3 days in Athens - recommendations

Mar 26th, 2019, 10:02 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 15
3 days in Athens - recommendations

Hi All,

I will be reaching Athens on 20th May at 10 AM from Santorini (coming from Italy) and leaving on 23rd May at 11 AM.
So, I will be spending 3 nights in Athens along with my wife and 11 year old daughter.

Please suggest places to visit.
We are interested in history and architecture but we can't spend whole day in museums.

SO far, I have been thinking as follows -
20th May - afternoon, trip to Cape Sounion by taxi to enjoy the sunset and dinner on the way.
21st May - full day Trip to Delphi
OR full day trip to mycenae epidaurus nafplio.
I am thinking to use George's Taxi (ttps://www.taxigreece.com). Any other recommendations?
22nd May - Morning - Acropolis, Agora and surroundings (planning to take a walking tour from Alternative Athens or Athens walking tours).
Afternoon, Evening - shopping and roaming around.

If this seems too hectic, I can avoid the day trip to Delphi/Mycanae.
In that case, what to do in Athens?

Also, please suggest some good restaurants in Athens, as we like to try out local cuisine.
FYI - I have booked in Electra Palace hotel in Athens.

Thanks for your reponse,
Aadi
aadi007 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2019, 11:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 232
It would take a minimum of three days to fully see, enjoy and experience Athens. Your itinerary will entail more time on the road getting to and returning from the destinations than at the sites and will be more stress filled than thrill filled!

I would recommend spending your entire time in Athens to fully enjoy what the city has to offer. There is a lot more to do than go to museums. I would suggest during more research on Athens and you'll find it has a lot more to offer than museums.

https://www.athensguide.com/
crazyh is offline  
Mar 26th, 2019, 02:54 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,546
1. Benaki Museum

2. Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum.

3. Archelogical Museum.

4. Wander through Kolonaki and sit at an outside cafe. Don't forget your Prada sunglasses.

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is online now  
Mar 26th, 2019, 05:48 PM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,820
Tough choices about how to fit a treasure-trove of options into a few short days! FWIW, I thought Delphi extraordinary and while it would make for a long day from Athens, that is a do-able day. Nafplio, Mycenae, and Epidaurus are also wonderful, though I think it might make sense to wait to visit them until you can see more than you could manage in a single day. Cape Sunion and the Temple of Poseidon are stunning -- but is it really worth all the time it will take to get there and back when you consider what you will be missing in Athens itself? (No right or wrong answer -- just a question.)

If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information -- including comments about restaurants -- in my trip report.
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece

Hope that helps!

Last edited by kja; Mar 26th, 2019 at 05:51 PM.
kja is offline  
Mar 29th, 2019, 08:10 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 15
Thanks for all your replies.
I will put the day trip to Delphi on hold for now till I reach Athens.

I am planning to take some guided Walking tour in Athens.
Do you have any recommendations?

I shortlisted the following, please let me know your suggestions -
Athens City Tour, Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour

Acropolis, PLaka and ancient Agora

athens highlights mythology tour

hidden athens city tour - Plaka


Last edited by aadi007; Mar 29th, 2019 at 08:13 AM.
aadi007 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2019, 09:51 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,608
https://www.athens-walks.com/

For a different experience, try the gourmet food tour.
Heimdall is offline  
Mar 30th, 2019, 09:53 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 232
I've heard of "App" that can be downloaded to your phone and provide you with maps, directions and lots of information. I've never used it but some friends have and say it's excellent.

It will provide you with FREE information and you can even customize a walk.

https://www.gpsmycity.com/gps-tour-g...thens-496.html
crazyh is offline  
Mar 31st, 2019, 07:41 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 15
Ok, I have finalized most of itinerary.

Day 1. arival at 10 AM., checkin, lunch, relax, trip to cape sounion at 4:30, back by 9:30 PM
Day 2: athens highlights mythology tour by Alternative athens at 8:30 AM, lunch , come back and relax. early evening - Acropolis museum, then roam around, dinner and back
Day 3:Gourmet athens food tour by Athens walks at 10 AM. back to hotel at 2 PM... relax. evening at leisure

Let me know if the above sounds good.
As you can see, both days afternoon and evenings are kind of free.
Any recommendations on what we can see in the city, restaurants, streets etc?
I was thinking may be go to Lycabettus hill or Philopappos_Hill or somewhere for sunset in one of the days. Suggestions?
aadi007 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2019, 10:53 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,680
As Pepper suggested, you should go to the archaeological museum. You won’t have time to see all of it, but the sculpture wing is amazing and shouldn’t be missed.

cathies is offline  
Apr 1st, 2019, 06:49 PM
  #10  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,820
Originally Posted by aadi007 View Post
Any recommendations on what we can see in the city, restaurants, streets etc?
I believe I already linked in my trip report? The section on Athens begins with post # 181 and it includes my comments on the city, restaurants, etc.
kja is offline  
Apr 1st, 2019, 06:54 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 15
Thanks, everyone.
As I said, I am not much of a museum person.
I was planning to visit the Acropolis museum only but will keep the naitonal archaeological museum in mind as well.
I am planning to have the gourmet food tour earlier as I believe it will make us acquainted with the city quickly.
Will visit the Acropolis on Day 3 along with Acropolis museum and National archaelogical museum if possible.

