Guest Guide: Athens
Athens is worth a visit not only for the towering Acropolis – the capital of Greece has long been a mecca for lovers of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Among the orange trees and the bottomless sea, time flows slowly – and really, where to run when you are surrounded by such beauty?
The Greeks have the proverb “Όποιος βιάζεται σκοντάφτει”, which literally means: “Who in a hurry – he stumbles.” Our route will help you not to fill the bumps on the land of heroes and gods – grab a Fredo espresso and have a nice trip!
Acropolis of Athens
Athens is built around a hill 160 meters high, which is visible from all points of the city. A millennium ago there was a fortress for kings, protected around the perimeter by reliable fortifications. Climbing the hill, you will see a whole complex of buildings: the Dionysus Theater, where the authors of comedies and tragedies competed, the grand Parthenon temple, the main decoration of which was a huge statue of the goddess Athena, made of gold and ivory, and the Erechtheion with the famous sculpture columns of Caryatides.
Fans of antiquities should consider that from June to August the temperature in the sun can reach 40 degrees, so it is better to plan a sightseeing in the early morning. And the temple itself must be admired at sunset – at this time the ruins seem to come to life and seem even more magnificent.
If you want to feel the spirit of the times, go to the oldest area of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis – Plaka. The main street is named after the Roman emperor Hadrian – it has not changed its direction since ancient times. To the side of it, small streets diverge, on which there are numerous shops and restaurants. One of the most colorful cafes Yiasemi is located directly on one of the stone stairs. Here you can have coffee with homemade pies and halva, and from 8:30 to 10:00 you can have breakfast from the vegetarian buffet for only 10 euros.
New Acropolis Museum
The new Acropolis Museum opened in 2009 – it is one of the most modern buildings in Athens. The construction seems to hover above the ground – on a glass platform under the foundation you can see the ruins of an ancient village with houses, pottery workshops, wells and pools. The entrance to the museum is inclined slightly as a reminder of the ascent to the ancient Acropolis.
The finds from the hill are located on four floors: sculptures from sanctuaries on the slopes, relief plates, ceramic dishes, miniature vessels and various household clay objects. One of the most interesting exhibits is the original sculptures of Caryatids, which supported the Erechtheion Temple. Initially, there were six statues – one relic was taken out by the English lord two hundred years ago and is now exhibited in the British Museum.
new acropolis museum
To visit Greece and not try the local shawarma is a real crime. Gyros is eaten by everyone – from students to elegant ladies. For 2 euros in a fried fluffy tortilla, you will be wrapped with grilled chicken or pork, zazdiki sauce of yogurt, cucumber and garlic, vegetables and french fries. And now the best part is that gyros are cooked deliciously almost everywhere, so stock up on trifles and put on jeans more freely.
Concert in Odeon of Herodes Atticus
In the ancient theater on the Acropolis, everything looks almost the same as two thousand years ago, with the exception of the large-scale roof, which was made of cedar and has not survived to our times. The hall, paved with marble, seats 5,000 people. You can go on a journey through time and feel like a participant in an exciting performance even now – over the past 50 years, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the concerts of Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, Sting and Elton John have performed on the stage of the theater. The concert program runs from June to September.
concert in odeon
No less than going out for coffee, the Greeks love to go out – the center of Athens is full of numerous bars for every taste. In The Clumsies (No. 6 on the list of the Top 50 best bars in the world), the menu can only be seen with a special flashlight. The best Greek bartenders mix cocktails here – try the original La Capilla Te, Hop-Less Punch and the signature Aegean Negroni. On the second floor they made a separate room for 10 people – not only cocktails from the menu can be mixed there, but also they can pick up something individual specifically for you.
Nearby is the dude Drunk Sinatra – it is always crowded and noisy. The cocktails are named in the style of the American singer’s songs – sweet Fly to the moon on tequila with agave or piquant Under my skin with cucumber and chili will raise the degree of mood. There are no snacks in the bar, but endless popcorn is brought to the drinks.
Τα Βλάχικα (“Ta Vlahika”)
In a tavern in the Vari area, a few kilometers from the airport, real Greek dishes are prepared: grilled lamb ribs, goat stewed in the oven, village sausages and cocorets – lamb entrails fried on a spit.