what not to miss in Athens?

Old Jul 21st, 2000, 08:20 AM
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what not to miss in Athens?

We're going to Greece in November with a tour group, but we have two days of independent travel. What should we not miss (either in Athens or for a day trip)?
Old Jul 21st, 2000, 08:35 AM
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Leigh, you didn't mention what, if any parts of Athens your tour group is going to cover. You will most likely find from responses to this post that Athens is a city that seems to be either loved or hated! Obviously the "must sees" are the Acropolis and the Plaka (shopping district) There are several day trips, Delphi or the Penninsula and it is my understanding that there are companies that run day tours to these places. In planning our trip to Greece this comming October I relied a lot on www.greektravel.com. A non-profit site run by some guy in, I believe the mid-west, who provides tons and TONS of information on all things in Greece including an alphabetical list of all the islands with write ups and pictures for each, and several lengthy chapters on Athens and its environs. If you go to that site I am sure you will find enough information to make a decision on how to spend your 2 days. Regardless have a lovely trip.
Old Jul 21st, 2000, 11:48 AM
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The Archaeological museum is fascinating, especially if you haven't previously seen a lot of this kind of stuff (at the British Museum, for example).
Old Jul 21st, 2000, 01:17 PM
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There are several day tours from Athens that you can choose. Use CHAT tours, they are the best. Tour guides speak many languages well and are extremely knowledgeable about Greek history. Tours for the day run about $65 and include lunch. You can take a tour to Delphi, Mycenae, a day cruise to the islands of Poros, Hydra and Aegina. We did 2 of the day cruises, enjoyed it so much that we had to do it again. Took all the other tours and recommend them all. Cape Sounion is a 1/2 day tour for half the price. The tours pick you up at your hotel or on the street closest to it if you are on a side street. Have a great time.
Old Jul 22nd, 2000, 06:41 AM
Don and Linda
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Be sure to visit the Kaisariani Monastery, which we wrote about in our Greece 1999 travelogue at http://www.thetravelzine.com/fall99greece2.htm. Our site is non-commercial.
Old Jul 22nd, 2000, 10:36 AM
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Even if your tour includes the Acropolis I would walk up it anyway. (Get Fodor's book on Greece.) Go early in the morning and wear good shoes. On the hillside in the Plaka are lots of restaurants with dancing entertainment in the evening.
Old Jul 22nd, 2000, 12:37 PM
Bill Barr
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If you have time, go visit the ancient 12 century BC burial ground at Kerameikos on Ermou. Do not miss the Street of the Tombs.

The cemetery isn't part of the main tourist trail but it's well worth a look. The Panathenaic Procession to Eleusis passed along the Sacred Way which is next to Kerameikos.

The Eleusis ruins are also worth a visit and can be reached from Athens in around 40 minutes by public bus.

Old Jul 22nd, 2000, 08:40 PM
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Take the day trip to three islands on a ferry. With a full lunch it's about $60 per person and well worth it. We went to Hydra, Poros and Aegina. A lovely trip.
Old Jul 23rd, 2000, 07:02 AM
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To add to Bill Barr's post if you are in Kerameikos where the ruins are (not the cemetery part), keep a look-out for stone catapult balls (alittle smaller than a soccer ball) lying around. These were used when Sulla laid seige on the city in ~86BC(?). I found one between the SE end of the Pompeion and the wall (end of the excavation) in the weeds. And another, actually half of one near the "Build Tomb" & "Boundary Stone" (northern-most corner of the site. It was great to *actually* hold this piece of history in my hands, sounds strange but this was one of the high-points of my trip. Regards, Walter
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 03:46 PM
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Try for dinner at the restaurant atop the Athens Gate Hotel. The view is spectatular, the food great, and the service wonderful. Go for the appetizers and the lamb souvlaki.

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