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Athens Itinerary (5 days)

Brisbane, Australia
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Athens Itinerary (5 days)

Hi,

My husband and I will be spending 5 nights in Athens later this year. I have a vague itinerary. Please let me know how realistic it is.

Day 1: Arrive in Athens at 2pm.

Check into hotel (Plaka).

Go for a stroll around town and check out the changing of the guard at Ayntagma and the Panathenaic Stadium.

Find a restaurant for dinner.

Day 2: Acropolis

Acropolis Museum

Keramikos site

Ancient Agora

Roman Agora/Tower of Winds

Filopappou Hill/Hill of the Nymphs

Day 3: Day trip to Mycenae and Epidavros (already booked and paid for)

Day 4: National Archaeological Museum

Monastiraki flea market

Central market

(Could probably slot something else in here, maybe lighten Day 2's load?)

Day 5: Benaki Museum

Byzantine and Christian Museum

Lykavittos Hill

Temple of Olympian Zeus

What says you? I also wanted to fit in the Temple of Poseidon but I don't think I have time.

Thanks,

Kylie

Devizes, United...
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1. Re: Athens Itinerary (5 days)

Hi there

I don't think you really need to "plan" what to see and do in Athens too rigidly as all the main outdoor sights are very close to each other. What I mean is that if you find you've missed something out on a specific day, it's easy to slot it in the following day. I do think that your museum days are very rushed - you can easily spend a full day in the Nat Arch Museum and the New Acropolis Museum is superb too - to slot that in with the Acropolis and everything else you have planned for day two is pushing it.

What I would do initially is to define what my priorities are, essentially museums or the outdoor sights. If it's the museums, then don't skimp, make the most of your time in them, and then address the amount of time you have left.

With the exception of Lycavettos Hill and the New Arch Museum, everything on your list is close to each other, and then there are a few omissions on your list which should be there, and are easy to slot in, as in many cases, you will walk past or close to them anyway en route to the others.

There's Hadrian's arch which is immediately adjacent to the Temple of Zeus, the Roman Baths excavation on Amalias Ave which, according to the location of your hotel, you may well have to walk down to reach the Temple of Zeus anyway, the National gardens, the Presidential palace and the Evzones Barracks, which you can see from the road. Then there's Hadrian's Library which is within 2 mins stroll from the Roman Agora.

We spent 5 days in Athens in 2009 and saw everything on your list except the New Arch Museum, so you have enough time to see most of it, but just go with the flow, and don't worry if you overstay in any particular site as it won't be far to the next one.

West Midlands...
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2. Re: Athens Itinerary (5 days)

Wow, that is certainly a packed schedule! Day 2 in particular looks like a whistle stop tour which is pretty ambitious. I can understand that travelling so far, you want to make the most of your time, but some of the places you mention are pretty big with lots to see.

For example, you can easily spend 2-3 hours at the New Acropolis Museum (I know, I've done it!) and that doesn't include a rest stop at their very good cafe (cheapest espresso in central Athens, last time I was there!).

The Benaki museum isn't huge (I assume you mean the original one - there are several different sites) but I have literally spent all day there. It is crammed with so many different artefacts from so many different periods of history. By the way, last time I was there, they offered free entry on Thursdays, so worth checking that out.

I would support what GBfromDevizes says about being flexible. You don't say what time of year you will be there and I'm sure being from Brisbane you are well accustomed to heat, but the weather can certainly influence your choices on any particular day. If you're there when it rains for example, some of the outdoor sites get very slippery! Equally in the height of summer, you might want to spend some time in a nice air-conditioned space, to get away from the midday heat.

Be aware also that some sites and museums aren't open every day, so your itinerary needs to take this into account. And hours also sometimes change according to time of year.

