View of the Acropolis at night

A to Z Challenge: A = Athens

A to Z Letter A
A to Z Letter A

 

A = Athens

On my first trip to Athens, I was not sure I ever really wanted to come back — the traffic, the dirt, the smog, etc. Then, I walked around the Plaka and saw the views from the Acropolis and meet some of the people — and I love Athens enough to have returned several times.  Here are some of my favourite things in Athens.

 

Acropolis view from rooftop bars
Most hotels have rooftop bars that advertise the “best view of the Acropolis.” There are two places I can recommend. the Attalos Hotel on Athinas Street and the AthensStyle Hostel on Agias Theklas Street. Both are just off Monastiraki Square, with easy connections to the airport and the port of Piraeus via the Metro Blue Line. At the Attalos Hotel Bar, the view at night was amazing. The AthenStyle Hostel view was not quite as good, but the 2 for one drink happy hour is perfect!

View of the Acropolis at night
View of the Acropolis at night from Attalos Hotel rooftop bar
Cat & Sue and the Acopolis from the Attalos Hotel rooftop bar
Cat & Sue and the Acopolis from the Attalos Hotel rooftop bar

The New Acropolis Museum
I love this museum.  It is so well done. My favourite room is the one with all the Kore statues.  It also has a perfect, but different, view of the Acropolis.

New Acropolis Museum
New Acropolis Museum
Entrance to the New Acropolis Museum
Entrance to the New Acropolis Museum
View of the Acropolis form the New Acropolis Museum
View of the Acropolis form the New Acropolis Museum

The Poet Sandal Maker
Near Monastiraki Square is the Poet Sandal Maker where you can get custom-fit leather sandals. During summer, I practically live in the ones I got! It only takes about 20 minutes from the time you pick out the style you want, to the time they are fitted and you are ready to walk through the streets of the Plaka!  I even wore them on a whirlwind, one day walk around Rome — comfortable and no blisters!

My new Greek-style sandals!
My new Greek-style sandals!

Shopping in the Plaka
I am not a big shopper, however there are a couple stores here that always get my attention — the Dimitri Cotton Club is the name I remember. All over Greece, you can find nice, cotton shirts, however this place has the largest variety of styles, colours and best prices. I have several tops and dresses — and brought some back as gifts. There are also lots of places for Greek statues and I have bought a couple of rugs here.

Take-out food
Next to Monastiraki Square, where all the different restaurants are, there is a take-out window — quick and easy and cheaper than sitting at one of the tables.  Grab something to eat, sit in the square and watch the show!

"Restaurant row"
“Restaurant row”
Monastriaki Plaza before the crowds
Monastiraki Plaza before the crowds

The Metro Blue Line
This is a very convenient Train that runs from the airport to Piraeus. I’ve used it a lot to travel to and from the port. In Piraeus, it is about a 20 minute walk from where most cruise ships dock to the station. So easy to get around! The main entrance to the main Monastiraki stop is in the photo above.

Changing of the Guards
The Changing of the Guards occurs at 10 AM and is an interesting combination of military precision and dance!  You can really get close!  The are some nice city gardens and the Temple of Zeus within a 3 to 5 minute walk.

Changing of the Guards in Athens
Changing of the Guards in Athens

 

Here is more information on the #atozchallenge.

9 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: A = Athens”

  1. Hi Cat, I absolutely love the idea of having your own personal sandals made… how fun is that. I hope to visit hear some day and you’ve provided me with a couple great tips. I would love to see the changing of the guard. I appreciate traditions such as that. Happy writing during the A to Z Challenge, I’ll be participating right along with you. 🙂

  2. Heard a lot of great things about Athens! The Monastiraki Plaza looks like a really great place to just relax and have lunch watching the world pass by. Of course you can’t go to Athens without experiencing the Acropolis so this would be at the top of my bucket list. I know a lot of folks are going to be heading to Athens at the end of October for the TBEX travel bloggers conference so that would be a great opportunity to explore further, unfortunately I won’t be able to make it but hopefully will get to that part of Europe sometime in the next few years.
    Great post and looking forward to following you as fellow participants of the A to Z Challenge.

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