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Athens, Greece


June 2022 | Our itinerary


Day 1:


Sunday morning we woke up in Barcelona, Spain, courtesy of our lovely cruise ship. After having an amazing week sailing through the Mediterranean we were excited to hop on a plane and head to Greece! Once we finished packing the essentials, we grabbed breakfast from the buffet, then made our way off the ship. It was super easy + convenient to grab a taxi from the port to the Barcelona Airport (BCN). To read all about our experience in Barcelona, how traveling through the BCN airport was the 3 times we stopped there in 3 weeks, + so much more, check out this blog post with all the details.


After our 3 hour flight we finally landed in Athens, Greece around 3pm. During our flight we lost another hour so we were an 8 hour time difference from Dallas, Texas. After grabbing our bags, we easily got a taxi, and headed to the heart of Athens which was about a 30 minute drive. The drive from the airport to the city was rather interesting. There were a lot more homeless people than we expected + graffiti on literally every wall and building we drove by. Nonetheless we made it to our hotel and were greeted by a lovely and super helpful hostess. After our quick check-in process we were ready to drop our bags off and start exploring the city. Of course after all of our travels (and getting up super early to make our flight) we needed some caffeine stat.

After wandering the alleyways and streets, we found this cute coffee shop, Dope Roasting Co, to grab some American coffee. We learned very quickly that if you don’t say American coffee you will be given espresso and they make them very large overseas.


Once we finished our delicious drinks we walked over to the famous flea markets to shop around before grabbing an early dinner at Maiandros Athens. European dining is a completely different experience for more than one reason. First, many of the host/hostess stand out front and convince you to pick their restaurant to eat at. When we first experienced this we were very thrown off but as our travels continued we learned this was a very normal thing. Second important thing to note is if a restaurant isn’t busy, it’s for a reason. So always be sure to go to the places that are poppin’! Third but certainly not least, meals are meant to be enjoyed over a long period of time in Europe. Don’t be alarmed if it takes your server a while to come back and “check on you.” They don’t like to interrupt or rush you out. Alec and I learned that it was actually a really nice way to experience a meal but realized the importance of ordering everything at once otherwise you’ll be sitting forever! After enjoying some of the best tzatziki sauce and pita bread, I ordered the yogurt kabobs and Alec got the chicken gyro as our meals. You seriously can’t go wrong with anything on their menu though, it all looked to die for. After paying our bill we slowly made our way back to our hotel to enjoy the sunset from our beautiful balcony overlooking the Acropolis. It was definitely an exhausting yet full day and we were super excited to see what the rest of Greece held for us the next morning!


 

Day 2:


Monday morning we got up pretty early because we wanted to see as much of Athens as we could before

catching our ferry boat over to Mykonos later that day.After packing up our final few items that morning, we took our bags down to the lobby to check out and have them hold our stuff for the day. They were also super sweet and scheduled a taxi ride for us to the port in the afternoon.


Once we got everything all squared away we walked across the street to grab a quick coffee to go from Harvest Coffee Wine. Super cute local spot with tasty American coffee too ;) As we sipped on our drinks we wandered back over to the flea market area.


After some debating we actually decided to stop and grab breakfast to help fuel us for the day as we had a lot of walking in the heat (with very little shade) on tap. We ate at Moma Restaurant and it was amazing, couldn’t recommend this place enough. It was located on the edge of the flea market and right across from the Ancient Agora. Alec and I ended up

sharing their green breakfast which came with 2 ojs, scrambled eggs with feta cheese, greek sausage, a sesame bagel with this delicious spread, and greek yogurt with honey. As you can imagine it was all as good as it sounds and super light yet filling. Service was also super great and the food came out pretty fast too! P.S. be sure to go downstairs to the bathroom because the floors are glass and you could see all of the city ruins underneath the building.


Once we wrapped up at breakfast, we walked over to scan our tickets to get into the Ancient Agora. Again, we couldn’t more highly recommend buying tickets online ahead of time to help with line waits, discounted prices, and bundling. The tickets we bought to see the Acropolis included access to all of the Athens historical sites too.


The Ancient Agora was a large outdoor museum that showcased tons of monuments, statues, and even a church. It was super cool to get to walk around the grounds and see all of the detail and craftsmanship that went into each of these beautiful, architectural pieces. The only unfortunate thing about the outdoor museum was that it was outdoor, 90 degrees, with little shade or a breeze. So take your time, sit in shady parts where you can find them, and drink lots of water! After walking around the grounds for about an hour we headed back towards the entrance to make our way up the big hill to see the Acropolis.


It took us about 20 minutes uphill but luckily there was a little more shade during this trek but boy was it still hot! Also highly recommend comfy shoes in this city because it involves lots of walking on cobblestone and at an incline lol. Once we made it to the top of the hill, we got to skip the large line of people waiting to get tickets, and go straight in. They do kind of herd you like cattle up the front of the Acropolis but once you get to the top the view is breathtaking! After spending a good hour walking around, reading all the signs, and taking in the views we made our way back to the entrance. Right outside the entrance is a snack and drink stand that we couldn’t resist stopping at to grab some refreshing slushies before our journey back down the hill.


