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Greece : A 48-hour Guide to Athens

Oh Athens… How much fun it was to finally pay you a visit  🙂

As you’ve already seen in the teaser post on Athens I published last week, I have wanted to see Athens for a very long time, and only on my last trip with Daniel to Greece did my wish finally come true. To be totally honest, I must say that for a long time I pictured Athens in my mind to be amazing and even magical, and two weeks before our trip when I began to make our travel plans I felt as if my bubble had burst.

What do I mean, you ask? Well… You can say that all of the guides and posts I've read about the city really ‘played down’ my enthusiasm. They simply did not do the city justice. Apart from the recommendation to visit the Acropolis, which was repeated over and over in all the guides, I did not find too many interesting things to see, do or eat in the city. Even in guides which I found gave a little more information, the pictures were quite depressing and made the city seem dated and unexciting.

Anyway, suddenly I was a little glad that we were about to spend only two days in the city, because it seemed as if we really did not need more than that to see the city's obligatory attractions.

And then, we landed in Athens… and the city was magical, just as I had imagined.

The 48 hours we had turned out to be not enough. The city has so much beauty and the atmosphere is so wonderful it is hard to leave.

Here is my guide to Athens, I hope that I will be able to pass through to you the beauty and uniqueness of the city, at which the other guides I read failed …



Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


Greece travel guides





On this trip to Athens the division of roles between Daniel and I was so – Daniel was in charge of our accommodations, while I was responsible for planning our activities in the city. As always, this time too, the accommodations were booked a long time in advance, but surprisingly most of the places were already full and not much was left to choose from {Hotels as well as Airbnb}. After we made a hotel reservation, compromising on location for a modern and well designed hotel {because that’s important to us}, Daniel decided to check again the hotel and apartment availability a week before the flight. To our surprise – there was one room available for our first night, at a boutique hotel that we really wanted to stay at, and an amazing apartment  for our last night in the city.

The moral of the story – it is almost always better to make reservations with a cancellation option, and check your options again right before the trip 😉


The tourist option: COCO-MAT Hotel Athens  Like I said, there was one room left in the hotel during our dates, and it was the smallest room the hotel has to offer. We decided it was worth compromising on size, because the hotel looked stunning and its location is excellent, in the prestigious Kolonaki district. We arrived at the hotel at 9:00 AM after an especially early flight, and, since our flight to Zakynthos was very early the next morning, we asked to have our breakfast that morning instead of the following morning, and walked right in before check-in. The service at the hotel was exceptional and we were allowed into breakfast with no questions asked, and we were even promised a packed breakfast to take with us on our flight the next morning. Already a good start 🙂


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


The hotel breakfast was fairly basic, with pastries, cheeses, cold cuts, eggs and some fruit, but everything served was of very good quality. Afterward, full and tired, we went out for little stroll hoping we could enter our room before check in at 2 o’clock. Around noon we returned to the hotel and were surprised to have our room ready, and not only was it ready – we were upgraded to a two-level suite, the best room in the hotel with two balconies and an amazing view of the city! {And before you start wondering about the upgrade – the hotel had no idea I am a blogger or that I planned on writing about it in my guide}. The suite was, of course, perfect, with fine toiletries, a free mini bar with all sorts of special Greek drinks and delicacies, and to top it all off – a huge and luxurious Coco-Mat bed. {The hotel belongs to Coco-Mat, a company that specializes in quality beds and bedroom accessories – heaven for sleep lovers!}. A great and perfect hotel for those wanting to stay in the city’s prestigious neighborhood.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון

Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


The local option: An Airbnb apartment at the foot of the Acropolis  Have you ever walked into a place and felt as if you have to live there? As if it was designed especially for you? I have been to many luxury hotels and apartments that were perfect, but I must say that never have I felt the way I did the moment we arrived at this Airbnb apartment. This apartment is without a doubt my dream apartment. Everything about it is perfect. The little house, painted in pink and green pastels, is located in the picturesque neighborhood of Anafiotika, the balconies point to the amazing view of the city, and of course the interior design features hues of marble, pink, and gold. Did I already mention it was perfect? Apart from the apartment being amazing, the hospitality was perfect. Yannis, one of the owners, saw us to the door as we entered and exited the place, and explained to us everything there is to know about the place and the area, and Laskarina, the girl who represents the apartment on the Airbnb website, sent us a detailed list of all the cool places to hang out in in the area. As much as I enjoyed staying at Coco-Mat, I must say that without a doubt, next time ll take a trip to Athens I will definitely go back to this apartment. It's just the place I felt most at home in my life.

