I’ve arrived in the lovely city of Athens! I was welcomed by my driver Alex from Welcome Pickups who not only had a smiling face but a bottle of water and Greek jelly candy waiting for me! I recommend this service 100% they’re all such lovely people. Alex spent the 40 minute drive into Athens city centre telling us about Greek tradition, history, hot spots and of course some words in Greek. The first night was spent at the Best Western Ilisia hotel which is beautiful and right around the corner from a metro stop! Once we dropped off our bags and grabbed a Starbucks (there’s one beside the hotel) we hopped on the metro to Acropolis! Make sure if you’re a student you carry your student card as you can get in at a discounted price! Acropolis was really beautiful and interesting. However, make sure you arrive early as the park closes mid-afternoon. The view from the top is an absolute spectacle as you can see all of Athens.
If you’re a fan of ancient Greece you’ll love the Acropolis. Dinner was at 10:30pm and I don’t remember the place but I ordered a traditional Greek salad and spanakopita (Below).
I also experienced my first fish spa whilst in Athens. Yes, I stuck my feet into a tank of tiny fish and had them nibble away my dead skin so my feet were silky smooth. Ridiculous? Perhaps but it was a ticklish experience nonetheless. We visited the Athens Fish Spa which was beautiful and smelled of lemongrass. The staff was friendly and the procedure was affordable. I also received a lovely facial from this facility. I recommend this to anyone who wants to relax while in Athens. They also offer you traditional Mountain tea (only found in Greece) after your session. You can buy the tea in the markets.
Some things to consider when visiting Athens; there is copious amounts of graffiti absolutely everywhere. That being said; that does not mean the area is dangerous. I wandered the streets at various times a day and never had any problems whatsoever. Many people will warn you that since its bankruptcy Greece is dangerous. While this is something to keep in mind, do not let it hinder you from visiting. The Greek islands are also completely different from mainland Greece. I will post a separate blog about my trip to Mykonos.
OH! Before I forget, one thing you MUST do while in Greece is eat the oranges/drink the orange juice. It’s a life-changing experience and I’ll never enjoy orange juice the same way ever again as I did in Greece. They are absolutely delicious, it’s unreal. That’s all I drank/ate throughout my visit and I truly wish I had some now as I’m writing this blog.
I highly recommend this lovely restaurant called Karamanlidika. It’s a beautiful little family-run restaurant with a deli-counter in the middle. The food is amazing and the staff is an absolute joy. I recommend this meat dish called Kavourma which is beef (or chicken) with potatoes, peppers and dill, Greek yogurt with sweet carrot and lastly fresh baklava. Wash it down with Greek Gr8 cola and you’re set.
The following days our accommodations changed. The first night was spent at the Attalos Hotel which is beautiful and right down the street from Monastiraki square. There’s also a great gyro pita place directly across the street. One chicken gyro was 2.30 euros!
The night following that one was spent in Hostel Zeus. I wouldn’t recommend staying there as it was not a nice hostel at all. The Fresh Hotel across the street however, looked amazing. Around the corner from there is a charming diner that serves traditional Greek food. I ordered Mousaka (below) and to answer your internal question, yes all I did this trip was eat at all hours of the day. Do I regret it? No.
Other than meeting up with friends and shopping in souvenir stores, our Athenian trip was not very exciting (at least not on paper). I never thought I would be meeting up with friends in Athens of all places! The travelling life is something really special and I’m blessed to be apart of it. I also thoroughly enjoyed the city of Athens and the Greek people. I suggest if you have any desire to visit Greece to definitely do so. It’s a lovely place.
Onward to Mykonos!