Out of all of the places I’ve visited, I felt most at ease during my travels through Athens. The food is incredible. The coffee is always flowing. The people are welcoming. The Metro system is efficient (<– this is more important than you think. You do NOT want to pay for taxis everywhere).
On our trip through Greece we spent 2 days in Athens, and three days in Santorini.
48 hours in Athens: (You have to be an Early Riser to follow this itinerary)
I’m going to show you how you can see the major highlights over the course of two days, with plenty of time for coffee breaks and lazy meals.
Get up early and reach the Acropolis right when the gates open (8 am) to avoid the crowds and get some good pictures. Grab a map at the entry gate to be sure you don’t miss anything! Grab a coffee at the base of the Acropolis and spend some time exploring Historic Plaka.
From there head to the Acropolis Museum. Be sure to check out the live excavation sites through the glass floor outside the entrance.
Break for Lunch or Take Food on the Go.
Head East from the Acropolis to see the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Keep walking until you come to a large, busy road and you’ll see the monument directly on the other side of it. You can’t miss it!!
After this head to Lycabettus Hill for a view of Athens.
Wake up and grab a traditional Greek coffee. It’s served in a small, espresso-sized cup and is very, very strong!
Hop on the Metro and take it to Syntagma Station. Spend a minute checking out the square, then walk over to see the Old Parliament (Don’t miss the change of the guards).
From there walk through the national garden to head to Panathenaic Stadium. While walking towards the stadium you will come across Zappeion, it is a magnificent monument. From Zappeion it’s a 5 minutes’ walk to Panathenaic Stadium.
After this take the Metro over to Thesion station and walk over to the Ancient Agora. Check out the incredibly well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus before passing the Odeon of Agrippa on your way to the Museum of Ancient Agora, housed in the Stoa of Attalos.
Later spend some time wandering around the Monastiraki Flea Market and picking up some Souvenirs.
Well that about wraps it up! I hope this itinerary helps you plan your trip and shows you just how easy it to see Athens in 48 hours! I know this sounds like a TON to see in just two days, but many of these sights take just a few minutes to see or can be explored en-route to another destination.
Must Eat / Drink Places:
- Nova Gea
- Eris Cafe
Tips and Tricks:
• Buy the all-day Metro passes rather than the hourly ones. Put it in your wallet or somewhere where you won’t lose it!
• Wear shoes with non-slip soles. There is marble EVERYWHERE. Seriously, in some places the sidewalks are made from it. You’ll slide around all over the place if you don’t have some good grip on your shoes.
• Get used to having a light breakfast and a late dinner. Most Greeks go with coffee and maybe a simple pastry for breakfast, so you won’t find a lot of restaurants open during breakfast hours. If you are a big breakfast eater, consider staying at a hotel with a continental breakfast.
• You can see the Acropolis from practically anywhere in Athens. Don’t get suckered in to staying at a hotel simply because it has a view of the Acropolis!
• When you buy your tickets to enter the Acropolis, purchase the Multi-day bargain pass which gets you in to see all the sights.
From Athens we flew to Santorini.
Santorini was the place I was most looking forward to visiting when I set off to Greece. I couldn’t wait to walk among the white-washed buildings with the famous brilliant blue domes. I pictured myself sitting on a terrace, enjoying a wonderful meal as I gaze out to the caldera, watching the setting sun paint strokes of pinks and orange across the quiet sky.
Santorini is truly a magical destination, We fell in love with Santorini during our three-day escape.
From now when I think of paradise, on the top of my list sits the name Oia
Every evening crowds form at Oia Castle to watch the sun go down. It’s a bit of a zoo and not the experience one would hope for. But if you wait a bit and go to the castle after you’ve taken your photos at the domes, you can capture this magnificent view of the town of Oia lit up at blue hour showcasing the windmill. Don’t look out towards the sun, instead look back at the city.
For me, crowds takes away the experience. Sunsets should be enjoyed in silence and this is what we did we had a quiet private sunset with just the three of us sitting on the rooftop of our hotel apartment.
A trip to Santorini isn’t complete without a trip out in sea. You won’t get photos like this from land. Also if you love swimming there are many snorkeling and scuba diving tours. Also don’t forget to take a dip in the hot springs!
Everyone always talks about the sunsets in Santorini, but the sunrises are pretty special too.
A walk along the Black Beach is a must do also don’t miss the Red Beach.
It’s no wonder, Santorini is gorgeous. I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a beautiful vacation destination and if you don’t agree, take a look at the photos below and it may change your mind.
Must Eat / Drink Place:
1) Skala ( Greek Food )
2) Skiza Café ( Pizza )
3) Terpsi en Oia ( Greek Coffee and Dark Chocolate )
Tips and Tricks:
• Stay in Oia Village for the mosy magical experience.
• Carry sufficient water and wear comfortable pair of non-slippery shoes cause there is a lot of walking on marbled street.
More Pics from my trip: