Tourists and history buffs alike can agree that Athens, Greece is a city worth seeing for its historical significance. It was the center of Greek mythology, the birth place of democracy, and an incubator for philosophy, arts, and drama. It continued to contribute to the world’s intellectual and cultural, and who knows what greatness this city could have reached if it wasn’t struck by the Peloponnesian War. For most that visit Greece, a weekend visit will suffice before you move on to the islands or the other mainland regions of the country. Read on for a weekend guide to Athens:
Start off your time in Athens with the National Library, which houses one of the world's largest collections of Greek manuscripts. Then, head out to Lykavittos Hill (also called Mount Lycabettus). You can either take a hike up to the top (moderate difficulty) or ride the funicular. Enjoy views over the whole city from its highest vantage point! Check out St. George's chapel up top, and enjoy an early dinner at the Orizontes Restaurant. I recommend the Greek salad! Then stick around for a beautiful sunset. On your descent from Lykavittos, stop in to one of the bars in the Psirri area, where nightlife is hopping!
Start your morning off with a trip to the Acropolis! On your way up to the Parthenon, you'll see the Theatre of Dionysus. Take some time to enjoy the ancient wonder you're standing in front of. Then be sure to visit the Roman and Ancient Agoras nearby. On your way back into town, visit the Temple of Zeus and then stroll through the Dionyssiou Aeropagitou for shops and restaurants. After lunch, head over to the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896! After strolling through the big open Kotzia Square, whet your appetite with visit to the Central Market. Have a traditional Greek dinner at the Karamanlidika restaurant nearby!
Sunday morning is when you'll want to grab your espresso early and head over to the Changing of the Guards ceremony at the Athens Parliament building. Visit the Acropolis Museum, Benaki Museum, and the Cycladic Art Museum, enjoying the sights of the city as you travel between them. Grab a bite to eat at the souvlaki stands in Monastiraki, the food there still fills my dreams! You can also do some souvenir shopping in Monastiraki, but for some high-end shopping, you'll want to head over to Kolonaki. After an action-packed weekend, reward yourself with dinner at the Grand Bretagne Rooftop Restaurant, where you can end your weekend with a sunset view of the Parthenon!