Something Old, New, and Blue in Athens, Greece

Something Old, New, and Blue in Athens, Greece

Visiting #Athens in the midst of crisis was considered a risky decision, at least by some of our friends. However, this family trip was more than worth it! We immersed ourselves in the city’s #culture and #history, visited unique monuments, met friendly people and enjoyed the wonderful colours of #Athens in spring.


We weren't sure what to expect prior to our visit to Athens. The whole country has been in crisis for quite some time now; we had heard that the situation and overall ambiance in the city was very unpleasant. However, being culture lovers, we decided to take this family trip anyway and it was a great decision! 

I have seen many shades of blue skies, but this one was definitely the brightest

From the first moment we arrived, we all noticed the same thing; the colour of the sky. I have seen many shades of blue skies, but this one was definitely the brightest! The 'Athenian blue' was also depicted in the sea. We stayed at the highly recommendable Metropolitan Hotel, which is very close to the sea and had the chance to visit nearby beaches of the Saronic Bay.

from  $134

Metropolitan Hotel, Athens

 Athens, Kentrikos Tomeas Athinon, Greece

But there was much more that impressed us apart from the bright blue sky and the endless sunshine. 

Nearly cloudless, bright blue skies welcomed us

While walking around the centre of Athens, we ran into several awe-inspiring ancient monuments, like the Panathinaiko or Kallimarmaro Stadio. We also saw interesting sculptures, something that urged us to take a guided tour of the city. We selected the Athens and Acropolis: Skip-the-Line 3-Hour Walking Tour.

from  $44

Athens & Acropolis Walking Tour

Culture
 Athens, Kentrikos Tomeas Athinon, Greece
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Starting at Syntagma Square, we passed by several archaeological sites, the beautiful historic building of the Parliament House and the Monument of the Unknown Soldier (where our son really enjoyed the changing of the guards). Then, we visited the National Garden of Athens, the ruins of the Temple of Zeus, and Hadrian’s Arch, right before entering the picturesque Plaka zone. 

Before we knew it, we were walking up the Acropolis hill. I don’t think I can actually describe the feeling of visiting this unique monument with almost 3,000 years of history. We learnt a lot from our guide concerning the Parthenon (I now understand why many people argue that it should be included in the wonders of the Ancient World!), the Nike Temple, the Erectheion, and the Dionysus Sanctuary.

I don’t think I can actually describe the feeling of visiting this unique monument with almost 3,000 years of history

After learning so much about what the Ancient Greeks had accomplished, we were really intrigued to discover contemporary life in Athens. What better way to do that than through observing and comprehending the city’s street art? 

from  $30

Alternative Athens Street art Tour

Culture
 Athens, Kentrikos Tomeas Athinon, Greece
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The Alternative Athens Street Art Tour was indeed amazing. With around 2,000 graffiti in outdoor murals of buildings, houses and even schools, it's not by accident that Athens has been characterized as "a contemporary mecca for street art in Europe" by the New York Times. This unusual tour enabled us to get a feel of what’s really going on in Athens, to understand its energy and to apprehend the urban culture.

It's not by accident that Athens has been characterized as "a contemporary mecca for street art in Europe"

Both our guides spoke excellent English, as did most of the Greek people we talked to during our stay. I also noticed that the Greeks were pleasant, despite the difficulties they are going through. Athens is definitely worth visiting. It has everything: something old, something new, and something blue. The “something borrowed” part is not applicable in this case; Athens is truly unique!

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