Named after the Greek Goddess of wisdom, civilization and the arts, Athens, Greece is the historical capital of Europe, a city steeped in culture and tradition where the mythology of civilizations past come to life. Kostas shares his travel tips for travelers visiting his awesome city.
Taken at the southwest slope of the Acropolis with the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (stone theater)
Best time to visit?
May, June, September (July and August are the peak tourist months, hotel and tour prices skyrocket and the weather could get too hot for sight seeing).
Must try local dishes?
Souvlaki (pork skewer with or without pita)
Moussaka (eggplant layered with minced meat and bechamel sauce)
Tzatziki (yogurt, garlic and cucumber dip)
Greek Salad (the old time classic - tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, Greek olive oil, oregano, feta cheese)
Ouzo (an anise-flavored aperitif) with traditional Greek mezze and seafood and Mastiha (a liqueur seasoned with mastic).
Your city's most popular tourist spot?
Acropolis. It literally translates to "edge of the city". This is where the most popular ancient temple (Parthenon) dedicated to goddess Athena still stands, overlooking the metropolis.
Any favorite local place or spot you would recommend to a visitor in your city?
Cape Sounio (Poseidon's Temple by the cliff with a beautiful view of the deep blue Aegean Sea)
Kifissia (posh area in the northern suburbs of Athens, popular for shopping branded items, good food, cafes and ideal for romantic walks at night)
Gazi (popular area in the center of Athens where millennials would typically hang out for a drink on weekends).
Important local phrases?
Ti kaneis? (How are you?)
Kala, esy? (I'm fine, and you?)
Ya sou (Hello, Goodbye)
Poso kanei? (How much does it cost?)
Poly akrivo (Very expensive)
Ta leme (See you)
Kalimera (Good morning)
Kalispera (Good afternoon)
Kalinichta (Good night)
Na eise kala (Be well)
Safety precautions/reminders/tips for travelers?
Be extra cautious in touristic areas such as Plaka, Monastiraki, and the Metro where pick-pockets are not uncommon. It's best to avoid Omonoia Square (and its surrounding areas) at the center of Athens especially after dark. The most popular outing of the Athenians are the live greek music clubs called Bouzoukia, so give it a go if you happen to visit on a weekend. The History of Athens is also one of the richest and longest in the world so to understand and appreciate the city, museum visits are definitely a must.