A first impression of Athens, Greece – Travel Photo Mondays

 

Athens, is such an amazing place to visit and filled with so much history, architecture, amazing food and exciting, youthful areas that are popular in spite of the economic downturn in the country. I really enjoyed that  the city is relatively compact within the historic districts and most of the main attractions, squares and places of interest are centered within the historic district.

 

A panoramic view of the historic district and hills of Athens

A panoramic view of the historic district and hills of Athens

 

Here are highlights of my first impression of Athens, Greece below

I love walking down the many squares, narrow streets and busy avenues of Athens – it’s so alive and filled with energy. One minute you are walking down an ancient ruin, thousands of years old and adjacent is a trendy area filled with restaurants and live performances that are free to enjoy. There’s so much variety of places to explore old or new, Athens street art mixed in with trendy neighborhoods next to ancient sites….or perhaps just a nice walk along an area that has antique markets mixed in with many cafes and pastry shops makes for a nice break during one of those walks around the city. To get my bearings around Athens and what to do, I loved referring to this infographic shortcut travel guide to Athens.

 

Athens street art in the Plaka district

Athens street art in the Plaka district

 

There are so many interesting neighborhoods to visit and experience in the city, many of them in the historic district and very close to many of the national monuments of the city including the Plaka and Monastiraki districts that are shown on this post.

 

Monastiraki area neighborhoods and street art

Monastiraki area neighborhoods and street art

A beautiful and quiet area in the busy Plaka district in Athens

 

Anafiotika neighborhood off the Plaka in Athens

Anafiotika neighborhood off the Plaka in Athens

 

Just above this quiet area of Anafiotika in the Plaka sits the majestic Acropolis – the main landmark of Athens.  This whole area has also been in constant flux and improvement with a stunning Acropolis museum along with retrofitting and upgrading the Unesco site above.  Later in the day is a great way to avoid the crows and enjoy the late after light and into the sunset time frame which is quite spectacular from above and looking down into the city. The Plaka has lots of cool bars, restaurants, galleries and fun shops to buy souvenirs if you are looking for things to buy in Greece.

 

 

Façade view of the Acropolis in retrofit

Façade view of the Acropolis in retrofit

 

The famous balcony of the Erechteion with the graceful Caryatids (maiden statues) which are actually copies, the originals placed in the new Acropolis Museum just located below the Acropolis and have been painstakingly cleaned and placed in a prominent spot in the museum so you can see them very close. Visiting the Acropolis is definitely what Greece is famous for its iconic temple located on a prominent bluff overlooking all of Athens along with other significant landmarks in this impressive site.

 

 

The Erechteion with the graceful Caryatids at the Acropolis

The Erechteion with the graceful Caryatids at the Acropolis

 

There are exceptional views of the entire city and many of the ancient landmarks around the Acropolis, it seems like everywhere that you turn, there is something even more magnificent to discover and enjoy including the Roman Odeion theater of Herodes Atticus next to the Acropolis.

 

Roman Odeion of Herodes Atticus at the Acropolis

Roman Odeion of Herodes Atticus at the Acropolis

The artifacts and interior of the Acropolis museum are a must visit attraction

 

Interior views from the Acropolis Museum in Athens

Interior views from the Acropolis Museum in Athens

 

 

There’s so much to see and explore in this dynamic city. Even climbing up the hills of the city affords amazing views and panoramas especially at Lycbettus hill which has such a stunning view overlooking the Acropolis and the entire city from the surrounding hills down to the ocean at Piraeus port.  While your up there, stay for the sunsets, it’s worth the climb and the views.

 

Lycabettus hill and panoramic views of Athens

Lycabettus hill and panoramic views of Athens

 

Sunset approaches on Athens from Lycabettus Hill

 

Lycabettus hill at sunset in Athens

Lycabettus hill at sunset in Athens

 

Evening view of the Acropolis from Lycabettus hill

 

 Acropolis at night from Lycabettus Hill

Acropolis at night from Lycabettus Hill

 

There’s still so much of Athens to explore and this is just a first impression of my first visit to the city. Even easy access from the airport to the main city center via bus, taxi or metro system and is so well laid out. Stay tuned for more stories about the neighborhoods, food, culture and history of this amazing city in the Aegean capital. If you’re exploring outside of Athens, a perfect day trip from Athens is a visit to the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion.

Check out these other posts on Athens & region

A visit to Delphi

A stay at the Royal Olympic Hotel

Thanks for visiting this first impression of Athens, Greece, hope that you enjoyed the highlight tour of the city.

 

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