There is a ton of shopping all throughout Athens so of course we had to do as the locals do and browse around for a bit. After doing some souvenir + window shopping and galavanting down the streets of Athens, we decided to stop at MS Roof Garden for a late lunch. We grabbed a table on their balcony of course, that looked right at the Acropolis. Such a unique city with so much character and charm. After ordering some refreshing drinks we split the tzatziki with pita bread and the chicken kabob. It was all so tasty and the view was unbeatable! Sadly after lunch it was time to head back to our hotel to snag our bags and head to the port to catch our Blue Star Ferry to our next Greek island.


 

Where to stay



Our stay at the Pinnacle Athens was amazing! The ambiance of the hotel was super antique yet modern with lots of moody touches. They have an art gallery, roof garden, meeting room, + lounge area for all guests to enjoy throughout their visit. The rooftop has a beautiful view of the Acropolis which is gorgeous to see both day or night. There are 2 elevators + a spiral staircase that goes from the lobby to the rooftop balcony. All of the staff was super friendly and very helpful with accommodations, recommendations, and attentiveness. Location wise, this hotel was perfect. Only about a 10 minute walk to the flea market, 15 to the Ancient Agora, and 20 to the Acropolis.




The Pinnacle Athens has lots of different options when it comes to rooms. They have a classic double, superior suite, family suite, deluxe suite, and penthouse. All of the rooms offer breathtaking views of the city + the vibiest aesthetic you can dream of. We stayed in the superior suite which had a perfect view of the Acropolis. Upon our check-in they even gave us the sweetest welcome gift with tons of local sweets and treats to enjoy!







 

How to get around/in-between the islands


Air

We flew from Dallas to Philadelphia to Barcelona then to Athens (which was quite the trek for sure) but when traveling from Barcelona to Athens our flights were about $300 total (which included bags costs as well).


The biggest piece of advice we can give is pick an airline and stick with it. We like to fly American Airlines (it’s what I’ve flown since I was little) because we have built up a lot of miles + have Gold status thanks to all of our travel adventures from last year. It truly doesn’t matter what airline you pick, as long as you use the same one as much as you can. We also have the American Airlines credit card, which helps us build points as well.


When we flew from DFW to Philadelphia to Barcelona, we flew American Airlines. However, when we flew from Barcelona to Athens we had to fly on a subsidiary of American, so we chose Iberia Airlines. Overall, it was a great experience, and we can’t wait to travel internationally again!


Water

Another easy way to travel between the Greek islands is by boat. Flights between Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini were more expensive than we had hoped, so we decided to see what other options we had to island hop. After doing our fair share of research we came across Blue Star Ferries. This was a little bit slower of a route for us to travel but it was much more affordable. There are tons of ferry options (sizes and times) but be sure to book in advance as they do tend to sell out quickly! Another thing to note about ferry rides is the shorter the ride the higher the cost. We ended up only paying $70 total for our ferry ride from Athens to Mykonos; however it was a 5 hour ride with multiple stops. All just depends on what you’re looking for and the timing of your trip.


Land

Once you get on the islands, the best way to get around the cities is by taxi (especially if your hotel doesn’t have a shuttle service). From the airport or the dock it is super easy to grab a taxi as there are tons waiting in common pick-up destinations like those. It is a little harder to get them in the cities so I would definitely check with your hotel concierge or front desk to see how they can help. Most of the time they will offer to schedule them ahead of time for you to ensure they are prompt and timely.


In terms of paying, most accept cash or card but definitely prefer cash. Our taxi rides were all around 30 minutes or less so we paid about 10-30 euro just depending on how far we were going. Honestly most of the time the amount of time was equivalent to the amount we paid. Most of the drivers speak little English but enough to be able to communicate the basics (where you are going, cash vs card, costs, etc.). As a reminder Europe is much different than the U.S. when it comes to tipping. It’s definitely not required or even really encouraged unless it was the best service of your life or you’re just feeling extra generous!



 

Where to eat


 

Breakfast

 


 

Lunch

 


 

Dinner

 


 

Sweets & Snacks

 


 

What to do

Historical Sites:

Places to go:

*things we did


 

Helpful tips

  • Watch out for gypsie kids (they are typically the ones pickpocketing).

  • All archaeological sites are closed on Sunday and close everyday around 3pm.

  • Summertime in Athens is HOT!

  • Tour the Acropolis and get slushies afterwards.

  • Have as many rooftop meals as you can because the views are immaculate.

  • Tipping is not a requirement.

  • The currency in Greece is euros.

  • Wear comfy shoes and lots of sunscreen.

  • Buy “skip the line” tickets ahead of time for any attraction.

  • Plan for “free time” to wander the streets and walk around.

  • Check out the flea market to grab souvenirs at.

  • Meals are meant to be slow, enjoyable, and conversational. So take your time and don't be in a rush or you'll inevitably end up frustrated/annoyed!

xo,

the stegalls


Be sure to check out our reel by clicking on the image below!!


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