There is a lot to see and do in a weekend or quick short stay to quickly get into the vibe and pace of this buzzing European metropolis. The ancient historical sites, myriad of museums, vibrant nightlife venues, vast choice of dining and shopping venues, friendly and charismatic Athenians, assures you a memorable trip full of substance and style! Day one is more culture-oriented and day two more shopping-oriented. Lets go!
FOOD FOR THE SOUL & MIND. Travel is not what is used to be: all rest and relaxation. That is what is so great about this city. Athenians balance both work and play. And this two-day itinerary shows how.
Begin your day with a visit to the Acropolis, the surrounding archeological park and the New Acropolis museum. The choice is yours as to what you choose to do first, as you may prefer to get a behind the scenes lesson prior to seeing the monuments up close.
Both are must-see destinations. The stroll through the park at the base of the Acropolis – known as the Unification of Archaeological Sites is quite spectacular. The new Acropolis Museum café and shop have also become hotspots with a good crowd of natives and visitors who come to enjoy a light lunch or purchase little designer gifts for loved ones.
After a break for coffee and shopping at the museum, spend some time exploring the historic centre, namely the little “neighborhoods” that hinge the sacred rock of the Acropolis: Monastiraki, Thisio and Plaka. You are sure to spend a couple of hours here as each offers interesting shops, restaurants, art, architecture and a look into Athens past and present.
Once you’ve taken a breather and relaxed a bit in Plaka or Thisio, head straight to Sintagma Square for more sightseeing. If you pass Ermou Street with all the shops, take note as shopping is on the agenda for tomorrow (Day 2) of your visit in Athens. Visit the Greek Parliament building and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and pose for a photo with one of the impressive Presidential Guards. There are many museums to choose from in this area.
But you may prefer to visit the ancient Olympic Stadium Panathenaic Stadium. You can get there by walking through the National Gardens and Zappeion just next to the Parliament building. In the evening stay in the centre and enjoy a cocktail before and or after your dinner at one of the many small bars around Sintagma.
TAKE IN ATHENS STYLE. Now that the “culture must-do” part of the trip has been completed, it is time to discover the shopping and coastal “must-see” part of Athens.
There are many shopping districts to explore all with a different angle. You may want to review our list of the 10 Best Shopping Streets to help guide you. Talk a walk through the pedestrian-only Ermou Street and then head to Kolonaki. On the way there stop at Panepistimiou Street, home to Attica the Department Store and well-known jewelry shops that have been appreciated by many celebrities.
Take a coffee break in Kolonaki. Hotspots include places on Skoufa, Milioni and around the central square, perfect for people watching. In the summer and spring months take the 30-minute tram ride to the stylish coastal Attica region, known as the Athenian Riviera. In the fall, the stylish venues of choice for an evening out on the town revolve around Gazi, Kolonaki and Sintagma. The restaurants, bars and clubs in Athens do not disappoint maintaining its reputation as a city that truly never sleeps.