Do you know which world city is known as a city with the earliest human presence (around 11th – 7th millennium BC)? Yes, it is ATHENS – capital and largest city of Greece, which was home of many famous classical Athenians (Homer, Socrates, Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Euripides…) historians, writers and philosophers!
If you love ancient history, original architecture, interesting monuments and rich mix of culture then you are in the right place! And don’t forget to watch out for the famous patron goddess of the city – ATHENA – who typically appears in armor with helmet and spear. The owl and the olive tree were sacred to her.
Here are my TOP places to visit in Athens:
- ACROPOLIS of Athens – sitting atop a rocky hills is the most famous of western world’s ancient place with collection of the buildings and temples. The most famous of them is PARTHENON – the temple of Goddess Athena.
- THEATRE of Dionysus – is a major open-air theatre, situated at the foot of the Acropolis Hill’s. It was used for festivals in honor of the God DIONYSUS – God of the grape harvest, wine making and wine.
- TEMPLE of Olympian ZEUS – its colossal columns reminding us it was the largest temple in Greece! Zeus was a king of the Gods and the God of the Sky and Weather.
- SYNTAGMA Square with PARLIAMENT Building – you can observe the traditionally costumed guards with their short kilts and pom-pom shoes.
- PANATHENAIC Stadium – originally is one the oldest stadium in the world that hosted first modern Olympic Games in 1896! Today it is a multi-purpose stadium used for events (concerts, musicals) and athletics in Athens.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU see in Athens?
ADDITIONAL TIP for your late afternoon once you get really tired from visiting countless amount of monuments in Athens is PLAKA – the city’s oldest Turkish quarter with a very authentic atmosphere. Here you find many boutiques with local souvenirs and can relax in one of many cafés. For those who prefer bit more of a social life I suggest you to visit a LOCAL MARKET with fresh product (such as olive oil, local feta or kasseri cheeses) and practice your negotiation skills. And, finally if you are looking for a calm place you can go to the beautiful NATIONAL GARDENS and relax here a bit!
A FEW WORDS about Greek CUISINE, which is very famous around the world. I have to admit that I love it! Tradition Greek cuisine has a long history with much Mediterranean influence. For me to put it in a nutshell Greek food is simple, fresh, tasty and healthy.
I suggest you to try Greek lamb and feta meatballs, pork Souvlaki with cucumber salad and tzatziki, Greek Feta Pie or special Lemon Soup. The pickled octopus is so original and grilled seafood is delicious but MY FAVORITE dish is a typical Greek street food – GYROS – roasted meat on a vertical spit and usually served in a pita bread with tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce… tasty at every occasion!!
And how about a drink in the evening? In Greece most evening are spent with group of friends and families – at home or in one of many Tavernas over a glass of Ouzo (aniseed flavoured aperitif). Other options for your nightlife include Metaxa (brandy) and Krasi (Greek wine). So have a glass and enjoy the nightlife…and imagine how people lived here in proximity to gods many, many years ago…
Maybe it is a good tip for your next trip?