This is the 9th blog on the series of best place to travel in Europe. In the previous five blogs, we discussed Paris, London, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam, and Venice. In this blog we will discuss Athens and some of the beautiful places worth visiting in it.
If you want to read our other travel blogs, click on the link below and enjoy.
According to the World Report travel rankings, Athens is the #10 best place to travel in Europe. It is the #19 best place to travel in spring vacations. It is #8 best place to travel in May. It is #11 best place to travel in Europe for family vacations. Similarly, if you are planning to travel for your honeymoon in Europe and looking for cheap honeymoon destinations, then Athens is the #11 best place to travel for your honeymoon. It is also ranked #7 in cheap European vacation destinations. These rankings are made by experts on the basis of user experience.
The best months to travel to Athens is from march to may and September till November due to low hotel prices and fewer tourists. The weather is okay in these months, but the above benefits are worth it. The peak time for visiting is in summer when you can enjoy the sunshine, but it comes with a cost which is high hotel rates and lots of crowds. The weather in December is cold, so keep that in mind if you want to visit in these months.
Here are some tips and tricks while exploring Athens. Don’t visit in summer it’s not worth it due to huge crowds and high hotel prices. Try to explore the city by walking as much as you can. You can save a few euros by not opting for public transport and buses. Do not rent a cab or a car because of high traffic and very few parking spots. Go to the place which you want to explore early in the morning or just before the closing time to beat the crowd. Book your hotel room for weeks in order to save money.
The people of Athens are very hospitable and friendly. There is a language barrier that you might face, as the official language is Greek. In most areas, try to bring a translation book with you from English to Greek. it will help you communicate effectively. It is also important for you to understand body language effectively. Don’t use your index finger as it is considered bad. Thumb is considered a good gesture, and it shows OK. If you want to say yes, then nod your head downwards; if you want to say no, then nod your head upward.
There is no dress code for most places you can wear shorts, but going to church or other sacred places while wearing shorts is not allowed and is considered a bad thing. If you are here for business purposes, then it is preferable to wear a suit and clothes which cover your knees. If you want to go hiking, then you can wear shorts and a T-shirt.
The dinner in Athens starts at 9 or 10 pm. Don’t place your elbows on the table as it is considered rude. Placing your hands on the table is considered sober. Similarly, placing your hands on your lap is also considered awkward. There is a 16 percent service charge fee, which is included in your bill, so there is no need to give a tip. If you feel your food is awesome, then you can give a tip. Never mind. The official currency is euro and credit cards are also accepted for payment in shops, etc.
There are many good Greek cuisines, which include moussaka, souvlaki, and baklava. Seafood is also very famous in Athens. Beware of pickpockets who roam at busy places such as waterbus stations, etc. Keep their wallets in their front pockets. Similarly female should also keep their purses in safe locations from where they can easily monitor their things. If you are a US citizen, you will need a passport with at least 6 months remaining. Visa is not required for US citizens unless the plan is to stay for over 90 days.
Below is a list of some of the best place to travel in Athens.
- Acropolis museum
- Temple of Hephaestus
- Ancient Agora
- Benaki museum
- Herod Atticus Odeon
- Museum of Cycladic Art
Acropolis museum is #1 best place to visit in Athens. The new Acropolis museum is more beautiful than the old one, although in the new museum all the remains have been reconstructed like the old one. Parking is not available to the public. The opening and closing times are not fixed, but they are open at 8 or 9 am and close at 5 pm onwards. The ticket for entry is 5 euros per person. There are some days in the calendar year when entry is free. The days are March 6 and March 25, May and October 18. There are no guided tours at the acropolis museum, however, history talks are delivered daily by the archaeologists in the museum.
It is #2 best place to travel in Athens. Plaka is the most beautiful and lively place in Athens. It gives you a village-like feeling. Automobile entry is not allowed on the streets of Plaka. However, you should prepare for the worst and be aware of your surroundings. Before 1970, this place was famous for having nightclubs, but because of the noise, the government told them to shut these places down, and from now on this place is famous for its restaurants and jewelry shops.
The Temple of Erechtheion is the #3 best place to travel in Athens. It was built in the 5th century. The temple’s name was given because of the mythical Athenian king Erechtheus. The temple shines bright in the sunlight due to Pentelic marble, which was used in its construction. There are some key features in the temple, which include an olive oil tree, etc. You can visit the temple either by bus or taxi.
The bus will take some time. Taxi is the fastest way to reach the temple. The entry fee per person into the temple is 20 euros. The validity of the ticket is 2 days, and you can visit other important sites as well by using the ticket. Visit the temple early in the morning to beat the crowd. The peak hours are from 10 am to 3 pm.
It is preferred to book a guided tour. This will help you explore the temple in a better way. Also, read the history of the temple before coming here. This will help you relate more to what you read and what you see here. Wear comfortable joggers with a strong grip. The marble is slippery here. Beware of that. There is a lot of sunshine here, so bring water or juice with you to keep yourself hydrated. You cannot visit the place if you cannot walk because of accessibility issues.