SO, revised itinerary

Day 1. arival at 10 AM., checkin, lunch, relax, trip to cape sounion at 4:30, back by 9:30 PM
Day 3:Gourmet athens food tour by Athens walks at 10 AM. back to hotel at 2 PM... evening visit Lycabettus hill, roam around, shopping etc. Dinner outside
Day 2: athens highlights mythology tour by Alternative athens at 8:30 AM, lunch , come back and relax. early evening - Acropolis museum, dinner at hotel
aadi007 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2019, 12:02 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,608
You will really enjoy the gourmet food tour. You will be with a guide who knows the city, go to places off the tourist track, and get acquainted with foods you would otherwise probably never think to try. Kostas, the owner, started the company after his national service when he was selected to be an Evzone, the presidential guards you will see at Syntagma Square.

Last edited by Heimdall; Apr 2nd, 2019 at 12:04 AM.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2019, 06:13 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 15
I was planning to take a guided tour of Acropolis. Should I do a guided tour of Acropolis museum as well, or do it by myself?
aadi007 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2019, 03:09 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,608
It's been several years since I visited the Acropolis Museum, but as recall it was easy to guide myself around. Some Acropolis tours include the nearby Acropolis Museum as well: https://www.athens-walks.com/tour-it...opolis-museum/
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2019, 06:20 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,869
If you do not do the tour, you can read up on the Acropolis Museum beforehand ... the 1st floor above street-level has the famous "carytids" that hold up the porch of the Erechtheion building/temple ... the top floor has a Superb 20 minute video that illuminates the history of both the Acropolis and Parthenon thru 2500 years. PLUS the exact replication of the Parthenon decorations with the Authentic sculptures in place & plaster copies of the ones taken by other nations... The street-level floor has more this fab website gives you a PHOTO preview of what y ou'll see, with good explanations. ALSO, it reminds you that (1) every day there are museum archeologists (wearing red & white badges) standing on each floor to give you detailed info and (2) every Friday at 6pm during much of the year, there's a free complimentary tour by an archeologist. I would say, with a bit of prep, the museum's very understandable; on the top level if you find one of those "badge experts" about the Parthenon sculptures its v. helpful. BTW, if nobody's mentioned it before, the museum's restaurant (unlike others in many nations) is a good value, moderate prices for lunch & snack, with outer terrace looking right up at Parthenon & glassed-in A/c tables as well. The museum's entry walkway is Glass & looking down you see the entire Village discovered during construction... your 11-year-old wil love it.. while some of us have trouble walking over it! (there are non-glass parts for us).
travelerjan is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2019, 06:44 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 15
Thanks so much for the replies.
The way I am thinking is as follows -
Day 1 - Cape Sounion tour
Day 2 - Ancient attractions tour.
Day 3 - City exploration

Can you please help me plan for the day 2 of my tour covering the ancient sites?
I read up a few things and now I am confused

There are a few ancient attractions which I want to cover.
1> Acropolis
2> Acropolis museum
3> Ancient Agora
4> Temples of Zeus and others.

Can you please tell me what's the sequence and timing should be?
There are may guided walking tours available. Should I take a guided tour of all?
I am pretty sure I will take a guided tour of the Acropolis? But what about the others?

Last edited by aadi007; Apr 3rd, 2019 at 06:48 PM.
aadi007 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2019, 07:34 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,869
If I were you, I would split it up... too exhausting to do all the ancient landmarks in ONE day... you'll be dizzy ... "city explorations" can be done along the way. You sound so confused that I would recommend y ou DO do a tour -- there are the 2 companies Athenswalking tour and Athens Walks --

DAY 2 --do tour that starts with the Acropolis, and then goes to the Acropolis Museum, with time out for lunch at Museum or a few 100 yards away. a great little cafe under the trees, Diogenes -- it's right by the Lysikratos Monument. Acropolis will take from 9 am 11:30 or so. Lunch 90 minutes, then 1 - 3 at Museum. If you don't want to pay for a Acrop Mseum Tour, look at this - https://whyathens.com/the-acropolis-museum/ print much of it out. and D-I-Y as I described above.
by then you'll be footweary ... go EAST on that Promenade... get a divine Frozen Yogurt at FRESKO, and go take a look the Temple of ZEUS and HADRIAN's ARCH and hang out in the National Gardens awhile. Then you're DON. Then go back & have a nap, and then a nice dinner.

