Things to Do in Athens, Greece

If you are arriving at the Eleftherios Venizelos airport, you will be 33km from Athens, Greece and will pay around 16 Euros for a taxi ride to the city center. Add .50 Euro for each piece of luggage. You can also drive, yourself, if you rent a car at the airport, but there is a toll on Attiki Odos, the road to Athens, as well – about 2-3 Euros. By road the average time to the city center is 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the time of day.

Probably the cheapest way to get to the city center, however, is by bus, of which there are two, both express buses: the E95 from Karaiskaki Square in the port of Piraeus, a boarding point for many travelers who are taking ferries to the Greek islands, or the E94, from Ethniki Amyna metro station. A one-way ticket is around 3 Euros and is good for one airport-to-city transfer as well as unlimited rides all day on the city bus system.

The first thing you may want to do is stop for a bite to eat or drink. Athens has a wide range of restaurants to fit any budget. For those wanting to pay 15 Euros or less, the Papoutsis at Markou Botsari 1, Ano Vrilissia, serves solid steak and chips. The atmosphere is of course not posh, but they have 50 years of practice, so this is not just any steak.
For those willing to hand over up to 30 Euros, the Multi 22’s Pasta e Salsa at Ermou 116 & Leokorio will fill you up with unlimited pasta, you pay for a selection of sauces, of which there are 22 choices. A bar above and a bazaar in the basement make this a great stop for the whole family.

Up to 50 Euros per meal gets you a spot at the Aigli Bistrot Cafe, at Aigli Zappeion, in the city center. They serve Mediterranean dishes with a French twist in traditional Grecian surroundings, next to the awe-inspiring Zappeion building and its plaza.

Serving the seekers of the finest dining is the exclusive Orizontes Lykavitou, on Lycabettus Hill, where one of Athens’ best views can be found. Book a table just before sunset and eat dinner outside on the veranda while night falls on Athens and the lights come on.

A short daytrip from Athens is the green and beautiful island of Andros, northernmost of the Cyclades islands. By hydrofoil it’s only an hour, by ferry two, from the port in Athens. It is one of the largest islands in the Cyclades after Naxos island. Visit the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation’s Museum of Contemporary Art or explore the islands many beaches, from crowded tourist stops to isolated beaches reachable only on foot or by boat.

In Athens itself, you can visit one of the old-fashioned open-air cinemas, where you will sit at a table and drink the beverage of your choice while watching the movie. Or, go to the Goulandris Museum of Natural History, in the Gaia Center, Othonos 100, Kifissia, to learn about the origins of the Hercules myth. The Hellenic Festival organizes regular events at the Herod Atticus Odeon or Epidavros theaters, tickets to which may be purchased at the festival’s box office, at Panepistimiou39. Call ahead for information at 210 928 2900.

Greece’s largest theme park, the Allou Fun Park in Rendi, offers a wide variety of thrilling carnival rides. Take lots of pictures here of family and friends on the rides.

A short climb will take you up to Lycabettus theater, which offers an ongoing schedule of events from spring into July, including rock concerts, musicals, gospel, dance, and Athens’ own Jazz Festival.

If art stirs your heart, the destination for you is the Alexandria Soutzos Museum, which features 184 sculptures by Rodin, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, Aristide Maillol, Constantine Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, and Henry Moore. In addition to their impressive sculpture display, the museum offers an exhibition of the imperial treasures of China, in collaboration with three museums in Beijing.

Live music tickets can be found at the Ticket Hellas, at Panepistimiou 64. Here you can purchase advance tickets to the many live performances held during the sumer in Athens’ outdoor theaters.

After dark, a low-key spot to visit for adults is the Inoteka, in Abyssinia Square, Monastiraki. Tables sprawl across the street while strains of electronica drift out of the club.

For a spectacular beachfront view and pool, visit the Plus 22, at Diadohou Pavlou, Glyfada Beach. This is the offspring of a collaboration between Free2go Club 22 and dance masters +Soda, and is a unique experience even for widely traveled club-goers.

Two must-sees in Athens are of course the Acropolis and Parthenon, perhaps Athens’ most famous features. For fewer tourists, however, explore the extensive and breathtaking ruins at Korinthos, 80 km from Athens. Only 7 km from the town you find ancient Korinthos, where there is a temple of Apollo, the mythical spring of Glauki, Lechaiou street, the Aesculapius temple, and the ruins of the theatre and conservatory dominate.

Lastly, Mediterranean food is justly famed for its health benefits and delicious taste, so sample freely the wonderful traditional foods while you are there.

Some to try out:
-tsatsiki
-gemista
-moussakas (eggplant baked with minced meat and b�©chamel sauce),
-pastitio
-yemestes
-calamari
-octopothi
-horiatiki salata (country salad)
-testis (cucumber and yoghurt dip)
-octopus pickled in lemon juice and olive oil.
-souvlaki (skewered, grilled meat in pita bread)
-spanakopita (spinach and cheese pie) .

Greek yogurt can be found everywhere, and is a delicious, cool treat on a hot day.

Finally, some Greek drinks to try are: retsina, ouzo, tsipouro and raki. The ouzo is VERY strong, though, so drink lightly. Even diluted, the taste is not to everyone’s liking.

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