Things to See in Athens in a Day and Where to Stay

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Early in the year we left Barcelona after Mobile World Congress and headed to Athens for a few days or R&R. It’s a place hubby as always wanted to visit due to his family heritage, that and his love of history. The scenery was great, and the city didn’t disappoint because everywhere you turned there was something to see. 

 

King George Hotel

We chose the King George Hotel because my husband is an SPG Gold member, therefore, we always try to stay at SPG Hotels. Upon arrival, we both agreed we’d made the right choice of hotel and location. Once you enter and see the beautiful décor you feel like you have entered a little slice of luxury heaven. I think my photo of the foyer speaks for itself it’s truly spectacular!

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The restaurant and bar are located on the top floor of the hotel where you will be greeted with the most breathtaking view of the Acropolis. At night the view resonates around the city as it’s all lit up making its presence known.  It’s a great place to enjoy a romantic dinner or have a drink or two!  

The food at the restaurant was fantastic according to my husband, I on the other hand, had very limited choices in gluten free, vegetarian options making it a little hard for me to accurately judge. That being said my husband’s food looked and smelled amazing giving me a slight case of food envy. In his option the food was great, so I just take his word on it.

If you want to drink some of the best martinis of your life, the male bar tender there will work his magic (from someone who drinks martinis worldwide…. trust me this guy is good!). P.S. Thanks for the awesome hangover!

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Our overall experience was fantastic from the moment we arrived until the day we departed, and the staff are very friendly and helpful. The beds were really comfortable and the rooms were super clean and big making it a great place to rest and sightsee for a few days.  

Cleanliness 10 out of 10 / Bed Comfort 10 out of 10 / Location 10 out of 10 / Restaurant-Bar 10 out of 10

You can’t get a better rating really?

 

Athens Getting Around and Sightseeing

 

Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

It’s only a hop, skip and a jump from the King George Hotel (approx. 100 meters) to The Hop On Hop Off bus tour to get around which cost 22 Euro per person, which we used over the 2 days we were there.

On the first day, our sightseeing was limited because we didn’t land until midday, so by the time we checked into the hotel and made our way to the Hop On Hop Off tour it was after lunchtime. So instead of hopping on and off we limited ourselves to one museum which was The National Archaeological Museum of Athens. For the remainder of the time we stayed on the bus and I took photos. 

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The Parthenon and Acropolis

The following day, we went up to the Acropolis and were totally in awe of its presence. You can’t help but admire and appreciate this grand magnificent structure which has been standing there for hundreds of years. It’s undergoing a restoration at the moment but on Sunday’s there’s no work being done so it was a little quieter up there.

There was bee’s buzzing around in the flowers and view over the city was just breathtaking, honestly I am so glad I got to see this. If you ever get the chance to go to Athens, then I personally think seeing the Acropolis is the number one thing to do!

I could spend hours up there just staring at the building and the amount of detail in the construction.  You can’t help but appreciate this incredibly old ancient structure which has withstood the test of time. 

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The Temple of Olympian Zeus

By the time we arrived here the gates were closing in 10 minutes so we went and had a quick look. This too is another amazing structure that stands out with its bold statement, even though there’s not that much of it left. I look like a tiny little ant in comparison to the massive pillars which once upon a time housed its roof. 

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The Acropolis Museum

There’s so much history in this museum there are even glass floors showing underneath the building so you can see the history beneath you. There are multiple floors showing an array of items on display for all you history buffs out there. But come prepared with your own photographic memory as that’s the only photos you can take (no cameras).

Note: I’d avoid dresses/skirts unless you want the people on the first floor to be able to see your underwear, as the top floor is made of glass.

Entry fee 5 Euro

 

By the time we finished at the museum we stopped and had lunch at one of the cafes along the road adjacent to the museum. It was the ‘refuel’ we needed before making our way down through the shopping strip/road that led us to the Sunday markets.

The Sunday markets

These markets are on Sundays only hence the name Sunday Markets. There is so much stuff to see and buy and they stretch for kms. Plus, there are eateries all along the place. I bought a horse shoe there for something different but there is some much diversity you are bound to find something you like.   

 

Athens Food and Juice

DAVINCI CHOCOLATE SHOP

There’s a chocolate shop not far from the markets which all the locals go CRAZY over. The smell that comes out of the store makes you drool and want to just eat and eat more (providing you can even get in!) It was crowded and the line to order was so long we couldn’t wait around to order, but I managed to get a few photos for future reference. So if you are in town then maybe you might have better luck because we couldn’t order it was so busy! 

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Savvas Restaurant

This is a local place that gets absolutely packed! At the main entrance, there’s a takeaway area that pumps out food all day. We ate here a few times as the food was good, the staff were friendly and because it's packed with locals normally means it’s a good sign. It might take a little while for them to take your order or for the food to arrive (hello you are in Greece!). But we thought it was worth the wait and I was super happy with my vegetarian, gluten free options that were available for me to choose from. 

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PURE JUICE BAR

My husband and I were in juice heaven when we found Pure Juice Bar. The place is run by a few guys who are passionate about healthy eating and juicing. They speak English and their menus are in both Greek and English so you will not have any problems understanding what you are ordering. Pure Juice Bar make the juices in front of you so you can see how clean the kitchen is. The juices are fantastic and the food and coffee are great giving you the best ‘pick me up’ to get your day under way. From the King George Hotel, it was about a 5 – 10 minute walk which was quite a pleasant stroll for us. We went there on both the Saturday and the Monday before we departed (note they are closed on a Sundays). I’m about to make a ‘big call here’ but Pure Juice Bar is in my ‘Top 3 Juice Bars’ in the world…..yes it’s getting that much of a good review!

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My overview of Athens

Like I said at the beginning of this blog we went for personal family heritage reasons and I can honestly say I am so glad we did, this city is truly fantastic!  The locals are great, they like to have a good time and if you find the right places to eat and drink you are going to have a great experience.

But for us it was all about the history which we are so glad we saw and I can highly recommend going to Athens. And before you say ‘what about the refugee crisis’ well to be frank it wasn’t really an issue for us. There was no one hassling us for money, we felt comfortable and safe. So from our personal experience, we would go back again and spend more time there instead of the quick whirlwind trip we did. Note there are pick pockets so please be mindful of that however they are all over Europe so just beware. But please don’t let that deter you from seeing the magnificent city that is Athens. Plus, with everything going on there at the moment you are likely to get a great hotel/flight deal, which can always be a great incentive!

Until next time I travel, I see, I share... This is Character 32 doing her best to help you!

 

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