DAY 3 -- Go to Ancient AGORA ... Before the trip Go to Rick Steves Website for ATHENS, click on WATCH READ LISTEN, and download his FREE step-by-step audio walking tour of the AGORA. Fun fun do-it-yourself. If y ou're lucky, you'll see some mating turtles in the greenery, it's the season. Find a good place for lunch & relax. If you can think of it, stop at the Museum of Greek Children's Art (!!!) Your daughter can buy a fabulous poster of Athens by a 10-year-old that won a national contest -- a super thing for her wall at home. Then TAXI to the NAt. ARCH MUSEUM. Beflorehand download from Rick Steves ALSO a FREE D-I-Y step-by-step guide to the TEN "MUST" THINGS to see in the N.A.M. So you can see some wowie stuff, in an hour or so, have a lemonade & leave. Get back to PLAKA area & walk around, buy some souvenirs. That's it.
travelerjan is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2019, 08:54 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by travelerjan View Post
If I were you, I would split it up... too exhausting to do all the ancient landmarks in ONE day... you'll be dizzy ... "city explorations" can be done along the way. You sound so confused that I would recommend y ou DO do a tour -- there are the 2 companies Athenswalking tour and Athens Walks --

DAY 2 --do tour that starts with the Acropolis, and then goes to the Acropolis Museum, with time out for lunch at Museum or a few 100 yards away. a great little cafe under the trees, Diogenes -- it's right by the Lysikratos Monument. Acropolis will take from 9 am 11:30 or so. Lunch 90 minutes, then 1 - 3 at Museum. If you don't want to pay for a Acrop Mseum Tour, look at this - https://whyathens.com/the-acropolis-museum/ print much of it out. and D-I-Y as I described above.
by then you'll be footweary ... go EAST on that Promenade... get a divine Frozen Yogurt at FRESKO, and go take a look the Temple of ZEUS and HADRIAN's ARCH and hang out in the National Gardens awhile. Then you're DON. Then go back & have a nap, and then a nice dinner.

DAY 3 -- Go to Ancient AGORA ... Before the trip Go to Rick Steves Website for ATHENS, click on WATCH READ LISTEN, and download his FREE step-by-step audio walking tour of the AGORA. Fun fun do-it-yourself. If y ou're lucky, you'll see some mating turtles in the greenery, it's the season. Find a good place for lunch & relax. If you can think of it, stop at the Museum of Greek Children's Art (!!!) Your daughter can buy a fabulous poster of Athens by a 10-year-old that won a national contest -- a super thing for her wall at home. Then TAXI to the NAt. ARCH MUSEUM. Beflorehand download from Rick Steves ALSO a FREE D-I-Y step-by-step guide to the TEN "MUST" THINGS to see in the N.A.M. So you can see some wowie stuff, in an hour or so, have a lemonade & leave. Get back to PLAKA area & walk around, buy some souvenirs. That's it.
Thanks for the excellent reply. You are right, I am confused
Please note that I have a food tour from 10AM - 2PM on Day 3.

So, this is what I am thinking -
Day 2 - Take the Athens Mythology tour by alternative athens from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM starting from Temple of Zeus, covering Acropolis and Ancient Agora.
Have lunch, relax. May be visit the Museum of Greek Children';s Art as you suggested. Back to hotel by 3 PM.
If we have energy, leave around 5 PM to National archaelogical museum, see some of the highlights. Back to hotel for dinner

Day 3 - Food tour from 10-2 PM., back to hotel, take rest.
Head out to Acropolis museum from 4-6 PM, stoll around Plaka , shopping, have dinner etc.

Does this sound like a good plan?
If this sounds too hectic, I will drop the National archaelogical museum on Day 2
aadi007 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2019, 11:06 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 9
These were the top 4 places I really enjoyed in Athens.
1-Acropolis
2-Agora
3-Kolonaki
4-Olympieion
jkgarner is offline  
Apr 4th, 2019, 05:06 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,869
My feeling, which many do not share, is that day #1 is squandered driving down to Sounion at great expense, and waiting the whole day for the sunset, when the site will be swarmed anyway with about 12+ tour busses (hundreds of people). If you are hoping for a magical moment alone, thinking of Lord Byron as you lean against a pillar, forget it. That's daydreaming.

In your place I'd use Day one for some of the stuff you try to pack into Day 2 or 3 -- i.e. get multiple-choice entry ticket after lunch, at Temple of Zeus, then wander to Children's art Museum ( #36 on this fab map http://www.orangesmile.com/destinati...ns-map-big.jpg) Then go to the Acropolis Museum in afternoon. Stop at Diogenes Cafe or Fresko (FIRST froz yogurt shop in Athens, started by an American boy who married an Athens girl)... then at 7 pm, walk down the promenade on S. Side of Acropolis, and go to the PNYX (on map #18 PNIKA) -- a superb spot to photo the Acropolis, gold in the setting sun -- : http://tinyurl.com/yxpagq4x BTW, Pnyx is MAJOR history, where the ancient democratic assembly met, its platform is where Pericles orated! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pnyx For me, THAT is a thrilling sunset. Many are disappointed in the Sounion-sunset "zoo" mileu. I've been to Greece 12 times, on 9 of them I've taken along 3-4 "newbies" and my suggestions are based on what they found most rewarding. But of course, you have your priorities, based on stuff you've read, or pictures from the internet.

If you did Acrop Museum on Day #1, you could do N.A.M. day #3.

Last edited by travelerjan; Apr 4th, 2019 at 05:10 AM.
travelerjan is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:35 PM.