sweet factory shop is a themed designed one related to the children’s story Hans & Gretel.

But yeah, well NO…it’s not only for children! its colors and designs call you to get inside. And well once inside you will definitely be tempted to try any of those delicious sweet gems or well in my case ice cream😋

Don’t be shy to go back to childhood and release this little child inside you. Allow yourself to enjoy this little fairy tale. Take those special photos in the store with the different characters and have a taste of magic.

My Recommendations
  • My Favorite: Ice cream!!🍨They have many flavors! And well many options for toppings too…the result is a delicious unique unicorn ice cream🦄 Check it out!!
  • If you are a fan of Cinnamon, you should try the Chimney Cake. It’s a fairytale cake made of fluffy dough, cinnamon and sugar.

Address: Adrianou 48, Athina 105 58, Greece

2 thoughts on “Discover the iconic Acropolis and the best Neighborhoods to explore in Athens

  1. 🔥🔥🔥🔥
    I loved this article, i’ve been there, in each and every place u mentioned but did not seem to enjoy them as much as i enjoyed getting back to those sweet memories while reading and contemplating the photos😍😍😍

    Like

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