The winter temperatures at home might make you shiver but you can always heat yourself up under the Greek sunshine.
What to do in Athens
It’s the Acropolis that you can see from all over Athens and you simply have to take a closer view at the ancient citadel. Built high on a formation of rocks around 2500 years ago, there are plenty that remains from the former civilisation and the history behind it is fascinating. You can choose just to get the basic pass which will let you wander around the Acropolis, getting up close to the pillars of the Parthenon. A more expensive combined ticket is also available and this will give you access to Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora and Archaeological Site of Lykeion. Tickets are free for under 18s and students within the EU.
One thing not included in the combined ticket is the Acropolis Museum, a wonderfully new building boasting a great collection of relics from the past. Again students and under 18s are admitted free and entry for adults is just five euros. It can be a great way to spend a few hours in the evening and on Fridays it stays open until 10pm.
Although you can get a great view of Athens on top of the Acropolis, you’ll get an even better one from Mount Lycabettus. The huge hill is accessible by foot but you can take the funicular railway if you’d rather. It stands at the highest point in the city, around 300m above sea level and it’s an unrivalled spot for some panoramic views. Back on low ground and make sure to take a stroll through the Plaka District. It’s very easy to get to and it’s range of souvenir shops, narrow streets and great range of freshly prepared food is not to be missed.
When to visit
Greece gets incredibly hot in the summer months and anything more than lying beside the pool can feel like a lot of effort. For anyone wanting to explore or simply break up an otherwise cold winter, going between November and March is a great idea. Prices are low between these months and average day temperatures are between 13 and 19 degrees.
Where to eat
Athens is absolute packed with restaurants, many of which will have people outside trying to draw you in. There’s no harm in browsing the many menus you see outside of cafes and restaurants but if you want a guaranteed good eat then head to All That Jatz, the souvlaki home. They serve up delicious Greek and other Mediterranean food at very fair prices. Sfika, which is close to the Acropolis Museum is another great budget option eat and perfect for anyone who is after some wine to accompany their food.
Where to stay in Athens
If you are after a place by the train station then the Centrotel is perfected located for you. Although it looks rather upmarket from the outside, it is a surprisingly affordable place to stay with double rooms available from around £22 a night each. For an even cheaper stay in a more sociable environment, consider staying in the Students & Travellers Inn. This was Greece’s first hostel, opening back in 1977, and it’s an absolute hit with its guests. Dorm beds begin at just £12 per night and the place is staffed 24 hours a day.