Follow the steps of these 15 Greek experts and explore Athens like a local.
I think we all can agree that there is no better way to explore a city than following the steps of the locals. And in Athens I met a lot of them. Some were just hanging around, others were looking for lunch or sleeping on duty. There were even locals that stubbornly tried to make contact with tourists. If you are still wondering what am I talking about – it’s about cats (and not only). In Athens you’ll meet a lot of them. And for an avid cat lover like me it is hard to keep away from these loving creatures.
So follow the steps of these 15 greek experts and explore Athens the best way possible – in the company of locals.
Plaka – The old neighbourhood
There is no better way to experience Athens than walking through the streets of Plaka. This is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the Greek capital.
Walking throughout the labyrinthine streets you’ll bump into the many souvenir shops, sidewalk cafes and charming restaurants on the neoclassical buildings’ background. You can also glaze at the Acropolis from almost every street in Plaka. If you need help, these little friends will show you around.
But not only that, if you need any more help, there are plenty of other locals you can ask…
Anafiotika – ‘The hidden island’
Anafiotika is a picturesque small neughbourhood, part of Plaka, and is famous for its resemblance to Santorini, that’s why it is mostly referred as ‘the hidden island in Athens’.
With its sugar white houses, small streets and a perfect view to the Acropolis there is no doubt that this place will steal your heart. And again, a local tour guide can show you the best way around…
Theatre of Dionysus
When you have enough souvenirs and gyros it’s time to get to the point. Athens is an ancient city and not one or two things prove that. You can start exploring the ancient side of the Greek capital from Theatre of Dionysus. This friend will show you the entrance. Okay, maybe he’s too tired for that…
Theatre of Dionysus is situated in one of the entrances of the Acropolis. There is even a “tour guide” waiting for you inside just to tell you a little bit more about the theatre.
If he’s not too tired he will tell you that the theatre is one of the earliest preserved in Athens. It is an open-air theatre and could seat 17,000 visitors. This is the place where first began the Athenian tradition of theatrical representations adn back theatrical performances were actually competitions.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
This is an impressive stone theatre located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis, just a few meters away from Theatre of Dionysus and is more preserved than the other. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus was built by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in 161 AD in memory of his wife. It can hold up to 5,000 people.
A combined ticket for 12 euros will give you access to the Acropolis, Theatre of Dionysus, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Olympieio, Hadrian’s Library as well as to Kerameikos.
In Part II our journey will continue with locals showing you around the Acropolis, Areopagus Hill, Roman Agora, Ancient Agora, Changing of the guards, Zeus and Hadrian’s Gate.
Have you been to Athens? Did you notice all the cats and dogs in the streets or you were too busy watching everything else?
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