Wednesday, 31 July 2013

What to do in Athens Greece: 6 things to do in Athens on day one

Day 1

1. Syntagma Square

Start here from 8:30-9:00 am

This square is located in the centre of Athens, Greece and is named after the Constitution that Otto, King of Greece was compelled to grant after a military revolution on 23 September 1843.  This square is centrally located to practically everything including the sights around Athens and therefore you will be able to see this square several times wherever you go.  Though it seems it's not interesting it is still a must see as this is where the government building is situated.

The square is also the first stop of the hop on and hop off tour bus from the city sightseeing.  To get to your next destination, you can take the tour bus or alternatively you can take a walk to get to Plaka.

2. Plaka

Start here from 9:15-12:30 pm

This is definitely a must see.  Plaka is an old historical neighbourhood of Athens.  It is built on top of the residential neighbourhood of the ancient city of Athens.  In this historical area, there are many cafes, restaurants, shops, souvenirs, small pedestrian streets and historical architectures.  This would be a good place to relax, unwind and have your brunch or lunch before you move on to your next destination.  This area also gets over crowded with tourists and locals and it is well known for pickpockets so be careful with your belongings.

Photo by: Rafael Gomez

3.  New Acropolis Museum

Start here from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The new acropolis museum is an archaeological museum.  Inside the museum you will find many artistic artefacts and history, which are displayed and thoroughly explained.  It houses architecture, sculptures and monuments that portray the beginning of western civilization.

Entrance fee: General admission usually cost 5 euros.  Reduced admission fee is 3 euros.

Opening hours: it varies on different time and season of the year.

1 April - 31 October:
Tuesday to Sunday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Monday: Closed
1 November - 31 March:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Monday: Closed

The following days are closed: 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 and 26 December

4. Acropolis (High City) and Parthenon

Start here from 3:00 - 5:00 pm

The Parthenon is a temple of Athenian Acropolis, Greece and is owned by the government.  It symbolizes Ancient Greece and is also one of the greatest cultural monuments.  The architecture and sculpture that features decorative stonework is extraordinary and the stonework is carved!

This ancient historical place is one of the most visited locations amongst tourist.  I would highly recommend purchasing the entrance fee in advance.  It would also be better if you choose to visit this place first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds.  Alternatively, you can spend most of the afternoon here.

Opening hours:
Summer (01/04-31/10): 8:00 am - 7:30 pm Tuesday to Sunday
Winter (01/11-31/03): 8:30 am - 3:00 pm daily

Photo by: Pedro Szekely

5. Temple of Zeus

Start here from 5:30 - 6:00 pm

Visiting this temple allows you to imagine the past and how it was made, however only a few of columns remain and it is quite hard to get a sense of how this building it would have been during the time it was completed. 

This temple was part of Ancient Greece and was dedicated to the chief of the gods.  It was developed between 472 and 456 BC.  This is one of the central ruins in Athens and is perfect for picture opportunities along with another view of the Acropolis.

6. Time to relax and decide where you want to have your dinner.

In this part of your trip usually gives you some time to unwind, relax and find yourself a nice Greek restaurant to have your dinner.  Perhaps take a walk around from your last destination to find a restaurant nearby.  However, if it is too early for dinner, I would recommend the exploring neighbourhoods of Athens on foot.  Alternatively, you can go back to your hotel or apartment to have a quick shower and change into a different outfit ready for dinner and a night out!

Click here to see an itinerary of your second day in Athens, Greece.


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