Wanderlust: Athens, Greece

church of agioi

During my travel year in 2019, my trip to Greece started and ended in Athens, the capital. The juxtaposition of ancient ruins within a cosmopolitan city makes the longstanding history stand out. Even in the middle of the city, you still find archaeological sites.

Walking Tour of Athens

Our tour guide walked us around the city pointing out the ruins and history. We took a stroll through the Athens National Garden. This gorgeous oasis amid the sandy tones of old stones creates a lush scene that’s perfect for an afternoon walk.

Athens National Garden

We made a picture stop at the Arch of Hadrian, or Hadrian’s Gate. The gate resembles a Roman triumphal arch and marks the point of an ancient road that once spanned from the center of Athens all the way to the Temple of Zeus in Olympia.

The Parthenon, Acropolis and Museum

By far, the Acropolis and Parthenon are the most iconic landmarks tourists go to Athens to visit. For clarification, the Acropolis is the hill on which the Parthenon sits. There is also an ancient amphitheater that they still use for concerts! Walking among those columns thousands of years old feels like stepping straight into the past. But just know the Parthenon has not remained so without modern-day maintenance, so the surrounding cranes and construction assure you you’re still in the present.

the Parthenon

The Acropolis Museum is like a city all its own. There is so much to explore within the displays, it’s impossible to see it all in one day. You could easily spend three days going through the exhibits and still not have enough time to take it all in.

Monastiraki and the Presidential Mansion

Walking around the main square, Monastiraki, you find plenty of souvenirs and trinkets to take home. Stop at any restaurant for a snack of spanakopita (spinach pie). On our walking tour, our guide led us to the Presidential Mansion where we watched the changing of the guard.

I think perhaps my favorite moment in the city was when we saw a kid pick up a pigeon in the middle of the square. Perhaps not the safest or most sanitary thing, but man does it always make for a good laugh when my best friend Caitlin and I reminisce about it.

Around Athens

Exploring beyond the city bounds, my friends and I took a walk through a local park and found ourselves at the corner of the Ancient Agora. Here, we found the Church of Agioi where we enjoyed the sounds of a street performer playing guitar.

church of agioi

Taking paths around town into the neighborhoods of Athens, I noticed the graffiti took inspiration from Greek mythology and culture. The one in the picture below was by far my favorite.

graffiti in Greece

One of the greatest parts of our trip to Greece was the travel friends we made on it. We haven’t kept up too well with one another recently, but that doesn’t diminish the fun we had then and the connection we made, even if only temporarily. We stopped at one of Athens’ rooftop bars, A for Athens. I can’t say I cared much for the cocktails there, but they certainly had some creative ingredients, including edible sunscreen and quail eggs.

a for Athens rooftop bar

Stay tuned for more adventures in Greece coming soon.

2 thoughts on “Wanderlust: Athens, Greece

  1. Always great to see personal posts like this, and to see the person behind the blog. Particularly when it involves great destinations that are hard for me to visit. Thanks for taking me on this trip!

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