Greece, Athens To-See and To-Do.

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Now that I've done the part for little Santorini Island, it's time to talk about the mainland, shall I call it that way? LOL. If you ever did a research about Greece travel, you might realize that most of the people will go for island hopping kind of thing, and most of all, Santorini is like in TOP 1 in every single post, yes I meant every single one. I found this GreeceTravel & Jenreviews website kind of informative, if you are planning to visit Greece it might helps.

We flew from Istanbul to Athens by Aegean Airlines, if you read my last post about Santorini Island, I've mentioned a few way to travel in between Turkey & Greece, check it out here. The flight time is about one and half hour, and it's quite pleasure to fly with Aegean Airlines. 

Okay, something out of topic but I wanted to say it. Its kind of weird that the last 2 months, I flew with Qatar Airways, Aegean Airlines, China Airlines and Virgin America, these 4 airlines were offering hot drinks even when the seat belt sign has turn on, I got shock when I saw the crew walking in the aisle holding tea coffee jug while the aircraft was actually going through some light turbulence. In case you're curious why I mention it here, I was once a crew with Malaysia Airlines, and we definitely do not allow to serve hot drinks when captain has turn on the seat belt sign, the reason behind is that you might get burn by hot drinks if any turbulence were to happen. Anyway, every airline has different kind of procedure, it shouldn't be a surprise, and I am happy to have my tea & coffee too :)

So back to the topic, our first 2 night in Greece was actually in Santorini Island, it goes like Istanbul to Athens to Santorini Island, and then back to Athens. Well, I've mention it in my previous post about us taking the train from airport to city, however, this time after coming back from the island, we choose to take airport limo instead of train as we were holding big suitcases and the senior citizen in my group couldn't walk with suitcase while pack themselves in the train. Right after you walk out of the airport, you will see a line of black limousine queue-ing and waiting for customer. 

Nonetheless, we were offered by a driver once we walked out, he saw us 6 person with suitcases so he walked near and offered us the price of 90 to the city, he said it suppose to be 120 for 6, but he's offering us the price for 4, hence we agreed without a little hesitation. He did show us the price chart, that is why I believe him :) It was a very nice Mercedes Benz Limo!! While on the way to the hotel, he asked if we would like him to pick us up for the return trip at the same price, well of course, we said a big YES.

Our stay in Athens : Attalos Hotel Athens , look they have some real antique style of elevator :D I am not quite sure with the exact price, but it's about 60-70/night and breakfast for 5/person. I have no idea where my sister did the booking through, but all of the 3 rooms have got free white wine each night! LOL.Oh I'm so happy with it! This hotel is strategically located in the centre of Athens city, whereby Acropolis is just within walking distance, even Syntagma Square and Monastiraki are just 200 meters away! And the staff was truthfully friendly! However, this area was labelled as red light district, hmm.. I find it quite okay.. becareful with pick pocket as usual, well its Europe!

What to see in Athens City?
- Monastiraki and Syntagma Square.
- Archaeological site ( The Acropolis, Theatre of Herodes Atticus, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Library of Hadrien etc )

After checking in our hotel, we went out to Monastiraki and Syntagma Square as the Acropolis was closing very early at 3pm. In Monastiraki, you can find a stretch of market store selling mostly souvenirs, and the other side was all the restaurants and cafes. We do a little shopping in Syntagma Square as they were having Christmas Sales at that time, especially shops like H&M, Sephora etc etc and most importantly, you can get tax refund with certain amount purchased! Couldn't help myself but to buy more T.T thanks to our country, currency was so "N-I-C-E" nowaday.....

We had our dinner in KFC, yes its KFC! The 2 senior citizens of my group couldn't stand to take local foods anymore, so KFC it is. It was quite a nightmare for me as I nearly got pick pocket by the professional, I was lucky to have react fast as I usually hate people to walk near me even it is packed in that place, so warning... always keep an eye on your belongings!

We went back to hotel after dinner, because we will be waking up early in the morning to catch the suburban railway to Kalambaka.

Talking about Athens, which is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age. There are quite a number of archaeological site found in the heart of Athens centre, with a few famous one such as The Acropolis, the one that most well-preserved of all, follow by Theatre of Herodes Atticus, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Library of Hadrian and many more. There is a hop-on hop-off bus running around these places, however if you think you can't walk too much, The Acropolis is just within walking distance from our hotel.

After coming back from Kalambaka, my sister and I went for a free walking tour the next day, which organize by a hostel near Monastiraki. The tour starts at 9 in the morning, but when we reach at the door of the hostel, we waited another 30 minutes for the group to be gather. 

Then we started to walk from the little street across to the central market area, and then to plaka street through thissio neighbourhood to The Acropolis and and and I'm lost.........He brought us walked through small alley along the way, like going in here getting out there turning left here walking up hill, oh god, I can't even remember any route..... 

One thing be sure is to follow the group closely, as there were 2 from our group stop by a little while to take some photos and they totally lost the way to find us, it was just 1 minutes later! Luckily the guide successfully found them lost somewhere in the neighbourhood and bring them back LOL. 

The tour ends in front of Hellenic Parliament, and from there, you can walk to Syntagma Square and back to the hotel. It says it's a free walking tour, however, everyone was contributing to the guide for his good job, it doesn't has to be much, like 5-10 person will be good enough, he deserved it really. Since I didn't know the routine, so let the pictures say the words :)

Temple of Zeus was a bit shocking Lol, well not all ruins are well-preserved though.

After the tour, we walked back to Monastiraki to have our lunch before getting to airport, I can't deny it, I truly in love with Greek Food! Look at that Kebab with homemade sauce from yogurt slurrps!

Free Ouzo/ Raki from the boss, if you are a drinker, must try this in Greece and Turkey!

Ice-cream in winter time is like a M-u-s-t !! :D

Last but not least, a picture of us at Athens Airport, gonna have post-trip depression so much!

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  2. The view really nice especially when you took it from the hill. I wish i can land at Greece.

  3. I've always wanted to go to Greece and Athens! Got lotsa good insight and tips from here.. Great post!

  4. It's so pretty! *dies* I love learning about culture and history so I wish I can go there one day :D

  5. What a wonderful Greek holiday you had. I can fully relate to your post-trip depression. I get it ALL the time!

  6. Haven't been to Greece before, will bookmark this post for my travel reference :)

  7. OMFG, Athens, wish to travel there since young, now Euros currency expensive neh

  8. Really feel a lil envy to see your travel log. Really need to go for a travel now. >.<

  9. breathtaking place! Love every corner of it!