In my last post about travel tips for Athens, I mentioned you can easily be an independent traveler here. That said, if you’re only here a day or two, an organized tour of the major ancient sites is a great idea.
Alternative Athens offers excellent walking tours to historic sites, street art around the city, and local foodie haunts. We did the 4 hour city highlight tour, covering 5 major sites and teaching us everything we needed to know about Greek mythology and ruins.
I highly recommend this company (check out their Tripadvisor reviews here). Our guide was informative and lovely, and the company was accommodating. Originally no tours were scheduled the day we wanted, but they ran one because of our interest.
This tour cost about 46 euros per person and we each also bought a combination pass for 30 euros, which let us access many historic sites over 5 days, including the Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Agora, and Kerameikos Ancient Cemetary.
As mentioned before, the Greek sun is intense!
This means you need airy breathable clothes. This sundress was perfect for the day, and my Tevas kept my feet cool and comfortable. And don’t go out without a hat and lots of sunscreen.
After our tour, one of the highlights of the day and the whole trip was seeing the changing of the guards.
This takes place every day every hour on the hour in front of the Parliament Building. It’s really easy to find… just head to nearby Syntagma Square by metro or bus.
You’ll wait in a huge crowd facing the tall handsome guards (yes, there is a height and weight requirement) and a few minutes before the ceremony, they’ll let you take pictures next to the guard.
Strictly no touching though!
On Sundays, there is a special ceremony at 11 am, involving all the guards and is apparently a sight to behold.
Finally, one of my all time favorite ways of discovering a city is just wandering the streets, narrow alleys, and off the beaten paths. Athens has dozens of charming chapels to admire and peek inside as well as so many interesting little shops.