Three Days in Athens
Known as the historical capital of Europe, Athens is a great place for the wandering traveler with a curiosity for the country’s glorious past. The city is also a culinary destination for those with an adventurous palate and an appreciation for art, boutique shopping, and high-end relaxation. A long weekend is just enough time to fully appreciate the city’s historical significance, understated beauty and contemporary vibe.
by Eleonora Betesh27 July 2017
Make sure to bring your camera to the beautiful neighbourhood of Anafiotika. Filled with colour, history, & locals, be transported to a place where the pace of life is much slower and people enjoy simply living. Take a step back and appreciate life as the Greek’s do, basking in the warm sun and walking among the whitewashed alleys, fragrant with jasmine and strung with laundry. The Plaka district is full of taverns, cafes and small shops. Take the afternoon to wander around, browse the designs and pause often for a refreshment. It’s the best way to capture the authentic vibe of Athens.
To get a glimpse into Greek culture, the Onassis Cultural Centre showcases local and global talents throughout the year with theatre and orchestra performances that are not to be missed, especially during the spring and summer months, when all you want to do is be outdoors, soaking up every possible essence.
Rosebud Café Bar is the perfect spot for a coffee among the city’s many artists, writers, and musicians. Rosebud features very alternative artistic décor, that is at once distinctly Mediterranean with the bohemian spirit of Paris. The vegan and vegetarian dishes are prepared fresh every single day, and are a great option for light lunches.
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Athens offers a wide spectrum of wonderful dining options, all equally delicious. Funky Gourmet offers a truly unforgettable Michelin star dining experience. Known for its impeccable service, playful food, and unparalleled quality, Funky Food has put Athens’s on the map for gastronomic ingenuity. The restaurant serves Greek classics with creative twists that will keep your taste buds continuously surprised. Try any of the tasting menus comprised of edible pieces of art. Make the experience even more memorable by pairing each course with a perfectly selected wine, elevating your meal to one of which would be suitable for the Greek Gods. Head to Vouliagmeni for one of the city’s best suburban scenes, and have lunch at Labros where you can try the grilled octopus and fresh salads, with a fantastic view.
Lithos offers a much more traditional representation of Greek cuisine. A small, quaint gem offering refined Greek classics. The small menu demonstrates their dedication to quality while their attentive staff will ensure that you will leave fully satisfied. Lithos stays true to its roots and avoids all and any attempts at trying to be something its not. Avoid the pompous fine dining restaurants of the city centre and journey to Lithos, located in the beautiful street of Aisopou. Try their famous Moussaka. Located in the heart of Athens, Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani is the place to go for sampling classic Mediterranean fair. With an excellent array of fine cold cuts and traditional Greek favourites, this institution provides an authentic culinary experience that will leave you feeling like a true local. Don’t forget to sample their k’nafeh for dessert.
Wine connoisseurs all appreciate Cinque Wine & Deli Bar showcases an amazing selection of Greek wines carefully chosen by its lovely owners, Evangelie and Gregory. Spend a relaxing afternoon or evening sipping on delicious Greek wine and a plate of cured meets, cheeses, and jams. Enjoy the trifecta of dining experiences: authenticity, hospitality, and quality at Cinque Wine and Deli Bar.
Breathtaking views and exquisite food makes GB Roof Garden the perfect place for a romantic dining experience. Try one of their expertly prepared cocktails amidst a stunning view of Acropolis. This institution is also serves up a great breakfast and lunch if you’d rather see Athens from above in daylight.
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The shopping scene in Athens is a mix of classic Hellenic elegance, bohemian and chic. You can find some great treasures for the summer months. Established in 2011 by Dimitra Kolotoura, Mareva Grabowski, and designer Lydia Vousvouni, Zeus + Dione produces 100% of its clothing in Greece. Using materials such as felt, silk, leather and more, this boutique is your one-stop-shop for effortless style. On the eclectic street of Pindarou, you will find the charming boutique, Punchi Pupunchi, featuring a wide selection of Greek designer creations. Here, you’ll find everything you need for your beach side vacation, from stylish accessories to beautiful sundresses. Trendsetters and fashionistas will love it here. Located inside the city, Golden Hall is fantastic mall offering many high-end luxury brands. Escape the heat of Athens, do a little shopping, and relax in one of the many cafés for an afternoon well spent.
For Greek elegance at its finest, a visit to Orsalia Parthenis does not disappoint. Established in 1970, the boutique offers easy-living, unisex designer clothing with a touch of “chic sportif”. Using natural fibres and relaxed silhouettes, Parthenis remains aesthetically pleasing while always providing a level of utmost comfort for the free-spirited Mediterranean lifestyle.
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When you have a hunch that your trolley might be reaching its ‘new purchase’ limit, unwind and relax at one of the local spas that reflect the paradise found in Greece’s famous islands. The Thalaspa Chenot allows an all-immersive wellness experience through a complete holistic program with a range of spa therapies, hydro-biontology sessions, aesthetic and beauty treatments as well as bio-light meals that will bring the mind, body, and spirit into full alignment. Hammam Baths has designed several hot water baths so indulgent, the property is known as Greece’s premiere Turkish spa. If you’ve always wondered what a real Hammam treatment from the Mediterranean is all about, experience it here.
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At sunset you can join the locals for drinks at Jazz Bar, a great after-work scene, that is full of antiques and quirky items that visitors can also purchase and ship home. At 42 Bar you will find the best cocktails in town, located near Syntagma Square lined with hotels and beautiful Old Royal Palace.
For more ideas on how to Do, Dine and Spend in Athens and beyond, visit our Destinations pages.