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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Raza | November 13, 2014
I couldn’t help but giggle while reading this post! It’s a very creative way of showing how beautiful Athens is. I hope to go there in the future!
Maria | Author | November 13, 2014
You will! 😛
John Widmer | November 18, 2014
Really enjoyed reading your post on Athens! I agree with Raza, what a creative way to explore the town through the eyes of some true locals! I especially like the photo of the cat shopping, how perfect with the cat handbags in the background.
Maria | Author | November 18, 2014
Haha, Thanks! I enjoyed writing it :))
Franca | November 19, 2014
I’ve never been to Athens but I loved this post and the way you talked about the adorable cats and dogs you met as locals, such a wonderful perspective! To answer your question, knowing myself I think I would have only payed attention to these cute animals instead of the attractions, when comes to cats and dogs (or any other animal) I’m easily distracted 🙂
Maria | Author | November 19, 2014
Haha, I’m the same! I wathched mostly the cats 😉
Molly @Green Global Travel | November 24, 2014
Anafiotika looks lovely! The pictures of the dogs made me chuckle 😉 Great photos!
Maria | Author | November 24, 2014
I love Anafiotika! It’s definitely the most charming place in Athens imo! Thanks for stopping by!
Tim | January 14, 2015
Wow what a really cool set of photos capturing this area of the Plaka; great perspective.
Camellia | February 2, 2015
Awesome post, I just booked a trip to Greece this coming Spring, can’t wait! 🙂
Love reading the blog, hope you can check mine out as well!
Maria | Author | February 2, 2015
Thanks, Camelia! I hope you have a great time in Greece!
Katrina Elisabet | April 14, 2015
I loooooove cats, too! We will be in Athens in three weeks, and I’m so excited that I’m squealing over every single one of your pictures! I’ll be linking to this post through mine later this week.
Maria | Author | April 14, 2015
Yes, you will see a lot of them in Athens!
Marissa Tejada | October 21, 2015
Love your post on my adopted city! Great captures with the stray dogs. They always make me smile. They have personality.