Despite facing desperate economic situation during 2015, Greece attracts a large number of tourists for its unique beauty of the ancient Greek architecture and mythology. While many visitors tend to head to Santorini and other Greek islands to enjoy the sea, you may not want to miss Athens and its ancient treasures. Here are some highly recommended activities in Athens, which can be done within 1-2 days.
Climb up the Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis, known as the symbol of Athens, is where you can check famous buildings such as the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike. From the Acropolis, you can get a spectacularly broad view of the city and the temple of Zeus. Entrance to Acropolis is free for students so don’t forget to show your international student card if you have not graduated. Also, do leave heavy luggage at home, which is not allowed inside, and bring comfy shoes, as it’s a decent amount of walk to take before finally getting to see the breath-taking views of Athens.
Shop at Monastiraki flea market
If you are a fan of beautiful nature products, shopping in Greece is a must. In Monastiraki, which is the biggest flea market of Athens, you can easily find all kinds of essential oils, soaps, and creams made of natural ingredients such as olive, argan, avocado, etc. Monastiraki also offers lots of local jewelries, sandals and clothes. These are all light and affordable souvenirs to grab for your family and friends back home. Due to economic crisis, it is easy to find good deals here. For example, olive soaps costs only 1 USD each or less if you buy a large amount.
Experience the Greek cuisine
Greek must-try dishes are evidently Souvlaki, Greek Salad and Yoghurt. Souvlaki, also known as Gyros, is a kind of Greek kebab including chicken or pork meat wrapped in Pita Bread. Gyros tastes better with Greek salad, especially Feta cheese. Try different stores to find your favourite Gyros flavour (check Piraeus area), but shop for yoghurt in the supermarket to eat on the way to save money while getting to taste the same flavour as in restaurants. A typical Gyros and salad dish cost 4 to 7 USD each.
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Visit an archeological museum
A trip to Greece would not be fulfilled without a visit to an archeological museum. At the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, you shall have the chance to listen to Greek history and mythological tales while checking out famous sculpture works and statue collected and preserved after hundreds of years. Getting to know the history of Greece through various eras is one of the most intellectual ways to understand Greece as a mysteriously gorgeous country.
Athens and where next?
Athens is a small city, yet she has a lot to offer to travelers who get fascinated by its ancient beauty. It’s not an ideal destination for luxurious trips, but a wonderful city for history lovers. From Athens, you can easily catch a boat to the famous Santorini or beautiful islands such as Paros, Crete and Mykonos, which promises wonderful seaside beaches and parties.
A good way to introduce your kids to Greece before you embark on this journey is through books. Check out The Educational Tourist's selection of Kids' Books set in Greece for a range of interesting stories that will pique your children’s interest and make the journey to Greece a much more fulfilling one.
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