Athens – The Acropolis

After our final night in Plataria and an emotional goodbye to Selene the dog, we set sail back to Corfu for our last night with the Sailing Holidays crew and Linda & Martin.

The sailing day was pretty long as Plataria was actually quite a way from Gouvia Marina, but we returned to Corfu safely after some final great sailing and another brilliant lunch on the sea.

Corfu old town

The next morning, we headed with the group to the airport to catch our flight to Athens. After a fairly bumpy 45min flight and a train from the airport (which was as long as the flight), we arrived at our new home for the next 3 days.

It is a decent sized 1 bedroom apartment with kitchen and shower (with the tiniest bathtub you could possibly get!). All you need for a short stay. It is actually one of the cheapest accommodation so far ($140 for 3 nights) and amazing value for money. It is a little bit out of the touristy center, but all of the main attractions are still within walking distance.

As usual, we had some drama with doing laundry (the washing machine in the apartment wasn’t working, so after a bit of mucking around we had to go out and find a launderette – lucky one was close). We set aside the rest of the day to chill, and ate tasty gyros for dinner (local delicacy – basically a kebab with chips in!).

The next morning we woke up early to visit the Acropolis. Here again we pre-purchased skip the line tickets as we were worried the queues would be too crazy, but on this occasion they weren’t too bad and it wasn’t really necessary. Still, it’s peak season and didn’t want to take the risk.

Inside though… FULL of tourists! Far busier than any of the big attractions we visited in Italy. I guess that’s what you get for traveling during peak season, but it was annoying having to push your way through people taking selfies and group pictures and generally standing where they shouldn’t. To top it all up, we had gale force winds up there which made it even harder to navigate around people and the slippery stones (and keep hold of hats!).

The Parthenon in the background

Despite the negatives, which couldn’t be helped, the Acropolis was very cool to visit. All of these ancient sites we’ve been visiting so far are so full of history and it’s amazing to finally be able to see them in real life and learn about their rich past. Again we used our Rick Steves podcast to give us an audio guide of the site.

From up there you also have a 360 view of the city that is pretty incredible. Athens is a massive sprawling city – one third of the entire Greece population lives here.

After fighting through the other million tourists in the Acropolis, we tried to visit the Acropolis Museum. The queue there was too long and all of the time slots were taken, so we decided to postpone our visit to tomorrow and go for a walk around Plaka instead.

Plaka is so pretty! But it seems really staged. All other areas in Athens are very hectic and more ‘raw’, whereas Plaka, as pretty as it looks, does seem a bit fake and made up for tourists. Still, we had a great time walking around and browsing around the different shops.

We then managed to walk all the way around the main downtown area, going through Psyri, the flea market, and Syntagma square.

As a reward after a pretty long day of walking, we decided to make our way back towards our accommodation and have a drink in a small square we discovered the day before in the Koukaki neighborhood on Geor Olimpiou, and enjoyed cold beers at happy hour (4 euros for 2 beers, hard to beat that!).

#TheDexplorers

Tips

  • Zorbas in Corfu is a great spot for enormous size greek dishes. Food is delicious and there is definitely no need for starters. We liked it so much that we went twice!
  • Pre-book your time slot in advance to visit the Acropolis museum (during peak season anyway), but you may not need skip the line tickets for the Acropolis.
  • Gior Olimpiou square is a great spot for a cheap drink. So many bars and restaurants to chose from, all with outdoor seating in this leafy suburb. Few tourists there.

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