My recent trip to Kavala made me rethink and revisit the way I see the country. And I have to confess – my craving for Greek food, blue sea water and peaceful lifestyle increases with each day as the summer is approaching here in Europe! I have spent a wonderful week in Athens some years ago and this trip made me understand better the Greek culture in general. The narrow streets under the hill of Acropolis were best for walking, shopping and enjoying some chill out time watching the people passing by. These are the reasons why you should visit Athens anytime soon if you haven’t already.
Healthy food, ancient temples & modern lifestyle
If you haven’t been to Athens yet, it is probably time to do so. In addition to the reasons I listed below, I can say that the Greek capital is a calm and safe place for travel. A visit to Athens enriches you with culture and history knowledge that is impossible to get anywhere else. These are my reasons why Athens will always be an attractive destination for foreigners.
1 – Reasons Why Visit Athens? – Grandiose Views
Athens is an amazing city. Its beauty comes from the widespread white buildings and the lack of skyscrapers. Somehow, high-rise buildings do not fit its elegant Mediterranean style, characterized by lightness and grace.
The best look of the city you will have from the Acropolis (meaning ‘highest point, extremity’). There is a reason why the ancient Greeks built their most important temples on the hill.
No need for more words; will let the photos speak.
2 – Unique Performances
One of the touristy sites that you shouldn’t miss despite their popularity among the visitors of Athens is the Monument of the Unknown Soldier at the Greek Parliament. The Syntagma Square is one of the main and most interesting places in Athens and thus gathers many people. At front of the monument, you will see the guards who, dressed in a somewhat funny for the foreigners uniforms, make the change of the Presidential Guard an amazing spectacle. Their carefully orchestrated movements are something you have never seen. I have been watching the change of guards in several countries and find the Greek ceremony most unique and entertaining.
3 – The birthplace of the classic architecture
Greek architectural elements can be seen all over the world, incorporated even in the modern architecture. However, it is an invaluable experience to observe this iconic architecture at the place where it originated.
Walking around Athens is amazing especially because of its unique atmosphere, which is due to the ancient history and original lifestyle. But the fact that three of the five classical architectural column styles were created by the Greeks (the Ionic, Doric and Corinthian) speaks a lot about the interest that the Greek capital has to have for the travellers interested in architecture and culture.
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In our days the typical elements of Greek architecture can be found everywhere. Just look around you and you will find variations of Ionic or Doric columns supporting and decorating the facades of the most important buildings in your city. Why not go and see the originals in Athens?
4 – Amazing Temples & Ancient Theatres
Greek mythology plays important role in the modern culture even in our busy buzzing world. In Athens, it is all over the place. Of course, you should start with the temples. Most impressive is situated at and around the Acropolis hill. The temple of Hephaestus (one of the best preserved), the temple of the Olympian Zeus, the Ionic temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea are the most spectacular among all.
Another extraordinary structure is the Theater of Dionysus with its coloured marble orchestra paving.
5 – A Modern City with an Ancient Vibe
What I liked in Athens was the mixture of the modern way of life set in ancient surroundings. The cosy small cafes and family restaurants that you can find at every corner in the old part of the city are often just a few hundred meters from an archaeological site. And the talkative guide that we had during our bus tour of Athens told us that beneath the new constructions there are many historical sites that are still undiscovered.
In Athens, you can feel this strong bond between past and present much better than in the other European capitals. The mild climate definitely helps the preservation of the ancient remains some of which are impressive with their sizes columns and sculptures that make you wonder how such finesse is even possible!
6 – Healthy Food
The Greek food maybe not so varied but it is for sure one of the healthiest in the world. The traditional Greek salad made with freshly chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, garnished with onion slices, tangy olives, feta cheese and dry oregano is a must for every visitor. The Greek olive oil is known around the world and just one of the unique souvenirs that you can buy in Greece.
If you add deliciously fried sardines accompanied by French fries you will have the best Greek menu on the table. For those like me who get tired quickly of the seafood, try the Greek moussaka, a mouth-melting dish made on the base of eggplants. And finally, bear in mind that this whole deliciousness is going perfectly along with a beer – preferably ‘Mythos’.
In case you want to use your time in Athens to learn some of the secrets of Greek food, join the private cooking lessons in downtown Athens.
7 – Exciting One-day Excursions
In addition to all what Athens has to offer, there are some intriguing day trips that you would not want to miss.
Some of them are to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio (1 h 30 from Athens by car), to the archaeological site of Delphi (2 h 15 ) and Corinth Canal (1 h 10 ).
Have you been to Greece? Did you visit Athens? If not, do you plan to visit it in future?
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