First time in Athens-How many days?

Old Jan 17th, 2014, 04:15 AM
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First time in Athens-How many days?

I am considering taking a two week late fall Mediterranean-Black Sea cruise that starts in Athens. Since we have never been there I was wondering how far ahead of our sailing date on Oct 26 we should arrive in Athens. We would like to visit the sights most first time tourists would want to see.

If you have been to Athens could you share your opinions on the number of days for a visit focused on museums and Greek architecture. We are not interested in shopping or beaches at that time of the year. Thank you for your suggestions . Deborah
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 04:18 AM
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I love Athens. I'd aim for at least 3 days there before the cruise. Day 1 you'll be tired from the flight so days 2 and 3 should get you to most of the city sites. If you'd like to do a day trip to Delphi or Nafplion you could add in an extra day or 2.
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 04:19 AM
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We spent three the first time and found that long enough..that included three nights BTW and we had similar interests to yours...now, that said, if you had the time (which you may not) you can actually take the so-called "classical tour" which used to be three nights and see some of the major Greek sites by bus..those start and end in Athens. However, Athens offers plenty on its own and after a while looking at a bunch of ruins can start to run together and get a little blurry.

If your cruise includes the west coast of Turkey you are in for some spectacular ruins there, too.
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 04:24 AM
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I think three or four nights sounds right to visit the major tourist areas/sites. I really love Athens, and find it a wonderful city to explore. Have a great time!
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 04:33 AM
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I also really like Athens, so I'd suggest 4 days or more, especially since you'll be tired on day 1 from the flight. Your Acropolis admission ticket provides admission to 6 sights. These alone will take at least 2 days, even if you tour them quickly. Most folks seem to only see one or two of the sights on the ticket. We've found all to be worthwhile. Then there are the museums. The National Archaeology Museum, while not the most organized, contains many treasures. The new Acropolis Museum is absolutely world class. We also really like the Benaki Museum and the Goulandris Museum (two private museums, inexpensive, fantastic collections and layout). A fun break from the sightseeing is to hike up Filopappou Hill for a great view of of the Adropolis, or ride the lift up Likavittos Hill (may have misspelled that one). THEN, there's also a couple great museums in Piraeus, just a subway ride away. And the easy daytrip to the Temple at Sounio, on the tip of the peninsula.
Anyway...as you can see, there is a lot to keep you busy in Athens . Happy traveling!
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 05:27 AM
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Thanks, your comments/suggestions are very helpful. We like to learn about cities through their museums so it sounds like Athens has some top notch ones. If we plan for 4 nights that will give us 3 uninterrupted days in Athens to see the sights without feeling rushed. Thanks again, Deborah
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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Just to whet your appetite here are images of Athens all centered in the area around the Acropolis and Plaka.
You should be able to see most of this in your three days.
Athens http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632121475515/
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Stanbr
I just love your images of Athens...
You captured many of my favourite spots... have recognized the location of almost every photo !!!
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 03:11 PM
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DeborahAnn -- I am another one who loves Athens. Your 4 nights should work out well. Since you like museums, I highly recommend the Goulandris Cycladic Museum -- beautifully presented and totally fascinating:

http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/p...node=1&clang=1
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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Don't miss the sculpture wing at the National Archeological museum! it's really good.
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 03:33 PM
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I really like Athens, too, and am always surprised when I see people panning it. Nice to read all the positive comments above. I'd agree with 3-4 days.
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 06:05 PM
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stanbr, your photos are incredible!!! Beautiful framing, great eye for detail. I wish mine turned out half as lovely
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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stanbr, your photos are incredible!!! Beautiful framing, great eye for detail. I wish mine turned out half as lovely
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 11:34 PM
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I never appreciated the difference between Naxian marble and Parian marble until I visited the sculpture wing at NAM. Little things like that can be appreciated when you have the time to thoroughly explore Athens. People who say two days in Athens are enough lack imagination.

I also recommend visiting the Byzantine Museum, just down Sofias St from the Benaki.
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 11:42 PM
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Stanbr, lovely photos of Athens!!

We didn't expect to love Athens as much as we did! It has a great vibe and some truly stunning sites.

We had 4 nights on our first trip and easily filled those 3 days. Only 1 full day the next trip but still loved it. Any trip to Greece will include some time in Athens!
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 11:44 PM
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We did this walking tour and really enjoyed it

http://www.athenswalkingtours.gr/The...is-Museum-Tour
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Old Jan 18th, 2014, 12:01 AM
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Also recommend another company with a similar name: http://www.athens-walks.com. If you are on Facebook see https://www.facebook.com/AthensWalks. The Food Tour gets rave reviews.
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Old Jan 18th, 2014, 12:32 AM
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I went to Athens very reluctantly. I expected to be bored to sobs
but my husband majored in ancient history and really wanted to go to Greece. To my amazement I absolutely loved it all and would love to return. It really took me by surprise.
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Old Jan 18th, 2014, 04:39 AM
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Oh, my goodness, what a wealth of museums in Athens, I can't think of one that I would want to miss visiting, Stanbr what stunning photos. Thanks for your suggestions and including links. Deborah
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Old Jan 18th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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DEboah, don't overlook the BENAKI Museum (there are 3-4 of these, I mean the main one). It is superb for people who do not have the time/stamina for the N.A.M. It has 4 floors, VERY well curated (i.e., a case of superb red vases, not a roomful!). AND it has elevators ... on 1 trip, we had someone in a wheelchair so this was great. The top floor covers "modern" (i.e. Byzantine to today) history, & is wonderful intro to the drama of Greeces looong struggle for independence. Oh a bonus: on Thursdays its FREE and open 9 am - Midnight. There's a wonderful restaurant/ cocktail bar, you may glimpse Athenian VIPS and the Chic Set there.
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