Athens is very much a city about ancient ruins and the Acropolis. These are the main reason people come from far and wide to visit Athens and it is certainly what I spent most of my first visit to the city doing. However, there is a lot more to the city than the history and ancient ruins as I found out on my latest visit.
Unique things to do in Athens
Climb the tallest point in the city
I’d never thought of climbing another hill other than the Acropolis until our Airbnb host suggested heading up Lykavittou Hill which is the tallest point in the city. From here you can see 360 degree views of Athens and you are so much higher than the Acropolis. It’s a steep climb but one that offers incredible views the whole hike up and only takes just over 30 minutes despite being steep. There are a few look out points along the way and once you reach the top you can see from all directions. Also at the top is a church and several restaurants which you can dine at.
Go to a roof top cinema screening
This was one of our greatest finds in the city and happened completely by mistake. We were sitting having dinner right next to the Cine Paris cinema but it wasn’t until we really read the signs we realised it was a public cinema which showed a film each night. We were lucky that the film showing during our time in town was in English which meant we could understand it, however, from reading other Tripadvisor reviews this isn’t always the case and subtitles are only in Greek. Thankfully you should be able to check before buying a ticket what language the film will be shown in.
The cinema itself offers awesome views of the Acropolis hill and every seat has a great view of the screen because it is so big and high up. They also have a bar at the back which provides drinks and snacks for reasonable prices. Tickets were only €8 each.
Shop at the flea market
I never associate shopping with Athens but the flea market has some great stalls that are worth browsing. Leather goods are very common and popular in the city so many of the shops sell sandals and bags for reasonable prices. You’ll also find plenty of trinkets, jewellery and souvenirs on offer. The flea market is set along the street of Pandrossou and Ifestou both just off Monastiraki Square but heading in different directions. Ifestou is better know for trinkets and antiques while Pandrossou is packed with leather goods and souvenirs. The flea market is a great spot for just taking a stroll along and window shopping if you don’t want to spend your holiday funds. You’ll also spot several food options and plenty of ice cream stores along the walk.
Watch sunset from a rooftop bar
Another popular thing in Athens is the night life scene, everyday of the week there seems to be something happening that is worth staying out for. The first time I went to Athens I remember heading to a club on the outskirts of the city and having a great time. This time was more subdue but still a lot of fun. Athens has plenty of rooftop bars and many of them even have Acropolis views. If you want a great view for sunset you’ll need to get there early, we arrived at 6pm and struggled to get a table. Many of the bars offer a happy hour around this time so it’s worth heading out early.
We went to the very hard to find bar of Couleur Locale as it was super close to our Airbnb but I’ve also seen recommended 360 bar, A for Athens top floor bar and the rooftop garden at Electra Metropolis.
Have you visited Athens? Do you have anything to add?
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