I’ve been to Athens a few times over the last 3 years, and I will admit that it has grown on me. People have different opinions on the city – I’m one of those who believes it’s completely underrated. Not only is there so much history there, but you’ll find that it is so rich in culture. People there have an appreciation for all the beautiful things in life – music, art, food, friends & family. No matter what the economic situation is, the cafes and restaurants are packed with people enjoying themselves. As the city is massive, it can be very overwhelming and visitors don’t know where to go outside of the touristy spots. Here’s a list of things to do to get you started. You won’t be disappointed!
Funky Gourmet is THE place if you’re looking for an upscale food experience.
Head to Falafellas for a solid falafel sandwich. Not a sit-down place, but located in a very cute & trendy neighborhood. I typically grab a seat at a nearby bench and people watch as I eat.
Kalamaki Kolonaki is the spot to go for delicious meat skewers and salads. Be sure to order the turkey patties. It’s open late night (huge plus), and also located in one of Athen’s nicest neighborhoods, Kolonaki.
Another place for tasty skewers is MeatMeatMeat, also in Kolonaki. The salads here are excellent – the MeatMeatMeat salad is my fav.
If you are a dessert fiend like I am, head to Max Perry. You’ll find chocolates, pastries, Greek specialty desserts & more – it’s paradise for those of us with a sweet tooth. Highlights are the Melomakarona (Greek Christmas cookies) and any/all of the Baklava (they have chocolate covered Baklava – INSANE).
More goodness for you sugar addicts – Krinos has the best Loukumades in town (Greek donuts soaked in honey & cinnamon).
Drunk Sinatra, located in the center, is a great spot to enjoy a nice cocktail and super chill vibe. Hip crowd but not pretentious.
If live music is your thing, head to six d.o.g.s.
For a beautiful view of the Parthenon & old market, have a drink or two at 360 degrees.
If you’re anti-smoking, Baba Au Rum strictly enforces the non-smoking policy (unfortunately, most bars in Athens do not). They also have a unique selection of spirits from around the world.
Osterman is another bar worth checking out – located in Agias Irinis, a bit of a hipster neighborhood, you’ll find there are plenty of other great bar options nearby (perfect if you’re looking for a bar crawl situation – you never know…).
I’ve mentioned this before, but the Athens flea is a must (here’s what I recommend getting there).
I always love shopping the stores in Plaka as they have unique items, but they can be pricey. My go-to places are Sadao and Forget Me Not. Sadao has pieces from local designers, along with some great basics that have a touch of something different. Forget Me Not is by far the best place to go for gifts – they have memorabilia that’s really tasteful (who would have ever thought that was possible?!), and also sell items from local designers.
Outside of Plaka, I always go to my favorite Greek store, A.L.E. I’ve gotten a few really cool dresses from there that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Great fit and well made.
Obviously, the Acropolis is a must. Hike up to the Parthenon and check out the Acropolis Museum, it’s kind of awesome.
Yup, I’m saying it again – the Athens Flea Market at Monastiraki!
Enjoy a classic Hollywood flick outdoors at the Thision Cinema.
Drive up Mount Lycabettus for killer views of the city – I recommend going around sunset.