Ports of Call: Athens, Greece


For this series on iconic ports of call, we’re highlighting nine cities that have leveraged their more industrial pasts to flourish into world-renowned waterfront destinations. Several travel professionals share suggestions on where to go, what to see and what to do to fully appreciate these maritime metropolises.

Athens — named after the goddess Athena — is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating to 3000 B.C., and has been continuously inhabited for at least 3,000 years. Often relegated to a day of obligatory sightseeing before setting off for the Greek isles, Athens gets a bad rap, says Georgia Boosalis, account director for the Hotel Grande Bretagne. “If you give Athens a chance, you’ll see it’s a walkable city with friendly, passionate people and a lot of history. There is so much to do and see here.” But it’s this mix—bustling, history-filled city and sun-soaked Mediterranean beaches—that makes visiting Athens so special. “Having this combo has shaped our way of life,” says Boosalis. “Culture and history, sun and sand. Athens has it all.”

Athens Bucket List

  • Acropolis: Often confused with its famous ruins, know this before visiting: The Acropolis is the hill upon which the Parthenon—the temple built for the goddess Athena—sits.

  • Acropolis Museum: “A highlight of the city, it’s recently been voted one of the world’s best museums,” says Boosalis.

  • Pláka: Walk the streets of the city’s old historic neighborhood and be sure to explore its famous Monastiraki flea market.

  • Island Hop: From the port of Piraeus, board a ferry, speedboat or yacht for some island-hopping—Mykonos, Santorini and Crete are favorites.

  • Greek Eats: Lamb is a must—try a gyro at Thanasis in the Pláka.

This article is an excerpt from the July, August, September edition of the Traveler magazine. Click here to access the full issue.

By Hideaway Report Staff

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