Travel Guide: Athens, Greece

Travel Guide: Athens, Greece

I’m so excited to be blogging about my honeymoon adventure! Greece has been on my travel bucket list for a very long time. The beautiful pictures I saw online beforehand of the high cliffs and gorgeous sunsets were truly breathtaking and highly persuasive! When my fiancé and I first started planning our honeymoon, I was set on Bora Bora (French Polynesia). The over-water bungalows and white sands had been my dream for years! What prompted our decision to go to Greece was the amazing trip we took to Europe last year (France and Italy)!  I loved that we had the mixture of both adventure and relaxation. It was the exact adventure I was up for after marrying my best friend.

Check out the trip recap from our honeymoon vacation in Athens below…

ATHENS, GREECE

Airline: Delta/Atalia

My favorite airline booking website to compare airlines prices is Cheapoair.com. We’ve booked many international flights using this site. However, this time we booked through Delta (due to points) which tends to be a bit pricier. However, we had a TERRIBLE experience with Alitalia, one of Delta’s international partners. None of our seats were together and they lost our luggage on the way back from Greece (BEWARE).

Flight time (from San Francisco International airport): 19 hours total trip time

Traveling to Greece from the states takes an entire day! The journey in total from San Francisco took a long 19-hours (San Francisco> Los Angeles> Rome> Athens).

Transportation: Small rental car

We decided to rent a car from the airport so we could drive around and explore. Most of the rental cars are standard (stick-shift). If you don’t know how to drive one, there’s always public transportation (taxi and train). They do have a FEW automatic cars available, but they’re pricey to rent! Also, driving in Athens is crazy compared to the US (scooters flying everywhere)! Street parking is difficult to find, but there are parking garages available.

Trip Length: 2 nights (but should’ve stayed 1)

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a quick and efficient traveler or are pressed for traveling time, I recommend staying in Athens one night only. There’s not much to see other than the Acropolis in comparison to most of the other Greek islands. Plan a morning arrival and a late flight out the next day…

Hotel: 360 Degrees (View of the Acropolis, nice rooftop bar) $$

This hotel is centerally located in Monastiraki square.  The hotel has fantastic views of the Acropolis of Athens at night and during the day. It is moderately priced for it’s location and the rooftop bar at night is a trendy hot-spot for visitors and locals. The hotel does not have valet, so it’s best to take the train to the station close by or get dropped off by taxi. The Acropolis entrance is 5 minutes walking distance to the hotel.

SITE SEEING:

The Acropolis of Athens (5 Euro entrance price)

This is by far the most famous site in Athens. It is home to the Parthenon structure which began construction in 447bc. It is quite an experience to be in the presence of ancient architecture that was  built so long ago and is rich in history. It’s best to come here in the morning right when they open around 8AM. You can get through this whole area by lunchtime and have more time to see other parts of the city.

Monastiraki Square

This is the main hub of Athens with all of the shops, markets and restaurants. It’s also close to a metro station if you choose to take public transportation from the airport. I highly recommend staying in this area, because it’s walking distance to many things and the most lively part of the city.

Plaka (Old historical neighborhood)

This part of Athens (close to Monastiraki Square) was inhabited by the first immigrants and reflects the “island style” building designs of Greece (white buildings with blue doors). It’s quaint and nice to take a stroll through.

Astir Beach in Voulagemini 

We found this beautiful beach thanks to TripAdvisor.com. There are many free beaches in Athens and some you pay for. The ones you pay for are nice because they include lounging chairs and shade umbrellas. This beach specifically also had nice restrooms, changing rooms, showers and a cafe.

Photos from the trip below…

Room at Hotel 360 Degrees

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View from the rooftop restaurant at Hotel 360 DegreesIMG_8231

View during the day

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Look out point halfway point to the ParthenonIMG_8260

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Theater of Dionysus (within the Acropolis grounds)IMG_8273

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Old Temple of Athena (next to the Parthenon)IMG_8290

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I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh juice shops in the Athens markets! IMG_8318

Plaka – an old neighborhood close to the Acropolis
IMG_8321Vouliagmeni (free beach, 20 minute drive from Monastiraki square)
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Astir Beach in Vouliagmeni (20 Euro per person entrance)
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Food was delicious in Athens! My favorite app to use abroad is TripAdvisor.com. If you don’t have wi-fi, the next best option is to ask the hotel concierge. They can point you to the local spots so you avoid the high-priced tourists traps.IMG_8409 IMG_8414 IMG_8416

For more photos from my trip, follow me on Instagram @anastacia.kasmer and on Facebook www.facebook.com/stayclassyana

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2 Comments

  1. Ann T Waller
    October 27, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    What a beautiful country, Greece! Its pluralistic bordering nations and varied topography lends itself to the romance of mythology and rich history of western civilization.

  2. November 12, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    Congratulations! Your pictures of lovely, looks like an amazing time!

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