By the way, loathe as I am to add another to your list, but if you want a smaller but very interesting museum, try the Musuem of the City of Athens. Its in a wonderful old house on Klafthmonos Square, which is near to Panepistimiou metro station (or walking distance from Syntagma). It was the home of the Greek KIng Otto and his wife in the 19thC and contains room sets as well as history of Athens itself.

http://www.athenscitymuseum.gr/index_en.html

Oh yes, and do allow yourself some time to just people watch. It's half the fun of Athens!!

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Athens Itinerary (5 days)

Is there anything in my itinerary that I can remove? Are the Benaki Museum and Byzantine and Christian Museum worthwhile? I'm probably more interested in the sights.

Devizes, United...
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4. Re: Athens Itinerary (5 days)

Hi there

Well, only you can decide, as I said, you need to decide what your priorities are. The museums are certainly worthwhile but if you'd rather spend the time seeing the outdoor sights, then that's the way to go.

Athens, Greece
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5. Re: Athens Itinerary (5 days)

Ok. Here we go.

10,000th post and i hope this is a lucky post and a good one. . .

DAY 2

Kylie, Day 2 indeed is too packed but doable IF you start very early.

And since typical advise is to start early, even at 07.30am to be up to the Acropolis before the sun starts getting too hot, you really have time to visit Acropolis -> Agora -> Monastiraki -> Hadrian's Library -> Plaka, perhaps returning later around 2pm at Acropolis Museum ( remember, it's closed on Mondays ).

Not really sure you 'll have time or will to do Kerameikos + Numphs Hill later. It really depends. There is a possibility that you do take a break at midday, visit Acropolsi Museum around 3pm - 5pm till 7pm - 8pm, ascending slowly then to Nymphs Hill to descend back at 10pm. On summer days and with all the heat and the plethora of info you 'll be getting, you may be really exhausted.

Acropolis and the rest sites works.

Break at midday will be needed since you have a drive trip next day.

Then, i guess visiting Acropolis Museum and ending the day with a light dinner will be ok and enough.

DAY 4

You should plan museum time at middays - early afternoons to exploit the air condition. Having in mind you may be a bit tired from two last days, this day may have to start a bit more lazy.

Start from Monastiraki flea market ( keep in mind you 'll explore this anyway at Day 2 ), walk up Athinas str. to the Central Market, take a coffee break at the roof top of Notos Galleries Home cafe for some views ( it's the dept. Store on the big square after the Central Market - forward and right part having the Mayor Offices at your back ). Then go to the National Arch. Museum.

DAY 5

Lycabettus Hill is nice for a sunset visit. This means you 'll have a whole day n your disposal. I'd not fill it from early with two museums. On the other hand, these two museums are definitely doable one after the other. Start from Benaki and then go to a quick round in the Byzantine before ascending to Lycabettus Hill. You'll have to take lunch in the Benaki Museum or have some lunch box :)

BACK TO DAY 1

Are you staying at the Plaka Hotel? Then explore Monastiraki Flea Market that day and then continue at around 5pm to Kerameikos site. Then either continue towards Gazi or head bavk to Monastiraki for an early dinner.

TIPS:

1. Siesta is needed. Plan your days this way so either you are in a museum at the hottest part of the day or taking a nap. Taking a nap breaks the day at two parts, you refill "batteries" and you are all set. It works well with early starts.

2. This is a proposed walk for Day 2: tinyurl.com/Acropolis-Agora-walk-English

3. More maps here: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g189400-c115233/Athen…

That's it. Off now to open a Moet for the milestone :)

( Kidding. I don't drink. It will be a virtual one )

Cheers!

Edited: 11:46 am, April 22, 2012
Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Athens Itinerary (5 days)

We're staying at Omiros Hotel in Plaka. We'll be in Athens towards the end of June. I'm hoping the heat is more like Alice Springs than Brisbane (dry instead of humid).

Thanks for everyone's input! I'm gonna have to sit down and have a good think about priorities.

Edited: 4:28 pm, April 22, 2012
7. Re: Athens Itinerary (5 days)

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