• Wendi Ellis

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Ancient Meets Modern in Awesome Athens

No other city in the world will give you so much in so few days: iconic ancient sites, bustling street markets, mouth-watering culinary delights and a glitzy riviera on a par with Capri.

On arrival, you can’t miss the crowning glory of the place where democracy was born - the Parthenon. The magnificent marble temple dedicated to the goddess Athena looms over modern day Athenians and if you are too tired to walk up the hill to check it out, head for the award-winning Acropolis Museum, where you can get up close and personal with cool statues and artefacts from the Acropolis itself. Make sure to order a Greek frappe on the top-level cafe and get some great 360° insta-shots of the city.

Carry on around the north-east foot of the Acropolis and you'll discover the secret ‘island without a sea’: a tiny Cycladic-style village of about 40 white-washed houses known as Anafiotika. As you make your way down into Plaka and its rambling little streets filled with jewelry stores, sidewalk cafés and cool eateries, you will definitely get into that Greek island vibe. Today’s Athens is still full of jaw-dropping archeological sites just begging you to stop in awe, so get ready to be blown away by the Ancient Agora and the Stoa of Attalos, as well as the Temple of Olympian Zeus!

Monastiraki is the bustling flea market where you can buy just about everything, from original Greek sandals to evil-eye talismans and funky cargo pants. Once you’ve shopped till you are ready to drop, check out the best kept secret in the city on Normanou Street. Taf Foundation is a very cool coffee shop, bar & art space set within a hidden courtyard that you will easily miss if you don’t know it is there. Just around the corner you will find yourself in the boho neighbourhood of Psyrri, where the vibrant street art and graffiti makes this one of the coolest spots to wander around so don’t miss it!

It’s always time to stop for a bite to eat and Athens is street food heaven! Grab a famous souvlaki - succulent gyro wrapped up in pita bread with lashings of yummy tsatsiki at O Thanasis or feast on some Greek-style falafel at Falafellas on Aiolou Street - simply divine! Demanding foodies can also find finger-licking fusion cuisine at Nolan, darling of the young, hip crowd, near Syntagma Square.

When you are fed and watered, take the 550 bus to the impressive Stavros Niarchos Foundation in Paleio Faliron: a multi-purpose, 21 hectares public space with art, sport and recreation for the whole family. Not five minutes away you can take in the sea breeze at Floisvos Marina and admire the superyachts lined up in all their glory or check out a movie at the modern multiplex Village Cinemas Faliron.

Enjoy a night on the town at The Clumsies, a speak-easy bar serving mind-boggling cocktails which is currently ranked #6 in The World’s 50 Best Bars, or view the night skyline from the chic Couleur Locale rooftop bar and toast to the bright lights of this truly captivating city.

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