You have a twenty-four-hour layover in Athens, Greece. You don’t know what to do. Don’t worry, I got you covered. Welcome back to a Comprehensive Travel Guide: 24 hrs in Athens.
Once you’ve finished eating a huge breakfast, make your way towards the Acropolis. You’ll want to visit the Acropolis as early as possibly— essentially as soon as it opens at 8:00 am. The reason for this is so that it’s not too hot and is less crowded. While you’re at the Acropolis, you’ll see a variety of different sights like the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and a view of the entirety of Athens. A nice, long tour of the Acropolis will take easily 2 to 3 hours, if it’s your first time in the ancient city.
Now that you’ve visited the temple of temples, stop at the Acropolis museum. At this time, the museum is typically empty. The museum is truly an architectural masterpiece, showcasing art work in the most creative ways. General admission is 5 euros. If you get to the museum by 11, stay till at least 12:30. There so much to see, and you won’t regret it.
On your way to lunch: Plaka
As you’re heading to the restaurant I’m recommending, you’ll walk through an area of Athens known as Plaka. It’s a lovely area for a bit of perusing. However, it is a highly populated tourist area so everything will be overpriced.
Lunch at Zonars
This past summer my great Aunt Lily said to us, “Girls, you can’t be in Athens and not eat at Zonars.” In the 50s, Zonars was the place to be. It was the scene where celebrities, artists, and socialites gathered. While it is expensive, compared to the typical 3 euro gyro, the food and ambiance is worth every euro and more. Try getting a few different dishes and have a family style lunch.
Monastiraki is one of my favorite areas in Athens. While it’s a flea market, where the streets are lined with shops, there is a small church in the center of the location, giving the neighborhood its name. In regards to the flea market, prices range from low to high end. Now, I can’t remember what it’s called, but on the left side of the flea market there is a juice bar, which is wonderful. If you happen to stumble upon it, buy a freshly squeezed juice to keep you refreshed while you shop.
After you’ve finished shopping, head over to the Benaki Museum on the M3 bus, which will take you about 13 min. Even as a little girl, I remember the Benaki museum being one of my family’s favorites. My mom always made sure we paid a visit. Housed within the Benaki family mansion, the museum contains art work throughout the centuries and is considered the “sole instance of a complex structure within the broader network of museum foundations in Greece.”
National Archeological Museum
If you have time before an early dinner, take a taxi to the National Archeological Museum. Created in the 19th century, this museum protects antiquities, containing some of the most valuable pieces of Greek art. It’s another museum that’s fun to visit, if you love museums.
Dinner at Strofi Tavern
While I try to avoid looking like a tourist, there is one instance where I do not care and that is eating dinner with a view of the Acropolis. There is a sense of pride and joy in seeing the monument that embodies Greece lit up at night. It truly is a sight to behold. It’s stunning. Strofi Tavern is a great spot to eat and have a view of the Acropolis. (Keep in mind that you’ll have to make a reservation.)
After you’ve eaten dinner, you’ve accomplished it: you’ve spent 24 hours (well, not exactly 24 hrs, but you get the gist) in Athens. You’ve seen the most of what the city has to offer. Of course, it’s not all the city has to offer, but the best spots, in my opinion. Have a wonderful day and I’ll be back on Friday!