08:00am – Wake up and grab a traditional Greek coffee. It’s served in a small, espresso-sized cup and is very, very strong!
9:00am – Hop on the Metro and take it to Syntagma Station. Spend a minute checking out the square, then walk over to see the Panathenaic Stadium.
11:30am – Take the Metro over to Thesion station and walk over to the Ancient Agora. Check out the incredibly well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus before passing the Odeon of Agrippa on your way to the Museum of Ancient Agora, housed in the Stoa of Attalos.
1:30pm – From the Stoa at Attalos, Monastiraki Square is just on the other side of the Metro tracks. Check out some of the fresh produce vendors in the square before settling in to have lunch in Monastiraki. Order an appetizer platter to share, and be sure to try some traditional Moussaka. Just about every restaurant will tell you that theirs is the best!
4:00pm – Spend some time wandering around the Monastiraki Flea Market and picking up some Souvenirs.
5:30pm – Meet your tour group under the big Monastiraki sign in the square and walk over to the historic Klimataria Tavern for an authentic Greek cooking class. You may not be hungry for dinner yet, but after a few hours in the kitchen you’ll be famished and ready to dig in!
9:00pm – Grab a drink with your newly made friends from cooking class, or pick up a little bottle of ouzo (traditional Greek anise-flavored aperitif) to take back to your hotel. It is an acquired taste, but one you may grow to love!
Tips and Tricks:
- Make sure you take every opportunity to say “It’s all Greek to me!” when you can’t read something.
- Buy the all-day Metro passes rather than the hourly ones. Put it in your wallet or somewhere where you won’t lose it! I can’t tell you how many times I lost a ticket and had to buy another one.
- Take your time at every meal. Lunch and dinner are meant to be enjoyed over a few hours. Revel in the fact that no one is trying to “turn” your table to get the next customers in the door.
- Wear shoes with non-slip soles. There is marble EVERYWHERE. Seriously, in some places the sidewalks are made from it. You’ll slide around all over the place if you don’t have some good grip on your shoes.
- Get used to having a light breakfast and a late dinner. Most Greeks go with coffee and maybe a simple pastry for breakfast, so you won’t find a lot of restaurants open during breakfast hours. If you are a big breakfast eater, consider staying at a hotel with a continental breakfast.
- You can see the Acropolis from practically anywhere in Athens. Don’t get suckered in to staying at a hotel simply because it has a view of the Acropolis!
- If you are trying to order a “gyro” wrap you usually need to specify it by saying “pita.” If you don’t, they will serve you up a plate of delicious meat, vegetables, and dips on a plate but it won’t be the handheld sandwich type. Most menus will offer either Souvlaki or Gyro (pronounced like Euro), so order either a Souvlaki Pita or Gyro Pita.
- When you buy your tickets to enter the Acropolis, purchase the Multi-day bargain pass which gets you in to see all the sights.
Renovations on the Parthenon at the AcropolisWell that about wraps it up! I hope this itinerary helps you plan your trip and shows you just how easy it to see Athens in 48 hours!
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