10+1 Experiences to live it up in Athens
Once you’ve taken the mandatory selfie at the Acropolis and dined on that beautifully greasy souvlaki in Plaka with swarms of desperate cats playing footsie with you for a morsel of leftover meat, you might then wonder what you need to tick off your must-do list. Wonder no more…
SKATE AWAY AT LATRAAC
Here’s a brilliant use of negative space, a great venue to hang out with Athens’ skate community, and hearty brunches and unplugged concerts to get under the skin of Athens’ alternative urban lifestyle.
GET YOUR FRUITY FIX
Dayside check out the ‘laiki agora’ which translates to people’s market and is a vital Greek weekly shopping tradition. For the freshest seasonal fruits, vegetables and plants and an impromptu lesson in Greek politics or philosophy.
Summer kicks off when one can sit under a balmy and starry sky, on chairs wedged between the derrieres of crumbling apartment buildings in a ‘therino’ outdoor cinema. The décor is frozen in all its ‘50s and ‘60s glory, making the whole experience wonderfully retro. The iconic downtown Athens movie theatres such as Cine Paris, Dexameni, Thission and Aegli throw all the classic cinema rules out the non-existent window. You can drink, eat, bring your pet, (even your noisy baby) and take in the heady fragrance of a Greek summer evening.
MASTERING THE MOUSSAKA
In Athens, at Yoleni’s Greek Gastronomy Center beyond the great deli counter you can explore the secrets of Greek traditional cuisine and hospitality, thanks to their cooking classes. For an alternative foodie tour of the city, check out dopios.gr who promise to entertain all culinary requests.
TAKE IN A SHOW AT AN EPIC VENUE
There’s a great line-up as always at the landmark Herodion of Atticus theatre. Acts as varied as Florence and the Machine, Andrea Boccelli, and John Cleese have performed under the stars in this most ancient of theatres.
You don’t need to island it to experience lazy days on the beach with sand-side service. Athens boasts many a beach club along its southern suburbs. Head to the coast for sandy bliss.
Make your holiday one where you make a difference. Join the green generation and initiatives such as ‘Clean Blue Paros’ launched by Common Seas and the Municipality of Paros island to support the island in becoming the first plastic-waste free Mediterranean island. Every year in Greece alone, 666 million plastic water bottles and an estimated 900 million plastic straws are consumed. Or make the most of your pawsome time here by volunteering with Nine Lives, a cat-charity that nurtures Athens’ sizable stray cat population.
FULL MOON FIESTAS
A low-hanging full moon packs in more romance and intrigue to your summer nights. ideal for close encounters of the celestial kind as the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon remain open to the public until midnight. As do most museums with late opening hours and special events.
SLAM DUNK AT YIANNIS’ COURT
“Which team are you?” is probably one of the first things you’re asked when you arrive in Greece. Imbibe Greece’s rich basketball culture at Sepolia where Giannis Antetokounmpo, voted the Most Valuable Player, used to train.
STYLISH SIPS ON THE ROOF
Athens boasts rooftop bars that compete for killer views with a drinks list to match. Check out athensinsider.com for a list of rooftop bars with striking sights and stylish sips.
Not many destinations can match what Athens has to offer – the city’s historic centre and the sea are within an 8-km radius and new cycling routes have made the city more bike-friendly. There’s enough challenge for seasoned bikers too as Athens’ hilly roads and stellar views promise to take your breath away!