Athens, Greece | Top Things to do & UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The city of Athens had to grow on me. The first time I arrived in this city, I was in shock of its chaos. It was unlike any other European city that I had been to. It seemed to be fusion of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and a sprinkle of the Mediterranean. Athens was dusty, loud, and crowded; it was a metropolis of Ancient Greece fused with the look of 20th century modern Athens. The energy of the streets were chaotic with big city energy of crowds, taxis, tour busses, scooters, and everything in between. It was what I like to call, a beautiful chaos.

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Streets of Athens

I have since returned, and I have learned to love it after my initial shock. I did not start feeling the soul of the city until I started to walk the streets of Athens, meet locals, and absorb the city vibe. I saw the city for what it was, an intriguing fusion of Ancient Greece with its archaeological sites, as the city’s core. Then hundreds of years of Mediterranean and European culture, and history built side by side with Athens’ ancient roots. It truly is a fascinating and impressive Grecian city.

Archaeol

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Recommendations- to see and do in Athens, Greece

Hop on Hop off Bus

I have recommended the Hop On Hop Off Buses to many people, for different cities throughout Europe. Although for some riding this big red double decker bus feels touristy, but they are one of the best ways to get around, as well getting the layout of a city.

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If you plan it correctly, you can visit all the major tourist attractions at your own pace. You just Hop on and Hop Off at attraction stops, according to bus schedule and map.

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National Archaeology Museum

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The archaeology museum in Athens is home to the largest collection of Ancient Greek masterpieces, artworks, and sculptures in the world. If you plan on visiting only one museum in Greece, I recommend the National Archaeology Museum. It is the best of the best!

For More information 👩🏻‍💻→ National Archaeology Museum in Athens | Discovering Greece

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The Acropolis and Museum – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Located strategically on top of a hill for all of Athens to see, the Acropolis is the largest of its structural type in all of Greece. It was built and dedicated to Goddess Athena; and one can appreciate the Ancient Greeks affection, and worship for her through the grandeur of the Acropolis.

The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. They are considered universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization, and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world.

The Acropolis Museum is an important part of the Acropolis archaeological sight, and will round out your visit. Inside is an excellent collection of Acropolis artifacts, as well as a transparent floor over an open archaeological site. 

Please visit the Acropolis Museum’s official website for current information.

* Please wear sturdy shoes with good traction. The grounds of the Acropolis are marble, and may be slippery. I had to walk very slowly around the Parthenon with my sandals, as I had slipped a couple of times.

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Archeological and Historical Sites

Throughout the city, there are layers of Ancient Grecian times fused in with modern Athens. A walk through many of the neighborhoods, will give you a glimpse of how great this city is with all of its archaeological sites- from a sidewalk dig site, to the ancient columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

For more information 👩🏻‍💻→ Athens. Greece – Archaeological and Historical Sights to Visit

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Greek Food

GREEK FOOD- Not to be mistaken for what many of us call “Mediterranean Food”. Yes, Greece is technically in the Mediterranean, and every country has their own way of cooking when it comes to Mediterranean Food. If you get down to it, every region and every country has their own spin to their cuisine. Greece is not any different.

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As I tell people, Greek food in Greece is undeniably different. If you are not a fan of it in the States, more than likely you will become a fan in its country of origin. Call it the terroir of the country, but nothing beats eating Greek food in Greece. I believe that is how it is in any country. The terrain, land, soil, water, weather, etc- it all contributes to the quality of the ingredients.

👩🏻‍💻 For my food blog with photosWhat I ate in GREECE- A food journal

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Fine Dining  – Aleria Restaurant 

I believe in the art of fine dining and wine pairing, and one of my favorites in Athens for indulging of the senses is Aleria Restaurant. The cuisine at Aleria is a modern sophisticated take to Greek dishes using traditional ingredients.

I chose the vegetarian menu although I do eat meat. I wanted to immerse myself in Chef Gikas Xenakis’s fresh and inventive approach to using local vegetables, and traditional cheeses. Each dish served was visually beautiful and artistically plated. The flavors on the ‘Garden & Nature’ menu were light, well blended, and delicate. I enthusiastically enjoyed every dish.

👩🏻‍💻 For my complete dining experience with food photos→  Aleria – A prestigious Award Winning Restaurant in Athens, Greece

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Plaka District and Athens Flea Market

Although the Plaka District and Athens Flea Market are quite different from each other,  they are both worth while if you are in the need of retail therapy. Both are walking distance from each other, and have cafes and restaurants if you are wanting to make a day of it.

Plaka is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Athens, it is vibrant and full of energy. They say that Plaka’s heart has beating for a thousand years, and it is that which keeps the city alive.

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Day trip to Delphi

Delphi was once considered the center of the universe, and is one of Ancient Greece’s most important archaeological sites. It is the home to Apollo’s Oracle, which was famous in the Greek world and beyond (other civilizations).

If you are looking to get out of the city, and want to visit the ‘Center of the Universe’, a day trip to Delphi is worth the time investment. With light traffic you are looking at about 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours.  Delphi is approximately 115 miles from Athens, and the drive there is beautiful. The scenery is peaceful with mountain views, and small towns dotting the hillside.

For more information 👩🏻‍💻 → Delphi, Greece – The Center of the Universe | A UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Live your life by a compass, not a clock…

– Stephen Covey
Yours Truly in Athens

🙏🏻 Thank you for visiting my blog and never stop exploring!

📸 All photos are taken by me, and are my intellectual property

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