For my birthday last year, I booked myself a week long trip to Greece. This has been on my list of countries to go for the longest while. I really wanted to see some of the historical ruins and learn more about Greek mythology. For those of you who don’t already know, I did study Classics at university and I loved it. I’m also currently reading a book called Circe, which is set in the house of Helios and centres itself around the Olympians and Titans with a bit of witchcraft thrown in!
I really enjoyed my time in Greece and would love to go back and stay in a different area, as there are so many lovely parts to visit. Below, I have listed my top tips and all of the travel information you might be interested in.
Flights: Wizz Air
Recommendations: All of the historical sites in the city, gelato and traditional Greek hummus and gyros!
I had never flown with Wizz Air before. As one of the cheaper airlines on the market, I have to admit that I was very sceptical about it. There’s just a certain level of service that you expect from the bigger airlines and you know that you are definitely going to receive it. But I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by Wizz Air. Their service was amazing, they were friendly, nice aircraft that felt very safe and great prices. So they get the thumbs up and seal of approval from me!
Book a hotel – I can’t give AirBnb the same raving review as I’ve given Wizz Air. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by our host and the property we were staying in. I’m a big clean freak and I notice all of the finer details when I’m staying anywhere. I look in the corners of the room, along the skirting, in the crevices of the sink and toilet. Trust me, if I was to go on Four in a Bed, I would be the worst. I’m not doing it to be funny though, it genuinely makes me feel sick and icky if something is not up to standard. Whereas there are some people who are a lot more laid back and can sort of just live around the mess. Our AirBnb was an apartment in Vouliagmeni, a small suburb south of Athens. The main selling point was that it was right across the road from the beach. The downside was that it had been mis-described to us. The bedrooms were not as we had expected and I was not happy with the level of cleanliness in the bedroom, which was full of dust and had stained pillows. Disgusting. Good thing I always bring a silk pillowcase with me everywhere I stay, thank you!
Get a tourist pass to the main attractions – You can get these in the city and they give you access to several different ruins locations across Athens. I would highly recommend getting one of these, as they make it very easy for you to map your tourism if you are taking yourself around the city. Get one of these passes and then plan which ones you’re going to do on which specific days. It’s a really great way to see as much as you can without paying for overpriced tours.
Shop around for your taxis – The cab drivers in the city will charge you extortionate prices to get around. Not surprising as this happens in a lot of places really. They will quote you ridiculous prices, which they have just pulled from absolutely nowhere. They can just smell the tourism on you. Don’t get robbed unnecessarily. If one cab driver gives you a really high price, go to another one. Unfortunately, public transport just cannot be relied on in Athens so I found that getting taxis around was the best way to travel.
Be prepared to walk – You will have to do a lot of walking. It’s the only way to see the city’s ruins and to get those gorgeous city views from up high. Once you reach the top spots, the views are honestly unrivalled. Athens is a gorgeous city. So rich in colour and it has so many different levels to it to explore. So wear comfortable shoes, pack lots of water and be prepared to be on your feet for the whole day.
Eat local – The food in Greece is absolutely amazing. Honestly, so good. Where you can, eat at smaller, local cafes and restaurants and order dishes that you’ve never tried before. This is one thing that I wish we did more of. We went to some really nice restaurants, where the menu was a lot more carefully crafted. But there was one cafe in the city that we ate at, which served us fresh Greek Gyros – delicious! The wait time was pretty long but when it came, the food was amazing. The Gyros and Greek salad were both mouthwatering.