What economic crisis made in Greece is very sad. Now also overwhelmed by thousands of immigrants coming from east, which treat it as a gate to Europe. Even though, Greece still carries on, helps immigrants as much as possible, doesn’t get involved in the wars abroad or terrorism.
Athens is huge, dirty and messy but has charm of the city, which experienced a lot in the past. The mixture between European and Turkish city, now holding over 5 000 000 habitats. Historical part is well-preserved, pretty and hides ruins one of the biggest ancient empires.
What to see in Athens?
Acropolis, the most precious masterpiece stands on the mountain, from where you can admire the city view. The most important place Greeks built for goddess of wisdom – Athena – which is also patroness of Athens. It contains few parts from which the most renowned is Parthenon. On the entrance stands Propylaea – building with the temple of the Athena Nike. Erechtheion – building on the left of Panthenon with six massive female statues – the famous Caryatidis. Not to mention you can see Acropolis almost from every part of the city. It was and still is the ultimate achievement of the city classical and architectural glory.
You must not skip the Museum of Acropolis, where sculptures preserved from Acropolis found their shelter. Museum is well organized, each part depicts different theme with great explanations of the history. When you enter the first part, you will see exhibition of the everyday life objects. Watch out your feet, because under the glass-floor are ruins of the houses, which were on the slopes of Acropolis. Upper are Parthenon Gallery with impressive frieze from around the temple, Galleries for Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion and Ancient Gallery. Speaking about the price, for seeing world-famous masterpieces you will pay only 5€ and 3€ if you are student. Hardly recommended!
Ticket for archaeological sites of Athens will cost you 12€ for winter season and 20€ for summer. It includes: entrance to Panthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus with 17m high columns, Theater of Dionysus, which still hosts concerts and festivals, Ancient Agora with reconstruction of Stoa of Attalos and Museum inside, as well as Temple of Hephaestus – the best preserved Doric temple in Greece, Roman Agora with the Tower of Winds, Hadrian’s Library, Ancient Cemetery of Keramikos, also with the museum. To tell the truth I cannot decide which one is my favorite, all are impressive yet deserve to be seen. Ticket is valid 5 days. HINT!!! There is free admission on every Sunday and National Holidays from November to March, along with first Sunday of each month except July, August and September. Plan well!
Touristic zones Plaka and Monastiraki are full of lovely touristic cafes and restaurants, bazaars with souvenirs and street food.
Out of the city center
Apart from the center I can recommend watching the sunset from Lycabettus Hill (also known as Lykavittós), in fact the highest hill of the city. Have a walk on the seaside with a lovely port and beach.
If you are an adventurer visit Exarchia – the anarchist district of Athens. It is the only urban place in the world where police or politicians can’t even go without fighting… Likewise, here take place all the riots. Full of graffiti on every square meter of the walls. You can find alternative pubs, used vinyl and CD’s shops, squads with artists – all provide memorable experience. Unique community, area of free expression brings young people to talk about politics, freedom and peace.
Athens made a huge impression on me. The ancient ruins were just incredible, full of history and beautiful arts. I also enjoyed other parts of the city, so vibrant, full of cafes and great food. It’s a pity that most of the tourists skip Athens as they travel directly to discover Santorini or other paradise islands. In my opinion Athens is a must-do stop while in Greece and I will surely come back there as soon as possible.