There’s no question on visiting the Acropolis and Ancient Agora when visiting the cradle of civilization. It’s €20 up to the top and €30 for access to nearly all the sights around the city. Spring for the extra few bucks, it’s completely worth it.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about what’s happening in Athens today. I had such a short time in this great city I didn’t get to leave Monastiraki, but still there was plenty to do. I loved my simple, cheap, clean, hotel-like Airbnb. My host Stelios met me at the Metro and was responsive by iMessage throughout the trip. The location was minutes away from everything I wanted to do. Highly recommended if you need a convenient, quiet, place with excellent AC and a great shower and good rest.
Cinque Wine Bar
This is my number one must do in Athens. The have an incredible wine selection and a delicious free tasting. They’re kind, generous and will help you feel welcome. Indulge in the cheese and charcuterie plate. Though everything on the menu looked awesome and they’re open late. I’ll be very upset if you like wine and don’t go here.
The kind people at Cinque Wine Bar led me to Oineas that had wonderful service and everything delicious. Here’s an obligatory Greek Salad photo. They only served house wine by the glass but it did the trick.
I try to take a yoga class in most big cities I visit. During this trip SF’s Janet Stone was teaching several workshops that led me the Bhavana Yoga Center. It’s clean, professional, convenient, and seems to practice deep, heart-centric practices. Another great option if you want to stretch it out before a day up the Acropolis.
Spanikopita everywhere, just indulge yourself here. But beyond the Feta are many delicious cheeses. I found the Meliartos review from the NYT overhyped. Though I should have also tried their desserts. But a corner spot flying under the radar making killer homemade dough pides is delicious and herbaous Feyrouz (below).
I had a cafe Freddo the national coffee drink (so I’m told)half of the small sampler platter at Atitamos. I have yet to find these “small portion sizes” in Europe.
It’s minutes away from the Ancient Agora and Sadao Outfitters also a wonderful boutique that makes modern Greek inspired organic cotton dresses, scarves, and other goodies. This is a great place to get a gift (ahem even for yourself) if you like locally made, yet still modern fashion. Leave the chachkis for others. Which brings me to the Sunday Flea Market. Skip it. You’ve seen it before and it’s a full on tourist trap.
And last but not least, don’t miss this hidden hipster jungle with light herby cocktails and trees everywhere. It’s a great place for a lazy sit between dusty crawls through ancient architexture.
Now, could I really write a post on Athens without one stunning shot of the Acropolis? No, I can’t. My host recommended I go to Bar 360 for a drink or dinner for a great view. He was right about the view (below) but the energy in there was a bit… Mykanos. Clubby and loud. I suggest going up there for a snap and breath of fresh air then like me immediately sprinting down for a calm dinner on a quiet street. Enjoy Athens for a long weekend before some relaxing island hopping!
P.S. if you do go to Mykanos for some reason, don’t miss the windsurfers and private feeling beach Ftelia Beach and daytime music at Scorpios restaurant and bar.