National archeological museum
Start your day at the National archeological museum in Athens. It’s located outside of the center and it’s best to reach it by metro (get off at Omonia station, where the green (1) and the red (2) lines cross). The National archeological museum is the biggest museum in Greece and one of the most grandiose in the world. It’s numerous and exclusive exponents (more than 11 000) give you the opportunity to go back in Greek history – from the beginning of Prehistory to Late antiquity. At first you will notice a rich collection of various statues.
The Prehistoric exhibition includes works of art of the great civilizations, which existed in the Aegean Sea from the 6th millennium BC until 1050 BC. Starting with the Neolithic from 6000-3300 BC we see extraordinary exponents, including gold objects and stunning clay figures.
You will have the opportunity to see many gold decorations, jewellery and artefacts at the museum.
Another interesting exponent in the museum is a wine mug/vase, on which is carved the oldest existing writing in Greek which says: “I now belong to the person, who is the best dancer.”
The Temple of Olympian Zeus
From the National archeological museum get back to the metro to the metro stop of the Acropolis and go through Hadrian’s gate (original entrance to Athens) to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It’s dedicated to Zeus and is one of the biggest temples in Greece.
The construction of this temple started in 520 BC, but halted numerous times. It was finally completed by emperor Hadrian and was uncovered in 131 – 132 BC. In the years that followed it started to fall apart. Only 16 of the 104 original columns remain, one of which fell down during a storm in 1852 and continues to fall apart in the ground. However, the original giant columns are preserved in their grandeur.
The Arch of Hadrian
The Arch of Hadrian is located right in from of the Temple of Zeus. It was raised in honour of the emperor in 131 after his army took over the city.
Plaka and Monastiraki
From the Arch of Hadrian we crossed Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias boulevard and entered the popular neighbourhood of Plaka. This is the old part of Athens. Most of the streets here are closed for motor vehicles. The neighbourhood is located at the base of the Acropolis and is very picturesque with small narrow cobblestone streets, old buildings and great small restaurants. The Greek say that Plaka is the most beautiful part of Athens, and because of its close proximity to the Acropolis it’s often called “The Neighbourhood of the gods”.
Ancient Agora of Athens
After taking a look at the Parthenon from all angles and the other temples at the top you can enjoy the view. The Acropolis gives a fascinating 360 degree panoramic view of the capital of Greece. It’s especially pleasing observing the sunset, so plan your trip to the Acropolis for the end of the day.
Athens is a city where nightlife is especially important. There is a high variety of restaurants, bars and clubs. Many popular spots have a panoramic view over the city. Thanks to our friend Lee Anduze we had the opportunity to visit two of the best bars in Athens. Lee is an American producer and DJ, who’s been living and working in the Greek capital for the past few years.
The first bar we visited was Couleur Locale and it’s located in Monastiraki. Its terrace gives an amazing view to the Acropolis.
The next place turned out to be a real jewel. Baba Au Rum is part of the prestigious top 50 best bars in the world. If you are a rum lover, well then this is your place. You will find a great collection of different types and you can try exotic cocktails from all over the world. The place is small and it has a great atmosphere. I would highly recommend to anyone travelling to Athens, to visit Baba Au Rum.