Athens is the capital of Greece and is perfect for a city trip! For us, Athens is only 50 minutes away, but we usually visit the capital of Greece as a stop-over. For example when we are travelling to another Greek island (and a direct flight is not available) or when we’re visiting friends and family in The Netherlands. But what to do in Athens during a city trip? Let’s introduce you to our 5 favourites!
The Acropolis is a must-visit when you are on a city trip to Athens. The Acropolis is an ancient citadel perched on a rocky outcropping above Athens, and it is home to some of Greece’s most famous and iconic landmarks.
When you arrive at the Acropolis, the first thing you will notice is the Propylaea, the site’s monumental gateway. The Parthenon, a massive temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, is a masterpiece of ancient Greek architecture and one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. This is the temple that most of you will recognise from photos. The Erectheion, located next to the Parthenon, is another complex of temples and other buildings dedicated to various gods and goddesses, featuring the Porch of the Maidens, a series of columns carved in the shape of young women.
You’ll also find the Temple of Athena Nike, a small temple dedicated to the goddess of victory, and many other temples, shrines, and buildings with their own history and significance. There are also museums and galleries to learn more about ancient Athens’ history and culture.
TIP: Make sure you are there as early as possible. They usually open at 08.00 am and you can reach the top without being bothered by all the guided tours: they will arrive a bit later.
Plaka is the oldest district in Athens and also the most famous one with tourists. It’s located at the foot of the Acropolis so you can definitely combine these 2 sights! The streets are steep and narrow and cute (and Instagramable!). You’ll find many small shops and taverns here. I Stroll through the colourful streets and admire the traditional Greek architecture. You’ll also find several museums here, including the Museum of Greek Folk Art.
Meet in Athens
Although Meet in Athens is a Dutch company they have tours in different languages available. They offer a lot of different bike tours. Such as ‘Highlights of Athens’ and ‘Ride and bite’. Together with a local and on your bike you’ll get to discover the beauty of Athens. Perfect for a city trip! Vincent did a tour with them during a fun city trip with his work from The Netherlands.
Mount Lycabettus is the highest point in Athens and will give you a panoramic view of the city. You can hike to the top or take the cable car. At the top, there is a small chapel, a restaurant, and a theatre. The view of Athens from the top of the mountain is breathtaking, especially during sunset. The hill has a rich history and is a popular tourist and local destination. It was once thought to be the home of the god Apollo and a place of religious worship. A church dedicated to Saint George was later built on the hill during the Byzantine period.
The name “Lycabettus” is derived from the Greek words “lykos” (wolf) and “vouno” (mountain), as wolves once roamed the hill, according to legend.
Loukoumades at Lukumades
My favourite dessert in Greece is Loukoumades. They are little sweet balls (If youre a Dutchie like us: it’s a bit like “oliebollen zonder krenten en dan kleiner”.) The Loukoumades are deep-fried and crispy. Usually, they are served with honey, and cinnamon and topped with seeds.
In Athens, you’ll find the café Lukumades. And during your city trip to Athens, you must visit them. They make fresh Loukoumades every day and serve them not only in the traditional way but also with toppings such as praliné, white chocolate or ice cream.