Is it your first time ordering an apartment through Airbnb? You’re welcome to use my link and receive a code for a $42 coupon on your next trip.

photo source – Airbnb apartment page


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון

Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון




When I planned our trip to Athens and looked for all sorts of places to pin on my food map, I was a little bit disappointed. I searched Pinterest and Google and everything  found seemed touristy, boring and not at all up to date. You have no idea how surprised I was when we arrived in Athens and I became confused by the huge selection of great places to dine. True, the city is full of tourist restaurants {especially the city center}, but most of the taverns seemed authentic and very good. Besides Greek food, the city offers soooo many treats for anyone with a sweet tooth {definitely worth the calories!} and Asian restaurants {that form the outside weren’t as appetizing}.

Here are my recommendations for places you shouldn't miss:

Thanasis  There are countless Greek restaurants in Athens, but we got more than few recommendations to eat at Thanasis and it was the Greek meal with which we decided to begin and end our Greek trip. The restaurant is located in an one of the allies leading to Monastiraki Square. It is a simple restaurant that serves great Greek cuisine for a great price. We ordered their legendary kebab dish, which comes on a thin, grilled, Greek pita bread topped with four huge kebabs, roasted tomatoes and finely chopped red onion. We also had the Chicken Souvlaki, which comes packed inside a pita, great tzatziki and the best ever Greek salad {with lots of good quality olive oil}.

Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


Lukumades  THE place to indulge in the famous Greek donuts. Located within walking distance of Monastiraki square, it is trendy and stylish and serves the little, hot, and especially fresh donuts from morning to night, with a huge selection of fillings and toppings. We went for the local version of Lukumades with honey and cinnamon, and had to go back for more!


אתונה , יוון - מדריך תמונות לעיר הבירה


Takis bakery  We received this recommendation from the owner of the Airbnb apartment we rented, and discovered a wonderful little bakery that is just a short walk from the Acropolis. Do not let the central location confuse you, this is the most non-touristy bakery there is, and frankly, the two times we were there, we noticed there were only locals. According to her, this is one of the best bakeries in Athens, and although I didn’t have the chance to visit many bakeries in the city during our short stay, I tend to believe her. This little bakery has a huge selection of breads, tasty pastries {sweet and salty}, beautiful cakes, and excellent sandwiches – and everything is amazingly priced.

Novagea Juice Corner  A juice shop that is just a few minutes' walk from the Acropolis. The store has a large selection of juices made from fruit, greens and various herbs. Everything is very fresh and clean.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


Little Kook  A restaurant that is a MUST for children and/or anyone who really enjoys sweet things in exaggerated sizes. The colorful restaurant is a short walk from the Monastiraki square and looks like a it belongs in a Disney amusement park. Apart from the restaurant itself, where you can order cakes, crepes, waffles, and drinks in exaggerated sizes, there are also a few stands leading to the restaurant form which you can buy some delicacies on the go without having to sit at the restaurant {although I really recommend the full experience 🙂 }. We ordered a slice of red-velvet cake, which was excellent and surprisingly not too sweet, beside a cool, vanilla-flavored yogurt drink, and a donut topped with strawberry jam. Highly recommended – if only for the experience!


אתונה , יוון - מדריך תמונות לעיר הבירה


BubbleTale  If you are a bubble tea fan, you simply have to visit this little shop located only 300 feet from the donut shop:). It is wildly designed and its colorful vibe resembles Willy Wonka’s factory from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. On the menu you will find dozens of flavors {some with alcohol too!} and the greatest toppings.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


Hans & Gretel  It is not for nothing that this store is named “Hans and Gretel”. This sweet shop is designed to look exactly like the famous tale’s house of candy, and in it you will find almost any sweet you can imagine – from gummies, candies, and chocolates to ice-cream serves in chocolate covered cones, Kiortosh {freshly made there!} filled with all the best, waffles, and more.




