Weekend getaways to Europe are one of my favorite past times and an Athens weekend getaway is a must. One thing I love about living in the UK is how accessible mainland Europe is to us. Brexit or not, I will still continue with my city escapes, I am not limiting myself to only European destinations. Our recent city escape came in a form of a staycation to Salisbury and Stonehenge.
There is no doubt about it but traveling is one of my favourite hobbies that I am fortunate to enjoy. If you told me five years ago I would be traveling as much as I do now, I would have just laughed. You see back then I wasn’t in a place where I could prioritize traveling alone or otherwise. The fear was too great and I lacked in certain skills; money management aka budgeting. Five years later I feel like a pro at both money management and traveling the world solo or with family.
Athens Weekend Getaway
Athens is a city I had been wanting to visit for the longest time, years back I even made plans to visit. Until the financial crisis struck and the city started to experience riots. This caused me to cancel the trip and pack up any ideas of visiting alone ever. Until this year when I found a deal too good to pass up via Expedia and before I knew I had booked.
Like most of my solo trips abroad, I rarely have a solid plan of places I want to visit whilst in town. Often I plan my day the morning of unless I needed to book certain things in advance. Athens weekend getaway was no different, the only exception was I did not actually stay in Athens. Regardless I had the best time exploring the two Greek cities and the weather was on my side.
Getting around Athens
As mentioned, I did not stay within Athens but rather opted for port of Piraeus. Athens is easy enough to navigate; buses, trains and taxis – these can be quite extortionate price. Traveling from Athens airport, I took bus x96 to Piraeus, it took 45 minutes and cost 6 euros. Another option was to take the metro line 3 to Monastiraki then change to metro line 1 to Piraeus.
Five Must See Places in Athens
Whilst I rarely plan which spots I want to visit in any given city, I always have at least five must see places. For the recent Athens weekend getaway, I knew the following places are ones I need to visit at whatever cost.
Acropolis and Parthenon
Acropolis is such a vision, sitting on the sacred rock is Parthenon which can be seen even from Piraeus. When tourists flock the city of Athens, high on the list is acropolis and Parthenon, it takes your break away. I knew from the moment I saw acropolis that I was willing to hike up the hill to visit this incredible monument. One recommendation I would make is wear appropriate footwear as you will need it and the support.
Over the last few years I have become such a huge lover of visiting the city museums. I was impressed by how modern the acropolis museum is, the glass flooring on some areas made for some interesting basement view. The museum has an archaeological focus on findings from the Acropolis of Athens.
Monastiraki Square and the Flea Market
Staying in Piraeus, I took a train to Monastiraki where I got off near the flea market and was definitely fascinated. It wasn’t as busy as I have seen in pictures but it was definitely a vision. From the square I could clearly see the impressive and domineering acropolis from a distance.
Whilst I wish I had visited at sunset, during the day was just a vision as well. An impressive birds eye view of the city of Athens, I was able to sit back and enjoyed the view. It is a popular tourist destination not to be missed, sitting 300 meters above sea level.
GREECE 🇬🇷: March 2018 —————————————— This is what’s left of Hadrian’s Library. I must admit I don’t know much about the Greek history and who/what Hadrian’s is but I enjoyed visiting the site. Athens definitely threw me off guard, not what I was expecting at all. —————————————— #athens #athensgreece #greece🇬🇷 #europeandestinations #exploreeurope #uktravelblogger #europeanadventures #take12trips #travelawesome #travelblogging #traveldiary #travelgram #travellife #travelphoto #travelphotography #travelpics #traveltheworld
Sitting on the north side of Acropolis, Hadrian’s library was created in AD 132 in roman forum architectural style. It is such an imposing structure that you will encounter on your way from Monastiraki square. I was fascinated by the remains of the library which was seriously damaged during the Herulian invasion.
Whilst I was happy with the time I spent in Athens, I was most happy by the fact that my hotel was in Piraeus. Located only a few minutes walk from Port of Piraeus, I was able to watch the ships come in harbor. The weather was perfect on both days, the food was cheap and very much delicious.