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Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

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Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 84
reviews: 67
Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

Hello all,

This is my first time in Greece. I am traveling with 2 friends (two females, late 20's) and we get to Athens at 1.50p on Tuesday. We are planning to take the Express X95 to Syntagma Square and then walk to our hotel (Stanley hotel) from there, so I'm assuming we might get to our hotel at about 4pm ish.

We fly out of Athens to the islands the next day(Wednesday) at 2pm and return on Friday at 3:40pm.

We then fly out of Athens headed back home on Saturday at 2:50pm.

I know this all sounds a bit complicated, but that's what we get for trying to be our own travel agents (lol). We are trying to see as many things as possible in our short and rather choppy stay. My questions are:

-What touristy stuff can we do when we get into town on Tuesday and Friday evening?

-Also Friday is my birthday, so we would like to have a nice unique nightlife experience. It doesn't have to be a club, bar scene (even though we are open to that too)...we would like cultured stuff like theater, shows etc. We don't mind staying out late.

-We would really love to see the Acropolis. From all the discussions on here, I gather that they close early so we may not able to visit them during our evening stays. However i hear they open at 8am, so I'm assuming we can do a quick dash there on Wednesday or Saturday morning before our flight. Or is this plan a bit too ambitious? How long does it roughly take to explore the acropolis?

-Given our location of Stanley hotel, how long do you reckon we need to allocate for getting to the airport to catch our outgoing flights?

I know that this is asking a lot in a short period but we just want to get a decent experience and value for our time spent in Athens. Thanks a lot in advance :)

P.S- We are kinda sorta on a budget

Athens, Greece
posts: 684
reviews: 7
1. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

Syntagma to your hotel is a very long walk. If I were you, I'd take the metro and switch lines at Syntagma, then get out at Metaxourgeio station. The transfer is included in the airport train ticket...

If you're looking for some unique bars, try Six Dogs and Booze. Both are right near Monastiraki Square, but they are just two of many...

I think you can comfortably visit the Acropolis on the Wednesday morning, as you only have to be at the airport 1 hour in advance for domestic flights, meaning you can leave your hotel at 12.30 and still arrive well before 1pm, assuming you take metro... Allow about 70-80 minutes travel time from your hotel to the airport if you take metro. If you take bus then walk, much, much longer...

Athens, Greece
posts: 410
2. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

Hi Lola O, as you already know your plan is a little "strange" but the agency is yours so you can do anything you like (lol).

Let start from your arrival, why you want to walk from the X95 till your Hotel? the distance without luggage is about 15 to 20 minutes, except of using the metro from the airport, at Syntagma square you can take the metro for 3 stops (Metaxourgio station) till your Hotel in case you do not like metro you can take trolley bus No1 or No12.

Due to afternoon arrival you do not have time to visit the sites as are closing early but you can make a walk in Plaka area and have a dinner.

Next day day as your flight is 2pm you have to be at the airport by 1pm that means you have to start from your hotel 11am if you go by metro, a little earlier if by bus or little later if by taxi, so you can start your day very early and be at the Acropolis at 8am (opening time) stay there till 10am and return to your Hotel to go at the airport, in case the weather will be rainy go to Archaeological museum on foot from your hotel again the same hours as Acropolis.

On Friday you have more time and you can visit Acropolis museum which remain open till late, it is nice to have dinner at the Museum, later you can celebrate your birthday in a bar at Gazi area, you can go at Gazi area by using the metro outside the museum for one stop till Syntagma change line for 2 stops. From Gazi you can take a taxi till your Hotel (less than 10 Euro).

Saturday morning in case you have not done the Archaeological museum on Wednesday is a good option to do quick visit before your departure to the airport.

forget to mention that from airport you can take a taxi till your hotel at the price of 35 euro (about 9 euro per person) going to airport from the Hotel there are some additional fees

Hope that this will help you and maybe someone can give another option for your fast visit in Athens

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Crete
posts: 12,022
reviews: 10
3. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

What concerns me isn't so much your limited time in Athens, or even the choppiness of your two short stays, it's that you are staying in Metaxourgio, a not particularly nice area, a long way from the few things you're going to have time to see and do.

