7 'must-dos' in Athens, Greece

Athens wasn't exactly what I was expecting. There was a lot of graffiti, even around the Acropolis. The people seemed pretty run down until about 9 p.m. when all of the sudden everyone was your best friend. All of my favourite parts of Athens were found by accident or looked from the outside to be total holes in the wall. Looking back though, I have really grown to appreciate Greece and my time in Athens. 

Here are my 'must-dos' for Athens! 

Go on the FREE walking tour //

Reason enough: it's free. It's also extensive. It takes 2.5 hours and you get to see Hadrian's Arch, Monastiriki, Plaka, the Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the changing of the guard ceremony. The free walking tour can be booked here. You'll learn all about the history of Athens and Greek mythology. Did I mention it's free? 

Smash a plate //

This is a Greek tradition. While this isn't widely practiced anymore, there are a few taverns and patio restaurants that do allow you to partake in plate smashing. And, guys, it's kind of the best thing. Bailey and I stumbled upon a small restaurant in Athens historic city center, drank wine, ate fresh salad, and each smashed a white, clay plate. This set the whole tone of our trip. Opa! 

Try Ouzo //

Ouzo, a spirit that tastes similar to Sambuca, is famously popular in Greece and Cyprus. Any visit to Athens calls for a stop by Bretto's. Bretto's Bar is the oldest distillery in Athens. You can't miss the colorful wall of Ouzo and liquor bottles that line the back wall. Do like the locals do. Or...in this case...drink like the locals drink. 

Take a cooking class //

The cooking class I took in Athens {found here} was the best I've taken anywhere. It was a truly unique experience. I felt like I had stepped into 'My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding.' Our wine glasses were constantly filled, big laughs were had, and we left with our bellies too full. More than any of that, it gave Bailey and I a real understanding of what importance food holds to Greek culture. Need more convincing? Read my post on why you should take a cooking class abroad here

Visit the Parthenon //

The Parthenon is a temple dedicated to the virgin Athena, who is the protector of the city. There is an admission fee that varies between high and low-seasons. Discounts exist for students with an ID, so don't forget to bring yours! 


Shop the Athens Flea Market //

Try colourful candy, delicious gelato, and chocolate covered coconut! Pick up postcards to send back home! People watch. Stroll casually past the street performers, but be careful not to get too close or they'll sucker you in for money. It can all be found under the twinkly, string-lights of the Athens Night Market. 


Walk with the Olympians //

I don't know how anyone could go to Athens and not visit the Panathenaic Stadium. This is the only stadium in the world made entirely of marble. This masterpiece was built in 566 BC. There were no words for how incredible it felt as a runner to visit the stadium where such amazing athletic achievements in history had been accomplished. There is a small admission fee, but it comes with a self-guided tour with a handset. I had chills, guys. You have to see all the torches from games past and take a lap around the track. 

απολαύστε αθήνα!