Athens is the capital of Greece, whose islands are very favoured among newlyweds for a romantic honeymoon. For years, Athens was a one (or two)-night stand on the way to the Greek isles… but we took a deeper look and found that it is a city of wonders with incredible sights waiting to be explored and history to be discovered. A city where antiquity meets edginess, you will find yourself falling deeply in love with this city during your Athens honeymoon. Follow us on a journey to discover the 26 enchantments in Athens that will take your breath away. #marriageisanadventure
Before we get started on the things to do, here are our recommendations on the best places to stay at in Athens!
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Best Places to Stay in Athens:
1. Have a luxury retreat at Cape Sounio
Photo by Cape Sounio
Opposite the Temple of Poseidon lies luxury hotel Cape Sounio. Here lies exclusive villas, luxury living and splendid service in a privileged location, which makes for a perfect hideaway. Spend the day by the beach, splashing in crystal clear waters, sipping cocktails at the beach bar. Live life.
Cape Sounio 67 km Athens -Sounio Rd., P.O. BOX 112 GR 19500 Sounio, Attica, Greece
Tel.: (+30) 22920 69700, Fax: (+30) 22920 69770
E-mail: [email protected]
Click here for rates via Booking.com or Agoda >
2. Live like royalty at Hotel Grande Bretagne
Get the full fledged neo-classical royal experience at luxury Hotel Grande Bretagne. Housed in a prime location, the Grande Bretagne boasts luxuroius rooms and stunning city views from its magnificient rooftop terrace. The lavish rooms are appointed with the finest furnishings which will make for a comfortable stay. From the Roof Garden Restaurant, dine with the Olympic stadium, Acropolis, Parthenon as your backdrop. Talk about a truly unforgettable honeymoon!
Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel 1 Vasileos Georgiou A’ str., Athens, 105 64, Greece Tel: +30 210 3330000 Website
Click here for rates via Booking.com or Agoda >
26 Things to do in Athens for your Athens Honeymoon
1. Marvel at the captivating ruins of The Parthenon at the Acropolis
This is where the adventure all begins. Standing atop the Acropolis, The Parthenon is one of the most significant symbols of the Ancient Greek civilization that was built in dedication to goddness Athena Parthenos. The Parthenon is no doubt the most magnificient creation of Athenian democracy, and has inspired the architectural styles of the western world. Tons of tourists flock to Athens each year to see this majestic sight. Be sure to go early or late in the day as it can get very hot up there, and you would want to save every breath gasping at the greatest of this archelogical site. Note that you are not allowed to bring bags on the Acropolis so you have to check in them prior. Ensure that you have pockets to store your valuables.
How to get there: You can walk up from the Plaka
Opening hours: Daily 8am to 6:30pm (subject to change depending on season)
Entrance Fee: 20 Euros (~ S$30.50) and you can visit the other sites in the area Website
2. Discover the Ancient Agora Ruins
Located northwest of the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora was previously the heart of this ancient city – a large, open square where citizens could assemble here for just anything. This place has gone through much – from being once the focus of all political, commercial and social activity to later used as a residential and burial area (3000 BC). It opened up as a public area in early 6th Century and ended up undergoing serious damage by the Persians (480/79 BC), Romans ( 89 BC), Herulae (267 SD), and Slavic invasion (580 AD). Gradually abandoned over the years and neglected for close to 300 years, it was only revived and developed as a residential area when Athens became the capital of the independent Greek state.
Click here for its opening hours.
3. Explore the Hidden Village under the Acropolis
Under the Acropolis lies this scenic tiny city, with unique and humble beginnings that makes for a lovely day’s stroll. Long before our time, in 1941, King Otto wanted to transform the capital of newly independent Greece. He issued an Ottoman law that decreed if you could put up a structure between sunrise and sunset, the property would become yours. Many carpenters and masons took over the rocky terrain just below the Acropolis. They started to construct these houses , which led to the white-washed cubic stone houses you see today. Here in Anafiotika, you get the authentic feel of being in an island village, though most of the village has been destroyed in 1950 for achaeological research. Here you get to enjoy winding through the tiny lanes to enjoy spectacular views of the greater Athens.