Acropolis of Athens  The most famous place in Athens is most definitely the Acropolis. This ancient wonder, the “upper city” can be seen from every corner of the city center, it cannot be missed. The acropolis is a unique archaeological site that offers a glimpse into Greece’s glamourous days. The most famous building on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, the temple of the goddess Athena, after which the city is called, which is considered an architecturally brilliant building and represents the golden age of the Greek Empire. Over the years, this holy place has been looted, burned and converted for use by various religions, and despite all this, its remains are particularly impressive. From the hill there is an impressive view of the entire city, and it is especially amazing to look down on the ancient ruins on the lower part of the hill, from above. Before visiting the Acropolis Hill it is highly recommended to visit the Acropolis Museum, which is right near the entrance to the hill. The museum’s structure is very impressive and presents, in a spectacular way, the many findings that were discovered during the excavations at the site. Aside from the exhibitions, do not miss the short video explaining the breathtaking history of the Parthenon. It is best to show up at the Acropolis first thing right when it opens {be there before 8 o’clock in the morning}. The entrance fee to the museum costs 5 Euros, while the entrance fee to the Acropolis is 20 Euros per person.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון

Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון

Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון

אתונה , יוון - מדריך תמונות לעיר הבירה

Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון



Syntagma Square  “Constitution Square” is Athens’ main square, located in the heart of the city. It is called so because it is the place where the first king of Greece declared the constitution. In the center of the square there is a fountain surrounded by benches and greenery, and on its east side is the Greek parliament building, encircled by the national gardens. I recommend taking a tour around the gardens, the entrance is free and you can enjoy a magical piece of nature in the center of the city and watch animals such as turtles and cute ducks.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון

Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


Plaka  The Plaka district at the foot of the Acropolis is the oldest and most famous district in the city. It is very fun to wander around this magical area, thanks to its picturesque alleyways, ancient ruins, and charming scenery. In the area you will also find small shops, but keep in mind that most of them sell tourist knick-knacks… I recommend to stop for a drink or a meal at one of the taverns in the neighborhood to allow your feet a rest. The area is especially  magical in the evening.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


Anafiotika  Without a doubt the most beautiful area in the city {and also where our Airbnb apartment was located!} This picturesque neighborhood is located on the slopes of the Acropolis Hill above the Plaka quarter, and is characterized by colorful little houses and narrow winding streets.





Like in any European city, good shopping can be done in Athens, too. Anyone interested in shopping will find what they are looking for – whether it’s international chainstore brands, luxury brands, local designers, touristy knick-knacks. As our time in Athens was particularly short, and as there was so much to see and eat, we decided that this time we won’t be tempted by the big chain stores, and the little shopping time that we had we devoted to local greek products.

Wandering through the city, these are the shopping areas we spent time in:

Ermou Street  Athens’ most famous shopping street, stretching from Syntagma Square to Monastiraki Square. On Ermou street you will find all the well-known brands such as H&M, Zara, and Flying Tiger, alongside shops selling local greek products. More than any other well-known shopping streets in major European cities, the lively atmosphere reminded me of the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem.



Monastiraki Flea Market  We came on a Friday and Saturday and were disappointed to find a not very long, and rather dirty street market, consisting of lots of touristy knick knacks and things that look like they are sold on AliExpress. There are some nice clothing stores, but they all seem to be selling the exact same garments. From what I’ve read, on Sundays, some of the shops on the street are closed and people sell secondhand items in private stalls, so this may be the only day worth getting there. If you’re not into junk and you’re not around on a Sunday, spare yourself the trouble.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


Kolonaki District  The hotel we stayed at on our first night was located in the prestigious Kolonaki district, which is considered the elite shopping area and is home to the city’s aristocrats. In this neighborhood you will find designer brands for fashion and home goods alongside elegant little coffee shops and art galleries.

During the 48 hours we had in the city {the day before the flight to Zakynthos, and another day before returning to Israel}, we managed to walk around the city's modern streets and its picturesque, hidden  alleys, we ate authentic Greek food and lots of pastries and sweets, visited the famous historical sites, and left with the feeling of room for more!

Athens has an infinite charm, and I look forward to visiting it again, to find out more about this wonderful city.


Travel guide to Athens, Greece | מדריך לטיול באתונה, יוון


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Know more about interesting things to do in Athens? Leave me a comment below ♡



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2 Responses

  1. Greece in the most beautiful country in entire Europe. I loved the people and nature. They are really friendly.
    I wish to go back again and again in Greece.


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