How a day in Athens can be a καλημέρα (nice day)

Summertime in Athens is terribly hot. Get ready for that: if not, you’re not going to survive, specially walking along the old town streets and plodding your way to the Parthenon, a must see even for those who visit the city in one day. The Greece capital is not big: whit a good map you can easily reach the main monuments and attractions by public transports or (much better, as far as they are very cheap) taxi. In this case get ready, too: taxi drivers go as crazy in the chaotic traffic of the city center.

For breakfast, forget about the classic coffee: Greeks drink it cold, served with ice (with or without milk) in a huge cup. Hardly you’ll find a local without a frappé (that’s the way they call their coffee) in his hand: it’s an evergreen must. The only difference between now and thirty years ago is the material of the cup (plastic instead of glass). You can try it in every kiosk or bar of Syntagma or Monastiraki square.

First recommended visit: Panathinaiko Stadium, right in the city center: here they took place first Olympic Games of the modern era in 1896; the original structure is very ancient (566 BC). You must try a short run experience (be careful, remember it’s hot down there!) on the running truck and don’t forget to take a picture on the podium!

If you have a little more time, visit the small museum where are exposed the torches and the historical posters of the various Olympic Games editions. After that, you can walk in the shadow (thanks to a nice wooded park) to reach the Zeus Temple, the Adriand’s Gate and proceed to the central Plaka district.

Better if you complete this part of your tour before midday, so you can enjoy the change of the guard in front of the Parliament House: an unusual and funny show, as far as Euzones (the Presidential Guard unit) march in the most original way (almost a dance step) and wear an equally original uniform, including a scarlet fez, a kilt, clogs with pompons and many other extravagant items. It will be full of tourists, but don’t be afraid: enjoy the experience and take a lot of pictures, of course.

Lunch time: the advice is to try The Greco’s Project, two steps away from the square. Asking for a table on the second floor terrace. It’s a cool and economic place where they serve traditional dishes revisited.

The afternoon must be necessarily dedicated to the Acropolis. If you’ll be lucky enough to get some wind, the rise will be not so wearisome, but watch out: it’s slippery up to the top. And it’s also slippery the big rock close to the entrance, which a lot of people climb to enjoy the breathtaking panorama of the city. A great view on the city roofs: they looks all white.

Looking at the Parthenon you feel to face an important part of the human history: a place where made their way the Ottomans, the Venetians, the Germans. Go on visiting the Acropolis Museum.

We recommend for the dinner the Point Restaurant, on the roof of the Herodion Hotel: the view on the lights of the Parthenon (only 289 meters away, as written on the menu) is outstanding! The food is excellent: try the Fava (tipical meal made of yellow beans hummus) and the pork in lemon marmalade, if you find them.


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