Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world. Recently Athens was named one of the top 50 places to travel, so if there was ever a summer vacation to start saving up for, this is the one. Just in case you still don’t think there’s much more to Athens than Instagram photos of the Acropolis and eating your weight in olives and Feta, here are some must-see locations and must do things —all approved by Athenian locals—to prove you wrong.
Athens Photo Tour
Discover hidden treasures of Ancient Greece by walking the city streets in an Athens Photo Tour. Learn practical pro tips you can use straight away. You will be escorted by a professional photographer, discussing composition, different angles, technical aspects and everyday usage of your camera. Daily Athens Photography tours run every day on different times to suit your needs. Choose between a variety of differentphoto tours in Athens starting from our daily 2-3 hours walking tour around the Acropolis hill to a more focused full day tour in Athens. Photo tours available in Athens, Peloponnese, Meteora and Santorini. For more info check out www.athensphototour.com
Coupon: Use ECCB2018 on checkout for a 10% discount.
Attica Zoological Park
The Attica Zoological Park is the only zoo in Greece, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors of all ages, every year, from all over the country.
The Attica Zoological Park was initially founded as a bird park in May 2000, hosting the world’s third largest collection of birds (1,100 birds from 300 different species). Striving to combine entertainment with education, it now offers visitors a unique journey to the five continents, through the lives of more than 1800 animals from 300 species, such as lions, Asian elephants, giraffes, monkeys, bears, penguins, parrots, dolphins and many more, in an area of over 20 hectares.
More information you can find here
In the shadow of the Acropolis and its ancient temples, hillside Plaka has a village feel, with narrow cobblestone streets lined with tiny shops selling jewelry, clothes and local ceramics. Sidewalk cafes and family-run tavernas stay open until late, and Cine Paris shows classic movies al fresco. Nearby, the whitewashed homes of the Anafiotika neighborhood give the small enclave a Greek-island vibe.
The Plaka is the oldest section of Athens. Most of the streets have been closed to automobile traffic, though you should still keep a watchful eye for a speeding motorcycle or delivery truck. Though it is quite commercialized it is still a neighborhood and arguably the nicest neighborhood in central Athens.It is known as the “Neighborhood of the Gods” due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites.
Located at the southern tip of Attica and an easy 45-minute drive from Athens, this historical site tends to be underrated compared to the Acropolis and its surrounding ruins. At Cape Sounion you’ll find the Temple of Poseidon as well as some amazing beaches near the lower resort area. The area tends to fill up come time to watch the incredible sunset over the Aegean Sea, but if you’re not into stunning clichés, plan your visit for the early morning.
Athens Olympic Sports Complex
If you are headed to or from Kifissia on the train, hop off the Eirini station for a visit to The Athens Olympic Sports Complex. Here you’ll find the futuristic architecture of one of the world’s greatest architects, Santiago Calatrava (if you’ve been to Valencia you’ll recognise his style!), remains a permanent fixture of the Athenian skyline – it was first unveiled over a decade ago for the 2004 summer games. An intricate network of steel pipes and glass make up the stadium roof as well as an immense archway towering over a complex walkway. Except for scheduled events and big concerts, the complex remains empty. Locals joke that is already another Athenian ruin. Frequented or not, the complex is a sight of impressive modern architecture in a city known for its ancient landmarks.
The New Digital Planetarium is a scientific centre with the important mission of communicating the achievements in science to the general public and to enlighten people about the nature of scientific research and technology. As such, its role in popularising the natural sciences in Greece is particularly vital. The New Digital Planetarium combines all the creative and technical capabilities of modern audiovisual media and technology to relate the history of science in a fascinating way. It is located inside the Eugenides Foundation building and more info as well as the schedule of shows can be found here.
The Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium is a classical cultural and touristic monument of Greece and one of the most significant monuments not only for Athens, but for all of Greece. Its rich history is directly connected to the Modern Olympic Games as from their revival in 1896 until the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. It is also the place from where the Olympic flame sets up its journey to the cities of the Olympic Games, both Winter, Summer and Youth.
If you’re looking to stay by the water but prefer an area that’s a little more low-key, head to Pireaus, the ancient port of Athens and still one of the largest in the world. Take a leisurely stroll through the scenic streets, check out the open air Vaekeio Theater (which hosts a ton of modern and folk concerts during the summer) or Allou Fun Park (the largest amusement park in Athens), but, most importantly, eat at one of the neighborhood’s incredible seafood restaurants where you can enjoy the freshest seafood for (in many cases) a jaw-dropping cheap price.
This gorgeous public park in central Athens is surely in the tour guides, but Athens insiders claim that it may not actually be something most people (tourists and locals alike) know about or simply tend to gloss over during their visits. With 38 acres of greenery featuring a duck pond, small zoo, café and Botanical Museum, it’s especially beautiful during the spring and summertime.