4. Travel back in time at the National Archeological Museum
The richness of history in Athens is portrayed with the many museums you can find. Check out the National Archaeological Museum, the largest and one of the most remarkable archaeological museum in Greece devoted to Greek art. Impressive collections of sculpture and historical gallery exhibits await your visit. Here you’ll get the rare chance to travel back in history. Keep your eyes open to see the Poseidon of Artemision, Zeus statuette, Myrrini Lecythus, Igesous coumn and the golden mask of “Agamemnon”… Other famed museums include the Benaki Museum and New Acropolis Museum.
Address: 28is Oktovriou 44, Athina 106 82, Greece
Phone: +30 21 3214 4800 Opening hours: 8am to 8pm
Entrance fee: 5-10 Euros (~S$7.50 – 15)
5. Soak up lively market market vibes
You can buy just about anything in Athens. The bazaars and markets vibrant and a visual delight, definitely worth your time wandering. At Athens central market (Varvakios Agora), you will find halls of meat, fish, vegetables and fruits from all over Greece. Spices, herbs, cheese and sweets also fill the lanes. Do wear shoes when visiting the markets, as the floors might be a bit slippery! Also, do be wary of your belongings as there might be pickpockets.
How to get there: Go up on Athinas from Monastiraki to Omonia, on your right just past Evripidou.
6. Feast your eyes on the view from Mount Lycabettus
For an extraordinary Athens honeymoon, head up to see the spectacular view from Mount Lycabettus. Standing at 300 metres above sea leel, it commands a clear 360 paranomic view across the Attica basin and the Aegean. There is the popular Horizon Cafe-restaurant at the top, and the small church of Saint George.
How to get there: Hike up the path that starts at the end of Aristipppou Street in Kolonaki and winds upwards. Otherwise, take the funicular for 2 Euros each way which leaves from Ploutarchou and Aristippou Streets.
7. Take a romantic stroll in the National Gardens
As one of the most beautiful green spots in Athens, the National Gardens of Athens is a must visit on your Athens honeymoon. A public park of 15.5 hectares nested in the center of Athens, it is the best place to escape the city buzz. Spend hours just wandering past nature’s best. Walk downhill on Irodou Attikou and you will see the Zappion.
8. See the temple that took 700 years to build
The Temple of Olympian Zeus was built in dedication to Zeus, king of the Olympian Gods.Work began here in the 6th Century but had many abrupt stops due to lack of money, kings getting overthrown, and some thinking that it was too big and symbolized the arrogance of people who believed they were equal to Gods. Originally 104 Corinthian columns, now only 15 remain standing. No one knows when it was destroyed but it probably came down during an earthquake in the Mediaeval period. Be sure to stop by here on your Athens honeymoon to marvel at this man made wonder.
9. Visit one of the most beautiful cemetries in Europe
The First Cemetery of Athens was the first cemetry to be built in 1837. Known as the official cemetery of the City of Athens, it houses famous people like prime ministers, actors, singers, composers and heros. Filled with many large olive and pine trees, there are many interesting tombs and some real works of art. One of the most famous monuments is the Sleeping Maiden, the tombstone of Sofia Afentaki, a classicist work by Giannoulis Chalepas (1878). Inside the cemetry you will also find three churches – Church of Saint Theodores, Saint Lazarus and a Catholic Church. The cemetry is open 24/7 and free for admission.
10. Sail off into the Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea is beautiful and in it lie many adventures for your honeymoon. Head to the Port of Piraeus, the main and largest port in Greece (it is also one of the largest seaports in Europe and the world). There are two other ports – Rafina and Lavrio. At Piraeus, you can take a ferry to the many Greek islands, some of which are real gems just a stone throw away and make for a perfect day trip or a weekend getaway. Popular islands include Spetses (2 hours by hydrofoil), Hydra (90 mins), Poros (60 mins), Aegina (40 mins), Angistri, Tzia/Kea and Kythos. Click here to see which island suits you best. If you are doing a quick side trip from Athens, take a fast boat or hydrofoil rather than the regular ferry as journey times are halved. Read the Tripadvisor guide here on ferrying to other islands.
