Athens: a great destination
Last month I visited Athens, Greece for the first time; it won’t be my last visit either. I travelled to Athens to attend the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) conference and this was a great opportunity to get to know the city.
Why I love Athens
During my short stay I was busy with conference activities but I certainly got to do some exploring and I quickly discovered that these are some of my favourite things:
1. The metro
Athens has a fantastic metro system which covers the city and connects to the airport. It is clean, safe, efficient and great value for money. A one-way ticket to/from the airport to the city costs just €8 and a five-day metro pass to use within the city costs only €10. As a female solo traveller I felt completely comfortable travelling across the city by myself, regardless of the time of day.
2.The history and architecture
There’s no denying that Athens is a fantastic city for lovers of both history and architecture. Even if you don’t consider yourself being a fan of either, you can’t help but be mesmerised by the sights. Both the Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus tower above the city and can be seen from many locations.
3. Greek cuisine
I am in LOVE with Greek cuisine. It’s a good job my trip was short because I ate way too many naughty-but-nice local delights. If you’re a foodie, then Athens delivers an excellent menu, catering for a range of tastes and all budgets.
4. Street art
I absolutely love the street art in Athens; you can find it almost everywhere, bringing renewed life, light and a voice to the city.
5. Pandrossou Street Market
I spent my Saturday night following the TBEX conference wandering the Pandrossou Street Market with other bloggers, sampling local treats, listening to music and interacting with the locals. The Pandrossou shop owners and the Athens Traders Association kindly provided us with a farewell street party; an “interactive journey of tastes and experiences” and they certainly know how to put on a party! Pandrossou Street is accessible from Monastiraki Metro Station in Monastiraki Square and is definitely worth a visit, whether you want to do some shopping or just want to immerse yourself in the vibrant market experience and meet locals.
I had the opportunity to see and listen to some fantastic live music while I was in Athens; both traditional and contemporary sounds. Live bands played at the Technopolis and around the city in bars, restaurants and on the street!
One of the best experiences travel affords is meeting other people, whether they are fellow travellers or locals. It’s always lovely to meet locals though because they can give you a greater insight into what it is like to live in the place you visit and they usually have some great tips on things to see and do too! From the moment I arrived in Athens until the moment I left, I encountered nothing but warmth and friendliness from the locals, everywhere I went.
Athens is undoubtedly much more than a stop-over place on the way to explore the Greek Islands; it’s a vibrant city offering something for everyone. I only had 4 nights to spare for this trip and I wish I could have stayed much longer both in Athens and to have time to explore more of Greece. In that short time I started to feel like a local (even though my Greek is virtually non-existent!); it really did begin to feel like home. I will definitely return.