When you think of going on holiday to Greece, what do you think of? Luxurious island beaches, island villas, and all the seafood you can eat? Or interesting cities, in-your-face history, and the hustle and bustle of seeing a new city? Well, the thing about Greece is, you can have both of these holidays! Whilst travelling Greece, we saw busy cities, tranquil beaches, and everything in-between. In this post, we’ll stick to talking about Athens, the first city we saw and probably one of the first places you’ll think of when hearing about Greece.
Athens is a city that can be done in a variety of ways. If you’re able to splurge a bit more, a shopping spree and some super fun cocktails bars (there are two with a view of the Acropolis!) is certainly do-able! But if you’re on a stricter budget, or you want to travel the country more and save from money in Athens, here are some tips to follow!
- Get a Multi-Site or Combination Ticket: Athens is home to a plethora of archaeological sites from both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. By getting the Multi-Site ticket, you’re able to access the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Agora, and others for 5 days on one ticket! These tickets cost 30 Euros, which does save you a lot, as entrance to the Acropolis alone is 20 Euros.
- Check the Fine Print for Each Attraction: I know, I know. I just told you to get the Multi-Site ticket. But if you’re under 25 and live in an EU country, you are able to get into some sites for free. If you’re not from an EU country but are under 25, you may be able to get in for half-price. Be sure as well to check the dates that you’re seeing these attractions. We visited Athens the last weekend of September, which were European Heritage Days, and all of the sites (archaeological and museums) had free admission. This cut our spending dramatically, especially in Athens and Delphi where we saw most of the archaeological sites.
3. Take the Metro around the city: Athens is BIG. Trust me, when looking for the office of the company we were renting our car from, we walked 40 minutes in the heat because “there’s no way it will be that long of a walk.” We were wrong. Metro stations are all over the city, and are fairly easy to follow. Although the names aren’t in English, by looking at letters or parts of words that stand out to you, it’s fairly easy to figure out where you are and how close you are to your destination. The metro stations themselves will often have sections carved out to show what has been found there from Ancient Greece, and a short explanation on what the area was. This is something we were not expecting to see and really made out trip special.
4. Sightsee in the Morning and Evening: If you’re from a hot country already, or if you have no qualms about exploring in the heat, ignore this point. But, if you’re like us and either burn, get ill, or get extra-hangry in the heat, maybe follow this. Athens was the hottest destination on our trip, as we drove North, the temperature did cool down quite a bit. But in Athens we made sure to wake up early and have our primary outdoor attraction done by 2:00pm. This worked for us in relation to both crowds and heat, as when we left the attraction was usually much busier than when we arrive, as well as both of us were able to take the afternoons to look over pictures, plan our evening, and just take some time to chill. If we did end up outside in the afternoon, we made sure to continuously re-apply sunscreen and drink lots of water. Drinking small sips of water regularly kept us hydrated and happy!
5. Get Recommendations off of Youtube: Before heading to Greece, Josh and I both watched videos on Youtube and read blogs about Greece and top tips in order to have a great time. Two of our favourite channels were Flying the Nest and Mark Wiens. Both of these channels have some great Greece content, with Flying the nest focusing on attractions and Mark Wiens focusing on local food. Research through youtube and blogs is something Josh and I both love to do, and it’s also how we found some of the great places we ate at and explored while in Athens!
So there you have it! Some top tips for visiting Athens, one of my favourite cities. Athens is a city with a lot of history and a really cool culture. In order to make your time there the best it can be, follow these tips and create your own! Everyone travels differently, and it helps to come with some tips, but also learn as you go!