Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Athens: What to do, Where to stay and Where to Eat & Drink

Electra Metropolis hotel review Athens greece
So... Athens. Athens surprised me more than anywhere I've been before. It's not that I had low expectations, more that I just didn't really have any expectations at all. I didn't know anyone that had been, other than for a quick stopover before going onto one of the islands, and I'd been really busy in the lead up to leaving so hadn't had the chance to do some research online for myself like I normally would. But I completely and utterly fell in love! We arrived late at night, maybe 11pm, and driving along to our hotel I could see that people were still only just arriving at places to eat. I like to eat quite late and a few countries we've visited recently have generally stopped serving food at around 9pm, so instantly I was like YES, I think I'm going to like it here. We spotted lots of cool little bars with fairy lights galore set up along the way but, since we'd been travelling since early afternoon, we decided to check in to the hotel and call it a night like the pensioners we are. We stayed at the Electra Metropolis Athens which is in a great location! It's right in the middle of town so is in walking distance of most of the spots you'd like to visit and the staff on reception were all very lovely. Just when I thought they couldn't get any more lovely, we arrived at our room to be greeted by a little welcome note and some macarons which lasted, ooh, 0.6 seconds? And then we fell into a sugar coma and that was that. 

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We woke up bright and early(ish) and turned up to breakfast to discover the best thing about the hotel... the views! That's right, you can sit and have breakfast - or a cup of tea, or lunch, or... whatever meal you may choose - and take in this incredible view of Acropolis. Pretty magical isn't it? It's so surreal, this contrast between the modern and the ancient side of Athens... it's like you've wandered onto a film set.

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For our first morning we were booked in to do a walking tour. Now, I won't lie, when I saw 'three hour walking tour' written on the itinerary a little part of me died inside. No, I'm kidding, I just did a baby groan that was all. Three hours sounds very long and we were still tired and I'm lazy. However, it turned out to be one of the best things we did! We were taken around the city by the lovely Yannis from Athens Insiders and, the best thing is, that you can tailor the tour completely to your desires as it's private. Fashion, history, food... You name it. We went for a bit of history, as we didn't know much about Athens, and a bit of cafe culture because, well, you can't go wrong with cafes,with a few extra bits thrown in along the way. Yannis took us through food markets and vintage markets as well as everywhere from Plaka to Pittaki Street, which I absolutely loved. It's a little street that's lined with every kind of lampshade imaginable, so it feels almost like you're walking through a big, long version of your grandma's house. There's a wee photo nearer the end of the post if you'd like to see, and you can also see more here. We stopped off at lots of other little places along the way, all at our own pace, and Yannis was able to tell us so, so much as we went. No question was too much (or too silly) and at the end of the trip he was able to point us in the direction of a craft brewery where we could sit outside and have a gluten free beer in the sun. It's definitely something would recommend doing, and especially at the start of your trip so that you can get your bearings as well as a 'to explore more later' list together.

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The rest of our short time there was spent wandering, eating and drinking. One of the best things to do in Athens! Cafe culture's a very big thing there at the moment so there are an abundance of places to stop off at. Aside from the walking tour, another of my favourite things we did was sit in the sun with a massive plate of halloumi - we're already winning - and a beer, people-watching. So, where's good to eat and drink? Well, my favourite places we went were:

