Greece was a new country to add to my list as part of a goal for myself to visit one new country a year.
I chose Athens because 1. I didn't have much time to visit the Greek islands; 2. I was interested in learning more about its history and 3. I've heard a lot of good things about the culture so off to Greece it was.
Before we landed in Athens we hired a car service to pick us up which I'm so glad we did because public transport seemed a little confusing. The guy had our names on a card and the other couple that was supposed to be in our car didn't show so we didn't have to drop another group off first. Whoo!
Our Airbnb was amazing! It was right by the neighborhood of Plaka which has a lot of little shops, restaurants and bars. We pretty much were able to walk everywhere.
Our Airbnb also had a rooftop, so we went to pick up some wine and ciders and then we watched the sunset over Athens after having a nice dinner in Plaka.
On our first full morning, we woke up early to do a walking tour with Urban Free Tours. The tour normally has 10 to 15 people but that morning it was just us so we got a private tour! The tour was great. We got to see a lot of ruins that we wouldn’t have found ourselves but on top of that, we learned the history around it. It lasted about 2 hours and they take you through multiple neighborhoods in the city. The guide even takes you near the Acropolis.
After all that walking, we took a short break before we went to Elena’s Day Spa. I would highly recommend this day spa. Services are about 30 to 60 euros in price, but you get a lot with it such as the use of the sauna, body scrub and an hour massage on top of that. The service was great, and we felt so relaxed afterward.
During the tour, our guide gave us a lot of useful info on the Acropolis, so we went and visited the museum. Inside were a bunch of pieces that were saved after the Acropolis was bombed, stolen, etc. It was a lot bigger than we thought and you mainly just browsed around although I do recommend watching the videos they share because they show you where the pieces would have originally been on the Acropolis.
Lucky for us, I had a friend who was from Athens who I met in Portugal the previous year. She is honestly the kindest person I’ve met and so hospitable. She picked us up from the Acropolis and took us down toward Piraeus (where the boats leave to go to the islands) to this family-owned seafood restaurant called Tavern Giannis. We had a huge spread of Greek salad, bread, squid, crawfish, and prawns. It was the best seafood I had on this trip and I looooove seafood. The owner was super nice and gave us free watermelon at the end. It was also a great amount to share and was only around 20 euros for each of us (3 people).
The Greeks eat very late, so the night was still young, so we decided to go to a bar called 360 bar. It was super packed, but it had good cocktails. Only bad thing is that people can smoke anywhere so we were getting hit with that gross smell.
The next morning, our last full day, my friend picked us up to go to Port Rafti which is along the coast. We spent the day at Era Mensa Beach Bar . You have to pay 5 euros to get in, but I do not recommend ordering food or drinks here as it wasn’t that good.
My friend brought us stuffed peppers (she’s the sweetest *cries*) and we had a lot of fun going in and out of the sea. I also definitely took a nap at the beach, so I think that’s the definition of a good time. The water is so clear here that you can see little fish swimming around, but in a few years, that beach may not exist as my friend said she used to own a home here and the beach has gotten smaller every time she comes.
That last day was spent eating gelato, fresh sushi and enjoying the beach before hopping on a flight back to London.