Athens 101

When you think of Athens, the image of the Acropolis comes to mind.

Seeing the ancient sites around the center could take you a full day or even a week depending on how immersed you want be! 1 multi site combo ticket buys you entrance to the following:
Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Archaeological Site of Lykeion, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of the Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis … and you can spread your visit over 5 days so you can throw in some relaxation, shopping and perhaps a day trip.

The Acropolis Museum is a must too, and a separate ticket applies. It is a great way to escape the afternoon heat if you visit in July-August where temperatures can reach 40C! The museum has an awesome view, cafe and gift shop too. Might be a good idea to do the Museum tour before visiting the ancient sites themselves as it would be good to have a little background history.

Link for ticket info.

Popular Questions:

Where to shop?

Visitors to Athens often find themselves walking a whole lot! Especially around Plaka, Monastiraki, Psirri, Syntagma, Kolonaki areas. Popular purchases include Souvenirs & local crafts, clothing, Natural products (olive oil based, herbs, sweets) and jewelry.

Bargain hunting in flea markets and antiquing are another popular pastime. Most popular area is location from the Monastiraki area- all the way to Thissio area. Best for antiques, bargains, crafts and souvenirs.

Aside from the ‘touristy’ areas there are alternatives too, you could get lost in one of the Athen’s suburbs, by taking the metro or tram. Or venturing a little off the beaten track of Athens, were many streets are coming alive again, with new small businesses and young craft-makers. If you are not comfortable going about it alone, there are small group tours run by locals who show you hidden gems. For hardcore shoppers looking for branded items, you can head on to the upscale boutiques in Kolonaki area, the McArthurglen Designer Outlet mall or even the Airport Retail Park (Factory Outlet) close to the International airport.

VivaEllada Tip: Experience the city like a local. Check to see if there are events happening during your travel dates. Many locally organized gatherings, product tasting and launches, band gigs, summer festivals, seminars … many are at no cost or at a small fee. You get to mingle with the locals and make friends with like-minded individuals. With the help of facebook you could search out hobby groups and organize your own meet-up.

How do I get to Athens from the airport?
Taxi for 1-3 persons cost from 38euro per way.
Aiport Bus X95: 6euro per way (adult)
Metro: 10euro per way

Which areas are the best to stay at?
If you are visiting for just a few days and want to be within walkable distance to most landmarks and ancient sites, you should estimate your base to be within 15 minute walk from either of these metro stations – Acropolis, Monastiraki or Syntagma.
For those with more leisurely time frame and are more inclined to use public transport and open to stay, a few metro stops from center. Then the options are much more spread out, just make sure you are close to the metro line, check reviews and make sure you have all your booking confirmation printed. As with most cities, there are some rough areas which need a little extra care, but the general rule is to always be groups and not walk about alone after dark, keep to the main streets and be watchful of your possessions at all times, mainly when using public transportation.

Specialty food (for Muslim and Asian specific cuisine, vegan and those with dietary concerns)
Yes there are options for all. Just send me a message with your specific dietary concerns.

How many days do I need in Athens?
The average 1st time visitor spends just 2-3 days in Athens then heads to the islands.
For 1-3 days program, you can visit the main ancient sites including the Acropolis and the museum, do some shopping, visit galleries, sample the local cuisine.
With 3 days and more, you can throw in a day trip to Nafplio-Corinth_Epidavrus, Delphi & Meteora (overnight is required), 1-day cruise to nearby islands, and more.

Vivaellada Tip:Athens and the mainland are perfect for all-year travel and especially in offseason, you can see Greece in all its colors and seasons. Visit mountain villages, sleepy seaside towns, Ski resorts, farm/harvest, caves, and abundance of nature and adventure activities.

Popular Tours in/from Athens

  • Acropolis Museum- 1.5-hour guided tour of the New Acropolis Museum
  • 3 island 1-day Cruise-  a cruise from Athens to the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina in the Saronic Gulf.
  • Athens, the Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour (5 hr)
  • Athens Mythology Highlights Tour (4hr)
  • Temple of Poseidon and Cape Sounion Tour From Athens (half day)
  • Argolis: Full-Day Tour to Mycenae, Epidaurus & Nafplio
  • Delphi Day trip from Athens
  • Full-Day Meteora Trip by Train
  • 2-day Delphi & Meteora from Athens
  • Children Tours (Specialty/ Edutours for families)
  • Bike tours (normal and electronic bikes)
  • Food tours (markets and local delicacies)
  • Cooking / Wine tours (private/ semi-private)
  • Thematic & Alternative tours (arts, crafts, historical, …. )
  • Corporate & Team building (private groups)

(non private as well as private basis available for most cases)

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