11. Discover the oldest neighbourhood in Athens
In the shadow of the Acropolis lies the Plaka. Like a village within the city, it is the oldest and one of the most attractive parts of Athens. Stroll along the small winding roads and discover cafes, restaurants and tourist shops in the neighbourhood. The neoclassical mansions and red tile roof houses make perfect backdrops for your photos.
12. Quench your thirst at the famous Brettos distillery
Having started operations in 1909, Brettos is the oldest distillery and second oldest bar in Athens. Born from old family receipes, here you can look forward to unique tasting experiences, a friendly environment and unrivalled service! Sample its home brands of wine, ouzo, brandy and other spirits. Be sure to take a photo with their iconic wall filled to the brim with hundreds of colourful bottles!
13. Enjoy an alfresco movie date at outdoor Cine Paris
For an out of the ordinary way to enjoy Athens, catch movie under the stars at outdoor cinema Cafe Paris. Open during the summer months, it is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the weather. Plus you get a beautiful view of the Parthenon! The movies are often nostalgic and are played in English or occasionally with English subtitles. Old movie buffs will enjoy browsing through their shop of vintage posters too.
Address: 22 Str. Kidathinaion Plaka Athens (Acropolis train station is closest)
Opening Hours: May to October. Screning daily from 9pm Tickets at the door
Tel. : 0030 210 3222071
14. Go cafe hopping (and partying) in Psiri
Psiri is the nightlife district of Athens but is full of pleasant surprises. In the daytime, roam the streets and find cafes to chill out at with a coffee. Nearing the evening, this entire place undergoes a transformation into one of the most happening streets in Athens. Hang out at Exarchia at night, for it’s not short of good food and spirits.
15. Visit the Temple of Poseidon
Standing on a craggy spur that plunges 65m down into the sea, The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion is a must see. From this spot you get impressive views of the Aegan sea and the Greek islands. The Temple of Poseidon looks gleaming white when viewed from the sea and gave great comfort to sailors in ancient times, who knew they were home when they saw it gleaming in the distance. Take a day trip to see this site and visit early before the tourist buses arrive. Otherwise, head there for sunset. Just below the site you will find taverns which will make for a perfect lunch and swim.
16. Hunt for good bargains Monastriaki Flea Market
The Monastriaki Flea Market is the place to be on Sundays! As the most central and popular market in Athens, it’s lively, vibrant and bustling with activities. Get here early because the crowd becomes impossible after 11am. Cafes and restaurants are just around the corner for your shopping breaks. Be aware that many fake goods being sold at the market! Just a few kilometres away lies Gypsy market which is more “hidden”, where locals peddle out their goods for sale.
17. Make friends with locals
Make new friends with the friendly locals and experience city love together! My Athens allow you to connect with locals who will bring you around to give you a more enriched experience of Athens. Having locals bring you around will help you really get an in depth understanding of the country, scout hidden treasures and avoid tourist traps!
18. Attend a cooking class in an enchanting city taverna
Get domestic inspiration with a cooking class at a Athens tavern! Discover your inner culinary talent with a 3 hour cooking class and learn Greek recipes like melitazanopitakia, tzatziki, and roasted lamb in an intimate atmosphere. Check it out here on Viator.
19. Embark on an archaeological adventure
Take a day trip to ancient Corinth and tour the fascinating sights of the Corinth Canal and the Saronic Gulf. See countless coves lapped by crystal-clear azure waters. You shouldn’t miss this as it’s easy to reach from Athens, an on the way to other sites such as Mycenae and Epidavros. What used to be a very busy trading city lead to the strong cosmopolitian character of ancient Corinth today. After which, you can visit the Saronic Gulf Islands like the Aegina that is home to a Doric temple and an ancient Byzantine village.
