The gyros, the Greek salads, the fresh fruit… the food is incredible all over Athens. Despite the city essentially being in the middle of a dessert, the quality of fruit and vegetables are nothing like I’ve ever tasted before. If you head to Monastiraki square during dinner, it is ALIVE. The alley named Mitropoleos is lined with lively restaurants that are packed with local Athenians and serve good inexpensive food. It’s my favourite part of Athens. If you continue walking down that alley, you will stumble upon restaurants lined with fairy lights, white picket fences & palm trees. Truly charming. Here’s a few of my favourite places.
Dinner in the Sky – This place is LITERALLY what it says it is. I don’t know why hardly anyone knows of this considering it’s such an amazing experience. In the centre of Athens, a table of 22 people plus chefs, are quite literally lifted up 50 metres into the air. Just make sure to book on the website beforehand!
Eleas Gi – For great service, incredible food & a beautiful view over the city. The setting is almost surreal, perfect for both lunch and dinner!
Bairaktaris – If you’re looking to try some authentic Greek gyros, look no further than Bairaktaris. It’s located in Monastiraki square, the perfect setting to grab some takeaway and sit around the benches nearby. Plus, at 1.80 euro, you can’t really go wrong.
Cinque Wine & Deli Bar – I didn’t get a chance to visit this for myself but have heard rave reviews about it so I thought I’d share it with you all. This modest family run bar is not much to see at first, but it’s hospitality, service and food will win you over. From what I’ve heard from many travelers, the staff make you feel right at home and I mean, can you really have a bad time tasting cheese and wine? Get there early as this place becomes very popular at night!
Athens has been the center of Greek civilization for some 4,000 years. As I mentioned earlier, it is literally one of the oldest named cities in the world dating back to 3000 BC! The earliest buildings date from the late Bronze Age, about 1200 BC, when part of the town spread to the south of the citadel on the Acropolis. The Acropolis and the Parthenon were both built in the 5th century, democracy originated from Athens in 500 BC, theatre first started in Athens, as well as the Olympic Games. It is without doubt the historical capital of Europe.
It feels like the shopping in Athens in never ending at times but I’m not complaining one bit. When I went past the Monastiraki flea market, it was hard to comprehend just how much there was. But I’m not complaining, I absolutely LOVE the shopping in Athens and again, I feel like it’s so underrated. The markets and shops around Monastiraki square are my favourite to explore. Make sure you grab yourself a takeaway Mojito whilst you’re strolling around! You’ll find purses, woodwork, leather sandals, clothes, jewelry, accessories, food, and other random bits & bobs. It’s the exact same things you’ll find on the Greek islands, but for half the price.
Sitting close to Syntagma Square, The Attica Department Store is Athens’ most luxurious and exclusive department store. Basically, it’s an eight-floor, 300,00 square foot (!!) shopping UTOPIA featuring designer boutiques and international brands.
For something a little different, visit Metaxa street in Glyfada, located right on the seafront. It’s one of the busiest shopping streets in town with fresh seafood restaurants nearby for afterwards!
Athens is the city that never, ever sleeps, so you’ll never be short of nightlife options. I’ve had people tell me that Athens has no nightlife or it is unsafe for travelers, and that could not be further from the truth. From Spring to Summer, Athens comes alive with rooftop terraces and beer gardens. It almost feels a little dreamlike – sipping on a mojito whilst overlooking the Acropolis all lit up. I’ve left a few of my recommendations that I think you’re all going to love as much as I do!
A for Athens
If you’re looking for a rooftop cocktail bar overlooking the Acropolis and Athens skyline, it doesn’t get much better than this. Drinks are a bit pricey but the atmosphere completely makes up for it. All the cocktails were fun and flavourful but the Mango Swizzle was my favourite! Get in early as this place gets real packed after dark.
Rated among the best in the world, Galaxy Bar is located on the 13th floor of the Athens Hilton Hotel. It’s a modern cosmopolitan bar, serving many creative cocktails with a stunning view of the Acropolis to the sea of Piraeus.
A very urban multi-leveled building hosting a theatre, art gallery, bar and cafe. It’s definitely a must-see if you have a spare night in Athens. The fact they serve ice-cream cocktails completely sold me, but if you’re still not won over, the view and setting just might!
Brettos is said to be Europe’s second oldest bar and is the oldest distillery in Plaka with over 100 years of operation. Even if you stop in for an ouzo or wine, you can’t miss the colourful bottles and lights that decorate the walls.
The hospitality in Athens is some of the best I have ever experienced, so much so that I felt necessary to mention it. From bartenders and waiters, to shop keepers and receptionists, everyone goes out of their way to make you feel so warm and welcome. I learned that hospitality has always been taken very seriously by the Greeks since Ancient times, as the Gods themselves were thought to protect strangers. They feel compelled to provide the best hospitality, even if it is beyond their financial means.
Where to StayATHENS ACCOMMODATION
I’ve stayed in more than a few hotels in Athens now, and while they were all individually nice hotels, nothing quite compares to A for Athens. The hotel staff are so warm and friendly, they made us feel right at home after 10 hours of traveling. The rooms are modern, incredibly spacious and well kept. It’s located in Monastiraki square, less than a minute walk from the shops and restaurants, which is exactly where you want to stay in Athens. If you’re interested in the Acropolis, it’s in walking distance from the hotel. They also have a rooftop bar that serves food and cocktails with a stunning view of the Acropolis.