- Nice n Easy Organic Bistro: This one was great for me, as obviously I'm a little gluten free-er so it was very handy that all the allergens in each meal are marked on the menu and you don't have to be that guy who's like 'can I just ask if this is...'. Vegan and vegetarian are also clearly marked on there. The salmon in particular is delicious, and the buffalo meatball starter is another tasty choice (see the photo above to get your taste buds ticklin'). You can also sit outside or inside depending on what kind of mood you're in! Make sure and book in advance as it gets quite busy.
- 360 cocktail bar: Has the most incredible view of Acropolis - see the last and seventh from last photo above - and makes a lovely place for an evening drink. It does get quite busy if you want to go around sunset, bear that in mind, but we were lucky enough to manage to nab a wee table on the roof for a drink. There's a good wee article on the best rooftop bars in Athens here!
- Otto Resto & Bar: Seriously good cocktails - we were there for both food and drinks, but the cocktails stole my heart. The staff were all incredibly lovely and and the decor is beautiful. If Wes Anderson were to be let loose on a Greek restaurant, this would be the result. It's cosy and romantic to sit in in the evening and a great people watching spot by day! Right beside Otto is Just Made 33 who do the best hot chocolate I've ever had in my life. Just an F.Y.I.
- Six D.O.G.S was my favourite place we went for a drink. It's a wee multi-purpose art space where you can sit out the back in this hidden and completely unexpected leafy, green, glorious paradise and have a drink. They also host club nights, art exhibitions and live music, so it's a pretty snazzy place whenever you choose to go.

And there we have it, a very short trip to Athens! I hope this post has given you some inspiration and perhaps tickled your fancy towards perhaps visiting for yourself one day. Please... bring me back some halloumi if you do.

Amy

The Little Magpie Athens Blog Guide
Thank you to Discover Greece and Aegean Airlines for such a wonderful trip. Aegean fly from London to Athens direct 3x per day year round and onward to Santorini and thirty other Greek destinations. Find out more here 

19 comments:

Gemma Roberts said...

Stunning photographs! What an amazing place!

Gemma
Faded Windmills

Luxe Style said...

Lovely photos and I love the black dress! The views look amazing x

Jenny | LuxeStyle

Underayted Ray said...

Thanks for sharing this with us, beautifully written.

www.underaytedray.co.uk

Zoey Olivia said...

Beautiful photos! Athens looks so dreamy.

Zoey, www.zoeyolivia.com

Lottie Gibbons said...

Athens looks so beautiful!
www.lottiegibbons.com

Zazie Bibi said...

That view is beautiful! Would love to visit Athens x

A Little Treat | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Laura said...

Ohh, Athens look so beautiful! Like you, I've never really thought about going there, or had any expectations at all, but you've definitely added it to my radar now! :) Loooove the look at those views and all that beautiful architecture! xx

Laura // Middle of Adventure

7SEVENDAYS said...

really interesting postcards!!!!!

http://7-sevendays.blogspot.gr/

THE NEON FACTOR | Diana said...

The photos are amazing!!

|| The Neon Factor, by Diana ||
www.TheNeonFactor.com

The Style Rawr said...

FIRSTLY, why you so beautiful!? Ah man, love each and every one of your outfits. Secondly, Athens, eh? Pretty sure a direct route just opened up from Bristol so now you have my attention! Your pictures are gorgeous and I love that it has a cafe culture. Yup. I'm adding it to my shortlist for 2018!!

T x

The Gold Lipstick said...

Absolutely love it!

Mireia from TGL
https://thegoldlipstick.com/

Alice Taylor said...

I understand what you bring it very meaningful and useful, thanks.


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La Coco Noire said...

woah, what a stunning place!

absolutely in love with your orange shorts as well ♥

katie xx lacoconoire.com

Courtney Hardy said...

These sound like the perfect places to go if you're visiting there. I love the outfit you're wearing too. It's really cute.
sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com

Ana Vieira said...

Amazing pics! love your outfit <3

Blog - Coco made me do this

Immy May said...

Ah Amy Athens just looks DREAMY. I need to discover more of Greece! Also, absolutely in LOVE with your wrap dress, you look beautiful. Immy x

www.immymay.com

Michelle Lee said...

amazing photos!

http://www.pinklemonincrystal.blogspot.com

Aria said...

I love that black dress you wore! I'm planning to go to Greece soon so it's great to read all about your trip!
xo Erika
http://whaterikawears.com/

Kathy said...

wow these photos are just too much!! SO lovely and love your outfits!
xxKathy
www.kathywang.co.uk