The delightful Olympic path curving down from Acropolis Hill past various attractions.
This wide and wonderful Athens pedestrian walkway - scattered with
interesting modern art - stretches from the Temple of Olympian Zeus,
around Acropolis hill (Areopagus Hill), past the ancient Agora, past Thision metro (tube) station and up Adrianou to the Library
of Hadrian and Monastiraki metro.
The walkway is a brilliant idea, looping comfortably around or near
just about all the city's key sights, with greenery and funky little
It's about 4 kms (2.5m) long and mostly traffic free, though Athens seems to consider motorcyclists to be honorary pedestrians and many regular sidewalks require constant attention if tourists don't want to fall down a hole.
- Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Olympeion, aka though not much is left barring a dozen massive Corinthian
columns and the Arch of Hadrian.
- Monastiraki district/metro stop, once home to Lord Byron now home to Athens flea market, the Ceramic Museum, a terrific atmosphere and
downmarket shopping bargains galore. Near Plaka.
- Filopappos Hill, a calm green walk, some great views (the photo at top was taken there), the Dora Stratou
Theatre and a pleasant café.
Slightly off the newly beaten path but near the Ancient Agora, Kerameikos is well worth a few hundred metres of diversion.
Athens' cemetery from 12thC BC thru the Roman era, the place is calm and tranquilising. The walls and gates seep with history while funerary statues are varied and impressive, even though the originals are in the National Archeological Museum.
The Ceramic Museum in Monastiraki.
Voula is not a bad little beach if you're desperate for sand and sea though not at all up to normal Greek island beach standards.
45 minutes by bus (or metro/tube and bus) from Athens' Syntagma Square and you have to pay a few euros to get on to the beach, but it's clean and well serviced and the water is clear and unpolluted.
Basic food facilities are available, but don't expect anything ethnic or interesting and look out for pick pockets on the bus.
Piraeus port with various types of ferries in dock.
Piraeus is Greece's main port, though many Greek island ferries also dock at Rafina on the Aegean side of the peninsula. 10km from central Athens, it's easily accessible by metro, unlike Rafina, so if you have a choice of departure points choose Piraeus.
The place has plenty of small hotels but they are mostly flea pits so sleeping in Athens is the way to go. Do not attempt to sleep rough in this port. You may end up in Shanghai.
A Plaka summer evening
Plaka is where Athens tourist herds gather to feed under the shadow
of the Acropolis, but beware prices. The more romantic the location
the more ridiculous the price...and don't even think seafood unless
you plan on a second mortgage. Good meal deals are available but they'll
hardly be ethnic or interesting.
To escape the package feeding frenzy of Plaka and Monastiraki, stroll
a little further north to the labyrinthine streets of Psiri where
Greek fashionistas cruise and style rules. While you may have
a little more difficulty in communicating at least your neighbours
will be funky Greeks and prices will be credible.
And then it's time for a drink. Or two. Next, Athens Travel Guide or Greece Pictures or choose from below.
Brettos is not a bar like many of us have seen before, and quite unlike
the anaemic please-the-europunters kind of place usually found in Plaka, though more adventurous visitors will find serious drinking
dens elsewhere in Athens.
Brettos is an old family operation that fronts a distillery business,
so one wall is lined with Brettos barrels of booze, seating is humble
and the clientele unpretentious. It's the real thing.
That's the End of this Athens Pictures gallery.
Good luck to you Athenians, you're going to need it in the austere years to come.
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