Greece had always been on my bucket list. I had always wanted to eat Gyros from a hole in the wall restaurant on the streets of Greece and visit the islands with their blue and white dome topped buildings. When we arrived in Athens, after a forty five minute cab ride into town from the airport, we arrived at our Airbnb in the Plaka district near the Acropolis. The Plaka is a fun (but touristy) area of town with narrow marble roads (yes, you read that right…the streets are made of marble) lined with store fronts and restaurants. Instantly we knew we loved the area…especially when we saw the view from the balcony at our Airbnb.
After settling in, we decided to wander around our neighborhood. As the sun set and dusk began to settle into the winding alleyways, restaurants began lighting candles on the outdoor tables that lined the narrow streets. When we reached the street of the restaurant we had chosen (The Old Tavern of Psara), the wide marble stairs that led up to the restaurant were glowing in the candlelight of the small tables that lined either side of the steps. That night, we sat in the candlelight of our cozy table and shared a carafe of wine, looking down the glowing winding steps and alleyways, talking and laughing as we devoured the most delicious meal we had had on our trip so far. It was the perfect start to our time in Greece.
Day 1: The Acropolis
Early the next morning, we woke up and walked to the Acropolis. Seeing the Parthenon in person was surreal and the surrounding sites of the Acropolis were even more beautiful than I had imagined.
Afterwards we stopped for lunch and had the most amazing pasta before visiting the Acropolis Museum. We even had a street band stop in front of our restaurant and play Greek music for a few minutes as we ate our meal.
Towards the end of our day we visited Hadrian’s Arch and the National Gardens on our way to the Panathenaic Stadium.
The Panathenaic Stadium is an Olympic stadium built entirely of marble and was the site of the first modern day Olympic Games. To this day, it is where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to a host nation takes place. We even got to see all of the torches that had been lit at the stadium up close.
That night we wandered around the shops in our neighborhood and stopped into a bar called Brettos that we had stumbled upon the night before. This hole in the wall bar was packed with people all crammed around the two long tables that lined each side of the small room. The bright colorful wall of bottles had caught our attention the first night and the place had impressed so much us with its amazing wine and spirits that we came back for more! While we were there we met another American couple our age and ended up running around the Plaka with them to dinner and then more drinks until the bars closed in the early morning.
Day 2: The National Archeological Museum
The next day we visited the National Archeological Museum where we saw a large collection of Greek artifacts and sculptures.
The rest of the day we spent eating, drinking, shopping and just enjoying the atmosphere of Athens.