One day in Athens

Following The Yacht Week most of us had about one day in Athens before flying back to the UK. Fortunately Athens is a city easily explored on foot, and if you wish to go further and check out Piraeus and the local beaches you can do so at your own pace via the hop-on hop-off bus.

Hotel Minoa was a cheap and cheerful place within walking distance of the city centre. The staff were friendly and full of suggestions. It was probably the best value hotel I’ve ever stayed at (though having not seen a proper shower, toilet, bed or any air conditioning in a week we would have been fairly easy guests to please!).

We did a lot of walking. Arriving in the afternoon we first walked all the way up to the Acropolis of Athens. The Acropolis was built in the 5th Century BC and has a magnificent history. Entry was 12 euro – the most expensive thing in an otherwise cheap city, but definitely a must-do in Athens.

Renee is a Classics and History Buff so we scored a free, unofficial tour guide as well as taking the classic tourist photos around the site which was swarming with visitors taking selfies.

Parthenon exterior with blue sky at Acropolis Athens
The Parthenon
Athens Greece with friends
Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Acropolis Athens
The Erechtheion

We walked back to the hotel via the Panathenaic Stadium, the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble. Some 50,000 people came here for the first Olympics in 1896.

Entry to the stadium was only 3 Euros and included an audio tour. We took lots of photos on the winners podium and in racing start poses.

Olympic Stadium Athens

Having had a full on afternoon walking we spent the next morning lazing by a very fancy rooftop pool at Meila Hotel which had views across Athens.

It costs 20 Euros to visit the hotel pool, not being hotel guests, but this included use of a towel and a free non-alcoholic beverage. We certainly made the most of it spending almost 6 hours there.

If you only have one day in Athens it’s completely possible to tick off the main sites and still have time to spare, you’ll just have to do a lot of walking.

En route to the airport a taxi driver told me the unemployment rate is around 67%. There were lots of cars, and lots of people, but very little ever seemed to be open, including the pawn shops which were everywhere. This seemed to be a mix of businesses which had closed down and were covered in graffiti, and those just on summer holidays.

What do you think of this as a one day Athens itinerary? Do you think it’s possible to do Athens in a day?