Everyone visiting Athens should make time to see the Acropolis at least once. It is one of the most well-known monuments in the world and the city's icon. After visiting Acropolis, there are a few other things you might do, such as visiting Monastiraki or Plaka (around Kydathinaion street) and Thisio Square. These are 10 incredibly unique activities you should do.
1. Take in the view from a historic court: Areios Pagos, which appears to be a rocky hill now across from the Acropolis, served as the seat of one of the highest courts under the Athenian Democracy. Here were cases involving murders, arsons, and crimes against religion. Additionally, in or about 51 A.D., Apostle Paul gave the Athenians their first instruction in the Bible in this location. These days, it's a great spot to relax and take in the breathtaking view of the Acropolis, Lycabettus, Monastiraki, and the entire city, especially around dusk.
2. Unwind in the courtyard of a famous church: On your route to Pnyka, you will pass the stunning and venerable church of Agios Dimitrios Loubardiaris. Built in the ninth century, it sustained significant damage during the Turkish occupation. The renowned Greek architect Dimitrios Pikionis reconstructed it in 1955 incorporating elements from older structures. Pikionis was in charge of rebuilding the entire Acropolis neighbourhood. Its always quiet and serene garden is a great spot to unwind and catch your breath nowadays (albeit weddings tend to fill the summer weekends).
3. Explore the "secret" neighbourhood: Located within Plaka's old, historic neighbourhood, Anafiotika is a "secret" neighbourhood. It is located on the Acropolis' northeastern side. During the reign of King Otto, when labourers from the island of Anafi—who were regarded as the best builders in Greece—came to Athens to work on the building of the new king's palace, the first residences were built illegally. The labourers constructed their homes in the Cyclades Islands architectural style. Discover how to become lost in the compact labyrinth of its streets and have the sensation of being on a Greek island.
4. Enjoy a coffee on the steps: If you stroll through Plaka's often busy streets, you will undoubtedly stumble into Mnisikleous's bustling stairs. In addition to being a popular tourist destination, it is also a local favourite and one of Plaka's most photographed locations. Locals and tourists mix together at the stairwell cafes, becoming indistinguishable. The most well-known café in this area is called Giasemi, and it serves tea, wonderful pastries, and many other delicacies. Enjoy a real Athens experience by sitting at a table, ignoring the commotion.
5. See a movie outside: One of the few places in Europe where you can see a movie in an outdoor theatre is Athens.This type of cinema, known as "therino" in Greek, is present in many of the city's neighbourhoods and signifies summer. The Athenians have traditionally loved going there on a summer night out. As long as you enjoy a cold beer and a snack while watching, the movie doesn't always matter. Not far from Acropolis lies one of the most attractive outdoor movie theatres: Cine Thision, on Apostolou Pavlou Street in Thisio, which provides an amazing perspective of the hill of Acropolis.
6. Savour the greatest lamb chops in the city: After exploring the Acropolis, make your way to Thisio and look for Eptachalkou Street if you're hungry. One of the best places in Athens to eat grilled meat, especially lamb chops, is the tavern To Steki tou Ilia, which is located on this street at number 5. Since the tavern's founding in 1981, Ilias and his family have provided the same level of service to their patrons. In the summer, the little garden across from the tavern is a pleasant haven from Thisio's constant traffic, and in the winter, you may sit inside beneath the large wine barrels.
7. Get lost in the literary universe: Little Tree: Books and Coffee is a tiny café that can be found next to the Acropolis Museum and a short distance from Dionisiou Areopagitou Street (5 Kavalotti Street). This charming cafe and bookstore was established by a group of friends as a meeting spot for the locals. There are books all over the place, and the staff is always knowledgeable about new releases. In addition, a well curated selection of wines, together with delicious coffee, tea, pastries, and snacks, are available here. The city is starting to catch on to this secret, and now it can be challenging to find a table during peak hours.
8. Give succumb to the aroma of freshly baked bread: Takis Bakery (also known as Artopiotis o Takis) functions as a sort of institution for the locals of Koukaki area. There's a reason people queue every day to buy bread (over thirty different types), candies, cakes and sandwiches—the family has been baking bread since 1961 and was the first to introduce the 'koulouri Thessalonikis' to Athens. The interior is neatly arranged despite its modest size, and the displays of baskets and shelves with these delicious treats draw attention from the coast.It is regarded by some as Athens' greatest bakery. It is situated a short distance from the Acropolis at 14 Misaraliotou Street.
9. Take a stroll through Koukaki: The Koukaki district is located next to Syngrou Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in Athens, and only a short distance from the Acropolis and its museum. Koukaki, dubbed "Little Paris" until the 1980s, was a middle-class neighbourhood with a strong sense of cultural identity due to the large number of artists who were born, raised, and employed there, including musicians, actors, playwrights, and other creatives. Since the region is close to the city centre and has a genuine sense of neighbourhood, it has been regaining its lost attractiveness and evolving into a bustling district where many Athenians choose to dwell. Although there are a lot of unique and comfortable stores, cafes, and restaurants in this area, Drakou Street is the main thoroughfare for pedestrians.
10. Get the greatest sandwich in town: Guarantee (41 Veikou Street) has the best sandwiches in Athens, so stop by if you're hungry while wandering around Koukaki. For the past 26 years, Mr. Yiannis has been providing large, delectable, and exceptionally fresh sandwiches to the city's residents. Here, the quality and wide range of options make a difference. Take your pick from more than 150 options and create your own sandwich. The service is consistently warm and very helpful. These sandwiches are a great option because seeing the Acropolis may be rather exhausting.
After the almost obligatory visit to Acropolis and depending on the hour of the day, choose to continue with one of these ten things, you won't regret it.
For those that only have a Sunday to explore the whole of Athens and want to get the Athenian local feeling, this tour is for you! In just a few hours you will not only have the opportunity to check out the sights of the capital, but you will also get to taste the full spectrum of the Greek cuisine!