Having been drawn to the mythical lore of Greece for as long as I can remember, I was greatly excited to visit Athens late this summer. My boyfriend Jacob and I were in the ancient city for less than 48 hours, and armed with our DK Top 10 Athens guide, we packed quite a bit in during our two day stay. We arrived at the swanky King George, where we were upgraded to a super-luxe suite. The hotel’s rooftop bar–which was better than any we found later in the Plaka district–was easily one of our favorite parts of Athens. Here, we had a relaxing glass of wine and an unparalleled view of the entire Acropolis. The servers were so lovely, and they delighted me by trying to teach me how to pronounce Greek phrases.
Our first night was spent walking around the Plaka, which is at the base of the Acropolis and is considered the oldest district in Athens. We enjoyed meandering down the streets and throughout the many shops. Here, I bought a pair of gold leather sandals for €25 and enjoyed a conversation with the shopkeeper. We found a quaint, if touristic, place to have dinner, and our love affair with authentic Greek fare began. That evening, we discovered our rooftop bar before turning in for a busy tour the following day.
Our tour was booked via Concept Tours, and it was a fantastic way to see many of the ancient sites of Athens in a short amount of time. We visited the Panathenaic Stadium (Home of the First Modern Olympic Games), the Temple of Zeus, the Parliament Building, and the Acropolis. Our guide had the right balance of history and humor as he lead us up to the top of the Acropolis…as he described what it must have been like for ancient citizens, one couldn’t help but picture the magnificence the ruins once were. We were enchanted.
Jacob and I left the tour and climbed back down to the city, via the Areopagus (St. Paul preached on this rock) and the Agora market. Our route back to our hotel took us by a local restaurant where the charming host–quite literally the best salesman in the world–enticed us to eat a late lunch…and what a meal it was! Mixed grill, cucumbers, tzatziki sauce, and a crisp glass of white wine was the perfect refreshment after our busy morning. The remainder of our time there was spent shopping, relaxing at our hotel rooftop bar, and packing to prepare for our 3am wake up call to leave for our next destination. Opa!