Five Things to Do in Athens.
- Visit the Acropolis.
This isn’t even a question. When in Athens, it is crucial to visit this amazing and important site. The Acropolis is the ancient citadel that contains significant landmarks including the Parthenon, Temple of Dionysus, and Erechtheion. Construction of the various temples, headed by Pericles, began in 421 B.C., making it over 2,400 years old. After your visit, you may swing by the Acropolis museum located a few blocks away. This isn’t nearly as remarkable as the site itself, but is filled with the wondrous artworks that were housed in the Parthenon and other buildings.
2. Drink ouzo.
This liquor staple of Greece is sold in bars, gift shops, restaurants, and even in coffee shops. It is anise-flavored, making it taste like licorice. It is a very close relative of sambuca, and also reminiscent of absinthe (but much milder). It is usually enjoyed over ice, and forms a pretty cool cloud as it settles. Enjoy the drink as a bold aperitif.
3. Eat octopus.
Grilled octopus is a Greek culinary delight. This can be found in most restaurants, and the dish may include 1-2 tentacles. It’s an extremely dense meat, but not as chewy as squid or calamari. You can compare it to a very firm scallop. If eating octopus is a little too weird for you, there is a plethora of various other Mediterranean seafood dishes and cuisine to choose from.
4. Charter a yacht
If you have cash to blow, this is the way to go. We made this affordable by saving up in advance and having a large group to book with. Most services will require you to book for at least 12 days, but we were lucky enough to reserve a day cruise. Seeing Greece from the coast is exhilarating, and many options open up with this kind of travel. Feel like scuba diving, fishing, cliff-jumping, deep-sea swimming, or island-hopping? This is all made possible with a yacht cruise. Read more on this here.
5. Simply hang on the beach.
There are beaches everywhere in the greater Athens area. Some are secluded, some are rich with restaurants and activities. Some are reachable on foot (or a short cab ride), some are worth taking a longer ride to. One especially nice area for beaches and aquatic activities is Vari.
Important note: many of the beaches are pretty rocky. You will find yourself walking and lying on large pebbles. Consider purchasing a pair of hiking sandals and paying a few extra euro to reserve beach chairs.