Athens, a lovely capital of Greece, is an amazing summer destination that has it all: great architecture, rich cultural heritage, and lovely places for relaxation by the sea. If you need further explanation, we list our 7 reasons why you must visit Athens at least once in a lifetime, so keep reading and enjoy. By the end of the article, you’ll be dying to explore Athens — from home or on-spot.
Athens Is a City with Rich History
Being the capital of the country that belongs to one of the oldest and most important civilizations that ever existed, Athens is one valuable historical destination. This city is so rich in history, it will give you some new things to learn on every step of your exploration. There are plenty of impressive ancient landmarks that you’ll stumble upon if you visit Athens: you will see the temple of Athena and other Greek Gods, a marketplace where Socrates and Plato were gathering to debate ideas and civic actions, and many other artifacts of the past.
Check out our FREE tour “Glimpse into Athens” — it will take you to some of the most important spots around the city, whether you’re about to explore it digitally or in person.
It’s a Very Picturesque Place
All of those historic places that we mentioned are picture-perfect. The whole city is! You will find an Instagrammable spot in every street you walk through — every corner has something unique you will want to capture in a photo.
One of our favorite places in the city, and surely its most picturesque part, is the wonderful neighborhood called Plaka. Strolling around this old historical neighborhood will take you back in time. The antiquities, museums, architectural gems, small taverns, and pleasant smells hidden amongst the charming labyrinthine streets will surely leave you breathless. Wondering what are the most interesting spots around Plaka? Check out our previous blog post to find out: “5 Reasons Why You Must Visit Plaka in Athens”
Seaside is Wonderful
Besides being an amazing city for any culture lover, Athens is a great place to relax and hang out by the sea. The city has quite a few amazing beaches and the best one might be Edem Beach, located near the city center. Also, if you love to stroll or chill by the water, there are many places to do so. We recommend a few of them in one of our blog posts, so check it out: “5 Must-Visit Places by the Sea in Athens”.
In case these places are just not enough for you and you’d prefer to escape the city heat which tends to get quite intense in the summertime, there are many nearby islands where you can visit for a day. Some of those are Aegina, Spetses, Hydra, Poros, and Agistri. If you’d like to know why we recommend those islands, check out the blog “Five Amazing Island Day Trips from Athens”.
There Are Stunning Viewpoints
If you visit Athens you’ll see pretty quickly that it’s a beautiful city with great architecture and plenty of landmarks. Also, you might notice that it’s surrounded by a few hills that will give you stunning views of the city.
Take a walk, climb up the Lycabettus Hill set in the middle of the city, and enjoy the views of Athens. You will especially love it in the sunset. Don’t forget to take awesome panoramic photos of beautiful Athens. Another amazing viewpoint is the Acropolis, which we will talk about a bit later.
Also, you can admire Athens’ panorama from the rooftops. Many hotels and bars open their rooftops to visitors so that they can enjoy breathtaking views of the city. Sip on a cocktail while enjoying a view of the Acropolis, the Roman Agora, the neighborhood of Plaka, or Lycabettus Hill. Keep in mind that these rooftops are very popular, and it can sometimes be difficult to find a free table. But if you have the patience to wait, you will be handsomely rewarded by the view.
The Food Is Amazing
If you love Mediterranean food, you should know that it’s the best in Athens. You can have anything from street food to fine dining and you’ll love it all. Athens is where we had the best gyros in the world and, of course, the best moussaka. If you’re a fan of pastry and veggies, you have to try spanakopita (spinach pie) – pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese, herbs, and eggs. Not to forget Greek salad – it’s one of our favorites with fresh veggies and delicious feta cheese.
You surely know that the most famous dish in Greece is souvlaki — small chunks of pork or chicken on a stick. You can try souvlaki on a stick or wrapped in pita bread. The souvlaki-pita also contains sliced tomatoes and onions, tzatziki, and fries. In Monastiraki Square, there are some famous spots to taste souvlaki. Let your nose be your guide to these places. Don’t forget to combine the souvlaki with a cold Greek beer.
There Are Plenty of Great Museums
As we already noted, Athens is an amazing historical city, full of antiquities and archaeological sites, and those are the main reasons people visit Athens. Its mind-blowing cultural and historical heritage is housed in countless museums. Not only will they teach you everything that you need to know about Athens’ cultural and historic heritage, but they will also offer you amazing architecture and great gardens for relaxation.
In one of our previous blog posts, we listed the 8 best museums in Athens, but don’t hesitate to expand your museums’ bucket list because there are plenty more to see, for sure.
You Can Explore the Acropolis
Your visit to Athens would never be complete without exploring the Acropolis — the symbol of Greek civilization. Visiting the Acropolis is a unique opportunity to go back through history and see one of the most impressive and glorious creations of humankind.
Tourists often mix the Acropolis and the Parthenon, so let’s clear this up: Acropolis is the hill where Parthenon, the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena sits upon, as well as the Odeon Herodes Atticus, Propylaea and Erectheion, all parts of the Acropolis complex.
Acropolis dates from the 5th century and it is built to have a better view of invaders. It is the main and the most known symbol of Athens and if you didn’t climb up this hill it is almost like you’ve never been to Athens.
If you’re interested in more historical facts and are planning a visit to Athens and the Acropolis, we highly recommend you to check out our mobile guided tour that will guide you to all important ancient buildings set on the Acropolis hill and it will give you a nice history lesson. After you make the purchase, you can use the tour in English or German language, and you can use it to explore Acropolis from home or on the spot.