In case you’re wondering who I am, my name is Achilleas and I took part in the first edition of the Road Trip Project, along the Baltic route.
So you’re interested in visiting my hometown, Athens. Well, before you get sucked into the google rabbit hole, looking for suggestions on what to do in the city, let me my favourite spots with you.
BEST VIEWS OF THE CITY
One of my favourite things to do in the city, is finding the spots with the most beautiful view. Athens has some very famous hills all around its downtown, with the Acropolis being the most renowned one and the gem of the city, but thereare also some less touristy but equally beautiful places to enjoy a breathtaking view.
My favourite one is called Strefis Hill (Λόφος Στρέφη).
Strefis Hill has an unbelievable view of the Acropolis and the Lycabettus Hill, it is rarely crowded and also the way up takes you through one of the most alternative and artistic districts of Athens, Exarchia, with tons of street art to admire, bars to visit and street food to try.
Another spot I really like is called Filopappou Hill.
Filopappou Hill can be found on the other side of the Acropolis. The hike up to the top of the hill takes you to a quiet park, where you can spot the so-called “Prison of Socrates”, although it’s still unclear whether the philosopher was actually jailed there. Once you get on top, it feels like the whole city is at your feet.
Pro tip: if you’re walking around downtown (for example around the Plaka and Monastiraki areas) and spot a hotel, try to get to the rooftop bar. You might enjoy an amazing view for free!
When we talk about downtown Athens, we’re mainly referring to three areas: Plaka, Monatiraki and Psyrri. This is where the ancient city used to be and what I love about it, is that even as a local you can find yourself exploring the little streets and come across a hidden archeological treasure you had no idea existed.
The streets of Plaka, especially, they make me feel like I ended up on a Mediterranean island every time I visit. This area is also the best for taverns with traditional Greek food.
Monastiraki and Psyrri are definitely more vibrant areas, with plenty of bars and musicians playing gigs on the street.
Don’t forget to taste the very traditional gyros, which, along with democracy, is one of the most important contributions of the Greeks to global civilisation.
I can’t talk about Athens without touching upon its nightlife, which for us locals is a great source of pride. (I’ve actually heard of a club that closes at 8 in the morning while serving breakfast). So let’s dive right into it:
We Athenians do love our nightlife and we love to share it with our visitors. Although the aforementioned areas provide you with plenty many options for you to party, you definitely have to check out the Gazi district.
Gazi – only a 15 minute walk from the Monastiraki district – is a melting pot of all the diverse nightlife trends of the city. Once you visit the square, you’ll come across a vast array of bars and clubs, with music styles that range from House, Techno, Hip Hop and RnB, to Rock and contemporary Greek music. Keep exploring the streets around the square, you won’t run out of party options!
Pro tip: don’t go out too early, the night in Athens starts pretty late!
So that’s it from me. I hope this was enough to get you started, because I didn’t even scratch the surface of what Athens has to offer. If you see me around any of those areas come and say hi!