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And I was not disappointed. A city full of history, archaeological sites, charming neighborhoods and viewpoints with breathtaking views. Our trip to Greece couldn’t start any better and this guide to Athens will help you put together your own itinerary around the city and know what to do during your stay.
If you want to travel Athens from South America, you should make one or more stopovers depending on your place of departure. You can arrive at any major airport in the European Union or Schengen area (Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich, etc.) and from there take a flight to Athens. If you do not need a visa to travel to Turkey (Colombians do not) you can also make a stopover in Istanbul and then Athens.
There are direct flights from many European countries. I flew with Ryanair (a low cost airline) from Germany. Depending on the time of year you travel, you can find very good deals to Athens.
If you travel to Athens from one of the Greek islands (Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, Naxos, etc.) you can find tickets from 25 Euros and up. It depends on the ferry company you choose and the date of your trip.
Our tour started in Athens. The truth is that we were incredibly surprised as soon as we arrived. Greece was not as “European” as we imagined it to be. Our hotel was very decent but the neighborhood was dirty, chaotic. Motorcycles and garbage flooded the sidewalks. When my sister and I had to call our parents we almost got sick: the phone booths were so filthy that we had to shout, we were so embarrassed to bring the phone close to our faces! Another curiosity was to see kiosks in the streets selling absolutely everything (like mini bazaars): tobacco, chewing gum, universal remote controls for the TV and slippers for walking around the house….
All this was forgotten when visiting the historical jewels of the capital: the Acropolis, with the Parthenon, the Erechtheion with its famous Caryatids, the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike, the Agora… all those incredible ruins that remind us how great was that civilization, cradle of philosophy and democracy. Of course, art and history lovers should not miss the museums either: the National Archaeological Museum, the Acropolis Museum and the Agora Museum. Simply breathtaking.
Curious things to see in Athens
I can’t recommend traveling to Athens enough. The city is absolutely stunning, and there is so much to do and see. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or just taking in the culture of another country, Athens has something for everyone. Athens is well worth a trip.
Syntagma, whose name means Constitution, is the central square of Athens. It is distinguished by the House of Parliament and the beautiful neoclassical buildings that surround it. Most of the sites are within walking distance of Athens.
Graffiti Tour: one of the best ways to get to know the neighborhoods of Athens is by taking a guided tour to see graffiti and street art, because it also allows you to enter neighborhoods you wouldn’t otherwise. One of the best things you can do when traveling to Athens.
Tip: check in Athens for a ticket that includes all the ruins for 30 € (including the Acropolis), especially if you stay more than 2 days in the city. This ticket gives you the flexibility to visit the whole complex adapted to your schedule and against the direction of tourism.
Also, since there won’t be as many tourists, the prices of accommodations and restaurants will be more affordable. On the other hand, November to March is the worst season to travel to Greece, as temperatures will be colder and many of the tourist attractions will be closed. Also many of the ferries that connect the islands also see reduced activity, so the advice to travel to Greece that we give you is not to do it during these months, as you may not be able to visit all the places you want.
The summer months are considered high season in Greece, as it is the time that receives more tourists. If you travel to the country during these months you will see how all the places of interest will be full of tourists, to which must be added the large increase in prices that can occur in accommodation, airline tickets and even car rentals.
Our advice to travel to Greece and know thoroughly the city of Athens is that at least you stay in the city about three days. Only with that time you will be able to know each one of the places of interest that this city has. If you want you can combine your walks around the city with one of the tours or guided visits that are offered in this, certainly the best combination. You should keep in mind that if you go to the country during the high season you will find long lines in many of the places of interest.