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40 pictures that will make you want to visit Athens...

 

I was not really sure what to expect about Athens. As a cultural traveller I was looking forward to exploring the birthplace of Western Civilisation and visiting the city’s archaeological gems like the Acropolis and the awe inspiring Temple of  Hephaestus. Also as a ‘more for less’ traveller, I had heard great things about the city’s legendary streetfood scene. Beyond that, I had little clue. Given the recent economic woes, I was curious. I was curious to see how the locals were coping under the impact of the harsh austerity measures.

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I am happy to report that I came away pleasantly surprised. Despite the weight of economic uncertainty, Athenians were getting on with their day to day lives. People were pleasant, friendly and welcoming wherever we went in the city. Thanks to record tourist arrivals, the city seems to be coping well. I can’t remember seeing such a high concentration of cool chic bars, cafes and restaurants in one city. Athens has a thriving nightlife scene to rival Barcelona and Berlin. Thanks to the free this is my Athens greeters scheme, I met the fantastic Andreas and Magda who gave me a tour of the hip (non touristy) districts of Metaxourgiou and Koukaki. No tips. Just passionate locals who are keen to volunteer and show their city to visiting tourists. How cool is that?

On the recommendation of Andreas, I discovered that Athens has a beautiful stretch of beaches and sleepy seaside towns popularly known as the Athenian Riviera. Just 45 minutes away by tram, me and Sofia swam in clear, warm aquamarine blue waters at an almost empty beach in Piraiki. This was followed by a cracking, very affordable seafood lunch there. I will reveal the whole itinerary soon in a 72 hour guide of Athens but until then, I will leave you with a photoessay of our time in Athens which gives you an idea of what we discovered on the trip. 40 ( think maybe more!) of my best pictures from the trip. Hopefully, they will inspire you to

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Pythagorion Hotel
28 Agiou Konstandinou Street,
Athens, Greece,GR-10437
MHTE: 0206K013A0029000

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