Athens Greece: 5 Must See Sights Not Full of Tourist
Hi my name is Mickelle and a few years ago I use to live in Athens, Greece. While living in Greece I experienced some amazing places and a few that I absolutely fell in love with. This list features my top 5 places to visit near Athens that aren’t full of tourists. My favorite thing about these places is they offer an authentic greek experience and are a bit more quiet than Athens.
Delphi is a city about two hours by car away from Athens. To travel there I recommend taking a bus as the roads can be quite windy. This city is deep up in the mountains and is known for its unbelievable views, sacred temples, and beautiful red-roofed houses. Delphi is also according to Greek history to be the home of the gods and because of that for many years nations across Europe fought over this one of kind place. The second you step off the bus you can feel this places calming energy.
As it is high in the mountains this also a commonplace many people come to ski. However, there is a lot to do to see and do beyond that. During my time there I visited the Temple of Apollo, Delphi Archaeological Museum, and explored the little shops around the city. The city is unique and quite different than what you will see in the rest of Greece. This is a perfect day trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of Athens
Agia Paraskevi is a suburb located about 20 mins outside of Athens. On the main street travelers can find anything from affordable food, parks to sit and drink, bars, and shopping. This part can be reached directly from the metro. Though there are not many sights to see in this area is still at the top of my list. This suburb is way more laid back and safer than downtown Athens. Here you will not have people coming trying to sell you things and can walk freely without dealing with crowds.
The food and coffee shops are also much cheaper than the places you’ll find downtown. If you are traveling alone to Athens for the first time I would look into staying here as it is comfortable, quiet, and easy to navigate. Lastly, the places in this area offer plenty great outdoor workspaces with free wifi. I would suggest this to all nomads or students looking to get some work done while visiting Greece.
Glyfada is a beach town right outside of Athens to get there you will need to take a bus or take a cab. By cab should only be about 30 mins, however by bus, it can be up to an hour and a half. This area of Athens is very relaxing. Here you will find beaches, restaurants on the water, and even a hot springs. This tends to be a very local spot and more spread out then walking Athens.
On beaches, you can pay about 2-3 euros for a beach chair all day and some beaches even serve you drinks as well. As for the hot springs Lake Vouliagmeni, it is full of tiny fish that will suck on your skin, this can be a rather weird feeling, but worth trying. Overall, I would say this fitting for couples looking for a romantic meal over the water or friends looking for a private day on the beach.
Hydra is a tiny island off the coast of Athens about 2 hours away by ferry. For booking this ferry check out this helpful site. Once arriving their you will see bright blue waters, houses in the mountains, and breathtaking views of churches and the town. This island is not crowded and is nice if you are looking for somewhere safe to wander alone. The most common attractions here are donkey riding through the town, cliff jumping/swimming, and dining with a view. I really like how welcoming the locals are here and the easiness of seeing the island by foot. It is a place worth visiting if you are looking for a day trip to a greek island.
I know what you are thinking the Acropolis is the most touristy place in Athens, however, the rock offers a different experience altogether. On the way up to the Acropolis, you will see a sign pointing to the rock once you arrive walk further down the rock. As you get further down you will be able to see all of downtown Athens and find many people just chilling. This is an impressive place, my friends and I would often spend our afternoons here. There is more than enough space to be separate from other groups, or make friends and you just can’t beat the view.
In conclusion, you can see Athens, Greece has a lot to offer beyond its usual touristy spots. So if it is your first time checking out Athens make sure you check some of these locations for more of a local experience. For more insight on visiting Greece, check out my Greece Summer Sun Shine Series it features all the best tips and tricks I learned while living in Greece.
“Tourist don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.”Paul Theroux
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