It is no secret that we’re in love with Greece and Athens; In my opinion, this city has a special charm that can be due to its mythological history and as soon as I arrived in the city, I had the feeling of entering a fabled universe.
Formerly, both Athena and Poseidon wanted to be Attica’s patrons. As a symbol of generosity, Athena planted an olive tree that would never die to shade Atisi and the Acropolis. On the other hand, Poseidon, who wanted to overcome Athena, used his trident to pierce the earth and sprout water, but as he was the god of the sea, that water was salty and could not be drunk. The gift of Athena seemed to be more useful to the citizens and, for that reason; she became the patron of the place. In her honour, the city was named Athens.
When I heard the name of Athens, an epic city full of mysterious and magical colours always came to my mind. In fact, although Athens is relatively small, I was able to live countless interesting experiences. Thus I bring you 5 tips for planning the perfect trip to Athens:
1. What is the best time to visit Athens?
As in other Mediterranean countries such as Spain or Italy, Greece has a warm climate, which means that it is sunny and there is a good temperature all year round. Both Athens and other parts of Greece can be visited during any month of the year, but I think the best time to plan a trip is from April to October, since from November to March there’s more rain. I also considered the idea of going to Athens in July or August, but these are the months when there is more tourism and, therefore, Greece is very crowded and prices are higher than normal.
2. How to get to Athens
To go from the airport to the city:
Express bus: To go from the airport to the city, it is best to go to the arrival terminal of the Athens airport (which is quite small) where you will find the shuttle bus that leaves continuously from 5 in the morning until 12 and costs from €5 to €6 for a one-way trip. You can buy the ticket at a stand at the airport or directly on the bus. It has four itineraries: from the Kifissos KTEL bus terminal (long distance buses), from the bus station (route X93 – 65 min), from the Syntagma station (route X95 – 60 min), from the port of Piraeus (route X96 – 90 min) and from the Eliniko metro station (route X97 – 45 min). The airport is about 20 kilometres from the city centre.
Metro: To go to the centre of the city, you have to take line 3; the single ticket is €6 and the round-trip ticket is €10 (valid for 48 hours).
Taxi: you can take a taxi in the waiting areas in the three entrances of the airport and the price to the center is €35.
3. Book a tailor-made tour to explore the city
If you want to get to know Athens, not only on the surface, but to the very heart of this ancient city, there’s certainly no better service to employ than that of the Greek TravelTellers. They’re a local travel agency specializing in custom, personalized tours, aiming to create an unforgettable experience for travellers to write home about. They’ll plan the tour based on your needs and preferences and will allow you to live Athens through the eyes of a local.
Regarding accommodation, the most convenient option is to choose a hostel or a hotel that is in the centre of the city, near the metro stop and restaurants. In Athens, accommodations are among the cheapest in Europe. On the other hand, if you are looking for something cheaper, you can search for accommodation through CouchSurfing, Airbnb or Hostelworld.
5. Food that you cannot miss
Gyros: It’s pita bread with meat (chicken or pork), tomato sauce and potatoes and it’s the best and cheapest dish you’ll taste in Greece. It looks like a kebab, but tastes much better. It costs between €3 and €4 and with a single portion, you will be satisfied. You can find them in many spots in the city.
Yogurt: This Greek product is famous for its greasy flavour. In Athens, Greek yogurt is used to make tzatziki sauce, which can be used to season pita bread or to accompany something grilled.
Dishes with lamb meat: The lamb is one of the star ingredients of Greek cuisine and with which delicious dishes are made, such as lamb chops (youvetsi in Greek) with tomato sauce and a layer of cheese.
You can also try other dishes and products, such as fasolada (bean soup), keftedes (meatballs), horta vrasta (various vegetables), baklava (cake), Greek walnuts, olive oil and chocolate.