It’s not long now until TBEX kicks off in Greece, Athens. In fact, it’s just a fortnight until I fly out! (Not that I’m ticking off the days in my diary or anything – no, no, definitely not…..)
For those who aren’t overly familiar with TBEX, the event gives those in the travel industry – from those who blog to those who work in marketing – an opportunity to meet up, take part in a few talks and explore a new city.
It’ll be my first time in Athens and I can’t wait to really delve into the culture, try out the cuisine and, of course, learn more about taking my blog to the next level.
However, rather embarrassingly, my knowledge of things to see in Athens so far extends as far as the historic Acropolis and Parthenon. Pretty shameful, right?
To help give you – and me! – some ideas of what to see and do, I’ve enlisted the help of some of my favourite travel bloggers who’ve visited Athens.
The Acropolis Museum
“Grab Lunch at the Acropolis Museum: You cannot beat the view from the café at the museum. After you finish exploring the museum, be sure to stop in for a bite to eat. It is on the second floor and the outdoor patio looks out to the Acropolis in the distance. Absolutely stunning! Also, every Friday night the Acropolis Museum Café is open until midnight offering a specialty dinner! (Bonus: There’s free WiFi)”
Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad
Parliament Building at Syntagma Square
“Athens is a fun city to watch. From its historical sites to its funky street art aisles, there is always something to do for everyone. One place that was interesting for me was watching the guards at the Parliament Building at Syntagma Square. Flushed from the summer heat, the guards had red cheeks and sweat was dripping down from their face, but they kept their face straight while walking from one post to another. Their costumes were spectacular. They wore a red hat, a gorgeous shirt, a kilt and shoes with pom-pom. While it might sound silly in description, they actually looked pretty smart and very fitted to be guards. Definitely a sight not to be missed while in Athens!”
Aggy from Dream, Explore, Wander
“For those tired of crowds at the Acropolis and looking for something more alternative, Technopolis is a perfect place to visit! This former gaswork (opened in 1857) now serves as the active cultural heart of Athens and the centre of all main events, some of them as well known as Athens Fashion Week or Jazz Festival. But even when there’s nothing going on it’s still worth visiting Technopolis and enjoying a cup of coffee while admiring a spectacular industrial architecture. Just at the entrance to the site, at Pireos street, an amazing and enormous mural made by Brazilian artists can be found. If Technopolis isn’t already a reason to visit this part of Athens, then this mural should be!”
Kami from Kami & The Rest of the World
“My boyfriend and I headed down to the Gazi section of Athens to try the Butcher Shop this summer on the first day of our holiday. The former gasworks has been completely reinvented and the area is now awash with amazing clubs, bars and restaurants. The complimentary mastiha, a Greek favourite liqueur, at the end of the meal put us in the happy mood you get from knowing your vacation is about to begin!”
Susan from Best Bits Worldwide
“At the foot of Acropolis hill in Athens, there lays a jumble of impossibly small and twisty streets, weaving in and out of each other, up and down the hill. Above, charming balconies overrun with foliage, and densely packed houses come together. Below, the cobblestone over the years has seen so much life. Welcome to Plaka, specifically Ano Plaka (the upper section), one of the oldest neighbourhoods in all of Athens. Despite being right in the centre of Athens, the air is still and calm and you can’t hear the hustle and bustle of the city around you. This is the perfect place to escape in the city and just get lost.”
Adelina from Pack Me To
“My absolute favourite area of the city is Exarchia, the anarchist district. It’s filled with coffee shops and young people, particularly students. Even the bookshops are covered in graffiti. If you ever get a chance, visit Nosotros – a free social space used by artists and musicians for live shows, readings, cooking and Greek-learning classes, and more. It’s simply just a judgment-free place to hang out. Another favourite: Floral Café. It’s an affordable café and restaurant, where many students come to study and hang-out.”
Candice from Candice Does The World
“In Athens’ centre, almost above Monastiraki train station, there’s a bar and hostel combo called 360. The idea is that by going up to the rooftop, you can get a 360 view of downtown Athens, which also includes one side of the Acropolis and the southern stretch of the Athens suburbs. They have a good old-fashioned cocktail menu, table service and happy hour from 6pm every day. It usually gets quite busy, so try to go there around 6pm if you can. The bar is by far one of the best places to drink in Athens – both for the atmosphere and price. If you’re on a tighter budget, opt for an Australian bar called Bush Bar which serves pizza for €5. It’s well worth a visit on slower days.”
Chris from Guild of British Travellers
“Athens has some superb museums. Of course there is the new Acropolis museum, but the Archaeology Museum is a real favourite, mainly for the beautiful Kouros sculptures of athletic young men and the famous bronze statue of Zeus (or maybe Poseidon). The Benaki Museum has an eclectic mix of artefacts from throughout Greece’s fascinating history. There’s a splendid portrait of Lord Byron in full Greek warrior outfit who died in 1824 during a battle for Greek independence. I also used to love walking down to Monastiraki flea market on a Sunday morning – lots of bargains and a great view of the Acropolis nearby.”
Zoë Dawes from The Quirky Traveller
If you’re thinking of staying in Athens during the Summer months then definitely consider a tram ride to one of its suburbs, Glyfada. Its waterfront location is a beautiful setting for a spot of lunch. A delightful Italian restaurant called Vive Mar is situated just a short drive down the coast from the marina. I’ve spent a few afternoons sitting on the decking sipping a cold glass of wine whilst sharing their seafood platter. It’s possibly my favourite restaurant in Athens.
Lauren from Tea and Post