Travel Digest – Athens

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During my summer Europe trip I was fortunate enough to visit Athens, Greece. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit nervous to visit Athens due mostly in part to the “facts” that the news show about Greece and the city of Athens as a whole. Although in any foreign country it is a smart idea to pay attention to your surroundings, I not once felt unsafe in this beautiful city. It’s filled with rich culture, amazing historical sites, delicious food and most important people who genuinely love their country – something I cannot say I get to experience visiting other countries.

We stayed in Athens for a total of four days right near the city center at Hotel King George Athens. The hotel was beautiful and service was amazing. Arguably the best part of the hotel is the breakfast view offered on the roof. The hotel features a restaurant called Tudor Hall Restaurant that is open for breakfast and dinner. We opted for breakfast and were able to enjoy a wide spread of a typical “Greek” breakfast, meaning lots of meat, cheese, breads and of course Greek yoghurt, with a beautiful view of Acropolis and the city below. 10/10 would recommend to anyone staying in Athens to visit the hotel restaurant even if you aren’t staying at Hotel King George.

I was actually surprised to realize how similar Greek city life is to American city life. Yes, it’s evidently a different country but Greece is one of the only European cities I’ve visited that remotely have any sort of breakfast options. We were able to get a European form of iced coffee every morning (which is something that I can never accept about Europe..I love my iced coffee). Speaking of food..I didn’t realize how much of the food I eat at home is from Greece until I was there. I’m not kidding, we ate Greek yoghurt with honey, feta cheese and gyros pretty much everyday and I can’t say I was tired of it by the end. Greek food is actually to die for and it’s WAY cheaper to eat out than other countries I’ve visited.

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One of the amazing dishes we ate. The entire meal (plus the house wine) was 18 euro and we didn’t even come close to finishing it.

Throughout our trip we wanted to see a lot of the historical landmarks, learning about most of them growing up. We were able to see the Panathenaic Stadium (also known as the Olympic Stadium) and of course Acropolis. I’m also like obsessed with shopping whenever I visit a new country just to see the difference and I quickly realized our hotel was right along the main shopping street Ermou (sorry Nick). I tried to avoid the chain stores that I could find in the United States and shop at a lot to stores that I knew were either boutiques or exclusive to Europe. It also should be honestly noted that due to the economy it really is cheaper in Greece than other countries to shop. I was able to purchase quite a few cool pieces without breaking the bank.

Speaking of cool pieces, Greek is known for leather and leather shops so naturally I left the country with actually five pairs of leather sandals but I think my favorite ones were from Stavros Melissinos “The Poet Sandal-Maker of Athens“. This concept is so cool — basically you pick out of 20-30 options and then they craft the leather sandal to fit your foot and your foot only. This is a huge thing in Athens and big names such as Sara Jessica Parker, Barbara Streisand and oh The Beatles were once in this shop also getting sandals made for them. When you get the new leather shoes they’re slightly uncomfortable but trust me, I’ve been wearing mine now for about a month and they are absolutely broken in and have become my favorite go-to sandal this month. I’ve even worn them recently on the plane while traveling domestically!

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The inside of Stavros Melissinos. Such a unique experience.

Overall I LOVED Athens and actually told my parents that at some point they need to visit because it’s such a cool country. I’d recommend to anyone NOT to always listen to the news and appreciate each city for what it has to offer. I would absolutely visit Athens again!

See more pictures from my trip below!

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A small side street that we found while roaming behind Acropolis.

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The main shopping street that we stumbled upon during our first night in Athens.

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Nick and I outside of Acropolis.

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Oh funny story that shouldn’t be left out, the winds around Athens International Airport are extremely strong and during our landing, we actually had to abort the landing meaning we were almost on the runway and then shot right back up. Not going to lie, at the time it was easily the most frightening moment of my entire life but now that it’s all said and done I can’t help but laugh at my luck. We also experienced the same feeling of extreme turbulence when we took off leaving but nothing really compares to an aborted landing.

 

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