Greece is quite famous for its amazing landscapes, culture, and cuisine. As a travel destination, it has always been on our radar. In June of 2017, we decided to travel to Europe & Iceland and made sure Greece was one of the main destinations. We started with Athens and ended in Santorini. Vacation none of us would ever forget and a vacation that left us wanting to come back in the near future.
The journey started with a few days in Athens, the capital of Greece. We stayed right in the middle of the city and most of the attractions we wanted to see were conveniently located around us. As many tourists would do first thing on our lists was to see the pantheon and the surrounding its attractions. After a long wait in lines etc, we managed to get inside and view this amazing reminder of how unique and capable ancient greeks were.
However, we were not impressed by the condition of the pantheon. One-third of it was under construction/restoration and the remaining seemed like it has seen better days. Honestly, the majority of Athens felt somewhat abandoned, painted with graffiti, and for the lack of a better word … dirty. However, it felt like that to us during our day trips and explorations.
It got much better after the sun went down and everything somehow came alive. Funny how it works but Athens before and after sunset felt like two completely different cities. After 6 PM every possible square, restaurant, and place to eat were completely full. Getting a table in the local “goto” places was like mission impossible. We managed somehow to try a few of the places recommended by some of the locals and they all were worth the wait.
We also visited various other attractions like the smaller pantheon, their famous botanical gardens, and explored the main streets of the city. It is a busy city during the week but most of the attractions we went to were not crowded and accessible. The Pantheon being somewhat of an exception here. It does get crowded there and that is understandable.
The food was unbelievable. We did not have a single place where we had a meal that was not absolutely phenomenal. After the first few meals, we realized that Athens was all about the nightlife and the food. Everything else almost felt like either was not as important to the locals or they just had no way to make it better due to the economic state of the country. It was like someone flipped the switch and all of a sudden everything was alright and everyone was having fun everywhere.
Athens is a great city to visit for a few days and explore the Pantheon and the other attractions. It a must-see and experience if you want to say that you have seen and tasted Greece 🙂