My suggestion, if you haven't already made a firm non-refundable booking at the Stanley, is to change your hotel. If cost is the reason for choosing it, there are many good, reasonably priced hotels in the central areas: Syntagma, Plaka, Monastiraki, and Makriyianni. Staying in any of these areas you would be walking distance from the Acropolis and the other main historical/archaeological sites, and would have, importantly, a far better choice of restaurants for your birthday supper. Staying near Monastiraki or Syntagma, for example, you could go direct to the airport by metro (you would have to leave your hotel by 11.30: staying at the Stanley you'd have to leave at 11). The Attalos, a 2-3 minute walk from the station at Monastiraki, has very reasonable rates and a beautiful rooftop bar with great views of the Acropolis. There are other, more modern hotels that I'm personally not familiar with, but do look at Yiassas's reviews for 17 suggestions, any of which would be a better choice than the Stanley.


You'll make much better use of your time if you can change your booking. Even if the hotel were a little more expensive, you'd likely save the difference by not having to use taxis or the metro for your journeys from the hotel to the centre and back.

It's true you have very little time, awkwardly divided up. But there will be lots you can do. For a start, the Acropolis Museum, which you should definitely see, is open until 8 pm, so you could go there on your first evening. But spending your first few hours in Athens strolling around Plaka, as EconomyHotel suggests, would also be a good idea, and you could leave the museum for Friday evening.

8 am is the best time to visit the Acropolis: you'll be able to enjoy it without crowds and before the heat of the day sets in, so that's what you can do on either of your two mornings. Two hours will be a good length of time. If you do this on the Wednesday, when you'll have to be at the airport by 1 pm for your 2 pm flight, you'll have more time than you will on Saturday, when you have to check in a good deal earlier. (And here's another reason for not staying in Metaxourgio - going back to the hotel to collect your luggage will eat up half an hour of your morning, and you'll have very little time on the Acropolis.)

On Friday afternoon you'll have more time, but you will still be too late for any of the sites, or the museums (apart from the Acropolis Museum, if you haven't gone there on Wednesday). You could use this time for one of Athens's fabulous walks - up Lykabettos Hill, or Philopappos Hill. Philopappos is my favourite Athens walk, but Lykabettos is good too - whichever you do, the walks are great and the views are wonderful.

On the Saturday morning you could visit the Agora and its good small museum before heading for the airport. Follow your airline's advice about when you need to be there for check-in (some ask for three hours for international flights) and leave at least one hour before.

Edited: 6:31 pm, March 16, 2013
London, United...
Destination Expert
for Crete
posts: 12,022
reviews: 10
4. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

PS If you have to stick with the Stanley, or want to, then the best thing to do on Saturday morning will be to go to the National Archaeological Museum, one of the best museums in the world and the only major attraction reasonably near the hotel.

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 84
reviews: 67
5. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

Thank you all for your suggestions. We would definitely do the metro instead of taking the bus. Looks like our hotel stretched the truth a bit by advertising Syntagma as being just a mile from them, hence our wanting to walk. Alabastron unfortunately our hotel booking is non-refundable so we are kind of stuck with it, but I appreciate all the advice. We would try our best to stay safe.

Thanks again! :)

Toronto, Canada
posts: 335
reviews: 56
6. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

The Gazi recommendation is perfect if you are willing to go to the suburbs. My wife and I went with a cousin back in October on Sunday evening. It was an exciting place. We were the oldest there (late 40s), but it is perfect given your age. You can choose from restaurants to bars to dance clubs. You will have a great time.

Athens, Greece
posts: 1,160
reviews: 12
7. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

Metaxourgio is indeed not a very good area to stay, but stanley hotel is decent and its located literary 2-3 meters away from the nearest metro entrance. So if you avoid walking around Metaxourgio square and its side streets and you use the metro you ll be just fine. Gazi (which btw is definetely NOT in the suburbs) is a good choice for bars and restaurants.

8. Re: Athens for two evenings & two mornings. No full days

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