Athens

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My activity tracker awards me the High Tops badge when I hit the 20,000-step mark. That’s all attributed to visiting Athens. With a good pair of comfortable shoes, we start our walk from an archeological site, the Kerameikos Ancient Cemetery. Then to Ancient Agora, Athen’s city centre in the 6th-7th century BC and all the way up to the top of the Acropolis. Exit the Acropolis through the Theatre of Dionysus and down the slopes in Plaka where pedestrian streets and narrow alleyways are like a maze. The main streets are strips of cafes, taverns and boutique shops whilst the more quiet ones are lined with neoclassical houses as well as graffiti art.

Here’s another day of walking in central Athens that’s worth a badge. Stroll down Mitropoleos until you reach Monastiraki and then walk back up to a parallel commercial street Ermou. Amidst the shops is one of the oldest Greek Orthodox churches, the Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea. It’s lovely to stroll in the area early morning when the city is just waking up – less crowd and more leeway for photography. Then crossover Syntagma Square and catch a brief exhibition, the changing of the guards in front of the Parliament. Behind it is the National Garden. Make a detour to Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games was hosted in 1896. The other side of the National Garden is the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Continue on to the New Acropolis Museum and, finally, reward yourself with a generous serving of chocolate mousse (the chocolatey-est mousse I’ve had…to share!) in the museum restaurant. Its terrace has a panoramic view of The Acropolis.

TRAVEL TIP: Tickets to The Acropolis & other archeological sites & museums – It’s worth buying a special package multi-entry ticket.

Full: €12, Reduced: €6
Tickets available only at the ticket office.  Tickets valid for 4 days.
Allows entrance to: Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis

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