Our flight got in so early (5am) that we decided to do our best to stay up alllll day and beat jetlag. After freshening up at the hotel, we set out to explore the city!
We stayed at the Niche Hotel which we found to be super clean, stylish and close to downtown, with a great view of the Acropolis from their rooftop bar/restaurant. Becasue it was so early, our first stop was the 24 hr bakery, To Koulouri tou Psyrri for Koulouri Thessalonikis, the delicious Greek sesame bread rings. After a cappucino and a snack we went in search of a 2nd breakfast 😉 and found the very friendly, Picky Coffee Roasters & Brunch. Afterwards, we spent the majority of our day visiting these ancient sites: Library of Hadrian, Roman Forum of Athens…before heading up to the main event.
After the climb to the Acropolis (which was totally amazing and worth it) ~ p.s. we bought tickets ahead ~ we were parched and just wanted to find a cafe to hang out at and watch the world go by. Louis Bistro was perfect. We had a few cocktails and lots of bottles of water! It was very hot.
The modern all glass Acropolis Museum is absolutely gorgeous and also totally worth a visit. It’s fascinating to be able to get up really close to those sculptures and pieces of ancient architecture. And, unlike seeing them in other cities’s museums, you are right there so close to where they were made so many ages ago. Over history, there had been many threats to the Acropolis but in the 70’s, I believe, they decided to make a plan to house and protect the artifacts that once were part of the Acropolis and this museum opened in the 2000’s. Anyhow, it’s a great place to go during the hottest part of the day to cool down.
My jetlag was hitting me hard to we went back to the Niche Hotel for dinner on the roof ~ we fell FAST sleep at 8pm!
After almost 12 hours of sleep, Noah and I were up at 8am feeling rested and having breakfast up on the roof of The Niche Hotel…again. They had a beautiful spread which was all included!
I will say that we are big garden people, but we thought the National Garden was absolutely beautiful. A quiet oasis to explore and find shade away from the crowds. Afterwards, we window shopped at Christina Beautiful Life and DNA Stars and ended up at The Bar In Front of The Bar for coffee.
I had heard that there was an authentic food market where you could buy herbs and spices and after a few lefts and rights and following my nose 🙂 we made it to Varvakios, Athen’s Central Market. It was intense! Aisles of fish on ice and butcher’s breaking down large swinging carcasses, but we got a true sense of a city that takes its food seriously. I found some oregano and Greek mountain tea to take home, and I was ready to get out of there and grab some lunch.
We ended up having one of the most memorable meals of the trip at the corner restaurant, Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani – a traditional Greek and Middle Eastern tavern. Favorite dishes include the Fried Cheese, Greek salad, Marinated Anchovies with herbs, Sausages and for dessert Candied Carrots on Yogurt.
BEST LUNCH in the city
Sokratous 1, Athina 105 52, Greece
A DELIGHTFUL HOTEL for the last night in the city
After traveling for 2 weeks we made it back to Athens and stayed for one last night in Athens at a foodie boutique hotel with a great marketplace to bring home souvenirs for friends and family…
23, Mitropoleos Street, Athina 105 57, Greece
A SNACK ON OUR LAST DAY
Athinaidos 3, Athina 105 63, Greece
“fried fish in a cone”
LAST DINNER in Greece!
Praxitelous 43, Athina 105 60, Greece
While we waited for a rainstorm to pass, we dined on a delicious smoked eggplant dish and a rice bowl with crackling pig and finished with a plate of sweet and famous Loukoumades (bite sized sweet honey donuts).