Calm but also vigorous, colorful, sophisticated, hip, vibrant: Athens is the ultimate mix of cultural and social life elements. Her beauty lies within the unique combination of these contradictions that you can find in each and every corner of the city. Lots of historical heritage, urban and natural beauty will make you fall in love with the city by first sight.
So! Let’s say that this “first sight” is the only time you have in the city. Do you only have one day in Athens and want some highlights of classic and off-the-beaten-track things to see? Then go ahead and bookmark this because we have prepared a full-day guide for one of the top city tours within 24 hours! Let’s take one day from dusk till dawn and see what you can do in Athens so that you enjoy it to the fullest.
Erechtheion at Acropolis Hill
Image by Greeking.me
MORNINGS IN THE CITY
Starting with the basics, the most important site of Athens is by far the ancient citadel of the Acropolis. A number of events that have determined the Athenian history throughout the centuries have taken place here. Not only the history but also the architecture of this monument is definitely going to make you gaze around in awe. After all, it doesn’t take a person to be an art or history lover in order to admire the magnitude of the Acropolis and its buildings (Parthenon, Erectheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and many more). Just make sure you have a big bottle of water and a hat with you if you choose to visit during the summer months!
Brunch at 7 Cactus in Koukaki neighbourhood
Image by Greeking.me
TIME FOR BRUNCH/ LUNCH
After your visit to the truly impressive Acropolis, you should grab a bite. Wondering where you can go for a great brunch or lunch? We suggest one of the most hip Athenian neighborhoods at the moment; Koukaki. This charming and creative corner near the Acropolis will bring a sense of urban village into mind. Paved sidewalks and orange trees, pre-war and modern apartments as well as a mix of cafes and eateries are going to make you understand why this neighborhood is visitors and locals’ top selection for accommodation.
Speaking of cafes and eateries, Koukaki is a neighbourhood with lots of awesome places to visit! Beautiful gardens and modern spaces that offer great aesthetics and tastes brought to you from all across Greece. Stop by for some fresh juice, lots of food choices for traditional brunch and surround yourself with a warm atmosphere and friendly people who are willing to share with you special dishes and home-made recipes.
Image by Greeking.me
AFTERNOONS ARE MADE FOR STROLLING
Once you ‘re done exploring the Acropolis and have fuelled up with a delicious meal, you can head to a nearby district named Plaka, one of our city’s gems. Plaka is a pedestrian-only area, located in the northern and eastern side of the Acropolis, which looks nothing like an urban neighborhood. Even though it is in the heart of Athens, Plaka seems like a small island and brings you the sense that you are no longer in a city. No matter how poetic these words may seem, the narrow pedestrian streets filled with flowers as well as the warm and friendly people that you are going to meet over there will be more than enough to make you realize that what you’re reading at the moment is totally accurate!
Your journey through space and time doesn’t stop here though; Don’t miss out the famous Monastiraki district, just 10 minutes away from Plaka. Starting from the Monastiraki Square, a colorful and vivid square where you can find street musicians and dancers, locals selling grilled corn and chestnuts, you now start getting a true city vibe; it’s all about the contemporary side of Athens but still holds a traditional touch. The Central Flea Market is spread through the area and it’s a must-see! In the market, you will find anything you could ever imagine; from antiques and paintings to handmade leather sandals and vintage clothes. These areas can be visited in most of our Athens tours.
Photo Credits: https://goo.gl/Tv5NKv
Psyrri reflects a very dynamic side of Athens, with lots of places that fit every taste and age group, from modern bars that serve delicious rare cocktails to local traditional “tavernas” where you can find authentic Greek dishes. Let’s start with a highlight of the area; Pittaki Street. Some would say that there is nothing interesting about a street in Athens with no particular history, but once you get to see this narrow street, your mind is going to change! It used to be an ordinary pedestrian alley street which people avoided when they were passing by, until a great initiative brought life to it. The non-profit organization named “Imagine the City” co-operated with civilians for the great task of making this area beautiful and unique, and the result was fascinating. The street is now filled with kitchen and living room lights of any kind, giving a special touch of uniqueness and making everyone realize that it takes so little to turn a regular corner into a great spot to pass by.
Psyrri is a great neighborhood to just lay back and enjoy the afternoon sun, have a homemade sweet and some coffee. After the kilometers that you must have walked throughout the day, you totally deserve either a snack or even better, a traditional Greek dinner. You are in one of the best spots around the city to do that, as this district won’t disappoint you (check our list of recommended places to eat at the end of this post and find some great options for your dinner).
Clumsies Bar near Kolokotroni Street
Photo Credits: http://theclumsies.gr/
ATHENS BY NIGHT
If you are in the mood for some drinks and don’t want your day to finish after dinner, Athens has so many options that you won’t know which one to choose (feel free to visit more than one, it ‘ll be totally worth it!). Just next to Psyrri, there is an up-and-coming area with promising venues and hidden bars. Kolokotroni Street and some other narrow streets that surround it are full of sophisticated and modern bars. Delve into this cozy complex of the Athenian nightlife and enjoy some homemade cocktails, selected wine varieties and enjoy your night like a local in the city!
MUST EAT/MUST DRINK PLACES:
Your Best Things to do in Athens guide to a truly amazing day could not be complete without recommendations for each and every part of the day. Feel free to choose among this long list of suggested places to eat and drink and we are confident that you are leaving with your stomach full and your mind blown!
Coffee and sweets:
Nancy’s Sweet Home
Baba Au Rum