Athens, is the heart of the ancient Greece Empire. Serving as the nations capital city, the 5th century landmarks sprinkle the city like dust from Greek Goddess Athena herself. The Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora and Plaka are the classic must-do’s for first-timers; one could almost imagine the Athenians dressed in white strolling along chatting about art and politics. And while most travellers head to the islands, there is plenty to experience in the city:
Stay: Coco-Mat Athens Hotel (https://www.cocomatathens.com)
Nestled in the fashionable area of Kolonaki, find the ultra modern boutique hotel above the bespoke mattress concept store. Guests can order different styles of pillows from the 12-item menu and use the Lavender sachet on pillows to enhance a great nights sleep. Rest up and be ready to discover Athens using the complimentary Coco-Mat wooden frame bikes after you indulge in a homemade breakfast at the Honesty Bar. Don’t forget to try the yogurt. After exploring the city, sip some wine at the beautiful rooftop garden overlooking the city.
Do: Museum of Cycladic Art (https://www.cycladic.gr/en)
After visiting the main sites, a visit to the Museum of Cycladic Art is in order. The two building museum (the Stathatos Mansion and the Main building) houses antiquities and boasts both a permanent and temporary exhibition. Browse through the gift store finds after recharging with a coffee at the café. It’s the perfect setting for a chic event or an Instagram worthy snap.
Do: Walking tours through Heritage Tours (https://www.heritagetours.com)
What better way to discover the city than on foot? The standard history and architecture are tours are a no-brainer. Yet, how about a Greek mythology tour while roaming the Parthenon or a Street art tour in Exarcheia?
Do: Cooking class with Melina (www.melinasdelight.gr)
Learn about the origin of local ingredients with a private cooking class with former TV chef, Melina Salelma. Melina’s bubbly personality, coupled with her wealth of knowledge makes the class both fun and informative. The traditional three-course meal including Yououvarlakia Avgolemono was fantastic and easy to replicate at home thanks to Melina’s substitutions.
Do: Cine THISIO Open air cinema (http://cine-thisio.gr)
Imagine watching a film in the sweet Mediterranean air with the glow from the Parthenon above. This theatre has been on many previous lists and for good reason. Usually open the last week of April/first week of May and ends in late October – it plays both classics and new releases.
Drink: Juan Rodriguez Bar (https://www.facebook.com/pg/Juan-Rodriguez-Bar-Compañia-de-Bebida-552547418427094/reviews/)
Nestled in a hidden street in the Psyrri district, enjoy a carefully concocted cocktail in one of the petite red velvet booths. Listen to the lively DJ at night or visit during the day for a coffee and a mid-afternoon snack.
Eat: Warehouse Project (https://www.warehouseproject.gr)
Taking a break from the scrumptious Greek cuisine and enjoy Italian al fresco in the tiny café seats with candlelight under the striped awning. The wine bar boasts an extensive list of local and imported finds.
Eat/Shop: Kostarelos (http://www.kostarelos.gr/en-US/Home.aspx)
Established in 1939, the 80-year-old family owned deli/shop serves an array of their own crafted cheese and dairy products with recipes by chef Chrysanthos Karamolegos. Have the option to eat in and try the creamy rice pudding. The shop has a perfect assortment of local products like honey or olives for gift giving.
Shop: KORRES (https://www.korres.com/)
The Greek beauty and cosmetic line originated in 1996 with a goal to protect promote and sustain Greece’s natural flora. Strictly against animal testing, KORRES does not test any ingredients or products on animals, or hire outside companies to do so at any stage in production. Try the PURE GREEK OLIVE line that contains the Olive oil from the Koroneiki Olive. It is the very same oil ancient women of Crete used for their hair, face and body, and athletes to cleanse and prepare their bodies for the ancient Greek games. The collection includes skincare, hair care, body care and eau de cologne available in flagship stores.