10 Unmissable Athenian Experiences

10 Unmissable Athenian Experiences

We’re thinking movies in open-air theatres, hillside strolls at sunset and lunches by the sea.

You’ve ticked off the Acropolis; done Plaka. But what are the other must-do experiences in Athens? Here’s a checklist of places to see, trips to take and things to do. (Hint: think outdoors, and you’re on the right track.)

Find the Greek islands in Anafiotika

How so many visitors to Athens manage to miss out on romantic Anafiotika—even though it’s just below the Parthenon—is a complete mystery.

A serene Cycladic village smack in the city centre, Anafiotika was built in the mid-19th century by stonemasons from the island of Anafi, summoned by King Otto I to build his palace (today’s Parliament building).

By night, the islanders knocked up these humble, whitewashed dwellings for their own families. Once illegal, these flower-framed cottages are now an essential element of Athens’ architectural heritage.

A perfect escape for those who don’t have time to hit the Greek islands, Anafiotika is Insta-heaven. Getting lost in the meandering, nameless lanes is half the joy.

Watch the sunset

Athenian sunsets never grow old. The higher you go, the more impressive the show.

So join the stream of locals racing up to Areopagus Hill as dusk falls. Just opposite the gateway to the Parthenon, this rocky outcrop was where the ancient city elders presided. It later served as a criminal court where murders were tried.

These days, it’s a popular spot for courting couples and young friends, simply known as Vrahakia (“little rocks”). From up here, you can see get a sense of the modern city’s topography as well as its ancient iconography. Wear sneakers—the rocks have been worn smooth by countless bottoms perched here over the centuries.

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