Guest Post from a young adult:
What I Learned from a Trip to Athens
When I landed in Athens, which was my first trip to Greece, I began putting a paper to pen, writing all the questions I had before going in search of the answers. I worked hard to find answers to the questions by following every lead I came across.
ASTIR BEACH: The first thing we did was head out to Astir beach. The beach is located about a 30-minute drive on the outskirts of Athens, and because taxis and Ubers are very cheap there, we did not waste any time and it was worth the effort. The sky, climate, and the view were beautiful especially when on a desk chair. However, on this particular beach, they had TGI Fridays, which is very different from the restaurants available in the UK. You have to taste their delicious twisted chips, which are only on the menu in Greece. At the same time, there are single potatoes that are still connected to one long curl and then deep-fried, which is then topped with something that looks like tomato vinaigrette and melted cheese. The combination is seriously bad for you but when lounging under the sun getting a tan, the taste is absolutely fabulous.
THE DIMOTIKI AGORA: CENTRAL ATHENS PUBLIC MARKET: You need to visit the food markets located in the center of Athens. While there, you will see fresh fish and meat market under one roof, which is directly opposite the road to the fruit and vegetable market. You can enter the market and wander around while talking to the vendors and get the real experience from the working class. If you get there early, you can join the vendors for breakfast in one of the side stalls in the meat market and worth a visa to see Greece from travelvisapro.com alone. Furthermore, it is the perfect place to stock up on fruits to last you through the day (such as nectarines, peaches, and cherries).
MONASTIRAKI SQUARE: The nightlife is the best part of Athens, which is around Monastiraki Square. Clubbing will go through the night until the very early hours of the morning. Athens is not like London where if a place is slow, people tend to close early if possible. In Greece, shops have to stay open until 3 am or whenever they are advised to close no matter how few people are. This means you can head out to local bars and see the new side of the locals.
ENJOY A GREEK FRAPPE: The frappe can be taken as the people’s national drink. Coffee and café houses are institutions considered important in Greek culture. It is common to find people spending hours sipping frappe. The Plaka area is a welcoming and yet commercial region with countless cafes. As such, if you are searching for a youthful place, consider the Psiri neighborhood.
If you decide to visit Acropolis, then it is wise not to go between the hours of 12 pm to 5 pm. This is because if you go between those hours, you will leave with a strong dose of sunburn and sunstroke, which will begin to peel immediately. Therefore, the best time is late afternoon and then later head over to Gazi and Psiri for a drink (Both are great areas where you will find bars and cold beer).
THE ACROPOLIS SECRET ENTRANCE: Do not bother yourself lining up at the main Acropolis entrance. It is important to know that there is a back way in, which has a tiny line that no one knows about. Apart from being efficient, it is faster compared to the main gate. This alternative entrance will save you hours of lining up under the hot sun.
MOBILE PHONE DATA: Mobile phone data have become paramount especially since we have stopped using paper maps. Therefore, you can buy a local sim card outside the central subway station, with different data packs on offer. Even though they are trying to sell to local people, as a tourist, getting a months’ worth of data is helpful, plus giving you the ability to book restaurants and bars.
UBER: There is no reason to use the subway when taxis and Uber are readily available. Uber is a company that is widely known, even in Greece. As such, because it is widely used in the country, you will get a more professional service compared to local taxis. This is one of the reasons you should download an Uber app on your phone before you arrive there. Their cars are brand new; the divers have an iPad or smartphone in their car, with the route they should follow. At times, the drivers will give you water or sweets as part of their service. In Athens, there is a local transportation service app known as Uber X, which undercuts the prices of local taxis for the same journey by 20%. Therefore, why not take advantage of this service and furthermore you do not have to worry about carrying cash because your credit card will just do it.
HEAD OUT OF TOWN: While there, you can also decide to head out of town. This means taking a bus to Kessariani and take a short hike up the Monastery and its surrounding areas. This can be a great historical outing for you and your family. A popular one day bus trip along the coast goes to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. On the other hand, you may consider heading over to the historical Olympia, Mycenae, or Delphi.