Athens, Greece has always been on my travel bucket list. So when I saw an amazing deal on Groupon that was too good to pass up, I booked!
I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Greece?! There’s so much history within the city of Athens, and to have the opportunity to also visit some of the Greek Isles – Mykonos and Santorini…I was game! We booked a 10-days, 8-nights trip via Groupon with Affordable World Travel. We spent 2-nights at the beginning and 1-night at the end of our trip in Athens and I am going to use this post to focus just on this ancient capital and reserve future posts to tell you my tips and review on Mykonos and Santorini. My goal with this post is to give you some feedback on my thoughts on the experience I had with Affordable World, as well as the sites I got to experience in this beautiful city!
When we booked the trip, we were told we’d be staying in accommodations that were 4-star or higher similar to Titania Hotel. I was really excited about this as this hotel was beautiful and close to the Acropolis. We ended up with reservations at the President Hotel instead.
President Hotel –
This hotel was beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it was quite a bit of a hike from the center of town (about 5.5 km!) and there were some slightly shady parts along the busy street walk there. I would have definitely liked to have been a little closer to the action of the town. I definitely got my steps in walking around Athens! Lol. On the front-end of our stay, we were up pretty high in this high-rise tower and had a lovely view. On the latter end, we were a little lower down with a view into other buildings. The accommodations themselves were lovely and the breakfast buffet that was included was quite nice. There was a rooftop bar + restaurant at our hotel that did offer some breathtaking views of Athens at night, but the seating layout was a bit different (very low tables) and the service was so-so. The cocktails and food were wonderful though!
Overall review of my stay at the President Hotel – 3.5/5.0
What should you do in Athens?
What are some of the must sees? I would highly recommend checking out the Acropolis and the Parthenon, The Acropolis Museum, and the streets around the neighborhood of Plaka at the foot of the Acropolis.
The Acropolis –
If you see anything at all in this ancient city, this is it! There’s definitely a lot of climbing, slippery rock, lots of people, heat, but the view of the city of Athens from above and the history within this ancient citadel makes it all worth it!
The Acropolis Museum –
Be prepared to leave most any bag at check-in at this museum (they will securely stash it away in a locked up area) and certain floors where no photos are allowed, but to see how history unfolded over the centuries and to see art that was so old was mind-blowing to me! I highly recommend checking it out! And the view from inside near the cafe of the Acropolis is amazing!
This neighborhood has lots of touristy shops to sift through and restaurants to dine in, all right at the foot of the Acropolis. The sights and sounds within this area are a must-see to really get a grasp of the city of Athens.
Where to have drinks?
Galaxy Bar + Restaurant –
We stopped here after exploring around the town all day and this rooftop bar above the Hilton Hotel Athens had views to-die-for! They definitely get an A+ for the scene that was set and the view of the Acropolis at night. Unfortunately, while we were there, I got a credit card alert that my identity had been stolen back in the US, so that put a bit of a damper on the evening. Also, a large corporate event within the hotel let out and all the people mingled into the bar. So after awhile, it got quite crowded and smoky so we ended up leaving. Our server also forgot to bring us our order of fries we had placed to snack on while drinking.
Overall review – 4/5 – If it weren’t for the unfortunate events, I think I would have enjoyed myself a lot more! If I ever end up back in Athens again, I will give it another go!
Where to grab a bite?
We found this little gem while wandering around Plaka. It was a perfect spot to sit down and people watch and you can get a whole half liter of wine there for under $11! Such a steal!
Overall review – 4/5 – because as I’m writing this post, 9-months later, I can’t honestly remember what I ate! Lol. So while it wasn’t memorable, it must not have been bad either! I do remember the atmosphere though and I loved that! It was just outside the super busy parts of town, so it was perfect!
Have a sweet tooth like me? Make sure you stop by this amazing gelato place in the Plaka neighborhood. It was sooooooo good and such a cute little place! The Dulce de Leche flavor was amazing!
Overall Review – 5/5 – I do love my sweets!
We stumbled upon this little gem as we were walking around Athens. They were celebrating a birthday of their store and a girl with balloons stopped us to let us know they were giving away free Lukumades that day! These fried donuts covered in honey were absolutely amazing! My sweet tooth was in heaven! They were super friendly there too and the set up was adorable! Definitely check it out!
My review – 5/5 – love me some fried dough covered in honey! A sugar lover’s bliss!
Overall Review of Athens, Greece via Affordable World travel?
While I don’t technically know what I missed of the city, I think I got a good peek of what Athens has to offer but feel like I may have missed a bit of the city as well. I got to see the main highlights – Such as the Acropolis, Panathenaic Stadium (where they hosted the first Olympic Games, the House of Parliament, among other sights, but I think I would love to head back another time to take it in on a more leisurely timeframe and also stay closer to the Acropolis so it wasn’t such a hike back and forth down a very busy street to our hotel.
Would I recommend visiting Athens, Greece? Heck yes!!! 5/5 would recommend adding it to your bucket list!
This is part 1 in a series on my trip to Greece! Be sure to stay tuned for a review of my experiences in Mykonos and Santorini! And feel free to keep up with all my travels on the blog!