20. Catch a performance during the Athens Festival
During the Athens fesival, heading to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a must. It is one of the best places to experience a live classical theatre performance. This ancient theatre was built in the Roman times (about 161 A.D) by Herodes Atticus, in memory of his beloved wife. This semi-circular amphiteature can house a seating capacity of over 6,000 people. As you enjoy the beautiful performances, you get amazing views of the night sky overlooking the acient ruins and the paranoma of Athens. Check out the schedules here.
Dionysiou Areopagitou St. Athens Opening hours: May to early October
Τel: +30 – 210 32 41 807 (Mrs. Keti Vavalea)
Click here on how to get there
21. Pretend to be an Olympic contestant at the grand Panathenaic Stadium
Located between two pine-covered hills , for many centuries, the Panathenaic Stadium has hosted many athetic championships. The Athens Olympic Games in 2004 was held right at this very spot. This is also the place from which the Olympic Flame is delivered to all the Olumpic Games, Winter, SUmmer and Youth. The stadium also features an audio tour included in your ticket, which lasts about 10-20 minutes. You can get quick refreshments at the entrance’s coffee shop.
Opening hours: Daily March to October 8am to 8pm. November to February 8 am to 5pm.
Admission: 3 Euros for adults
22. Relive the battle of Theseus and the Amazons at Filopappou Hill
According to Plutarch, Theseus and the Amazons battled at Filopappou Hill, also known as the Hill of the Muses. Today, the pine-clad slopes makes for a relaxing and leisurely stroll, giving you excellent views of the Acropolis and Aegan Sea. This vantage point also gets you really beautiful photos.
How to get there: It is a public park, so there isn’t an admission fee to walk around. There are various entrances to the hill. You can walk right into the hill at the end of Dionysioiu Areopagito pedestrian way.
23. Indulge in free panoramic views at Vrahakia
Hiking up Vrahakia (a.k.a. “little rocks”) is a great way to start your day. It’s located at the top of Aeropagus hill and the view here is stunning. From here you can see how big Athens is and which mountains surroudn the Attica basin. There are other attractions around this hill to visit after you are done soaking up the beautiful views.
24. Look up at the Tower of the Winds
Tower of the Winds, also called Horologium, is a building in Athens erected about 100-50BC by Androniuscus of Cyrrhus for measuring time (how cool is that!). This octagonal marble structure stands at 42 feet (12.8m) high and 26 feet (7.9m) in diameter. Each of the building’s eight sides faces a point of the compass! As one of the most famous sites in Athens, it’s definitely worth a check out during your Athens honeymoon.
25. Discover your inner-hipster with a street art tour
When you think of street art, immediately London, Berlin, New York or even Paris comes to mind. But not Athens. However, you’ll be surprised as over the past decades, the dull gray walls of Athens streets are now been splashed with colourful artistic graffiti. Today the streets house some of Europe’s best street art! Head on a tour with Alternative Athens to walk the best alternative neighbourhoods of Athens, such as Gazi, Monastiraki, Psirri and Thiseio.
26. Complete your fairytale honeymoon at Santorini
It doesn’t just end in Athens! Extend your Greece travels to beautiful Santorini by taking a domestic flight and you can enjoy even more dreamy experiences!
How to get to Athens from Singapore
Scoot, a budget carrier that covers short, medium and long-haul destinations has direct flights to Athens. Starting from June 2018, Scoot will have flights 4 times weekly, scheduled on every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Now you can fly to Greece at just a fraction of the price, with no transit stops. The flight duration is 11.5 hours.
Introductory prices feature a fly fare of just S$334, which is incredibly affordable as flights to Europe with full-fledged airlines is at least double of that! Though I was initially nervous about taking a budget flight for an 11.5 hour-long flight, the flight experience was surprisingly very comfortable. Read our Scoot review here.
My round trip to Athens was less than S$700, which is comparably much cheaper than full-fledged airlines!
Best Time to Visit Athens:
Greece experiences warm weather throughout the year thanks to its Mediterranean location. The best time to visit Athens would be the fall (October to November) and spring (March to May) season when the weather is agreeable and sunshine is a guarantee. Avoid summer as it brings stifling heat and many tourists.
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