Greece (Including Athens, Santorini & Mykonos) for 8Days in €1100 for 2pax Part 1/2: Athens

Monday, March 07, 2016

Wooo it's been 8 months since we visited Greece and Athens always a must visit place if you planning to visit Santorini. We enjoy traveling around Athens as much as we do in Santorini. So today I will share some guides on travelling in Athens.

the famous Acropolis still in reconstruction process

Before I begin, below is our 3D2N brief itinerary and also the map of all must visit spot.



Day 1
Acropolis Museum, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Arch of Hadrian,Plaka

Day 2
National Museum, Monastiraki Market, Hadrian Library, Temple of Hephaestus, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora

Day 3
Acropolis, Parthenon, Theater of Dionysos

Travel Duration

I would suggest at least 2 full day to explore Athens and if you really love history then 3 full days would be good... If you wants to go Temple of Zeus at Sounion where you get to see Temple of Zeus by the sea then add one more day to your itinerary... You also can watch sunset there... Honestly we really wanted to go but our itinerary is way too packed already..... You need to take bus or purchase a day tour from the agent there... Some also provide private car and driver to fetch you there for a day trip.


source: http://indulgy.com/post/zhU955u7P1/sunset-at-cape-sounion-and-the-temple-of-poseido

Weather

We really love the weather there... We went in the early summer around end of Jun, though it is hot but it's not humid so we don't feel those sweaty sticky feeling....I think early summer is the best time to travel to Athen or other island in Greece. Reason being is that it's not overly hot but yet you get to see beautiful blue sky with cottony clouds. If you come during Autumn or Spring it might be cloudy and possible rain.....and Summer can be way too hot....


Athens weather can be quite dry as most tourist attraction are covered with dry land with no grasss... Thus to walk with slippers or sandal can be quite dry to walk on.... I recommend to wear covered shoes... Oh and some historical site has water where you can refill but not all places have it...So make sure to buy the water before hand.... We found a market near Voulis street (search for this add in google map: Nikis 17, Athina 105 57, Greece) which sell really cheap water and other grocery supplies, so you definitely need get your supplies there if you want to save money. There is also many restaurant nearby to have your dinner there.. Our favourite is Paradosiako, Voulis 44, Athens 105 57, Greece.

Most of the places are covered with these type of dry sand...

Transport

There is metro (train) available and if you stay near Acropolis, you can walk to almost all the tourist attraction without need to take train. I don't remember seeing much bus in Athens.. We took train (Metro) from Airport all the way to Syntagma, Station which is the station to stop if you wants to visit Acropolis. We stayed really near Acropolis like 10minutes walk to Acropolis base. You need to take note as you might need to change train when you took train from Syntagma to/from Airport. There is 3 line all together, so if you are not sure please ask the ticket counter. Also one very important note is that you need to validate your metro ticket. As you walk pass, there is no barrier to stop you from entering the train station like we used to see in most places. So you have to manually insert your metro ticket to validate it. You need to validate your ticket before you go into the train else you might be fined.

Metro Ticket Validation Machine
source: http://blog.matthewgast.com/2008/04/28/athens-part-6/

Accomodation

We stayed at a apartment we booked through Airbnb... It wasn't a very very pleasant stay but the money we pay was rather cheap so it's a give and take situations... One thing really good about the accommodation is that is super near to all attractions... We just walk to all attractions and the most is we walk for about 30 minutes max and that is to a restaurant that we really love.... We highly recommend you to stay nearby Acropolis as it's easier to explore around...Also there is a lot of slope in Athens so if you stay far away it can be quite exhausting to walk all the slopes...

This is the area where we stayed...Our apartment was jus opposite...

Below picture was taken outside of the apartment we stayed...

Food 
Alright here we are at the food sections (my favourite part).... There is a lot of delicious food to try in Athens... and boy we love Mediterranean food alot.... It's mostly meat and less greens... If you want affordable food go for gyros or souvlakis... They cost around 2-3 Euros and for girls, one portion of gyros is really sufficient and for guys maybe one and a half portion.

Gyros are like kebab but with addition of fries and tzazikis (salad with yogurt) while souvlakis are like skewers...



If you want cheaper food option can also go for this Koulouri, a breaded coated with sesame seeds... It's great as filler when you are hungry and great to go with coffee.... Not very delicious but well it's only 1Euros... They are sold at a small stall along the streets..

source: http://www.julescatering.com/blog/tag/koulouri/

We also love all their baked and stew dishes... We especially love this baked aubergines and also the beef stew... It's so so good..

Baked Aubergines with Feta Cheese


Stew Beef with Rice

Grilled Octopus

oh yes if you love cherries, you can get a huge packet at only 1... I buy it and eat it while I walk around historical sites... Last but not least, the desserts... They have really good ice cream...We love Davincci ones especially the waffles...Best Waffles ever!!

Davincci Waffles
Davincci Waffles
Entrance Fee 
You need to pay for most of the attractions but you can purchase the multi ticket at 20 ( I payed 12  when i was there) where you can visit a total of 6 historical sites and valid for 4 days. The 6 historical site included are:

  • The Acropolis, 
  • North & South Slope Of The Acropolis, 
  • Ancient Agora, 
  • Hadrian’s Library, 
  • Roman Agora,
  • Kerameikos, 
  • Olympieion
Important Notes: 
Entry to the Acropolis is rising from €12 to €20 for the months of April to October in 2016 (reduced entry fee is 10€). From November 2016 to March 2017, the price will be reduced by 50%. NBReports in certain, badly researched/edited newspapers that the increase is from €12 to €52 are not true!


Acropolis Museum and any other museum in Athens s not included in this ticket..

This is how the ticket look like.

The multi-ticket for the Acropolis and other Ancient sites in Athens.
source:http://archaeology-travel.com/travel-tips/buying-tickets-for-the-acropolis-and-other-ancient-sites-in-athens/



Shopping 

We went to 4 different country (UK, Spain, Switzerland and Greece) and in Athens, we find the item are cheaper and have a lot of choices available... There is Zara, Berhska, Stradivarius, Topshop, H&M, Pull & Bear and many more..... H&M there were huge too and the accessories section was mind blowing.... There is also Sephora and they have sale like 25% for all lip product when I was there....Sigh our Sephora in Malaysia barely have sale.... Oh and please shop at airport.. The MAC there is so cheap....

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ermou_Street_(Athens)

Cost

This is the most important part!! I;m sure you want to know how much we spend in Greece. So let me break down some of the cost we spend in Greece. I include the full cost of three places we went in Greece as I'm sure most people who go to Greece would really go to all three places we went... In the next post I will write about the travel guide in Santorini & Mykonos and also in depth of each places we visit in Athens. So we never really go for super budgeted hotels or food... We eat pretty well with seafood and meat at Restaurant... So if you opt for more budget travel then the cost should be way lower than this....

Flight UK - Athens: €211.10
Flight AThens -  Santorini : €208.34

Notes:

  • All flight include 2 big luggage of 20KG each, two hand carry luggage of 10kg each and one laptop backpack and one kinda huge lady hand bag.
  • You can definitely get a cheaper flight because we only book one month ahead so it can be a little pricey
Ferry from Santorini to Mykonos: €39 x 2 = €78
Ferry from Mykonos to Athens: €15 x 2 = €30

Metro to/from Airport to Athen Syntagma  Station: €14
Car rental by Vazeo for 3days: €200
Petrol: €10

Acropolis Museum Athens  Entrance Ticket: €10 x 2 = €20
Byzatine Museum Athens  Entrance Ticket: €2 x 2 = €4
National Historical Museum Athens Entrance Ticket: €3 x 2 = €6
Acropolis Combined Ticket: €12 x 2 = €24

Accomodation in Athens Airbnb apartment  (2nights exclude breakfast) : €94
Accomodation in Santorini Gaby Apartment  (4nights exclude breakfast) : 220
Accomodation in Mykonos Karavan Apartment  (1night exclude breakfast) : €57 (breakfast top up at €10 , very worth it as it's really a splendid breakfast buffet spread)

Santo Wine Winery Tour: €29

Prepaid Card: €20

Meal:

Restaurant in Athens: €31.40 + €11.50 +€22.6 + €38.5 = €104
Soulvlakis/ Gyros in Athens: €4.60 + €2 = €6.60
Restaurant in Santorini & Mykonos: €26.50 + € 22 + €39 + € 27.6 + €22.60 = €137.70
Soulvlakis/ Gyros in Santorini: €7.80 + €5 + €6.80 = € 19.60 

Grocery in Athens + Santorini + Mykonos: 40.93

TOTAL: 1114.83 for 2 pax
TOTAL include flights: 1534.27 for 2 pax


Phew it's the end of the post.. I hope you enjoy reading this post and exploring Athens through my eyes... I will do another detailed post focusing on all the Archaeological Sites and all the food we have tried in Athens.... Till the next post on Athens.... Bye Bye....

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